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Ayrshire castle reaches for the stars

Press Release   •   Jan 24, 2018 13:44 GMT

Sallie Hendry (left) and Annemarie Cullinane (right) from Blair Estate celebrate their second 5-star award with Annique Armstrong (centre)

AN AYRSHIRE castle is celebrating after receiving its second 5-Star award from the national tourism organisation in six years.

Blair Estate which sits within 250 acres of countryside near Dalry was recently awarded a 5-star Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland for its new self-catering accommodation within the East Wing of the historic mansion.

The castle, which dates back to the 12th-century and is reputed to be the oldest continually inhabited mansion house in Scotland, also holds a 5-star QA award for its exclusive use offering, which it has held since 2012.

The recently refurbished East Wing self-catering accommodation sleeps ten and is offered in addition to the exclusive use of the house, which accommodates up to 34 guests in 17 bedrooms and is ideal for house parties and large group holidays.

Blair Estate has also joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme. Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.

With its strong emphasis on promoting local produce, Blair Estate also has VisitScotland Taste Our Best accreditation - a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government to recognise businesses including and promoting local Scottish Produce on their menus.

Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow businesses not just to meet visitor expectations, but to exceed them.

VisitScotland Regional Director, Annique Armstrong said: “Congratulations to Blair Estate on this fantastic achievement.

Our Quality Assurance scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine. The scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door - it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business, driving-up quality and creating jobs. Blair Estate is a shining example of the quality experience on offer in Ayrshire and fully deserves its double accolade.

“Delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”

Owner of Blair Estate, Sallie Hendry said:It is a great privilege to be one of a small number of private houses and castles in Scotland to have been recognised in this way, which reflects the dedication of our team and the work we have carried out over the past six years. We are committed to offering our guests the highest standards of comfort and cuisine, to ensure their experience of our accommodation and Ayrshire as a whole is the very best.”

For more information on the VisitScotland Quality Assurance and Visitor Information Partnership (VIP) schemes, visit www.visitscotland.org

For more information on Blair Estate, visit: http://www.blairestate.com/ 

Notes to Editors

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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
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  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.