The visitor numbers for Leading Visitor Attractions in 2019 are now available. Properties managed by Historic Environment Scotland attracted over 5 million visitors in 2019. Top of the list is Edinburgh Castle with 2.2 million visitors, followed by Stirling Castle (609,000), Urquhart Castle (547,000) and Glasgow Cathedral (537,000). Skara Brae on Orkney received over 115,000 visitors, no doubt reflecting the presence of cruise ships.
The top six sites attract over 4 million visitors in 2019.
Historic Environment Scotland has released details of its plans to re-open the heritage sites in its care during August and September. From 15 July this includes the grounds of Caerlaverock, Doune and Dundonald Castles.
The construction of roads transformed the landscape of Britain. Yet only a limited number of fragments have been placed in State Guardianship. One of the most dramatic sections is a stretch that crosses Wheeldale Moor in North Yorkshire.
The Outlander series of books and TV series is having an impact on visitor numbers at heritage sites in Scotland (“Outlander tourism effect a ‘double edged sword’“, BBC News 15 February 2020). Doune Castle is reported to have a 200 per cent increase, rising from 38,000 in 2013 to 142,000 in 2008. It is now the fifth most popular Historic Environment Scotland site.
Culloden, managed by the National Trust for Scotland, has also seen a large increase in visitor numbers to over 213,000 in 2018.
The combined guidebook for Cardoness and Carsluith Castles was published in 1996. It was prepared by Doreen Grove. Cardoness has sections on the story, short tour, and architecture of the castle; Carsluith just has two sections, the story and the architecture.
The revised guide was by Adrian Cox and Doreen Grove. There is some overlap, e.g. ‘The story of Cardoness Castle’ and ‘The Lordship of Cardoness’; the McCullochs of Cardoness. Some of the themes are continued, e.g. ‘The castle as a defence’, and ‘The castle as a residence’.