Venue Files: Scotland - Natural ability

Scottish venues are unleashing the country's full potential.

OUR DYNAMIC EARTH

Where is it? At the bottom of the Royal Mile on Holyrood Road in Edinburgh.

What is it? A visitor attraction and conference centre by day, a party venue by night.

What's it got? Dedicated to the story of planet earth, the venue is an interesting event space. Guests can enjoy cocktails in the tropical rainforest, sip champagne while admiring a real iceberg, or tuck into dinner in the glass-walled Stratosphere, which has a canopy roof. Earthscape, a huge area outside the venue, offers a dramatic point of entrance. The Stratosphere can hold up to 1,200 for a reception or 600 for dinner; the Biosphere, a modern, stylish room with an arched ceiling, hosts up to 300 guests theatre-style or 180 for dinner; and the Ozone room can hold 120 people for a reception or 80 for dinner.

Who do I talk to? Ellie Garvie on (0131) 550 7800

Web: www.dynamicearth.co.uk
Largest space: 1,200 (standing)
Station: Edinburgh Waverley
Postcode: EH8 8AS
Cost: From £150

GLENGOYNE DISTILLERY

Where is it? Located just 14 miles north of Glasgow city centre, in a wooded valley overlooking The West Highland Way.

What is it? Glengoyne Distillery has been operating since 1883 and is one of the few distilleries still producing whisky in the region. It is also a visitor attraction.

What's it got? The original 19th-century Lang Brothers Board Room can seat up to 16 guests and has views over the traditional working distillery and surrounding countryside. The glass-fronted reception room, with its balcony overlooking the waterfall and glen, has space for up to 40 guests for a formal dinner or up to 50 for a drinks and canape reception. Organisers also have the option to include in-depth distillery tours and whisky-blending sessions as part of their event.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (01360) 550254

Web: www.glengoyne.com
Largest space: 50 (standing)Station: Milgavie
Postcode: W12 7LJCost: POA

ACKERGILL TOWER

Where is it? It is situated 17 miles from John O'Groats, on the very edge of the sea in north Scotland.

What is it? Ackergill Tower, a 15th-century, family-owned castle, will celebrate its 20th anniversary as a venue for events this year.

What's it got? Purposely low-key, it is a much sought-after retreat for all types of functions. Available for exclusive use only, there are 25 bedrooms, three unique event spaces and a number of smaller syndicate rooms.

The Opera House holds up to 80 guests theatre-style, the Loose Boxes seat up to 50, and the Tree House - believed to be one of the largest in the world - can accommodate up to 40 people. The cost of hiring the venue includes exclusive use, accommodation, all meals, tea and coffee, soft drinks, transfers to and from Wick Airport and the assistance of the household staff.

Who do I talk to? Ian Richards on (01955) 603556

Web: www.ackergilltower.co.uk
Largest space: 80 (seated)
Station: Wick
Postcode: KW1 4RG
Cost: From £6,320

THE WESTIN TURNBERRY RESORT

Where is it? Sat high above the rugged Ayrshire coastline with views over the Ailsa Craig, The Westin Turnberry is a 30-minute drive from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

What is it? A country house resort with impressive business and leisure facilities, including two championship golf courses.

What's it got? The 800-acre estate offers a range of flexible event spaces within its 219-room hotel, golf clubhouse and the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy. There are 14 rooms in total to choose from, ranging in size from the 30-seat Culzean Room to the spacious Caledonia, which can hold up to 400 guests for a reception. The resort also boasts an in-house meeting service and dedicated events team that can organise outdoor pursuits and team-building activities for guests. The venue will host the prestigious Open Championship in 2009.

Who do I talk to? Group sales team on (01655) 333996

Web: www.westin.com/turnberry
Largest space: 400 (standing)
Station: Girvan or Maybole
Postcode: KA26 9LT
Cost: From £150

GLASGOW AUDI CONFERENCE AND EVENTS CENTRE

Where is it? Five minutes from Glasgow International Airport and ten minutes from the city centre.

What is it? It's the first of Audi's revolutionary Experience Centres, and opened in October 2004.

What's it got? The glass-and-steel structure houses a variety of event spaces that have been designed with a flexible layout in mind. They can be set theatre-style, cabaret, classroom, for dinners or drinks receptions, and range in size from the two- to three-person interview rooms to the 160-capacity seminar room. The main showroom can be hired in the evening as a backdrop for drinks receptions of up to 520 guests. Facilities include projection equipment and complimentary wireless broadband, and there is an events team on hand.

Who do I talk to? Sharon Taggart on (0141) 565 6333

Web: www.glasgowaudi.com
Largest space: 520 (standing)
Station: Hillington East/West
Postcode: G52 4UB
Cost: From £85

CAIRNGORM MOUNTAIN

Where is it? About nine miles from Aviemore, beside Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park.

What is it? A mountain-top restaurant that is positioned just below the summit of Cairngorm, as well as two timber-and-stone buildings at the base of the mountain.

What's it got? The Ptarmigan Restaurant, with its 180 degs mountain panorama, is reached by funicular train and holds 140 guests for dinner or 250 for a drinks and buffet reception. Heavily beamed with lots of windows, the building also houses a bar area leading to an outdoor terrace, and a mountain exhibition that is suitable for smaller drinks receptions.

The Aonach Room, located at the base station, can host 30 guests theatre-style, while the T-bar - a light, spacious room offering panoramic views down to Loch Morlich - can accommodate up to 60 people theatre-style.

Who do I talk to? Helen Wink on (01479) 861336

Web: www.cairngormmountain.org
Largest space: 250 (standing)
Station: Aviemore
Postcode: PH22 1RB
Cost: From £40


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