St Andrew's Day celebrations
More Scottish visitor and leisure attractions than ever before are to take part in this year's St Andrew's Day celebrations by offering free or discounted offers to the public.
On the weekend of November 26 and 27 and on St Andrew's Day (November 30), Scots and Scots at heart can make the most of this year's special offers, as well as join the celebrations taking place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, St Andrews and East Lothian.
Smartphone users can also download a new St Andrew's Day app which will provide them with events information both in Scotland and the rest of the world. The free app also provides information about the history of St Andrew and a guide for people hosting their own celebrations wherever they may be.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
"Scotland's Winter Festivals provide a great opportunity to showcase Scotland as a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events year round.
"Celebrations that centre on Christmas events and carry on right through to January will be kicked off with the St Andrew's Day celebrations.
"It's fantastic to see the groundswell of support from public and private sector organisations throughout the country who have grasped the opportunity to get involved with events on and around St Andrew's Day. This, coupled with our event programme and free visits to all Historic Scotland's properties on the last weekend of November, will offer something for everyone to enjoy during this year's celebrations.
"The new St Andrew's Day app is a creative way to share information on our national day, activities and events with smart phone users around the globe, inspiring Scots and Scots at heart to join in the celebrations wherever they may be."
Historic Scotland is once again offering free admission to over 40 of Scotland's top heritage attractions including Scotland's number one tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle, the newly refurbished renaissance palace at Stirling Castle, and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness on the November 26 and 27. Visitors need to pre-register in advance at www.ticketgiveaway.co.uk. Free admission for walk up visitors will also be available at Edinburgh Castle, St. Andrews Castle and St. Andrews Cathedral on November 30.
Additional venues all over the country are joining in the initiative designed to encourage everyone to experience the world class attractions on our own doorsteps. From East Lothian to Lanarkshire, Dundee to Orkney, families and visitors alike can take advantage of a range of special deals including 'kids go free', 'buy one get one free' or exclusive discounts.
Highland Wildlife Park, Discovery Point, the Seabird Centre, Edinburgh Dungeons, Glasgow Science Centre, Abbot House Heritage Centre, Camera Obscura and the Scotch Whisky Experience are among those taking part this year.
Scotland's Winter Festivals begin with St Andrew's Day on November 30 and includes Scotland's Hogmanay celebrations on December 31, culminating with Burns night on January 25. Events and celebrations will begin on the weekend leading to St Andrew's Day (November 26 and 27), running through Christmas and Hogmanay until Burns Night.
The St Andrew's Day app is available free of charge in the Apple App store and Android Market. It includes a searchable database of St Andrew's Day events in Scotland, information about events taking place across the rest of the world, an animated history of St Andrew and a guide for people hosting their own celebrations.
Scotland's Winter Festivals are funded and delivered by the Scottish Government in partnership with EventScotland, VisitScotland, Historic Scotland, Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, Scottish local authorities, Scottish Parliament, Education Scotland and partners in the commercial sector.