Tourism businesses to compete for honours in Scottish Thistle Awards

Four tourism businesses in the Borders have been shortlisted in the regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards, which celebrate firms which have gone the extra mile to offer an outstanding visitor experience.

The Big Tree Society, based at Buy Design Gallery at Harestanes, is one of the Central South East finalists competing for the honour of being named Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience.

It is up against Blown Away of St Andrews and Foxlake Adventures of East Lothian.

Fauhope House in Gattonside and Kingsmuir House in Peebles have both been named as regional finalists in the Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House category, and will go up against The Bridge Inn at Ratho.

And The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course is competing for the title of Most Hospitable Hotel against two of Edinburgh’s finest establishments, Prestonfield and No 11 Brunswick Street.

The Central South East regional winners will be announced on November 5 at The Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.

They will then progress to the glittering national final of the Scottish Thistles Awards at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow in March 2015, the closing night of Scottish Tourism Week.

A total of 48 finalists will go forward to compete for the 12 awards at the national final.

Stephen Carter OBE, VisitScotland board member and chairman of the Scottish Thistle Awards industry panel, said: “The Scottish Borders is home to a wealth of tourism talent of the highest calibre and I congratulate the local businesses shortlisted as Thistle Awards regional finalists and wish them the best of luck in the next stages of the competition.

“These awards provide us with a perfect opportunity to celebrate and reward the hard work, dedication and innovation taking place within the tourism sector throughout the country during what has been an exceptional year for the industry in Scotland.”