SCONE Palace has thrown down the gauntlet as hundreds of medieval knights, archers and medieval figures descend on its grounds.

The International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships have begun at the Perthshire Estate, the official host of the tournament, which claims to bring spectators a “real-life Game Of Thrones”.

It is the first time the event has ever taken place in the UK, with competitors from more than 31 countries taking part.

Over the course of the four-day event, fully-armoured teams, including a group representing Scotland, will participate in highly competitive medieval battles, duelling, team fights and archery in the historic palace grounds.

Stephen Brannigan, head of house opening for Scone Palace, said the estate was fitting setting for an event with “such a strong hand in the past”.

He said: “ It couldn’t be more appropriate for our historic Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings, to host an international medieval combat tournament.

“It will literally be like experiencing another era completely.”