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Hundreds take to the streets for Edinburgh’s Riding of the Marches

Ancient tradition attracts crowds of onlookers to the streets of the Scottish capital.

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Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches, a re-enactment of the return of the Captain of the Trained Band to the city with the tragic news of defeat at the battle of Flodden in 1513 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches, a re-enactment of the return of the Captain of the Trained Band to the city with the tragic news of defeat at the battle of Flodden in 1513 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches, a re-enactment of the return of the Captain of the Trained Band to the city with the tragic news of defeat at the battle of Flodden in 1513 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Around 280 horses and riders have taken over the streets of Edinburgh, continuing an ancient tradition.

Crowds of onlookers lined the streets of the capital for the Riding of the Marches, particularly the final stage on the Royal Mile.

The historic event, which dates back to the 16th century, sees riders make a seven-hour journey from the Braid Hills towards the city, ending at the Mercat Cross on the Royal Mile.

Now an annual event, it returned to Edinburgh in 2009 after a gap of more than 60 years.

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Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches (Andrew Milligan/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Hundreds of horses and their riders form a cavalcade on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the Riding of the Marches (Andrew Milligan/PA)

It sees the appointed Edinburgh Captain and Lass lead hundreds of horses up the Royal Mile where they return the city flag to the Lord Provost.

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A horse rider on Edinburgh's Royal Mile (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A horse rider on Edinburgh's Royal Mile (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A horse rider on Edinburgh's Royal Mile (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The riding tradition, known as ”common riding” in the Borders, is believed to date as far back as the 12th century.

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