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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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icon5 days  (Approx.)
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Overview

Build your own custom (and cost-efficient!) tour of Scotland’s best attractions with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass! With your 5-day or 14-day pass, visit castles, cathedrals, distilleries and more! Make the most of the advanced ticket entry at popular sites like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, and discounted audio tours at select venues. With free entry to more 77 attractions around the country, the Explorer Pass offers something for the whole family.
  • Choose between a 5-day or 14-day Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
  • Enjoy free entry to 78 of Scotland's top heritage attractions
  • Avoid the queues at the ticket offices at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle with your advanced ticket
  • Visit attractions all over the country including Glasgow Cathedral and Melrose Abbey
Explore the best of Scotland more affordably with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass, a 5-day or 14-day ticket to the country’s key attractions. Choose whichever duration suits your schedule and design your perfect itinerary. (Please see itinerary below for sample list of attractions.)

Each pass includes free entry to 77 sites throughout Scotland, as well as the bonus ‘Skip-the-Line’ option at busy attractions like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. With your pass, you’ll also enjoy discounts on audio tours at certain sites, and a helpful country guide that includes maps, venue information and a souvenir ‘passport’ book to have stamped. Tour the country's majestic castles and mansions to learn about Scottish royalty, discover the lifestyle of ancient Scottish clans at Skara Brae Prehistoric Village, and pop into a traditional whisky distillery for a tour and a cheeky dram to warm the belly.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Edinburgh Castle
A Historic Scotland Explorer Pass is an easy and great value way to see Scotland's historic attractions. Choose from a consecutive 5 Day or 14 Day pass to suit your schedule, and enjoy the flexibility to visit the Scottish heritage attractions that you want, at a time that suits you best. Both passes include entry to a staggering 77 attractions all around Scotland, from the Borders to the Highlands and the Islands. These castles, cathedrals, palaces, abbeys and so much more are a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland. Among them are world-famous attractions including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles and the Neolithic village of Skara Brae.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Aberdour Castle
See the large and imposing suite of buildings from the 12th to the 17th century with the grand hall-house, thought to be the oldest standing stone castle in Scotland. There is also a delightful walled garden, with scented flowers and a beehive-shaped doocot, which overlooks the Forth. Take a guided tour in summer to see all around the castle including the painted ceiling in the east range, which is a precious survival from the early 17th century. Open all year. Winter Closed Thus and Fri.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Arbroath Abbey
Arbroath Abbey is a testament to the dynamic piety of Scotland’s medieval monarchs. It was founded in 1178 by King William I ‘the Lion’ as a memorial to his childhood friend Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in 1170.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Caerlaverock Castle
With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, this awe-inspiring castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold and one of the finest castles in Scotland. Although ruined, Caerlaverock is still a substantial structure and you can explore many different features within its unique triangular ground plan. The castle's turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which brought it into the brutal cross-border conflicts and you can enjoy a fascinating siege warfare exhibition complete with reconstructions of medieval siege engines. After exploring the castle enjoy delicious home baking and freshly ground coffee in the castle's tearoom which is open during the summer and at weekends in the winter. Little adventurers will love the castle-themed adventure park and if one castle is not enough for you, you will find the foundations of another, earlier, castle visible at the end of a nature trail through the woods to the south.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Cardoness Castle
A fine example of a Scottish tower-house castle, Cardoness Castle was built in the later 15th century as the fortified residence of the McCullochs. Cardoness Castle is a well-preserved ruin where you can admire the exquisite architectural detail of this still magnificent structure, including the splendid fireplace and wall-cupboard where the family's best silverware was displayed, touch the intricate stone carvings and soak up the superb views over the beautiful Fleet Bay to the Solway Firth beyond. Open summer only
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Craigmillar Castle
