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Essential award-winning experiences you have to have in Scotland!

Have you had an unforgettable, award-winning experience at one of your favourite locations in Scotland? Whether an outdoor adventure, a fantastic welcome in a hotel, bar or restaurant, brilliant event or more? Have you heard of the Scottish Thistle Awards?

We all know there are hundreds of quirky, welcoming, and memorable hotels, restaurants and attractions across Scotland and you can help them get the recognition they deserve!

Scottish Thistle Awards – What are they?

VisitScotland’s annual Scottish Thistle Awards is your opportunity to nominate the best service around. Whether you’ve had the most welcoming stay in a hotel, hostel or B&B, an adrenaline rush at your favourite outdoor centre, or the best food you’ve tasted in years, you can nominate them for an award. The awards see all kinds of businesses recognised for their brilliance in Scottish tourism.

Award winners

Kylesku Hotel - Winner resized

Most Hospitable Hotel Winner – Kylesku Hotel, Sutherland

Explore Rosslyn Chapel, the current Best Visitor Attraction winner, and its rich heritage and history, or for a fantastic welcome, head for the recently refurbished, family-run Kylesku Hotel in Sutherland which scooped Most Hospitable Hotel.

Also family-run, experience the warmth of #ScotSpirit at the Applecross Inn in Wester Ross, winner of the Friendliest Pub/Bar which also offers comfortable accommodation for its guests.

Venachar Lochside in the Trossachs, current winners of the Best Informal Eating experience, is a café, restaurant and venue on the north shore of Loch Venachar, run by husband and wife and their tightknit Front of House team.

Claiming Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience, Foxlake Adventures in Dunbar has a variety of activities from wakeboarding to woodland trails and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Find out more about our current winners.

How can YOU join in?

Venachar Lochside - resized

Best Informal Eating Experience Winner – Venachar Lochside

Or to be a part of the awards why not just nominate your favourite place and see them be in with a chance of winning?
Check out the categories below:

Accommodation – Most Hospitable Hotel, Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House, and Best Accommodation Provider
Food & Drink – Friendliest Pub/Bar, Best Informal Eating Experience, and Best Restaurant Experience
Tourism – Tourism and Hospitality Hero, Working Together for Tourism, and Innovation in Tourism
Events/Attractions/Sports – Best Cultural Event or Festival, Best Sporting Event, Best Visitor Attraction and Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
Regional – Regional Rising Star, and Regional Ambassador

Find out more on the specifics of each category.

Who can be nominated?

Anyone can nominate anyone! If you’ve a favourite place in Scotland where you’ve had a fantastic experience, then get nominating! Even the daintiest, cosiest corners of Scotland have excellence that needs to be discovered and appreciated.

Discover everything you need to know about the nomination process, but be quick, nominations close 17 June!

If you’ve had a memorable experience at one of your most loved places share it with us on our social channels; Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #ThistleAwards.


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