Notice on Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street 2020

As part of adaptations to our programme in response to coronavirus, Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street will no longer run during 2020. We are currently developing alternative campaigns to support and celebrate our high streets in response to the impact of the pandemic and lockdown, with more information coming soon.

We are currently focusing on running online webinars to support all stakeholders of Scotland's towns, and spearheading a campaign to encourage the public to support local businesses while taking care and following public health guidelines. 

To keep up to date with information about our events and activities this year, you can sign-up to our newsletter here


About Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street

Organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful and national towns agency Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street competition seeks to celebrate civic pride in our towns and the groups who come together and work to change their communities for the better: making local places clean, attractive, accessible, sustainable, vibrant and inclusive for all to enjoy. 

Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street takes a broad understanding of the word “beautiful”. Entries are judged on factors including horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility, and community participation. Following shortlisting by STP and KSB, the winner is chosen by a public vote. You can read about 2019's competition below. 


Kirkwall named Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street 2019

25/11/2019 - Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands has been named Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street having topped a poll of the general public. 

Having received 21% of nearly 5,000 votes, Kirkwall faced off stiff competition from Island town neighbour, Lerwick, who secured 18% of the vote and East Dunbartonshire town, Milgavnie, who came in a close third on 15% of votes cast.

The national competition for Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street is run by two of Scotland’s most well known organisations for place and the environment - Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the national body for towns in Scotland, and Keep Scotland Beautiful, the environmental charity which campaigns to keep Scotland green, clean and sustainable. 

The online vote took place over a four week period through the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website.

The other shortlisted towns included: Ayr, Innerleithen, Linlithgow, Lanark, and Rothesay.

Speaking about the results, the Chair of the Kirkwall Business Improvement District, Duncan McLean, who made the submission on behalf of the town, said:

“We at Kirkwall BID are delighted that our town has won this very special award. It recognises both the beauty of the town’s historic centre, and the efforts of local individuals, public bodies and voluntary organisations to make the town a wonderful place to live, work and socialise.

“Most importantly, it was the support of our community that won this award, and to know that the people of Kirkwall love and are proud of their town is the best reward of all.”

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said:

“This competition is all about recognising the work and effort of local people to make their high streets the best they can be. It’s not just an award for a high street, it’s an award for the people who occupy them. I’ve seen first hand just some of the innovation and forward thinking used in Kirkwall and it is a real demonstration of what can be achieved with creativity and determination.

“I want to warmly congratulate Kirkwall, and all of the worthy towns who were shortlisted. It’s no secret that our high streets have been under pressure for the past few years, but this competition gives us hope for the future. When people come together and take ownership of their places, great things can happen and big challenges can be overcome.”

Katie Murray, Communities and Place Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: 

"I would like to offer my congratulations to Kirkwall for being selected as Scotland's most beautiful high street. This is a fantastic example of how, by working in partnership, significant improvements can be brought forward to improve the town centre experience for residents and visitors alike. 

"Every participant in the competition deserves recognition for the benefits that they are delivering across Scotland - helping everyone to enjoy cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities."


  1. For media inquiries, contact Gareth Brown, [email protected] / 07907 520 571
  2. For more information about the Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street competition, please see below. 
  3. Below you can view all shortlisted entries and the full results of the 2019 competition.

View the full shortlist, or individual entries below.

  1. Ayr
  2. Innerleithen
  3. Kirkwall
  4. Lanark
  5. Lerwick
  6. Linlithgow
  7. Milngavie
  8. Rothesay


Scotland's Most Beautiful High Street 2019: Result of Public Vote on Shortlisted Towns   
Close of vote: 10/11/2019. Date of announcement: 25/11/2019.          
Place Town Percentage (rounded) Votes              
1st Kirkwall 21% 958              
2nd Lerwick 18% 843              
3rd Milngavie 15% 694              
4th Linlithgow 14% 662              
5th Rothesay 12% 533              
6th Innerleithen 9% 416              
7th Lanark 5% 252              
8th Ayr 5% 247              


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