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18 September 2017

Extended Season for Scotland’s historic sites

Some of Scotland’s best-loved historic attractions will stay open for longer this year as HES announces extended seasonal opening across the country.

two visitors peer out from behind a historic wooden door
Some of Scotland’s best-loved historic attractions will be keeping their doors open for longer this year as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) announces extended seasonal opening at sites across the country.
As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, summer-only sites - from Broch of Gurness in Orkney to Hermitage Castle in the Borders - will be welcoming visitors until 31 October 2017.
Extended opening will provide further opportunity for visitors to explore Scotland’s history and heritage, cited as key drivers for tourism to the country. HES, who manage over 70 Historic Scotland tourist attractions, welcomed record-breaking footfall at the beginning of 2017 with over 4 million visitors flocking to the country’s historic sites – the first time that milestone had been reached in a single financial year.
The start of this year’s summer season also saw Scotland’s historic sites celebrating the ‘Outlander effect’, with sites such as Doune Castle and Blackness Castle - which have a starring role in the hit TV series - recording dramatic increases in footfall from the same period last year.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “After a fantastic season so far, I’m pleased to announce that we are able to extend opening at over 50 of our sites.
Extending the season until 31st October will allow visitors to enjoy our sites for longer as we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“It is also a special way to mark our first Heritage Awareness Day, and I hope visitors will take the opportunity to spend 6th October exploring the country’s history and heritage at one of our sites.
“We continue to see increased numbers of visitors to our sites, demonstrating the enduring appeal and value of historic attractions, and their importance for Scotland’s wider tourism sector.
“This strong showing is also testament to the efforts of our staff, and I’d like to thank them for the great work they do in bringing our sites to life for visitors.”
The extended season will also form part of the celebration of Scotland’s first-ever Heritage Awareness Day, which takes place on Friday 6th October. Shining a spotlight on heritage throughout the country, Heritage Awareness Day will be an opportunity for people across Scotland to share and celebrate heritage in all its different forms.
Find out more about Heritage Awareness Day and how you can get involved by joining in the conversation, following @HistEnvScot on Twitter and #HeritageDay17.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

Get involved on Twitter with #HHA2017

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 logo

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07881 512 379