The Spectacular Jousting Event at Linlithgow Palace is an annual jousting tournament that is held on the grounds of Linlithgow Palace. You will hear the thunder of the horses’ hooves and the cheering from the crowds as you see the knights taking on each other. The jousting tournament features riders on horseback galloping across a field towards each other, with the aim of hitting their opponent with their lance.
Linlithgow is well known for its historic palace and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots (born 1542). In Gaelic, Linlithgow means “the loch in the damp hollow” which is quite fitting seeing as the 15th-century Palace is located in the centre of the ancient burgh, nestled alongside the beautiful Linlithgow Loch.
Spectacular Jousting at Linlithgow Palace
Linlithgow Palace is an amazing site for a jousting tournament as it takes place under the awe-inspiring building in Peel Park. The spectators have a great view of the action and it’s always exciting to see who comes out on top.
Parking at the Event
At the event we visited in July 2022, the parking was at the Oracle which is on the outskirts of Linlithgow. I did think we would be parking directly at the Oracle building but that was only for disabled users. It was a little drive further along the country road to the field where the main parking was. You could either then walk the short distance to the Palace or catch the shuttle bus (which is free) to and from the event. We opted for the shuttle bus as we had 4 kids and 4 adults (2 of which struggle with long-distance walking).
Getting To The Main Event
This Historic Scotland event opens at 11.30 am. We passed the queue on the way to the parking and we were amazed at how long the line was. By the time we parked, and got the shuttle bus the queue was pretty much gone. There were 2 lines, one for non-members and one for members. It was a sold-out event so you are always best booking in advance for this event.
When we arrived, we could see something going on down in one of the event arenas but we decided to go find a spot to view the jousting event as it was filling up pretty quickly. Shortly after we found our spot the horses and their riders came out into the Jousting arena and were introduced to the crowds.
The Knights and their Horses
You can read more about the knights and their horses over on the Historic Scotland blog. The knights were all introduced, 4 in total, Sir Robert Sinclair of Rosslyn, Sir Maurice Moray, Sir Archibald Douglas of Galloway and Sir Checkmate Fitzpercy of Alnwick. The baddy Sir Checkmate spent most of the event cheating, shouting at the crowds and causing chaos which everyone was finding hilarious.
The Jousting Tournament
There were shows of each knight’s jousting abilities where they had to hit vegetables and other items. It was a little hard to keep up with what was going on as the main speaker’s microphone kept cutting out but it was still entertaining. The main jousting was really good to watch, seeing the horses and the riders thundering towards each other and trying to knock them off. All 4 kids were loving it and joined in shouting at Sir Checkmate.
After the Jousting event, we walked around the tents and met some of the horses and their riders. My partner even got a selfie with Sir Checkmate!
We watched Edwards Court which was entertaining to watch. Somehow we missed the falconry display which we were disappointed about (but there are always future years to go see this!).
After watching Edwards court we made our way back up to the gift shop and then caught the shuttle bus back to the car park. Everyone was happy and tired after the event which is a bonus!
Facilities at Linlithgow Palace Jousting Event
There were places to buy food (however the queues were so long when we saw them), there was the toilet area with portaloos and also a gift shop near the top. You might need to remember your credit card to survive the gift shop! Although with 4 kids we were happy with the 20% discount for being Historic Scotland Members!
Overall, it is definitely worthwhile going to the Spectacular Jousting event and you will not be disappointed. There is also another event at Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries.
Top Tips For The Linlithgow Palace Jousting Event
- Take something to sit on like a blanket or camping chairs for each person.
- I would recommend taking a picnic as the queues for the food areas looked too long for us.
- Take some tissues and anti-bacterial hand wipes for the loos just in case they have run out by the time you visit. It is always best to be prepared, especially with kids!
- Check the weather and go prepared. It is Scotland after all!
Have you been to this Historic Scotland Event before? Let me know in the comments below.