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The Royal Highland Show 2024 near Edinburgh

Great Britain is home to numerous annual shows organised throughout the year across Wales, England and Scotland celebrating variety of points of interest. Some of the best known shows include the Chelsea Flower Show organised in May in London, England, or the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which takes place in August in the capital city of Scotland.

There is also one very, very unique for Scottish culture. Organised every June, the Royal Highland Show is the biggest annual agricultural show of the UK promoting the best of Scottish food and produce, farming and rural life. Held since 1822, originally on the grounds of Queensberry House in Edinburgh’s Canongate (where the Scottish Parliament building now stands), this year’s show is held from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 June at Ingliston Estate near Edinburgh, where shows premises were moved to in 1960.

 

The show is truly incredible and there’s plenty to do for everyone – from family activities, gift shops and various food stalls, to several shows, demonstrations and mini events! Accompanied by live music on Friday and Saturday, you can hear Scottish and even Irish liveliest folk and country bands.

I’ll start from food scene as I always get hungry when I write blog posts (so perhaps grab a little bite with me!). One of the must-see & must-try point of the Royal Highland Show is the Scotland’s Larder. Local and artisan produce from nearby suppliers, producers, farmers and small business will leave you spoilt for choice! You can find Aberdeen Angus beef produce, the freshest fish and seafood from the Scottish coast and isles, homegrown veggies & fruits, the traditional Scottish haggis, and plethora of other food and drink produce, including dairy products made from Highland coos, goats and sheep’s milk, honey from ethically kept bees, artisan breads, jams, confectionery or deli, and of course Scottish whisky and gins. It’s not only a great opportunity to try and buy new goodies, but also to meet the makers and ask them questions about processes and behind-the-scenes of production. Moreover at the Food For Thought Conference & Cookery Theatre, you can take part in interactive cooking workshops, see how modern cuisine is adapting to traditional Scottish recipes creating visually beautiful and full of flavour dishes, and perhaps learn a recipe or two yourself!

Moving on to demonstrations and showcases focused of farming and rural life, you can see some impressive skills and strength at the Forestry Arena, where competitors will climb trees, throw axes or cut wooden sculptures with a saw. At The Forge, experience the traditional art of farriery and watch competitors in horse-shoeing and shoe-making competitions. With plenty of arts & crafts exhibitions and technical innovations, you will see many colourful and revolutionary displays related to animals, farm and countryside life, some for sale!

 

But the Royal Highland Show is mainly about the animals! There are around 6 thousand (!) animals to be seen all around the premises, including cattle, sheep, goats, horses, ponies, donkeys or poultry. During The Grand Parade you will see gracefully walking coos (and other animals) on the Main Ring, probably knowing they are the superstars of the show (!), which are judged based on their sizes, weights, health conditions (and probably their star factor/attitude too). There is also Horse Jumping Show, featuring some of the best horses and riders of the country jumping majestically and high above the obstacles. At the Sheep Shearing event, you can marvel at the speed and talent of professional shearers, who can skilfully fleece these wool animals in seconds (!). Besides, you can see Sealpin Gundogs or Elite Falconry’s birds of prey flying demonstrations, as well as displays of little habitats with ducks, ferrets, goats or others.

If you’re not in Scotland during this year’s Royal Highland Show, we are here to help! Many of our guests choose farm experiences, where you can spend a half or a full day with the Highland Coos, sheep or horses, all waiting to be pet, fed and loved by you! If you wish to add one or few experiences to your itinerary (whether it’s horse riding, attending Highland cows, taking part in shearing the sheep or many others of your interests), please include the request in your first enquiry or contact your designated agent to add these to your booked trip with us. We recommend it for anyone who loves nature, animals or is interested in rural activities. Without booked experiences, you may be lucky to see brown-orange, hairy and cute Highland coo on your way during self-drive tours or on our Secret of Scotland small group, especially around Scottish Highlands region, the minor coastal road called Bealach Na Bà, nearby Duirinish, Plockton, Fort William’s Cow Hill, within Cairngorms National Park or on the North Coast 500 road.

We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland whether it’s to explore the farming heritage, the glorious gastronomic experiences or indeed to attend one of the many festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the calendar!

Magdalena Glen

June 18, 2024

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