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Edinburgh Castle enjoys best ever July visitor numbers

10 August 2011

Edinburgh Castle attracted 203,940 visitors in July this year, breaking its all-time figures since records began.

This is a 19% increase compared with July last year.   The best day was Tuesday 19th July, with 8,128 visitors.  This is the first time in three years that there have been more than 8,000 visitors in a day.   

The increase in visitor figures has continued into August with 47,443 tickets sold in the first week of the month, a 10.45%  increase over the same week last year.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:  “This is very welcome news.  Edinburgh Castle is a global icon as well as Scotland’s number one tourist attraction and it continues to draw increasing numbers of visitors from around the world.  

“Our heritage assets have a very important part to play in Scotland’s economy and it is even more impressive that this is happening in a continuing challenging economic climate. With the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Tattoo in full-swing, Edinburgh is a hub of cultural activity and a fascinating city to explore all year round.”   

Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle added: “We are very pleased to see that our Travel Trade products, such as Explorer Pass tickets have increased by 90 per cent, web ticket sales have grown by 65 per cent and trade business is up by 45 per cent. We have also seen growth in Lothian Bus Ticket visitors, Royal Edinburgh Ticket Holders and Scottish Heritage Pass users.  

“Our summer programme which started in July with daily costumed performances giving a taste of different parts of our fascinating history has proved very popular with visitors. The performances are entertaining as well as educational and are great fun for children and adults alike.”  

“We are also delighted Edinburgh Castle has just been short-listed for the British Travel Awards best UK Heritage Attraction – people can vote for Edinburgh Castle online at our website, www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk  until 30th September.

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.



For further information


Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk