Visitor figures for the UK’s top tourist attractions have been published today . Edinburgh Castle had over one million visitors in 2008 , although the total for the year represents a drop of 8% . The Falkirk Wheel weighed in with 500,829 visitors , 2.5% less than 2007 . Kelvingrove Art Gallery is Scotland’s top tourist attraction, despite a huge 35% fall in visitors last year.
The museum was the leading attraction in Scotland with 1,445,098 visits last year,and the 13th most visited site in the UK.
However, the fall in visitors has been the pattern experienced by most of the leading tourist attractions.
Visitors to Edinburgh Castle, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland, and the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow all fell from 2007.
The figures were released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) who maintain that new research of their membership showed that most expected to maintain or increase their visitor figures this year.
The National Museum of Scotland last year closed part of its premises for refurbishment, which may accounts for part of its 27% fall, to 614,894 visitors.
10 most popular attractions in Scotland
1 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow: 1,445,098 visitors, change from 2007 (-35.3%)
2 Edinburgh Castle: 1,128,394 (-8%)
3 National Gallery complex in Edinburgh: 842,958 (-10.3%)
4 National Museum of Scotland: 614,894 (-27%)
5 Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow: 562,595 (-18.8%)
6 The Falkirk Wheel: 500,829 (-2.5%)
7 National War Museum in Edinburgh: 474,133 (+1%)
8 Museum of Transport, Glasgow: 456,324 (-14.8%)
9 Stirling Castle: 403,778 (-8%)
10 Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness: 270, 097 (-3%)
Getting to the Falkirk Wheel is fairly easy by taxi or bus. There is a bus service from the centre of Falkirk . Airport transfers can take visitors from Edinburgh Airport or Falkirk by taxi to the Wheel
Book Falkirk tours on 07305-294773.
Phone 0800-6190575 for taxi bookings.
- The Kelpies are the largest equine sculptures in the world.
- Private tours of Falkirk’s greatest attractions
- Falkirk tours run five days a week
Kelpies t-shirts, prints and phone cases can be bought online .
A taxi from Edinburgh to St Andrews costs £85.
Mary Queen of Scots tours – visit the key places in the life of Mary . From £210 for private groups up to 4 people . Phone 07305-294773 for more details .