Iconic tourist attraction Stirling Castle will be packed with performers, presentations and professionals for a Great Big History Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday (1 and 2 April). Vikings, Covenanters and Jacobites will make up just some of the cast as the castle kicks off a year of exciting living history events at Historic Scotland sites across the country.
This fun-filled family day out will give visitors the chance to meet the 16th century Queen of Scots, Mary of Guise, try their hand at activities from calligraphy practice to hobby horse jousting, and from soap carving to historical pottery. The more brave-hearted visitors can delve into the secrets of the castle skeletons with CSI Stirling or learn how to turn the heads of Renaissance courtiers with dancing lessons from the palace performers.
Archaeology Scotland will be on hand to tell visitors about their Heritage Hero award, which they can gain on the day, and Scotland’s Treasure Trove team will host a pop-up museum of historic artefacts. For those inspired to uncover even more detail, there will be mock archaeological digs and virtual tours, and the Scotland’s Urban Past project will be teaching visitors how to become an Urban Detective.
Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which runs the site, said: “We are pulling out all the stops at Stirling Castle with The Great Big History Weekend to give visitors a taste of all the different types of events we’ll be putting on as part of the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
"Whether you’ve dreamed of being a knight at a jousting tournament or becoming the next Indiana Jones, or if you’ve ever wanted to try a traditional skill like pottery or stone carving, there’s something for everyone.
“Visitors will feel like they’re travelling through the centuries as they meet colourful characters from Scotland’s history, and can even delve into the past with our renaissance-themed photo booth complete with historic costumes. This is a historical celebration not to be missed!”
Historic Environment Scotland, Scotland’s lead body for the historic environment, is also offering an extra six months free membership when you join Historic Scotland before 30 April, encouraging families to ‘catch the history bug’ in the themed year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
The weekend will also see over 30 historic sites across Scotland open their doors to the public for the summer season.
The Great Big History Weekend takes place from 12pm to 4pm this coming Saturday and Sunday (1 and 2 April), and is included in Stirling Castle admission price. Entry is free for Historic Scotland members.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

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For further information

Ali George
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8714
Mobile: 07583 018 790