Scotland’s biggest operator of visitor attractions, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), has set out its plans for the reopening of its sites as Covid restrictions ease. This will see some of Scotland’s most iconic heritage sites, including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace , reopen to the public in line with Scottish Government guidelines. Scottish castle tours can be booked online
HES is adopting a phased approach to reopen its properties, with over 70% of its free to access and ticketed properties reopening on Friday 30 April following the Scottish Government’s proposed dates for the reopening of the tourism sector and mainland Scotland moving to covid protection level 3.
This will also include access to over 200 unstaffed and key-keeper sites across Scotland where HES can provide free and safe access and where physical distancing can be readily maintained. *
HES also plans to re-open further sites across Scotland as part of a rolling programme of re-opening over the coming months.
The approach to re-opening has taken into consideration the requirements of each site as well as the regional picture to ensure that, as much as possible, HES’ reopening plans appropriately consider the circumstances in each local area, whilst providing a diverse range of experiences for visitors to enjoy.
As part of the reopening, visitors, including members, will be required to pre-book tickets online and to use contactless payment where possible; one-way systems will be implemented in some locations; and some areas of sites, such as enclosed spaces, will be closed off to visitors. Visitor numbers will also be limited for safety reasons.
Technology is also being used to tell the sites’ stories in innovative ways, with QR codes being adopted at a number of different sites.