Rise in visitor numbers to historic sites

Historic Environment Scotland properties in Dumfries and Galloway see 41% rise

Caerlaverock Castle, Cardoness Castle and New Abbey Corn Mill are among sites of historic interest in Dumfries and Galloway that have seen an overall rise in visitor numbers of 41% between April and July 2017.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) look after 37 properties in the region, eight of which are staffed sites, and have welcomed nearly 43,000 visitors in the first four months of the financial year.

As part of HES broader activity around the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, a two day event, ‘Spectacular Jousting’, took place at Caelaverock Castle in July which attracted 3,686 visitors across the weekend. This is the first time the event has taken place at the site in 10 years.

Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop visited Caerlaverock Castle to announce the figures as part of a tour of Dumfries and Galloway.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Dumfries and Galloway’s historic environment acts as a magnet for tourists drawn to these exceptional places.

“This year we celebrate the richness of Scotland's history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology, which, as these figures show are a real attraction in the modern world.

“As custodians of these prized sites, HES has an impressive programme of maintenance, restoration and promotional activity that are vital to ensure these historically important sites are available for generations to come.

“We want to support businesses involved in our tourism industry to make the most of the opportunities these sites create, ensuring they are sustainable and make a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at HES, who manage over 300 Historic Scotland visitor attractions, said:

“We’re delighted to have experienced this overall increase in visitor numbers to our heritage attractions in Dumfries and Galloway, as we continue to celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“We are committed to investing in our properties as they are vital contributors to the local economy, while continuing to draw visitors from around the world who are fascinated to learn more about Scotland’s rich history and heritage.”

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