Historic Scotland Explorer Pass

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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
from £38.50
Availablity  
Enjoy free entry to 77 of Scotland's top attractions with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass – a flexible sightseeing pass that allows you to visit the sites that interest you most. Make the most of advanced ticket entry to Scottish showstoppers such as Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, and visit lesser-known treasures including Fort George. Choose from a consecutive 5 day or 14 day pass and sightsee as you wish; both include a saving of 20 percent on an audio tour at Edinburgh or Stirling Castle as well as an information pack and souvenir passport.
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In Brief

Location:
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Country:
United Kingdom
Duration:
5 days
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Save on admission to selected attractions
Overview
Important InfoInfo
Pricing
Reviews
Visit: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG Scotland

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

Visit: Aberdour Castle, Aberdour KY3 0SL Scotland

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

Visit: Arbroath Abbey Abbey Street, Arbroath DD11 1EG Scotland

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

Visit: Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries DG1 4RU Scotland

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

Visit: Cardoness Castle, Gatehouse of Fleet DG7 2EH Scotland

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

Visit: Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh EH16 4SY Scotland

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

Visit: Dallas Dhu Whisky Distillery, South of Forres, Forres Scotland

The now defunct distillery is a museum.

Duration: 1 hour

Visit: Doune Castle, Castle Hill, Doune, Stirling FK16 6EA Scotland

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

Visit: Duff House, Banff AB45 3SX Scotland

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

Visit: Dumbarton Castle, Castle Road, Dumbarton, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park G82 1JJ Scotland

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

Visit: Dunblane Cathedral, The Cross, Dunblane FK15 0AQ Scotland

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

Visit: Dunfermline Abbey and Palace, St. Margaret Street, Dunfermline KY12 7PE Scotland

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

Visit: Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel, Lochavulin Drive, Oban PA37 1QA Scotland

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

Visit: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG Scotland

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

Visit: Elcho Castle, Rhynd, Perth PH2 8QQ Scotland

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

Visit: Elgin Cathedral King Street, Elgin IV30 1HU Scotland

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

Visit: Fort George, 11 miles off the A96, Inverness IV2 7TD Scotland

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

Visit: Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Royal Infirmary Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF Scotland

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

Visit: Hermitage Castle, Hawick TD9 0LU Scotland

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

Visit: Inverness Cathedral, 15 Ardross Street, Inverness IV3 5NS Scotland

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

Visit: Jedburgh Abbey Visitor Centre Abbey Bridge End, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ Scotland

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

Visit: Jedburgh Abbey Visitor Centre Abbey Bridge End, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ Scotland

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

Visit: Linlithgow Palace, 9 Kirkgate Sulisker, Boghall, Linlithgow EH49 7AL Scotland

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

Visit: Lochleven Castle, Pier Road, Kinross KY13 8UF Scotland

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

Visit: MacLellan's Castle, Maclellan Castle Castle Street, Kirkcudbright DG6 4JD Scotland

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

Visit: Melrose Abbey, Abbey House Abbey Street, Melrose TD6 9LG Scotland

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

Visit: Newark Castle, Castlegate, Newark-on-Trent NG24 1BG England

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

Visit: Skara Brae B9056, Stromness KW16 3LR Scotland

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

Visit: Spynie Palace A941, Elgin IV30 5QG Scotland

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

Visit: St Andrews Castle, St. Andrews Castle The Scores, St. Andrews KY16 9AR Scotland

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

Visit: St Andrews Cathedral, St. Andrews Cathedral The Pends, St. Andrews KY16 9QL Scotland

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

Visit: St Serf's Church and Dupplin Cross, Tron Square, Perth PH2 0RG Scotland

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

Visit: St Vigeans Stones and Museum, Kirkstyle, St Vigeans, Arbroath DD11 4RB Scotland

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

Visit: Stanley Mills Mill Road Stanley, Perth PH1 4QE Scotland

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

Visit: Stirling Castle, Castle Esplanade Upper Castle Hill, Old Town, Stirling FK8 1EJ Scotland

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

Visit: Tantallon Castle, North Berwick EH39 5PN Scotland

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

Visit: Bishop's and Earl's Palaces, Palace Rd., Kirkwall KW15 1PD Scotland

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

Visit: Threave Castle, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright DG7 1TJ Scotland

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

Visit: Tolquhon Castle Calderpark Terrace, Ellon AB41 7LP Scotland

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

Visit: Trinity House Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum 99 Kirkgate, Edinburgh EH6 6BJ Scotland

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

Visit: Urquhart Castle, A82 Road, Drumnadrochit IV63 6XJ Scotland

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

Inclusions

  • 20% discount on audio guides at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles
  • Entry/Admission - Edinburgh Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Aberdour Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Arbroath Abbey
  • Entry/Admission - Caerlaverock Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Cardoness Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Craigmillar Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Dallas Dhu Whisky Distillery
  • Entry/Admission - Doune Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Duff House
  • Entry/Admission - Dumbarton Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Dunblane Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - Dunfermline Abbey and Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel
  • Entry/Admission - Elcho Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Elgin Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - Fort George
  • Entry/Admission - Glasgow Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - Hermitage Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Inverness Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - Jedburgh Abbey
  • Entry/Admission - Linlithgow Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Lochleven Castle
  • Entry/Admission - MacLellan's Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Melrose Abbey
  • Entry/Admission - Newark Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Skara Brae
  • Entry/Admission - Spynie Palace
  • Entry/Admission - St Andrews Castle
  • Entry/Admission - St Andrews Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - St Serf's Church and Dupplin Cross
  • Entry/Admission - St Vigeans Stones and Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Stanley Mills
  • Entry/Admission - Stirling Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Tantallon Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Bishop's and Earl's Palaces
  • Entry/Admission - Threave Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Tolquhon Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Trinity House Maritime Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Urquhart Castle

Exclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Transportation to/from attractions

Departure Point

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG Scotland

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • You will need to collect your pass from one of several redemption points
  • Pass is valid from the time of first use
  • The pass may only be used by the person that has purchased it. Identification may be required at some attractions
  • There will be no refunds or replacements for lost or stolen passes.
  • Passes are valid for either 5 consecutive days or 14 consecutive days
  • Multiple sites can be visited on any single day. Any specific site can only be visited once
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund

Booking Information

A paper voucher is required for this attraction/activity. You must print and bring your printed voucher with you on the day of the activity, as required by our local provider.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

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.
• Submitted 03 Jul 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.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
We used this on our trip to Scotland in July and it was truly a benefit to us. We choose the extended ticket option and used it as we drove around Scotland. Just remember that if you pick it up in Scotland it will come in the form of a receipt and to take care of it. It saved us lots of money, and we even stopped at a few castles that were free that we normally would have skipped, like Doune Castle!
• Submitted 04 Dec 2018
When castle touring, this is a great value! We did 5 castles in a day, so it was well worth it. Definitely recommend.
• Submitted 29 Jul 2018
This was easy to redeem at Sterling Castle and used throughout. Work the money and having it set up ahead of time!
• Submitted 10 Jun 2018
This pass was a wonderful way to explore Scotland. Great value!
• Submitted 15 Apr 2018
Definitely worth getting. It got me into 5 sites over the 4 days I used it, and saved me money.
• Submitted 12 Apr 2018
Thanks for offering me to reschedule my ticket you have saved me from the beast from the East.
• Submitted 26 Mar 2018
A MUST TO HAVE. The explorer pass was a very good buy. We saw more of museums, sites, etc, in Scotland because of it. I would recommend this pass to anyone who visits Scotland.
• Submitted 09 Mar 2018
AWESOME pass. We wish we just had more time to do all the castles. Well worth the cost.
• Submitted 11 Jan 2018
Simply amazing line skipping
• Submitted 01 Nov 2017
It was easy to exchange at Edinburgh Castle and the young lady was very helpful in explaining everything.
• Submitted 31 Oct 2017
Well worth using the Explorer Pass even though we were mostly in Edinburgh. We saw and enjoyed Melrose Abbey, Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh Castle, and Stirling Castle. Tip for Edinburgh Castle: go in the morning. We arrived at noon and had to wait an hour for the audio headsets as they were all in use. Definitely worth renting but the wait was very long. I think our favorite was Stirling Castle -- not as crowded and they had several very excellent tours included. The Oxfam book shop in Stirling was a big hit with family members too.
• Submitted 11 Aug 2017
We used this pass for a number of locations- Stirling and Edinburgh Castles, Elgin Cathedral, Blackness Castle, Linlighgow Palace, Urquhart Castle, Glasgow Cathedral, Holyrood Abbey, and Kilchurn Castle. Just by visiting Stirling and Edinburgh, the pass pays for itself. We were in Scotland for 10 full days, so we got the 7 day pass, meaning on 7 of the 10 days, we could enter an unlimited number of locations free with the pass. If you are visiting multiple historic locations on Historic Scotland's list of properties, by all means, get the pass!
• Submitted 12 Jul 2017
Well worth it. My only suggestion is that the tickets given were simply printed on paper like a receipt. Extremely easy to lose or throw away. Real tickets or a pass card would be SO MUCH BETTER!
• Submitted 05 Jul 2017
Well worth it! We used the pass in enough places that it paid for itself and then some.
• Submitted 05 Jun 2017
What a fantastic purchase and experience. The admission to Edinburgh Castle alone was worth the price, but it also included Stirling Castle and so much more. Having the pass encouraged us to explore some of the lesser known sites which were well worthwhile. Wonderful time.
• Submitted 24 May 2017
It is a great experience with the Historic pass, It save me money.
• Submitted 19 Oct 2016
MUCH better value. Fewer attractions to see on this but they are all the MUST SEE places and very 'do-able' in the time frames offered. Good value for money and no waiting in queues.
• Submitted 16 Oct 2016
It was wonderful and we enjoyed every moment!
• Submitted 07 Oct 2016
Very high value for the price. Was able to use it at several places. Wished we could have seen more
• Submitted 07 Oct 2016
On our trip we visited Glasgow Cathedral, Stirling Castle, Urquhart Castle, Balvenie Castle, St. Andrew's Castle, St. Andrew's Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle. We purchased out pass before leaving home and it was well worth it. The lines to get in weren't too long when we visited with the exception of Edinburgh Castle and there it was so nice to have a separate line to get to the ticket office. Well Worth It.
• Submitted 02 Oct 2016
Visit as many historical places of Historic Scotland not Royal as you can and it is great value for money.
• Submitted 21 Sep 2016
Really liked the pass! Next time we need to rent a car in order to see more places.
• Submitted 25 Sep 2016

In Brief

Location:
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Country:
United Kingdom
Duration:
5 days
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Save on admission to selected attractions

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