Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries
So yesterday an email from Historic Scotland dropped into my inbox, announcing that the ticket ballot had opened for free admission for the St Andrew's weekend (the last weekend in November). Since I'm off this week and actually read the email at the time of receiving it, I decided that I was going to get right in there first and take advantage.

Last year the fella wanted to go to Linlithgow Palace but we hadn't known about it until the last minute so it was too late to get tickets for it. This time I was able to get those elusive tickets, as well as ones for nearby Blackness Castle.

If you are a fan of castles but are sometimes put off by having to pay to get into them, this is a good opportunity to try them before you buy, so why not go onto the website and see what's available? You need to choose what day of that weekend you want to go, then provide your details... and if the day and relevant castle is available, the ticket will be sent to your email inbox. You then just print out and take it along on the day, where it's scanned at the cash desk to allow you your free entry. Simples!

Last year we visited the dramatic Doune Castle near Stirling, the prettily named Sweetheart Abbey down in Dumfrieshire, and - my personal favourite - the charming little ruin of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries . . . which I blogged about here previously. I'd recommend those, and I notice you can also get access to many other castles in further flung areas like Urquhart Castle up at Loch Ness... or even up on Orkney! (Transport obviously not included)

If you go to this website you can have a look at what's available and pop them in your shopping basket! I recommend doing this in one go if you're wanting to go to more than one castle as the website is quite slow and it's a bit of a long-winded laborious process to apply for the tickets!

One final thing . . . I know you're getting free access and all, but it might be nice to spend a bit of money on the site, just to give something back, or make a donation if that option is available. Just to keep the site. There's usually a gift shop, after all! And who doesn't like shopping?

By the way, once again this is not actually a sponsored post - I just think it's a really nice opportunity to plan a wee weekend around some attractions that you might not get to otherwise, and the only expense will be whatever transportation you use. You have until the 27th November to apply for tickets but I'd recommend you get in there quickly!

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