From feasting to falconry and from singing to sports, Renaissance royals had plenty to keep them entertained. Step back in time with Historic Scotland this weekend for a free, fun-filled afternoon recreating some of those favourite royal pastimes, and learn about some of the park’s historic links.
The area around Holyrood Park has a long history as a royal hunting ground. This Sunday, visitors can follow in the footsteps of King David I, who regularly rode there in the 12th century, by mounting one of our trusty steeds for junior jousting.
When Mary, Queen of Scots was resident at Holyrood Palace in the 1560s, she practiced archery, hawking, hunting, bowls and tennis in the garden. 450 years later, visitors to the park can also try their hand at archery, meet the falconer, and have a go at old fashioned games like skittles, quoites and badminton. The Historic Scotland Rangers will also be on hand to give guided walks of the park.
Visitors looking for a more relaxing royal pursuit can bring a blanket and sample some delicious snacks for Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. The Historic Scotland retail team will be on hand with whisky and shortbread tasters, we’ll be cooking up some tasty burgers, and Pickering’s Gin company will also pop by with a range of gin-based cocktails to try. There will also be a chance to sample the new Edinburgh Castle beer at our bar.
Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning for Historic Scotland, said: “We’re excited to be bringing history to life at Holyrood Park this weekend with a host of fun free activities which the whole family can enjoy.
“As well as meeting musketeers, Mary, Queen of Scots and the Court Jester, visitors can try their hand at archery and traditional crafts like pomander making, have a go at Renaissance ‘Beat the Goalie’, and take a guided walk of the park with our fantastic Ranger team. After all that, they can relax with food and drink fit for a queen, so there is a rich selection of Royal Pursuits on offer.”
The Historic Scotland Conservation team will also be on hand to demonstrate some of the traditional building skills used to create some of the iconic historic buildings frequented by royals throughout the ages, such as nearby Holyrood Palace.
Royal Pursuits is a free event hosted by Historic Scotland in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park. It takes place from 12 noon – 4pm on Sunday 19th July.