The Historic Houses Association for Scotland represents 240 independently owned historic houses, castles and gardens in Scotland. Most are family homes and often lived in by the descendants of the families they were built for.
Over 70 of the Scottish historic houses and gardens open regularly to day visitors with a further 77 available for public access on a less frequent or formal basis. Many houses offer a variety of attractions including exclusive use accommodation, special tours and garden visits, and some provide unique venues for weddings, dinners, other private and corporate functions and special events.
Together, these houses, castles and gardens attract over 1.5 million visitors to Scotland each year.
Following the creation of the Scottish Parliament, HHA Scotland was strengthened to anticipate, monitor and respond to legislation and policies in Scotland affecting Members' interests.
The activities of HHA Scotland are directed by a Scottish Council, supported by a Business Committee. HHA Scotland is led by its Chairman, since June 2015, Lord Hopetoun. Lois Bayne-Jardine joined HHA Scotland in August 2012 as its co-ordinator, supporting its administration and representation.
HHA Scotland currently has a formal working agreement with Scottish Land & Estates to strengthen the detailed lobbying we provide on our Members’ behalf. In March 2016 we held our most recent parliamentary reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Jamie McGrigor MSP. It was well attended by his fellow MSPs including the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs who spoke warmly about HHAS Members, saying
“Historic properties such as those owned by your Membership, are often iconic symbols of the nation or a key part of a community. They are also a major driver for tourism and offer a huge benefit to our economy. This of course helps to sustain the properties themselves but can also offer much wider benefits to society".
The HHAS continues to engage actively with the Scottish Parliament and submits responses on behalf of its Members to a wide range of consultations and other items of interest.
In addition to the wealth of information and advice available from the HHA consultants in our London office, HHA Scotland offers specific marketing opportunities for our Scottish Members through the Tourism and Marketing Committee, with representation at VisitScotland’s Expo every April, and information on tourism and marketing initiatives, through our close working relationship with VisitScotland.
HHA Scotland also runs a very active Friends’ programme of events, with 3 Friends days per year and a lecture in Edinburgh in December. In recent years we have enjoyed visits to Blair Adam, Briglands House, Mertoun and Monteviot, as well as a chance to view the recently restored magnificent Kinross House. These visits offer a unique insight, often with carefully sourced experts to talk about aspects of the property.