More than 200,000 visitors are set to flock to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston over the next four days for the annual showcase of Scotland’s farming, food and rural life.
And the impressive line-up of 6000 farmyard animals including cattle, goats, horses and over 2000 sheep, will be on display to the public.
The 177th show is expected to generate £47 million for the Scottish economy and will this year focus on marking its roots in Aberdeenshire.
Before settling into its now permanent home at the Royal Highland Centre in 1960 the show moved around the country and will feature a special Aberdeenshire Village full of food and attractions from the area.
A flavour of the event’s long history runs through the impressive trophy room, where jewellers to the Queen Hamilton & Inches are responsible for displaying and looking after the 300 trophies awarded each year – between 40-45 of which have been handcrafted in the Hamilton & Inches workshops on George Street.
The Trophy Room showcase of gold and silverware in the Highland Hall at the Royal Highland Show is one of the largest collections of its kind in the UK.
Alain Wright, Royal Highland Show Trophy Room manager on behalf of Hamilton & Inches, said: “Hamilton & Inches has a great working partnership with the Royal Highland Show.
“Trophy winners have spent a lifetime preparing their animals for this moment, and it is a privilege for me and our team of craftspeople to look after these exceptional displays of silverware and goldware and help in their presentation.
“When you look at some cups dating back to 1903, and you think of all the people engraved on them and the lives they have dealt with, it makes me very proud to be involved in this great celebration of Scotland’s rural life.
“I have seen people moved to tears when they have collected the trophies, often seeing the names of grandparents engraved before theirs. It is a truly unique showcase.”
Celebrating Scotland’s larder will be a mainstay of the show, giving visitors the chance to chow down on a range of food and drink.
Scotland’s Larder Live will return with a newly designed tasting and talk theatre as well as the popular cheese tasting area.
New exhibitors include Lockerbie Creamery, Baxters, Luss Smokehouse and Northumberland Honey. And it welcomes back many show regulars including Mrs Tilly’s Confectionary, Grahams Dairies and Mackies of Scotland.
Working with Swiss & French consultants, top ice cream gurus, Mackies will give visitors the opportunity to try a new range of chocolates.
Kirstin Mackie, development director said: “We’re determined to never stand still and our new luxury individual chocolates are evidence of this!
“It is a great chance to test them on the public and receive firsthand feedback. This is just our first round of development and we are looking forward to refining the flavours and finding out what else we should try to make.”
Food-to-go providers will be on hand to offer up a tasty selection of hot and cold food across the 110 acre showground.
From venison burgers to wood-fired pizzas, these caterers will all be adhering to the Show’s highly respected Food Charter which states, among other commitments, that, where possible, only ingredients that have been locally produced and ethically sourced should be served at the event.
Show manager David Jackson said: “The food offer continues to go from strength to strength, and visitors value the opportunity to taste and buy a wide range of quality food and drink whilst visiting the Show. It has become a key part of the visitor experience, and the fact we continue to attract new exhibitors, illustrates the popularity and success of this area.”
Visitors will also have the opportunity to see animals in action and try their hand at some traditional skills such as kneading dough, shaking cream to make butter, producing yarn or peeling rushes for candle-making.