The castle of Craigmillar is one of the most perfectly preserved castles in Scotland. Even today, the castle retains the character of a medieval stronghold. Building began in the early 15th century, and over the next 250 years the castle became a comfortable residence surrounded by fine gardens and pastureland. The castles history is not only closely involved with the city of Edinburgh, but plays an important part in the story of Mary Queen of Scots who fled to Craigmillar Castle following the murder of Rizzio. It was in the castle where the plot was hatched to murder Marys husband, Lord Darnley. Built round an L-plan tower house of the early 15th Century, Craigmillar was much expanded in the 15th and 16th Centuries. It is a handsome ruin, including a range of private rooms linked to the hall of the old tower. Open all year.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dallas Dhu Whisky Distillery
The now defunct distillery is a museum.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Doune Castle
Explore this 14th century courtyard castle in Doune, with a striking 100 ft high gatehouse and one of the best preserved great halls in Scotland. The formidable Doune Castle was built for the Regent Albany. The striking keep-gatehouse combines domestic quarters including the splendid Lord's Hall with its carved oak screen, musicians' gallery and double fireplace. This was used as a film location for the BBC production of Ivanhoe and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As well as being heavily featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Doune Castle was also used for the castle known as Winterfell in the pilot of the award winning TV series Game of Thrones as well as Castle Leoch in Outlander.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Duff House
A magnificent early Georgian mansion, designed by William Adam for the Earl of Fife. It is considered to be an Adam masterpiece and is one of the most important buildings in the North. The foundation stone was laid on the 11th June 1735 and the building was finished five years later, although it took over 100 years to complete the interior. Duff House is a jewel set in a stunning triangle of coast, river and parkland. There is a tea room and shop on ground-floor level, as well as temporary exhibitions by visiting artists and societies.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dumbarton Castle
Dumbarton Castle is located in the ancient capital of Scotland and is spectacularly sited on a volcanic rock overlooking the River Clyde. Conquer more than 500 steps to stand atop one of Scotland’s greatest strongholds. The iconic Rock of the Clyde has heritage as breathtaking as its views over the Clyde, Loch Lomond and Argyll. This dramatic volcanic plug, which is Dumbarton Rock, in-filled the crater of a volcano that was active 350 million years ago. The rock is well exposed and inaccessible on all sides. Click here if you want to learn more about this fascinating geological feature. Admire great examples of 18th century Georgian military architecture and stunning views from the Tower Crag. Throughout Dumbarton Castle’s long history it has been a royal residence and a fortress, and has many fascinating connections from the Vikings to the Scottish Wars of Independence. Mary Queen of Scots sailed to France from here as a child in 1548.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dunblane Cathedral
Dunblane Cathedral is a beautiful medieval church in Dunblane which dates as far back as the 12th century. Dunblane Cathedral receives high but well earned praise for a building smaller than some English parish churches, lacking the architectural flourishes and cohesion of most other cathedrals; and one which only narrowly survived the threat of demolition to make way for the railway. The tower is from the late 11th century, offset, and slightly squint on the south. Admire the Romanesque arched windows in the lower storeys, the upper stage and parapet which date from 1500, bearing the arms of Bishop Chisholm, which may originally have been freestanding. The Nave, dating back to 1240 is possibly the finest part of the cathedral. It is eight bays long, tall and narrow, with aisles and a galleried clerestory. Its principal attraction is its simple proportions, clustered shafts, and graceful clerestory windows in the west wall.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dunfermline Abbey and Palace
Admire one of Scotland's most impressive medieval interiors and most important royal sites, founded as a priory in about 1080. Robert the Bruce was buried in the medieval choir, now beneath the Abbey church of 1821. St Margaret and David I are among a number of monarchs and other royalty laid to rest here. Charles I was born in the palace that grew up alongside the abbey.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel
Visit the mighty stronghold of the ‘Kings of the Isles’ where Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald was believed to have been held in prisoner. On an immense rock overlooking the Firth of Lorn near Oban stands the remains of one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland and the former stronghold of the MacDougalls. Built around 1220 by Duncan MacDougall, the son of Earl Somerled, known also as the ‘King of the Isles’, Dunstaffnage Castle was built at the height of the battle between Scotland and Norway for control of the Hebrides and was even once besieged by Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Independence. Its formidable stone curtain still has the power to inspire awe in visitors while Dunstaffnage Chapel, concealed amongst the trees, offers a stunning example of 13th century architecture.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards and is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction. This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Elcho Castle
