I am a big fan of annual passes and family memberships. We use them a lot for our days out throughout the year and I always have a few on the go for that purpose.

I’m also a big fan of gifting annual passes; I mean, there can’t be much that would beat giving someone a whole year of days out. And particularly for Christmas, I tend to ask family to get the kids passes for things rather than more stuff. I mean, they still get lots of stuff anyway. But getting some gifts as vouchers just slightly reduces the number of toys coming into the house!

We’ve had various different passes in the past; you can see those and get some ideas here. For 2020 though we decided we wanted to get a Historic Scotland family membership. This is a pass I’ve been coveting for a few years, but wanted to wait until the kids were slightly older (able to walk up old twisty stairs without me having a heart attack & can be trusted not to just leg it and then me having to chase them around a castle following only the noise of a distant maniacal cackle) before we got one. The kids are now 3 and 6, and having been to a few castles in the past year I think they’re ready for it!

The Historic Scotland passes include entry to almost 70 castles and historic places around Scotland. Top of our list are Edinburgh and Stirling castles, which together taking a family to would cost almost as much as membership for the year. Other sites that we’d love to visit are Blackness Castle (one for the Outlander fans), Dumbarton Castle, Urquhart Castle on our next Inverness trip and Crossraguel Abbey out in Ayrshire. There are also events that I’d love to take the kids along to, especially the jousting at Linlithgow Palace.

We tend to head down south to see family once or twice a year, and with this Historic Scotland membership we’ll also be able to visit a whole bunch of sites down there too including Chester Castle (which, despite living there for a year, I never actually visited once!)

I’m so excited for the next year. I’ve got lots planned…

Right now Historic Scotland are also offering 15 months for the price of 12. This offer is available until the 31st December 2019. It honestly would make the perfect gift for any family (or anyone) who likes getting out and about.

We can’t wait to start exploring!