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Free Educational Visits

What better way to discover Scotland’s past than free educational visits*  to over 300 of our properties all year round.  These range from prehistoric sites to castles, abbeys and industrial buildings: real places where real people lived and worked.



Do you qualify for free visits to our sites?

Our free educational visits scheme is open to organised groups visiting our properties all year round. The exceptions are Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle between May and August inclusive.  Educational visits to these sites can still be booked during this time but there will be an entry charge of £2 per child aged 15 and under; the full admission rate is charged for young adults aged 16 and over.

Please note an entry fee is applicable at Kinnaird Head Lighthouse.

School group visits to Stirling Castle in May and June are exclusive to our Schools Programme and early booking is recommended.

To qualify, visits must have a genuine educational purpose and planned educational activity that will be carried out as part of that visit.

All bookings must be made at least 10 days in advance of your visit.

Groups that qualify

  • Nursery, Primary and Secondary School groups from countries in the European Union
  • After school clubs
  • Recognised home educator groups in the European Union
  • School groups on an exchange visit to a school in the UK, when accompanied by pupils from the host school
  • Groups from countries in the European Union studying courses related to Scottish history and culture at colleges of further and higher education and universities
  • Groups of students on a UK student visa studying relevant courses on a full-time basis at an educational establishment based in the UK for a minimum of one semester.
  • Groups from countries in the European Union studying accredited extra-mural or continuing education university courses related to Scottish history and culture.
  • University of the Third Age
  • UK based Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies, and their junior equivalents, and Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade groups who are working towards a relevant badge.
  • Young Archaeologist Groups
  • Organisations with an educational remit bringing groups of children, youths or adults with special learning needs or disabilities. This includes groups of refugees and asylum seekers.


Groups that do not qualify

  • Tour and coach operators
  • Third parties who arrange visits for educational groups
  • English as a Foreign Language groups and Language schools
  • Organisers of study holidays arranged on a commercial basis between universities and holiday organisations
  • Organisations bringing groups of adults on leisure visits
  • Summer schools
  • Educational establishments outside the European Union
  • Those who do not apply in advance within required time limit

*Please Note: The only free entry exceptions are Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, where there is an entry charge from May to August inclusive.

Contact us

Learning Services
Historic Scotland
Holyrood Park Education Centre
1 Queen’s Drive
Edinburgh
EH8 8HG
Tel: +44 (0)131 652 8155/8156