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Edinburgh and the Lothian’s historic sites set for extended season

Posted: 18th September 2017

Some of the best-loved historic attractions in Edinburgh and the Lothians will be keeping their doors open for longer this year as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) announced extended seasonal opening at sites across the region.

As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, summer-only sites – including three in the region – will be welcoming visitors 7 days a week until 31st October 2017.

Visitors will have further opportunity to explore Cairnpapple Hill, a magnificent henge monument situated in the Bathgate Hills; Crichton Castle, one of the oldest tower-houses in Scotland dating from the 14th century; and Seton Collegiate Church, one of the finest medieval collegiate churches in Scotland.

Craigmillar Castle, known as Edinburgh’s ‘other castle’, and Blackness Castle, a mighty fortress on the Firth of Forth, will also remain open for 7 days throughout October.

The extended season will also form part of the celebration of Scotland’s first-ever Heritage Awareness Day, which takes place on Friday 6th October. Shining a spotlight on heritage throughout the country, Heritage Awareness Day is an opportunity for people across Scotland to share and celebrate heritage in all its different forms.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “After a fantastic season so far, I’m pleased to announce that we are able to extend opening at over 50 of our seasonal sites.

“Extending the season until 31st October will allow visitors to enjoy our sites for longer as we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“It is also a special way to mark our first Heritage Awareness Day, and I hope visitors will take the opportunity to spend 6th October exploring the country’s history and heritage at one of our sites.

“We continue to see increased numbers of visitors to our sites, demonstrating the enduring appeal and value of historic attractions, and their importance for Scotland’s wider tourism sector.

“This strong showing is also testament to the efforts of our staff, and I’d like to thank them for the great work they do in bringing our sites to life for visitors.”

HES, who manage over 70 Historic Scotland tourist attractions, welcomed record-breaking footfall at the beginning of 2017 with over 4m visitors flocking to the country’s historic sites – the first time that milestone had been reached in a single financial year.

Full details of the extended seasonal openings can be found at

For more information about Heritage Awareness Day and how you can get involved, visit Join in the conversation on Twitter by following @HistEnvScot and #heritageday17.

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