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Edinburgh Castle retains position as Scotland's number one paid for visitor attraction

25 February 2010

Over a million annual visitors hit Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has retained its position as the number one paid for visitor attraction in Scotland according to figures released today (Tuesday 23 February).

The castle saw 1,196,481 visitors through its door, a 6 per cent increase on this time last year.

Historic Scotland, which runs the property on behalf of Scottish Ministers, returned figures for three of its properties- Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.

Visitor increases were mirrored at Stirling and Urquhart which recorded visitor numbers of 383,293 and 282,203, an increase of 2% and 4% respectively. Stirling Castle is currently undergoing a major refurbishment of the Royal Palace. Due to open in Easter 2011, this interactive attraction will bring to life the royal palace of James V, returning it to how it may have looked in its mid-16th century heyday.

The statistics have been produced for the annual survey by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).

Stephen Duncan, Head of Visitor Services and Business Development at Historic Scotland said;

“The tourism industry has proven to be resilient despite the current challenges facing the global economy and Scotland remains an attractive destination to both domestic and overseas visitors- as illustrated by these figures.

“Factors such as the strength of the euro and the increased number of flight routes from European destinations have certainly been key factors in generating overseas visitors.

“However aside from that it’s important to us that we offer visitors value for money and the highest quality service. In the past year our visitor service has been highly praised as we have continued to run price promotions, free weekends and various ticketing options across our sites.

“We were also a key partner in Homecoming, and offered visitors 18 months membership for the price of 12 which was well subscribed and ran a number of large scale events across our portfolio to enhance the visitor experience.

“Moving forward, we are aware of the continued challenges but feel optimistic about the year ahead”.

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858