Staff at Scone Palace are preparing to re-open to the public with high hopes that 2014 will be another top performing year at The Crowning Place of Scotland’s Kings.
Margo Baird, Marketing Officer at the Palace says: “Buoyed by a programme of new and exciting events including Cycletta Scotland and Scotland’s first ever Chilli Festival, which combined with some glorious summer weather, we welcomed 107,000 visitors to the Palace and grounds in 2013, one of the highest numbers recorded since we opened to the public in 1966.
“With the eyes of the world firmly on Scotland as we host world-class events including Homecoming 2014, the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup, we’re gearing up for an exceptionally busy year which could well set new records”.
The Palace re-opens to the public on Tuesday 1st April and to herald the start of the new season, the first local resident through the door (PH, DD and KY postcodes) will have the opportunity to win a free family season ticket, worth £55.
“As well as taking a tour of the Palace, visitors can enjoy a tasty treat in the Old Servant’s Hall Coffee Shop and browse new and exclusive lines in the Gift and Food Shops, including our brand new ‘Scone 900’ beer”, added Margo.
“Spring is also a lovely time to take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, which at this time of year are awash with swathes of daffodils. This colourful display is followed in late April by a mass of stunning azaleas and rhododendrons. Given the relatively mild winter weather, we expect to see the tulips in the cut flower plot putting in an early appearance this year as well. Following our three new way-marked walking routes will offer a great way to enjoy the horticultural and historical highlights that can be found throughout the grounds.
“Visitors are also very welcome to explore our Kitchen Garden, where our team of gardeners and enthusiastic volunteers will be hard at work planting up the fresh produce which will feature on the coffee shop menu over the coming months. They might even be lucky enough to spot the Beechgrove Garden team, who will be filming progress in the garden through the season!
“Our events programme kicks off in style with our popular Easter Weekend from 18th – 21st April, with Easter fun and games each day for all the family including Easter Egg Rolling on Moot Hill, an Easter Bunny Hunt in the Palace State Rooms, face painting, glitter tattoos and, on Easter Sunday, a special ‘Prince and Princess’ fancy dress competition! To tempt the taste buds there’ll be a sizzling Hog Roast and a fabulous range of outdoor eating options.
“On the 1st of May, our new public exhibition, ‘Dido Belle – Her Story’, opens in the Palace State Rooms. Coinciding with the release of the major new feature film ‘Belle’, which tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed race daughter of a slave and a British admiral, brought up by the 1st Earl of Mansfield, the exhibition will focus on Belle’s life and family and the Earl of Mansfield’s role in the international abolition of slavery.
“PotFest International Ceramics Festival returns to Scone once again, from 6th - 8th June, when visitors can enjoy an amazing and colourful day out amongst some of the most creative makers in clay from around Europe. Held in a tented village within the gardens, the event will offer a great opportunity to meet the potters, get inspired and buy direct from makers.
“June 14th sees the return of Breast Cancer Care’s Pink Ribbonwalk, when people of all ages are being invited to come and take part in a beautiful 10 or 20 mile circular walk along trails through the grounds in and around Scone Palace to support those affected by breast cancer. Not only is the walk great fun, but it helps to raise funds for a very worthy cause. Last year’s event was a phenomenal success with well over £250,000 raised for Breast Cancer Care.
“Another early season highlight will take place on Sunday 22nd June when we celebrate the 700 year anniversary of Scotland's most famous battle, the 'Battle of Bannockburn'. Visitors will be able to stand on the site where Robert I was crowned at Scone in 1306 while watching the battle brought to life with costumed re-enactments”.