We (as in the Bright Light Marketing three musketeers) have in the past year been visiting Galloway more as we are now working with two clients over in that area and enjoying it immensely.
I am familiar with the area around Dumfries as my sister lives there but must admit apart from vague childhood memories of the area around Newton Stewart and a weekend away in the area eight years ago. I was perhaps not as aware of Galloway as I should be. Despite the fact that I was born on the west coast. Living in the Scottish Borders I seem to have got into the habit of many that I travel up and down the East coast and not across to the West.
I never liked the marketing strapline that has been used in the past about Galloway that it was the hidden corner of Scotland or Scotland’s best secret. It always made me question why they wanted to say this? Was it because it wasn’t worth visiting that it was unknown? I still think a punchier Brand and strapline would work better as the area is certainly worth visiting. Galloway is stunning from the coastline to the interior and offers so much that someone like myself who likes to be out and about when on a holiday loves. It is the perfect area for walking and though I am not a fan of cycling I can see that the quiet roads would be ideal for a cycling holiday for families and couples alike. The area also has an abundance of wildlife and birdwatching is one of the best in the UK on the Solway Firth looking over to Cumbria. It also has an abundance of events and cultural life and last year hosted the Glasgow Girls exhibition in Kirkcudbright and now has the coup of hosting the Glasgow Boys exhibition after its sell out exhibition in Kelvingrove and London. The local food produce in the area is also second to none with an abundance of seafood, meat and dairy products. We have also been really taken by the enthusiasm and passion of the locals and the attitude of the local tourism trade not to sit back and wait till people arrive but to be pro active.
When we worked at the Scottish Borders Tourist Board, Dumfries and Galloway was our neighbour on one degree and in another our biggest competition if we are honest and we used to refer to it affectionately as D&G. As I have mentioned before this was well known jargon in our office until a colleague from London started and heard us repeatedly refer to D&G and finally plucked up the courage as you do when you hear jargon and don’t understand it to ask what it meant. We told her and she said that she had thought we had been referring to Dolce and Gabanna. How we laughed and from then on that is what I jokingly call it. But I was thinking yesterday as I drove along the Solway coast on a cold but beautiful January day looking at blue sky and sun beach after beach and the Cumbrian Hills in the distance that the joke was on us! Firstly I hate jargon because of its exclusion of people who are not in the know and that is what we had done in this case. Jargon isn’t clever it just excludes people and can make them feel not part of the club and in some cases stupid and we should all try and speak plain English. Secondly actually she was right Galloway is first class and a quality brand and well deserves to be seen in the same light as Gabanna!
So if like many, you are thinking of staying in the UK this year for your summer holiday consider Galloway and the Solway for more information www.visitdumfriesandgalloway.co.uk. We will see you there!