Some of Scotland’s most outstanding visitor attractions have been named as finalists in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018.
The Old Forge, Callanish Stones, Loch Druidibeg, Luskentyre Beach and Speyside will compete for the coveted awards in a public vote which begins today (19 January) and runs until 5 March, and national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, is urging the public to cast their vote.
Countryfile readers were asked to suggest “the greatest sites in the countryside” and a panel of experts, including BBC Countyfile presenter John Craven and author and rural affairs journalist Mark Rowe, whittled down the nominees to a shortlist of five per category.
- The Old Forge, mainland Britain’s most remote pub - based in the Highlands - has been shortlisted as Pub of the Year. Judge Phoebe Smith said:“It’s set in a beautiful landscape looking out to the islands – a great reward for the effort it takes to get there and have that pint.”
- The Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis is a finalist in the Landmark of the Year category. The 5,000-year-old stones, with their “awe-inspiring ancient mystery”, are a “stunning landmark”, according to judge Mark Rowe.
- Loch Druidibeg on South Uist is up for Nature Reserve of the Year. Described by judge Mark Rowe as a site of “austere beauty”, the loch ismanaged by Scottish Natural Heritage and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.
- Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris has been shortlisted for Beach of the Year. The magazine describes the beach as “heavenly” and one of the “most spectacular beaches on Harris”.
- Speyside is a finalist for Holiday Destination of the Year and is described in the shortlisting as “one of the loveliest parts of the British Isles”. Judge Fergus Collins called it “a proper taste of Highlands”.
Now in their seventh year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 are a celebration of the British countryside and its people, from mighty landmarks and outstanding national parks to the best nature reserves and finest rural pubs.
Last year’s awards saw Abernethy Forest, Strathspey, Highlands named Nature Reserve of The Year and Inverewe Gardens in Wester Ross taking the title Garden of The Year.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
“We’re delighted that Scotland once again features prominently in the prestigious BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards. It’s Scotland’s wonderful mix of awe-inspiring landscapes, stunning beaches, wondrous wildlife and fascinating heritage and culture that draw millions of visitors every year, so it is little wonder that readers and judges have nominated some of our outstanding attractions among the UK’s greatest countryside sites.
“Each of them richly deserve to be crowned national winners and I would encourage as many people as possible to take the time to vote for these outstanding Scottish sites.”
Judge Mark Rowe said:
“The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards are about celebrating the joy, wonder and care we all share for the landscapes, wildlife and communities of rural Britain. The shortlists comprise some familiar names and locations as well as more than a few underdogs and intriguing nominations - and they come from all corners of the UK.”
The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 expert panel comprised:
- John Craven, Countryfile presenter
- Miranda Krestovnikoff, BBC presenter and naturalist
- Phoebe Smith, author and adventurer
- Mark Rowe, author and rural affairs journalist
- Sheena Harvey, BBC Wildlife Magazine editor
- Fergus Collins, BBC Countryfile Magazine editor
For more on the awards and to vote, go to http://www.countryfile.com/awards
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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- 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 tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
2018 Year of Young People
- The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
- The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
- Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
- Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
- The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
- oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
- oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
- oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
- oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
- oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
- oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
- Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.