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A taste of Christmas past and carols at the castle

16 December 2010

Stirling Castle's busy Christmas events programme continues this weekend with two very different festive highlights.

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th, Christmas for the Queen – a series of special costumed performances - offers a taste of the seasonal celebrations of 1546.  Visitors will be able to see period food being prepared, find out about the favourite Christmas celebration dishes of the 16th century and how they have influenced those we still enjoy today.  

To add to the festive mood there will also be a chance to indulge in the games and dancing that Mary, Queen of Scots would have enjoyed as a child.  And those charged with her safety, her personal armed guards, will be providing a demonstration of arms.  

Gareth Cheeseman of Historic Scotland’s Interpretation Unit said: “Our performances by costumed interpreters are always very popular, and as well as being really enjoyable, they help visitors relate to the people of the past and to understand and appreciate all sorts of aspects of life many centuries ago.  

“Storytelling adds an extra dimension to any visit to a historic attraction, making it even more memorable. And of course, Stirling Castle is a superb setting for events like this – it has great significance as a Renaissance royal residence, so is the ideal place to bring the 16th century court to life.”

Christmas For The Queen runs from 10.30am to 4pm and is included in the cost of admission.

On Sunday evening, there’s some wonderful Christmas musical entertainment in store in Carols at the Castle.  Come along to listen to the National Youth Choir of Scotland who will be performing a programme of classic carols and songs.  

Costumed performers will also be on hand to regale visitors with stories and traditions from Christmas past.   This memorable evening event takes place from 7pm to 8.30pm and tickets – which are available from the Albert Halls or by calling 01786 473544 – cost  £12 for adults, £9 for concessions and Historic Scotland members.

Gillian Macdonald, Stirling Castle Executive Manager, said:  “Our carol concert on the 19th December should be a wonderful event so we’re keeping everything crossed that the weather holds out and doesn’t spoil such a special festive evening.”


  • Stirling Castle’s Christmas Lunches continue until 23rd December.  From 1pm each day, this special three-course festive meal following by mince pies and coffee is £29 per person, including entry to the castle.  To book, call 01786 449 208 or email

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. From the castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views over two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000. For details of opening times and further information on the castle, visit

  • Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. An ambitious £12 million scheme, the Stirling Castle Palace Project, is underway to restore and refurbish the Royal Palace at Stirling and present it as it might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century. The project is due for completion in Summer 2011. An interpretive display on the court of James V will be created in the palace vaults and a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floors of the palace will house the original Stirling Heads, a rare group of intricately carved oak ceiling medallions depicting kings,queens, courtiers and mythological creatures.  Costumed interpreters will bring to life the history of the 16th century to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

  • Stirling Castle is one of the most popular of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among these are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit: and for more information on Stirling Castle, visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8734 / 07801 820757