The Calanais Visitor Centre and Lews Castle are joining 400 other participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK by saying 'thank you' in acknowledgement to the people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

The Calanais Visitor Centre are offering free entry to the Story of the Stones exhibition to anyone bearing a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard between 11th to 17th December 2017. This is their 'thank you' after receiving Heritage Lottery Funding towards the cost of the series of lectures they held this summer. The cafe and shop will also be open to visitors in the run up to Christmas.

Museum nan Eilean and Lews Castle by Natural Retreats will be holding an open day on Wednesday 13th December 2017 offering free guided tours of the castle and museum. Visitors to the recently refurbished Lews Castle on Wednesday 13th December, can enjoy free access to the building, which reopened in 2016 and now houses the museum galleries, function rooms, luxurious self-catering accommodation, Storehouse Café and Outfitters shop. The tours will take place between 10am and 4pm (starting at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour), offering a behind-the-scenes look at the castle's contemporary new apartments, usually restricted to the general public.

Additionally, free access to the Blas nan Eilean Hebridean Dialect workshop will be granted on Tuesday 12th December as a 'thank you' to any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratch card on arrival (subject to availability of spaces on the workshop, which begins at 2pm).

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

"December is a wonderful time to experience the UK's rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets."

400 National Lottery-funded heritage attractions around the U.K. have free offers for National Lottery players, if you are planning a trip away click here for a map showing other participating venues.