Historic sites enjoyed record breaking visitor numbers according to figures released by Historic Environment Scotland.
Attractions such as Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace continue to enjoy the “Outlander effect” named after the popular fantasy series.
Blackness saw a 44 per cent increase in footfall while Linlithgow Palace had an 18 per cent rise this summer.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “This year’s summer season has surpassed our previous visitor records, as we welcomed over 3.8m visitors to our historic sites across the country – an excellent 20% increase on last season’s showing.
“It is fitting that we celebrate this success on Heritage Awareness Day, the first-ever national celebration of heritage and the contribution it makes to communities across the country.
“We’ve responded to the increasing interest in Scotland’s historic environment by extending opening at seasonal sites across the country throughout October, giving people further opportunity to explore the wealth of history that Scotland has to offer and to uncover the hidden historical gems on their doorstep during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“From Edinburgh Castle to Skara Brae, historic sites across Scotland are continuing to draw record numbers of visitors, which is further demonstration of the value of Scotland’s historic places within the country’s wider tourism offering.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “Congratulations to Historic Environment Scotland on another great seasonal performance. As today’s numbers confirm, Scotland’s historic environment is acting more and more as a magnet for tourists, attracting millions of people from far and wide each year to our world class attractions.
“I am particularly pleased to be announcing this success as we celebrate the first-ever Heritage Awareness Day and as we approach the end of this Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“The Year has contributed to further enhancing the international profile of Scotland’s intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology.”