Incholm Abbey and Hermitage Castle among the historic sites to reopen in April

31 March 2023
Incholm Abbey © Historic Environment Scotland
Heritage attractions in Orkney, Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, among others set to welcome visitors once more as the new visitor season begins.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced that over twenty sites across the country are set to reopen to visitors throughout April and May.

The attractions, which incorporate some of Scotland’s most iconic sites, will see much loved seasonal sites open their doors once more, with other year-round sites reopening to visitors following a prioritised programme of works in the face of accelerating climate change.

From 1 April, visitors will be able to enjoy attractions like Inchcolm Abbey, which is home to well-preserved monastic buildings, Smailholm Tower, Stanley Mills, and the Meigle Museum. Also opening on this day are the prehistoric Cairnpapple Hill, Hermitage Castle, an eerie ruin central to historic power struggles, and Newark Castle, where visitors can explore 16th-century interiors.

Cairnapple Hill, copyright Historic Environment Scotland

Later in April, visitors can enjoy Spynie Palace in Moray and Tolquhon Castle in Aberdeenshire, as well as the three historic sites in Orkney – Bishops and Earls’ Palaces, Broch of Gurness, and Hackness Mortello Tower and Battery.


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In May, visitors can walk around the impressive remains of Balvenie Castle and visit the reconstructed barracks at Corgarff Castle.

Craig Mearns, Director of Operations at HES, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors to so many of our historic sites this season, with members of the public being able to explore much-loved heritage attractions across the country.

“We hope as many people as possible explore Scotland’s world-famous historic environment this spring. From castles, palaces and abbeys to museums, brochs and towers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Some partial restrictions may remain in place at some sites while the high-level masonry programme is ongoing. Booking in advance is recommended at all ticketed sites. Information about individual sites, including opening dates and times, can be found at History Awaits.