About Us

21 June 2021

Kids play for free at Historic sites this summer

Under 16’s will go free at Historic Scotland sites this summer as part of a Scottish Government campaign supporting wellbeing in young people affected by the impact of the ongoing pandemic.

Children running towards camera wearing helmets, body armour and shields

With Summer 2021 seeing a rise in “staycations” due to continuing uncertainty around foreign travel caused by the COVID virus, the Get Into Summer programme will provide children and young people with opportunities to enjoy the best of Scotland’s heritage from June 26 until August 17. Although free, places must be reserved, with tickets bookable via our website www.historicenvironment.scot/getintosummer. All under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

The initiative is supported by £143,000 from the Scottish Government, part of a wider £20m funding package allocated to councils and other partner organisations to help children and young people impacted by the social effects of COVID by creating opportunities to socialise, play and reconnect this summer.

To add to the fun and ensure everyone has an opportunity to take part, HES is also working closely with partner organisations who provide extra support for families and young people during the summer holidays. This will include distributing thousands of free Playing with the Past activity packs to encourage imaginative play inspired by Scotland's castles.

Commenting on the activity programme, Craig Fletcher, HES’s Head of Learning and Inclusion said:

Children and young people have suffered considerably during the pandemic with less opportunities to play, learn, experience and connect with others. So, we are delighted to be supporting the Scottish Government in its efforts to improve the wellbeing of children and young people across the country.

‘’Historic sites are fantastic places for inspiring creativity, letting young imaginations run wild and for young people, their parents, and carers to play and learn together. Our online resources and targeted distribution of activity packs will also provide plenty of inspiration and fun ideas to try out at home or in your local area - so everyone can take part.’’

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said:

“Children and young people have experienced significant disruption to all aspects of their lives as a result of the pandemic. That is why the Scottish Government has provided funding to support children, young people, their families and carers to enjoy the summer.

“Historic Environment Scotland has created an exciting offer which will inspire imaginations and encourage a long-term interest in our culture and heritage. I encourage everyone to get involved.”

For more information on the activities on offer and how to get involved visit Get into Summer

About Year of Coasts and Waters 2021

The Year of Coasts and Waters (#YCW2021), led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2021. Activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink - whisky.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

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Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory

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For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson 
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962