New Campaign Highlights How The South Of Scotland Dazzles In The Darker Months

The latest Scotland Starts Here campaign features a must-do winter ‘Bucket List’ showcasing the best of the region in the chilly season, including starry picnics and coo spotting. 

A new winter ‘Bucket List’ has been created by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) as part of its ‘Scotland Starts Here’ promotional campaign to highlight the very best of the region during the winter months, with unmissable activities ranging from stargazing and magical frosty walks to visiting Burns’ favourite howff and learning to curl. 

Designed with feedback from tourism and hospitality businesses in the South of Scotland, the carefully curated bucket list forms part of a new digital marketing campaign: Endless Adventures All Year Round.   

The campaign aims to attract visitors to the area during the typically quieter seasons by showcasing everything that the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway have to offer, as well as highlighting the beauty and charm of the region all year round.  

With nine different sections, the bucket list calls attention to a wide array of unique places, activities, and events taking place in the South of Scotland, including:  

  • learning to curl,  
  • picnicking under the stars in one of the region’s famous ‘Dark Sky’ zones,  
  • spotting distinctive Belted Galloway cows, known locally as ‘Belties’,  
  • taking a frosty stroll across the Border on the Union Chain Bridge at Paxton House,  
  • visiting the curiously named Devil’s Porridge Museum,  
  • sampling the region’s delicious seasonal cuisine, and much, much more! 

The campaign, which has already reached over half a million people, is running across the SSDA’s consumer-facing platform, Scotland Starts Here, and its associated social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, X) until March 2024.  

Alongside the new digital marketing campaign, which will drive awareness in target markets, tourism and hospitality businesses in the region will also have access to campaign materials, such as social media graphics, so they can share the message to their own audiences. 

The new campaign was designed to support local businesses year-round as part of the SSDA’s long term strategy to increase tourism in the South of Scotland and put the region on the map as a year-round destination. 

David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said: “The South of Scotland is a truly magical place in the wintertime and we want everyone to have the chance to experience all the fantastic things for visitors of all ages to do, see and discover. 

“With that in mind, we’re proud to have launched our new Endless Adventures All Year Round campaign, which will highlight all the unmissable things to explore and experience throughout the seasons. For each, we’re creating a handy ‘bucket list’ using feedback from our wonderful tourism and hospitality businesses on what they want to see highlighted in each season. Our first one, the Winter Bucket List, features everything from jaw-dropping dark skies and unforgettable Burns landmarks to wintery wonderlands and sumptuous Scottish food and drink. 

“This was a collaborative and collective effort, directly informed by our engagement with local tourism and hospitality businesses to ensure that our focus completely reflected the excellence of the South of Scotland in the cooler months. In a nutshell, our winter bucket list is guaranteed to make for an unforgettable stay!” 


The launch of the new digital marketing campaign, which aligns with the SSDA’s focus on sustainable tourism development, follows the news that National Geographic Traveller (UK) has named the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, Scotland’s first UNESCO Biosphere, as the only Scottish destination in its renowned global Cool List 2024. 

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