Elcho Castle is a handsome and complete 16th century fortified mansion with three projecting towers on the banks of the River Tay. This is a castle to explore. Parade up the grand staircase or scurry up the service stair, venture into the well-appointed kitchen and admire the views over the countryside from the high battlements. The remarkably complete house of the 1500s was the country retreat of the wealthy Wemyss family. Its orchard has been replanted with traditional varieties of apple, pear and plum and has become a haven for butterflies and wildlife. The castle still has in place original wrought iron grilles to protect the windows. The interior is complete and roofed, with remains of decorated plasterwork.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Elgin Cathedral
Elgin Cathedral, also known as the ‘Lantern of the North’ is a majestic, historic ruin situated in Elgin. Elgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, dating back to the 13th century. Elgin Cathedral has a rich history - it was badly fire damaged in 1390 following an attack by Robert III's brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, who was also known as the ‘Wolf of Badenoch’. The two towers of the West Front and the Chapter House are intact and open to the public and the climb is rewarded with magnificent views of the town of Elgin. The top of the tower has an open viewing platform with information boards highlighting the visible landmarks. The ceiling of the chapter house is considered to be one of the country’s finest octagonal structures and those with a keen eye may still see traces of gold paint.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Fort George
Fort George is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain. Following the 1746 defeat at Culloden of Bonnie Prince Charlie, George II created the ultimate defence against further Jacobite unrest. The result, Fort George, is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. Its garrison buildings, artillery defences bristling with cannon, and superb collection of arms - including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches - provide a fascinating insight into 18th century military life.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Glasgow Cathedral
The medieval Glasgow Cathedral has been in constant use for worship for over 800 years, and is of great architectural and historic interest. Highlights include one of the finest post-war collections of stained glass windows in Britain, and the ceiling in the Blackadder Aisle which was built around 1500 by Archbishop Blackadder. Cared for by Historic Scotland and open to visitors throughout the year from 9.30am except Sundays when it is open at 1pm. Recitals and special family events are a regular feature. Closing times vary seasonally.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Hermitage Castle
Soak up the eerie, powerful atmosphere of an imposing stronghold with a notorious reputation. One of the great Borders castles, Hermitage dates back to the 1300s. Look for the garrison's cesspit and seek shelter under the great arch if it rains.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Inverness Cathedral
nverness Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, is a cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church situated in the city of Inverness in Scotland close to the banks of the River Ness. It is the seat of the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, ordinary of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Jedburgh Abbey
One of the four border abbeys, Jedburgh Abbey was founded by David I in around 1138 for Augustinian canons. Explore the fascinating Jedburgh Abbey along with its visitor centre and surrounding herb garden with aromatic plants and a stone display at the west end. The church was built in the Romanesque and early Gothic styles and is remarkably complete. Jedburgh Abbey’s close location to the English border meant it was frequently targeted by invading border armies. Remains of the cloister buildings have been uncovered and finds from the excavations, including the 12th century 'Jedburgh comb' and an eighth century shrine are on display.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Jedburgh Abbey
One of the four border abbeys, Jedburgh Abbey was founded by David I in around 1138 for Augustinian canons. Explore the fascinating Jedburgh Abbey along with its visitor centre and surrounding herb garden with aromatic plants and a stone display at the west end. The church was built in the Romanesque and early Gothic styles and is remarkably complete. Jedburgh Abbey’s close location to the English border meant it was frequently targeted by invading border armies. Remains of the cloister buildings have been uncovered and finds from the excavations, including the 12th century 'Jedburgh comb' and an eighth century shrine are on display.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Linlithgow Palace
The magnificent ruin of a great Royal Palace set in its own park and beside Linlithgow Loch. A favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens from James I (1406-37) onward. Building work commissioned by James I, III, IV, V and VI can be seen. The great hall and chapel are particularly fine. James V (1512) and Mary Queen of Scots (1542) were both born here. Surfaces inside the Palace are mainly stone slabs and small cobbles in the courtyard. The ticket office, shop and courtyard are accessible to visitors with disabilities. More mobile visitors should be able to access the first floor which forms the main part of the property. Access is available to Linlithgow Loch and extensive peel (park).
