Looking to enjoy the Royal Highland Show, Scotland's biggest agriculture extravaganza, this weekend? Our handy guide will help

What is the Royal Highland Show? 

The Royal Highland Show is the premier fixture in Scotland’s farming calendar.

Running from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June, the show is held at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, near Edinburgh.

Attracting between 160,000 and 185,000 visitors annually – with a record breaking 189,000 visitors last year – the showcase festival sees around 2,000 exhibitors – with over 6,000 livestock – compete to win awards, trophies and cash prizes.

Now celebrating its 177th anniversary, this year’s rural extravaganza is set to be the biggest and most exciting yet.  

Getting there

The Royal Highland Show is a truly unique festival of Scottish agricultural lifestyle and you’ll want to experience it to its fullest.

With that in mind we want you to get there safely and on time to enjoy everything this wonderful event has to offer.

For information on getting to the The Royal Highland Centre by public transport – from anywhere in Scotland – you can visit http://www.travelinescotland.com.

If you are visiting from elsewhere in the UK or abroad you can find information here.

RHS 1

Picture: TSPL

Travelling by bus

From Edinburgh – A frequent dedicated Service 98 to the Show from central Edinburgh is run by Lothian Buses for the duration of the event. Download the No 98 timetable here.

Service 97: a new service providing connections from Edinburgh Park Station and Edinburgh Gateway Station to the Royal Highland Show every 15 minutes on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th June, and every 30 minutes on Sunday 25th June.

From Glasgow and the West – Service buses operated by FirstGroup, CityLink and others, will stop outside our South Entrance on the A8.

From the North – Stagecoach Jet747 bus service from Fife to Edinburgh Airport passes by the showground with scheduled journey time of just 25 minutes.

By Car & Parking

Directions to the Show are given on AA signs on all major approaches. Parking costs £8 per day payable by cash or enter by prepaid e-ticket. As the West Car Park starts to fill, a shuttle service takes show visitors up to/from the West Entrance.

By Train 

The nearest train stations are Edinburgh Park, South Gyle, Edinburgh Haymarket, or Waverley Station. The dedicated bus service No 98 stops at Edinburgh Haymarket enroute to the Showground.

By Tram

Trams run from every 7 minutes between 6am and 11pm and offer a consistent journey time of just 30 minutes into the city.

The Tram stop nearest the Royal Highland Centre is Ingliston Park & Ride (approximately a 10 minute walk to the Showground) and tickets cost Adult return £3.20, Child return £1.60 and a Family Ticket costs just £8.50.

Picture: TSPL

Tickets

Buying tickets online before the show can save you money as compared to prices on the gate (online discount ends midnight tonight – Wednesday 21st). Buy your tickets here.

Tickets cost £27 for adults and Concessions are £22

Children aged 15 or under will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult.

Students will be required to show a valid student card to receive concessions discount.

Visitors who are registered as disabled who purchase a ticket can bring along a carer to the show free of charge if a carer is required.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Highlights

Luckily, the event is spread over four days because there’s so much to do and see.

You’ll probably find yourself coming back for more than one visit as it can be hard to be take everything in over just one day but don’t worry an extended visit is well worth it.

Food and drink

The Royal Highland Show is usually the one place you can taste the whole of Scotland in one day (or four days if you are lucky) and this year is set to be the best yet for lovers of food and drink.

Scotland’s Larder Live! will give visitors the chance to sample wares from more than 100 Scots producers.

Taking over the show’s food hall, SLL will feature cookery demonstrations, talks and tastings as well as an abundance of the very best of Scottish produce.

“The food hall at the Royal Highland Show is, without a doubt, always one of the most popular places to visit,” says MSP Richard Lochhead.

We recommend you check out the The Cookery Theatre which will feature some of Scotland’s top chefs including will offer a packed programme of demonstrations and talks from top chefs, including ‘The Kilted Chef’ Craig Wilson, Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters and Edinburgh’s Paul Wedgwood.

Watch as chefs and celebrities are challenged to create dishes against the clock and enjoy tastings and talks as well as the opportunity to meet some of Scotland’s finest producers.

New exhibitors to the event for 2017 include Lockerbie Creamery, Baxters, Luss Smokehouse and Northumberland Honey. And we welcome back many show regulars including Mrs Tilly’s Confectionary, Mackies of Scotland and Grahams Dairies.

