The History of Leith

November 14, 2007

Open doors on St Andrew’s Day

More than 60 of Scotland’s top visitor attractions are to open their doors free of charge on St Andrew’s Day.

Castles, museums, gardens and abbeys – from Maeshowe on Orkney to Cardoness Castle in Dumfries and Galloway – will all take part in the initiative designed to encourage Scots and tourists alike to celebrate Scotland’s heritage and culture on November 30, the nation’s national day.

The scheme is a joint initiative between the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and the Association of Visitor Attractions (ASVA).

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said:

“St Andrews Day is a day to celebrate Scotland. Our history, shared culture and heritage belongs to us all – so I am delighted to welcome visitors from home, free of charge to so many of our favourite visitor attractions on 30 November. It’s a great deal for tourists too.

“Scotland has so much to offer and we can all learn more. There is no better day to do that than our national Saint’s day.

“Of course there’s the evening too – Scotland is a great place for a party so I’m urging Scots and tourists alike to ceilidh the night away at one of the many events around the country.

“The best of history, the best of celebrations, the best of Scotland – and everyone is welcome.”

Ms Fabiani made the announcement at the Royal College of Surgeons which is hosting ‘The Real Sherlock Holmes’ exhibition – one of the free attractions on St Andrew’s Day.

President of the Royal College of Surgeons John Orr said:

“This is a great initiative to encourage Scots and visitors to find out more about the people and ideas that have shaped Scotland’s history. A visit to Surgeons’ Hall Museum will surprise many people – it not only traces Scotland’s immense contribution to modern medicine through the great figures of Sir James Young Simpson and Joseph Lister but highlights many fascinating connections with popular culture.

“For example that the real Sherlock Holmes, was the Edinburgh surgeon, Joseph Bell, who taught Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – it’s something we should let the rest of the world in on!”

Chief Executive of ASVA Eva McDiarmid said:

“I was delighted to hear of this initiative and take it to our members where it was met with a warm response. Scotland has so many excellent and award-winning visitor attractions that go largely missed by the local community;, I hope this will encourage everyone to visit something near them on the 30th.”

Scotland’s Winter Festival runs from November, with celebrations around the country from St Andrew’s Day through to Burns Season at the end of January.


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