South Chesthill was very busy from May onwards when Covid restrictions were thankfully relaxed, with nearly full occupancy at Chesthill House and Garden Cottage (hats off to Ainster and Liz for still being standing at the end of it!). This bookings deluge was very welcome after the drought of 2020, so thank you to all tenants who managed to get to Glen Lyon. The skies didn’t provide quite the same deluge and the river was very disappointing but the stalking was a great success once more.
The lettings calendar for 2022 has some rare availability in the prime summer months as well as the spring and autumn. See below for more information. First come first served!
We remain focussed on our aim to build on South Chesthill’s existing qualities as a top, traditional all-round Scottish sporting estate. In many ways it is a “home away from home” for our tenants who we are delighted to welcome year after year.
After so many lettings cancellations reduced our catch in 2020, we were hoping for a better year in 2021, but the weather was against both our salmon run, and that across the rest of Scotland, with a very dry summer meaning salmon stacking up in the estuaries whilst the seals made hay.
There were some nice fish seen in the spring. The first fish was caught on 28th April at Falls and the heaviest fish of the season, a 20lb hen, was caught on 4th May by South Chesthill’s heroic trophy-winning Tom Buchanan. There was also a very late run in late September and early October, with last fish of the season caught on 6th October.
The only way is up! Let’s make 2022 a great year and with a bit of luck from the rain gods it could well be! We have some fishing availability, see below.
Luckily this year we had no restrictions on the stalking parties. We culled 51 stags this season and the average weight was 13 stone 8lbs. It was a very mild and wet stag season with the rut not really getting started until early October which made for challenging stalking and the stags were roaring well into December. With the rut getting later we would support consideration to extending the season, however we do hold more stags throughout the season than before, and a successful day on the hill in September sunshine is hard to beat.
The hind season went well with many “firsts” which was great to see. The training week with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards saw cold weather and they had a successful week of stalking. My father initiated this training week every December in the 1980s, with both officers and soldiers benefiting from tactical use of ground, firing at a live target, and stamina. I have been pleased to be able to continue it and the regiment deserves credit for their ongoing support for the week. Those involved have been professional in their approach and great to have with us.
We may have rare stag stalking available with the house in September, please enquire if you are interested.
Thank you to those who passed on grouse shooting in 2021, in the interests of preserving the breeding stock. Ainster will survey the population in the spring before we decide about 2022. We did see some nice coveys on Croftgarrow last summer but have removed grouse as part of the expectation for August tenants. If we are able to offer a day walked up, that’s a bonus, but is probably unlikely in 2022. Now that we have our neighbours sheep off our ground, we should see heather gradually regenerate around Boreland ridge and I’m confident that we have the right environment, ambition and determination to ensure numbers will grow.
Our sporting tenants remain our core focus, but other activities can be a useful supplement in quieter times of the year, so do get in touch if you are interested in running a photographic, artistic, writing or yoga retreat, fitness camp, corporate team building session or falconry course.
Nature tours, bicycles, kayaks, walks and an array of nearby activities (details on southchesthill.com) do, I hope, enable non-sporting guests and children to enjoy and feel part of the Estate in the same way that sporting guests do.
Availability & Prices – 2022
Tenants have two months from their departure date to pay their deposit to reserve their week the following year; otherwise it is up for grabs. Please enquire about:
- Chesthill House: there’s 2022 availability for fishing / holidaying from April to early July, and due to retirement of several groups, rare availability for stalking parties in September for between 2 and 10 stags. The house sleeps 16 but the dining room is better suited to 12 adults (plus children). Annex bookable separately in the winter months. Sunday to Sunday (short-stays bookable within three months). Six miles river for six/seven salmon rods, trout loch, stalking (stags and hinds). Price range for 2022 is £3,400 to £5,800 for the house, including VAT, excluding sport.
- Gardener’s Cottage: sleeps four. Sunday to Sunday (short-stays bookable within two months). Trout and salmon fishing and other activities can be booked as an extra, depending on availability. Price range £625 to £950, including VAT.
- Fishing only: We will soon start selling our fishing on FishPal.com, bookable with our accommodation until six weeks before arrival, when it will be available on its own. Please keep an eye on FishPal.com. Prices from £10 per day for trout fishing and £30-£40 per day for salmon fishing (reduced if you take more than one rod).
25 January 2022