Royal Highland Show: what is it, when is it happening and how to get tickets

Highland cows are just one of the many animals you'll see at the Royal Highland Show (Photo: Shutterstock)
Highland cows are just one of the many animals you'll see at the Royal Highland Show (Photo: Shutterstock)
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Marking its 179th year, The Royal Highland Show is Scotland’s biggest annual agricultural show.

Taking place over four days on 20-23 June at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, it will showcase the best of farming, food and rural life.

The Royal Highland Show is a great day out for the kids as well as adults (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

The Royal Highland Show is a great day out for the kids as well as adults (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

Here’s everything you need to know before heading to one of the country’s most iconic events.

What is it?

The Royal Highland Show is Scotland’s biggest agricultural show and it occurs annually.

Founded in 1784, it’s the flagship event from organisers Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

Ever wondered how horse shoes are made, or how metal working actually works? Find out at The Forge (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

Ever wondered how horse shoes are made, or how metal working actually works? Find out at The Forge (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

The four-day show hosts over 900 competitions, and offers a range of events and exhibitions to enjoy, including world-class equine displays, countryside pursuits and educational workshops.

What’s on?

There’s a lot to see at The Royal Highland Show, so you’ll need to plan your activities if you want to make the most of it.

The Royal Highland Show Grand Parade, a display of the country’s best livestock, is one of the show’s most popular events and fills up quickly on the afternoons of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

You'll get to come face to face with loads of different kinds of animals (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

You'll get to come face to face with loads of different kinds of animals (Photo: Royal Highland Show)

The parade sees prize-winning cattle make their way through the main ring accompanied by display boards that showcase their breed. If you can’t tell a Belted Galloway from a Belgian Blue, this is a great chance to learn more.

Foodies will want to check out Scotland’s Larder Live, located on 13th Avenue.

Here you’ll be able to try some of the best food and drink around, with artisan producers serving up regional, seasonal delicacies.

The Cookery Theatre also offers live demonstrations, tastings, talks and more.

You’ll also be able to witness producers going head to head in the Scottish Championships with prizes for the best cheese, butter, ice cream and bread.

Also on 13th Avenue is The Forge, where you’ll get to see competitors battle it out in the Scottish Open Farriery Championship horse-shoeing and shoe-making competitions.

You can see the full list of events on the Royal Highland Show website.

When is it?

The Royal Highland Show kicks off on Thursday 20 June and wraps up on Sunday 23 June.

The tickets are for one-day entry so you can get tickets for all four days or just for one day depending on your schedule.

The gates open at 7am and close at 8pm, apart from on the last day (Sunday) when they close at 6pm.

How do I get tickets?

It’s cheaper to buy tickets in advance but you can also get them on the door.

An adult ticket costs £24 in advance or £29 on the door.

Children under the age of 15 go for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Find out more and buy tickets on The Royal Highland Show’s website.

How to get there

The Royal Highland Show is taking place at The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB. You can get there by car, bus or tram.

Driving

You can drive to the RHS but due to high volumes of traffic, there could be delays. Directions will be signposted on AA signs on all major approaches.

Car parking is available, but you’ll need to pay (£8 in advance, £10 on the day).

A tractor-trailer shuttle operates in the West Car Park when it starts to fill, to take visitors to and from the West Entrance.

There will also be car parking attendants that will guide you to a free space.

Bus

The Royal Highland Show advises that the bus is the easiest and most efficient way to get to the event.

Lothian buses will take you directly to the Highland Centre East Gate entrance thanks to dedicated bus services.

Service 97, a new service which connects Edinburgh Park Station to the The Royal Highland Show runs every 15 minutes.

Service 98 runs every 5-10 minutes from Edinburgh City Centre and stops at George Street, Shandwick Place and Haymarket.

Tram

You can get to The Royal Highland Show via tram. The closest stop to the event is Ingliston Park and Ride, which is roughly a ten minute walk to the show.

Tram tickets cost the same as bus tickets, so an adult return ticket will cost £3.20 and a child return ticket is £1.60.

There are also family tickets available for £8.50, which allows unlimited travel for up to two adults and three children.

Train

If you’ve reached Edinburgh by train, you’ll need to also get a bus or a tram to reach The Royal Highland Show.

From Edinburgh Waverley Station, bus service 98 has a stop five minutes away, on the east end of George Street, which will take you to the show.

From Haymarket, the 98 stops outside the station.

If you’re travelling from Edinburgh Park Station, bus number 97 will get you to the show. There’s a bus stop situated on the North side of the station.

Edinburgh Gateway Station is also served by number 97 on the station concourse.

Plane

If you’ve flown into Edinburgh to attend the show, you’ll want to take the shuttle bus (which charges you a small fee) from Edinburgh airport to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel.

This is right beside the Royal Highland Centre’s North Gate Entrance.