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13 March 2023

Jousters, Jacobites and unicorns return to Scotland this summer

Historic Environment Scotland announces summer events programme

A woman in Renaissance clothing jousts with a knight

Over 1,000 years of history is set to come alive across many of Scotland’s most iconic historic attractions as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) launches its 2023 summer events programme.

As part of this year's fun packed programme, Easter sees the much loved Unicorn back at Stirling Castle (8-9 April), celebrating Scotland’s mythical national creature with a weekend of family friendly activities around the iconic castle; while annual favourite Spectacular Jousting will again take place in the grounds of both Linlithgow Palace (1-2 July) and Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries and Galloway (29-30 July).

The Easter holiday weekend (April 7-10) will also see a range of HES sites and attractions across the country host the annual Easter Eggsplorer Trails where younger kids and their families can enjoy fun themed historical challenges and have the chance to pick up some chocolatey treats as well.

A series of Living History events are also planned at many HES sites where costumed historical performers will be on hand to tell visitors about the history of the site and the characters they portray. The programme will take place at attractions including Edinburgh Castle, Melrose Abbey, and Elgin Cathedral on selected dates from April 1-16.

Fort George near Inverness again hosts Celebration of the Centuries (12-13 August), HES’s largest re-enactment event providing a living timeline of Scotland’s history where visitors can wander through the Living History camps boasting everything from Picts and Romans to Vikings, Jacobites and First World War soldiers as well as being able to dance along to a big band and Swing dancers in the 40s Zone. The two-day spectacular will also see stunt horse riders from the TV series Outlander performing a show inspired by the events of the ’45 Jacobite Rising.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Marketing and Engagement at HES, said:

“Our fun packed annual events programme provides a wonderful opportunity for our visitors to experience some of our iconic sites and enjoy a range of fantastic, historically themed live performances and interactive experiences, while exploring and learning about Scotland’s rich heritage.

Our events offer something for all ages to enjoy and we again look forward to welcoming visitors new and returning as we bring the stories of our past alive against the dramatic backdrop of many of our world-renowned historic sites.”

Tickets for the events can be bought in advance online.

Daytime events are free for Historic Scotland members. Historic Scotland membership gives unlimited access to Scotland’s rich history and unmissable events. Find out about Membership.

Explore the full programme of events for 2023

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

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For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962