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First Minister waives flag for free admission St Andrew's Day

29 November 2007

Scots around the world are preparing once more for celebrations to mark St Andrew’s Day and Historic Scotland will welcome everyone for free on the national day at 45 iconic attractions.

Admission charges have, in previous years, been waived on 30 November at Edinburgh Castle and St Andrews Castle and Cathedral. This year, however, in response to a Scottish Government initiative to develop St Andrew’s Day as a national day of celebration, Historic Scotland is dropping admission charges.

The 45 attractions span the length and breadth of Scotland. The national treasures flinging open their doors for free up north include Orkney’s ancient Skara Brae and Maeshowe, a traditional, fully furnished Blackhouse in the Western Isles, the mightiest artillery fortification, Fort George and the stunning Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness.

Further south, Arbroath Abbey, the superlative Castle experience of Edinburgh Castle complete with the Scottish Crown Jewels, Bothwell Castle, Scotland’s largest and finest 13th century castle, the splendid Stirling Castle which towers over some of Scotland’s most important battlefields and the day out option of Iona Abbey are included. Dunfermline Abbey, St Andrews Cathedral, the epitome of Medieval stronghold, Caerlaverock Castle, romantic Sweetheart Abbey and Melrose Abbey, the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, are some of the other ‘symbol of Scotland’ attractions with a free admission on Friday (30 November 2007).

Encouraging people to enjoy Scotland’s attractions for free on St. Andrews Day, First Minister Alex Salmond, said: “Scotland is a nation which is rich in culture and outstanding beauty, with an outstanding array of attractions. I am delighted that admission charges will be removed on Historic Scotland properties across Scotland on our national day so that we can all make the most of St. Andrews Day by celebrating and enjoying Scotland’s wonderful culture and heritage.”

St Andrew's Day website
Historic Scotland

Scottish Government

Notes for editors
·Historic Scotland operate 75 admission based visitor attractions of which 45 are included (those not open as part of the 45 are seasonal based).

·Free admission on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2007, is offered at the following Historic Scotland properties:

Dumfries & Galloway
Caerlaverock Castle, Cardoness Castle, Dundrennan Abbey, New Abbey Corn Mill, Sweetheart Abbey

The Borders
Dryburgh Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey, Smailholm Tower

Edinburgh & The Lothians
Blackness Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Dirleton Castle and Gardens, Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Tantallon Castle

Glasgow, Clyde and Ayrshire
Bothwell Castle, Craignethan Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Glasgow Cathedral, Rothesay Castle

Central and West
Argyll’s Lodging, Castle Campbell and Gardens, Doune Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle, Iona Abbey, Stirling Castle

Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline Cathedral, St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Cathedral

Perthshire, Kinross and Angus
Arbroath Abbey, Dunblane Cathedral, Huntingtower Castle

North and Grampian
Corgarff Castle, Dallas Dhu Distillery, Elgin Cathedral, Fort George, Huntly Castle, Spynie Palace, Tolquhon Castle, Urquhart Castle

The Western Isles
The Blackhouse, Arnol

The Bishop’s Palace, The Earl’s Palace, Broch of Gurness, Maeshowe, Skara Brae.

·Opening times on Friday 30 November 2007 for Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle are from 9.30am to 5pm. For all other properties listed above, opening times are from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

·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.

·Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Matthew Shelley
Historic Scotland
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8734