What time does the Royal Highland Show open, how can I get there and what are the best things to do

The Royal Highland show is set to start at Ingliston from Thursday, June 20 running over four days - and here is a definitive guide on what you need to know about the annual showcase

The annual agricultural extravaganza that is the Royal Highland Show returns to Ingliston from Thursday and will run over four days.

The show is a treat for all animal lovers. Around 6,000 animals will be displayed across the four days, while Scotland’s food and drinks industry will also be showcased. There are more than 800 businesses at this year’s Royal Highland Show selling everything from agricultural machinery, clothing and motor vehicles to Scottish food and drink products.

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What time does the Royal Highland show open?

The showground will be open from 7am-8pm on Thursday, June 20 to Saturday, June 22, and 7am-6pm on Sunday, June 23.

A young calf at the Royal Highland Show. Picture: John DevlinA young calf at the Royal Highland Show. Picture: John Devlin
A young calf at the Royal Highland Show. Picture: John Devlin | John Devlin

Can I bring food or alcohol to the Royal Highland Show?

Visitors can bring a picnic into the showgrounds, but there will also be a large selection of food available on site. Alcohol cannot be brought into the showground.

How can I get to the Royal Highland Show?

By public transport

Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams will both be running direct services from Edinburgh to the showgrounds at Ingliston.

There will be two show services run by Lothian - the 97 and 98 bus services - with a journey time from George Street in Edinburgh to the east gate entrance of about 30 minutes.

Trams will run from Leith all the way to the Ingliston Park and Ride facility, with stops en route including at St Andrew Square, Princes Street and Haymarket.

From the park and ride, passengers will be able to hop on to a shuttle bus that takes them to the show’s east entrance. Trams run from every seven minutes.

By car

Those travelling to the Royal Highland Show by car have been warned they must pay for parking in advance. Anyone arriving will be turned away if they do not have a parking ticket, organisers have said.

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There are two visitor car parks - one to the showground’s East and another in the west. Those with tickets for the Royal Highland Hoolie have been asked to travel to the West Car Park, with signage and stewards on hand for further direction.

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There is forward car parking in each car park reserved for blue badge holders only.

Those travelling to the show have also been advised there will be road closures and changes in road layouts on approach throughout the four days. Organisers have recommended visitors use public transport to get to the event.

What are five of the best things to do at the Royal Highland Show?

A worker gets a display set up at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. Picture: John DevlinA worker gets a display set up at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. Picture: John Devlin
A worker gets a display set up at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. Picture: John Devlin | John Devlin

Scotland’s Larder

Run in partnership with The Scotsman, Scotland’s Larder is a showcase of the best of Scottish food and drink, with visitors able to eat, shop and buy from a variety of tasty produce stands around the main Food Hall at Ingliston. A new feature this year is the Highland bothy in the centre of Scotland's Larder where food lovers can enjoy delicious freshly baked cakes, tea and coffee whilst thinking about which vendor to visit next. As part of the experience, interactive cooking workshops will be run from the Food for Thought Cookery Theatre, where traditional Scottish dishes and contemporary recipes will be explored.

Nature Trail

This is one for families and to keep those young show visitors entertained. Honorary treasure hunters are asked to assemble to tackle the National Trail, which will take participants all the way round the showground. Starting off at the RHET Discovery Centre, explorers will follow a digital trail, collecting code words from different stands to unlock a series of questions and be in with the chance of winning a number of prizes.

Kids’ Zone

Parents can take the little ones to the fun-packed Kids’ Zone located in the showground’s Countryside Area. The interactive zone features outdoor play equipment and John Deere mini tractors, as well as a myriad of other activities, including face painting.

Livestock competitions

The ‘Jubilee Ring’, which was last year named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, will showcase the show-jumping events. Events will start as early as from 8am each day. But there will also be sheep shearing competitions as well as the Grand Parade, in which prize-winning cattle can be seen gracefully wending their way across the Main Ring on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Royal Highland Hoolie

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For those coming to the show on either Friday or Saturday, the Royal Highland Hoolie will see some of Scotland and Ireland’s liveliest musicians take to the stage with eight folk and country acts set to entertain crowds. The line-up includes Tidelines, Peatbog Faeries, Derek Ryan and Lisa McHugh. Gates for the Hoolie open from 5.30pm on both nights.

What is new at the Royal Highland Show this year?


There will be a ladies competition in the Shearing Theatre for the first time. The show will also host the Blade Shearing leg of the 6 Nations Shearing & Wool Handling Competition. Competitors from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France, as well as the Scottish team, will compete to be crowned the Six Nations Blade Shearing Champions.

Animal shows

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This year will see new Kerry Hill classes in the show’s sheep section. The Kerry Hill is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the county of Powys in Wales. Kerry Hill sheep have a distinctive coloration, with a white face bearing black markings around the mouth, ears, and eyes.

Ingliston is also hosting 57 Horse of the Year Show Qualifiers ahead of the event in Birmingham.


This year, the Scottish Dairy Championships display will be situated in the Food For Thought marquee. A visit to the display will allow visitors to see exhibits including cheese, butter, cultured dairy products, ice cream and new for 2024 - Milk and Cream.


This year’s show will feature a record number of new product launches in the agri-tech and machinery sectors, with many innovations being exhibited in the UK for the first time.



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