This year, Scotland’s Larder Live will present an impressive range of artisan drinks, including Scottish gin and flavoured vodkas.

Berry Good will have Scotland’s first cold brew coffee liqueur, Cofaidh Liqueur (from the Gaelic for coffee), which is made using freshly roasted coffee beans from local roasters.

Due to the huge success of its launch last year, the cheese tasting pop up will return, where showgoers can taste a range of delicious artisan cheeses and meet the makers.

Food-to-go providers will be on hand to offer up a tasty selection of hot and cold food across the 110acre showground.

From venison burgers to wood fired pizzas these caterers will all be adhering to the Show’s highly respected Food Charter.

As well as the return of the Scottish Cheese, Butter and Ice-Cream Championships, 2017 also sees the introduction of the brand new Scottish Bread Championships.

Animals

The Royal Highland Show wouldn’t be what it is without the true stars of the event, the thousands of livestock and animals.

Horses, sheep, pigs and goats are just some of the animals that will be on display and children (and adults) will be enthralled by the hundreds of different breeds and styles that take up residence at the showground.


Lori Calvert, 18, with her 2 year old Shetland Pony called Kingston. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Royal Highland Show plays host to one of the best equestrian events in the country with classes for light and heavy horses, private driving, heavy horse turnouts, harness and grooming, as well as show-jumping.

With more than 3,000 horses and around 2,200 riders are expected to compete over the four days, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

HORSES

Picture: TSPL

Fun for children 

The Royal Highland Show goes to extra lengths to ensure its younger visitors have the best time – and best of all it’s free for them to enter.

The revamped Children’s Discovery Centre is a must-visit for children of all ages – there are interactive sessions which children can participate in as well as lots of things to do including milking a ‘cow’.

More than 30,000 children including 300 school groups are expected to take part over the four days and each area within the showground has a number of attractions for children including music, cookery theatre, countryside, lifestyle, equestrian and the main ring. The animal parades are also great fun.

Picture: TSPL

Children can also get close to creatures in the poultry tent and the bee marquee where they can learn the bee dance and make their very own candles.

A visit to the machinery displays can be just as fun for little visitors – and parents alike – as after all, who doesn’t love tractors!

RHS2

Retail therapy

The Royal Highland Show is not just about farming equipment and livestock, visitors will find hundreds of stalls offering everything from hand made crafts to high-end textiles.

The farmer’s markets offers some of the freshest -and most delicious – Scottish produce available anywhere as well as the chance to talk to, and get advice from, the producers themselves.

Ingliston is transformed into a hub of agricultural trade over the four days so don’t be surprised to see tractors on sale next to the carrots and asparagus!

Frequently asked questions:

Can I bring my Dog? The event organisers recommend that dog owners leave their pets at home as the event can be extremely busy, however should you desire to bring them, any dog must be kept on their leash at all times throughout the event.

With the exception of assistance dogs, dogs will not be admitted to the Grandstands, the MacRobert Pavilion, Exhibition Halls or catering establishments.

Can I hire a wheelchair or scooter? Electric scooters and manual wheelchairs will be available from Mobility Hire 4 You. Hire stations will be located as before at both the East and West Gates adjacent to the Disabled Car Parks.

Pre-booking is strongly recommended. You can book them online here or email: mary@bartrams.net

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Will there be disabled parking? Blue badge holders should display their badges as they approach the showground, this will allow police to guide you to the designated parking area.

How do I become a member? You can join the The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), by applying on their website

What should I wear to the show? Practical clothing and sturdy footwear is the order of the day.

Although Scotland has been known to enjoy sunshine from time to time, the weather is prone to change quite quickly.

Can I bring a camera? The organisers positively encourage it – in fact they have even arranged for a photographic competition on Facebook, you could even win a prize!

What do I do if I feel unwell? First aid is provided at First Aid posts, by foot and bicycle patrols and there is a doctor and ambulance on site. Ask a steward or official for assistance as there is a medical team onsite.

Can I leave and re-enter the event during the day? Yes, just make sure and ask one of the event staff for a stamp.

Where can I find out about trade stand offers? Keep an eye on twitter and facebook – many of the event exhibitors post special offers to social media followers.

Can I camp at the Royal Highland show? Though the event itself doesn’t provide camping there are a few campsites located nearby you can find them on camping community sites such as campinmygarden.com and www.campsitechatter.com

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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