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Plans revealed for Scottish mountain pass visitor centre

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Scotland and London-based practice KennedyTwaddle has revealed plans to create a visitor attraction overlooking the old Military Road at the Rest and Be Thankful

Plans for a new glass-fronted, partly subterranean building in the popular tourist spot on the A83 in Argyll and Bute include a shop, café and arts spaces.

The proposed centre, which will nestle within the contours of the mountainside, has been designed by KennedyTwaddle Architectural Design to ‘make the most of the view at the summit of the glen’.

It is hoped that the building will breathe new life into the popular stopping place and bring tourism and employment opportunities to local area.

Designers Chris Twaddle and Gary Kennedy believe the attraction, which is now canvassing support for feasibility funding, is respectful of the natural beauty of the site. Motorsport champion Jackie Stewart has already added his support to the project.

‘We wanted it to be sympathetic to its context but we also wanted to frame the view and accentuate the natural amphitheatre of the valley. We feel it is subtly quiet but also visually exciting,’ said Kennedy.


‘The top of the Rest and Be Thankful is a beautiful setting with breath-taking scenery. It would be a tourist attraction to have such a facility as is being proposed and it would provide an opportunity to bolster Scotland’s great motor racing heritage and successes around the world which have been going on for a very long time.

‘In Scotland, we don’t do enough of this.’ 

The project is the brainchild of Douglas Anderson, who was responsible for the return of the Monte Carlo Classic Rally to Scotland, back in 2011.

Anderson said: ‘The Rest and Be Thankful has great significance in motorsport terms because of the famous hill climb races. It was seen as the ultimate test for drivers in many ways because of the steepness and conditions and many greats like Stewart raced there.

‘The idea is to mark that connection within a permanent exhibition space but the project itself is more. The building will be a multi-use facility which could be used by the local community for film, business and cultural events and there will also be retail and a restaurant area.

‘There will be full-time jobs in the construction phase and full and part-time local jobs when complete”.

The project also has the support of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, VisitScotland and Transport Scotland. A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year.

Project data

Location Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Type of project New Build Heritage building (exhibition and visitors centre)
Client Douglas Anderson

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