St Andrews Food and Drink Festival will bring a touch of history to its November activities through recollections of medieval pilgrimages and a 17th century Ale Wife.

Forth Pilgrim Ltd ‘Pilgrim Statio’ performances at a number of locations will invite visitors to ‘step into the story’ at a fun and friendly medieval information centre.

Roger and Eileen Pickering, along with other members of the Forth Pilgrim team, will be providing light hearted educational costumed interaction with visitors of all ages.

The team is building on its experience working in St Andrews Cathedral with school groups, tourists and locals to help visitors discover something of the rich history of pilgrimages to St Andrews.

They will be setting up “statios” – stops used by caravans of pilgrims on their way to St Andrews Cathedral.

Fife figured massively in pilgrimage activity, having the lion’s share of Scotland’s pilgrim sites. These range from the biggest – St Andrews – to Dunfermline, Culross, The Isle of May, Inchcolm Island, Aberdour. Another major location was Scotlandwell which is just outside Fife.

“Statio” locations to be used during the festival will be the farmers’ market, the town’s museum and Forgan’s restaurant. An event is also planned for St Andrew’s Day itself.

Forth Pilgrim are approved outdoor education providers with Fife Council and deliver bespoke historical visitor experiences for the likes of Historic Scotland, The Forestry Commission and the Bruce Festival. A Fife based social enterprise, it offers offer heritage tours and experiences. See

The “Ale Wife” performances, also an interactive costumed role play, will be staged by Karen Nichols of Scotia Heritage.

Visitors will learn about preparations for festive celebrations, their role from the times of the Romans through to the banning of Christmas at the Reformation, and the making of ale and celebratory foods.

The performances will take place at the Cambolicious Beer Festival, Balgove Larder, St Andrews Castle, Forgan’s restaurant and Fairmont St Andrews.

Karen has a passion for Scottish history, and has two decades of experience in heritage tourism. This included eleven years of guiding at St Andrews Castle and St Andrews Cathedral.  See

See the festival website at


Forth Pilgrim image ©Crown Copyright Historic Scotland



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