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7 Jun 2023

Young explorers can access historic places for just £1

Written by Sarah Burnett
Young people holding a giant £1 coin at Edinburgh Castle
Immerse yourself in Scotland’s heritage for just £1.
Young people’s money can go further this year, thanks to an initiative between the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Historic Houses, which offers £1 entry to Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC) holders.

The initiative aims to engage younger people with Scotland’s heritage and share the stories of these fascinating places with even more visitors, supporting the commitment by each of the partners to make historic places accessible to everyone.

At a time when the country is facing a cost-of-living crisis, the scheme will allow young people to experience the benefits of engaging with Scotland’s heritage, for minimal cost. As well as enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of exploring the great outdoors and experiencing some stunning landscapes, we’re offering the opportunity to discover a new passion, through carefully designed gardens and curated collections within some of the country’s historic buildings.

With the free bus travel initiative also enabling those aged under 22 to travel across the country free of charge, there’s never been a better time for young people to get out and explore the many heritage sites Scotland has to offer.

Two young women stand at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle, smiling directly at the camera. Both hold up a Young Scot card.
Young Scot NEC holders aged 11–25 will be able to access over 600 heritage sites across the country for just £1 entry.

Throughout the year, people aged 11–25 who hold a Young Scot NEC will be able to enjoy £1 admission at dozens of National Trust for Scotland places. If you’re interested in Scotland’s wildlife, you can spot a wealth of species across the different properties protected and shared by our conservation charity, from Inveresk Lodge Garden (near Edinburgh) to Inverewe in the North West Highlands. Or, if you have an interest in Scotland’s grandest properties, you can journey to Castle Fraser, Culzean Castle or Alloa Tower, all in the care of our charity. Art lovers can revel in one of the finest art collections in the Trust’s care at Fyvie Castle, or discover Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural masterpiece at the Hill House.

A view of the Hill House, surrounded by a very large metal, chainmail structure. The view is from the garden and it is a sunny day.
The Hill House in Helensburgh is one of hundreds of properties that Young Scot card holders can visit for £1.

Last year, Crathes Castle proved the most popular National Trust for Scotland place for Young Scot NEC holders, with 468 visits. This was closely followed by the Tenement House in Glasgow, which saw 334 visitors, and Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire, which welcomed 277.

The initiative also enables access to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) full ticketed properties across the length and breadth of the country, including iconic sites such as Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Young visitors can explore island properties ranging from the Benedictine abbey on Iona to 5,000 years of history at the Neolithic village of Skara Brae in Orkney. Other participating HES sites across Scotland include those that have graced film and TV productions, such as Doune Castle and Blackness Castle.

In addition to enjoying £1 entry to all National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland sites, Young Scot NEC holders can access the following Historic Houses sites this year: Inveraray Castle, Ballindalloch Castle, Blair Castle, Hopetoun House, Cawdor Castle, Floors Castle and Drummond Castle.

Originally introduced in 2018, the initiative has seen young people across the country save hundreds of thousands of pounds in entry fees as they have enjoyed and explored Scotland’s rich heritage.

Philip Long OBE, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, said: ‘Never have initiatives like the £1 entry for Young Scot card holders been so important, as they are now. As part of our charity’s vision to deliver nature, beauty and heritage for everyone, our objective is to enable a greater number of people and communities to access our properties to enjoy all they have to offer. With this in mind and with the current cost-of-living crisis, our charity wants to make sure our places are still accessible to young people, as we know how important it is that they’re given the opportunity to engage with Scotland’s natural and built heritage.

“Our country has a wealth of beautiful places to offer. As Scotland’s largest conservation charity, we look forward to welcoming Young Scot card holders and sharing the incredible stories of our country’s past with them, while we work to conserve and protect these places for them and future generations.”
Philip Long OBE
Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland
A close-up photo of Phil Long, the Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland. He is standing in front of Kellie Castle, smiling. He wears a blue suit.

Kirsten Urquhart, Chief Executive of Young Scot, commented: ‘Supporting young people to visit remarkable historical sites using their Young Scot National Entitlement Card is a brilliant way to create opportunities so they can access positive experiences – and explore Scotland! We are therefore delighted to continue our partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Historic Houses. As young people navigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, initiatives such as £1 entry to historical sites and free bus travel for under-22s are integral to ensuring young people continue to live well, thrive and have fun.’

Read the terms and conditions for the Young Scot offer


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