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Edinburgh Castle reports record breaking July

15 August 2014

visitors at Edinburgh Castle

This year Edinburgh Castle enjoyed its busiest July on record, with 223,107 visitors heading to the site over the course of the month, up five per cent year-on-year. Operated by Historic Scotland, the castle is Scotland’s number one paid-for visitor attraction, welcoming over 1.4 million visitors in 2013.

Historic Scotland – which is Scotland’s biggest operator of visitor attractions – also saw record-breaking July figures across a number of its other sites, including Stirling Castle, Skara Brae, Urquhart Castle and St Andrews Castle.

It’s been a busy summer for Historic Scotland properties with a packed programme of events – including exhibitions and performances - and the Queen’s Baton Relay visiting 25 of their sites ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Linlithgow Palace has also had a strong summer, welcoming record single-day visitor numbers for its annual Spectacular Jousting event, with over 7,000 people descending on the palace and Peel on Saturday 5 July.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “This has been an incredible summer for Scotland so far, and in the year that Scotland welcomes the world, I am delighted that Edinburgh Castle, along with a number of our most iconic historic attractions, is enjoying record-breaking visitor numbers.

“Such buoyant figures illustrate the key role that our historic environment plays in informing our rich cultural identity, attracting visitors to Scotland and supporting economic growth. The income generated by these visits is invested back into the historic environment, ensuring that it is cared for and maintained for future generations.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial & Tourism at Historic Scotland said: “Edinburgh Castle enjoyed a record-breaking July in 2013, so it’s hugely encouraging to see those impressive visitor numbers being surpassed this year.

“In the Year of Homecoming 2014 and during a summer when the eyes of the world are on the international events taking place in Scotland, it is wonderful to see that pattern reflected across a number of sites in our estate.

“As the biggest operator of visitor attractions in Scotland, we continue to invest in our visitor experience, from retail and membership products to our award-winning events programme. I am delighted that record numbers of visitors from around the globe are coming to our sites to enjoy the world-class experience we have to offer.”

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.

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

Follow Historic Scotland:
Twitter:@welovehistory ; @edinburghcastle ; @ScottishTen (#hshomecoming)
Blogs: Stirling Castle:
Edinburgh Castle:
Climate Change:

                                                            Homecoming Scotland 2014 logo linking to

For further information

Alice Wyllie, Media & PR Officer
Historic Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768 096