Aberfeldy, Perthshire

£10,900,000 - SALE

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Aberfeldy, Perthshire
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Strutt & Parker
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Aberfeldy, Perthshire
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Strutt & Parker


CLOSING DATE: Noon on 19 October 2017


Bolfracks House: a superb country house with 9 bedrooms, renowned ornamental garden and majestic setting overlooking the Upper River Tay.

Tombuie House: a contemporary 5-bedroom house of traditional design with an outstanding elevated setting and views over Loch Tay.

10 additional houses and cottages.

An in-hand organic livestock farm with associated range of buildings and facilities.

A significant commercial forestry business producing regular income from timber sales.

Extensive native woodlands and enclosed compartments of natural regeneration.

About 2,658m of single (right) bank salmon fishings on the River Tay, averaging 14 salmon/grilse (37 caught in 2015).

A driven pheasant, partridge and duck shoot, trout fishing and duck flighting on 3 ponds, woodcock shooting and outstanding roe deer stalking.

Income from renewable energy including a 360kW run-of-river hydro-electricity scheme and biomass heating systems.

Planning consents for camping and caravan development with associated infrastructure and facilities, and for 14 log chalets.

About 2,674 acres of forestry/woods featuring a combination of mature commercial conifer plantations, amenity woodlands and natural regeneration.

About 3,790 acres (1,534 hectares) in total.
For sale as a whole or in 16 lots.

Historical Note
Originally a Stuart property, Bolfracks was acquired by a branch of the Menzies family who owned the
estate throughout the 18th Century and built the original Bolfracks House, which was subsequently
enlarged and embellished.

At that time, in the early 1700s, the walled garden was established, together with a burial ground for
members of the Menzies family, both of which still exist with the latter bearing a date stone of 1708.

Early in the 19th Century, the estate was acquired by the Campbell family – the Earls of Breadalbane – as part of a very large estate centred on the
neo-Gothic Taymouth Castle, which was completed in 1842. During most of the Campbell family’s ownership, Bolfracks House was occupied by the estate factor. The Gothic front of the house (consistent in style to Taymouth Castle itself) was added in about 1830.

During the latter part of the Campbell family’s ownership, Bolfracks House and estate was offered for let to sporting tenants, specifically for the
purpose of shooting the Bolfracks moors, which were amongst the most productive in Scotland at that time. The current owner’s family purchased
Bolfracks, principally as a sporting estate, in 1922.

The estate is widely known for its gardens. There has been an ornamental garden at Bolfracks since the mid-18th Century but most of what can be seen today is work carried out since the mid-1970s by the late Mr J Douglas Hutchison.

The stream garden was designed and constructed by Ian Lawrie of Dundee in 1928 along the course of Bolfracks Burn. It was restored and replanted
between 1983 and 1985.

Bolfracks Estate has provided both home and livelihood to the current owners since the 1980s.

The Bolfracks grouse moors were sold by the current owners in 2005. They have since become established as productive moors under the name
of Urlar Estate. Since management of Bolfracks Estate has been focussed on farming, commercial forestry and renewable energy, with supplementary income streams from tourism, leisure, field sports and salmon fishing.

Extending to about 3,790 acres (1,534 ha) in total, the estate is situated in a region of Scotland
famed for its magnificent landscape, the variety of its driven game shooting, the quality of its commercial forestry and the productivity of its farmland.

The area is dominated by the valley of the famous River Tay, which flows out of Loch Tay at its east end and follows a south-easterly course through a wide and picturesque valley to its estuary in the Firth of Tay, just east of Perth.

The estate includes a diverse range of land and property assets. These are summarised as follows:

Residential Property
The principal house serving the estate is Bolfracks House. With an elevated setting overlooking the valley on the south side of the River Tay, the original house was built in the mid-19th Century. It was significantly remodelled and subsequently
extended to include the addition of its Gothic façade, in around 1830. A further extension in the 1920s included the addition of the third floor of the house, known affectionately by the owners as the ‘top deck’.

With a range of architectural features typical of the Gothic style, including crenelated gables and parapets and mullioned windows with dressed stone architraves, the house is very well suited to both family living and entertaining guests, with
the accommodation including 5 reception rooms and 9 bedrooms.

