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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 29/11/2023

The 2023 Scottish Thistle Awards national final is fast approaching with the event to be held in Glasgow on 1 December. There the very best of Scotland’s tourism and events industry will be celebrated once again.

We deliver the Scottish Thistle Awards, in partnership with regional award programmes. They combine five regional awards, with a national final. This year we delivered two regional finals for Central and East and the West.

And for the first time, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance delivered the South of Scotland Thistle Awards, inviting nominations and entries from the tourism and events industry in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

The Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards (ACSTA) also hosted their own regional awards. Winners from all five regions progress to the national final.

Find out who has made it to the 2023 national final, good luck to everyone involved.

Thistles trophy

Best B&B or Guest House Experience

  • The Auld Kirk, Ballater
  • Melfort House, Oban
  • Newton Farm Holidays and Tours, Forfar
  • Nithbank Country Estate, Thornhill

Newton Farm Holidays

Best Bar or Pub

  • The Brae, Dreghorn
  • The Craftsman Company, Aberdeen
  • The Cross Keys Inn Ettrickbridge, Selkirk
  • MacGregor's Bars, Inverness
  • The Original Roslyn Inn, Roslin

The Original Hotel

Best Business Event

  • 30th BRAIN & BRAIN PET Conference at the Scottish Event Campus
  • The 22nd World Congress of Soil Science at the Scottish Event Campus
  • World Energy Council Executive Assembly & Energy Trilemma Summit at the P&J Live


Best Eating Experience

  • Allanton Inn, Berwickshire
  • Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish, Aberdeen
  • Drift, North Berwick
  • Edinbane Lodge, Edinbane
  • Lamlash House, Newmilns

Drift cafe

Best Hotel Experience

  • Auchrannie Resort, Isle of Arran
  • Cromlix, Dunblane
  • Cringletie, Peebles
  • Duisdale House Hotel, Isle of Skye
  • The Ferryhill House Hotel, Aberdeen

Auchrannie resort

Best Luxury Experience

  • Airhouses, Lauder
  • Nithbank Country Estate, Thornhill
  • The Old Millhouse, Dalkeith

Old Mill House

Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience

  • Down on the Farm, Fraserburgh
  • Foxlake Adventures, Dunbar
  • Kitchen Coos & Ewes, Newton Stewart
  • Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow
  • Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore

Pinkston watersports

Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience

  • Arden Holiday Cottage, Dumfries
  • Grampian Campervan Hire, Huntly
  • Jack's Alt-Stays, Millport
  • Lindores - Stay, Ride, Relax, Cupar
  • The Tin Shed, Moray

Jack Alt-stays

Best Visitor Attraction

  • Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen
  • The Burrell Collection, Glasgow
  • Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Edinburgh
  • Seabird and Seals - The Original Noss Boat Tours, Shetland
  • Trimontium Museum, Melrose

Trimontium museum

Celebrating Thriving Communities

  • Alloa Hub, Alloa
  • The Devil's Porridge Museum, Eastriggs
  • Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum (GALE), Gairloch
  • Dunbartonshire Council
  • Royal Deeside Golf Week, Aboyne

Antonine Wall sculpture

Climate Action Award

  • Cairngorm Bothies and Lodges, Deeside
  • Glasgow Life: Tourism and Conventions
  • Nithbank Country Estate, Thornhill
  • Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore

East Lothian Cottage

Inclusive Tourism Award

  • Crathie Opportunity Holidays, Ballater
  • Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow
  • RSPB Loch Leven, Kinross
  • Seabirds and Seals - The Original Noss Boat Tours, Shetland

Sea bird and seals

Innovation in Tourism

  • Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Edinburgh
  • Dalscone Farm, Dumfries
  • Mharsanta, Glasgow
  • Stories of Scotland Podcast, Nairn


Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival

  • Borders Book Festival, Melrose
  • Dandelion Festival 2022, Glasgow
  • Fringe by the Sea, North Berwick
  • HebCelt Festival, Stornoway
  • Spectra, Aberdeen

Borders book festival

Outstanding Sporting Event

  • Battle of the Brits, Aberdeen
  • The Genesis Scottish Open, Haddington
  • Mull Rally, Isle of Mull

Mull Rally

Tourism & Hospitality Employer of the Year

  • The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, Aberdeen
  • The Beagle Country Club and Barend Holiday Lodges, Dalbeattie
  • Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews
  • The Drumossie Hotel, Inverness
  • SEA LIFE Loch Lomond, Alexandria

Old course St Andrews

Tourism Individual of the Year

  • Alan McDougal FIH, Crowne Plaza
  • Ian Pithie, The Gordon Highlanders Museum
  • Katie Scott, The Real Mary King's Close
  • Melanie Allen, Nithbank Country Estate
  • Michael Golding, Visit Loch Ness Inverness

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