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Book in advance to visit Scotland’s historic places. Before you travel, please check the latest Scottish Government guidance.

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Overview

Explore the origins of the most famous document in Scottish history – the Declaration of Arbroath. Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England in this letter to the Pope, sent from Arbroath Abbey in 1320.

Founded by William the Lion in 1178, in memory of martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey remained one of the nation’s grandest monasteries for almost 400 years. Much later, the Stone of Destiny had a starring role in Arbroath Abbey’s story.

What to see and do

  • Soak up the atmosphere of a site long associated with Scotland’s sense of independent nationhood
  • Step inside one of the most complete abbot’s residences in Britain
  • View famous local landmark the ‘Round O’, a circular window that was once lit up to guide mariners home
  • See the marble effigy thought to depict William I, also known as William the Lion
  • Gaze up at the west front, a stunning example of a twin-towered church façade
  • Complete our quiz while you explore the abbey. The quiz is also available on site
Historic Scotland

Opening times

The abbey is closed for now, but you can view the iconic grounds and exterior.

15 Aug to 31 Mar:
Fri to Mon, 10am to 4pm
Last entry 3.30pm

Facilities

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Explorer Passes

Get free entry to Scotland’s top visitor attractions with an Explorer Pass valid for 5 or 14 consecutive days.

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Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

Learning visits

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.