When we were in Scotland one of the things our kids loved the best was the jousting tournament that was held at Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian. While the Palace is a place to remember in of itself, it is the jousting event that captured our imagination.
The first thing that takes your breath away is the castle itself and the cobblestone walkway leading up to it. Huge stone gates greet you and inside them you will find people dressed and acting as if they were locals of the area living in the 1400 and 1500’s. Once in the courtyard you will meet beggars and huntsmen, ladies in waiting and squires. Set against the backdrop of this magnificent 15th century palace in which Mary Queen of Scots was born; all the action that surrounds you makes you feel as though you have stepped back in time.
Exiting to the tournament grounds one of the first things you will notice is the enormous and sparkling Linlithgow Loch. Deeper into the venue you will see tents of the horsemen and find the living history camps. It was here on the grounds that we met this archer who shared with us his handmade arrows. Did you know that the feathers on an arrow must be from the same bird in order to fly properly? Neither did we.
Then it was time for the action to begin as magnificent and regal steeds flew across the valley their hoofs shaking the ground as they thundered across. The children were invited into the Children’s Army before the action began.Then men wearing armour and using weapons of the era battled it out on horseback and on foot using the chants of the crowd to spur them on.
All in all a great fun-filled and educational day.
This year’s tournament will be held July 2 and 3, 2016. Admission is£6.30 for kids up to£10 for adults.