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Visitors flock to Urquhart Castle during the festive season

7 January 2011

Visitors have flocked to Urquhart Castle over the Christmas and New Year period.

Admission figures between 24th December and 4th January, saw a 49% increase in visitor numbers compared to the same period last year. Numbers were highest on the 2nd January as visitors took the opportunity to take in the site after the New Year celebrations.

The figures round off an impressive twelve months for the heritage sector with Historic Scotland, who run the castle and another 77 attractions across Scotland recently announcing their best April - September on record.

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 Urquhart Castle.

“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 castle, which played a key role in the wars of independence, 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 castle 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 continued to performed extremely well over the festive season.

“We held a number of events at the castle as part of the Loch Ness Hogmanay Festival which proved popular with locals and visitors alike, and have enjoyed a very successful season to date which we hope to build on moving forward.”


NOTES FOR EDITORS

  • 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: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places. 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
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk