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Free Weekend Success

18 April 2008

Thousands Flock to Historic Scotland Attractions during

Historic Scotland is delighted to announce the Free Weekend 2008 was a great success with over 75,000 people taking the opportunity to visit heritage attractions across Scotland without having to pay a single penny on 12 and 13 April.  The total visitor figure for the 76 participating Historic Scotland attractions was 75,502, with 25,673 of those visiting Edinburgh Castle alone over the two days, further highlighting the popularity of the nation’s most visited paid-attraction.

Other success stories from this year’s Free Weekend include Stirling Castle with  10,418 visitors, Linlithgow Palace with 4,384, Urquhart Castle 2,884, Glasgow Cathedral 2,168, St Andrews Castle 1,865, Skara Brae 1,718 and Fort George 1,208 demonstrating the spread of popularity of Historic Scotland sites up and down the country.

Fiona Docherty, Head of Visitor Services at Historic Scotland, said:

“Our attractions across the country welcomed visitors of all ages, from all walks of life, demonstrating not only how accessible history is but also just how much the Free Weekend inspires and motivates people to either renew or take a brand new interest in the heritage on their doorsteps.”

It was a busy time for Historic Scotland staff at each of the attractions, but high numbers were managed through strong teamwork. The new visitor reception at Edinburgh Castle was successful in managing the high volume of visitors and ensuring that people didn’t have to queue for long periods of time.

Fiona continues:

“Even with high visitor numbers, we strive every year to ensure the visitor experience during the Free Weekend is as special and unique as a visit to our attractions any other day of the year.”



Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys and Skara Brae.

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

For further information

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