Honours for Scotland’s top outdoor and leisure businesses

The great and the good of the Scottish outdoor and leisure industry came together to be honoured in Glasgow at the weekend.

On Sunday, October 29, the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards took over the Glasgow Marriott for an evening.

The Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards were created to showcase and reward outstanding contributions to Scotland’s outdoor and leisure industry, the businesses across the nation displaying unrivaled quality and contributing to Scotland’s reputation as one of the world’s best tourist destinations.

Best Glamping
winner Lomond Woods Holiday Park

Thousands of public nominations were received across 17 categories such as Scotland’s Best Family Holiday Park, Scotland’s Best Glamping, Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction and Scotland’s Best Outdoor Festival. After the success of the inaugural awards, new categories were introduced including Scotland’s Best Brewery/Distillery Tour, Scotland’s Best Motorhome/Campervan Dealership and Scotland’s Best Golf Experience.

Over 25,000 votes were received in support of favourites across the country to create a shortlist of 115 finalists. Each business was asked to take stock of their business and provide a submission in support of their win, before an independent judging panel performed assessments of the customer facing elements of the business.

All finalists were invited to the gala final where the accolades were presented to the best of the best.

Best Garden Centre
winner the Mains of Drum

The gala final was an evening of gourmet food, sparkling drinks and eclectic entertainment in celebration of the best of Scotland’s outdoor and leisure businesses.

Hosted by Capital FM breakfast’s Des Clarke, the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards Gala Final was a celebration from start to finish.

Guests arrived to treats from official SOLA partners Thistly Cross Cider and Wester Spirits Co. before the 30 piece GU Big Band kicked off the evening with style.

Best Bus Tour
winner Highland Experience Tours

Host Des invited representation from sponsors and supporters to announce this year’s winners; tables jumped to their feet in celebration as the award for Scotland’s Best Leisure Resort Hotel went to Portavadie, the award for Scotland’s Best Booking Agent went to Best Scottish Tours and Deborah Ekins of Eagle Leisure presented the Best Self Catering award to Loch Tay Highland Lodges.

James Hughes, a former X Factor contestant, impressed the room with his big set of lungs with some classic sing-alongs and, the song he is famed for, Proud Mary. All enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal and the presentation of the night’s accolades continued.

Best Campsite
winner Blair Castle Caravan Park

Linda White of Thistly Cross presented the award for Scotland’s Best Outdoor Festival to The Enchanted Forest, Jamie Bruce Jones of SOLA Official Partner, Caledonia Play presented the award for Scotland’s Best Family Holiday Park to Drimsynie Estate Holiday Park; Stuart McMillan MSP, convenor of the Cross Party Group for Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism, presented the award for Scotland’s Best Marina to Portavadie, their second win for the night.

Choral Stimulation, Scotland’s best acapella group and stars of BBC’s The Naked Choir, impressed the audience with their naked versions of classic tunes and had the room singing along to 500 Miles.

Best Golf Experience
winner Carnoustie Golf Links

Warren Paul, CEO and founder of the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards is delighted with the reception in year two.

He said: ‘The inaugural awards created firm foundations to develop SOLA into an annual competition and a mainstay event of the industry, now we are seeing new businesses from across the country engage in year two.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the businesses that help to showcase our beautiful country; well done to all our finalists and congratulations to our 2017 winners! I look forward to an even bigger event in 2018!’

Best Self Catering
winner Loch Tay Highland Lodges

Best Booking Agent
Winner: Best Scottish Tours

Best Motorhome / Campervan Dealership
Winner: Campers Scotland Ltd.

Best Family Holiday Park
Winner: Drimsynie Estate Holiday Village


Best Garden Centre
Winner: The Mains of Drum

Best Glamping
Winner: Lomond Woods Holiday Park

Best Golf Experience
Winner: Carnoustie Golf Links

Best Marina
Winner: Portavadie

Best Newcomer
Winner: Nature Scotland

Best Brewery/Distillery Tour
Winner: Isle of Arran Distillery

Best Bus Tour
Winner: Highland Experience Tours

Best Outdoor Adventure
Experience winner Rolling Haggis


Best Outdoor Festival
Winner: The Enchanted Forest

Best Campsite
Winner: Blair Castle Caravan Park


Best Self Catering
Winner: Loch Tay Highland Lodges

Best Visitor Attractions
Winner: Blair Castle


Best Motorhome/Campervan Hire Company
winner the Tartan Camper Co


Best Leisure Resort Hotel
Winner: Portavadie