Tayside and Central Scotland

Thousands turn out for Bannockburn Live battle event

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Media captionThousands attend Battle of Bannockburn events, as Catriona Renton reports

Thousands of people have turned out for a weekend of re-enactments and historical re-creations at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Hundreds of actors are recreating the 1314 battle three times a day throughout Bannockburn Live.

The event is being held at the site of the decisive conflict, where Robert the Bruce defeated the forces of Edward II.

Musicians and comedians are performing over two days, with more than 40 clans gathering for the occasion.

A number of attractions and events are on hand in addition to the "brutally realistic" battle re-creations choreographed by Clanranald, who worked on Hollywood blockbusters including Gladiator and Robin Hood.

Visitors get to see weapons and armour being forged by a blacksmith, and see men treated in hospital as they are carried off the battlefield.

The 10,000 tickets for the Saturday events sold out, with large crowds expected again for Sunday.

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Image caption Robert the Bruce led an outnumbered Scottish force to victory at Bannockburn in 1314
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hollywood choreographers Clanranald promised "brutally realistic" re-enactments
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hundreds of actors are taking part in the battle recreations
Image caption Thousands of spectators turned out for the first day of Bannockburn Live

A genealogy exhibition lets people trace their ancestral roots, while the music arena features folk and Celtic stars including Julie Fowlis and Dougie MacLean.

The Battle of Bannockburn was fought on 23 and 24 June, 1314, when Edward II marched his armies north in a bid to lift the siege of Stirling Castle.

Robert the Bruce led an outnumbered Scottish force to a decisive victory which sealed Scotland's political independence and confirmed his kingship - although it took another 14 years of fighting for the Bruce's throne in an independent Scotland to be recognised.

The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland worked for months to transform the Bannockburn site ahead of the anniversary celebrations.

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Image caption Encampments and stalls offer a glimpse into medieval life at Bannockburn Live
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Another event in Stirling's Big Weekend was the Pipefest pipe band competition

Historic monuments have been restored and the new visitor centre has welcomed thousands of visitors since opening earlier this year.

'Spectacular programme'

Bannockburn Live is part of Stirling's "Big Weekend", which also includes Armed Forces Day celebrations across the UK being led from the city, and the Pipefest pipe band competition on Friday.

On Saturday evening the streets will host Stirling's Big Night Out, with open-air performances, street art, entertainers and music.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said the event had attracted people from across the globe with an affinity to Scotland.

And Provost Mike Robbins said the local authority and VisitScotland had put a lot of hard work into putting on the "wonderful" events.

He said: "Between Armed Forces Day and Bannockburn Live, there really is a spectacular programme of events on offer this weekend and we hope that most visitors are able to make the most of what is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

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