The grand house that's the centrepiece of the Cairnty Estate is just the start of a property which offers pheasant shooting, deer stalking and trout fishing, as well as opportunities for farming, forestry and residential development – what more could one want from a Scottish country estate?
It’s been a relatively quiet year for Scottish sporting estates, with supply down by 30% year-on-year, reports Robert McCulloch, head of farms and estates sales for Strutt & Parker north of the Border. However, Mr McCulloch expects British and overseas interest for the 563-acre Cairnty sporting and residential estate on the banks of the River Spey near Fochabers.
Launched by Strutt & Parker in recent weeks for ‘offers over £2.65m’, it comprises a Georgian-style country house set in several acres of lovely gardens and grounds, with spectacular views across the Spey Valley.
The estate offers excellent pheasant shooting, roe-deer stalking and trout fishing, as well as opportunities for farming, forestry and residential development.
Designed and commissioned by the owners to their own specification and ‘built without compromise’ with input from local architect Kenneth Lawson, Cairnty House stands on an elevated site facing west across the lower River Spey.
The express intention was to combine family living (the present owners have three children) with space for entertaining house parties for salmon-fishing weeks on the Spey, winter shooting parties and extended family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and other festive occasions.
‘This is a house designed for family living and entertaining – and it does just that,’ says Mr McCulloch.
To this end, the 11,964sq ft of living space includes a reception hall with a galleried landing above that can serve as a dining room for larger parties of guests.
The kitchen and breakfast room includes a large central island and a recessed breakfast area – stylish and practical, it is the heart of the house.
The drawing room is light and spacious, with direct access to the terrace, and the dining room is sizeable (but not too large) with access to the adjoining kitchen.
Unlike many original Georgian houses in Scotland, Cairnty House boasts several bedroom suites, the first-floor master suite being exceptionally spacious. Three of four further first-floor bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and the fourth has its own shower room. Extensive attic rooms offer potential for conversion to additional accommodation.
The land is mainly given over to livestock farming, which is let, together with game shooting and a combination of amenity and commercial forestry and woodland. The driven pheasant shoot is excellent, enabling up to 10 days a season; the estate also offers exciting roe-deer stalking and brown-trout fishing on the famous River Spey.
The salmon-fishing rights are not owned by the vendor, although salmon fishing is available to rent on several prime beats in the locality. The estate comes with a three-bedroom cottage, two uninhabited houses suitable for renovation and a range of useful outbuildings.
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