Traquair’s Easter Eggstravaganza

Press release…

Traquair’s Easter Eggstravaganza

Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire

Easter Sunday April 16th 2017

Grounds Open 11.00am

Activities from midday

The Biggest Egg Hunt in the Borders!

The Easter Egg Extravaganza at Traquair is the biggest event of its kind in the Borders. With over 5,500 mini eggs hidden in the Maze and an egg scramble in the old walled garden it is guaranteed no child shall leave empty handed.

But the event is not all about a mad rush for chocolate! There are lots of other fun hands on activities for families including Scavenger Hunts with Big Egg prizes, Spot the Egg in the House Competition, Easter Bonnet making, musical instrument making and face painting.

There are also lots of opportunities to decorate your own egg with eggs kindly donated by Glenrath and you can also join in with the communal decorating of the gigantic 6ft Egg which definitely is not one to be cracked!

Catherine Maxwell Stuart who organizes the event commented: “ The Easter Eggstravaganza has become quite an institution at Traquair having been the first Historic House to stage a mass Easter Egg Hunt in the Scottish Borders way back in 1989. As the Maze had only recently been planted we had eggs hidden all over the grounds which proved difficult to manage! Now, the Maze is a perfect location to hide the eggs in the hedges and children absolutely love it!”

Michael Angelo, the extraordinary stilt man will be entertaining the crowds and leading the Easter procession at 3.00pm for everyone to show off their bonnets!

This year there are three egg hunts planned for the under 10’s.  At 1.30pm the first hunt will be for 5-6year olds in the Maze. Then at 3.30pm there will be an under 5’s egg scramble in the Old Walled Garden and at 4.00pm a hunt for 7-9 year olds will be held in the Maze.

Light meals, a hog roast and delicious home baking will be available from our award winning 1745 Cottage Restaurant and Traquair House is open to the public from 11.00am – 5.00pm.


Admission: Adults £6.00 Child/Concs. £5.00 Under 5’s free

House entry is additional

All enquiries Tel; 01896 830323



Traquair is celebrating a new season this year with the launch of a thirst quenching, “Spring Ale” with an ABV 4.2% it is the lightest of Traquair’s ales yet produced from the tiny ancient brewery at Traquair House.

“ We are trialling this new ale for the Spring and so far the response has been brilliant. Traquair Ales are often on the stronger side for many people’s tastes so this ale is aimed at a wider audience “ commented Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair.

The recipe is devised from an earlier cask ale brewed for the Referendum in 2014 and has a hint of coriander but also has the distinctive taste of all Traquair’s ales derived from their fermentation in oak tuns – the only brewery left in the UK continuing to use this ancient method of brewing.

Traquair also has a new head brewer, Frank Smith, who has finally achieved the top job after 25 years at the brewery! He is responsible for the new ale and thinks it will be repeated in future years if capacity allows. Last year, the brewery increased its production through purchasing two new conditioning tank and is looking to increase sales in Scotland and the UK. The brewery currently exports nearly 70% of its production to the US, Canada, Japan, Italy and France.

Traquair House and Brewery are open to the public from the 1st April and thereafter ever day until 31st October. Visitors can enjoy sampling and purchasing the ales in the Brewery Shop and Museum in the courtyard.


Editors notes: Traquair House Brewery lies in one of the wings of Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House and the equipment and vessels date back to the 1700’s. It was rediscovered by the 20th Laird, Peter Maxwell Stuart, in 1965 and has been brewing its world famous ales ever since. It is now owned and managed by his daughter, Catherine.

Traquair Spring Ale is currently available in Aldi stores until stocks last and at local independent retailers as well as Traquair House.

Traquair House Brewery produces approximately 250,000 bottles per year and has won numerous awards and accolades all over the world.


Saturday 26th August & Sunday 27th August 2017

This year we are planning to develop and expand the Beyond Borders International Festival that we have been running successfully for 6 years to include a Music and Arts element focussing on the Indian sub continent to highlight the 70th anniversary of partition. We aim to showcase the best of Scottish folk and roots music as well as acts from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to create a unique event that is inspiring, dynamic, colourful, entertaining and promotes cultural exchange and dialogue.   

