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.

Kids Go Free this October - Entertain your kids for free this October holiday

8 September 2008

Entertain your kids for free this October

Children across Scotland can get a closer look into over 5,000 years of history entirely for free with Historic Scotland’s annual Kids Go Free month.

The cartoon trails that proved so popular last year return with an expanded programme.  Over 70 Historic Scotland attractions will host 6 cartoon trails, with 36 different child friendly historical characters along the way.

From Robert the Bruce to Ungus the Pict to Mary, Queen of Scots, kids can hunt down their favourite historical legends, hiding throughout the properties.

On completion of the trail, including a specially developed quiz sheet, all children will receive a small gift for their efforts. With a number of different trails to choose from, based on the range of properties to visit, visitors can tour a few attractions to clock up their historical character hunt.  

There will also be a grand prize draw to win a family VIP trip to Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle or Urquhart Castle. And in addition to the trails, Edinburgh and Stirling Castle will have costumed performers all through October.

Rebecca Hamilton, Marketing and Media Manager at Historic Scotland said:

“Our Kids Go Free month is always very popular and offers a fun day out both for kids and adults. With attractions all over Scotland, families have the chance to discover their local history or travel further afield. There are so many exciting stories to discover and our  cartoon characters across the increased trail programme give kids a chance to make friends with legendary historical characters.”

Historic Scotland are delighted to provide an information service by SMS text for the event – which gives people the opportunity to text for their nearest Kids Go Free attraction.  By texting TRAIL to 84118, you will receive information on your nearest attraction to visit with child’s admission being absolutely free.

The Historic Scotland Kids Go Free campaign runs from 1 – 31 October 2008.  From castles to abbeys to cathedrals to prehistoric settlements to palaces to the mightiest artillery fortification in Europe, there’s something to delight the imagination of children and adult alike.  Historic Scotland attractions feature visitor centres, exhibitions and audio guides to tell the story of the properties, as well as cafes and shops selling quality gifts, crafts and guidebooks.


  • There will be a photo call to officially launch the Kids Go Free promotion in the last week of September 2008, more details to be announced soon.

  • In addition to the trails, Edinburgh and Stirling Castle will have living history performers all through October. Urquhart Castle will have performances every weekend.

  • As well as a trail at each of the sites there is also a cartoon competition where kids are invited to draw their favourite cartoon character from any of the trails available to be entered into a special gallery, with a special prize and regional runner-up prizes.

  • Historic Scotland offers great days out throughout the year with our family membership which is available from only £6 a month.

  • The artist commissioned for the light-hearted artwork is 26 year old Alice Druitt who set up her own company, Gingerpaws, selling cards showing famous Edinburgh scenes as an undergraduate.  While still at university she was commissioned by Historic Scotland to create the artwork for the popular Cartoon Castles range.

  • ‘Kids Go Free’ throughout October at Historic Scotland attractions listed below. Children must be under 16yrs and accompanied by a full paying adult (maximum of 6 children per paying adult). For further information and opening times, please visit  or text ‘TRAIL’ to 84118, or call 0131 668 8926.


Edinburgh & Lothians

Edinburgh Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Craigmillar Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Crichton Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Linlithgow Palace    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Blackness Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Cairnpapple Hill    Early Peoples
Dirleton Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Tantallon Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Seton Collegiate     Churches & Cathedrals

Glasgow, Clyde & Ayrshire

Glasgow Cathedral    Churches & Cathedrals
Bothwell Castle    Castles:Courtiers & Servants
Crossraguel Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
Dumbarton Castle     Castles: Royals & Nobles
Newark Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Rothesay Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Craignethan Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dundonald Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants

Scottish Borders

Melrose Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
Smailholm Tower    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Hermitage Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Jedburgh Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
Dryburgh Abbey    Abbeys & Priories

Central & West

Castle Campbell    Castles: Royals & Noble
Bonawe Iron Furnace    Working Life
Stirling Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Doune Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dunstaffnage Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Dunblane Cathedral    Churches & Cathedrals
Inchmahome Priory    Abbeys & Priories
Iona Abbey    Abbeys & Priories

Dumfries & Galloway

Caerlaverock Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Threave Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Dundrennan Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
Sweetheart Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
New Abbey Mill    Working Life
MacLellan’s Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Cardoness Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Glenluce Abbey    Abbeys & Priories

Kingdom of Fife

St Andrews Cathedral    Churches & Cathedrals
St Andrews Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Aberdour Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Aberdour Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dunfermline Abbey    Abbeys & Priories

Perthshire, Kinross & Angus

Arbroath Abbey    Abbeys & Priories
Lochleven Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Huntingtower Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Huntingtower Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Edzell Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Meigle Museum    Early Peoples
Elcho Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Stanley Mills    Working Life

North & Grampian

Urquhart Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Elgin Cathedral    Churches & Cathedrals
Dallas Dhu Distillery    Working Life
Fort George    Working Life
Spynie Palace    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Huntly Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Corgarff Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Balvenie Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Kildrummy Castle    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Tolquhon Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants


Maeshowe    Early Peoples
Skara Brae    Early Peoples
Bishop’s & Earl’s    Castles: Royals & Nobles
Hackness Tower    Working Life
Broch of Gurness    Early Peoples


Jarlshof    Early Peoples

The Western Isles

Kisimul Castle    Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Arnol Blackhouse    Working Life


For further information

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763