From Jackie Niven –
As the tourism industry cautiously begins to reopen, our community-based organisation, Our Mearns Tourism Association (OMTA), are delighted to responsibly support local tourism businesses and organisations promoting great experiences close to home.
OMTA’s focus has been primarily on the domestic market, highlighting the relatively hidden gems the Mearns area has to offer.
The Mearns holds a wealth of diverse and remarkable experiences for the curious doorstep explorer. A place steeped in history from Crown Jewels hidden at Kinneff, Auchenblae’s Father of Ceylon Tea, James Taylor and the story of the Fettercairn Jewel and countless stories from the sea. There are opportunities to explore offshore with paddle boarding and sea safaris and many charming and great places to eat and drink.
Since 2015, the Mearns has started to make its mark on the tourism map. £209,000 of Aberdeenshire Council Regeneration Funding along the Coastal Stretch has breathed new life into the coastal villages transforming tired harbours into picturesque places to visit. The impact of the COVID19 Crisis has been felt here as 2020 started out with great hopes for tourism in the area.
A Trip to Gourdon
If we spotlight the picturesque fishing village Gourdon, here, as in many of the settlements across Kincardine and Mearns, the interdependent relationship between community and business has been part of what has got locals through the challenges of lockdown. Tourism might be opening but there are still challenges ahead.
Safe distancing measures have made it impossible for the charming wee Maggie Law Maritime Museum to reopen its doors as usual this season but are still able to open for group visits by arrangement.
The Harbour Bar and The Quayside have had to diversify to make it through the past few months but there is starting to be a light shining at the end of the COVID19 tunnel.
The Quayside are excited to be able to announce the reopening of their Fish and Chip Restaurant for the summer, as of Friday 17th July. Ewen Lovie, owner of the popular harbourside restaurant shared, “It has been given a makeover whist we were closed, and we are excited to show off its new look.” He continues, “We are still offering the same great Award-Winning Fish & Chips and locally landed Lobster is also on the menu, subject to availability”
They are keen to stress the importance of the safety of staff and customers, so to comply with Scottish Government Guidelines they have a reduced number of tables and reservations must be made. “We will be taking contact details as part of the Track & Trace scheme and we are only accepting Card or Contactless payments” Ewen explains.
The creative industries here have also been hit incredibly hard and it is encouraging to see that the Quayside are showcasing the work of local artist, Joanna McPherson in their new look restaurant.
For more information re booking and safety measures at the Quayside call 01561 360 111 For more information and OMTA Membership contact email@example.com and for up to date news and Mearns Tourism information visit www.facebook.com/OurMearnsTA and www.facebook.com/VisitMearns.