Historic attractions in Scotland reopening dates following the Covid-19 lockdown


09 July 2020
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Eilean Donan Castle
Find out which historic attractions around Scotland are reopening and when in our regularly updated round-up.

Please note that the information is correct at the time of writing – do check with the property before visiting and keep an eye on Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing requirements during this fast-changing situation.

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HMS Unicorn

The HMS Unicorn in Dundee reopens on 31 July. Visitors can book online or at the ticket desk on arrival. The ships is a rare survivor from the days of sail, one of the six oldest ships in the world and Scotland's only representative of the sailing navy.

National Museums Scotland

National Museums Scotland has today (29 July) announced it will be issuing tickets for National Museum of Flight on 31 July. Dates for tickets for its three other sites - National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Flight and the National War Museum - will be confirmed soon.

All visitors will be required to select a pre-booked time slot for entry and from 5-16 August, entry to the National Museum of Flight will be free.

Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye

Gardens open from 23 July, with the museum to follow in early August.

Highland museums

Gairloch Museum is open Wed-Sat, 10am to 5pm.

Other opening dates are: Highland Folk Museum, 29 July; Ullapool Museum, 1 August; Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, 4 August.

Thanks to ARCH Highland for supplying the above information.

The McManus, Dundee will reopen on 20 August. Visitors can enjoy two exhibitions:  A Love Letter to Dundee: Joseph McKenzie Photographs 1964-87 runs until 24 October 2021. Time and Tide: The Transformation of the Tay runs until 18 April 2021.

VisitScotland has announced plans to reopen its 26 iCentres around the country by the end of August. Centres already open as of 21 July are: Edinburgh, Balloch, Aviemore, Jedburgh and Aberfoyle. The second phase (27 July) will include Oban, St Andrews, Pitlochry, Portree and Ullapool, with the rest of the sites reopening by the end of August. 

VisitScotland said: 'The reopened iCentres will initially only offer an information service to visitors with the hope of reintroducing ticketing, accommodation booking and retail as soon as safe to do so.'

National Library of Scotland will reopen its reading rooms on a pre-booked basis at its George IV bridge and Causewayside buildings on 11 August, with the Kelvin Library in Glasgow due to reopen on 15 September.

V&A Dundee has announced an anticipated opening date of 27 August.

Historic Environment Scotland has today (13 Jul) confirmed when many of its most popular historic attractions will reopen. Its news release said: '

On Wednesday 15 July, HES will provide access to over 200 unstaffed and key-keeper sites across Scotland where physical distancing can be readily maintained and where HES can provide free and safe access.

26 ticketed sites across Scotland will then reopen on a rolling basis with Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle reopening on Saturday 1 August. 

From 1 August, HES will open up the external space at Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle, as well as prioritising access to interior spaces where social distancing can be easily maintained. It is anticipated that by the end of August further internal spaces will open at all three sites, however, this will be assessed in line with Scottish Government guidance.

From August through to mid-September, HES plans to re-open a further 23 key sites across Scotland on a rolling programme including Glasgow Cathedral, Fort George, St Andrews Castle and Cathedral and Skara Brae.

Scotland's Garden Scheme has announced that some of its gardens will open from 15 July, with extra safety measures in place, and further gardens opening over the coming months. You can search for a garden to visit here.

Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands reopens on 5 August. 

National Trust for Scotland properties are reopening on a rolling basis, beginning with gardens and finishing with indoor properties, with the last due to reopen in the 2021-22 visitor season. For more details click here.

Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries & Galloway has announced that its outdoor spaces and gardens are now open to the public three days a week. Entrance to the Estate is free, however tickets are required for the Gardens which are available from their website

The National Wallace Monument in Stirling has announced a phased reopening from 15 July, starting with its Legends Coffee House and visitor shop.

Royal Collection Trust has announced that Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will reopen to the public on 23 July 2020. See our report here for details.