The region has been nominated twice in the annual BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, with the public now being invited to vote for their winners.
Stretching from the Isle of Lewis down to Vatersay, the Outer Hebrides is home to rich history, unique food and drink, rare wildlife and a strong Gaelic culture, making it a popular draw for visitors from across the world.
As one of the UK’s most remote beaches, Eoropie on the Isle of Lewis will go up against Scarborough, Whitesands, Portrush in Northern Ireland and Sennan in Cornwall in the Beach of the Year category.
Whilst, the Outer Hebrides as a whole will compete to be named Holiday Destination of the Year facing competition from the Isles of Scilly, West Sussex, Yorkshire and the Lake District.
Welcoming the news that the Outer Hebrides was in the running for two titles, VisitScotland Island Manager Alan MacKenzie said: “The Outer Hebrides is an incredibly special place and a chance to experience the best that wild Scotland has to offer. I’m delighted to hear that the region has been shortlisted twice and hope that being shortlisted in these awards will cement the Outer Hebrides reputation as a fantastic place to visit and explore. I know the Outer Hebrides is the best in Britain now I hope the public will join me in making it official!”
Ian Fordham, Chairman, Outer Hebrides Tourism Community Interest Company, added: “The Outer Hebrides is one of the most unique destinations in the UK, offering a “must do” island hopping experience, with fantastic beaches, landscape, wildlife and culture, and we are delighted to be shortlisted twice in the Countryfile awards.
Already crowned best European Island destination by Tripadvisor, we want anyone with an interest in the Outer Hebrides to go to www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/vote-for-us to see what we have to offer, and cast a vote.”
Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, commented: “This is a fun opportunity for the magazine editorial team and our readers to show our appreciation for the countryside – the places we love to explore and the people who work so hard to conserve landscapes and wildlife. Scotland’s natural beauty and diversity shine through in these awards with nominations in almost every category – from wildlife success stories and nature reserves brimming with life to magical beaches and gorgeous public gardens. ”
Now in its fourth year, the BBC Countryfile Magazines Awards are a celebration of the UK countryside and its people, from favourite holiday destinations to Landmark of the Year and even the finest rural pubs. In total Scotland is represented in 8 of the 12 categories. Voting closes on 31 January.
To view the whole shortlist and cast your vote please visit http://www.countryfile.com/awards2014-15.