Royal Highland Show offers the best in food, farming and countryside

The Royal Highland Show is fast approaching, Katie Lomas takes a look at what visitors can expect.

The organisers of this year’s Royal Highland Show are once again aiming to showcase the best of food, farming and the countryside.

This can be a delicate balancing act. On the one hand providing an opportunity for the 1,000 or so trade exhibitors to do business; on the other, staging a number of features and attractions which appeal to the wider public.

Bringing all of this together is the responsibility of show manager David Dunsmuir who, from Thursday, June 23 until Sunday, June 26, will supervise the fruits of a year’s planning.

“Although there is no such thing as the perfect show, our recent attendance figures would seem to suggest we are getting the mix about right,” he says.

“At the business end, all of the key people in the industry have us as a fixture in their diaries, we are attracting more of an international audience, we provide stimulation and interest for around 30,000 schoolchildren and our mix of action and activity coupled to food, shopping, music and entertainment, brings in the general public.”

The attendance last year over the four days was 187,644, a new record, shattering the previous year’s high of 176, 522 and taking the average attendance in the last few years to around 175,000.

There has been a notable change in the pattern. Previously it was assumed Thursday and Friday were ‘farmer days’ with a limited attendance, the main numbers visiting at the weekend. But with changing work practices and more flexible hours, daily attendance has evened out with the ‘big days’ now Friday and Saturday.


In recognition of the business to business aspect of the show and the importance of its fast-growing Renewables Section, the 2020 Climate Change Group will be holding a strategy meeting in Ingliston House. The group, made up of business leaders from the private and public sector, was set up to ensure the realisation of Scotland’s climate change delivery plan and the attainment of a 4 per cent carbon emission reduction target.


The grand parade of prize-winners is one of the memorable sights of the show. The main prize, the Queen’s Cup, which was presented in 1960 to mark Her Majesty’s Presidency of the RHASS, will be presented to the best heavy horse, the supreme choice between Clydesdale, Highland and Shetland Ponies.

Food and drink

Scotland is on a mission to grow its food and drink industry to a value of £12.5 billion by 2017. Collaboration between all sectors, is crucial, and the show plays an integral role in the farm to plate process.

In the Food and Drink Hall visitors can sample, taste and buy some of the finest products from Scotland and further afield and to watch leading chefs demonstrate their preparation and presentation skills in the Cookery Theatre. In other parts of the showground, all of the main multiple food retailers will be present featuring their supplier links.

Mr Dunsmuir says: “Our aim is to present an event that in all senses, does the business. It’s a chance to discuss the latest products and trends, a place to network , an opportunity to meet up with friends and guarantee an enjoyable time experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of one of Scotland’s great industries.”

Event details

  • When: Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26
  • Where: The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh
  • Opening times: Thursday: 7am-8pm. Friday and Saturday: 8am-8pm. Sunday: 8am-6:30pm
  • Tickets: Admission price on all four days is £25 with concessions at £20 available for senior citizens and students. All children under 16 accompanied by an adult go free. There are ‘early bird’ discounts available at £22 and £18
  • Car parking: £5 per day.
  • Travel: The showground is situated adjacent to Edinburgh International Airport on the A8, a short journey from the city centre and a few hundred metres from the main UK motorway network. Follow the AA signs
  • For more information and ‘early bird’ tickets, visit


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