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27 October 2022

Scotland’s extraordinary stories told after hours at Stirling Castle

Over 500 years of history is set to be brought to life through an evening of never seen before illumination, storytelling, and costumed performance at Stirling Castle as the former home of Mary, Queen of Scots opens its doors and offers unique access to visitors after hours.

Two costumed performers in medieval dresses pose alongside an author

In celebration of Scotland's Year of Stories, the event will see visitors invited to experience a winter's evening of Scotland's extraordinary stories as 'Tales from the Castle' takes place from 6pm to 10pm on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November.

Costumed reenactors from various historical eras pose for a group photo in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle

The event, which is being run by Historic Environment Scotland who manage the castle, will provide an opportunity where visitors can take in the ancient archways, rich courtyards and glorious halls of one of Scotland's most impressive castles as it's illuminated and holds host to an activity-filled evening after dark. Characters from the castle's past will be brought to life as tales are re-enacted by soldiers, musicians, jesters, and royals.

Visitors can catch up with the Ballachulish Boys and hear how their knowledge of Gaelic helped them escape a prison of war, while Mary Queen of Scots and her ladies in waiting will once again be seen in the Royal Palace after dark.

Carnegie medal-winning author Theresa Breslin will be reading from her new book for young people Illustrated Legends of Scotland’s Kings and Queens.

In the Queen Anne Gardens, visitors will be able to enjoy storytelling around the warmth and glow of firepits and will even have the chance to take part in a ceilidh in the magnificent Great Hall where a band will be striking up songs throughout the evening.

Two costumed reenactors in a 1920s style dress and a medieval style dress in front of Stirling Castle which is illuminated with red floodlights

Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager at HES, said:

"We’re very much looking forward to welcoming visitors to Tales from the Castle in November. Stirling Castle is not usually open in the evening, so it’ll be a special opportunity to experience the castle by night.

We have an exciting evening lined up where visitors will be able to soak in the atmosphere whilst wandering the illuminated castle and feel its illustrious past through fabulous storytelling and re-enacting.

"The event is part of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 which is all about showcasing and celebrating the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. 

"If you love wintery evenings, castles, history and storytelling – and that magical feeling of being transported back in time - this event will be for you. As well as exploring inside the castle, visitors can enjoy the outdoor spaces where we’ll have shelter, canopies and firepits, but be sure to wrap up warm!"

The event is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022. Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said:

"We are delighted to be supporting Tales from the Castle as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories. Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events and Stirling Castle has so many great stories to uncover, made all the more atmospheric by this unique opportunity to experience the iconic castle after hours."

Tales from the Castle takes place at Stirling Castle from 6pm to 10pm on Friday 25 November and Saturday 26 November.  

Tickets cost £18 for adults, £14.50 for concessions, £11 for children and under 5s go free. There are various family tickets ranging from £35.50 - £61.50. A discount applies for Historic Scotland members. Tickets will be for access to the castle during the event hours only, there will be no additional access outside the event.

Buy tickets

Historic Scotland membership gives unlimited access to Scotland’s rich history and unmissable events. For more information, visit historyawaits.scot

About Historic Environment Scotland

  • 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.
  • Historic Environment Scotland is a registered Scottish Charity. Scottish Charity No. SC045925 
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For further information, please contact:

Laura Ely
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962