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Historic Environment Scotland has announced a phased approach to reopen 70 per cent of its free-to-access and ticketed properties by mid-September. Unique venue, Edinburgh Castle, will be one of the first sites to reopen when doors open on Saturday 1 August.

Exterior access to Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles will be open from 1 August, as well as 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 3 sites, however this will be assessed in line with Scottish Government guidance.

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.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said:

“At the forefront of our planning is the safety of our staff and visitors, whilst being able to reopen for the tourist season by gradually enabling safe access to our properties and facilities in line with Scottish Government guidance.

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our sites. There will of course be some initial changes including managing visitor numbers at certain sites, as well as restricting access to specific locations, but we can assure visitors of a warm welcome as always.”

A list of the ticketed sites proposed for reopening in August and September can be found on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

For more information on reopening plans, please visit the venue website.