Mary Queen of Scots Festival

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For those who’ve got a keen interest in history, then there’s a festival this weekend that’s sure to whet your appetite. Take a step back in time to the 16th century, watch knights joust, and enjoy historical talks and a feast of fabulous food at this year’s Mary Queen of Scots Festival!

The 2017 festival will celebrate the 450-year anniversary of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots’ links to Kinross and it’s shaping up to be an action-packed weekend with fun for all the family. The festival is part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, and over the course of the two days there’s plenty happening that will keep adults and kids alike entertained.

Mary was famously held captive in the castle on Loch Leven Island and there’s no time machine required to get a feel for what it was like back in the 1500s with living history encampments set up and medieval food on the menu. It’s going to be a packed weekend of family fun, history re-enactment and jousting tournaments. You may even catch a glimpse of the Queen of Scots herself as she pops along to see her knights jousting!

The event is being produced by Scottish company, Unique Events, and after months of planning they’re looking forward to a great weekend which will feature the famous Clanranald Trust for Scotland – who’s CV includes work on combat re-enactments in films such as Gladiator and Robin Hood.

“It’s going to be a packed weekend of family fun, history re-enactment and jousting tournaments from the UK’s leading living history company Clanranald. The festival will also feature traditional and local musicians, storytelling, genealogy talks and delicious food and drink from Scotland’s larder.”


Planning for this year’s event started around five months ago and the festival’s director and co-founder, Thomas Moffat, is confident that locals and tourists alike will turn out in numbers over the weekend. The festival coincides with the opening of the new Queensferry crossing and it’s hoped that may add to  the numbers who come along to the event.

“We started putting the wheels in motion in March where all of the organisers came together with  some ideas about what we wanted to see in this year’s festival. We’re expecting a large crowd for what’s a great programme this year! We’re part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and the Mary Queen of Scots Festival is one of the signature events.

“The aim is to really highlight the strong link between the Kinross area and Mary Stuart – and as it’s the 450-year anniversary we want to use that as a platform to attract tourists to the area to help local businesses.

“Perhaps most importantly, the weather is looking okay for the weekend. Whenever you hold an outdoor event you hope the weather is going to play ball and forecasts look promising, so we’re expecting a large crowd for what’s a great programme this year!”

One of the highlights of the festival will be live music from The Gorms on Saturday afternoon, which is a part of the tent programme. They perform their traditional Scottish folk music with a bit of humour thrown into the mix too. There’s a fantastic line-up of live music as well as storytelling for kids and discussions on Mary’s legacy too. Add to that the chance to see the only free jousting event in Scotland, it’s going to be a weekend to remember in Kinross!


For more information on the festival, visit the Mary Queen of Scots Festival website or Facebook page.

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