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Visitors flock to Melrose Abbey during the festive season

7 January 2011

Visitors have flocked to Melrose Abbey over the Christmas and New Year period.

Admission figures between 24th December and 4th January saw a 13% increase in visitors compared to the same time last year. Numbers were highest on the 27th December and 3rd January as visitors took the opportunity to take in the site during the extended festive break.

The figures round off an impressive twelve months for the heritage sector with Historic Scotland, who run the abbey and another 77 attractions across Scotland recently announcing their best April - September on record. Melrose Abbey was one of the top performing sites during this period, recording an 11% increase.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs said;

“The Christmas and New Year period is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy Scotland’s stunning built heritage.

“Scotland continues to be a ‘must-see’ destination at this time of year, so it is fantastic to see this reflected in visitor numbers at Melrose Abbey.

“These figures are testament to the continued appeal of our heritage attractions and the hard work of staff to provide a world class experience. It is fantastic to end the year in such a positive position and rounds off an exceptional 12 months for the sector.”

The Abbey, which is amongst the best late 14th-century church architecture to be found in  the British Isles and is home to the chapter house where the heart of Robert Bruce is believed to be buried, has an enduring popularity with visitors and ranks amongst Historic Scotland’s top ten sites on an annual basis.

Stephen Duncan, Head of Commercial and Visitor Operations for Historic Scotland added;

“We are delighted that the abbey has enjoyed such a successful Christmas and New Year in terms of visitor numbers.

“Despite the extreme weather throughout much of December, the site has performed extremely well over the festive period, mirroring what has been a hugely successful season to date, and we hope to continue to build on this moving forward.”


  • 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: Follow us on twitter  or join our facebook page.

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

For further information

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