Fall for the Highlands this autumn
Brilliant moments in the Highlands, as well as autumnal short breaks and holidays, are all being promoted as part of VisitScotland’s latest seasonal campaign.
The national tourism organisation, in partnership with the Highland Council, Cairngorms Business Partnership and Cairngorms National Park Authority, is using a combination of print advertising, digital and social media to target potential visitors from the UK.
The campaign began last month and will run until November. It aims to reinforce the region’s key strengths and challenge visitors’ perceptions by promoting ‘Brilliant Moments in the Highlands are closer than you think’, and encouraging them to take a break in the Highlands this autumn. While the campaign covers the entire Highlands, some activity focuses specifically on the Cairngorms National Park. The digital activity alone has the potential to be seen by over eight million people and the press activity, by over 485,000.
Campaign advertising includes stunning images of Glen Affric near Drumnadrochit, Eilean Donan Castle in Lochalsh, Loch an Eilean and majestic red deer stags in the Cairngorms National Park. Other striking images include Knockan Crag, Assynt; the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel, Lochaber; Elgol, Isle of Skye; a ceilidh at Bogbain Farm, Inverness; celebrations at Fort George, near Inverness; mountain biking in Glen Coe and Castle Sinclair Girnigoe at Caithness.
Autumn is the season of golden colours, roaring stags, hunting eagles and rare migrant birds, all of which can be enjoyed in the Highlands. There are also a brilliant array of diverse events lined up this season, including Beer ‘N’ Folk in Kingussie, the Torridon Mountain and Sea Festival, the Highland Archaeology Festival and the Golden Spurtle – World Porridge Making Championship in Carrbridge – all taking place in October.
The Highlands offer all-year-round outdoor adventure opportunities. Visitors can try their hand at climbing Torridon or swinging in the trees at the Nevis Range High Wire Adventure in Lochaber, go mountain biking on the Highland Wildcat Trails at Golspie or ride a wave in Scotland’s surfing capital, Thurso.
The Highlands is a region alive with ancient mystery. Visitors can take the iconic North Coast 500 route over 500 miles of picturesque coast and countryside and discover the Pictish and Viking mysteries of Caithness, or some archaeological gems along the Strathnaver Trail. Further west, they can also gaze across the 3,000-million-year-old wilderness of the North West Highlands Geopark.
Potential visitors are also being offered the chance to enjoy their own brilliant moments with a four night break for two at the 4* Muckrach Country House Hotel in the Cairngorms up for grabs, as well as a private guided wildlife watching trip with Speyside Wildlife and a chauffeured tour in an S2 Bentley, with Bygone Drives.
The campaign, which is aimed at people living in Scotland and the north of England, focuses on promoting the world-class scenery, rich history, popular cultural events and wildlife that makes the Highlands such a popular destination for visitors.
A movie map produced by VisitScotland also aims to inspire travellers to visit the locations of films shot in the Highlands and this autumn, the film Macbeth, featuring Michael Fassbender, is also being released, catapulting the Isle of Skye, Moray Speyside and Inverness onto the big screen once again.
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“The Highlands provide a stunning escape - whether for an autumnal holiday or short break. In this, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, there is a plethora of beautiful restaurants, cafes and eateries, not to mention countless local producers and suppliers who all promote the best of Highland cuisine.
“This region is the perfect location for the outdoor enthusiast, with plenty activities, including coastal walks, as well as beautiful natural landscapes, beaches and wildlife for those wanting a more relaxing stay.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities and we’ll continue to work hard to promote the Highlands as we move into the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design.
“This latest campaign will show off the Highlands’ best assets as well as encouraging people to request more information and book a break in this beautiful part of Scotland.”
Chair of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair said:
“We know how important it is to promote the Highlands as a year-round destination so we are delighted to support this campaign. Autumn is a particularly fantastic time to visit the Highlands and see it in all its seasonal, natural beauty. As well as stunning autumn colours, there are excellent wildlife spotting opportunities and lots of outdoor activities and historical sites to enjoy.
“Whether it’s for an autumnal short break or a winter holiday, a warm welcome awaits visitors whatever the weather. So I encourage everyone to put on the appropriate gear and get outdoors to explore.”
Murray Ferguson, Director of Planning and Rural Development at the Cairrngorms National Park Authority, said:
“The Cairngorms National Park is a stunning place to be this autumn. The scenery is always the big attraction but at this time of year the light and the colours are at their very best – the Park is a real asset to the Highlands, and to Scotland as a whole.
“It has been great to work so closely with VisitScotland, the Cairngorms Business Partnership and Highland Council to promote this very special place.”
Mark Tate, CEO of the Cairngorms Business Partnership, said:
“Autumn is a time when the Cairngorms National Park is at its most spectacular, with clear, crisp air and golden colours, and the chance of a dusting of snow on the mountains. Evenings can be spent in front of a roaring fire enjoying local ales, whisky, food and music.
“The lucky winners of the competition will get a real flavour of just how stunning the Cairngorms National Park is in autumn, travelling in style with Bygone Drives, exploring the exceptional wildlife with Speyside Wildlife and being luxuriously pampered at the 4-star Taste our Best Muckrach Hotel.”