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Following the Scottish Government's announcement our sites in mainland Scotland are currently closed. Find out more about our COVID response


Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Protecting Scotland’s historic environment, communities and our people

A leafy cliff face, Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock at sunset.

1 Overview

Following the Scottish Government's announcement that all of mainland Scotland will be moving to enhanced COVID protection level 4, all of our visitor attractions in these areas which closed at 4pm on Wednesday 23 December will continue to be closed until mid-February.

The ticketed sites affected are:

  • Aberdour Castle
  • Blackness Castle
  • Caerlaverock Castle
  • Craigmillar Castle
  • Dirleton Castle
  • Doune Castle
  • Dryburgh Abbey
  • Dumbarton Castle
  • Dunblane Cathedral
  • Dundonald Castle
  • Dunfermline Abbey
  • Dunstaffnage Castle 
  • Edinburgh Castle 
  • Elgin Cathedral
  • Fort George
  • Glasgow Cathedral 
  • Huntly Castle 
  • Jedburgh Abbey
  • Linlithgow Palace
  • Melrose Abbey
  • St Andrews Castle and Cathedral
  • Stirling Castle 
  • Tantallon Castle
  • Urquhart Castle

Any visitors with pre-booked tickets up to mid-February will be automatically refunded. Please allow up to 30 days for the funds to show on your bank statement.

We hope to be able to reopen these sites in line with Scottish Government advice when it’s safe to do so, however for now our doors (and drawbridges) will remain closed for everyone’s safety in these areas as we collectively play our part in helping to tackle this virus at such a crucial time.

Until then please check our website and social media channels for updates and take the opportunity to enjoy Scotland’s history (albeit remotely) until we’re able to welcome visitors once again.

Keep in touch

Keep up to date with our latest news via our website and social media accounts, including FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Contacting us at this time

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

2 Working with the sector

In these unprecedented and challenging times, we are working closely with the historic environment sector to develop a long term vision and better understand the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In October 2020, we launched a new £2.6 million fund to support the recovery of Scotland’s historic environment sector from the impacts of COVID-19.

Find out how to apply

We are part of the COVID-19 Historic Environment Resilience Forum, a collaborative space for partners in Scotland’s historic environment sector. Together, we will plan, coordinate, and communicate strategies and guidance for the sector to support Scotland’s national recovery.

To best support this recovery phase, we have published our Policy and Guidance for the safe reopening of historic sites, and are compiling reliable and comprehensive data on how all parts of the historic environment sector in Scotland have been affected.

In April 2020, we received hundreds of responses to our online survey from all over Scotland. The full analysis and data is now available to download.

3 Contacting us at this time

With staff working from home where possible and appropriate, many of our business functions continue to operate as normal.

In some areas response times may be slower and we have limited access to our offices to collect mail. Please contact us by phone or email where possible.

Historic Scotland Members

We appreciate the support you give us as a member especially during these challenging times. Our members make such a vital contribution to protecting our national assets including our historic sites and archives, and you play a crucial role so that current and future generations can enjoy these.

We do recognise that the current situation may lead to changes in some members personal circumstances. If you have any queries, please contact us at members@hes.scot.

Archives and Historic Environment Records

Our physical archive reopened in September with new safety measures to help keep everyone safe. Pre-booking via archives@hes.scot is essential.

Visiting the HES Archives and Library

If you aren't able to make it to the building, there are over 1 million archive records available to enjoy online at canmore.org.uk

Planning, consents and statutory consultations

We will continue to review and process applications for scheduled monument consent, statutory consultations and more. Due to the office closures, we cannot process any applications or consultations submitted by post. Email submissions are welcome.


Our grants function will aim to provide normal service as far as possible. Existing grantees should contact their nominated Grants Manager by email. For any other enquiries, please visit our Grants Coronavirus Guidance page or email grants@hes.scot

Keeping in touch

Please do keep connected via our social media channels or if you need to get in touch with a specific query you can also use the channels below: