Angus historic sites welcome start of new season

Restenneth Priory is just one of 300 historic sites open for the new season.
Restenneth Priory is just one of 300 historic sites open for the new season.

Historic sites across the country are opening for the new season this Saturday (April 1) and preparing to welcome visitors for a special year celebrating Scotland’s heritage.

In Angus, Restenneth Priory and Edzell Castle are just two of around 30 sites which will open their doors as castles, cairns and brochs across the country prepare for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology to get into full swing.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the public body that cares for more than 300 historic places including more than 70 Historic Scotland tourist attractions, is encouraging tourists and locals alike to get up close and personal with history in 2017.

People in Dundee and Angus can visit local sites including Restenneth Priory near Forfar, a medieval monastery and ancient Pictish site. Founded by the Augustinian order, based at Jedburgh Abbey, in the 12th century, the present structure may have been constructed on the site of an 8th century Pictish church built for King Nechtan.

More than 100 new and seasonal staff are now in post across the country, ready to welcome visitors and support a vibrant programme of events and initiatives showing that heritage is for all – including Scotland’s first Heritage Awareness Day.

Susan Loch, Head of Visitor Operations and Community Engagement at HES, said: “It’s always exciting when our seasonal sites reopen after the winter.

“With the weather starting to get warmer and the days longer, it’s the perfect time to come out and explore sites like Edzell Castle and garden, which is a beautiful statement of the prestige of its owners, the Lindsays.

“From castles to churches, and from prehistoric forts to atmospheric ruins, our historic sites are full of stories. We welcome tourists from all over the world, but we’re hoping local visitors won’t be shy about coming along for an adventure through time in Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”

The organisation has started the season with a special membership offer giving families 18 months Historic Scotland membership for the price of 12.

This gives entry to more than 70 paid-for historic attractions across the country as well as to daytime events.

Further information on opening hours, access and locations is available at