VisitWestLothian has launched its Historical Summer programme, calling on people from all parts of Scotland to visit the area and experience some of the nation’s key historical attractions and events.
The launch, part of a wider campaign to promote West Lothian as a top tourist attraction in Scotland, aims to promote its rich heritage and bring more visitors into the area which boasts some exceptional links with key figures and events in Scottish history.
Mary Queen of Scots, the most famous of the Stewart monarchs, was born in Linlithgow Palace in 1542 and William Wallace is said to have held his last parliament at Torphichen before the Battle of Falkirk in July 1928.
Many attractions including Blackness Castle, Hopetoun House and the House of Binns, which stands as a living monument to one of Scotland’s oldest families, the Dalyells, who have lived there since 1612, will be showcased as top attractions to visit this summer with the family.
Amongst the highlights of the Historical Summer programme is Linlithgow Palace’s ‘Spectacular Jousting’ event, held over two weekends in July, (Sat 3, Sun 4, Sat 10 & Sun 11). The Knights of Royal England will present a skilled and daring show with supporting acts performing throughout the day too.
The Palace will also run ‘Living History Performances’ during the weekends, from June until the end of August. Visitors to the Palace will have the opportunity to hear tales of palace life from a range of colourful characters including Mary Queen of Scots and Annie Brewster the Palace Alewife, learn courtly dancing and etiquette, enjoy renaissance theatre or listen to music of the royal court.
Another major event is Hopetoun House’s Annual Summer Fair which takes place on July 25. It is a fundraising event – open to the entire family with crafts, food, local music acts and children’s activities.
Other key West Lothian destinations include:
- Blackness Castle. Built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s more powerful families, the Crichtons. It stands beside the Firth of Forth, at the seaport which in medieval times served the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow. It is open to the public April 1 until September 30.
- The House of Binns. The estate is open all year round with the house open to the public from June 1 through to September 30.
VisitWestLothian aims to raise the profile of the area – as well as highlighting its historical treasures, the campaign will also promote its attractive country parks, quality shopping and entertainment offering and its many accessible outdoor sporting activities.
VisitWestLothian Tourism Executive Anna Lightbody says: “West Lothian is a diverse and beautiful district boasting a fascinating history and there are so many places to visit that people overlook, all of which offer an exciting opportunity to explore and learn more about West Lothian and Scotland’s past.
“We hope this campaign will help highlight the true gems of the area and encourage families to visit them over the summer.”