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Soaring to the stars!

Top award for East Lothian attraction


Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland (left) visits the Centre to meet with Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre.
Left to Right :Niamh Wellwood, Roan Zimmerman, Marcus Aitken, Noah Davies and Struan Hughes.

One of Scotland’s leading wildlife visitor attractions has swooped up tourism’s highest accolade.


The Scottish Seabird Centre, which twice secured BBC Countryfile’s Nature Reserve of the Year for the iconic Bass Rock, has once again received a five-star grading from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards. The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.


The conservation and education charity, located in the seaside town of North Berwick, opened in 2000 and has since seen significant enhancements and developments to ensure the optimum visitor experience, customer service and hospitality possible.


The main focus for the attraction is the Discovery Centre, which features interactive cameras on the local islands, including the Bass Rock and Isle of May national nature reserve, enabling visitors to zoom in on the live wildlife action. There is different wildlife to see throughout the season, including gannets, puffins and seals. There is also a 3D Wildlife Theatre Film Experience and seasonal events to encourage visitors young and old to engage with nature in a fun, educational and sustainable way.


The Centre’s Seabird Café, offering stunning views across the Firth of Forth and the Bass Rock, uses the very best locally-sourced East Lothian produce and has received Taste Our Best accreditation from VisitScotland.


Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “We are incredibly proud to have retained our five-star status from VisitScotland. As both an environmental charity and a visitor attraction, we aim to deliver a high-quality experience for all our visitors as well as undertaking our vital conservation and education work.


“We have a great team of passionate staff and volunteers that consistently deliver excellent customer care for our visitors who come from near and far. As we look to the future, developing our plans to diversify our focus to cover marine life above and below the waves, and highlighting the many threats that they now face, we will continue to maintain the highest standards and seek to further enhance the experience for all our visitors.


“We would like to thank VisitScotland for recognising our achievement as well as thanking all our staff, volunteers, members and supporters.”


Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “My congratulations go to everyone at the Scottish Seabird Centre on retaining their five-star grading. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by the team to maintain such exceptional standards.


“Our Quality Assurance Schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. The star rating reflects the entire visitor experience, as well as the investment in the business to make it as economically sustainable and profitable as it can be. The team at the Seabird Centre can be justly proud of their achievement.”


VisitScotland’s QA Schemes can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.

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