It's incredibly unusual to come across an opportunity such as this: the chance to own a vast estate covering a staggeringly beautiful area in the heart of the Highlands.
The sale of any large Scottish Highland estate is bound to attract interest from around the world, not only for its all-round sporting amenities, but also, in an increasingly carbon-conscious world, for its afforestation, carbon-capture and conservation potential.
Such a rare entity is the dramatically scenic, 9,309-acre Kinrara estate, which lies on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park in Upper Speyside, 39 miles from Inverness airport, and 122 miles from Edinburgh. It comes to the market this week through Scottish agents Galbraith, who seek ‘offers over £7.5m’ for the estate as a whole.
Last seen on the open market in 2005, when the estate included the historic, Georgian Kinrara House — built by the Duchess of Gordon in the 1700s and now in separate ownership — Kinrara has seen substantial investment from its Scottish owners and is now ‘a wonderful mixed, all-round estate, offering great amenity and scope, underpinned by good housing, including the comfortable, six-bedroom Lynwilg House and seven further houses and cottages, in addition to well-run farming and forestry operations and a wide range of sporting activities,’ says selling agent John Bound.
The Kinrara estate, some nine miles long and three miles wide at its widest point, boasts an excellent network of well-maintained farm and hill roads, allowing quick and easy access to all parts. The low ground is gently undulating, extending from pasture to the south and east of Loch Alvie, to farmland around Ballinluig to the north of the main A9.
The moorland at Kinrara rises from the lower slopes of the Monadhliath hills to the 2,700ft summit of the ridge between the valleys of the Spey and its tributary, the River Dulnain. Much of the grouse shooting and red deer-stalking takes place on either side of this picturesque spate river.
With its gullies, ridges and undulating terrain, the Kinrara moor provides some of the most challenging and exciting grouse shooting to be found anywhere in the High-lands, showing a 10-year average of 559 brace, despite two recent poor seasons due to bad weather. The estate also offers some enjoyable stalking, which, historically, has taken place in the latter part of the season, when the grouse shooting has finished.
The low-ground pheasant shoot is exceptional, with conifer woodlands and extensive areas of natural woodland, together with strategic areas of game crop, holding the birds well and the terrain ensures some very challenging shots. Typically, the vendors shoot 10 days per season, with bags of about 200 a day. The estate also provides some good rough shooting and wildfowling.
The River Dulnain is an important spawning tributary of the legendary River Spey and there are a number of holding pools that can provide good sport for salmon and sea trout in the right conditions. Loch Alvie and the hill loch, Lochan Dubh, also offer enjoyable trout fishing.
Buyers from the UK or overseas looking to enjoy the space, tranquillity and freedom of a traditional country estate can still find a reasonably-priced historic house in an estate setting north of the Scottish border.
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