About Us

Mark and Gill Church fell in love with Scotia House and bought this quaint property in December 2019.  

"With more than 35 years experience in the hospitality/event industry, we’re delighted to be the “new kids” in beautiful Harrogate.  Even as we share the burden of the challenges of Covid-19, we’re excited to be here and optimistic about the future of the Great British Traveller and guests from afar.

Our journey has taken us from the beautiful sandy beaches and game parks of South Africa to the majestic Elk Mountains and brilliant wildflowers of the Rockies in Colorado; and now to exquisite gardens and dales of this historic English spa town, Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

We’ve shared so many experiences and had the privilege of forming special bonds and friendships with our guests, neighbours and staff.  Now, we look forward to sharing our beautiful home, Scotia House, with you."

outside scotia house harrogate
Gill and Mark with Lion in South Africa
African Elephant

We’re committed to making your stay at Scotia House memorable for all the right reasons – friendliness, service and attention to the details that matter to guests. Whether Harrogate is a family favourite or you have it on your Bucket List, we look forward to welcoming you to the friendliest town in the UK, with all its beauty and charm."

Mark and Gill Church

Your Welcoming Hosts


I was born in Cape Town, schooled in Durban and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa. My love of the hospitality industry spans more than 30 years, starting out as an event organiser and then running my own successful Event Management Company for 18 years. In organising some of the largest events in the world, I met many people. Among my fondest memories are being awarded the honour of managing events for the late President Nelson Mandela; the South African Government; and other high-level ministerial officials from around the globe. I closed my company in 2016 to marry my soul mate, explore and stretch my wings. After travelling extensively, we landed up in the exquisite ski resort town of Mount Crested Butte in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA. Mark and I owner-managed the Nordic Inn Hotel there, where both summer and winter saw the town inundated with thousands of visitors enjoying extreme skiing and world-famous mountain biking and walking trails. A great passion of mine is wildlife, and spending time in nature with its immensely healing powers... the laugh of the hyena, roar of lions and the call of the fish eagle echo in the heart long after your first hear them. I love life and the adventure and opportunities to meet incredible people it brings when you are fortunate enough to welcome others into your world, and learn about theirs. I look forward to meeting you all and sharing experiences.


Scroll here to meet Gill


I am a South African / British citizen lucky enough to have lived in and love both countries. My parents moved between South Africa and England many times during my childhood, and both became “home”. This travel and adventure drove my desire to meet new people – and that’s what the hospitality business is all about. My desire for making guests feel welcome, at home and special is important to me personally, and not from a business level. This trait comes from my years of sales training and life coaching.
When I met my beautiful wife Gillian, she was running a successful event management company in South Africa and it didn’t take long before we decided to embrace our love of adventure again, hit the road and explore the world. We’ve traveled extensively, and have had the good fortune to meet some amazing people from around the world. This, more than anything, has given me a deep insight into what so many people expect and look for from their travels. After traversing the North, South, East and West of England, we found a gem in the North Yorkshire region – Scotia House – and fell in love.
I look forward to welcoming you in my very South African accent, and treating you to a very English breakfast, prepared with love – the way my English friends and family taught me from when I was a child.


Scroll here to meet Mark