Having been the home of the owners for the last 12 years, the house is very carefully maintained and has been subject to recent improvements.
This includes the installation of a 60kW Hertz biomass (woodchip) boiler to serve the central heating and hot water systems.

The house is served by an extensive range of outbuildings which includes a self-contained, single bedroom flat. These buildings sit at the heart of extensive formal gardens and grounds, which include a renowned ornamental garden that the owners open to the public between spring and autumn. There is also an enclosed tennis court.

The second most significant residential property on the estate is Tombuie House. Situated at about
300 metres above sea level in a peaceful position with sensational westerly views up Loch Tay to the
west Perthshire mountains, this is a modern house built to a traditional design and completed in 2011.
Built to maximise both the views and penetration of sunlight, the house, with its 5 bedrooms, sits within
spacious enclosed grounds with a useful outbuilding.

Lying throughout the low ground and predominantly on the south side of the A827 Aberfeldy to Kenmore public road, the estate includes an additional 9 houses and cottages which are mostly of traditional stone and slate construction and design. Some are lotted for sale as individual properties, whilst others form part of larger lots designed to appeal to buyers with
amenity, agricultural, sporting or development interests in mind.

Lying between the River Tay and the commercial forestry on the upper southern slopes of the valley is a significant extent of pasture and grazing land, which forms the basis of an in-hand organic farm.

On the lower slopes of the valley and adjoining the River Tay, the land is comprised of alluvial loam and is classified as Grade 3ii by the James Hutton Institute and is suitable for silage and ploughable for fodder crops and potatoes. Further up the slope, the land is Grade 4 quality, comprising both permanent pasture and rough grazings. The soil is made up of a combination of alluvial and brown forest soils.

The farm infrastructure (fences, walls, gates, tracks, buildings, ditches, drains, etc) has been
significantly improved in recent years. In particular, several hundred metres of fencing have been repaired and replaced; as have a number of field drains.

Having been formally organic since 2001, and run on an in-hand basis, the farming system at Bolfracks is based on the production and
finishing of lambs from a breeding flock of circa 940 ewes crossed exclusively with Texel tups.

The finished lambs are sold via a livestock marketing co-operative, Farmstock (Scotland) Ltd.
In addition, there is an 85 cow suckler beef herd of Saler/Limousin cross cows, which are put to a
Limousin bull. The progeny are sold as stores on a private basis to a farmer elsewhere in Perthshire.
Silage is grown, cut and wrapped on the farm, with any additional feedstuffs required being bought
in. There are principal sets of farm buildings at Duntuim (pronounced ‘Dun-dime’) and Croftmoraig, which provide an extensive range
of livestock accommodation, machinery and equipment storage and livestock handling facilities.

Two full-time employees (a farm manager/stockman and shepherd) currently run the farm under the guidance of the owners with each
living on the estate at Duntuim.

Trading as Bolfracks Farming Partnership with AFRC:RPID registered holding code 677/0005,
the business claims subsidy payments through the Basic Payment, Less Favoured Area Support and Organic Aid Schemes.

Forestry and Woodland
The forestry at Bolfracks forms a major part of the estate, both in terms of its landscape setting and
as a productive commercial part of the enterprise. Extending in total to about 2,674 acres (1,082 hectares), the forestry includes vigorous, high
yield-class conifer crops with areas of mixed native woodland forming shelterbelts and landscape features. At the southwest end of the estate is a stunning area of native Caledonian woodland extending over Craig an Fhudair (Kenmore Hill).

This is an area with a long history of integrated land management where landowners worked to accentuate the natural landscape. Bolfracks
is no exception and the estate woodlands have been influenced by both the Bolfracks and Taymouth Castle Designed Landscapes.

In recent years, the internal roading system has been developed and upgraded to provide operational access for regular harvesting
operations. There is ample stone available throughout the property for road maintenance and construction. External access via the A827 is also good. There are local markets for pallet wood, biomass and fencing, with markets for logs and other timber material situated within easy distance.

Forestry operations are undertaken following an approved Forest Plan, which runs from 2013 to 2032 (prepared by Edinburgh-based independent consultants, Woodland Consulting). With carefully managed annual harvesting and thinning
programmes, these forests offer the opportunity for truly sustainable forestry activities on an economic scale.

