Staff prepare Borders attractions for influx of tourists

Some of the region’s best-loved historic attractions are set to re-open on Monday, April 1 after being closed for the winter.

Staff at Historic Scotland’s Hermitage Castle and Smailholm Tower are preparing to welcome visitors from across the country, and the world, when the attractions open their doors for the new season.

Hermitage Castle, built for defensive purposes in the 13th century, has a history of torture, treason and romantic trysts.

Most famously it was where Mary, Queen of Scots met with the 4th Earl of Bothwell, before it was abandoned after James VI became James I of Scotland and England and it lost its defensive significance.

Susan Loch, head of visitor operations and community engagement at Historic Scotland, said; “Spring is a lovely time of year to visit one of our properties, and Hermitage Castle is just one of a number of Historic Scotland sites around the country – including Smailholm Tower in the Borders - which closes over winter before re-opening to the public in time for the Easter weekend.

“This year we’ve got lots of exciting things planned for visitors across our properties, from costumed performances to events to mark the Year of Homecoming 2014.”