Tourism blossoms in Galloway
Galloway’s annual Snowdrop Festival visitor attraction is about to get underway soon and it will take place against a backdrop of booming tourist figures in the region.
Logan Botanic Garden will be welcoming visitors every Sunday in February to enjoy the snowdrop displays. As one of the country’s most exotic gardens, the horticultural haven is fully open every day from March 1 to allow viewings of the snowdrops as well as early flowering Rhododendrons and Camellias.
Broughton House and Garden in Kirkcudbright will also be participating in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival from February 1 until March 11. Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, the attraction allows visitors to cross into the Edwardian world of renowned ‘Glasgow Boy’ artist E. A. Hornel. The snowdrops within the garden provided inspiration for some of Hornel’s best known paintings.
Romantically situated on an isthmus, Castle Kennedy Gardens provide a stunning backdrop to the swathes of snowdrops and Spring bulbs, which appear in February and March.
Woodland paths and loch-side drives will be opened to allow visitors to experience over three miles of snowdrop-lined walks and car drives. Specialist snowdrops can also be found in the Walled Garden and near the ruined castle.
Organised by garden tourism group Discover Scottish Gardens and supported by VisitScotland, the festival aims to encourage locals and tourists to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s gardens during the snowdrop flowering period and highlight the country’s diverse collections.
In the meantime, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed figures which show that the number of overseas visitors to Scotland from Europe has increased by 22 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September 2018.
Over the same period, the money spent by European visitors while visiting Scotland also increased by seven per cent to £1.5 billion - with total spending last year at £1.15bn.
She added that the figures also showed there was a 14.3 per cent increase in overseas overnight visits to Scotland (now worth £3.5bn) and a 3.3 per cent increase in overseas tourism expenditure in Scotland (from £2.18bn to 2.25bn).