Boom for Ste­wartry tourism sites

The Galloway News - - INTIMATIONS -

It’s been a pos­i­tive start to the year for Ste­wartry’s her­itage sites.

Vis­i­tor num­bers are up at Th­reave Cas­tle, pic­tured, New Abbey Corn Mill and Sweet­heart Abbey but con­ser­va­tion work at MacLel­lans Cas­tle and a slight drop in vis­i­tors at Dun­dren­nan Abbey mean it’s not all good news.

Across the re­gion there has been a 41 per cent rise in vis­its to His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land (HES) prop­er­ties be­tween April and July.

That’s though in part to Th­reave Cas­tle which has seen a rise of nearly 8,000 vis­i­tors. Bad flood­ing and the nest­ing of Pere­grine Fal­cons forced its clo­sure in 2016 with just 687 peo­ple get­ting a chance to visit the site near Cas­tle Dou­glas.

The fig­ures were an­nounced by Cul­ture, Tourism and Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Fiona Hyslop as she vis­ited the re­gion last week.

She said: “Dum­fries and Gal­loway’s his­toric en­vi­ron­ment acts as a mag­net for tourists drawn to these ex­cep­tional places.

Dun­dren­nan Abbey vis­i­tor num­bers have dropped four per­cent to 1,914 with MacLel­lans Cas­tle down 37 per cent to 1,807. New Abbey how­ever is thriv­ing with the corn mill wel­com­ing 2,467 vis­i­tors through its doors – that’s up from 1,878. Sweet­heart Abbey vis­its to­talled 4,337 which is 585 or 16 per cent more than 2016.

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