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All our staffed properties, sites and offices remain closed and staff are working from home. Find out how we are working on plans to gradually reopen the historic places we care for.


Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Protecting Scotland’s historic environment, communities and our people

The terraced garden at Aberdour Castle

1 Overview

Scotland has moved to Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s route map out of current lockdown.

This change in status does not affect the closure of our estate, and our staffed properties, sites and offices remain closed.

Even as we take our first steps out of lockdown, it's important that we can all continue to stay home as much as possible. When the time comes for us to reopen our doors, Scotland's history will be waiting for you.

Our plans to reopen

We are working on plans to gradually reopen the historic places we care for. Our priority remains the safety of our staff, visitors and partners. Any reopening will be phased and there will be some changes to the visitor experience for the safety of you and our staff, including pre-booked ticketing at more sites and different opening hours.

Scotland’s history is unique, with buildings, monuments and landscapes of different shapes and sizes. One approach won’t suit all sites and we need to assess them individually to make sure we can offer you a safe and positive visitor experience when we are able to reopen.

Unstaffed sites and green spaces that have remained partially accessible can be visited locally, ensuring that you follow physical distancing guidelines.

For further information on Coronavirus please visit NHS Inform and Scottish Government websites.

Keep in touch

Scotland's past is full of stories of hope in the face of adversity, and of people working together to overcome all kinds of challenges.

We’ll continue to share these stories, our research, and details of how and when things will change via our website and social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you for your patience and support at this time.

2 Historic Scotland visitors

Our plans to reopen

It’s important that we all continue to stay home as much as possible, but Scotland is now taking its first steps out of lockdown with a focus on outdoor activity.

We are working on plans to gradually reopen the historic places we care for.

With a diverse estate of all shapes and sizes, we need to assess the safety and changes needed to facilitate physical distancing at each of the unique historic places we care for before we reopen the doors.

Our staff are starting the work to prepare sites for reopening. This includes conducting a series of safety inspections, looking for signs of heritage crime and assessing the practicalities of access to green spaces.

Visitors with pre-booked tickets

If you pre-booked tickets to any of our sites or events up to and including Tuesday 30 June 2020, you will be automatically refunded. Please allow 30 working days for the funds to show on your statement.

You will receive an automated email once your refund has been processed. If you do not receive this, please contact

Visiting sites during lockdown

Whilst many Historic Scotland properties are still partially accessible, we’re asking you to stay local and avoid travelling to make use of these spaces. Please do not travel to Scotland's islands for leisure during this time.

Scottish Government recommend walking or cycling where possible to reach your destination. The advice is also to stay within five miles of home.

As all non-essential work at Historic Scotland sites has been suspended until further notice, including normal litter collections, we are currently unable to empty bins on site. Please take your litter and any waste home.

Our Ranger Service at Holyrood Park and Linlithgow Peel continue their reduced patrols of these areas for essential safety and security checks. Find out more about our work at these sites during the pandemic.

Our staff will mainly continue to work from home in line with government guidance and are not available on site for support.

Physical distancing at sites

If you visit a local site, please continue to follow physical distancing and government guidance to help keep everyone safe.

Current Scottish Government guidance allows people to spend as much time as you would like outside, close to home. This might be walking, running, cycling, or sitting outdoors. You can do this alone, with members of your household or with members of one other household if you follow physical distancing guidelines.

If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

As all our staffed sites remain closed, facilities aren’t open including toilets and cafés. 

Please continue to work together to keep everyone safe. Here are things you can do to help:

  • stay 2m apart
  • avoid touching surfaces 
  • if a site is likely to be busy and you think that it may be difficult to maintain physical distancing, please consider visiting another nearby location or visiting at another time instead
  • for general advice on access to outdoor spaces during the Coronavirus outbreak see the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

3 Contacting us at this time

We continue to operate the rest of our business functions as far as possible, though response times may be slower as many staff are currently on furlough.

With staff working from home where possible and appropriate, the services we continue to deliver include our grants programme, membership, planning and casework, and online services.

Historic Scotland Members

We appreciate the support you give us as a member especially during these challenging times. Our members make such a vital contribution to protecting our national assets including our historic sites and archives, and you play a crucial role so that current and future generations can enjoy these.

We do recognise that the current situation may lead to changes in some members personal circumstances. If you have any queries, please contact us at

Archives and Historic Environment Records

While our physical archive will be closed until further notice, there are over 1 million archive records available to enjoy online at

Planning, consents and statutory consultations

We will continue to review and process applications for scheduled monument consent, statutory consultations and more. Due to the office closures, we cannot process any applications or consultations submitted by post. Email submissions are welcome.


Our grants function will aim to provide normal service as far as possible. Existing grantees should contact their nominated Grants Manager by email. For any other enquiries, please visit our Grants Coronavirus Guidance page or email

Keeping in touch

Please do keep connected via our social media channels or if you need to get in touch with a specific query you can also use the channels below: