It has been a great pleasure to take over the management of South Chesthill this year. I would like to thank my brother William for his considerable contribution to the estate over the preceding three years and his ongoing support and help.
Chesthill has played a large part in my life from a very young age; I have grown to love it and am delighted to be able to play a part in its future. My wife Arabella and I are determined to preserve what is best about the estate: its beauty, its traditional look and feel, and the ability for tenants to rent it by the week during the year for its peace and quiet, fresh air, walks, fishing, stalking and walked up grouse. We hope that existing tenants will continue to love it too, and that new tenants will develop that special relationship with it. My father wrote in his first newsletter in 1978 that he hoped tenants would treat it as their own, and I echo that wish: this means feeling part of the place, relaxed and at home, but also taking care of it.
I am interested in the history of the estate and the glen, and with William’s help have written a short article on the website for those of you that it interests.
I am General Charles Ramsay’s youngest son, William’s younger brother. I was brought up at our family home in Berwickshire and, partly thanks to Chesthill, am passionate about the countryside and country sports. In 2011 I married Arabella and we now have two boys, Archie and Rory, who are two and eight months. I run a small online bookings business called SpeedyBooker, which specialises in accommodation and ticketing. We live in London for now.
2015 Bookings now open
Details are now available from our Agents (if you normally go through an agent) or from Alice. We have increased Inverinain and the Gardener’s Cottage prices a little above inflation to reflect the improvements that have been made. Chesthill House prices are increasing, on average, only in line with inflation in 2015 which represents a great deal given the improvements that are planned. The diary is filling up; we give priority to those re-booking by 30th November, after which it becomes a first come first served basis.
For transparency, our 2015 prices are now split between accommodation and sport, and excluding peak season we are offering fishing at a discount for tenants who also book our accommodation. Please get in touch for more information on:
- Chesthill House: sleeps 12 plus 4 (children/cook). 4 miles river for 6 salmon rods, trout loch, stalking (stags and hinds), plus some walked up grouse. Available price range for 2015 is £2,100 to £3,800 for the house, excluding sport.
- Inverinain Lodge: sleeps 6 plus 2 (children). 2 miles fishing for 2-4 salmon rods (depending on river levels) and lots of trout fishing, stalking and other activities depending on availability. Price range £650 to £900 for 2015, excluding sport. (NB not available after 21st June 2015).
- Gardener’s Cottage: sleeps 4. Trout and salmon fishing and other activities can be booked as an extra, depending on availability. Price range £400 to £575 for 2015.
- Fishing only: fishing on Chesthill or Inverinain beats is sometimes available, when the accommodation is not let. Prices from £10-£15 per day for trout fishing and £15 – £35 per day for salmon fishing.
What is changing?
We have continued my father and brother’s intention to invest in the estate so it maintains its position as a top all-round Scottish sporting estate. Any changes are made with consideration and care. Most notably, in February and March we comprehensively refurbished Gardener’s Cottage and Inverinain Lodge (where we also put in a new cattle grid to avoid muddy gate opening!), and will be doing the same for Chesthill House between January and April 2015. It absolutely our intention to preserve the traditional Scottish lodge feel, but tenants have quite rightly requested more bathrooms, central heating in every bedroom, and an upgraded kitchen with new sinks: these are our top priorities. We will also be repainting and re-carpeting many rooms, introducing a new en-suite bed-sit for the cook (or an extra person for those not bringing a cook) on the ground floor, and moving the laundry into an out building. The bedroom capacity will increase by 1 to 16, with two double beds versus one at the moment, 12 adults is more comfortable for the dining room.
Inverinain availability next year
Inverinain Lodge has been available for weekly lets since my father bought Inverinain estate in the 1998. In summer 2014 Jörg and Susan Ahlheid stayed there for a week with their two daughters: they loved the house and approached us about moving there permanently from Germany. This was a very difficult decision as we were loath to turn away repeat tenants, but we decided to accept their offer as we think they will be a very positive influence on both the estate and the Glenlyon community, who will I am sure welcome them warmly. The plan is that they will be moving in on 1st July 2015, so weekly lets are available until late June. For tenants who are disappointed that they will not be able to use Inverinain from July onwards, I am pleased to say that Inverinain fishing (and Chesthill beat too) will still be available to let, and we hope you might be interested in staying in Chesthill House (sleeps 12+4) or Gardener’s Cottage (sleeps 4) instead.
Hamish Rae continues as Keeper / Stalker / Ghillie, and Kay is Housekeeper at Gardener’s Cottage and Chesthill House, where she has been assisted this year by Shona Campbell on Thursdays and Sundays. Ben Campbell is estate handyman and caretaker for Inverinain where he is assisted by Karen Banyard as housekeeper. Peter McDiarmid is our farmer, ably managing our flock of 400 sheep and small herd of cows. Alice Reid has been managing lettings and Kathy Kerr helps with book-keeping and other office tasks. Wattie Barbour and Gareth Taylor continue as Factors.
This has been a great year for lettings, with 63 weeks let across the three properties, the best since records began in 2003. Credit is due to the whole team for their hard work in delivering a great service to tenants, and taking the resultant increase in lettings in their stride. We recognise that there are always improvements to make, so hugely appreciate it when tenants take the time to leave feedback.
Sporting Season Review
For those of you who are interested, I have published the following sporting reviews on our website; 2014 Fishing Review, 2014 Stalking Review and Grouse Shooting and Other Activities in 2014.
Best Wishes for Christmas, Hogmanay and 2015.