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National Trust for Scotland announces plans to reopen Highland sites as Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease; Culloden Battlefield near Inverness, Inverewe's gardens and estate in Wester Ross, and Brodie Castle's garden and estate are among the 30 sites which will reopen in July

By Philip Murray

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Inverewe Gardens.
Inverewe Gardens.

A TRIO of National Trust for Scotland sites in the Highlands are set to reopen their grounds to the public as lockdown restrictions ease.

Culloden Battlefield, Inverewe's garden and estate and Brodie Castle's garden and estate will all reopen their car parks to visitors from July.

Culloden Battlefield and Brodie Castle will open their grounds from July 6, with Inverewe in Wester Ross following suit on July 15 once essential maintenance work is finished.

They are among 30 National Trust for Scotland sites which are preparing to welcome visitors again from July 6. All of its properties have been closed to the public since March, when the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency lockdown hit Scotland.

Chairman, Sir Mark Jones, said: "We are hard at work preparing to open up dozens more of our beautiful places once again.

"Our staff are coming back from furlough, we’ve redesigned the visitor routes at some places and, of course, we are closely following all the advice on safety and hygiene measures, so that everyone can enjoy their trip to the Trust.

"As we all adapt to the “new normal”, there will be some changes on the ground at properties, and we hope that our members, supporters and visitors will be patient and work with us during this time of transition. We would also please ask visitors to stick to the latest guidance and only visit if it’s within the 5-mile travel limit.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming our local visitors back and we hope that this helps us all emerge back into the light, after being confined for so long."

Culloden Battlefield Locator.
Culloden Battlefield Locator.

The trust is advising people to avoid visiting at traditional peak times, as much as possible, and to double-check opening times online, in advance of travel.

For more information on some of the changes the trust may have made at its sites, read its guide to "What to expect when visiting" at https://www.nts.org.uk/stories/what-to-expect-when-visiting-our-places-this-summer

Selected castles, houses and visitor centres are scheduled to open in August. Please see our Plans for reopening story for more details.

A number of its other more rural Highland countryside sites are already open to local people who live within roughly five miles. These include Corrieshalloch Gorge, the Falls of Glomach, Kintail, West Affric and the Balmacara Estate (although the latter's visitor centres remain closed).

However, Hugh Miller’s Cottage in Cromarty is among the trust's properties which are not expected to reopen until the 2021 season, and are unaffected by the recent announcement.

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