Rural Tourism Finalists 2018

The Cocoabean Company

Twynholm, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway

The Cocoabean Company is a family-run chocolate factory and visitor attraction founded in Twynholm in the south west of Scotland in 2005 by owner Claire Beck. What started as a hobby business from a passion for chocolate and a background in new product development soon turned into a fully functioning business operating from the family home.


Stranraer Development Trust

Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway

The Stranraer Development Trust (SDT) was officially formed in 2015, receiving charitable status in February 2016 as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The SDT’s Board comprises seven members who are dedicated to securing the funding necessary to create community projects specifically geared towards attracting more visitors and consequently more business to the town – for everyone’s benefit.


Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Elgin, Moray

First launched in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival’s annual celebration of Scotland’s national drink has developed into one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world. With a programme of around 500 whisky-inspired events over five days, the festival is a mecca for the curious beginner and the whisky connoisseur alike.


New Lanark World Heritage Site

South Lanarkshire

New Lanark is an 18th century former cotton-spinning mill village founded in 1785 by David Dale and Richard Arkwright. The village’s rural location is nestled within the Clyde Valley, on the banks of the River Clyde beside the famous Falls of Clyde waterfalls. The site is currently managed and maintained by New Lanark Trust, a Registered Scottish Charity (SC008552).


Logan Botanic Garden

Port Logan, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway

Logan was historically a traditional, country house garden and was gifted to the nation in 1961. It is now one of the regional gardens of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh that comprise one of the world’s richest plant collections. Logan comprises the Garden, Bistro and a shop, together employing over 25 people throughout the year, and making it a key employer in this rural community.


Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust – Falls of Shin Visitor Attraction

Achany, Sutherland

After being destroyed in a fire in 2013, the Falls of Shin Visitor Attraction reopened in May 2017
to much acclaim from both the community and further afield. Now under the ownership of local
charity the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust; the attraction has a range of newly designed
features for visitors to enjoy. Designed by local architect Catriona Hill, the unique building is
based on the concept of a salmon, inspired by the fish regularly seen leaping at the falls.


Gordon Castle Estate

Fochabers, Moray

Gordon Castle Estate, Walled Garden and the Gordon Castle Scotland brand are the results of eight years hard work by Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox since they took over the running of Gordon Castle Estate, Fochabers in 2008. Today, the estate offers exclusive use accommodation in the castle, self-catering holiday cottages, world-class salmon fishing, Walled Garden visitor attraction, natural children’s play area and a cafe serving delicious fresh food from the garden and local suppliers.


DD8 Music

Kirriemuir, Angus

DD8 Music is a charity based in the Angus town of Kirriemuir. For the past 13 years they have organised the annual “Bonfest” music festival, that sees AC/DC fans from all over the world coming together to celebrate the band’s singer Bon Scott, who was originally from there. They were also behind the life sized bronze statue of Bon that now brings tourists to the town year round. All profits from the festival go back into the music based youth work the charity carries out.


Crail Food Festival

Crail, Fife

The first Crail Food Festival was held in 2011, established to provide an attraction which would extend the tourist season for the village of Crail, which traditionally welcomes guests in July and August, but has a much quieter period in June after the May bank holidays, and before the school holidays begin. They are a volunteer-led, local festival with a huge amount of heart and love for Crail and the local rural area.


Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze

Cupar, Fife

Cairnie Fruit Farm and Mega Maze is a family-run farming enterprise established in 1970 specialising in Grade 1 soft fruit production for the commercial market as well as being one of the original Pick Your Own farms in all of Scotland. Over the decades the business has evolved into ‘Agritainment’ with the addition of a purpose built farm shop and indoor/outdoor cafe, a six acre Maize Maze and large outdoor Funyard.