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Historic sites in Shetland and Aberdeenshire reopen after two years

Jarlshof, located on the Shetland Islands.
Jarlshof, located on the Shetland Islands.

Two sites located in Shetland and Aberdeenshire and run by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have finally reopened following two years of closure due to the pandemic.

Jarlshof, a prehistoric and Norse settlement located near Sumburgh, has reopened to the public, providing visitors a look into the island’s ancient past.

The site shows visitors the earliest settlements and culture on Shetland during the Neolithic period all the way through the 1600s.

It was closed due amidst the initial shutdown from the Covid pandemic.

Another HES site that has reopened is Corgarff Castle, west of Strathdon in Aberdeenshire.

Originally a noble residence for the Forbeses of Corgarff, it became a military base to hunt down Jacobite sympathisers and then whisky smugglers.

The castle’s most distinctive feature is the star-shaped perimeter wall, added when it became a military base.

Corgarff Castle, known for its unique star-shaped outer perimeter wall.

HES reopened over 70% of its sites in 2021, although some have remained closed due to Covid-19.

Now that the pandemic has eased in some circumstances, many attractions are preparing for a busy tourist season.

Stephen Duncan, director of marketing and engagement at HES said: “With over 5,000 years of history in our care, we have adopted a phased approach to reopening a lot of our sites, presenting as diverse a mix of attractions as possible.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to enjoy more and more of our nation’s world-class historic environment after what has been an extremely challenging time for everyone involved in the tourism and heritage sectors.”

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