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Scotland's finest historic attractions open free for four days to mark St Andrew's Day

22 November 2010

With St Andrew’s Day just a few days away, why not plan to celebrate Scotland’s national day with a visit to one of our country’s great historic sites?

Historic Scotland is offering the perfect incentive –  free entry to 48 outstanding heritage attractions throughout the country for four days : Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th , Monday 29th and St Andrew’s Day itself, Tuesday 30th November.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Culture and External Affairs said:  “Enjoying a visit to one of Scotland’s finest historic properties is a wonderful way to mark our country’s national day and celebrate our rich heritage and culture as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

“The offer of free admission, on the run-up to St Andrew’s Day and the 30th itself, will encourage and enable as many people as possible to do just that.  It’s a great  opportunity to enjoy a memorable day out whilst appreciating and taking pride in our nation’s rich built heritage.”

The St Andrew’s free entry offer covers a selection of leading historic attractions across the length and breadth of Scotland.

This comprises sites in Orkney and the Western Isles – Skara Brae and the Arnol Blackhouse; in the North and Grampian – including Corgarff Castle, Elgin Cathedral, Fort George and Urquhart Castle; in Perthshire, Kinross and Angus - including Arbroath Abbey, Edzell Castle, and Huntingtower Castle; in the Central and West region – including Castle Campbell, Doune Castle, Iona Abbey, and Stirling Castle; in Edinburgh and the Lothians – including Edinburgh Castle, Craigmillar Castle and Dirleton Castle; in the Glasgow and Clyde region – including Bothwell Castle, Dumbarton Castle, and Glasgow Cathedral; in Fife - including Dunfermline Palace and St Andrews Cathedral, in the Borders - including Melrose Abbey and Smailholm Tower, and in Dumfries and Galloway - including Caerlaverock Castle,  New Abbey Corn Mill, and Sweetheart Abbey.

Edinburgh Castle will also be getting in the St. Andrews spirit by turning blue for the duration of the free opening.

To find out your nearest participating attraction and details of opening times, you can text GO FREE to 84118. A complete listing of all properties included in the St Andrew’s free entry offer is also provided below. Or visit

For further information or images please contact: Paul Spence 0131 668 8731 or email

Notes for Editors

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding heritage properties in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions and most important historic sites in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For details of all sites visit: For information on Edinburgh Castle, visit: and for details on Stirling Castle, visit

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

  • St Andrew’s Day heralds the start of Scotland’s Winter Festival.  Scotland’s Winter Festivals, which also includes Hogmanay and Burns Night, is a programme of more than 60 exciting and distinctive events designed to celebrate Scotland’s contemporary and traditional culture and promote Scotland as a year round festival destination. Find out more at

  • For the past four years, Historic Scotland has opened its doors for free at a wide range of its properties as part of a special Scotland-wide St Andrew’s Day promotion in celebration of our national day.  This has proved extremely popular with visitors from this country and overseas and this year, the free entry offer has been extended to four days.

  • Historic Scotland sites open free are:
    • Arbroath Abbey
    • Arnol Blackhouse (not open on 28th November, Sunday)
    • Blackness Castle
    • Bothwell Castle
    • Caerlaverock Castle
    • Cardoness Castle*
    • Castle Campbell
    • Corgarff Castle*
    • Craigmillar Castle
    • Craignethan Castle*
    • Dallas Dhu Distillery
    • Dirleton Castle
    • Doune Castle
    • Dryburgh Abbey
    • Duff House
    • Dumbarton Castle
    • Dunblane Cathedral
    • Dunfermline Palace
    • Dundrennan Abbey*
    • Dunstaffnage Castle
    • Edinburgh Castle
    • Edzell Castle
    • Elgin Cathedral
    • Fort George
    • Glasgow Cathedral (normally a donation only based site without admission charges)
    • Huntingtower Castle
    • Huntly Castle
    • Iona Abbey
    • Jedburgh Abbey
    • Linlithgow Palace
    • Maeshowe Visitor Centre
    • Melrose Abbey
    • New Abbey Corn Mill
    • Rothesay Castle
    • Skara Brae
    • Smailholm Tower*
    • Spynie Palace*
    • St Andrews Castle
    • St Andrews Cathedral
    • St Vigeans
    • Stanley Mills
    • Stirling Castle
    • Sweetheart Abbey
    • Tantallon Castle
    • Tolquhon Castle*
    • Trinity House
    • Urquhart Castle

Opening times for Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle are from 9.30am to 5pm. For all other properties listed above, opening times are from 9.30am to 4.30pm. For further information visit

* these properties are only open on the 27th and 28th November, as they are only open at weekends during the winter season; Cardoness Castle, Corgarff Castle, Criagnethan Castle, Dundrennan Abbey, Smailholm Tower and Spynie Palace and Tolquhoun Castle

For further information

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