And yes, Argyll is in there. Travellers in Scotland’s trains will soon be able to find out more about nature and landscapes seen out of the carriage windows on train journeys around the country.
In preparation for the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is developing a series of new audio tours adding value to journeys by giving information about the natural environment around some of the main rail routes.
The proposals include plans to produce a range of innovative, free, new products for tourists and locals. Covering some of the main train journeys across Scotland, plans include producing a new audio guide, free to download app, and a short booklet describing the scenery, nature, and historic sites that travellers see en route.
Other plans centre on interviews with experts and enthusiasts, as well as stories and sound effects.
Initially the innovative initiative will cover three main train routes:
- Edinburgh to Aberdeen;
- Edinburgh to Inverness;
The train route from Glasgow to Oban is rich in material for these SNH productions.
Alison Bell, who is leading on SNH’s plans for the Year of Natural Scotland, says: ‘The majority of our visitors come to Scotland to enjoy the scenery. For both tourists and people living here, providing information on the natural environment will help everyone to find out more about our country as they travel around – and inspire our visitors to come back again. That is what the idea of the journeys audio tour is really about and the upcoming Year of Natural Scotland is a superb time to introduce the tours.
‘We have just appointed CMC Associates in a contract worth £35,000 to develop the interpretation for us. We are very excited to be working with CMC as they have wide experience, and projects they have worked on include development of the award-winning interpretation at Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness.’
Mike Cantlay, the VisitScotland chairman, says: ‘The Year of Natural Scotland is an excellent opportunity to showcase and promote our natural assets. The year will be a great chance for businesses to reap the benefits of what Scotland does best – scenery, landscapes and stunning natural beauty – and we encourage everyone to utilise the opportunities this creates. We want to encourage visitors to return year after year and get local people out seeing exactly what is on their doorstep, this milestone year has all the credentials to do exactly that.’