Many of the historic sites we care for are open with safety precautions in place and in line with government guidance.
In Level 3 areas, local visitors are welcome to pre-book for our visit ticketed attractions and visit free sites in their local council area, in line with government legislation.
All of our sites in Level 4, including free and unstaffed sites, are closed to visitors. Any visitors to these sites with pre-booked tickets from Friday 20 November until Friday 11 December will be automatically refunded. Please allow up to 30 days for the funds to show on your bank statement.
Before booking or making a journey to our sites, please check the Scottish Government website to confirm if travel restrictions apply to your area.Scottish Government website
Where can I visit?
We can only accept advance bookings at the following sites. Please don’t travel to these sites to gain entry without a booking already in place as we can’t currently accept walk up visitors.
- Aberdour Castle (Level 3)
- Blackness Castle (Level 3)
- Caerlaverock Castle (Level 2)
- Craigmillar Castle (Level 3)
- Dirleton Castle (Level 2)
- Dryburgh Abbey (Level 2)
- Dunfermline Abbey Nave (Level 3)
- Dunstaffnage Castle (Level 2)
- Edinburgh Castle (Level 3)
- Elgin Cathedral (Level 1)
- Fort George (Level 1)
- Huntly Castle (Level 2)
- Jedburgh Abbey (Level 2)
- Melrose Abbey (Level 2)
- Skara Brae (Level 1)
- St Andrews Castle (Level 3)
- St Andrews Cathedral (Level 3)
- Tantallon Castle (Level 2)
- Urquhart Castle (Level 1)
You can also visit over 150 free sites where physical distancing can be readily maintained.
These sites do not need to be booked in advance but if somewhere you plan to visit 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.
Before making a journey to our sites, please check the Scottish Government website to confirm if travel restrictions apply to your area.Staying safe on your visit Frequently Asked Questions
Keep in touchContacting us at this time
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support.
2 Staying safe on your visit
We all have a part to play during the pandemic to help keep everyone safe.
If you plan to visit any of our sites, please continue to follow physical distancing and current government guidance.
Here are things you can do to help when visiting a site:
- please check the Scottish Government’s website to confirm if travel restrictions apply to your area
- stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other visitors
- avoid touching surfaces, bring hand sanitiser to use if you do
- wear a face covering when visiting any indoor or enclosed spaces
- if a free to access 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
- keep Scotland looking beautiful by taking your litter and any waste home
- for general advice on access to outdoor spaces during the Coronavirus outbreak see the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
If you’re showing any of COVID-19 symptoms, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.COVID-19 advice from NHS Scotland
Our standards for reopening
Our diverse estate is made of over 300 buildings, monuments and landscapes of different shapes and sizes.
We carefully assess changes needed at these unique places to help visitors and staff be safe and feel safe, before we reopen the doors. We have reopened sites in consultation with local communities and with consideration of the circumstances in each area as much as possible.
3 Working with the sector
In these unprecedented and challenging times, we are working closely with the historic environment sector to develop a long term vision and better understand the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In October 2020, we launched a new £2.6 million fund to support the recovery of Scotland’s historic environment sector from the impacts of COVID-19.Find out how to apply
We are part of the COVID-19 Historic Environment Resilience Forum, a collaborative space for partners in Scotland’s historic environment sector. Together, we will plan, coordinate, and communicate strategies and guidance for the sector to support Scotland’s national recovery.
To best support this recovery phase, we have published our Policy and Guidance for the safe reopening of historic sites, and are compiling reliable and comprehensive data on how all parts of the historic environment sector in Scotland have been affected.
In April 2020, we received hundreds of responses to our online survey from all over Scotland. The full analysis and data is now available to download.
4 Contacting us at this time
With staff working from home where possible and appropriate, many of our business functions continue to operate as normal.
In some areas response times may be slower and we have limited access to our offices to collect mail. Please contact us by phone or email where possible.
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 email@example.com.
Archives and Historic Environment Records
Our physical archive reopened in September with new safety measures to help keep everyone safe. Pre-booking via firstname.lastname@example.org is essential.Visiting the HES Archives and Library
If you aren't able to make it to the building, there are over 1 million archive records available to enjoy online at canmore.org.uk
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 email@example.com
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:
- for listed buildings and designation queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- for consents and advice on development proposals that affect the historic environment, please contact email@example.com
- for education queries and online learning, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- for conservation enquiries, please contact email@example.com
- if you need to contact our legal department, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.