Cast of hundreds: Scotch Hop is perennially popular

Linlithgow Scotch Hop is back for another year
Linlithgow Scotch Hop is back for another year

Scotch Hop returns to Linlithgow Palace for another season across five Wednesday evenings in July and August.

Ever-popular, it attracts people from throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK and abroad.

The kilts swirling round the historic fountain in the courtyard have inspired regular visitors to come back to watch and take part, including many from overseas.

The dancing is fun, a great way to meet people and to keep fit, claim the organisers.

Linlithgow Scotch Hop is a celebration of the best of Scottish culture for local people as well as visitors from all over the world.

All attending have an opportunity to dance to traditional Scottish music in the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots as well as enjoying tea and shortbread at the interval.

The unique venue of Linlithgow Palace courtyard, with the great friendly atmosphere, makes the Scotch Hop a really special event every year.

Newcomers are encouraged to join in the dancing and experience an integral part of Scottish culture.

In 2014, a new committee took over running Linlithgow Scotch Hop for its 25th anniversary, following John Carswell’s retirement, and had a very successful season. Sheila McCutcheon proved a worthy successor to John as dance “caller”, leading everyone through the dances (an absolutely vital role at any Scottish dance gathering), supported by a large group of local volunteers.

Many people commented that they didn’t notice any difference, which was a great compliment to the new committee.

One innovation in 2015 is the purchase of a new PA system.

This has been made possible because of the financial support offered to Linlithgow Scotch Hop by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme and West Lothian Council Community Arts Grants Scheme.

The new public address system will ensure that everyone attending the Scotch Hop in 2015, and in future years, will be able to hear the caller’s instructions and announcements more clearly, wherever they are in the Palace courtyard.

The Scotch Hop season is on each Wednesday evening from 7:30pm in the Palace Courtyard from July 15 until August 12. Tickets can be bought at the door at £8.50 for adults and £6.50 for concessions, including tea and shortbread. Under 12s go free when accompanied by an adult. Season tickets are £26 for adults and £20 for concessions.

The Low Port Centre will be used in adverse weather.