The Traquair Fair was due to take place in 2017 but owing to the pressure on the grounds and our limited resources the decision has been taken to run one event this year and blend some of the elements of the Fair with the Beyond Borders International Festival.

It is envisaged that we will retain the literary and political thought element of the event in the main marquee in front of the house and the additional music, arts and workshops will take place in the Old Walled Garden and on the main avenue. There will be a full programme of music, dance, film, storytelling, poetry and talks throughout the weekend with exhibitions in the house and grounds.

We will be looking for crafts demonstrations and workshops that fit with our theme as well as the best quality food and drink but at this stage we are not looking to sell any trade stands.

We will be releasing more information in the coming months so please let us know if you would like to join our mailing list for further details.


PRESS RELEASE…. For immediate release


A Jacobite Ghost Tour

Friday 28th October & Saturday 29th October

7pm & 9pm.

Halloween Fun Day

Sunday 30th October

11am – 4pm.

Get into the spirit of Halloween this year with a visit to Traquair for a spooky Jacobite Ghost Tours at night, or come for a day of Halloween Fun and Games for all ages.

For an unforgettable visit to Traquair the Jacobite Ghost tour promises to truly bring history alive and get you into the spirit of Halloween. With characters from Traquair’s past retelling the daring deeds and extraordinary bravery as they supported the Jacobite cause at enormous personal cost.

Visitors are warned to be on their guard for the odd unexpected surprise and even descending into the dungeons of the Tower of London before relaxing with in the comfort of the eighteenth century Dining Room with a Jacobite toast to the “King o’er the water”.

On Sunday 30th October the annual Halloween Fun Day has become a favourite for families and for children of all ages.

This year there will magic shows, creep crawly animal handling sessions, the famous Spooky Passage Experience as well as Tarot readings. Ghost stories, a witches and wizards workshop, scavenger hunts, spooky face painting and traditional Halloween Games.

New this year in addition to the “Dressed to Kill” fancy dress competition there will also be “Halloween Hounds” – best dressed Dog competition which will have everyone howling…

Throughout the weekend the 1745 Cottage Restaurant will be serving Halloween Suppers on the nights of the ghost tours as well as delicious lunches and teas every day until the end of October.

Admission Prices:

Ghost tour prices - Adults: £12.00 Children £8.00 Tours suitable for 8yrs and over. Combined tour and supper ticket £24.50

Tickets should be booked in advance as numbers limited.

Halloween Fun Day. Adults; £8.50 Child/Conc £4.50 Family £22.00

(2 adults and up to 3 children) Tickets on the Gate only for this event.

Box Office 01896 830323

A Dogs' Day Out at Traquair

Sunday July 17th 2016
Traquair House Innerleithen Peeblesshire
11am – 5pm

It’s going to be dog heaven at Traquair this year for dogs and their owners. Traquair is launching a new event for dogs, their owners and all who love them!

Come and enter the Companion Dog Show open to all dogs in old Walled Garden. There will be classes for Dog with the Waggiest Tale to Best Six Legs, Dog with Most Appealing Eyes, Best Rescue Dog and many more as well as a Best Pedigree Puppy Show. Enter your dog on the day and proceeds to the New Beginnings Cavalier Rescue Charity.

Throughout the day there will be activities for dogs and their owners to have some fun. The avenue will play host to Sheep Dog demonstrations by Julie Hill, award winning international sheep dog trialer and full time shepherd who has also developed her own method of training working dogs based on establishing mutual respect between handler and owner.

On the lower part of the avenue there will be terrier racing with a chance for all dogs to have a go at chasing a lure. Find out if your dog has a natural racing instinct.

For the more agile and obedient dogs there is also a chance to try out some Dog Agility with the Dryburgh Abbey training group who will also be giving demonstrations with their experienced award winning dogs. Even those without a dog, especially children, will be allowed to try out the course with an experienced dog from the team.

