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More of our sites are now available to pre-book in advance of their opening later this month. We are working hard to open other sites in the coming weeks

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Access

Special arrangements are currently in place at Blackness Castle, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. These arrangements are detailed below, and will be regularly updated. Last updated: 28 July 2020.

Although things may be a little different, we hope that you will have an enjoyable visit and will be greeted with a warm and friendly smile by staff.

Safety measures

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and physical distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, including our toilet facilities, to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting
  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are now mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions)

Watch our video on what to expect when you visit our sites

Carers tickets

In line with best practice in the visitor attractions industry and as advised by Capability Scotland, visitors with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with all other visitors and entry is charged at the appropriate admission category rate - Adult/Concession/Child. Proof of disability is not required.

We offer free entry for carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. To book a free carer ticket, please email ticketing@hes.scot and quote your order number.

Parking

The car park is only available to those who have booked tickets to visit the castle.

The car park has a rough gravel surface and no accessible spaces marked. Visitors can also be dropped off at the entrance.

Approach to site

The shop will not be open at this time, but staff will be available to offer help and advice.

The main castle building is about 30m along a level gravel roadway and about 10m down a fairly steep, uneven path.

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas. 

Visitors' dogs are allowed at Blackness Castle, but are not permitted in roofed areas.

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

What will be open during your visit

  • All external spaces with visitor access accessible for those that have booked tickets
  • Stern Tower (up to the Great Hall level)
  • One-way route round the Stern Tower, East Wall Walk, Stem Tower, West Wall Walk, Spur Defence Wall Walk and Exit
  • Car park has limited spaces and will be monitored. It is only available for those that have booked tickets to visit the castle and its grounds

What will remain closed during your visit

  • Mid Tower
  • The pier
  • Stern Tower (anything above Great Hall level closed)
  • Shop

Visiting the site

There is a one-way route in place around many parts of the castle, while in others visitors can explore freely. Please follow the blue safety signage as you move around the castle. Social distancing measures will be in place. Access to some spaces may be limited.

  • The entrance to the site has a gently sloping concrete plinth with a single handrail before stepping down to uneven natural rock at the entrance
  • The ground level of the castle is mostly uneven rock or cobbles, and is slippery when wet
  • The pier is closed at this time
  • The south (stern) tower is reached over a rough cut rock stair and a stone spiral staircase of 51 steps
  • The great hall is reached up historic stone staircases, with some handrails in place. The wall walk is accessed from the great hall, via a spiral staircase with no handrail
  • The roof of the north (fore) tower is reached from the wall walk. The first floor is reached up a further 16 timber steps with a handrail on the left-hand side
  • The mid tower is closed at this time
  • The upper levels are reached via wide and even stone spiral stairs with no handrails
  • There are picnic tables and benches on the lawn in front of the castle

Toilets

Toilets are available at the castle. The nearest adapted toilets are at Tesco, Link Road, Bo’ness EH51 9AN; 3.4 miles away.

Historic Scotland

Opening times

17 Aug to 30 Sept:
Sun, Tues & Wed, 10am to 4pm
Last entry time slot 2.30pm
Last entry to site 3.30pm

Advance booking required. 

Winter opening times to be confirmed.

Facilities

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