Gardens, museums and attractions reopening

MORE and more museums, galleries, gardens and other tourist attractions are reopening throughout Scotland as the nation continues to bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.

National Museums Scotland this morning announced that five of its sites will reopen in the coming weeks.

The National Museum of Flight near North Berwick will open on 5 August, followed by the National Museum of Rural Life at East Kilbride on 12 August and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 19 August.

Chris Breward, director of National Museums Scotland said: “We’ve missed our visitors and are thrilled to be welcoming them back to our museums.

“We have enjoyed creating a vibrant digital experience during closure, but nothing compares with that exhilarating feeling which comes from encountering real objects in our unique buildings.”

A reopening date for the National War Museum inside Edinburgh Castle is yet to be announced.

Gates reopen for gardens

More than 80 gardens will reopen this summer to raise money for charity as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

Nearly £250,000 was raised for charities last year after 500 gardens opened their gates to welcome visitors.

David Mitchell, chairman of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, said: “The re-opening of gardens has been successful for all concerned so far and we are grateful that so many of our garden openers have been willing to do so.

“Not only are the funds raised of great importance in supporting such a wide range of charitable causes, but the enjoyment given to so many people through opening gardens, to both visitors and volunteers, is as important to our community as the fundraising itself, especially at this challenging time.”

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme has also appointed Liz Stewart, the former development manager for Scotland at the Royal Horticultural Society, as its new national organiser; she takes over from Terrill Dobson, who ran the scheme for five years and who will still be involved with the charity at a regional level as a volunteer district organiser.

Art exhibition takes flight

Waterston House at Aberlady in East Lothian, the headquarters of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC), is reopening on 1 August with a new art exhibition entitled Coastal Birds.

The exhibition brings together the works of Emily Ingrey-Counter, Helen Kennedy and Liz Myhill, three artists who won bursaries from the Society of Wildlife Artists in 2018 to attend John Busby’s seabird drawing course, and who have taken trips together to sites including the Isle of May, St Abb’s Head and the Mersehead wildlife reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Their works will be on sale at the exhibition and on the SOC’s new online shop.

Meanwhile, Invisible Cities – a social enterprise that trains people who have previously experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city – has restarted its tours in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Its tours will be smaller, with up to ten people on each walk, while guides will wear plastic visors.

Read more stories about Scottish businesses and charities bouncing back from the coronavirus lockdown on Scottish Field‘s news pages.