Virtual Advent Calendar Offers Feelgood Festive Shopping To Support Local Businesses In The South Of Scotland

Christmas shoppers from around the UK can buy unique gifts from independent businesses across the South of Scotland

With the festive season fast approaching, a virtual advent calendar is being launched to showcase and support producers, activity providers and tourism providers across the South of Scotland.

Scotland Starts Here – Advent Calendar

Created by Scotland Starts Here, a campaign to showcase and support local businesses in the South of Scotland, the Christmas Starts Now, Christmas Starts Here virtual advent calendar is available on the Scotland Starts Here website.

Behind each of the 24 calendar windows, Christmas shoppers will discover a unique and exclusive experience, gift or unexpected treasure, only available in the South of Scotland – and only available from the website.

At the click of the mouse, shoppers from around the UK can shop safely from the comfort of their own home while supporting local businesses across the South of Scotland. With the region in Tier 2 of Covid restrictions, locals can also visit their local independent businesses and buy gifts in person or simply access these exclusive offers on the calendar online.

The range of gifts available include food and drink experiences, sport and outdoor activities, and unique overnight breaks. All of the 24 windows will go live at the same time and the gifts will only be available to purchase from now until 24 December 2020, with limited availability.

Scotland Starts Here – Advent Calendar

Christmas gifting highlights include a luxury two-night stay for two at the magnificent 16th century Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, complete with breakfast hamper and private tour.

There’s also a five-star getaway to the award-winning Nithbank Country Estate in Dumfries and Galloway, which features a ‘wild coffee and cake’ cycling experience. Glamping adventures and eco-cabin stays will also appeal to those looking for staycation gifts with a difference.

Mouth-watering delights include a one-day cookery masterclass from the acclaimed Station House Cookery School, a limited edition Traquair House Brewery Gift Box, indulgent afternoon tea at Cafe Sitooterie in Innerleithen or a Born Brewery Mixed Tasting Case and Brewery Tour from Born.

For something altogether different this Christmas, gift someone a chauffeur driven “Champagne Tour” day trip in a classic red Volkswagen campervan. Or let them channel their inner explorer with a bespoke South of Scotland Day Tour from Solway Tours – or even a Food & Drink Wanderings Melrose Experience by Scottish Food & Drink Trails. There is even the opportunity to adopt an alpaca from Beirhope Alpacas in the Borders.

The Scotland Starts Here website will also feature a series of Festive blogs with themes such as a South of Scotland gift guide, local festive events and tips on how to get into the Christmas spirit.

A competition will also run on the website and social media offering special prizes including a break for two at the Tontine Hotel in Peebles and two nights in a glamping geo dome at the Galloway Activity Centre.

Jemma Reid, Project Manager for South Scotland Destination Alliance who runs the Scotland Starts Here campaign, commented on the initiative: “The impact of the pandemic has been disastrous for local businesses and people are looking to support our communities wherever they can. This was the motivation for our Christmas Starts Here initiative. It is also time to showcase what we can do and not what we can’t. It’s time to shine a light on the South of Scotland now and going forward to encourage people to visit the region in 2021 when it is safe to do so.

“We want to create a more meaningful Christmas shopping experience by showcasing what independent businesses in the South of Scotland have to offer. The aim is to drive awareness of the breadth, depth and quality of producers, as well as activity and tourism providers across the South.”

She added: “We hope to inspire people locally and across the UK to spend their money and support some of these amazing business owners this Christmas, treating friends and loved ones to truly unique experiences, gifts and treasures. And if you are out of location and can’t visit now, we can’t wait to welcome you soon. But for those in the South, the time is now to support and experience the South over the festive season.”

For more information visit scotlandstartshere.com/christmas


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