Blair Castle has become the first historic Scottish landmark to partner with Smartify, the world’s most downloaded museum app, ahead of its reopening on April 28.
The move on to Smartify is a key strategy to maintain its international audience, before foreign travel becomes the norm once again and whet the appetite of visitors.
While preparing to welcome day trippers and staycationers back to tour the Castle, its landscaped gardens and its trails across the beautiful Perthshire countryside, Blair Castle is adapting to a new world where digital and physical presence will be more closely aligned.
The ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl and the Atholl Highlanders would welcome more than 100,000 visitors in a normal year, many from overseas with connections to the ancient Murray clan.
The Blair Castle collection includes paintings by Nicholson, Landseer and Zoffany as well as local artists. There are 17th century tapestries alongside 18th century cabinetry; an ivory engraved pocket compass said to have been used by Bonnie Prince Charlie; and a temple coin cabinet dating back to 1758, which has been fashioned in the form of the temple of Septimus Severus, the Roman Emperor.
The pages on Smartify now provide access to the castle’s extensive collection, with a full audio tour planned for the near future that will link the items in the context of the castle itself.
Catriona Sutherland, head of marketing at Blair Castle said: ‘It is important that we find new ways to keep the history alive and accessible to all audiences, whether those with ancestral connections, researchers or the day visitor.
‘The move onto Smartify is a great step forward as we can now connect to a wider audience. The aim is that it will allow us to reach people when they can’t visit us in person and encourage new visitors who might not have realised the richness of the collection at Blair Castle.
‘Our fundamental purpose is to share our castle and all its treasures with other people. The pandemic has not only taught us that we need to do more, but also given us the time to explore how we can do this most effectively That makes for a very compelling historic narrative that we can now begin to share on Smartify.’
Situated in the heart of Atholl Estates, Blair Castle was built in 1269 and today is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Set against the magnificent landscape of 145,000-acres, the estate offers beautifully scenic vistas of rolling farmland and wild open hills across Perthshire.
Open to the public for day visitors, Blair Castle also hosts corporate events, functions and weddings throughout the year.
Find out more HERE.