Visit Arnol Blackhouse for free

Arnol Blackhouse is one of over 40 of Scotland’s top heritage attractions that will be opening its doors for free this November.

Historic Scotland is once again offering free admission to its winter ticketed attractions including Scotland’s number one tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle, the newly refurbished renaissance palace at Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness as part of its St. Andrews ‘Visit For Free’ programme.

Visitors simply need to register in advance at a special website to download their free weekend pass which gives free access for up to two adults and three children to all ticketed Historic Scotland properties on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November.

In the Western Isles, Arnol Blackhouse is waiving its admission charges on Saturday 26th November and it is hoped that visitors old and new will take the opportunity to visit the site and enjoy stepping back in time to experience island life in years gone by.

Edinburgh Castle and St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral will also be free to walk up visitors on the 30th November to give the opportunity to view the Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny on Scotland’s national day which both reside at Edinburgh Castle.

The ‘Visit for Free’ programme is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – which celebrates three of the country’s most distinctive festivals- St. Andrews Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said; “Historic Scotland’s free admission is hugely popular with visitors and is a great way to kick start this year’s Winter Festivals campaign.

“Scotland is home to some of the most magnificent castles, abbeys and palaces in the world and this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate St. Andrew by visiting one of these sites for free.”

This year there will also be a number of costumed performances happening at the sites. This includes The Legend of St. Andrews at St. Andrews Cathedral and special events at Edinburgh Castle. Meanwhile, a Winter Festival Family Quiz is being launched at Edinburgh Castle which will run until Burns Night, whilst the Gaelic Junior Guides will be conducting two special performances on St. Andrews Day itself.

Historic Scotland is also offering the opportunity to collect stamps at each site visited over the weekend. After they have collected their fifth sticker they are eligible to enter an online competition which offers Historic Scotland membership and a chance to win a VIP trip to either Stirling or Edinburgh Castles.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism said; “We’re very pleased to open our doors for free this November.

“This year we will also be running special events at several of our sites over the weekend of the 26th and the 27th which are a great addition to the visitor experience and bring aspects of Scotland’s colourful past to life.

“Prospective visitors who want to visit at the weekend just need to ensure that they register in advance to have the opportunity of free access to some of the country’s top visitor attractions.”