What’s on in July?

by Sara Barton, 25th June 2024
Jousting tournament | Caerlaverock Castle
What’s on in July?

School’s out for the summer and the South of Scotland offers a wealth of family friendly events. From hands on animal experiences to open-air theatre performances of classic children’s tales, there is entertainment for all. Journey through time at our historical venues or explore our heritage on a tour with local experts. Be sure not to miss the equestrian spectacle and festivities of the Common Ridings and the Riding of the Marches taking place in many of the region’s towns. Here’s our pick of the events this July in the South of Scotland!

Up close and personal

At Floors Castle there are three sessions of Animal Encounters to give your kids the opportunity to get a hands on experience with a variety of critters. Native Species takes a look at those animals living around us while the Witchcraft theme looks at those often associated with the magical world. Or you can learn how they protect themselves in the Weapons and Armour session. When you are done be sure to make the most of your day out and explore the gardens of this wonderful estate, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland.

Witches and Wizards were famous for their animal companions, both in their spells and their potions. Step back in time for this animal encounter show as we explore some of ‘ye olde’ remedies and superstitions for these creatures in Medieval times. Like swallowing a Frog and a Spider to clear a sore throat and those pesky Rats that spread the plague! This encounter with creatures sheds light on our horrible history, and will make you glad that times have changed!
Get hands on with critters of all sorts at Floors Castle this summer.

Open air theatre

Children will equally love The Adventures of Dr Dolittle playing outdoors at Crawick Multiverse – the doors will open two hours early to allow attendees time to explore the Multiverse itself for free! At Floors Castle you can catch a musical version of Peter Pan from the multi award winning Immersion Theatre, while the Chapterhouse Theatre Company is presenting Little Women in the castle grounds.

Enjoy the Adventures of Dr Dolittle and take a wander through the Crawick Multiverse beforehand.

Time travel

Bring history alive for your youngsters and head to Caerlaverock Castle, where in addition to the superbly exciting Jousting Tournament there are history tents with actors ready to regale you all with tales of days gone by!

Participate in the celebration banquet commemorating 750 years of Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots at the Globe Inn. This is an excellent chance to chat with like-minded history enthusiasts over a three-course sharing feast, live music and even a wee dram to round off the evening.

In Hawick, visit the exhibition at the Borders Textile Towerhouse to travel back 150 years for the story of how the company founded by Walter Scott and William Lyle has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a world-famous premium clothing brand.

Also at the Textile Towerhouse this summer, you can find a celebration of thirty years of the Braid Society with an exhibit and multiple demonstrations on techniques practised from Japan to Iceland.

 Bodice-  Kumihimo Braid, Jacqui Carey-
Explore 30 years of the Braid Society at the Borders Textile Towerhouse.

Take a tour

There are plenty of exciting and insightful tours available during the summer months at multiple venues – see our Events section for all the options. These offer a rare opportunity to take a dive into the history of the places and events that shaped the South of Scotland. In Kirkcudbright the Kirkyard Tour is led by guides from Kirkcudbright History Society. In a beautiful setting above the town, and the site of the original kirk which gave the town its name, the kirkyard and its memorials tell many fascinating and surprising stories about the town and its past inhabitants.

Wednesday lunchtimes offer the chance for a tour around the gardens at Drumlanrig Castle with castle guide and volunteer gardener, Jill. The tours will delve into the history of the gardens, their significance in relation to the castle, those who graced the grounds, as well as fascinating historical anecdotes about how they came to be what you see today.

Any whisky lover will want to join Professor David Thomson as he documents how he set about reviving the long-abandoned Annandale Distillery. Guests will have lunch beforehand and a whisky tasting at the end, along with your very own snifter to take home and a gift voucher to spend in the gift shop.

Old Map of Castle Gardens, Drumlanrig Castle & Country Estates
Be guided around the gardens of Drumlanrig Castle and learn its secrets.

Catch the Common Ridings and Riding of the Marches

With the Common Riding season well underway this month it is the turn of Annan, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Langholm and Gatehouse of Fleet.

And if you are hankering after some authentic Scottish music, head for the Kirkcudbright Pipe Band Night, which is sure to stir the emotions.

Watch the spectacle of the Common Ridings this month – Annan starts off the month.