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Kids Go Free - saving the pennies with Historic Scotland

29 September 2008

For the month of October, Historic Scotland is inspiring children to discover over 5,000 years of history without having to pay a single penny.

The cartoon trails that proved so popular last year return with an expanded programme. 70 Historic Scotland attractions will host 6 cartoon trails, with 36 child friendly historical illustrated characters along the way.

Rebecca Hamilton, Marketing and Media Manager at Historic Scotland said:

“Our Kids Go Free month is always very popular and offers a fun day out both for kids and adults. People are currently looking to save a few pennies and this is a great solution for the October holidays. With attractions all over Scotland, families have the chance to discover their local history or travel further afield. There are so many exciting stories to discover and our cartoon characters across the increased trail programme give kids a chance to make friends with legendary historical characters.”

From Robert the Bruce to Ungus the Pict to Mary, Queen of Scots, kids can hunt down their favourite historical legends, hiding throughout the properties.  

On completion of the trail, including a specially developed quiz sheet, all children will receive a small gift for their efforts. With a number of different trails to choose from, based on the range of properties to visit, visitors can tour a few attractions to clock up their historical character hunt.  

There will also be a grand prize draw to win a family VIP trip to Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle or Urquhart Castle. And in addition to the trails, Edinburgh and Stirling Castle will have costumed performers all through October.

Historic Scotland is providing an information service by SMS text for the event.  By texting TRAIL to 84118 you will receive information to your nearest attraction to visit with child’s admission being absolutely free.

The Historic Scotland Kids Go Free campaign runs from 1 – 31 October 2008.  From castles to abbeys to cathedrals to prehistoric settlements to palaces to the mightiest artillery fortification in Europe, there’s something to delight the imagination of children and adult alike.  


  • There will be a photo call to launch Kids Go Free at Edinburgh Castle on Monday 29 September at 10 am. You are invited to be represented.
  • We can provide questions and answers from the trails and images of the historical cartoon characters.
  • Photos and cartoon images are available on request.
  • The artist commissioned for the light-hearted artwork is 26 year old Alice Druitt who set up her own company, Gingerpaws, selling cards showing famous Edinburgh scenes as an undergraduate.  While still at university she was commissioned by Historic Scotland to create the artwork for the popular Cartoon Castles range.
  • In addition to the trails, Edinburgh and Stirling Castle will have living history performers all through October. Urquhart Castle will have performances every weekend.
  • As well as a trail at each of the sites there is also a cartoon competition where kids are invited to draw their favourite cartoon character from any of the trails available to be entered into a special gallery, with a special prize and regional runner-up prizes.
  • Historic Scotland attractions feature visitor centres, exhibitions and audio guides to tell the story of the properties, as well as cafes and shops selling quality gifts, crafts and guidebooks.
  • Historic Scotland offers great days out throughout the year with our family membership which is available from only £6 a month.
  • ‘Kids Go Free’ throughout October at Historic Scotland attractions listed below. Children must be under 16yrs and accompanied by a full paying adult (maximum of 6 children per paying adult). For further information and opening times, please visit  or text ‘TRAIL’ to 84118, or call 0131 668 8926.


Edinburgh & Lothians

Edinburgh Castle                        Castles: Royals & Nobles
Craigmillar Castle                       Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Crichton Castle                            Castles: Royals & Nobles
Linlithgow Palace                       Castles: Royals & Nobles
Blackness Castle                       Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Cairnpapple Hill                          Early Peoples
Dirleton Castle                            Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Tantallon Castle                          Castles: Royals & Nobles
Seton Collegiate                         Churches & Cathedrals

Glasgow, Clyde & Ayrshire

Glasgow Cathedral                      Churches & Cathedrals         
Bothwell Castle  Castles:            Courtiers & Servants
Crossraguel Abbey                      Abbeys & Priories
Dumbarton Castle                      Castles: Royals & Nobles
Newark Castle   Castles:            Courtiers & Servants
Rothesay Castle                          Castles: Royals & Nobles
Craignethan Castle                     Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dundonald Castle                       Castles: Courtiers & Servants

Scottish Borders                      

Melrose Abbey                             Abbeys & Priories
Smailholm Tower                       Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Hermitage Castle                       Castles: Royals & Nobles
Jedburgh Abbey                           Abbeys & Priories                
Dryburgh Abbey                            Abbeys & Priories                

Central & West

Castle Campbell                        Castles: Royals & Noble
Bonawe Iron Furnace                  Working Life
Stirling Castle                               Castles: Royals & Nobles
Doune Castle                              Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dunstaffnage Castle                   Castles: Royals & Nobles
Dunblane Cathedral                    Churches & Cathedrals
Inchmahome Priory                    Abbeys & Priories
Iona Abbey                                    Abbeys & Priories

Dumfries & Galloway   

Caerlaverock Castle                   Castles: Royals & Nobles
Threave Castle                            Castles: Royals & Nobles
Dundrennan Abbey                     Abbeys & Priories    
Sweetheart Abbey                      Abbeys & Priories
New Abbey Mill                            Working Life
MacLellan’s Castle                     Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Cardoness Castle                      Castles: Royals & Nobles
Glenluce Abbey                          Abbeys & Priories

Kingdom of Fife

St Andrews Cathedral                 Churches & Cathedrals
St Andrews Castle                     Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Aberdour Castle                          Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Aberdour Castle                          Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Dunfermline Abbey                     Abbeys & Priories

Perthshire, Kinross & Angus                                  

Arbroath Abbey                             Abbeys & Priories
Lochleven Castle                        Castles: Royals & Nobles
Huntingtower Castle                   Castles: Royals & Nobles
Huntingtower Castle                   Castles: Royals & Nobles
Edzell Castle                                Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Meigle Museum                           Early Peoples
Elcho Castle                                Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Stanley Mills                                 Working Life

North & Grampian        

Urquhart Castle                          Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Elgin Cathedral                          Churches & Cathedrals
Dallas Dhu Distillery                  Working Life
Fort George                                 Working Life
Spynie Palace                           Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Huntly Castle                             Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Corgarff Castle                           Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Balvenie Castle                          Castles: Royals & Nobles
Kildrummy Castle                      Castles: Royals & Nobles
Tolquhon Castle                           Castles: Courtiers & Servants


Maeshowe                                  Early Peoples
Skara Brae                                  Early Peoples
Bishop’s & Earl’s                       Castles: Royals & Nobles
Hackness Tower                        Working Life
Broch of Gurness                       Early Peoples


Jarlshof                                     Early Peoples

The Western Isles

Kisimul Castle                           Castles: Courtiers & Servants
Arnol Blackhouse                       Working Life


For further information

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959