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The parklands at Scone Palace will be the venue this summer for the first ever Highlander World Championships, a spectacular two-day event which sees the fusion of history and traditional sport, echoing the war games of our ancestors.

From 19th 20th July, 16 international athletes, all either world record holders, world champions, Olympians or national title holders, will take part in a series of highland games, gladiatorial and traditional feats of strength, in an effort to win the coveted title of Highlander World Champion. Two heats will take place on Saturday 19th July with the final on Sunday 20th. Competition on both days will start at 11am.

In addition to the sporting competition, therell be music by the Vale of Atholl Pipeband and groups including Sambayabamba and Clann and Drumma, dancing displays by the Myra Miller group, and historical re-enactments by the Clan Battle Society.

This major new event is due to be broadcast over three programmes by Channel 4 Television.

Look out for more information on the Scone Palace website or see local newspaper listings for full details.


Illyria will present a comic new production of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, in the magnificent grounds of the Palace on Wednesday 2nd July.

Everyone thinks they know the story of Pinocchio. The truth is they probably dont! Forget Disney. Illyrias production is based entirely on Carlo Collodis macabre comic masterpiece for smart grown-ups and brave children.

Geppetto the carpenter carves a puppet called Pinocchio from a block of wood, but Pinocchio cunningly throws a wild tantrum and gets Geppetto sent to prison for cruelty. Free to do what he likes, Pinocchio joins the theatre, squanders his fathers money, is chased by murderers and almost hanged. Determined to pursue a life of adventure he abandons Geppetto in poverty, allows the Blue-Haired Fairy to die of grief, and stamps on the meddlesome cricket who tried to give him some good advice. Eventually he ends up in the wonderful Land of Toys where naughty children run riot but turn into donkeys. All his life Pinocchio has longed to become a real boy, but what sacrifices will he have to make before he turns into an ass instead?

Collodis story of redemption is also a hysterical satire on growing up and children and adults alike will recognise the reality that lurks behind each of the heavily metaphorical episodes in the play. Featuring a leading actor whose nose really does grow, and a 20-foot shark, Illyrias Pinocchio is suitable for everyone aged 5 and over.

The performance starts at 7pm, but gates will open at 6pm to allow you to arrive early to enjoy a picnic in the open air with friends and family. Tickets are available from Scone Palace, tel. 01738 552300, E: Adult: 12.50, Child: 8.00, Family: 35.00. Further information from


Scotlands premier countryside festival, the Scottish Game Fair, will take place in the Palace parklands from 4th 6th July.

Visitors will be able to watch the Gundog and Fishing competitions, or try their hand at activities including archery, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, fly-casting, air rifle shooting and climbing.

A huge range of entertainment is also on offer this year including Pipe Bands, Falconry, Dancing Displays, Childrens Activities in the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust marquee, Terrier Racing, Dry Stone Walling demonstrations, 4 x 4 circuit, Horse & dray Rides, Tug o War and Coracle Making.

Shopping is always one of the main attractions of The Scottish Game Fair with a plethora of vendors selling a fantastic range of goods, often at bargain prices. Along with those supplying the gamekeeper, fisherman, farmer or conservationist theres a wealth of stand holders selling everything from real ale to leather clothing. A range of specialist foods will also be available to buy in the popular Food Hall.

A family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) will be available for entry to the fair for the first time, costing 30. Adults 13, children (ages 5 15) 3. Parking free.

More information from


In the early centuries of the first millennium, Scotland was inhabited by a number of different tribes. The Pictish people lived in north and east Scotland. Their neighbours to the south were the Northumbrians or Angles, a powerful tribe who had established the kingdom of Bernicia. Always on the lookout to extend their power and enlarge their territory, the Northumbrians had advanced steadily northwards during the 7th century, successfully claiming the Lothians. Now they set their sights further north on the kingdom of Pictavia.

It was the spring of 685 when the Northumbrian King, Egfrith, decided to advance north to battle with the Picts and claim their territory as his own. Leading a large and powerful force, Egfrith marched into Pictavia. But the Picts were ready and waiting. Their king, Bridei, had devised a plan. Using cunning tactics, Bridei drew the Northumbrians towards Dunnichen in Angus, where a great battle took place.

Come along to Scone Palace on Sunday 20th July, when costumed characters will tell the story of the Picts great victory at the Battle of Dunnichen, and learn how the battle created the foundations for the Scotland we know today.

Performances will take place hourly throughout the day. Tickets 8 adults, 5 children, 7 concessions, 24 Family.


2nd 3rd August sees the return of the popular Festival of Orchids at Scone. Now in its third year, this years festival is set to be bigger and better than ever.

The Festival of Orchids will include displays by some of the UKs top orchid nurseries and suppliers including Burnham Nurseries; David Stead Orchids; Deva Orchids; Mansell & Hatcher; Orchids by Peter White; Plants Plus; Plested Orchids; Regal Orchids and Roellke-Orchideenzucht.

Therell also be talks and demonstrations on the art of orchid - growing, Question and Answer sessions, competitions and orchids for sale, plus the chance to enjoy the spectacular orchid displays in the beautiful setting of Scone Palace. Other attractions will include an elderflower presse bar and live jazz music.

Tickets, giving entry to the Festival, grounds and Palace State Rooms, cost 8.00 per adult, 5.00 per child, 7.00 concessions, Family Tickets 24. Discounted rates for members of British Orchid Societies, and free entry for RHS members. Gates open 9.30am daily.

-- Edited by Rabbie Downunder at 01:11, 2008-05-20


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