Most Coach Friendly Shopping Attraction
This award is designed to recognise and reward shopping attractions who have gone 'that extra mile' to accommodate, attract, and welcome coaches, their drivers and their passengers.
It was once again a very close contest this year between attractions which had done a great deal of hard work in this area.
Winners: Gretna Green Blacksmith's Shop, Dumfries & Galloway
One of Scotland's first visitor attractions, the historic blacksmiths shop was officially opened to the public in 1886. The site is still owned and managed by the same family, who have overseen its evolution with each generation.
Nowadays, in addition to the historic blacksmiths shop, there are various shopping and catering features and a picturesque sculpture garden. The destination of Gretna Green is well known within the coach travel industry and the attraction has developed to cope with changes in the tourism market.
Of more than 700,000 visitors a year, 60% are from the coach travel industry and the delivery of service from the 100 plus strong team of full and part-time staff, who welcome and look after everyone who visits, is a key asset.
The judges welcomed the particular effort that the Blacksmith's Shop has put into making this an essential stop en route to other locations and its coach-oriented facilities are a major strength appreciated by all in the industry involved with travel to and from Scotland. By this means the site benefits from the most powerful marketing tool of all: word of mouth. The nominations received in support of Gretna Green's coach friendliness is evidence of the attraction's credibility and reputation in the coach travel industry.
Runners Up: Oswaldtwistle Mills
- Trafford Centre
- Bury Market
- Boundary Mill Stores
Who could be nominated?
Shopping attractions around the UK including markets, mills, out of town shopping centres and town or city centre shopping centres.
… and by whom
Coach operators were asked to nominate attractions whose service they have admired during the last 12 months, to explain why they think the nominated attraction deserves this award.