Battle of Dunbar Re-Enactment Weekend

14th -15th September 2019, 11am-5pm Spott Road, Dunbar

Dunbar will come alive with the thundering of hooves and crack of muskets, as the Scottish Battlefields Trust returns to re-enact the Battle of Dunbar 1650 as part of East Lothian’s Battle Weekend.

Re-enactors from across the UK are expected put on an exhilarating display recreating a key part of the battle, amidst a series of informative family-friendly activities from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September.

The living history event is part of a tri-annual calendar of commemorative re-enactment weekends designed to entertain and educate people about this important period in Scotland’s history. The Battle of Dunbar Re-Enactment will also be the climax of 2019’s East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight.

Highlights over the weekend will include demonstrations of cavalry tactics, a chance to eavesdrop on the rival generals as they make their battle plans, and immersive military camps for you to explore. The re-enactors have also been tasked with presenting an accurate interpretation of how a military company operated in the seventeenth century, with pikes and muskets marching to the beat of drums. There will interactive activities, stalls and crafts to keep the whole family busy throughout the day.

By 1650 there had been civil war in the British Isles for eleven long years, and the alliance between the English Parliamentarians and the Scottish Covenanters had broken down after the English executed King Charles I. The Scots chose to support the old king’s son, prompting Oliver Cromwell to invade in retaliation. On 3 September 1650, he unexpectedly attacked the larger army of General David Leslie outside the small harbour town of Dunbar and destroyed it. The Battle of Dunbar Re-Enactment Weekend will bring to life the dramatic events of Cromwell’s early morning assault which turned the tide of the campaign and brought disaster upon the last great army of Covenanters.

These events will be witnessed by descendants of some of the Scottish soldiers who were taken prisoner at the battle and later transported to North America. They are travelling to Scotland to commemorate the role of their ancestors in these momentous events.

Friday 13 September

The Soldiers of Dunbar 1650

7.30pm-8.30pm, Dunbar Harbour Battery

Free (donations welcome)

A special evening in Dunbar’s historic battery fort, remembering the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Dunbar with colourful presentations, commemorations, and a musket volley in honour of the fallen. The evening will kick off a weekend of events bringing to life the dramatic actions which took place in the town of Dunbar, during the troubled times of the civil wars.

Saturday 14 September

Battle of Dunbar 1650 Parade

10 am, route TBC, finishing off Spott Road, Dunbar


Soldiers of the seventeenth century return to the streets of Dunbar for a commemorative parade; joined by descendants of Scottish soldiers who took part in the battle. Descendants will be welcomed as special guests, with some travelling from as far as the USA. Look out for the Scots general David Leslie and his formidable opponent Oliver Cromwell! 

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 September

Battle of Dunbar 1650 Re-enactment Weekend

11am-5pm both days, near Spott Road, Dunbar

Adult £6, Child £3

History comes to life for the 2019 East Lothian Battle Weekend, as we gather to witness Oliver Cromwell leading his troops against the General Leslie’s determined Scottish army. Explore the encampments and discover what life was like during the Civil Wars. Take part in activities for all the family, and hear the muskets roar and the thundering hooves of the battle with a re-enactment.

For more information on the Battle of Dunbar Re-enactment event and East Lothian Battle Weekend visit: or follow,

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