Mon 13 Jul 20
As Scotland’s biggest operator of visitor attractions, with over 300 properties in its care, HES is adopting a phased approach to reopen 70% of its free to access and ticketed properties by mid-September, during phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s route map.
On Wednesday 15 July, over 200 unstaffed and key-keeper sites across Scotland where physical distancing can be readily maintained and where free and safe access can be provided will reopen.
26 ticketed sites across Scotland will then reopen on a rolling basis with Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle reopening open on Saturday 1 August.
From August through to mid-September HES plan 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. The phased approach has taken into consideration the regional picture to ensure that, as much as possible, our reopening plans appropriately consider the circumstances in the local area.
Visitors, including members, will be required to pre-book tickets online and to use contactless payment where possible; one-way systems will be implemented in some locations; and some areas of sites, such as enclosed spaces, will be closed off to visitors. Visitor numbers will also be limited for safety reasons.
Due to the phased reopening, with the exception of Inchcolm Abbey, seasonal sites will not be opening for the 2020 season, to allow HES to focus on access for properties which are open year-round. There are over 40 seasonal sites which usually open in April and close in October.