Historic Environment Scotland which manages key historical sites across Scotland and in Orkney like Skara Brae will be phasing in the opening up of some of the properties in its care. Others will remain closed for the duration of 2020.
Starting on Wednesday 15th of July over 200 unstaffed sites including the grounds of Doune Castle, Caerlaverock Castle and Dundonald Castle,will be open to the public where safe physical distancing can be maintained.
Saturday 1st of August will see the opening up of Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle on a limited basis.
From late August and up to mid September, 23 more sites will re-open. This is when Skara Brae will re-open.
Sites will limit visitor capacity to 30%.
The full list is:
- Aberdour Castle
- Arbroath Abbey & Abbott’s House
- Blackness Castle
- Caerlaverock Castle
- Craigmillar Castle
- Dirleton Castle
- Doune Castle
- Dryburgh Abbey
- Dumbarton Castle
- Dunblane Cathedral
- Dunstaffnage Castle
- Elgin Cathedral
- Fort George
- Glasgow Cathedral
- Huntly Castle
- Inchcolm Abbey
- Jedburgh Abbey
- Linlithgow Palace & Peel
- Melrose Abbey
- Skara Brae
- St Andrews Castle
- St Andrews Cathedral
- Tantallon Castle
Anyone wishing to visit the properties will have to pre-book online and use contactless payment. This includes members.
On some sites there will be one-way systems and limited access.
There will be no educational visits and no guided tours by HES staff. Tour operators who visit sites will have to ensure they comply with all the health and safety measures.
40 sites across Scotland which only open seasonally (from April to October) will not re-open in 2020. They will stay closed.
Numbers at sites that are re-opening will be limited to 30%. There will be no commercial filming permitted on sites without pre-approval. There will also be none of the usual summer events like jousting. All of these restrictions will be reviewed.
HES has also published the minimum operating standards for their sites.