Traquair’s home holiday boost

TRAQUAIR House has reported an increase in visitor numbers for 2010.

Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, near Innerleithen, had a seven per cent rise in tourist figures last year, with more than 15,000 people attracted to events throughout 2010.

The 21st Lady of Traquair, Catherine Maxwell Stuart, said: “In spite of the economic downturn, we saw an impressive increase in visitors last year with many more from the UK and particularly Scotland where so many people are discovering the wealth of places to visit and things to do with the family nearer to home.

“We’ve been welcoming visitors to Traquair for over 50 years and believe our vibrant events programme is contributing to our continued success.”

Having opened its doors for the year earlier this month, Traquair will host a massive Easter egg hunt for 5,000 mini-eggs in its maze on Sunday, April 24, with activities and workshops for children.

The next weekend will see the traditional home of the Stuart family hold a three-day Living History event, focusing on the soldiers of fortune from the 30 Years War who were camped at Traquair in 1639.

A Garden Lovers’ Fair will open on Sunday, May 22, while the Medieval Fair runs on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, with a host of entertainment from falconry, archery, equestrian displays and early music to jesters and children’s shows.

The biggest event for Traquair is the annual fair, on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7. Tickets are on sale now, with a theme of fire chosen for this year’s festivities.

The Blazin’ Fiddles, are among the first acts to be confirmed as part of the event’s music line-up along with The Explosive Dholis, an Indian drumming group.

Other music acts include Western Australian singer Emily Barker, the Red Clay Halo and the New Rope String Band.

And Borders Books and Bikes will again go ahead in August.