Tickets now on sale for some of top visitor attractions in Scotland

Online booking opens today (Wednesday 22 July) for three of Scotland’s most iconic castles - Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.

Tickets now on sale for some of top visitor attractions in Scotland

Article Source: Historic Environment Scotland
First Published: 22 July 2020 12:18
Updated: 22 July 2020 12:25

Online booking opens today (Wednesday 22 July) for three of Scotland’s most iconic castles as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) prepares to open the gates to Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.

The historic sites, which have been closed since 18 March following the outbreak of COVID-19, will reopen on Saturday 1 August, and will be the first Historic Scotland ticketed sites to reopen. A further 23 ticketed attractions will then reopen on a rolling basis during August through to mid-September.

Visitors will be able to enjoy access to outdoor spaces, including the grounds at all three sites opening on Saturday 1 August and the Queen Anne Gardens at Stirling Castle, as well as exploring historic locations such as the Great Hall, War Memorial and St Margaret’s Chapel at Edinburgh Castle, the Great Hall and Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle, and part of Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle.

Used by Mary Queen of Scots to host lavish banquets, the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle was completed in 1511, while the Great Hall at Stirling Castle is the largest of its kind in Scotland and was completed in 1503. Visitors to Edinburgh Castle can also enjoy seeing the firing of the One O’clock Gun.

It is anticipated that by the end of August further indoor spaces will open at all three sites, however, this will be assessed in line with Scottish Government guidance.

New safety measures have been put in place on site, with cash payments no longer being accepted for the foreseeable future, and visitors being asked to use contactless payment where possible. One-way systems will be in place in some locations, and access will be restricted to small enclosed spaces where physical distancing is not possible.

Visitors will be required to wear face coverings when entering the retail shops, in line with Scottish Government guidance. The cafés on site will be open to visitors, providing a take-away offer. Visitors to Edinburgh Castle can also enjoy tea, coffee and snacks from the Red Food Truck on the esplanade, and the ice cream van at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle will be open.

Visitor numbers will be limited for safety reasons with timed ticketing slots, and all visitors must book tickets online in advance. Contact information will also be collected from visitors when booking tickets to assist contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming Historic Scotland members, and members of the public back to Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.

“Since lockdown began – which is the first time since the Second World War that all of our visitor attractions have been closed – we have been working hard to implement new safety measures at our sites in line with Scottish Government guidance.

“We want our visitors to not only be safe, but feel safe too, whilst experiencing Scotland’s heritage sites with all they have to offer again.

“I’m sure that many of our visitors will be eager to cross the drawbridge of three of Scotland’s most iconic sites now that lockdown restrictions are easing as well as our other sites across the country which will be re-opening on a rolling basis. We’ve worked hard to get our sites ready to welcome visitors, and as before, a fun and enjoyable experience awaits to explore and discover the fascinating history within these world-renowned castles.”


HES is Scotland’s biggest operator of visitor attractions, with over 300 properties in its care. Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s top paid-for visitor attraction, and Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle the second and third most visited HES sites.

All three sites have also been approved by Visit Scotland as part of the UK-wide ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme to provide confidence for visitors, communities and tourism businesses alike as the tourism sector works towards reopening.

Ticket prices have been reduced while some indoor access is restricted and must be booked in advance. Tickets cost £15.50 for an adult, £12.40 for concession and £9.30 for a child for Edinburgh Castle; £14 for an adult, £11.20 for concession and £8.40 for a child for Stirling Castle; and £9.60 for an adult, £7.70 for concession and £5.80 for a child for Urquhart Castle.

Tickets must be purchased online from the HES, Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle websites. To book tickets, visit: www.historicreopening.scot

For information on further HES sites reopening, visit:

www.historicenvironment.scot/about-us/news/our-plans-to-reopen-heritage-sites-as-restrictions-ease


Latest Edinburgh News

Jack Arts Scotland bring the ALT D Show to the streets

Jack Arts Scotland bring the ALT D Show to the streets

Jack Arts Scotland brings the ALT-D Show to the streets, showcasing works from 83 Edinburgh College of Art graduates.

