A host of Scotland’s most outstanding visitor destinations and attractions have been nominated for prestigious awards by national publication BBC Countryfile Magazine.
And with the February 28 voting deadline fast approaching, the public are encouraged not to delay in helping their favourites become winners of the prestigious title’s 2016/17 Awards.
Now in their sixth year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards celebrate the best of the British countryside, from its great heritage attractions and favourite holiday destinations to its most stunning nature reserves and finest rural pubs.
This year’s awards feature 12 separate categories and the shortlist of nominees from all over the UK was selected by some of the country’s most respected travel, nature and outdoors writers and broadcasters. The experts nominated a total of 10 Scottish finalists across the categories:
· Isle of Mull as Holiday Destination of the Year - nominated by Anita Rani, Countryfile presenter
· Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park as National Park of the Year - nominated by John Craven, Countryfile presenter
· Skara Brae, Orkney as Heritage Site of the Year - nominated by Bill Bryson, best-selling author and former chair of CPRE
· Inverewe Gardens, Wester Ross as Garden of the Year - nominated by Joe Swift, Gardeners’ World presenter
· Abernethy Forest, Strathspey, Highlands as Nature Reserve of the year - nominated by Brett Westwood, Radio 4 presenter
· The Stein Inn, Waternish, Skye as Country Pub of the Year – nominated by Pete Brown, author of ‘The Pub’
· Balephuil Bay, Tiree, Argyll & The Isles as Beach of the Year - nominated by Hermione Cockburn, Coast presenter
· Seacliff near North Berwick, East Lothian as Beach of the Year - nominated by Hermione Cockburn, Coast presenter
· Bass Rock, Fife image ‘Gannet Glory’, photographed by Ken Lewis as Reader Photo of the Year - nominated by Naomi Wilkinson, Countryfile presenter
· Orkney-set ‘The Outrun’ by Amy Liptrot as Book of the Year - nominated by Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine.
Votes can be placed – by February 28 - online at the BBC Countryfile Magazine website at www.countryfile.com/awards
People can vote in each category but multiples votes for the same nominee from the same email address will not be accepted. The winners will be announced mid-March online and will appear in the May issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine which goes on sale on April 7.
Around 12,000 votes were cast by almost 18,000 voters in last year’s BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards – which saw Dumfries & Galloway named Holiday Destination of The Year, Bass Rock taking the Nature Reserve of The Year title and The Applecross Inn, Strathcarron, winning Pub of The Year.
VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: “It’s wonderful that once again so many great examples of the superb quality and range of Scotland’s tourism assets have been shortlisted in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards. The panel has picked outstanding nominees which richly deserve to be named as national winners so I would encourage as many people as possible to take the time to vote for each of our Scottish finalists so that we can celebrate just how special and appreciated they are.”
Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for nominations from Scotland – again reflecting the thrilling diversity of landscapes and visitor attractions across the country. It’s a reminder to those who haven’t visited Scotland to make immediate plans!”