Seven top Scottish locations have been shortlisted as the UK’s finest by a leading national publication. BBC Countryfile Magazine is asking the public to vote for their favourites and choose the winners in its prestigious 2015/16 Awards.
The annual awards, which are now in their fifth year, celebrate the UK countryside and its people – from great heritage attractions and favourite holiday destinations, to the best nature reserves and rural pubs.
The Scottish contenders battling it out with stiff competition from Britain’s best across the awards’ 11 categories are:
- Dumfries & Galloway for ‘Holiday Destination of the Year’
- Cairngorms for ‘National Park of the Year’
- Sand Beach near Applecross for ‘Beach of the Year’
- Applecross Inn in Applecross for ‘Pub of the Year’
- Glendoick Gardens for ‘Garden of the Year’
- The Old Man of Storr for ‘Landmark of the Year’
- Bass Rock for ‘Nature Reserve of the Year’ (the category winner in the 2014/15 awards)
The shortlist of nominees for each category was drawn up by a panel of experts selected by BBC Countryfile Magazine. They included BBC presenters John Craven, Ellie Harrison, Chris Packham and Miranda Krestovnikoff, writers Simon Barnes, Dixe Wills and Matt Swaine; photographer Guy Edwardes, BBC Gardener’s World editor Lucy Hall, Good Pub Guide editor Fiona Stapley and BBC Countryfile Magazine art editor Tim Bates.
Voting closes on 31 January and votes can be placed online at the BBC Countryfile Magazine website at: http://www.countryfile.com/awards2015-16
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive at VisitScotland said: “It’s fantastic that so many wonderful Scottish locations have been shortlisted as nominees in this year’s BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards. They are all a great asset to Scottish tourism and definitely deserve to be national winners so I would encourage as many people as possible to take the time to vote for each of them to acknowledge just how wonderful and appreciated they are.”
Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, commented: “With increasing pressures on the countryside and wider natural environment, it’s even more vital to shout about what makes rural Britain so special. Our annual awards help champion our landscapes, our wildlife and our country heroes. This year’s nominees representthe best of rural Britain and are exceptional examples of what the UK’s countryside has to offer.”Unsurprisingly, the wonders of Scotland are well represented in this year’s awards.”
The winners will be announced online in March and will appear in the May issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine, which is on sale from 8 April. The complete list of nominees is available at: http://www.countryfile.com/awards2015-16
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- 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.
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
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