Thursday, 26 March 2015

Historic Scotland properties opening this April

From Historic Scotland (

Historic sites’ doors spring open for visitors

One of the Lothian’s most well-known historical sites will re-open its doors next month (1 April).

Crichton Castle, near Pathhead in Midlothian, is one of over 30 Historic Scotland properties across Scotland that will be reopening to the public after the winter months.

Built as the lordly residence of the Crichtons and later home to the earls of Bothwell, the castle is notable for its stunning 16th century courtyard facade.

Across the country, Historic Scotland’s seasonal staff are back at their posts and ready to welcome visitors, from Kisimul Castle in the Western Isles, known as the ‘Castle on the Sea’, to Smailholm Tower in the Borders.

Susan Loch, Head of Visitor Operations and Community Engagement at Historic Scotland said: “Our seasonal sites include castles, abbeys, churches and museums and it’s always exciting when they reopen after the long winter months. With longer days and warmer weather, spring is the perfect time to explore properties such as Crichton Castle and take advantage of the truly stunning sites we have across Scotland. No matter where you are in Scotland, history is never too far away.”

Properties opening on Wednesday 1 April include:
  • Lochleven Castle, near Kinross, where Mary Queen of Scots had the most traumatic year of her life – imprisoned and forced to abdicate, she managed to escape after a year of being held there
  • Hermitage Castle in the Borders, with its history of intrigue, murders, trysts, torture, and treason.
  • Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling, once where Robert the Bruce held his parliament, now accessed across a field (watch out for roaming cattle)
  • Kinnaird Head Castle Lighthouse and Museum, Fraserburgh, which is still in working order and offers a challenging climb

For further information on opening hours, access and locations, visit:

(With thanks to Grant Thomson)


For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at

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