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Lochleven Castle
The island fastness of Lochleven is associated with many colourful events and has been visited by countless distinguished personalities during its history. Some of those taking the boat across Loch Leven came of their own accord, including King Robert Bruce (in 1313 and 1323). Others were held prisoner within the castle's walls - such as Robert, the High Stewart, in 1369, two years before his coronation as Robert II, the first of the royal house of Stewart.But the castle will be forever associated in the memory with another Stewart sovereign, Mary Queen of Scots. She first visited in 1561 as a guest of the owner, Sir William Douglas. But her last stay, in 1567-8, was as his prisoner. It was at Lochleven that she was compelled to abdicate her throne in favour of her infant son, James VI. The castle walls held her for less than a year. In May 1568 she escaped across the loch and before that month was out she was in exile in England. She never saw her native land again. Accessed by small passenger boat. Sailings run on a shuttle basis to and from the island on demand. The trip is about ten minutes each way.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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MacLellan's Castle
Visit this impressive townhouse and discover a 16th century family home. The remains of this late 16th century house show how architecture changed from the heavily defended tower house to a new, more domestic scale. Sir Thomas MacLellan of Bombie built the castle in 1582 to function as a grand family home. Head ‘below stairs’ into the dark vaults to get a sense of the working conditions of family servants and look out for the Laird’s Lug’, a secret spy hole behind the great hall fireplace, from which the laird could eavesdrop on his guests.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Melrose Abbey
Probably the most famous ruin in Scotland, the abbey was founded by David I in 1136 for the Cistercian Order, and it was largely destroyed by Richard II's English army in 1385. The surviving remains of the church are of the early 15th century, and are of an elegance unsurpassed in Scotland. Objects found during excavation are displayed in the Commendator's House. The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig. The abbey is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Newark Castle
Built by George Maxwell in the 15th century, this elegant and still virtually intact castle was enlarged by his descendent Patrick Maxwell in the 16th century. Patrick was infamous for murdering two of his neighbours and beating his wife of 44 years who bore him 16 children. The oldest part of the castle is a tower built soon after 1478, with a gatehouse. The connecting range was added in 1597-1599 by the wicked Patrick Maxwell, in a most elegant style.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Skara Brae
The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, near the dramatic white beach of the Bay of Skaill, is one of the best preserved groups of prehistoric houses in Western Europe. Uncovered by a storm in 1850, the attraction presents a remarkable picture of life around 5,000 years ago. Visitors can experience a prehistoric village and see ancient homes fitted with stone beds, dressers and seats. A replica construction allows visitors to fully understand the interior of a prehistoric house.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Spynie Palace
Spynie Palace, also known as Spynie Castle, was the fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500 years. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Castle is the ruins of the castle of the Archbishops of St Andrews, dating in part from the 13th century. On a headland to the north of St Andrews stand the ruins of the city's castle, the main residence of the bishops and archbishops of St Andrews and the focal point of the church in medieval Scotland. Explore the underground 16th-century siege mine and counter-mine, and the 'bottle dungeon', one of the most infamous castle prisons in medieval Britain, which was cut out of the solid rock. John Knox and George Wishart may have been imprisoned in this dank and airless space, and this is where its believed Cardinal Beaton’s body was kept when he was murdered in 1546. Join ticket with St. Andrews Cathedral available
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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St Andrews Cathedral
The remains of St Andrews Cathedral, which was Scotland’s largest cathedral and most magnificent church, show how impressive it used to be. The museum houses an outstanding collection of early and later medieval sculptures and other relics found on the site, including the magnificent St Andrews Sarcophagus of Pictish date. The precinct walls are particularly well preserved. St Rule's Tower, in the precinct, is part of the first church of the Augustinian canons at St Andrews built in the early 12th century. There are splendid views from the top. Joint ticket available with St Andrews Castle
