Historic Environment Scotland is the government body charged with looking after historic buildings in Scotland. It is roughly the Scottish equivalent of English Heritage. There are over 300 properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland, including many of the most famous and most heavily visited historic attractions, such as Stirling Castle, Melrose Abbey, Linlithgow Palace, Skara Brae, and Urquhart Castle.

The organisation used to be known simply as 'Historic Scotland', but a recent government reorganization created a new umbrella body to look after historic sites called Historic Environment Scotland, which effectively takes over from Historic Scotland.

The Historic Environment Scotland website is a real treasure trove of information; not only is there a searchable gazetteer of attractions, events, and membership details, but there is a special section on learning about heritage for schools and students, how to learn conservation skills, a selection of downloadable publications (many are free of charge), and a complete database of listed buildings in Scotland. You can even find out how to host a wedding at one of Heritage Scotland's historic properties.

Membership benefits include

  • A free members magazine published four times a year, with articles covering building conservation, history, Scottish heritage, events guide, and plenty of suggested places to visit.
  • Free entry to into a series of over 400 daytime events organized by the Trust. These include battle reenactments, historic music, jousting, and other living history-themed events.
  • Members receive 20% off purchases at Heritage Scotland shops, including discounted books, clothes, and gifts.
  • Free entry to over 70 properties, plus events at those properties
  • Gift memberships are available (actually these are quite a good deal, as the cost equates to a three-month savings).
  • Special member activities, including guided tours, lectures, lunches, and concerts.
  • Through reciprocal arrangements with other heritage organisations, Heritage Scotland members will get 50% off entry to historic properties in England, Wales, and the Isle of Man during the first year, and free entry after that (so it definitely pays to renew).

Membership information (official website).


Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SH
Tel. 0131 668 8600
Website: www.historicenvironment.scot/

Find Historic Environment Scotland properties in

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