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22 March 2018

Scotland's historic sites open for Spring

Historic Environment Scotland launch 2018 season and events programme

Image of four children dressed in medieval clothing sitting on 3D map of Scotland

Historic attractions all over Scotland, from Jarlshof in Shetland to Hermitage Castle in the Borders, are preparing to welcome visitors for the start of the 2018 summer season.

From 26 March, over 40 castles, cairns and brochs across the country will spring into action as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) launches its 2018 season, including an events programme packed with over 30 family-friendly activities taking place throughout spring and summer.

HES, the public body that cares for more than 300 Historic Scotland attractions, are encouraging locals and tourists alike to explore Scotland’s past during the Year of Young People.

Susan Loch, Head of Visitor Operations and Community Engagement at HES, said: “Spring is an exciting time for us as we prepare to reopen our seasonal sites and once again expand our offering across the country.

“We have so much on offer for 2018, with a bigger selection of events and days out than ever before. Our calendar is packed with events which bring history to life, with plenty of battles, trails and stories from characters who have shaped our past.

We’re inviting everyone to come and explore our venues, from the much-loved castles and abbeys, to the lesser-known prehistoric forts and atmospheric ruins.

The 2018 programme starts with the popular Easter Eggsplorer trails at various sites across the country, including Aberdour Castle in Fife, Bishop and Earl’s Palaces in Orkney and Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries, from 30 March to 2 April.

Susan added: “As the Easter holidays approach, it’s the perfect time to look through our 2018 programme and get planning. There’s something for everyone so now is the time to tick some of our wonderful sites off your bucket list.”

Earlier this year, HES announced a special offer in celebration of Year of Young People which grants those with a valid Young Scot card £1 entry to more than 70 paid-for attractions. This includes access to HES’ most iconic year-round attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, alongside seasonal properties which open to the public next week.

Highlights of the 2018 spring/summer programme include: 

  • Music through the Ages, Stirling Castle (21 & 22 April)
  • The Rock of Ages, Dumbarton Castle (9 & 10 June)
  • Spectacular Jousting, Linlithgow Palace and Caerlaverock Castle (various dates, June/July)
  • Kings and Clansmen, Fort George (11 & 12 August)

For further information on opening hours, access and locations, visit: www.historicenvironment.scot

About Historic Environment Scotland

About the Year of Young People 2018

The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally. Over 200 young people throughout Scotland will become #YOYP2018 Ambassadors, ensuring their communities know about local opportunities to celebrate young people.
Scotland's Year of Young People 2018 Logo

About the £1 Entry

HES has partnered with Young Scot, along with the National Trust for Scotland and the Historic Houses Association, to offer the discount to young people who want to explore Scotland’s iconic historic sites.
  • Young Scot cards are available for free to all young people living in Scotland, aged 11-26
  • To validate the discount, young people should present their card when buying their ticket to HES’ sites across Scotland 
  • The discount will run throughout the Year of Young People, 2018

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