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St Serf's Church and Dupplin Cross
This picturesque parish church houses the nineth century Dupplin Cross, a masterpiece of Pictish stonework.The 9th century Dupplin Cross is one of a few complete, free standing early medieval crosses that survive in Scotland.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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St Vigeans Stones and Museum
It is hard to believe that this sleepy Angus village of St Vigeans was once the centre of a royal estate and of huge religious importance, bustling with prayerful pilgrims and monks. Admittedly, this was more than 1,000 years ago, so visitors could be forgiven for missing the evidence that is scattered around and in the walls of the late medieval church (not HS) perched on a striking 40ft mound in front of them.The most important indications of the village’s powerful past can be found, however, in two adjoining sandstone cottages along its only street. Within their walls in Historic Scotland’s museum are housed 38 carved stones, which had once stood up on the old church mound to broadcast early messages of the true Christian faith. The newly refurbished museum gives overdue recognition to the significance of the carvings. ‘The stones are among the last and very finest expressions of Pictish art, which makes them tremendously important – part of our national collection of the earliest art of Scotland. The quality of carving on some of the stones is as good as anything in Western Europe at that time. These included the Drosten Stone, a cross-slab dating from the early 800s and inscribed in both Latin and Pictish, carved on one side with a cross and on the other with figures and symbols; a house shrine; and a fragment of a huge freestanding cross. As well as their historical significance, there is much to intrigue visitors in the carvings, such as devilish imps, saintly figures and bizarre beasts. There are also vivid depictions of the everyday life of the Picts. They illustrate the reality of their world: details of contemporary costumes, riding equipment, and a crossbow man.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Stanley Mills
Stanley Mills is one the best-preserved relics of the 18th-century Industrial Revolution. It was established as a cotton mill by local merchants, with support from the English cotton baron Richard Arkwright. Textiles were produced here for 200 years.The mills were built in 1786 at a hairpin bend in the River Tay, where tremendous water-power was available. Machinery was powered initially by water wheels, and latterly by electricity generated by water-powered turbines. As the market changed and new technologies developed, buildings were added, adapted, expanded, shut down, reopened and demolished.The visitor centre tells the stories of those who worked there and the products they made. The superb interactive displays let you discover if your fingers are as nimble as a child labourer’s or compete to see if you are tough enough in business to make the mills profitable. Hear the clamour of the factory floor and see how engineers harnessed the energy of the Tay as well as the machinery that turned raw cotton into products sold around the world.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Stirling Castle
Dominating the skyline for miles around, Stirling Castle is a shining example of Renaissance architecture. Visitors can look out from its high stone walls to the battlefields of Stirling Bridge where great medieval armies clashed to decide the fate of nations. Home to generations of Scottish monarchs including, Mary Queen of Scots, the Castle is an enduring and powerful reminder of our fascinating history.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Tantallon Castle
Set on the edge of the cliffs, looking out to the Bass Rock, this formidable castle was a stronghold of the Douglas family. Ascend Tantallon’s towers for spectacular views of the Bass Rock and to watch gannets plunge into the North Sea. Then descend into the depths of a particularly grim pit prison. The castle was home to the powerful Red Douglas dynasty, which often clashed with the Crown. It was besieged by both James IV and James V but was ultimately destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in a siege of 1651. Many artefacts are displayed to help tell its dramatic stories.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Bishop's and Earl's Palaces
Step inside the spectacular ruins of two remarkable residences at the heart of Kirkwall. The medieval Bishop's Palace was built in the 1100s at about the same time as St Magnus Cathedral. King Hakon of Norway died within its walls after an indecisive battle with the Scots at Largs in 1263. In the early 1600s, the Bishop's Palace was incorporated into a refined Renaissance palace commissioned by Earl Patrick Stewart, one of Orkney's most notorious rulers. The Earl's palace was reputedly built using slave labour.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Threave Castle
