Scotland’s historic environment is a key driver for tourism, with over 5 million people annually visiting the historic sites and monuments in the care of Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

To help manage the associated carbon emissions from these visits, HES is encouraging greener ways of travel to its castles, abbeys and palaces across the country.

HeraldScotland: Dunfermline AbbeyDunfermline Abbey

This includes helping visitors to plan trips with easily accessible information on the sustainable transport options available to many of its sites – such as walking, cycling or public transport.  There are a wide range of greener trips visitors can incorporate into their stay, with many historic sites featuring as part of national cycling and walking tours.

Over 80 Historic Scotland properties – including iconic sites such as Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace and Dunfermline Abbey - are situated within 500 metres of a National Cycle Network (NCN) cycle path, making cycling a great way of exploring the country’s rich history while minimising the impact on the environment. Paths such Route 754, which cuts across central Scotland connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh, offer a scenic, traffic-free way to explore the historic environment.


Adam Florence, Carbon Manager at HES, said: “As the lead public body for the historic environment and the largest operator of historic attractions in the country, we have a key role to play in helping Scotland meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets.

“That’s why we’re committed to supporting sustainable tourism and enabling visitors to choose a greener travel option when visiting our properties.

HeraldScotland: Linlithgow PalaceLinlithgow Palace

“We’re helping to make our sites more accessible than ever by improving bicycle facilities, with cycle lock points now available at over 30 of our sites across Scotland including Stirling Castle and The Engine Shed.

“Green transport options such as cycling not only help lessen the impact of carbon emissions on the environment and reduce air pollution, but they can also have a significant positive impact in improving health and wellbeing.


“Small changes like walking, cycling or using public transport when visiting our sites can go a long way to reduce our impact on the environment, and help protect Scotland’s history for the future.”

To start planning your green journey through Scotland’s past, visit the HES website:

The National Cycle Network is a series of traffic-free paths and quiet, on-road cycling and walking routes that connect to major towns and cities across Scotland and the UK. To find out more, visit the Sustrans website:

Get inspired with cycle and walking tours available on the VisitScotland website:


The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at and in Business HQ magazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

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