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Minister waives flag for free admission all weekend for St Andrews Day

26 November 2008

As Scots prepare to celebrate their national day, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture Linda Fabiani has announced free entry to Historic Scotland visitor attractions across Scotland on the last weekend of November.

Admission charges were waived at sites on 30 November 2007. This year, the heritage agency has gone one step further by opening up 45 attractions across Scotland for free on 29 and 30 November.  In line with Scottish Government initiatives, this is clear support in marking St Andrew’s Day as a national day for Scotland.

Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture Linda Fabiani said:  

“Everyone can really celebrate St Andrews Day with a full weekend of free admission at Historic Scotland attractions.  The free attractions open include some of Scotland’s most iconic and famous sites.  These properties were part of key moments in Scotland’s history and played a role in shaping the Scotland of today.  We can all make the most of St Andrew’s Day by getting out and about to these free attractions over the whole weekend.”

Some of Scotland’s most stunning heritage sites are taking part. In the north, Orkney’s ancient Skara Brae and Maeshowe will be open for free along with Britain’s mightiest artillery fortification, Fort George and the stunning Urquhart Castle. The fully furnished Blackhouse in the Western Isles will also be dropping admission charges.

Further south, the icon of Scotland Edinburgh Castle and splendid Stirling Castle are also included along with historic Dunfermline Abbey and St Andrews Cathedral. Romantic Sweetheart Abbey and medieval stronghold, Caverlaverock Castle, are also opening up for free. These are just a few of the many Historic Scotland attractions with free entry this year over the St Andrew's Day weekend.

Rebecca Hamilton, Marketing and Media Manager at Historic Scotland, said: “This is the first time we have opened all weekend for St Andrew’s Day.  As Scots, we are very good at being proud of our nation and celebrating our Scottishness.  At Historic Scotland, we have seen an 11% rise in membership over recent months - a clear indication of a loyalty to the heritage attractions we provide.  And to take advantage of Homecoming 2009, we are offering a discounted membership at the properties over the St Andrews Weekend.”

Notes to Editors

  • There will be a photo call taking place on Wednesday 26 November at 10.00 am (sharp) at Edinburgh Castle with the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture Linda Fabiani, to mark the launch of the free admission St Andrew’s Day weekend. You are invited to attended.  The Minister will be available for interviews, please request in advance.

  • Photos from the launch will be available on request. The reproduction of images in any format must bear the acknowledgement: CROWN COPYRIGHT REPRODUCED COURTESY OF HISTORIC SCOTLAND

  • Historic Scotland is also holding a series of educational workshops with local primary school classes to mark St Andrews Day from 24 to 27 November. Pupils will find out about Scotland’s amazing history and have the opportunity to take part in a hands-on workshop to discover more about Scotland’s famous flags, the Saltire and the Lion Rampant.

  • A special membership promotion will be available at sites during the St Andrews Day free weekend. Visitors will be able to take advantage of 16 months membership for the price of 12 only over the St Andrews Day weekend.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding properties in its care, spanning over 5,000 years of history including some of the country’s leading visitor attractions: Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace and Skara Brae. And of course, St Andrews Castle and St Andrews Cathedral.

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

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

  • There are 47 sites taking part in the free weekend on Saturday 29 November and Sunday 30 November including:

Dryburgh Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey, Smailholm Tower.

Central and West
Castle Campbell, Doune Castle, Dunblane Cathedral, Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel, Iona Abbey, Stirling Castle.

Dumfries and Galloway
Caerlaverock Castle, Cardoness Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel, New Abbey Corn Mill, Sweetheart Abbey.

Blackness Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Dirleton Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Tantallon Castle.

Aberdour Castle and Garden, Dunfermline Abbey, St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Cathedral.

Glasgow, Clyde and Ayrshire
Bothwell Castle, Craignethan Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Glasgow Cathedral, Rothesay Castle.

Maeshowe, Skara Brae.

Arbroath Abbey, Edzell Castle and Garden, Huntingtower Castle.

Western Isles
The Blackhouse, Arnol, Calanais Standing Stones.

For further information

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