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Five star luxury

Press Release   •   May 08, 2018 10:54 BST

One of Perthshire’s finest listed heritage properties is seeing stars after receiving VisitScotland’s highest Quality Assurance award.

Heritage tourism business, The Old Manse of Blair, has received a five-star grading from the national tourism organisation.

Built in 1828, the venue combines traditional elegance with modern luxury and can be hired for exclusive use, offering guests a deluxe stay in Highland Perthshire.

Its central location between historic Blair Castle and House of Bruar also makes it a perfect place to try some of the region’s most popular outdoor activities including, walking, cycling, canyoning, kayaking, field sports or even teeing off at Gleneagles.

VisitScotland’s five-star Quality Assurance award recognises serviced accommodation businesses which achieve exceptional levels of excellence. Businesses that achieve the award excel in areas of hospitality and friendliness, service and efficiency.

During each visit, the entire visitor experience is assessed by a VisitScotland Quality & Tourism Advisor, of which The Old Manse of Blair scored as exceptional.

Anne MacDonald, owner of The Old Manse of Blair, said: “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far at the Old Manse. This has been an exciting, yet at times challenging, journey which has been made even more worthwhile by the heartening feedback we have received from both visitors and the wider community. We hope our work will safeguard the future of the building and help raise awareness of the site’s rich and unique history. To achieve a five-star quality assurance grading in our first year is testament to the significant investment, time and attention to detail we’ve put into creating this new business and is a clear sign to our guests that when staying with us they can expect the highest level of service.”

Neil Christison, VisitScotland’s Regional Partnerships Executive said: “It was a pleasure to present Anne with a well-deserved five star plaque for The Old Manse of Blair. This is a real badge of honour and shows visitors that when they stay at The Old Manse they can expect a top quality experience. This luxurious property is a fantastic addition to Perthshire’s renowned tourism offering.

“Quality Assurance is about much more than just the ‘stars’ on the door – it’s about the entire visitor experience and Anne and her team have shown that they go the extra mile to ensure their guests enjoy a truly memorable experience.”

Developed over the last four decades in partnership with the tourism industry and informed by visitor research, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading. Quality Assurance stars alongside online reviews give visitors a balance of objective and subjective views to assist in their decision making and expectations.

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For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit

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.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • 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 or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.