TOURISM businesses across Tweeddale are celebrating after winning a bumper crop of regional tourism awards.

The Borders took home seven coveted prizes at the Scottish Thistle Awards regional finals for the Lothian and Borders regional final of the Scottish Thistle Awards, which took place on Thursday, November 23 at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Scottish Thistle Awards, which celebrates success, innovation, excellence and best practice in the country’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Winners on the night included; Kingsmuir House in Peebles (Most Hospitable B&B/Guest house), Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen (Best Heritage Tourism Experience) and Windlestraw in Walkerburn (Most Hospitable Hotel).

Further afield, other winners were; Airhouses near Lauder (Best Accommodation Provider), The Firebrick Brassiere in Lauder (Best Restaurant Experience) and Seasons - Full of Flavour restaurant in Gattonside (Best Informal Eating Experience).

Galashiels' Peter Gilchrist was also named HIT Scotland Regional Rising Star, which celebrates individuals who show real promise as a rising star in Scottish tourism and a passion for their future and the future of the industry.

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “On behalf of the panel, I’d like to congratulate all our regional winners. They are a credit to themselves, their local area and the entire Scottish tourism sector.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it creates jobs and sustains communities. These awards let us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.

“As we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary I’d like to wish all our regional winners the very best for the next stage of the competition.”

Malcolm Mullarkey from Kingsmuir House said: “This is such a pleasure and privilege for Kingsmuir House to be acknowledged by The Scottish Thistle Awards 2017/18. We were delighted when Kingsmuir House was selected as the Winner for Lothian & Borders regional finals.

“This an exceptional achievement making me so proud of the quality, attention to detail and the customer service we provide to all of our guests has been recognised.”

John and Sylvia Matthews from Windlestraw said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted for the second year in a row for this prestigious and respected award especially as it is only our second year of operations.

“To go one step further this year is a real boost to us and the small team at Windlestraw and encourages us to continuing the investment.

“The borders region is probably the most overlooked in Scotland as a destination and we welcome the opportunity to represent the region in the finals.’’

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