Known as the ‘Queen of the Border’, Annan has much to offer, with its warm welcome, vibrant mix of independent shops, family-run businesses, and places to eat and drink; busy events and festivals programme, wealth of activities and attractions, including an award-winning whisky distillery, and fascinating history, from the Romans and the Vikings to King Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns. It also has a rich maritime heritage, and a multi-million pound harbour regeneration project promises a bright new future for the town, which is a favourite of actors and filmmakers, too

Great British Life: James Cosmo with Lonsdale Cinema owner Alan Towers and piper Craig Irving at Annan launch of Storyman whisky last yearJames Cosmo with Lonsdale Cinema owner Alan Towers and piper Craig Irving at Annan launch of Storyman whisky last year

Just why does Scottish acting legend James Cosmo keep stopping off in Annan? You might think it’s to visit Annandale Distillery, with whom he created his own whisky, Storyman, which was launched last year. And while you’d be right in thinking that project - inspired in part by his interest in Robert the Bruce and the king’s connections to Annandale - would require repeat visits, the other reason (and sometimes the only reason) James makes a beeline for the ancient royal burgh is something far humbler: the Scotch Pie. Not any Scotch Pie, mind you: James will tell you that he has a particular penchant for the pies from award-winning family run TA Francis, on the High Street. He also has soft spot for the baker’s soda scones, and will often add half-a-dozen to his order if he’s ordering ahead, either on his way to, or from filming in Glasgow, or to events to promote his “whisky made in Annan” to the world.

Further down the High Street, Café Royal has its own star appeal, as a favourite place for fish and chips for actress Ashley Jensen, who always pops in when she’s visiting Annan, her home town.

Owner John Pagani is proud that the café is one of the town’s most renowned institutions: “We aim to be in the heart of our amazing community; a community that we are proud to celebrate.

“When I have visitors to the town, they can't believe how everyone not only knows each other but will stop to say hello or pass the time of day. This strong sense of belonging is what sets our beautiful town aside and what makes it an ideal place to live. Young and old, you are never far from a friend in Annan.”

Great British Life: John Pagani at The Cafe RoyalJohn Pagani at The Cafe Royal

And it turns out that when you are planning a wedding on a budget – as S4C's Welsh language programme Priodas Pum Mil was - Annan is the perfect place to come to. A host of businesses, including Annandale Distillery, Annan Lonsdale Cinema, W Glendinning & Son, piper Craig Irving, and Garden Wise Florists, pitched in to help show hosts Trystan Ellis-Morris and Emma Walford make Welsh couple Sara and Dan's wedding dreams come true. They all flew the flag for Annan, and Dumfries & Galloway brilliantly on the show, which was aired on January 21 (and is available to watch again on BBC iPlayer.)

Annan truly is a town to be proud of. Its rich history takes in the Romans and the Vikings and King Robert the Bruce - who continues to keep watch from his plinth on the iconic Town Hall, one of the distinct red sandstone buildings which add a special charm to the characterful high street. The town also has a medieval motte and bailey, a vibrant industrial and Victorian heritage, reputation for building record-breaking tea clippers, and connections to Robert Burns; writer, historian and mathematician Thomas Carlyle, and Edward Irving, the noted clergyman.

Great British Life: The River Annan looking up to the bridge and town hallThe River Annan looking up to the bridge and town hall

Annan The History Town group has been drawing on this fascinating past to shape Annan’s future as a visitor destination, with is annual Summer Festivals, popular with locals and tourists alike.

The annual Annan Riding of the Marches celebrates the town’s unique identity every July; football fans travel from far and wide to watch Annan Athletic in action at Galabank, and movie-goers are spoilt for choice at the three-screen Annan Lonsdale, one of the last independent, family-owned cinemas in Scotland.

There’s also a vibrant mix of quirky, independent shops, traditional bakers and butchers, farm shops and grocers, a great choice of coffee shops, lunch destinations and evening meal options, from award-winning fish and chips to fine dining, Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisine; beautiful countryside, the river, from which the town takes its name, and its harbour, which continues to play a key role in the live and future of the town.

Great British Life: One of the distinct red sandstone buildingsOne of the distinct red sandstone buildings