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A passport to great family days out

27 May 2010

A family getting ready for the Family Challenge

Historic Scotland has launched a Family Challenge to encourage Scottish families to see how many of its outstanding heritage attractions they can visit by 16th July.  

The Family Challenge is part of the current ‘Make Your Own History’ campaign which promotes the opportunities for great family days out at Historic Scotland  attractions throughout the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles.  

‘Make Your Own History’ kicked off on 26th March and runs to 11th July.  It offers a special incentive of three months’ free membership – 15 months for the price of 12.  A year’s free entry for all the family to Historic Scotland’s 78 paid attractions already costs less than £7 a month so the current offer means that membership is exceptional value.

Head of Marketing Jenny Hess says: “We’re setting families a challenge to see how many different Historic Scotland attractions they can visit by 16th July, so it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the three months’ free offer before it closes - and get out and about to enjoy family days out at our superb historic attractions.”

To take part in the Family Challenge, families need to download a ‘passport’ from the ‘Make Your Own History’ microsite,  They then have to get their passport stamped at each Historic Scotland site they visit by 16th July.  After the deadline, they have to send their stamped passport to Historic Scotland to show the number of sites they’ve visited.  A winner will then be selected to win a special prize – a VIP family experience at one of Historic Scotland’s top castles.

Through the microsite, families are also encouraged to post photos from their visits on Flickr and record details of their experiences on Facebook.

Feedback from families who have already taken advantage of the three months’ free offer to become Historic Scotland members has been extremely positive.  Comments received on their reasons for joining include: “Fun days out that won’t break the bank”,  “I can’t believe how much money we’re going to save this year!” and “Fabulous family value for great days out”.

And those who joined some time ago have also provided appreciative feedback. One family recently wrote to Historic Scotland to say: “We have had a family membership now for almost a year, and given the range and diversity of sites to visit - together with the enthusiasm of staff and the excellent events, especially for children – what we spent on this has been a great investment, with outstanding value for money. We now have many priceless memories and continue to look forward to many more.”

In addition to enabling free access to 78 paid attractions throughout the country – including some of Scotland’s top historic sites such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Linlithgow Palace, Skara Brae and the Border Abbeys – membership also provides free entry to a varied range of events and activities.

This weekend for example, at Caerlaverock Castle – a stunning medieval stronghold near Dumfries – there’s a spectacular two-day event, Scotland At War.  Featuring more than 130 costumed re-enactors in a packed programme highlighting the military might of Scotland’s fighting forces throughout history, it’s a great place to start the Family Challenge.


Details of the promotion can also be found at:

  • The ‘Make Your Own History’ campaign features a high-profile TV advertisement fronted by Monarch of The Glen actor Hamish Clark. Screened for the first time on 26th March, this is being aired on STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 until the end of June.  The humorous commercial shows Hamish on horseback at Edinburgh, Stirling, Doune and Blackness Castles, calling on Scots families to forego boring and mundane weekend activities and instead, to make the most of their free time by enjoying unforgettable visits to Scotland’s great historic sites.

  • In addition to the TV ad, the ‘Make Your Own History’ message is being promoted through PR, a leaflet door drop, a dedicated microsite, the websites of Historic Scotland and Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, text messaging and on-site sales. Historic Scotland is, for the first time, also using social networking sites Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook.

  • Historic Scotland has in its care some 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit:

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

For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757

Laura Cheyne
Inerim Marketing Manager
07801 820757