The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Historic Scotland encourages Scottish families to Make Their Own History

26 March 2010


Following the success of its 2009 ‘Make Your Own History’ marketing campaign -  which resulted in membership levels reaching an all-time high - Historic Scotland is launching its latest major drive to encourage Scots to make the most of their country’s rich heritage.

The 2010 ‘Make Your Own History’ campaign, which runs from 26 March to 11 July, will highlight the opportunities for great family days out offered by Historic Scotland’s outstanding heritage properties and leading visitor attractions.

And to encourage families to enjoy the historic highlights on their doorstep and become Historic Scotland members, ‘Make Your Own History’ is offering a special incentive - 15 months’ membership for the price of 12.  A year’s free entry for all the family to Historic Scotland’s 78 paid attractions already costs less than £7 a month but during the campaign, an additional three months is being offered for free.

The new campaign features a high-profile television advertisement fronted by ‘Monarch of The Glen’ actor Hamish Clark.  It will be screened for the first time on 26 March and is being aired on STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 until the end of June.  

The humorous commercial shows Hamish on horseback at Edinburgh, Stirling, Doune and Blackness Castles, making an impassioned speech to a gathered crowd.  He calls on Scottish families to forego boring and mundane weekend activities and instead, to make the most of their free time by enjoying unforgettable visits to Scotland’s great historic sites.

As well as urging people to make their own history by enjoying memorable experiences at Historic Scotland attractions, Hamish promotes the special sales incentive of three months’ free membership.

In addition to the TV ad, the ‘Make Your Own History’ message will be promoted through a mix of marketing elements including PR support, a leaflet door drop, a dedicated microsite, the websites of Historic Scotland and Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, text messaging and on-site sales.

For the first time, Historic Scotland is also using social networking sites Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook in its marketing mix to reflect their increasing prevalence and enable visitors to post images of their visits online.

Head of Marketing Jenny Hess says: “We look forward to welcoming many more Scottish families as members this year. In the present economic climate, we know that they are looking for high-quality, great-value days out at weekends and in the school holidays.

“Family membership is already great value at less than £7 a month, but the offer of an extra three months free when a 12-month membership is bought by direct debit makes it a superb deal.

“Membership offers free access to some of Scotland’s top attractions including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Linlithgow Palace, Skara Brae and the Border Abbeys.

“We’re delighted with our new TV advertisement, again featuring Hamish Clark, and hope it will be as popular and effective as last year’s.  I’m confident that, together with all the other strands of the marketing campaign, it will drive home our message effectively.”

Hamish Clark adds: “I was really pleased to be back home in Scotland to film the new ‘Make Your Own History’ ad, and it was great fun - it doesn’t get much better than riding on a great white horse in front of some spectacular Scottish castles!

“My childhood was spent hillwalking in Scotland looking round castles.  It’s a brilliant thing to do and it’s really good to now have the chance to promote the fabulous places where you can spend your free time.  

“Historic Scotland membership is great because once you’ve joined, you can explore all of its fascinating historic sites all over the country, for free.”

Another advantage membership offers is free entry to an extensive and varied range of events and activities at Historic Scotland’s attractions.  This year’s highlights include a Jousting Extravaganza at Linlithgow Palace in July, a Celebration of the Centuries at Fort George near Inverness in August, daily events throughout the summer at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, and Christmas family activities.

For more information on the ‘Make Your Own History’ membership offer, visit:

Details of the promotion can also be found at:

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland worked with Edinburgh-based advertising company The Union on the development of the 2010 Make Your Own History campaign.  Media planning support for the campaign was provided by MediaCom, also of Edinburgh.

  • The Make Your Own History concept was first developed for last year’s campaign, which ran from mid-May to mid-July. It also aimed to increase membership and supported the ‘Scotland Homecoming 2009’ national initiative. The campaign was primarily aimed at Scottish-based families as a significant proportion of Historic Scotland’s membership base comes from family subscriptions. With a target of 2,200 membership sales by direct debit, last year’s campaign achieved sales of just under 4,000, taking the total number of memberships over 100,000 – a record figure.

  • The Historic Scotland Membership scheme dates back to 1985 when Historic Scotland’s predecessor sold around 1500 season tickets.  Among the first to buy a membership in April 1985 were Dr Glynne Jones OBE and his wife Sheila, from Glasgow. Dr Jones said: “When I moved to Scotland I wanted to learn about the country’s history and visit its historic sites so I was pleased when, in 1985, the opportunity came along to have (what was then known as) a season ticket.  Since then my wife and I have become Historic Scotland Life Members because it offers such good value. It’s also very easy because you simply turn up, show your card and go in without paying another penny.  There are so many places to see, from the prehistoric tombs of Orkney to the great royal palaces and castles which were so important in the history of the country.”

  • Historic Scotland has an outstanding portfolio of 345 heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland in its care.  From the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, these range from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings. They include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, such as Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Laura Cheyne
0131 668 8952

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
07801 820757