Renewable Energy
Towards the west end of the estate, the Tombuie Burn follows a steep and very attractive course in
draining the open moorland into the main stem of the River Tay.

With a drop in altitude of circa 150 metres over a distance of about 1km, a 360 kW run-of-river
hydro-electricity scheme was constructed by the vendors and commissioned in April 2005.

With income generated through the sale of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs), this scheme has
produced an average net annual income to the estate in the region of £90,000.

The operation and maintenance of the Tombuie Scheme is carried out under contract by Dulas Ltd based in Stirling.

In addition to hydro-electricity, the owners of Bolfracks have embraced biomass energy provision on the estate through the installation of both woodchip and pellet heating systems in Bolfracks House and several of the houses and cottages on the estate. Established under the Scottish Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the estate includes both domestic and nondomestic
systems which generate significant annual income to the estate.

The owners also operate a woodchipping business, which produces and delivers, under contract,
woodchips as fuel to serve biomass heating systems on other estates within the Aberfeldy area.

The estate includes a beat of salmon fishings on the Upper River Tay extending to about 2.66km. Known as the Lower Bolfracks Fishings and operated in conjunction with the independently owned Upper Bolfracks Fishings, the beat has 6 named pools and is fished by up to 6 rods. The 5-year average is 14 salmon/grilse with 37 fish being
caught during the 2015 season. The largest fish caught during the last 5 years was 19lbs.

The extensive woods on the estate, together with its undulating topography, particularly towards its west end, provide the basis for a driven pheasant and partridge shoot with several recognised drives.

In recent years, the shoot has been operated by a third party in conjunction with other estates in the vicinity with the owners being provided with a single day of driven shooting each season in lieu of rent.

With around 5,000 birds having been released in recent seasons, the Bolfracks shoot offers up to 15 days of pheasant shooting per season. Amongst the named drives are four highly regarded high pheasant drives.

In addition to the pheasant and partridge drives, there are ponds within the estate providing both
driven duck shooting and flighting for wild duck.
On the southern edge of the estate, adjoining Bolfracks Forest, is an area of heather moorland extending to about 96 acres. This land adjoins an
actively managed and productive driven grouse moor to the south (Urlar Estate). In recent years, this has provided the owners of Bolfracks Estate with the opportunity to enjoy modest walked-up shooting for a couple of guns with the expectation
of a bag of 2 to 3 brace of grouse.

The woods within the estate, and notably the native woodland plantation at Kenmore Hill at
the west end of the estate, attract woodcock during the winter months, providing the opportunity for both driven and walked-up
shooting. There is also a thriving population of blackgame (including an active lek) on the estate, although in the interests of conservation, none has been shot in recent years.

Tourism and Leisure
In terms of its existing tourism business, the owners of Bolfracks offer one of the cottages (West
Lodge) for let as a holiday cottage and achieve an average occupancy of around 30 to 35 weeks per year. In looking to expand the tourism business on the estate, the owners have applied for and have received planning consent for a campsite
development, including 5 mobile homes and 12 large tents, on an attractive and peaceful site within Newhall Wood (Lot 12).

In addition, planning consent was granted in 1997 for the erection of 14 log chalets for use as holiday letting accommodation within woodland on the south side of the A827 within lot 13 – Tombuie Estate.

Furthermore, the owners currently grant access to part of the estate to a leisure business operator for ATV tours and canyoning.

Lotting Strategy and Summary of Lots
In order to provide opportunities to buyers at all levels of the rural property market spectrum, the estate is offered for sale as a whole or in 16
lots as follows:

Lot 1: Bolfracks House (About 141 acres)
Lot 2: Lower Bolfracks Salmon Fishings (About 34 acres)
Lot 3: Duntuim Farm (About 253 acres)
Lot 4: Dunskiag Land and Woodland (About 134 acres)
Lot 5: Lower Haugh Land (About 46 acres)
Lot 6: Long Park (About 119 acres)
Lot 7: Bolfracks Forest (About 1,604 acres)
Lot 8: East Styx Cottage (About 0.27 acre)
Lot 9: West Styx Cottage (About 0.31 acre)
Lot 10: Croftmoraig Farm (About 364 acres)
Lot 11: Taymouth East Lodge (About 0.09 acre)
Lot 12: Newhall Wood (About 205 acres)
Lot 13: Tombuie Estate (About 441 acres)
Lot 14: Tombuie Hydro Scheme (About 2 acres)
Lot 15: Kenmore Hill Woodland (About 445 acres)
Lot 16: Loch Tay Shorefront (About 0.10 acre)

