Traquair House is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. It takes back to the 11th century when it was a hunting lodge for royalty. Today it’s also a bed and breakfast, a day out for corporate groups and an ideal venue for weddings.
Traquair House is also the centre point to Traquair Fair. Returning in 2010, after an economic client enforced break in 2009, Traquair Fair is a popular weekend trip for families who appreciate craft, live music, alternative healing, outdoors food and the ale brewed at the House’s brewery.
The name is far older than the building itself. “Traquair” is believed to originate from the Celtic “tre” or “tret” which means hamlet or perhaps simply dwelling. The Quair burn joins the river Tweed just a few hundred yards from the historic house – and so the old Celtic tongue for the location could well have been “Tre-quair” hence Traquair.
Traquair Fair is always colourful. Whether it’s the tents belonging to those camping for the weekend, the bright colours of the performers’ costumes or sometimes the protective layer of umbrellas turned against the Scottish sky the fair is never bleak.
In 2010 an example of the colours on display at the Traquair Fair was the sky trumpets. This marvellous machine used its might ears to listen to wishes from the crowd. Who could resist its colourful charms?
Where the sky trumpets travelled down some of wider roads and paths at Traquair Fair some of the other performance artists made sure to visit the gardens and the off-the-beaten-track places to ensure colour and style seeped into every corner.
The Hula Dollies took their distinctive 1950s style fashion into the old walled garden and performed for free.
Crafts are always popular at Traquair Fair too. You might well encounter traders like the Scottish Fairy Door Company, garden suppliers with the latest composting technology or charities like the World Land Trust or the Scottish SPCA.
Needless to say, veggies will find plenty of food at the fair too.
In Pure Spirit
Have you ever been to Traquair Fair? We’d love to hear about your experiences and tips. Or if you’re planning on taking a stall to the Fair next year – let us know!