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Minister to visit Fort George

19 June 2009

Scottish Government Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Michael Russell, is to visit Fort George to meet staff and find out more about tourism in the area.

The fort is one of the many important parts of the nation’s built heritage in the care of Historic Scotland. It is one of Historic Scotland’s top ten visitor attractions and welcomes around 61,000 visitors a year. Fort George is a key part of the area’s tourism industry. Historic Scotland works closely with partners such as Destination Loch Ness and the National Trust for Scotland to promote tourism throughout the region.

Fort George is also a hub of conservation activity for Historic Scotland. Work is currently taking place to protect the sea walls from damage by the action of the waves.

The fort is a four-star visitor attraction where Historic Scotland regularly stages events, from the small to the large-scale, for visitors.  A typical event forthcoming will be that of the weekend of 1 and 2 August when there will be the Forces at the Fort event which starts with a pipe band, followed by a parachute drop by the Golden Lions display team. The event is just one of many being put on by Historic Scotland as part of the 2009 Year of Homecoming celebrations of Scottish culture.

Michael Russell said: “I am very much looking forward to visiting the fort and meeting the team from Historic Scotland who care for this enormously important part of Scotland’s heritage.
“The tourism industry is of tremendous importance to this part of the country and Fort George is one of its cornerstones, helping attract visitors from around the world.
“I am also particularly interested to find out more about the highly skilled conservation and maintenance work which takes place there, keeping the fort in superb condition for future generations.”

The conservation challenges at the fort are considerable, as it was built on the edge of the Moray Firth, exposing it to the full force of wind and waves.

Fort George was built in the aftermath of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie by government forces at Culloden in 1746 in order to try to prevent future Jacobite risings. By the time of its completion in 1769 the Highlands were relatively peaceful and its defences were never put to the test. As such it has remained intact and is one of the finest examples of an 18th-century artillery fortification in Europe.


Notes for Editors

Forces at the Fort is a chance to experience 250 years of military life. Find out how soldiers were recruited in the 18th century, what life was like in the First World War and see vehicles from World War II. The event is 12.30-4.30 each day, with tickets costing £7 for adults, £5.75 for concessions and £3.50 for children. There is a 10% discount for online bookings at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shop.

  • Fort George is six miles west of Nairn and 11 miles north-east of Inverness off the A96.
  • A series of projects have taken place recently to enhance the visitor experience at Fort George, including improved signage and the introduction of a new orientation guide.
  • 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. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places
  • 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. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/homecoming


For further information


Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
rebecca.hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk