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Borders Railway is just “Dandie”

Press Release   •   Aug 14, 2015 00:01 BST

Two Dandie Dinmont Terriers, the dog breed famously named and owned by Sir Walter Scott, travelled to Waverley station this week to honour the great writer ahead of his birthday this Saturday (15 August).

The date marks the start of the three-week countdown until the opening of the Borders Railway (5 September), a new scenic train journey that VisitScotland hopes will be a success with tourists, taking them deep into the heart of the landscapes Scott wrote about in his famous novels and poems.

The Dandie is the only dog breed to be named after a character from fiction - Dandie Dinmont was a Border Farmer in Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novel Guy Mannering. The novel, published 200 years ago this year, led to a craze for the Dandie among Lords and Ladies, the rich, the famous and the titled of the age.

As well as naming the Dandie Dinmont breed, Sir Walter Scott helped to create the breed as it is thought that every Dandie in the world can trace their pedigree back to the Borders and a dog bred by the Scottish writer.

Sir Walter Scott (born on 15 August 1771) was a poet, novelist, ballad-collector, critic and man of letters, but is probably most renowned as the founder of the genre of the historical novel, involving tales of gallantry, romance and chivalry. Beginning with the publication of Waverley in 1814, his anonymously published Waverley novels proved hugely popular in Europe and America, and established his reputation as a major international literary force.

VisitScotland is embarking on a national and international marketing and PR campaign to encourage visitors to experience the Borders Railway, and all the attractions along the route when the line opens in September 2015.

It is hoped that the worldwide interest in Sir Walter Scott will be a huge draw, as visitors can follow in the footsteps of the renowned writer, starting in Edinburgh with The Scott Monument and The Writers’ Museum, before taking the Borders Railway through the landscapes that inspired his writing. At the end of the journey, there’s Abbotsford, near Tweedbank, where a new award-winning visitor centre tells Scott’s remarkable story, from his birth in Edinburgh in 1771 to the cultural legacy he left to Scotland and the world.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

“Sir Walter Scott’s birth date is an appropriate landmark to celebrate three weeks to go until the Borders Railway opens up Scott country to the world. The Dandie Dinmont is such an iconic, rare breed, originating from the Scottish Borders, I would not be surprised if there was another rush to own one in the future!

“We are excited that we are moving ever closer to the launch of this magnificent new line and we are working with partners to ensure the tourism potential of our Borders Railway is fully realised both nationally and internationally, encouraging visitors to explore yet more of Scotland’s beautiful urban and rural landscapes.”

Paul Keevil, Co-ordinator of the Dandie Dinmont – 200 years campaign said:

“It is a very special year for The Dandie Dinmont Terrier in the Borders. We celebrated a 200th anniversary at Abbotsford in February and now we have the honour of supporting the countdown the the Borders Railway. We hope many people will discover the wonderful landscape and history of the Borders and who knows, perhaps discover another of Scotland's hidden treasures - the Dandie Dinmont - as well!”

The Borders Railway begins service on Saturday 5 September with a special ‘Golden Ticket’ Day where local community members ride on the new line a day before the first paying customers come on board. Public service will begin on 6 September. On 9 September, HM The Queen will officially open the Railway with a special steam train trip which also marks the day she becomes Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The project is being delivered as part of the ‘Borders Railway Blueprint’, that sets out an ambition to fully realise the economic benefits of the Borders Railway, transform tourism opportunities and open up communities in South-East Scotland as new places to live, work, learn, play and grow. More info on the Borders Railway Blueprint can be found here -

Notes to Editors

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    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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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