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2 March 2017

A record breaking 1.7 million visitors for Edinburgh Castle

Scotland’s number one paid for attraction welcomes 1,700,000 visitors for the very first time in a single financial year

A tour group at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has set a new personal best. Since April last year 1.7 million people have passed over the stronghold’s iconic drawbridge to discover more than 3,000 years of Scottish history for themselves. This is the first time ever that footfall has reached this level in a single financial year.

The 1,700,000th visitor was welcomed by Edinburgh Castle staff at 11.13am last Sunday.

Reporting its best ever year for footfall in 2016-17, the landmark attracted 210,042 more paying visitors when compared to the same time last year. A 6% increase on the previous record in 2015-16’s financial year. As well as setting new records on 10 consecutive months this year the castle also recorded its busiest day on record. On the 16 July 11,368 people took to the historic site, making it the largest number of paying visitors to ever see the castle in a single day.

This performance adds to a financial year for the history books, as Historic Environment Scotland – who manage over 300 Historic Scotland visitor attractions – recently announced strong trends in figures across its portfolio of properties. In another first it also saw its total visitor tally top four million.

Commenting on Edinburgh Castle’s performance, Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager of Edinburgh Castle, which is managed by Historic Environment Scotland, said: “A wealth of Scottish history, an iconic location and a great visitor experience are just some of the many reasons that people from the UK and internationally flock to Edinburgh Castle each year. Reaching 1.7 million visitors for the very first time in a single financial year is a significant achievement.

This record breaking performance, together with similar trends being experienced and reported at our other attractions and the heritage tourism sector more widely, shows the real value, relevance and draw that Scotland’s historic attractions continue to have today.

“It’s also a fantastic achievement to mark as we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology throughout 2017.”