Adventure giveaway is just the ticket

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Visitors from across Scotland are being encouraged to come to Dumfries and Galloway during April as part of a major initiative between VisitScotland and Scotland’s major transport providers.

The Big April Adventures special ballot has come on the back of a unique celebration of one of Scotland’s most famous explorers during this Year of Natural Scotland 2013.

The first ever John Muir Day will take place on April 21, celebrating the 175th anniversary of the birth of Scottish-born explorer and “father of National Parks”.

VisitScotland, in collaboration with Scotland’s major transport providers ScotRail and Stagecoach/Citylink have contributed to more than 20,000 tickets for free or discounted travel as part of the Big April Adventures promotion during April.

Offering Scots the opportunity to rediscover childhood haunts or explore new destinations, accommodation deals, attractions and activities will also be available online for those wishing to make the most of an April adventure.

Escapes could include train travel to Dumfries and Galloway to enjoy April’s Wild Spring Festival with more than 100 events taking place throughout the region, trying out the world-class mountain biking trails at the 7Stanes locations, or visiting the WWT Caerlaverock Wetlands Centre where you can witness the whooper swan and find out more about the thousands of barnacle geese which migrate there every year.

The aim of Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is to promote Scotland’s stunning natural beauty and biodiversity, and promote ways in which visitors can enjoy our beautiful landscapes, wildlife and heritage responsibly. It provides an opportunity to celebrate our reputation as a land of outstanding beauty, and encourage responsible tourism in Scotland.

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “The Big April Adventures is all about getting people in Scotland out and about experiencing our wonderful country for themselves in this the Year of Natural Scotland.

“Through this initiative we’ll be making sure that people are encouraged to come to Dumfries and Galloway, experiencing new adventures and landscapes just like one of our greatest explorers, John Muir. The Big April Adventure adds an extra dimension to the dedicated local marketing campaign we deliver for Dumfries and Galloway.

“We are extremely grateful to our transport partners across the country, as without their help and enthusiasm this initiative would not be possible.”

Tickets for the Big April Adventures are available through www.visitscotland.com/BigAprilAdventures with weekly winners drawn on a random basis in the form of the ballot which is now open. Terms and conditions apply.