Every year, an outstanding jousting tournament is held on the grounds of Linlithgow Palace, a well-reputed public park. You can hear the hooves of the horses and the shouts of the audience as you watch them on horseback. The jousting tournament features riders galloping across a field toward each other, attempting to strike each other with their lances.
Linlithgow is known for its historic castle and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots (born 1542). In Scots, Linlithgow means “the loch in the damp hollow,” which is appropriate seeing as the palace of the 15th century is centrally located in a damp hollow, surrounded by Linlithgow Loch.
Spectacular Jousting at Linlithgow Palace
Linlithgow Palace is an incredible location for jousting due to its beautiful setting at Peel Park. Great sights are available from the onlookers, and those who attend get to see a fantastic spectacle.
Parking at the Event
In July 2022, we visited the West Lothian Jousting event that was held in Linlithgow. Parking was near the Oracle building which was a little bit out of the town, which was fine with us since it was still close to the main attraction. However, I did think we would be parking right at the Oracle building. It turns out that this only applies to disabled users – regular attendees have to drive a little further down the country road to find their parking spot. Then, they have to walk (or take the shuttle bus) back to the event. We opted for the shuttle bus since there were four of us and four separate children; two of which struggle with long-distance walking.
Getting To The Main Event
This Historic Scotland event opens at 11.30 am. It was definitely worth the wait to get in! We passed the queue on the way to getting parked. There were two lines, one for non-members and one for members. The member’s line moved pretty quickly but the non-member line had a bit of a longer wait. It was well worth it though! Watching the jousting event from our spot was so exciting. Shortly after we watched it fill up, the horses and their riders came out into the arena and we were so excited to see them!
The Knights and their Horses
You can read more about the knights and their horses on the Historic Scotland blog. Four knights rode in to compete: Sir Robert Sinclair of Rosslyn, Sir Maurice Moray, Sir Archibald Douglas of Galloway and Sir Checkmate Fitzpercy of Alnwick. The knight with the worst reputation was Sir Checkmate, who spent most of the event cheating, shouting at the crowds and causing chaos which everyone found hilarious
The Jousting Tournament
There were a variety of shows throughout the day that involved knights jousting. The speaker’s microphone kept cutting out, but it was still entertaining to watch. The main event was really good to watch, as the horses and riders thundering towards each other and trying to knock them off was amazing. All of the kids were excited and were yelling along with Sir Checkmate.
After the Jousting event, we wandered through the tents, meeting some of the horses and their riders. My partner even got a selfie with Sir Checkmate! We watched Edwards Court, which was both fun and informative to watch. Somehow we missed the falconry display, but that’s always something to look forward to in future years. After watching Edwards Court, we made our way back up to the gift shop. Everyone was ready to head back home, tired but happy!
Facilities at Linlithgow Palace Jousting Event
We were so excited to visit this Historic Scotland event! The place was breathtakingly beautiful, with well-maintained gardens and paths. Everywhere you looked there was something happening. There were places to buy food, restrooms with portaloos, and a gift shop. We were even happy to find that we got a 20% discount for being Historic Scotland members. Even our four kids had a blast exploring the place!
We were very impressed with the Spectacular Jousting event that was taking place at Linlithgow Palace. There was a lot to see, and we really enjoyed the medieval atmosphere. The event was definitely worth going to, and we also enjoyed checking out the gift shop near the top. We were glad to have Historic Scotland Members discounts on our items from the gift shop!
There is also another event at Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries.
Top Tips For The Linlithgow Palace Jousting Event
- Pack a picnic for each person and take a blanket or camping chairs for seating.
- I would recommend taking a picnic as the queues for the food areas looked too long for us.
- Have tissues and hand wipes handy in case the restrooms have run out by the time you visit.
- Make sure to check the weather before coming, as Scotland can be quite wet at times!
Have you been to the Spectacular Jousting Event at Linlithgow Palace before? Let me know in the comments below!