New visitor figures show the appetite for Scottish history is stronger than ever following the pandemic

17 March 2023
The Glenfinnan Monument, copyright National Trust for Scotland
The National Trust for Scotland has commented today on the latest figures released by the Association for Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) which showed significant increases in visitors to some of its places in 2022

Glenfinnan Visitor Centre in Lochaber, Highlands, saw the largest increase with more than 380,000 visitors stopping by the site where Charles Edward Stuart II raised his standard in 1745 – an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year.

Continuing the Jacobite theme, Culloden battlefield welcomed almost 150,000 visitors in 2022, up 158% from 2021, whilst elsewhere, Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire also saw its numbers boosted with more than 148,000 visitors enjoying the beautiful castle, glorious gardens and woodland walks around the estate near Banchory, up nine per cent on 2021.

Culloden battlefield, copyright National Trust for Scotland

Pandemic recovery

Chief Executive Phil Long OBE said: “It is fantastic to see just how popular our places proved with people last year, as we all started to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic and the uncertainty that followed. It is our charity’s privilege to share Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage with everyone and these figures suggest that the Trust, its places and the experiences we offer are really valued by people. Visitors came back to us, our members stuck with us and we have been supported generously by donors too, despite the challenging times for everyone. We are very grateful for all of this support.   

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“Looking ahead in 2023, as part of our ongoing 10 year strategy, we have some exciting projects coming to fruition with the re-opening of the House of the Binns and the completion of our Corrieshalloch Gorge Gateway to Nature which will give all our supporters even more experiences to share this spring and summer.”

Other projects planned for 2023 include improving the landing area and stairs at Staffa National Nature Reserve, restoring and refurbishing Canna House, and commencing work on a project to create a new cycle path from the National Trust for Scotland’s Glencoe Visitor Centre into the heart of Glencoe National Nature Reserve. These projects are all part of Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone, the charity’s 10 year strategy which runs until its centenary in 2031.