Blair Castle opens its gates for the 80th year as one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions
IN June, Blair Castle will mark 80 years since it first became a visitor attraction.
It was in 1st June 1936 that the Highland Perthshire castle first opened its magnificent Victorian gates to the public. On that day, there were 286 visitors. The season ended with a total of 33,082 visitors. Today, the five-star castle welcomes in excess of 130,000 visitors per year.
In 1936, visitors entered the castle by the ballroom, which was then draped with flags (which are now too fragile to display but which are preserved at the castle). They then walked around the first floor but in the reverse order from today’s route. They then made their way upstairs to part of the upstairs floor and then back down via the main staircase.
The following season, 1937, visitors could pay 6d extra to access Comyn’s Tower – from where the flag flies – and there was an exhibition of furniture in the ballroom.
As well as celebrating being open for 80 years, the estate is hosting its action-packed Open Day on the same day. Around 500 schoolchildren for 14 primary schools in Perthshire will descend on the estate to take part in activities, such as a tractor tour around the farm, see the lambs and sheep shearing, help the estate’s maintenance squad build a house, see the gamekeepers with ferrets, help the gardeners with planting and much more.
Scott Robertson, tourism sales and business development manager for Blair Castle, commented: “As one of Scotland’s most iconic and historic landmarks, we are delighted to be able to celebrate 80 years as a visitor attraction with the public.
“Blair Castle has welcomed millions of visitors from all over the world since 1936 and we plan to continue welcoming millions more in the years to come. We hope visitors will take advantage of our Annual Pass so that they can return and take advantage of everything we have to offer. One visit really isn’t enough.”
That’s not the only anniversary being marked at the castle this year, though. The Blair Atholl Jamborette, Scottish Scouting’s premier international event, returns in July for its 70th year. The biennial event brings together over 1,000 Explorer Scouts and Leaders from all over the world for a ten-day camp.
In addition, Blair Castle Caravan Park celebrates 45 years of welcoming holidaymakers to its nine beautiful and peaceful acres.
For further information, please contact Stuart Letford, marketing and communications officer. Tel: 01796 481411
About Atholl Estates
- Atholl Estates is located in Blair Atholl, Highland Perthshire. The estate is centered around the famous landmark of Blair Castle.
- One of Scotland’s best known estates, Atholl Estates dates back to the 13th century.
- Atholl Estates manage a range of operations in the tourism, events, forestry, farming, property and country sport sectors.
- Atholl Estates also has a range of Highland lodges and a caravan park on site.
- For more information please visit www.atholl-estates.com or call 01796 481411.
About Blair Castle
- Atholl Estates is centered around Blair Castle and Gardens in Blair Atholl which are open to the public for day visitors, corporate events, functions and weddings.
- Blair Castle dates back to 1269 and has 30 rooms on display to the public.
- Blair Castle is open to the public from until 28th October and features a restaurant, gift shop and tours of the house and grounds.
- For more information please visit blair-castle.co.uk or call 01796 481411.
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