From the ex-head of Lego to a former Beatle, these are some of the landowners from outwith these borders who have brought a touch of colour to Scotland.
1. Donald Trump
The US president and property tycoon, whose Macleod mother Mary was born in Lewis, owns over 1,000 acres on the rugged Aberdeenshire coast. Trump International Golf Links on the Menie Estate was pushed through despite the protests of conservationists worried about the affect on birdlife and the Machair. Trump then fought to stop a wind farm being built off the coast. But it hasn’t put him off Scotland – he also bought Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire.
2. Sigrid Rausing
The Swedish philanthrophist owns the 40,000-acre Coignafearn estate in the Monadhliath mountains in the Highlands. The scion of the Tetra Pak empire and owner of the Granta publishing house is passionate about wildlife, and has criticised other land owners for building wind turbines and allowing their gamekeepers to kill golden eagles. Her sister Lisbet owns the 65,000-acre Corrour estate.
3. Mohammed Al Fayed
The former owner of Harrods has said he always wanted to buy a Scottish estate because a tutor told him that the Egyptians discovered Scotland. He bought the ‘pink’ Balnagowan Castle in Easter Ross in 1972 and has restored buildings throughout the 5,000 acre estate. He has created a new Ross tartan and also claims to have found evidence the Egyptians really did discover Scotland…
4. His Excellency Mahdi Mohammed Al Tajir
The Highland Spring owner and Scotland’s wealthiest man owns the Blackford Estate in the Ochil hills near Gleneagles. The Dubai-based businessman and former UAE ambassador to Britain is said to be building a hotel to rival Gleneagles on the 24,000 acre estate. The al-Tajirs became one of the first of a line of super rich Arabs to snap up grand Scottish estates in the late 1970s. Others include the al-Tajirs’ close associates, the Dubai royal family, who own estates in Ross-shire and near Dundee.
5. Sir Paul McCartney
The former Beatle bought High Park Farm in 1966 to recover from the break up of the band. The pretty farm on the Mull of Kintyre did indeed save his sanity and inspire an album. Sir Paul, his wife Linda and their young family enjoyed a simple life on the 1,000 acre farm growing their own food. But after the death of his wife in 1998, the family visits to the farm became less frequent. Sir Paul is well-loved in the area but in 2014 it was claimed he hadn’t been back to the farm for five years.
6. Kjeld Kirk-Kristiansen
The former head of Lego owns 60,000 acres in Strathconon, Ross-shire. The estate, which boasts several Munros and 4,000 acres of forest, contains two sites of special scientifi c interest. Like many foreign owners Kirk-Kristiansen is interested in conservation and has worked closely with charities and the Government to preserve the environment. In 2017, he added Ledgowan Estate, in Wester Ross, to his portfolio for £4.5million.
7. Paul Dacre
The former editor of the Daily Mail owns Langwell Estate near Ullapool. The 17,000 acre estate includes deer stalking, grouse shooting and salmon fishing. With a crushing inevitability, the outspoken journalist has been criticised for accepting EU subsidies as a landowner while criticising the system in his newspaper. He is, however, well liked locally and sponsors the Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band.
8. Sir Cameron Mackintosh
In 1994 the theatre impresario bought the 15,000 acre Nevis Estate in the shadow of Ben Nevis, where he had spent his holidays as a child. He has helped regenerate the area, having proposed a £750,000 development of new marina facilities including a private pier in Mallaig. But some villagers were against the plans because new restaurants on the site threaten to put local people out of business.
9. The Duke of Westminster
The godfather of Prince William is one of the UK’s largest landowners. He owns 100,000 acres in Scotland but sold the 15 bedroom Lochmore Lodge in Sutherland, once used by Prince Charles and Diana, last year. The Duke also owns estates in Canada and Spain and is said to be worth £7.8billion. But despite his wealth Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who was brought up in remote Northern Ireland, is said to be a down-to-earth man who is happiest in the countryside.
10. Bob Dylan
The folk singer bought Aultmore House in the foothills of the Cairngorms with his brother in 2007. The secluded Edwardian mansion has 10 bedrooms, a billiard room and has featured in the BBC television drama Monarch of the Glen. However there are only 25 acres in the grounds and no signs of Mr Dylan taking up country sports just yet.