Cross the River Dee by boat to visit this enchanting castle on its own island. Once the bustling base of its creator, Archibald the Grim, it is now an ideal spot for exploring, picnicking and perhaps, painting. The island is rich with wildflowers in summer; you might also see ospreys and otters hunting in the river. The castle was besieged by King James II for two months in 1455, and fell after the king bribed the garrison to surrender.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Tolquhon Castle
olquhon Castle is located in Aberdeenshire, north-east Scotland. It lies about 1.5 miles north-west of Pitmedden, and 2 miles south of Tarves. The castle was built by William Forbes, 7th Laird of Tolquhon, between 1584 and 1589 as an extension to the earlier tower house known as Preston's Tower.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Trinity House Maritime Museum
Dive into Leith’s famous maritime history. Once the base of the Incorporation of Mariners and Shipmasters, this elegant Georgian house holds an outstanding collection of maritime treasures.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
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Urquhart Castle
Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands. Climb the Grant Tower that watches over the iconic loch, peer into a miserable prison cell, said to have held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn, and imagine the splendid banquets staged in the great hall. A more comfortable view of the iconic ruins, against a backdrop of Loch Ness and the hills of the Great Glen, can be enjoyed from the café. Urquhart’s stories are also told through a remarkable collection of artefacts left by its residents, historic replicas, including a full-sized, working trebuchet siege engine, and a short film. The castle has a distinctly Highland heritage and the site has witnessed some of the most dramatic chapters in our nation’s history. This is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles in the 6th century, where acts of chivalry and defiance provided inspiration during the Wars of Independence and where the MacDonald Lords of the Isles struggled with the Crown for power.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Historic Scotland Explorer Pass?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Historic Scotland Explorer Pass.

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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
145 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
star-4
Vacation in Scotland
Mcollopy
, Jul 2019
We used it twice...saw two beautiful castles. Wanted to do more but a lot of them were too far away for us since we only used public transportation.
star-5
New pass is much better!
ViaRegina
, Jun 2019
Now they allow you to use it for 14 consecutive days for only GBP45, in the past it was only 5 consecutive days within a 14 days period. This new regulation makes visiting more flexible. Although still doesn’t allow you to revisit a place.
star-5
Well worth it
Peter J
, Jun 2019
If you take and tours or plan on visiting several castles, this is worth the money. It paid for itself before we finished the first day. super easy to collect your pass at any location.
star-5
Castles galore
Road47005505794
, Jun 2019
We bought a 5 day pass and started using it at Urquhart Castle Loch Ness on our way back from Isle of Skye to Edinburgh. There are many castles and cathedrals to visit including Fort George, Sterling and Edinburgh Castles. Allow 2 hours for each of these. Great value!
star-5
Worth the cost!
Christa T
, Jun 2019
Though it doesn't get you in to all palaces or castles it gets you into enough that it's worth the cost if you're planning on seeing several castles while in Scotland. It pays for itself after at least 3 or 4 castles/palaces.
star-5
When castle touring, this is a great...
Susan R
, Jul 2018
When castle touring, this is a great value! We did 5 castles in a day, so it was well worth it. Definitely recommend.
star-5
This was easy to redeem at Sterling...
Brandon and Michelle D
, Jun 2018
This was easy to redeem at Sterling Castle and used throughout. Work the money and having it set up ahead of time!
star-5
This pass was a wonderful way to...
Angella Colgin K
, Apr 2018
This pass was a wonderful way to explore Scotland. Great value!
star-5
Definitely worth getting. It got me...
John P
, Apr 2018
Definitely worth getting. It got me into 5 sites over the 4 days I used it, and saved me money.
star-5
Thanks for offering me to reschedule...
Lee R
, Mar 2018
Thanks for offering me to reschedule my ticket you have saved me from the beast from the East.

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