Visitor number boost for Edzell Castle

Pictured is Edzell Castle
Pictured is Edzell Castle

Historic Scotland attractions across Angus have experienced bumper summer visitor numbers - including Edzell Castle.

From June to August of this year, the organisation has reported a 5.8 per cent increase number of visitors to its Angus, Perth and Kinross sites.

Edzell Castle, which is famed for it’s walled garden added by David, Lord Edzell, in 1604, welcomed 3,649 visitors between June and August - an increase of 14.9 per cent.

Other attractions that experienced increases were Elcho Castle in the Perth area which had an increase of 18.7 per cent) and Huntingtower Castle which had an increase of 27.9 per cent).

Cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “These figures illustrate the important role that heritage plays for modern day Scotland.

“The benefits are many - in terms of highlighting our diverse culture both at home and abroad - but also in terms of supporting and driving economic growth.

“All of the income generated is invested back into our rich historic environment in order to continue to provide world-class attractions for Scots and overseas visitors alike.

“As the custodians of Scotland’s rich heritage, it is important that we continue to engage with both Scots and visitors from around the world as we look forward to Scotland welcoming the world in 2014.”

Throughout the summer period, a number of trends were evident across Historic Scotland’s portfolio of properties.

This included a very strong performance by the travel trade sector, which has seen income up 41 per cent year-on-year.

In July alone, Edinburgh Castle saw an increase of 69 per cent in travel trade visits on the previous year.

Membership also continued to attract domestic visitors, at an all-time high, up seven per cent on the same period last year.

Across the agency’s 78 ticketed attractions, records were broken at flagship site Edinburgh Castle – up 26 per cent on 2012 for the period June – August. August had an increase of 35.8 per cent, more than any single month ever recorded.

Other record breakers included Linlithgow Palace – the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, with a 36 per cent increase, and St. Andrews Castle, up 9.3 per cent.

Stephen Duncan, director of commercial and tourism for Historic Scotland said: “Last year saw a flattening out of visitors due to a combination of severe weather and displacement of the travel trade.

“We had always expected 2013 to see a return to previous levels, but the summer performance has surpassed all expectations.

“We’ve broken a number of records including seeing the highest ever visitor numbers for July and August on record for Edinburgh Castle.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see patterns at Edinburgh, Scotland’s number one paid for tourism attraction, replicated at many of our other properties across our estate who enjoyed record breaking summers and substantial increases in visitors.

“As an organisation we are continuing to evolve our offering to visitors – be that through our retail, e-commerce and membership products, or investing in areas such as our award winning events programme to make history an accessible, fun and enjoyable part of people’s lives.”