Aberfeldy 2 miles, Perth 33 miles, Dundee Airport 55 miles, Edinburgh Airport 74 miles, Glasgow Airport 82 miles

Varying in altitude from about 100 metres above sea level in the valley of the River Tay to about 567 metres at the summit of Craig Hill on the southern boundary, Bolfracks Estate occupies the southern side of Upper Strathtay between Aberfeldy and
Kenmore at the east end of Loch Tay, in Highland Perthshire.

A part of Scotland known for its peerlessly spectacular landscape (Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were famously attracted to it – and close to buying Taymouth Castle Estate – prior to buying Balmoral Estate in the 1850s), the westerly and
northerly views from most parts of the estate are simply stunning.

Within view of many parts of the estate are more than a dozen ‘Munros’, including the particularly
well-known summits of Schiehallion, Ben Lawers and Meall nan Tarmachan. Tombuie House, at the southwest end of the estate, has been built by the owners in recent years in a position which maximises the fabulous views to an extent that it can be described as having one of the most panoramic and spectacular outlooks in Scotland.

The Victorian resort and market town of Aberfeldy is located just to the east of the estate and about
2 miles from Bolfracks House. With banking, comprehensive medical services and a wide
selection of individual businesses, including butcher, delicatessen, bakery, art galleries, cinema,
clothing, gift and antique shops, Aberfeldy caters for basic requirements and a great deal more. For schooling, the recently-built Breadalbane Academy provides secondary education and a range of community sports and leisure facilities in the town.

There is a mainline railway station at Pitlochry (15 miles) with daily services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness plus a sleeper service to London. In addition to its range of shops and services, Pitlochry is home to the renowned Festival Theatre. Established in 1951, it puts on a wide range of performing arts productions throughout the year
and is very popular with locals and visitors alike.

There are reputable country hotels and restaurants in the area such as the Fortingall Hotel in Glen Lyon and The Courtyard Restaurant in Kenmore. For bistro dining, Ailean Chraggan and the Thyme at Errichel are both highly regarded and situated just outside Aberfeldy.

Perthshire is renowned for the quality and diversity of its field sports which have been attracting
enthusiasts from around the world since its rise in popularity in the 19th Century. One of ‘the big four’
salmon rivers in Scotland, the Tay is amongst the most famous salmon fisheries in the world. In addition to fishing on the Lower Bolfracks Beat,
which forms part of the subjects of sale, there is fishing available for let on numerous beats on the main River Tay and its various tributaries.

Driven and walked-up grouse shooting and red deer stalking are offered for let on a number of
estates within half an hour’s drive of Bolfracks, whilst Strathtay is home to some of the best pheasant shoots in Scotland including Grandtully,
Edradynate and Kinnaird, all of which offer days for let.

Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the area by its natural beauty and range of terrain. Running 34 miles west from the village of Fortingall, Glen
Lyon is the longest enclosed glen in Scotland and one of the prettiest. There are riverside paths in the foot of the Glen and a number of Munros to the north and south, including the popular Glen Lyon Horseshoe, which enables climbers to ascend four
peaks in a day, Ben Lawers being one of them. Meggernie Outdoor Centre at Bridge of Balgie provides a range of outdoor activities.

The Watersports and Activity Centre at Kenmore offers rafting and canoeing on the River Tay, in addition to a range of sailing boats and other water craft for hire.

For golfers, there are courses locally at Aberfeldy, Kenmore and Pitlochry whilst Gleneagles Hotel, with its famous Championship courses, is only 35 miles south of Bolfracks and well within an hour’s drive.

For walkers, the Birks of Aberfeldy (of Burns’ poetry fame) is a wooded gorge to the south of the town providing scenic walks. The ‘Rob Roy Way’, which runs for over 70 miles from Pitlochry in Perthshire to Drymen in Stirlingshire, passes
through the estate.

Date posted: 14/09/17