First Published: 23rd September 2020
Fore Play Crazy Golf Edinburgh Tees Off Next Month

Fore Play Crazy Golf Edinburgh Tees Off Next Month

Scotland’s top alternative night out, Fore Play Crazy Golf has announced the launch of their new pop-up venue in Edinburgh city centre.

First Published: 21st September 2020
North Edinburgh Arts secures Scottish Land Funds

North Edinburgh Arts secures Scottish Land Funds

As part of the ongoing regeneration programme around MacMillan Square, North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) has secured £156,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.

First Published: 21st September 2020
A new stylish life by the sea

A new stylish life by the sea

There’s no need to sacrifice standards when escaping the city, thanks to the new Chapter One Hair Spa at Haddington!

First Published: 21st September 2020
Edinburgh care home shortlisted for top national award

Edinburgh care home shortlisted for top national award

Care UK’s Murrayside, on South Beechwood is celebrating after making the shortlist at a national award ceremony.

First Published: 19th September 2020
BBC Debate Night calls for audience members in Edinburgh and the Lothian

BBC Debate Night calls for audience members in Edinburgh and the Lothian

BBC Debate Night is calling for audience members from Edinburgh and the Lothian to take part via Zoom on Wednesday 30th September.

First Published: 18th September 2020
Edinburgh Zoo chimps learn the ropes

Edinburgh Zoo chimps learn the ropes

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland shares adorable new photo of seven-month-old Western chimpanzee Masindi practising her climbing skills with the help of her older brother Velu.

First Published: 18th September 2020
Marathon Mum takes on biggest challenge yet, recovering from stroke

Marathon Mum takes on biggest challenge yet, recovering from stroke

Now stroke survivor Carole Fortune is determined to give back to the charity that changed her life.

First Published: 17th September 2020
A Drive In Christmas Panto is coming to Glasgow and Edinburgh this winter!

A Drive In Christmas Panto is coming to Glasgow and Edinburgh this winter!

Just when you thought your Christmas show had been cancelled, Horrible Histories comes to the rescue with their own unique take on the festive season!

First Published: 17th September 2020
The Epic Adventure of Bill and Ted continues at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni

The Epic Adventure of Bill and Ted continues at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni

One of the most legendary on-screen duos are reuniting after nearly 30 years for the third Bill and Ted film – Bill and Ted Face the Music, now showing at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni.

First Published: 16th September 2020
Rising Enquiries Prompts West Lothian Venue to Unveil New Wedding Packages

Rising Enquiries Prompts West Lothian Venue to Unveil New Wedding Packages

Macdonald Houstoun House has seen a 25% spike in enquiries after launching a series of flexible wedding packages created specially to help couples tie the knot following lockdown.

First Published: 16th September 2020
Search is on for the best home bakers in Scotland

Search is on for the best home bakers in Scotland

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant in Edinburgh has launched it's second annual search for Scotland’s finest home baker in time for the return of hit TV show, The Great British Bake Off.

First Published: 15th September 2020
A great sense of humour is the secret to a long life according to Edinburgh resident

A great sense of humour is the secret to a long life according to Edinburgh resident

A resident at an Edinburgh care home celebrated her 100th birthday and revealed the secret to living a long life is ‘A great sense of humour’.

First Published: 14th September 2020
The hunt is on for Santa to work in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

The hunt is on for Santa to work in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

In partnership with Great Grottos, suitable candidates are being called on to fill Santa’s boots in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

First Published: 14th September 2020
Vue Edinburgh Ocean provides more ways to switch off

Vue Edinburgh Ocean provides more ways to switch off

Vue Edinburgh Ocean is boasting a slate of brand new content for cinema-lovers to enjoy this week.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Dobbies welcomes award winning butcher to Edinburgh store

Dobbies welcomes award winning butcher to Edinburgh store

The UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centres, today (11 September) welcomes award-winning butchers, Walter Smith Fine Foods, to the flagship Edinburgh store.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Dobbies launches Christmas events programme with social distancing and safety at forefront

Dobbies launches Christmas events programme with social distancing and safety at forefront

With the festive season in sight, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centres, announces its Christmas events offering for 2020.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Pupils resilience artwork on display across the county

Pupils resilience artwork on display across the county

Pupils from across Midlothian have submitted more than 150 pieces of art and written work about how they coped during COVID for a new exhibition.

