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Scotland's outstanding historic treasures mark World Heritage Day

17 April 2009

To coincide with World Heritage Day on Saturday, 18th April, the World Heritage Sites in the care of Historic Scotland will be hosting a range of special events.

This weekend, visitors to Scotland’s most famous historic attraction, the iconic Edinburgh Castle, will have the opportunity to join a special guided tour to find out why the castle is part of the Edinburgh Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.

The castle’s dedicated and experienced team of visitor services staff guide visitors from all over the world around the stunning stronghold every day, but on  Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th, they’ll be sharing their vast knowledge of the site and of the capital city itself to help visitors appreciate why Edinburgh Castle is recognised as such an important heritage site, rated alongside the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.

The special tours will take place every 20 mins, with details of start times advertised on site.

Visitors to The Antonine Wall - the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire - can meet a member of the Roman army in the AD 140s on Saturday at the Falkirk Wheel (10.30am to 3.30pm) and on Sunday at Bearsden Roman Bathhouse  (from 1pm to 3pm).  

He’ll be talking to them about life in the army, what it was like to be stationed so far from home, and the kinds of facilities that were afforded to a soldier of his rank.  He’ll also be talking about the lives of the people living in Scotland when the Romans arrived and why they considered it necessary to build a wall from coast to coast.

Orkney’s Skara Brae, part of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, is marking World Heritage Day with special access tours, for which there are a limited number of places still available.   

The World Heritage Site Rangers trailer will be at the site with a display and information on the World Heritage organisation, how it works on a worldwide scale, and the importance and responsibilities for Orkney as one of the 878 recognised sites.  There will also be a talk at 3pm on the ongoing conservation work within The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager Sheena Garden said: “The World Heritage Sites 
which Scotland boasts represent some of the most outstanding and important historic attractions in Western Europe, and we hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of the special World Heritage Day events on this weekend to find out more about these remarkable and truly world-class sites.”

Notes for Editors

  • The International Day for Monuments and Sites (informally known as the World Heritage Day) was created on 18th April, 1982, by ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) and later approved at the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983. This special day offers an opportunity to raise public awareness of the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability. The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) 2009 Theme is Heritage and Science.  For further information, visit the special website at

  • Edinburgh Castle, The Antonine Wall and Skara Brae are amongst over 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit: and for information on Edinburgh Castle and advance ticket purchasing visit:

  • 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. 2009 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Scottish bard, Robert Burns, and Homecoming Scotland 2009 is an events programme celebrating Scotland's heritage, culture and great contributions to the world. Visit for details.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871