Covid Scotland: Free entry to Scotland’s historic sites offered to young people this summer
Under 16s will go free at Historic Scotland sites this summer as part of a Scottish Government effort to support wellbeing in young people impacted by the pandemic.
The ‘Get Into Summer’ campaign comes as Scotland sees a rise in “staycations” due to continuing uncertainty around foreign travel, and is designed to provide children and young people with opportunities to enjoy the best of Scotland’s heritage.
Running from June 26 until August 17, the initiative is supported by £143,000 from the Scottish Government - part of a wider £20m funding package allocated to councils and other partner organisations to help children and young people socialise, play and reconnect this summer.
Although free, places must be reserved, with tickets bookable via Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) website. All under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Commenting on the activity programme, Craig Fletcher, HES’s Head of Learning and Inclusion, said: “Children have suffered considerably during the pandemic with less opportunities to play, learn, experience and connect with others.
“So, we are delighted to be supporting the Scottish Government in its efforts to improve the wellbeing of youngsters across the country.
“Historic sites are fantastic places for inspiring creativity, letting young imaginations run wild and for children, their parents, and carers to play and learn together.
“Our online resources and targeted distribution of activity packs will also provide plenty of inspiration and fun ideas to try out at home or in your local area - so everyone can take part.’’
‘I encourage everyone to get involved’
Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Children and young people have experienced significant disruption to all aspects of their lives as a result of the pandemic.
“That is why the Scottish Government has provided funding to support children, young people, their families and carers to enjoy the summer.
“Historic Environment Scotland has created an exciting offer which will inspire imaginations and encourage a long-term interest in our culture and heritage.”
Ms Gilruth added: “I encourage everyone to get involved.”
HES has also partnered with organisations that support families and young people during the summer holidays, and hopes to deliver thousands of free ‘Playing with the Past’ activity packs to encourage imaginative play inspired by Scotland's castles.
For more information on the activities on offer and how to get involved, click here.