MAJOR Scottish sites of historical interest are set to open their doors to visitors once more this April.

A 4000-year-old cairn, the tower which inspired Sir Walter Scott and the former home to Scottish engineer James Watt, are among the historic sites that will be reopening across Scotland for the Spring and Summer. 

Historic Environment reopened over 70% of its estate last year, however, some of the sites had remained closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Reopening these sites means that visitors will once again be able to take a peek behind their doors. 

Take a look below to see just some of the sites set to open their doors once more …

The National: Image credit: Ben Mason

Lying in the Bathgate Hills, this neolithic ceremonial site was a significant site for ceremonies and burials for at least 4000 years. Its henge dates from about 3800 BC. Visitors can stroll to the summit of the hill, and take in awe-inspiring views across the Forth Valley. Reopening date: April 1.

The National:
Take a visit to the isolated tower house which inspired Sir Walter Scott. The four-story tower house remains roofed and floored. Over the border in Northumberland, visitors can spot Bamburgh Castle from the battlements. Reopening date: April 1.

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The largest surviving medieval bishop’s house in Scotland, the Spynie Palace was residence of the bishops of Moray for 500 years. Royalty often used the palace as a guesthouse during their travels. Reopening date: April 3.
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Known as the “guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain”, this isolated castle, located in the midst of Scottish wilderness, is steeped in history and intrigue. The castle was targeted for 400 years for its role in controlling the Scottish Middle March. Reopening date: April 19.

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Founded by David I in the 1100s, this high tower and remains of the medieval headquarters of Scotland’s Knights Hospitaller is rich in wonder. Here, pilgrims visiting the Holy Land were sheltered and protected. Reopening date: April 19.
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With over 4000 years of human settlement to its name, Neolithic people first settled at this Shetland site around 2700 BC. It remained in use until AD 1600s. Visitors can see the Iron Age broch and wheelhouses at the site’s location overlooking the West Voe of Sumburgh. Reopening date: April 21.
The National: Image credit: Scotland by Camera

From occupying Romans to the Industrial Revolution, this house is steeped in 2000 years of history. It is credited as the birthplace of the improved steam engine - Scots engineer James Watt developed his first engine here in the 1700s. Reopening date: April 24.