Skara Brae Continues to Break Visitor Records

104,224 visitors went through the doors of the Skara Brae centre between April and September of this year. The pay for site is ranked as the 4th highest earners run by Historic Environment Scotland.

Skara Brae

Skara Brae (photo F Grahame)

The figures for the whole of Scotland April – September are:

  1. Edinburgh Castle – 1,433,896
  2. Stirling Castle – 430,405
  3. Urquhart Castle – 405,388
  4. Skara Brae – 104,224
  5. Doune Castle – 96,497
  6. St Andrew’s Castle – 71,763
  7. Linlithgow Palace – 66,860
  8. Fort George – 62,301
  9. Iona Abbey – 61,531
  10. Melrose Abbey – 49,962

August 2017 saw over 870,000 visitors flocking to Scotland’s pay for historic sites, making it the busiest individual month ever recorded. For the period of April to September it saw a rise of 20% compared to the same time last year.

Whilst these are figures for sites that you pay a fee to enter, in Orkney, sites like the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness have no official figures as these places are free. The roads , parking area at the Stones of Stenness and the wear and tear underfoot at the Ring of Brodgar (despite the costly drainage works) indicate that the huge numbers of visitors is having a negative impact on these sites.

Easy access has enabled the popularity of the above sites to continue to surge but you only need to step a mere few meters away to escape the crowds and yet still experience the wonders of Orkney’s Neolithic World Heritage sites.

Barnhouse Village

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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