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Duff House features in new online tourism series

By Kyle Ritchie

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One of Banffshire’s most well-known historical landmarks is included in a new online series which has been launched by VisitScotland.

Sketching Scotland is part of the tourism organisation's digital activity to help visitors in lockdown.

A series of 20 short videos teaching virtual visitors how to sketch landmarks and locations is now available online, including Duff House in Banff.

Sketching Scotland guides people on how to draw landmarks like Duff House.
Sketching Scotland guides people on how to draw landmarks like Duff House.

The Georgian mansion displays collections from the National Galleries of Scotland. It is hoped that while travel restrictions remain in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the new series will help draw attention to one of the region’s most historical sights and see it transformed into a work of art.

Each tutorial is accompanied by a voiceover giving advice and tips on how to create the drawing, as well as facts about each destination.

It is hoped the creative campaign will inspire those who have sketched at home to visit the landmarks once travelling is possible.

Sketching Scotland is just one of several initiatives the national tourism organisation has created to bring Scotland to visitors.

Other online offerings include videos, blogs, a rundown of the best virtual experiences currently on offer, a dark skies-inspired series and ideas to entertain little ones during lockdown. There are also advice pages on the latest Scottish Government guidelines.

As the sector gears up for a potential reopening on July 15, VisitScotland is using its online resources to help keep Scotland at the forefront of visitors’ minds.

It is also working closely with the Scottish Government, industry partners and businesses to provide support and guidance to aid the recovery of the tourism sector.

VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism industry.

"We want to make sure that new and returning visitors are still dreaming about Aberdeenshire, even if they can’t physically explore just yet.

“Sketching Scotland is a fun take on sightseeing and a way to learn about some of our best-loved attractions, such as Duff House, in a completely new way.

"We were also conscious that people are looking for ways to use their time creatively and learn a new skill.

"We loved the thought that people all over the world could be taking 15 minutes to relax, draw and think of Scotland, and of course hopefully visit in 'real life’ when that is possible.

“As restrictions are eased further, we look forward to helping encourage Scots to rediscover the own country, while at the same time supporting businesses as they prepare for the inevitable operational changes and ensuring that communities feel comfortable and capable of welcoming visitors in a safe way. “

Sights which will feature throughout the series include the V&A Museum; the Old Man of Hoy and the Italian Chapel, Orkney; Riverside Museum; Glenfinnan Viaduct; Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie; Forth Bridge; Calanais Standing Stones; Duff House; Tobermory houses at the harbour on Mull; The Pineapple, near Falkirk; The Kelpies/Falkirk Wheel; Caerlaverock Castle; Scottish Crannog Centre; Scottish Dark Sky Observatory; St Abbs Harbour; Abbotsford House; Culross houses; Dunfermline Abbey and Sumburgh Head and lighthouse.

Director of commercial and tourism at Historic Environment Scotland Stephen Duncan said: “This is an excellent way to engage with Scotland’s heritage and I’m sure it will inspire people to find out more about these iconic and historic sites.”

To try Sketching Scotland visit www.visitscotland.com/see-do/attractions/arts-culture/sketching-scotland/ and share drawings on social media using #sketchingscotland

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