As Scotland is set to celebrate 2017 as the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Emma Harper has termed the year a “huge opportunity” for Dumfries & Galloway and has encouraged the public to make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of Dumfries & Galloway, and Scotland’s, stunning historic sites.
Official figures show that Scotland’s historic and cultural sites continue to draw visitors in their millions.
Historic Environment Scotland’s staffed sites attracted over 3.75 million visitors in 2015 – a significant increase since 2010. The National Trust for Scotland has also reported growing numbers of visitors in recent years, with 2.65m visitors in 2016 according to figures sourced by SPICe (The Scottish Parliament Information CentrE – https://scottishparliamentinformationcentre.org/ )
The 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is expected to increase visitors even further, with events planned across the country. It is the latest of VisitScotland’s ‘Themed Years’, following on from the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and the 2015 Year of Food and Drink.
“These figures show that Scotland’s historic sites continue to attract millions of visitors – and it’s not hard to see why. Dumfries & Galloway has fantastic historic sites from ruined castles, abbeys and tower houses to standing stones and ancient burial sites.
“And we have sites of massive national significance – Whithorn is the origin of Christianity in Scotland and is equally rich in more ancient history still. You can now visit an iron-age roundhouse in Whithorn and find out more about how people lived in Galloway in the 5th Century BC.
“Both Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland have seen visitor numbers booming in recent years, and this will only grow further as we mark the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017.
“This year is a huge opportunity to promote Dumfries & Galloway’s rich history and the wide variety of sites you can visit here. We should all make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of the exceptional historic sites on our doorstep.”