Scottish museums record top year for visitors

Scottish National Portrait Gallery The Scottish National Portrait Gallery was refurbished in 2011

Related Stories

Scottish museums have enjoyed a record year for visitors, according to figures published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

The National Museum of Scotland is the first Scottish attraction to make it into the UK top 10, with a 29% increase to 1.8 million visitors.

Of the 30 attractions in Scotland, 12 saw an increase in visitor numbers.

The biggest rise was at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which was refurbished in 2011.

It saw an increase of 520%, comparing September 2011 with September 2012.

Wet weather

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art saw a 4.5% increase in visitors, while the People's Palace in Glasgow achieved a 24.6% increase, and Glasgow Museums Resource Centre saw a 23.5% increase.

Indoor venues across the UK did better overall as wet weather caused a dip in visits to gardens and outdoor attractions.

Boosted by the success of its Hollywood costume exhibition, the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London had its best-ever year.

With Judy Garland's dress from The Wizard of Oz and Keira Knightley's emerald green costume from the film Atonement on display, the V&A welcomed more than 3.2 million visitors in 2012 - a 16% increase on 2011.

Visitor economy

Edinburgh Castle was the second most popular paid-for attraction outside London and the most popular in Scotland with 1,230,177 visitors.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow also did well last year, seeing a 5.8% increase to more than one million visits.

Bernard Donoghue, Alva director, said: "The continual refurbishment in Scotland's cultural and attraction sector, to locations such as Stirling Castle and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, is still making a huge contribution to the visitor economy."

He said: "However, it was the weather rather than the displacement effect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that took its toll on gardens or outdoor attractions throughout Scotland - as the very wet weather, combined with high petrol prices for travel to rural locations, which put many people off taking day visits."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Edinburgh, Fife and East



Min. Night 1 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • A cow wearing sunglasses overlaid with the phrase 'Can't touch this'Cow row

    Thousands rally against the ban on beef in India

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

Elsewhere on the BBC


  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.