Activity centres make award shortlist

Top activity centres in Dumfries and Galloway have been shortlisted for a prestigious tourism award.

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Galloway Activity Centre, and Forestry Commission Scotland’s Galloway Forest Park are all set to compete for the Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience Award at the Scottish Thistle Awards Central South West regional final.

A total of 14 Dumfries & Galloway businesses, events and individuals earned a place on the shortlist.

The prestigious competition, which celebrates excellence in the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry, will see finalists from across not just Dumfries & Galloway but also Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, battle it out across 15 different categories.

Paula McDonald, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “With 14 shortlisted finalists, Dumfries & Galloway is certainly leading the charge when it comes to excellence and that’s exactly what the Scottish Thistle Awards is all about - celebrating those who are doing everything they can to ensure visitors are offered the warmest welcome and first-class service.

I’d like to wish all local businesses the best of luck for the next stage of the competition.”

Winners will be announced at the Central South West regional final at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday 4 November, with successful finalists in each category then going on to represent their respective region in the glittering national Scottish Thistle Award final next year.

Stephen Carter OBE, VisitScotland Board Member and Chair of the Scottish Thistle

Awards Industry Panel, said: “It’s been fantastic to see such an overwhelming response from the general public to this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.

“The Scottish Thistles Awards help celebrate the shining stars of our tourism and hospitality sector and recognise those who strive to offer visitors a truly memorable experience of Scotland.

“From the sheer volume and calibre of entries, it is clear that this year’s competition will be the fiercest yet and on behalf of the panel I’d like to congratulate all the shortlisted entrants and wish each and every one of them the very best of the luck at the regional finals later this year.”

Other local nominees up for awards include:

Best Informal Eating Experience - Selkirk Arms Hotel, Kirkcudbright

Friendliest Pub / Bar - Star Hotel, Twynholm

Best Visitor Attraction - The Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail

Most Hospitable B&B / Guest House - The Knowe B&B, Carsphairn

Best Holiday Accommodation - Loch Ken Eco Bothies, Castle Douglas / Ross Bay Retreat, Kirkcudbright

Best Outdoor / Adventure Experience - Forest Enterprise Scotland’s Galloway Forest Park / Galloway Activity Centre, Castle Douglas / Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Gatehouse

Regional Ambassador - Vincent & Ruby Marr, Marrbury Smokehouse, Carsluith Castle, Newton Stewart and Keith Muir, Head of Tourism, Galloway Forest Park.