First Published: 11th September 2020
West Lothian supports Great British Clean up

West Lothian supports Great British Clean up

West Lothian Council is joining other organisations such as Keep Scotland Beautiful in supporting The Great British September Clean.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Grave Robbery Returns to Edinburgh

Grave Robbery Returns to Edinburgh

New grave-robbery themed ‘escape room’ set to bring a dark and intriguing period of Edinburgh’s history back to life.

First Published: 10th September 2020
Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh and Glasgow say THANK YOU to frontline workers!

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh and Glasgow say THANK YOU to frontline workers!

Hard Rock Cafes Edinburgh and Glasgow are delighted to announce an exclusive emergency services discount as a thank you to frontline workers across Scotland.

First Published: 9th September 2020
Harvey Nichols Offer Student Discount for Forth Floor Dining

Harvey Nichols Offer Student Discount for Forth Floor Dining

Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh is delighted to welcome students back to university this September with 20% off dining on the Forth Floor.

First Published: 9th September 2020
Dates announced for GlasGLOW, returning to light up the city this October!

Dates announced for GlasGLOW, returning to light up the city this October!

itison have announced that GlasGLOW will return to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens from the 29th October to the 8th November with early bird tickets on sale on the 16th September!

First Published: 9th September 2020
The Dog Ate My Homework

The Dog Ate My Homework

The Dog Ate My Homework, CBBC's BAFTA nominated comedy panel show, is back for a eighth series and they need you!

First Published: 5th August 2015
Scots crown Edinburgh Capital of Adventure

Scots crown Edinburgh Capital of Adventure

Scots crown Edinburgh ‘Capital of Adventure’, following a survey by The Scots Magazine, as it launches an interactive map to help people find the best big and wee adventures on their doorstep.

First Published: 7th September 2020
SBH Scotland are on the hunt for skydive heroes

SBH Scotland are on the hunt for skydive heroes

Come fly with us in 2021! Join Team SBH Scotland for an exhilarating Charity Skydive at Errol Airfield, Perthshire.

First Published: 7th September 2020
Kids in Museums and Walkers Books announce an exciting half term activity for families!

Kids in Museums and Walkers Books announce an exciting half term activity for families!

Kids in Museums are delighted to announce that they are once again partnering with Walker Books on an exciting half term activity for families: Where's Wally? Spooky Museum Search!

First Published: 7th September 2020
Classics, blockbusters and more on the big screen at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Ocean

Classics, blockbusters and more on the big screen at Vue Edinburgh Omni and Ocean

THIS week, film-lovers of all tastes will have something to look forward to, as Vue Edinburgh Omni and Ocean continue to bring a number of blockbuster films back to the big screen.

First Published: 4th September 2020
The SAY Award Live at the Longlist line up announced

The SAY Award Live at the Longlist line up announced

The SAY Award have today announced an outstanding line-up for this year’s Live at the Longlist event as Free Love, Kinnaris Quintet and Sacred Paws all take to the stage ahead of the 2020 reveal.

First Published: 3rd September 2020
TeamEilidh takes to the streets in virtual event

TeamEilidh takes to the streets in virtual event

Runners and walkers across Scotland will be taking to the streets this weekend (5 & 6 September) in a virtual event in support of the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust.

First Published: 2nd September 2020

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies Edinburgh
Bring your little ones along to Dobbies Edinburgh for an exciting festive experience at Santa's Grotto!
Royal Highland Show 2021
One of Scotland's most iconic events 'The Royal Highland Show' returns to the Royal Highland Centre from 17th June!
Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle - Edinburgh
Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle returns to Edinburgh from September 23rd - 26th with a wide election of plants for every budget!
EIFF and Unique Events present: Drive In Movies
Edinburgh International Film Festival and Unique Events have teamed up with Edinburgh Airport to produce a new monthly event for cinema fans throughout the rest of 2020!
Eat Out To Help Out 2
It's a September sequel to the popular Eat Out To Help Out scheme at Tigerlily, Rabble Taphouse & Grill, Indigo Yard and Montpeliers!

Popular Venues

Edinburgh Playhouse Festival Theatre Edinburgh Kings Theatre Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland Traverse Theatre