ANOTHER dozen of Scotland’s most famous historic sites will re-open over the next few weeks following the successful re-openings of Edinburgh and Stirling Castles which sold out on the first weekend after they opened.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced reopening dates for 12 ticketed sites throughout the country after the sites closed their doors in March due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Blackness Castle will re-open on Monday, August 17, followed by Inchcolm Abbey, Huntly Castle and Melrose Abbey on Wednesday, August 19, and Elgin Cathedral and Caerlaverock Castle on Friday, August 21. Tickets for these sites are now on sale..

Doune Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle and Linlithgow Palace will then re-open the following week on Wednesday August 26, followed by Skara Brae, Tantallon Castle and Glasgow Cathedral on Friday, August 28.

HES is on track to reopen a further 10 ticketed sites in September, and this will be assessed in line with Scottish Government guidance.

This latest announcement follows the successful reopening weekend for Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle – the first of HES’s ticketed sites to reopen – where tickets for Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle sold out, and 97% of tickets available for Urquhart Castle were sold.

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 some indoor areas may be closed, such as small enclosed spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Visitors can enjoy access to outdoor spaces including historic courtyards, as well as some indoor areas which will be capacity limited such as the Commendator’s House at Melrose Abbey and the Mid Tower at Blackness Castle. Tickets must also be booked online in advance.

Visitors will be asked to wear face coverings when entering any retail shops, cafes and internal enclosed spaces at sites, in line with Scottish Government guidance.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES said: “From Melrose Abbey in the Borders to Skara Brae in Orkney, we are reopening sites up and down the country, allowing visitors in most regions of Scotland to visit heritage sites in their area.

“I am very pleased that we are on track to open 23 ticketed sites by mid-September, and this is all down to the efforts of all of our staff to ensure these historic sites are ready to safely welcome visitors once again.

“We hope the reopening of these iconic sites will help to further demonstrate that Scotland’s tourism industry is open for business, and we thank everyone who has already helped kick start the tourism industry by visiting Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart castles since they reopened at the beginning of this month.”

Tickets must be booked online in advance. For more information about visiting sites once they reopen visit: