Historic Kirkcudbrightshire abbey reopens its doors to visitors

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced the reopening of Dundrennan Abbey having been closed since December due to Covid restrictions.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:58 pm
Dundrennan Abbey has been closed since December. © Copyright Billy McCrorie and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence
Dundrennan Abbey has been closed since December. © Copyright Billy McCrorie and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

The historic Kirkcudbrightshire site is welcoming back visitors from today (Friday) as part of HES’s ongoing phased reopenings across the country.

Now a ruin, the 12th-century abbey was home to a community of Cistercian monks for 400 years.

The peaceful woodland location fitted very much with the Cistercian ideal, described by Abbot Ailred of Rievaulx as: “Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world”.

Other sites which are already open include Iona Abbey and Bonawe Iron Furnace, with the likes of Elcho Castle and Dumbarton Castle reopening this month.

HES chief executive Alex Paterson said: “We are pleased to announce even more of our sites reopening up and down the country, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy much loved heritage attractions once again, such as Dundrennan Abbey.

“With over 5,000 years of history in our care, we’ve adopted a phased approach to reopening, providing a diverse a mix of attractions, as well as reviewing and implementing the individual reopening requirements of each site, in line with Scottish Government guidance.

"We are now looking forward to welcoming visitors back to even more sites, providing further opportunity to enjoy Scotland’s diverse and globally renowned historic environment.”

Safety measures will be in place at all sites, with visitors wearing face coverings in indoor locations and in some enclosed spaces where social distancing can’t be easily maintained.

There will also be an initial capacity management on numbers and one-way systems will be in place in some locations.

All sites will follow the HES minimum operating standards, which were developed to set a benchmark for the safe reopening of historic sites and resumption of operational activities.

Tickets should be booked online in advance by visiting restarthistory.scot, where you will also find details of all HES sites which are reopening.