The first ever Scottish Borders Winter Festival, 3-4 and 10-11 December

The first ever Scottish Borders Winter Festival, 3-4 and 10-11 December

The first ever Scottish Borders Winter Festival, 3-4 and 10-11 December

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2016-Dec-01 — /Travel PR News/ — VISITORS are being encouraged to travel to the Scottish Borders this Christmas for a unique new festival.

Several of the region’s towns and attractions have come together to host the first ever Scottish Borders Winter Festival. Special events are taking place in Galashiels, Kelso, Jedburgh, Selkirk and Hawick on the first two weekends in December (3-4 and 10-11).

Free buses will be running from Galashiels Railway Station to all the participating towns and attractions on both weekends to offer shoppers the unique opportunity to experience the region as a whole.

Highlights of the Festival include Grass Sledging with Born in Borders, a Kitsch Tea Party in Galashiels, the Selkirk Yarnbombers, a Christmas Tree Festival in Hawick and a Christmas Concert at Abbotsford House. Visitors can also soak up the festive atmosphere at a variety of Christmas markets and take part in guided tours, food and drink experiences and storytelling.

The region has strong links to the fashion and textile industry and is home to a host of local craftsmen, artists and specialist food and drink businesses creating distinct products from the outstanding natural larder and taking inspiration from the spectacular scenery on offer on their doorstep.

From hand-made confectionary to real ale, paintings to knitwear, the region is the ideal location for some inspirational and unique gift ideas this Christmas.

And with the re-establishment of the Borders Railway last year, people can make the trip on the 30-mile scenic route from Edinburgh to Galashiels this December and make the most of the authentic shopping experience on offer and a warm Borders welcome.

Doug Wilson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: 

We are well and truly on the countdown to Christmas and we would encourage visitors to take a day trip down to the Borders for a truly authentic shopping experience. The re-establishment of the railway line from Edinburgh through Midlothian to the Scottish Borders has had a massive impact on the local economy.

“Not only is the railway the perfect way to experience the beauty of the region, but visitors can also make the most of the bus services and visit the towns taking part in the first ever Scottish Borders winter festivals.

“The Scottish Borders is a county rich in diverse cultural industries with artists, potters, glassmakers and textile artists all based in the area. We also have strong links to the textile industry with a number of local companies used by top designer brands. Food and drink also plays a critical role in attracting visitors to the area with a number of quality producers placing emphasis on the provenance of their locally sourced produce. Whatever you are looking for this Christmas, take advantage of the transport on offer and make a trip down to the region for a memorable shopping experience.”

Will Haegeland of Destination Scottish Borders, organisers of the Scottish Borders Winter Festivals, said: 

“For the first time, Destination Scottish Borders – a collaborative group of towns in the Borders have come together to create a winter festival providing an additional experience to the Edinburgh Christmas Market.

“We’ve seen a great spirit of co-operation from every town involved and we are all focused on making this a success we can further build on for the future. Our overall aim is to make sure the Scottish Borders is seen as a destination in its own right.”

Councillor Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, said: 

“This is a fantastic initiative by Destination Scottish Borders, which I hope will encourage people from across Edinburgh, Midlothian and beyond to travel down to the Borders to see for themselves the outstanding products available in this area and enjoy our fabulous attractions and food and drink.

“I am delighted that the Council has been able to support Destination Scottish Borders turn this idea into reality, and it is great to see our Border towns come together to put on this type of activity for local people and visitors.”

Nesta Gilliland, Head of Marketing at Scotrail, said: 

“Our regular services are the perfect way to reach the many attractions the Borders has to offer and to experience beautiful countryside while you travel. The combination of train and complementary buses means shoppers don’t have to worry about jams and parking spaces, leaving them free to concentrate on finding special gifts for their friends and family this Christmas.”

The Borders Railway opened in September 2015 following a £294 million investment by the Scottish Government to re-establish passenger railway services between Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank for the first time since 1969.

The development includes 30 miles of railway and seven stations with a timetable offering half-hourly services on weekdays and Saturdays, including peak time cross-Edinburgh services to and from Fife.

Learn more about what can be discovered in Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders at www.visitscotland.com. For more information on the Borders Railway, please visit www.bordersrailway.co.uk To book tickets for the Borders Railway, visit www.scotrail.co.uk

For more information and a list of all the events at the Scottish Borders Winter Festivals, visit http://www.borderswinterfestival.com/

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
    2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016

SOURCE: VisitScotland

PRESS CONTACT

Amelia Whittaker

Corporate Press Officer
South Region, Taste Our Best
Amelia.Whittaker@visitscotland.com
01750 723806
Out of hours – 0131 472 2324

104 PR reads 1 PR reads today