Take your dog for a walk in the woods and hear some doggy tales with storyteller Mary Kenny and for children you can make your own dog out of recycled materials, get a face painted as a dog and take part in our doggy treasure hunt in the Maze or Find the dogs in the Portraits as you go round the house.

In the garden pavilions there is an exhibition of dog portraits as Historical characters by Marie Louise Brulatour and our official photographer will be on hand to take snaps of your pooches!

There will be lots of opportunities to shop for your dog as well with everything from gourmet dog treats to collars, leads and other accessories and dog charities and businesses will be on hand to offer advice and their services.

There is a special admission for House and Grounds of £8.00 for Adults, £4.00 for chiildren and dogs go free. Don’t’ forget your poo bags!

For full schedule of events and classes go to

For more information and photographs please contact Catherine Maxwell Stuart Tel 01896 830323.

The Galloway Consort present ‘The Darkest Hour…’

Press : Arts pages

On Saturday June 25th at 7.30 pm, The Galloway Consort present ‘The Darkest Hour…’ at Traquair House, Innerleithen (EH44 6PW)

In 2015 Vivien Jones wrote the text of an imagined correspondence between a dancing master, Martin Greaves, and a lady at court, Harriet Melrose, which shadowed the life and difficult times of Mary, Queen of Scots after her return to Scotland. The programme was called ‘A Shadow Love’ and was illustrated with the song, music and instruments of the 16th century. The programme was so well received in The Dumfries  and Galloway Arts Festival and The Wigtown Book Festival that many in the audience requested a sequel, which is ‘The Darkest Hour’.

In ‘A Shadow Love’ the lovers were split asunder by  catastrophic events at the Scottish court but their dearest desire is to be reunited. In ‘The Darkest Hour’ we take up the story on the shore at Dundrennan as the Queen prepares to flee to England into the uncertain care of Elizabeth Tudor.  Harriet and Martin are torn between their duty to the Queen and their love for one another. Their duties take them far and wide but their love stays rooted in their fearful hearts but all the while their lives are tied to the turbulence of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The Galloway Consort is one of Scotland’s specialist early music groups whose work centres on performance of 15th-17th century European music and song from the courts of Europe. The group features the playing of renaissance viols, made by the group’s director, Richard Jones. These viols were introduced into Scotland in the 1530s by Mary Stewart’s father, James V, who collected such instruments, players and music on his visits to France. Other instruments, many sizes of recorder, renaissance guitar, curtal and percussion explore the soft, sad chansons, the lively dance music and fantasias that the Stewart court surely knew.       Our readers are experienced actors.

Tickets : Tel : 01896 830323  or   £ 12.00 (£10.00 conc)



Lady Lairds is a two part BBC documentary following the trials, tribulations and successes of women over a year as they run their Scottish estates and country houses. The documentary offers a rare insight into the day-to-day running of four Scottish estates where life isn’t as much romantic but sheer hard work.

Featured in episode 2 is Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair and her family. Filmed over nine months last year the cameras followed the many activities at Traquair including the many events from the Easter Eggstravaganza to the Beyond Borders Festival that take place at the house.

Catherine commented, “It was quite an experience for all of us but we got used to having the cameras around and we are happy with the end result. I hope it gives a glimpse of some of the things that go on at Traquair how we are trying to run a modern estate in the 21st century”

The programme is available on BBC iplayer until 11th April.



Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire

Easter Sunday March 27th 201

Grounds Open 11.00am

Activities from midday


The Easter Egg Extravaganza at Traquair is the biggest event of its kind in the Borders. With over 5,500 mini eggs hidden in the Maze and some larger eggs to be won as well we guarantee that no child shall leave empty handed.

Recently featured on BBC’s “Lady Lairds” programme, the Easter event marks the beginning of the season at Traquair and Catherine Maxwell Stuart commented;

“We have been busy preparing for the event this year and are constantly refining the event to make it run as smoothly as possible. There will be lots of activities all day so it is not just about chocolate!”

