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Accolades for historic Deeside guest house

Press Release   •   Dec 16, 2015 12:17 GMT

A luxury Edwardian granite guest house on the banks of the River Dee has achieved the highest Quality Assurance (QA) accolades from VisitScotland.

The national tourism organisation presented owners of Lys-Na-Greyne, Garry and Joyce Welsh, with its 5* Quality Assurance guest house award, in recognition of its exceptional standards. At the same time, it was presented with a Taste Our Best award.

Built in 1912 for Sir Francis Outram Bt, Lys-Na-Greyne is nestled in the tranquil wooded conservation area at the west end of Aboyne. Sitting on the north bank of the River Dee, its westerly outlook provides stunning views up the Dee valley.

Set in over three acres of mature gardens in Rhu-Na-Haven Road, it offers visitors luxury bed and breakfast accommodation in the heart of Royal Deeside - an area rich with natural beauty and offering outdoor activities all year round.

Developed and improved over the past 25 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) 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 exceed them.

QA can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent  perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria so visitors know exactly what to expect.

Newly refurbished to the highest standards, Lys-Na-Greyne currently offers three en-suite bedrooms, one of which has a balcony and walk-in wardrobe. An additional three rooms will be available by spring 2016.An ideal base for tourists exploring Royal Deeside, it is within easy reach of the city for business visitors. 

Owners Garry and Joyce Welsh said:

“We are immensely proud to have received this 5* award from VisitScotland.  As a start-up business, it is a huge boost and encourages us to strive to maintain this high standard.

“There has been an enormous amount of hard work not just by ourselves, but by family and friends alike and this makes all that work worthwhile. Being able to offer visitors to Royal Deeside the opportunity to enjoy the area in such a wonderful setting is a real privilege.”

Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“This beautiful guest house in the heart of Royal Deeside thoroughly deserves its five star recognition, as it offers visitors an exceptional standard of accommodation in a beautiful location.

“To have also achieved a Taste Our Best award is a further feather to their bow. We know that visitors love authentic, quality Scottish food and drink and Taste Our Best is all about taking this knowledge to the next level and encouraging the tourism industry and businesses to recognise the real benefits of sourcing, using and promoting local and Scottish produce. We have a wonderfully rich natural larder in Aberdeenshire, with some of the best products in the world right on our doorstep.

“It is vital that everyone involved in tourism works together to offer visitors a fantastic experience when visiting and staying in Aberdeen City & Shire, to strengthen our tourism offering. 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 and making it as economically sustainable as it can possibly be.

Lys-Na-Greyne was also awarded Taste Our Best, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government. Launched in 2013, the scheme is designed to recognise businesses including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, to give consumers choice.

The breakfast menu at the guest house includes Sheridan’s Pork Sausages, local free range eggs, Stornoway Black Pudding, Balmoral Bread and Aberdeenshire Butteries.

For more information, visit

Owners Garry and Joyce Welsh are pictured with Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director.

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit