Extended tourism season for Crossraguel Abbey

Crossraguel Abbey
Crossraguel Abbey

One of Ayrshire’s best-loved historic attractions will be keeping its doors open for longer this year, as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) announced extended seasonal opening at Crossraguel Abbey.

As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the ruined but remarkably complete abbey will be welcoming visitors until 31st October 2017.

Crossraguel Abbey was founded in the early 1200s. Despite being a place of worship, the Cluniac monastery saw its fair share of conflict. The monks’ loyalty to Robert the Bruce eventually saw Crossraguel severely damaged in the Wars of Independence.

Crossraguel Abbey is one of a number of sites across the country extending its opening, which will also form part of the celebration of Scotland’s first-ever Heritage Awareness Day, which takes place on Friday 6th October. Shining a spotlight on heritage throughout the country, Heritage Awareness Day is an opportunity for people across Scotland to share and celebrate heritage in all its different forms.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “After a fantastic season so far, I’m pleased to announce that we are able to extend opening at over 50 of our sites. Extending the season until 31st October will allow visitors to enjoy our sites for longer as we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. It is also a special way to mark our first Heritage Awareness Day, and I hope visitors will take the opportunity to spend 6th October exploring one of our sites.”

“We continue to see increased numbers of visitors to our sites, demonstrating the enduring appeal and value of historic attractions, and their importance for Scotland’s wider tourism sector.

“This strong showing is also testament to the efforts of our staff, and I’d like to thank them for the great work they do in bringing our sites to life for visitors.”

HES, who manage over 70 Historic Scotland tourist attractions, welcomed record-breaking footfall at the beginning of 2017 with over 4m visitors flocking to the country’s historic sites – the first time that milestone had been reached in a single financial year.