 Other activities will include the painting of a gigantic 6ft Easter Egg which all are invited to decorate as well as traditional egg painting with eggs kindly supplied by Glenrath.

In the Walled garden children can also enjoy Easter Bonnet making, Musical Instrument making, Sand Art and Face Painting. There will be storytelling sessions at the house and treasure and scavenger hunts in the house and grounds.

Michael Angelo, the extraordinary stilt man will be entertaining the crowds and leading the Easter procession at 3.00pm for everyone to show off their bonnets!

This year there are three egg hunts planned for the under 10’s.

At 1.30pm the first hunt will be for 5-6year olds in the Maze. Then at 3.30pm there will be an under 5’s egg scramble in the Old Walled Garden and at 4.00pm a hunt for 7-9 year olds will be held in the Maze.

Light meals, a hog roast and delicious home baking will be available from our award winning 1745 Cottage Restaurant and Traquair House is open to the public from 11.00am – 5.00pm.

Admission: Adults £6.00 Child/Concs. £5.00 Under 5’s free

House entry is additional

All enquiries Tel; 01896 830323

Ian Cameron, Head Brewer at Traquair, retires after 45 years

Ian Cameron is retiring from Traquair this week having worked on the Traquair estate since 1970 and as head brewer since the late 1980’s.

His involvement at Traquair started over 45 years ago when he moved from Newcastle to live in the area originally as an electrical engineer but soon started helping out the 20th Laird, Peter Maxwell Stuart at the newly restored Traquair Brewery on an occasional basis. He then progressed to working as a groundsman while continuing to work in the brewery part time honing his skills as a brewer.

Finally in 1988 he took over as head brewer under the direction of the Laird and from then on never looked back.

After Peter’s death in 1990 and the brewery was taken over by his daughter, Catherine. Ian oversaw the development and expansion of the brewery from producing several hundred bottles a year to the current production of a quarter of a million bottles that are exported all over the world. The beers have won awards and recognition including being voted 20th best brewery in the world in 2005 by the website,

In the 1990’s Ian was joined by assistant brewery Frank Smith who takes over from Ian as head brewer with new trainee Ross Doherty who was recently appointed.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair, commented:

“We will all be very sorry to see Ian retire as he has put so much work and commitment into the estate and the brewery over the years but he has certainly earned his retirement.  Fortunately, he is staying on at Traquair so I am sure we will be calling on his many years’ experience now and again!”

When Mary Came to Stay...

Press Release

1566 – 2016

450th Anniversary of the visit of Mary Queen of Scots to Traquair House

When Mary Came to Stay...

450 years ago in 1566 Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Traquair while on a hunting expedition in the Scottish Borders.

Invited by John Stuart, 4th Laird of Traquair who was the Captain of her Bodyguard, the house was in a state of high excitement but the visit was not to be a happy one… 

This year Traquair is celebrating the family’s close connection with Mary Queen of Scots and their loyalty to the Stuart monarchy. The house contains many treasures belonging to Mary including the bed where she slept on her visit, the cradle where she rocked her baby son, James, and her rosary and crucifix.

Through an exhibition from the archives, a contemporary art exhibition and other events there will be many opportunities to learn more about this extraordinary Queen and her tragic life.

From 1st May to 30th June there will be an exhibition of sculptures, paintings and embroideries specially created by the artist Giulia Resteghini and installed throughout the house. “Memento Mori” explores the life of Mary; her regrets, friendships, betrayals and consolations within the very walls which once echoed with her voice.

From June to September there will also be a special exhibition focussing on Mary's association with the Stuarts of Traquair which will include some rare documents signed by her that still lie in the archives.

Traquair will be offering Mary Queen of Scots' themed tours for groups and you can also stay here in one of the three luxurious bedrooms on a Bed & Breakfast basis. This year the Mary Queen of Scots Experience will offer you two nights’ bed & breakfast and dinner with a Franco Scottish theme. You will also be provided with a self-drive itinerary of the places Mary Queen of Scots visited in the Scottish Borders with suggested stop overs for delicious locally produced lunches and teas.