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West Sands’ Chariot Awaits

West Sands’ Chariot Awaits

VisitScotland took over one of the most well-known beaches in Scotland – West Sands in St Andrews - to stage a stunt of Olympic proportions last week.

However, instead of witnessing a group of athletes running in slow motion along the beach, recreating one the most famous cinematic moments in history from Chariots of Fire, eagle-eyed locals and visitors may have noticed a group of sand artists crawling along the shore.

The activity was part of a mission to create a 50m x 20m piece of sand art to inspire people to share the millions of interesting stories and experiences they have had in different places across Scotland on a new online community.

The artwork, which features the line ‘This is the place where… we made sandcastles and Hollywood made Chariots of Fire’, took nine hours to create by a team of ten creatives. The piece being created was filmed by a drone and a time-lapse film will be available.

The activity is part of a new drive by the national tourism organisation to encourage people globally to bring Scotland to life to others through personal stories, memories and experiences from their time in country.

Entitled iKnow Scotland, the new online and face to face community gives businesses, industry and visitors the tools to enable them to share the Spirit of Scotland with others.

Features of iKnow Scotland:

Online inspiration:

Online Community on - an active, owned forum where consumers can tell their own stories, show pictures, inspire others and provide advice

Live Web Chat function to allow visitors to ask questions and get answers online in real time (during business hours)

Trip Planning: A practical trip planning tool to help visitors to plan their break by creating, saving and sharing their own travel itineraries

Face to face inspiration:

Introduction of iKnow Scotland VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) Programme (working with attractions and accommodation providers to deliver information and advice to visitors)

125 tourism businesses have signed up to the VIP programme already including visitor attractions operated by National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland.

Outreach - a fleet of Coo campervans and VisitScotland staff will travel around Scotland throughout the summer providing inspiration and information at some of the country’s biggest and best events, visitor attractions and tourism hotspots.

Re-naming of VisitScotland Information Centres as iCentres and iHubs nationwide

Chariots of Fire tells the story of Eric Liddell, a Scottish athlete whose devotion to his religion threatens to upset his chances of glory at the 1924 Olympics. The most famous scene from the film is when Liddell runs in slow motion to Vangelis’s unforgettable score across the West Sands of St Andrews.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“To some, West Sands is the site of one of the most famous cinematic moments in history – to others, it is the simply the best place to build a sandcastle or have a picnic! And that is what makes this initiative so interesting – how places across Scotland, from the most random and remote to the most visited and popular – all hold different meanings and memories to different people.

“We know that people who love Scotland are great storytellers. Visitors want to hear those stories and it is our role to ensure those stories are not only heard - whether online or in person – but that they inspire others to create their own memorable moments in Scotland.

“We want to galvanise a nation behind this initiative, building on the spirit, pride and passion people have for this country to reach more potential visitors globally. Our ScotSpirit campaign has inspired a worldwide movement of more than 130,000 people, but our vision is to grow this army of voices ten-fold to ensure we are heard above the rest.”

See the timelapse drone footage here:

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