Arabella and I are now in our second year running the estate. We remain focussed on maintaining its position as a top-all round traditional Scottish sporting estate, and on pursuing opportunities to sensitively improve it further. I feel confident that the momentum is positive in many areas.
Following on the back of last year’s refurbishment of Gardener’s Cottage and Inverinain Lodge, earlier this year we undertook significant upgrades to the roof and games room at Chesthill House. The latter has been particularly popular with children who can now enjoy a better space for table tennis, snooker and darts. Our refurbishment of Chesthill House, planned for the beginning of the year, was delayed by a lack of contractors, itself partly due to the narrow window of four months we had allowed for the work. We decided to play it safe, postponed, and work commenced at the end of November. It should be finished in good time for the lettings in May. 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 seven twin rooms and two singles (including the cook’s bedsit), although 12 adults is more comfortable for the dining room.
Welcome to Jörg and Susan Ahlheid and their daughters Eileen and Vivien! In summer 2014 the Ahlheids stayed at Inverinain for a week: they loved the house and the glen and moved there permanently from Germany in July 2015. We believe this is positive for both the estate and the Glenlyon community. Eileen and Vivien both go to local schools.
Inverinain fishing is still available to let, either on its own or with Chesthill House or Gardener’s Cottage.
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 CM Cleaners on Thursdays and Sundays. Ben Campbell is estate handyman and fencer. Peter McDiarmid is our farmer, 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. Gareth Taylor, our lead factor, is moving to a different office in the New Year and I would like to thank him for his considerable contribution to the estate over the past five years. His replacement will be announced shortly and a handover will occur in the next few months.
Sporting Season Review
For those of you who are interested, I have published a Fishing Review and a Stalking Review, so please do have a read.
This has been a great year for lettings, with 81 weeks let across the three properties (including Inverinain’s long let), the best since records began in 2003. This compares to just 40 in 2012. When excluding Inverinain, we are down slightly, primarily due to Chesthill being closed in December. Gardener’s Cottage has been booked by a number of Chesthill House parties as an overflow for the house; benefiting from now being Sunday-Sunday. Thank you to the whole team for their hard work in delivering a great service to tenants. We recognise that there are always improvements to make, so hugely appreciate it when tenants and agents take the time to leave feedback.
Bookings & Prices – 2016
Tenants now have two months from their departure date to pay their deposit to reserve their week the following year; otherwise it is up for grabs. For 2016 the diaries are filling so if you are interested, please get in touch with your Agent for more information on:
- Chesthill House: sleeps 12 plus 4 children / cook (dining room is a bit of a squeeze above 12 adults). 4 miles river for 6+ salmon rods, trout loch, stalking (stags and hinds), plus some walked up grouse. Available price range for 2016 is £2,500 to £3,900 for the house, excluding sport.
- Gardener’s Cottage: sleeps 4. Trout and salmon fishing and other activities can be booked as an extra, depending on availability. Price range £410 to £600 for 2016.
- 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 £25 – £40 per day for salmon fishing.
Best Wishes for Christmas, Hogmanay and 2016.
16th December 2015