Royal Highland Show: Organisers gear up for busiest year

Royal Highland Show The annual Highland Show is held at Ingliston

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More than 170,000 visitors are expected to attend this year's Royal Highland Show.

Organisers said they were gearing up for one of the busiest shows in its 173-year history as advance ticket sales were up 40% to more than 20,000.

Scotland's largest outdoor event, which opened earlier at Ingliston, showcases food, farming and countryside pursuits.

More than 20,000 children are expected along with many VIPS including the Princess Royal.

The Cattle Hall will cater for more than 960 animals and the five marquee sections located just outside the Highland Hall will be home to about 1,700 sheep during the four-day event.

Lining up in the cookery theatre, renamed Scotland's Natural Larder to celebrate The Year of Natural Scotland 2013, are award-winning chefs including Neil Forbes of Cafe St Honore, the "Kilted Chef", Craig Wilson of Eat on the Green, Tom Lewis of Monachyle Mhor and Paul Wedgwood of Wedgwood the Restaurant.

Bike track

New for 2013 is Street Food in the countryside area with well known chefs cooking up contemporary dishes made from Scottish ingredients, including venison curry.

This year, the Highlands & Islands take centre stage with an £80,000 initiative including 10m climbing "mountain" and a showcase in the food hall.

There is a mountain-bike track, tennis coaching from Judy Murray in Set4Sport and abseiling.

There is also live music, shopping and arts and crafts.

Stephen Hutt, The Royal Highland Show's chief executive, said: "The show is a significant economic driver for Scotland and a once-a-year opportunity to experience the country's rural industries.

"A firm favourite for agri-business and urban visitors, we have high hopes that this year will be one of our most successful shows."

The Royal Highland Show runs until Sunday.

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