Friday, 15 August 2014

The Royal Yacht Britannia, UK’s no. 1 attraction, TripAdvisor

Staff at The Royal Yacht Britannia are thrilled by the news that Britannia has been named the Best Attraction in the UK in the TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award 2014. This prestigious award reflects the quantity and consistency of 5 Star “Excellent” reviews posted on this influential website by visitors to the former Royal Yacht during the last 12 months (to date, 72% of the 5,000 TripAdvisor reviews are Excellent, and 23.5% are Very Good).

Britannia has officially been Scotland’s best visitor attraction for the last nine years, with a current quality score of 96%, the highest mark ever awarded to a visitor attraction by national tourist board VisitScotland.

With a complimentary audio tour now available in 27 languages, the latest being: Turkish, Thai, Brazilian-Portuguese, Cantonese, and Punjabi, Britannia is believed to be the most translated audio tour in the world.Last month the former Royal Yacht also received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, an award that is given to the top 10% tourism businesses in the world.

Britannia’s Chief Executive, Bob Downie, said “We are absolutely delighted that our passion for delivering outstanding customer experiences has been so highly valued on TripAdvisor, and to be Number 1 in the UK is a tremendous achievement that our staff can be very proud of”.

TELLING THE STORY OF A NATIONAL HERO… at Scotland’s National Wallace Monument

Groups arriving at Stirling’s famous National Wallace Monument might well find themselves being welcomed by a sword-wielding warrior from Wallace’s army!  Perhaps they will notice a few other nasty-looking weapons in his armoury, as he demonstrates how Scotland’s National Hero managed to see off his enemies.

Regular performances by costumed actors are just one of the features of the Monument, a striking tribute to Scotland’s ‘Braveheart’, which towers above the woodlands of the city’s Abbey Craig.

As leader of the Scottish army which triumphed at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, William Wallace’s victory ensured that his name would become central to the story of the Scottish nation, and the exhibits and displays within the newly-refurbished Monument show just how he masterminded his victory, and how his legacy endures to this day.
 In a new film – commissioned especially for the Monument, Wallace is depicted in conversation with Andrew de Moray (who had fought alongside him in the battle), and of course visitors can also see Wallace’s legendary sword, a powerful symbol of the hero’s courage.  It now has pride of place in the Hall of Heroes – where the achievements of other famous Scots are recognised, from Robert Burns to Robert the Bruce, who led Scotland to victory at The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Special discounts are available for groups (10+) visiting the Monument (which is open every day), and further information can be obtained from www.nationalwallacemonument.com.

The St Andrews Golf Week

Can you imagine playing over the world famous links where names like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Old Tom Morris claimed some of their most memorable wins! Well here is your opportunity to achieve this dream and play The Old Course which will host The Open Championship again in 2015!

You will follow in the footsteps of the great and play not only the legendary Old Course but also the other excellent St Andrews courses - The New, The Jubilee and The Castle. There is also a days golf at the fantastic Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Whether an expert golfer or a little less practiced, the weeks programme lends itself to golfers of all standards, whilst at the same time allowing you to relax and savour the unique atmosphere of St Andrews, "The Home of Golf".Competitions throughout the week include scramble, stableford, am-am, medal play, nearest the hole and longest drive. For those wishing to work on their game there is golf tuition fromPGA Professionals available throughout the week.

The St Andrews Golf Week was first introduced in 1974 and continues to attract golfers from all over the world.

Please visit www.standrewsgolfweek.com for further information.

Contact: Links Golf St Andrews, 7 Pilmour Links, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9JG, Scotland. Tel: +44 (0)1334 478639

Dates: 12 – 18 April 2015 and 18 – 24 October 2015

Web: www.standrewsgolfweek.com

Winter Outings to the Battle Of Bannockburn

The National Trust for Scotland is delighted to announce that the first season at the new Battle of Bannockburn experience* has been a resounding success, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.  Open for business all year round, the NTS has introduced a treat for groups visiting over the winter period (Oct – March), with its new winter warmer package designed especially for the trade.

Pietro Cecchini, Head of Travel Trade at the Trust said, ‘Our expert catering team has created an inviting selection of tasty winter warmers exclusively for the group market. Featuring our award-winning Puddlebub bacon baps, Scottish venison Bannock-burgers, sumptuous afternoon teas and delicious winter punch with Schiltron whisky, we’re confident our new Battle of Bannockburn package will prove a winning winter combination for our trade partners and their clients.’700 years after the famous battle, the new Battle of Bannockburn experience places visitors at the heart of the action.  Using cutting-edge 3D technology visitors can learn about this momentous event in Scottish history and experience medieval warfare like never before.  Easily accessible from Edinburgh and Glasgow, the new experience has already secured a clutch of awards and nominations and is a must-see visit on any Scotland itinerary.

*Timed entry, pre-booking essential.

For bookings and enquiries email traveltrade@nts.org.uk, telephone 0844 493 2104 (+44 131 458 0204) from outside the UK), or visit www.nts.org.uk/traveltrade

Christmas at the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty the Queen.

As part of the Christmas display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the table in the Royal Dining Room will be laid with a silver service, presented to George V and Queen Mary in 1935 to mark their Silver Jubilee. Made in Edinburgh, the service was commissioned specifically for use at the Palace with each piece engraved with the Scottish Coat of Arms. Also included in the display will be pieces from a Bloor Derby porcelain dessert service ordered by Queen Victoria and first exhibited in 1842 during the week of Christmas. On selected dates in December, visitors can also enjoy an Exclusive Evening Tour of the royal residence. Led by an expert guide, the tours offer a special behind-the-ropes experience including the special Christmas display. All tickets include a glass of champagne and festive mince pie, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide and a 20% discount at Royal Collection Trust shops.

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014. Photographer: Mike Davidson

Breathing Life into a Blend At The Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience is increasing its visitor offering by giving whisky fans the chance to create their own unique blend with the launch of the new Blend Your Own sessions.

The art of blending whisky is an extremely complex practice and this new offering will unlock the often mysterious world to connoisseurs and novices alike.  The opportunity to blend whiskies is not widely available and the attraction’s highly trained team will impart the skills required to create a blend, before allowing amateur blenders the chance to create their very own Scotch Whisky.

Suitable for whisky loving groups of ten or more, the participants will receive a small bottle of their blend to take home, as well as a certificate of blending.

Susan Morrison, director and general manager of The Scotch Whisky Experience said: “If distilling whisky is a complex science, then blending is the true art of our industry.Over the years, many of our visitors have quizzed us on the processes involved in creating a blend, so we are delighted to be able to offer our visitors this new experience.

“Everyone has different tastes when it comes to Whisky and we look forward to helping our visitors create their own perfect dram over the coming months.”

The new blending package costs £65 per person and includes a tour of the attraction, a viewing of the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky and a tasting of four regional Single Malt Whiskies, alongside the blending session.

For more information, or to book, visit www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk or call 0131 220 0441

Dido Belle – Her Story

‘there are few paintings which attract as much interest and admiration as that of the portrait of Lady Elizabeth Murray and Dido Elizabeth Murray, by Johann Zoffany, which hangs in the Ambassador’s room at Scone Palace. The story of Dido is one of controversy, as the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and an African slave woman and has been brought to life through the recent major movie, Belle. Dido was raised by her great uncle, the 1st Earl of Mansfield who left Scone Palace as a thirteen year old boy and went on to become Lord Chief Justice and one of the most influential figures in legal history. To coincide with the film, we have staged an exhibition not only telling of her extraordinary life, but also her life in the context of legal history.’


9th May – 31st October

Visit our ‘Dido Belle – Her Story’ Exhibition which tells the unique story of Elizabeth Dido Belle, whose portrait hangs here at Scone Palace and is the subject of the forthcoming feature film – ‘Belle’.