The readers of a leading national publication have voted an iconic Scottish cultural attraction near Falkirk, an uninhabited seabird sanctuary off Scotland’s east coast and a small rural inn in Dumfries and Galloway as UK favourites.
In the prestigious 2014/15 BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, The Kelpies have won the title of Landmark of The Year, The Bass Rock has been named Nature Reserve of the Year and The Steam Packet Inn at Whithorn was voted Rural Pub of The Year.
The magnificent equine sculptures in the Helix recreational park - which have become a much-loved visitor attraction since their unveiling last Spring - battled head to head to be crowned the UK’s best landmark against stiff competition from major UK attractions including Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust at Stratford-upon-Avon. There were no other Scottish finalists in the Landmark of The Year category.
The Kelpies sculptor, Andy Scott said:“I am absolutely delighted with this achievement for The Kelpies. When I was doing those first little sketches all those years ago, I could only have dreamt they would have been so well received. I am pleased to say my greatest hopes have been met, and this award from BBC Countryfile Magazine confirms their pride of place in the Falkirk area. It's a great reward for the hard work of a huge amount of people in bringing The Kelpies to reality. Thank you to all the readers of BBC Countryfile Magazine.”
The BBC Countryfile Magazine Award is the latest in a host of official accolades which The Kelpies have already won, including the UK National Structural Steel Award and the Saltire Award for Civil Engineering. The landmark, which is Scotland’s largest public artwork, has also been officially recognised as a National Treasure by the UK Lottery and appeared in a host of TV productions, tourism films, advertisements, and publications the world over.
The Bass Rock – the biggest Northern gannet colony in the world home – won the title of the UK’s Best Nature Reserve ahead of popular contenders RSPB Minsmere and the WWT London Wetland Centre.
The Steam Packet Inn on the beautiful Isle of Whithorn took first place in the Rural Pub of the Year category ahead of The Salutation Inn at Ham in Gloucestershire and The Harewood Arms at Broadbottom in Cheshire.
In addition to the Scottish winners in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park took second place in the National Park of the Year category - a huge achievement considering all 15 of the UK’s national parks were competing.
There were eleven Scottish nominees across nine categories in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, which are now in their fourth year.
VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay said: “I am delighted that so many great Scottish nominees were shortlisted in this year’s BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards and to have three winners and one outstanding second place is a wonderful achievement.
“The Kelpies, which are a tremendous asset to Scottish tourism, certainly deserve the title of Landmark of The Year. Since their unveiling last April at a spectacular event in last year’s hugely successful Homecoming Scotland programme, these stunning sculptures have become incredibly popular and visitor numbers have surpassed expectations.
“Our congratulations also go the Bass Rock, The Steam Packet Inn and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park on their success – and indeed to all of the Scottish finalists whose contribution to the visitor economy and our country’s tourism industry is so valued.”
Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, commented:
"Congratulations to Scotland’s many winners and nominees – a fine testament to the beauty and, almost more importantly, the accessibility of Scotland’s fabulous countryside."
The complete list of winners in the 2014/15 BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards is available at: http://www.countryfile.com/article/winners-bbc-countryfile-magazine-awards-201415
For more information contact:
Mon - Thurs
Ellen Drummond Ferroni, VisitScotland Regional Corporate Press Officer
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Sharon Makepeace, VisitScotland Regional Corporate Press Officer
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Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986
Notes to Editors
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Year of Food and Drink 2015
- 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
- Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
- A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
- For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland