Melrose Abbey has been declared world class and one of Scotland’s best visitor attractions. Independent quality assurance inspectors from VisitScotland have awarded it the coveted five-star status after examining every aspect of the visitor experience. This means the three staffed Borders Abbeys cared for by Historic Scotland, and Smailholm Tower, are all now five-star attractions. Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Michael Russell, said: “You can’t get better than five star, so this is a brilliant achievement by the staff at Melrose. It now means that all Historic Scotland paid attractions in the Borders are of five star status. All the staff at the attractions have worked very hard to get and to keep this level of quality across the region. This is a great achievement for the staff locally, for the heritage agency overall and something we can be very proud of.”
“Melrose Abbey has a lot to celebrate this year as its visitor figures for the year so far have jumped by 15.6% compared to 2008 – an absolutely tremendous performance.”
Between April and the end of August the abbey attracted 33,558 visitors compared to 29,025. Historic Scotland had a campaign earlier this year which offered a special price for membership especially for the Year of Homecoming 2009. The campaign proved an enormous success due, the agency believe, to many people having “staycations ” – staying at home for holidays – and looking for value for money family days out. Melrose Abbey may be benefiting from this extra emphasis on value from families suffering from the credit crunch.
The abbey had previously been a four-star attraction, but it has improved its rating thanks to the introduction of new and more modern information boards, material and information for visitors. VisitScotland has operated a quality assurance inspection scheme for visitor attractions since 1995. The scheme gives an independent quality assurance award and incorporates the inspection of properties for Thistle tourist signposting. There are five quality grades for the standard of facilities and services following the assessment of the appropriate areas.
Historic Scotland is one of the two main organisations which run Scotland’s castles and historic Scotland , the other one being the National Trust for Scotland . HS is a government agency which has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the top tourist attractions in Scotland, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places
Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment. Historic Scotland has been a major supporter of the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.
Private tours Lallybroch
Private tours Edinburgh offer a wide range of tours of Scotland’s castles , film locations and landscapes – visit Outlander , Monty Python and Game of Thrones film locations.Phone 07305-294773 for bookings .
This tour visits Lallybroch Castle, Blackness Castle ( Fort William ) and Linlithgow Palace ( Wentworth Prison )
Tours start at 10 am . Our private group tours take up to four people to three Outlander filming locations. We also offer bespoke private tours with the option of choosing your own itinerary .
Tours start from locations in Edinburgh or Glasgow .
Normal pickup point is Edinburgh/ Glasgow city centre , your hotel or the airport .
Other pickup points can be arranged .
- Lallybroch – Midhope Castle, ancestral home of Jamie Fraser
- Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison
- Blackness Castle
- half day Outlander tour
- Take in unique views of three historic castles featured in Outlander
- Small private group tour with up to of four people
- The Kelpies are the largest equine sculptures in the world.
- Private tours of Falkirk’s greatest attractions
- Falkirk tours available five days a week .
Doune Castle tours , Doune featured in Monty Python , Game of Thrones , the Outlaw King and Outlander .
Outlander tours , tour the real film locations used in Outlander, including Lallybroch and Castle Leoch
Kelpies tours, visit the amazing 30 metre high Kelpies in Falkirk
Falkirk tours and transfers, visit the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel, two unique attractions connected by the Union Canal.
Book your Taxi from Linlithgow to Midhope Castle / Lallybroch on 0800-6190575 . Pickup from Linlithgow railway station or the High Street .
Mary Queen of Scots Tours phone 07305-294773