A superb Speyside residential and sporting estate has come to the market.
Cairnty Estate comprises a fabulous Georgian-style contemporary home with glorious views across the Spey Valley and set in several acres of beautiful gardens and grounds.
It offers excellent pheasant shooting, roe deer stalking and trout fishing and also includes farming, forestry and residential development opportunities.
The estate, on the banks of the River Spey near Fochabers in the heart of glorious malt whisky countryside,
is for sale for offers through Strutt & Parker.
Cairnty House, designed and commissioned by the current owners, is a stunning eight-bedroom family home reminiscent of the mid-Georgian period in its style and symmetry and built to capitalise on the views across Speyside and, on a clear day, the Sutherland coast.
Designed with family living in mind as well as to entertain sporting house parties, the owners describe it as a ‘house built without compromise that keeps on giving’. Heated by a ground source heat pump, Cairnty is a very comfortable 21st century home with several bedroom suites, a stunning bespoke kitchen and features such as timber-framed sash and case windows.
The grounds include a paved terrace with rockery, a barbecue/outdoor dining area, open parkland sloping away to a pond and mature woodland. There is potential for further enhancement of the grounds.
The land largely comprises livestock farming, which is let, with game shooting and a combination of amenity and commercial forestry/woodland.
The driven pheasant shoot is excellent enabling up to 10 shoot days a season while the estate also offers exciting roe deer stalking and brown trout fishing on the renowned River Spey. The salmon fishing rights are not owned by the vendor but salmon fishing is available to rent on several prime beats in the locality.
The estate also includes a three-bedroom cottage and two further uninhabited dwellings with potential for renovation, subject to planning consents, as well as a range of useful outbuildings.
Commissioned by the owners and built to their own design and specification, Cairnty House combines both family home and sporting lodge for entertaining house parties of shooting and fishing guests with accommodation, services, fittings and finishes of an exceptional standard.
Built on an elevated site facing west and overlooking the lower River Spey, the symmetry and proportion of the house is reflective of the mid Georgian period.
The main entrance is on the eastern façade which overlooks the extensive gravel sweep. With 9 bays including an extending central bay with Venetian window above the front door, features of the architecture include ashlar quoins, a string course and pitched dormer windows in the hipped Mansard roof.
The eastern façade is comprised of 12 bays with projected tripartite bays on either side of the central bay which has double doors on the ground floor leading on to the paved terrace. On the ground floor adjoining the three bays at the southern end is an extension of the drawing room which creates a balcony with balustrade on the first floor.
Designed by the owners with input from local architect, Kenneth Lawson, construction work began in 2010 with a locally-based firm instructed as principal building contractors. Construction was completed in 2012 with the owners moving in to the house in 2013. Built of block construction with a harled exterior and decorative quoins, the house sits beneath a pitched Welsh slate roof with traditional cast-iron rainwater goods.
Described by the owners ‘the house built without compromise that keeps on giving’ Cairnty was designed with family living in mind (the current owners have 3 children) whilst also accommodating in comfort, house parties of guests for salmon fishing weeks on the nearby River Spey; for winter shooting parties and for extended family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and other festive occasions.
By way of examples of this, the accommodation includes a reception hall with galleried landing above which can serve as a dining room for larger parties of guests. The kitchen and breakfast room includes a large central island unit and recessed breakfast area. Both stylish and practical, it is the heartbeat of the house.
The drawing room is light and spacious with access directly to the terrace, the dining room is sizeable (but not too large) with direct access to the adjoining kitchen and double height ceiling with six windows allowing the maximum of the evening sunlight to penetrate the room.
Complementing the exceptional reception space is well designed functional and utilitarian space. On the basement floor, there is a large utility room together with secure gun room and additional stores including plant and equipment storage.
In contrast with many original Georgian houses in Scotland, Cairnty House includes several bedroom suites. On the first floor, the master bedroom suite is exceptionally spacious and includes both a dressing room and en-suite bathroom with shower.
There are four further bedrooms on the first floor – three of which have en-suite bathrooms and the fourth has its own separate shower room.
On the second floor – currently the children’s floor – there are three further bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room. In addition, there is extensive attic storage space which is currently occupied as a children’s sitting room and play room but has flexibility for a range of other uses. Features of the interior include Brazilian slate flags throughout the ground floor, a bespoke kitchen by Riverside Kitchens of Elgin, electric Aga, halogen down-lighters and up-lighters and timber-framed sash and case windows.
In terms of services, a ground source heat pump provides heating and hot water. The system consists of a ground heat exchange loop which draws heat from the earth, a heat exchanger then extracts the heat and transfers it to a heat pump which distributes the heat through the central heating system. This also serves an under floor heating system throughout the house. There is private drainage via a maceration unit and reed bed.
