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Edinburgh Castle reopens after longest closure since Second World War

PA Media logoPA Media 2 days ago By Neil Pooran, PA Scotland Political Reporter
a castle on top of a stone building with Edinburgh Castle in the background: The castle reopened on Saturday (PA) © Provided by PA Media The castle reopened on Saturday (PA)

Edinburgh Castle has reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, which caused the famous fortress to shut for its longest period since the Second World War.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) reopened the doors of the ancient stronghold on Saturday, along with other historic sites like Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle.

The castle in the centre of Edinburgh has long been one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations, but capacity will be reduced and some areas will be restricted in line with social distancing rules.

Tickets must be booked in advance and face coverings will be required in the castle’s shops.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Capacity at the castle will be reduced (HES/PA) © Provided by PA Media Capacity at the castle will be reduced (HES/PA)

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, said: “Edinburgh Castle is an internationally renowned symbol of Scotland, and its reopening is an important milestone not only for our organisation, but for the country as a whole as we continue on our journey to recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has taken a significant amount of planning to reach this point, and I’m very proud of the efforts of all of our staff who have been instrumental in making these sites ready to safely welcome visitors once again.

“I’d also like to thank visitors for their patience throughout this period of uncertainty, and offer reassurance that the safety and quality of their visitor experience has been at the forefront of our preparations.”

He continued: “The tourism sector will be central to Scotland’s national recovery, and our historic attractions are a key part of that tourism offering.

“We’re also encouraging people across Scotland to visit historic sites in their local area and rediscover the rich history on their doorstep.

“We’ve already enabled access to over 200 of our unstaffed and key keeper sites across the country, and with our top three most-visited attractions set to open this weekend, we are now working to reopen a further 23 ticketed sites on a rolling basis throughout August and in to mid-September to offer access across Scotland to the heritage sites in our care.”


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