Glamis Castle is bidding for a bumper Easter start to its 2018 season with high hopes it will break the magical six-figure visitor tally.
More than 100,000 paying visitors were welcomed through the ancient walls of the area’s busiest attraction in 2017, with a packed programme of additional events taking the total figure to around the 150,000 mark, and the ambition is to match or better that performance over the coming months.
Today’s official opening for the full weekend of Easter activities at Glamis Castle will also see the unveiling of a major exhibition in conjunction with one of England’s leading museums showcasing the centuries-old link behind the Bowes Lyon family name.
Castle general manager Tommy Baxter said: “Last year we had an absolutely brilliant season, way ahead of expectations.
“All of the early feedback we have been receiving for 2018 is that Scotland is going to have another big tourist year and we obviously want to make the best of that, not only for the castle but the many businesses across the wider Angus community.
“We contribute massively to the number of visitors coming to Angus and our aim is to encourage people to stay longer at Glamis, and longer in Angus.
“The 100,000 visitor mark is always the target, but we want to encourage people to do more than just pay to visit the castle by putting on a programme of events – some old favourites, some new and some still to be revealed, which will make them want to spend a day or longer at Glamis.
“Looking ahead to this year, I think there will be something on every weekend which will be an extra attraction for people visiting Glamis and we hope that will be reflected in visitor numbers,” added Mr Baxter.
The popular Glamis Prom is scheduled for August and the castle’s rising reputation in the canine world is reflected in the return of doggie cross-country in the CaniX Fur Nations Cup on the first weekend in May, along with a major agility event and dogs day out, both later in the year.
Easter Sunday visitors will also have the opportunity to try their hand at traditional Highland games events in a second come-and-try event staged by organisers of the Strathmore Highland Games, which is held at the landmark each June.
In the castle’s coach house, an exhibition on Streatlam Castle will reveal to visitors the story behind John Bowes, the illegitimate son of the 10th Earl of Strathmore, and the style he lived in at the great mansion in the north of England as one of the richest men in the country.
His uncle became the 11th Earl and the exhibition centrepiece is a model of how Streatlam appeared in its heyday, many years before it was destroyed in a series of explosions in 1959 after being used for demolition practice by the Territorial Army.