Historic Scotland has Christmas all wrapped up

This article is from 2011.

Historic Scotland has Christmas all wrapped up

Edinburgh and Stirling castles set to host festive events this winter

Looking to get into that Christmas spirit nice and early but having trouble finding some festive inspiration? Sometimes we forget about the very best things on our doorstep but, this year, you really need to look no further than Historic Scotland’s world-famous attractions for bags of holiday cheer. There’s no better time to visit than the festive period: the buildings take on an incredibly special atmosphere, and you get to soak up the majestic surroundings without having to contend with the tourist crowd.

At Edinburgh Castle there’s an action-packed daily programme of costumed performances transporting you through over 3,000 years of history at Scotland’s most majestic fortress (the site of the castle has been occupied since the Bronze age). You can also experience the magic of the the annual city favourite Carol Concert which is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.

The Stewart Christmas at Stirling Castle attracts thousands of visitors every year who flock to see a very light hearted and irreverent return to the period of Mary, Queen of Scots and discover what Christmas was like in the 16th Century Royal Stewart Court. All the family can get involved in this fantastic spectacle - try your hand at renaissance games and dancing or sample and wear the fashions of the time. Wonder at the skill of highly-trained jugglers and enjoy the mini pantomime as Baron Hardegg and his incompetent Squire, Hugo Softboiled, make an appearance. There’s also a Christmas Shopping Fayre full of fun and unusual gift ideas and experiences – know someone who would fancy being a zookeeper for a day? Here’s the place where you can make that wish come true.

For a full listing of everything that’s on, visit www.festivefun.co.uk. Go on – get involved with your local piece of history this year.

Carols at the Castle

The impressive Great Hall is lit by candlelight as the National Youth Choir of Scotland sings songs to get you in the spirit of the season.

Stirling Castle

Sun 10 Dec

£16 (£11) / 01786 450 000

  • 18:30 – 20:30

Christmas Lunch

Who says you have to have Christmas dinner on Christmas day? Thanks to Edinburgh Castle, you could have several. The cost of the lunch includes free admission to the castle.

Edinburgh Castle

Mon 11 Dec

£40 (£20; Adult member £34; Child member £17) / 0131 225 9746

  • 12:30 – 16:00

Tue 12 Dec

£40 (£20; Adult member £34; Child member £17) / 0131 225 9746

  • 12:30 – 16:00

Wed 13 Dec

£40 (£20; Adult member £34; Child member £17) / 0131 225 9746

  • 12:30 – 16:00
…and 10 more dates until 23 Dec

Christmas Shopping Fayre

This Christmas Shopping Fayre features plenty of interesting ideas for Christmas gifts from local businesses.

Stirling Castle

Tue 5 Dec

£6 including parking / 01786 450000

  • 18:00 – 21:00

Stewart Christmas

Find out what Christmas would have been like in the Stewart Royal Court in the 16th century, in a slightly irreverent re-creation that presumably assumes that Mary wasn't locked up down in London somewhere but was around to hand out presents (or whatever). There will doubtless be much wassailing and carousal.

Christmas Carols in the Great Hall

Edinburgh Grand Opera sings Christmas favourites in the splendid surroundings of the Great Hall. Event included in normal admission price.

Christmas Lunches

Enjoy a three-course Christmas lunch in Stirling Castle; the price of the meal includes free admission to the Castle.

Wine & Dine

Try the best Scottish cuisine in the splendid surroundings of the Jacobite Room, with spectacular views across Edinburgh. The price includes free admission to the Castle.

Games Day at the Castle

Try your hand at historical games.

The Real Scottish Christmas Fair

Traditional Scottish music and samples of food and drink while you shop. Located in a heated, carpeted marquee to the front Ocean Terminal and part of Ocean Terminal Christmas Village.

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