There is internet connection with a current bandwidth of 40mb. The house is fully wired (category six) to provide telephone and internet connections in each room. The floorplans showing the layout and dimensions of the accommodation are included within this brochure.
Cairnty House sits at the heart of several acres of gardens and grounds which are largely informal in terms of composition.
On the south and west sides of the house are the paved terrace with rockery and barbecue/outdoor dining area which is accessible from the kitchen, dining room and drawing room of Cairnty House. Beyond this is an area of open parkland which slopes away towards an ornamental pond at the northwest corner.
On the east side of the house, a stand of mature deciduous woodland provides both screening from the public road and shelter from the elements.
The vendors’ original plan was to embellish the gardens and grounds to include a flower garden, orchard and the planting of further ornamental trees and shrubs. These opportunities and others remain open to the purchaser of the estate with the potential for further enhancement of the setting of the house being amongst the key attractions of the estate.
There is a lavender bed along the principal facade and surrounding the house is a paved terrace with a low wall which features in parts a flower border.
Located a short distance to the east of the house is a kennel and rod room. The kennel features an enclosed outdoor area with a concrete base and an indoor area with space for several dogs. The rod room features rod racks along one wall and provides storage for fishing equipment and outdoor gear. In addition, there is a garage off the drive on approach to the house.
The estate features additional houses and cottages.
The villages of Rothes (3 miles) and Fochabers (5 miles) provide a range of basic local services and facilities.
Lying to the northwest, the Royal Burgh and Cathedral town of Elgin (12 miles) is the largest town in Moray serving a wide geographic area on the northeast Highland fringe. In addition to supermarkets, a retail park and a variety of High Street retailers, Elgin has an NHS hospital (Dr Gray’s Hospital) with A&E and a range of other in-patient services. The town also features a leisure centre with swimming pool, a mainline railway station with frequent services to Inverness and Aberdeen and both primary and secondary schools.
In terms of independent schooling, Gordonstoun which includes Aberlour House as a junior school, is a 25-minute drive from Cairnty and takes both day pupils and boarders, from eight to 18.
For those with an enthusiasm for the traditional field sports of fishing, stalking and shooting, Cairnty is ideally located.
The River Spey has worldwide and historic renown as one of Scotland’s ‘Big Four’ salmon rivers with many a discerning angler regarding the Spey as their favourite. Whilst Cairnty Estate does not include the salmon fishing rights on the circa 2.5 miles of right bank ownership which forms its western boundary, there is salmon fishing available to let – on both weekly and daily basis – from most of the local Spey beats which include famous names such as Arndilly, Rothes and Aikenway, Knockando, Carron and Laggan, Delfur, Orton and the Brae Water. Indeed, the latter two beats directly adjoin Cairnty on the opposite bank of the river.
For shooting enthusiasts, the northeast Highland fringe and the northern cairngorms provide a number of options with walked-up and driven grouse, partridge and pheasant shooting on a host of renowned estates being within a short drive.
Some of these estates and many others besides offer red deer stalking whilst the significant extent of woodland and forestry in the vicinity offers exceptional roe deer stalking – both on Cairnty itself and elsewhere locally – with medal quality bucks being commonplace.
For walkers, mountaineers, cyclists, canoers, equestrianists, golfers, kite surfers and history lovers, the Moray countryside provides for them all. From the high tops of the northern Cairngorms to the beaches of the Moray Firth, there are almost endless opportunities for activities for those of all ages and levels of physical fitness.
For many, Speyside is synonymous with Whisky – and Malt Whisky in particular and Cairnty lies right at the heart of Malt Whisky Country. The area is home to historic and famous distilleries, coopers, bottlers and retailers contributing to an industry which is said to be worth about £5.5billion to the Scottish economy according to an April 2019 report by the Scotch Whisky Association.
The Malt Whisky Trail – a collaboration of distilleries offering enthusiasts the opportunity to visit nine Speyside distilleries in order to meet the people who play the key roles in this multinational industry – is popular with guests of the current owners of Cairnty and adds significantly to the variety of activities available within striking range of the estate.
Robert McCulloch, head of farms and estates sales for Strutt & Parker in Scotland, said: ‘Cairnty House is a stunning 21 st century remodelling of a Georgian house offering luxury, comfort and modern conveniences combined with an elegant, traditional aspect. This is a house designed for family living and entertaining and it does exactly that.
‘The sportings are excellent while the backdrop of the River Spey and the combination of mature oak woods and young plantations offer a wonderful setting. The estate also offers exciting stalking and brown trout fishing, making this a superb estate which will appeal to a great many buyers. We expect British and international interest.’
The agents will consider offers over £2.65m,
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