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Scottish attractions nominated as 'greatest sites' in BBC Countryfile Awards 2018

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Five Scottish sites have been shortlisted for the annual BBC Countryfile Awards, with voting open until 5 March 2018.

The annual awards celebrate the British countryside and its people, from well-known landmarks and national parks, to the best nature reserves and finest rural pubs.

Last year’s awards saw Abernethy Forest, Strathspey, Highlands named Nature Reserve of The Year and Inverewe Gardens in Wester Ross taking the title Garden of The Year.

Now, VisitScotland is urging the public to cast their votes for the five shorlisted Scottish sites:

  • Pub of the year - The Old Forge in the Highlands near Mallaig. Judge Phoebe Smith said:“It’s set in a beautiful landscape looking out to the islands – a great reward for the effort it takes to get there and have that pint.”
  • Landmark of the Year - The Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis. The 5,000-year-old stones, with their “awe-inspiring ancient mystery”, are a “stunning landmark”, according to judge Mark Rowe.
  • Nature reserve of the year - Loch Druidibeg on South Uist. Described by judge Mark Rowe as a site of “austere beauty”, the loch ismanaged by Scottish Natural Heritage and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.
  • Beach of the Year - Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris. Countryfile magazine describes the beach as “heavenly” and one of the “most spectacular beaches on Harris”.
  • Holiday destination of the year – Speyside, described in the shortlisting as “one of the loveliest parts of the British Isles”. Judge Fergus Collins called it “a proper taste of Highlands”.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted that Scotland once again features prominently in the prestigious BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards. It’s Scotland’s wonderful mix of awe-inspiring landscapes, stunning beaches, wondrous wildlife and fascinating heritage and culture that draw millions of visitors every year, so it is little wonder that readers and judges have nominated some of our outstanding attractions among the UK’s greatest countryside sites.

“Each of them richly deserve to be crowned national winners and I would encourage as many people as possible to take the time to vote for these outstanding Scottish sites.”

How to vote

To cast your vote, visit the Countryfile website.

Images: Callanish Stones copyright Chris Coombe; Luskentyre beach coprygith Neil Aitkenhead.

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