Country estates and futureproofing. With the rise in adventure tourism, Scotland is one of the top destinations for outdoor activities. Scotland’s hills, mountains, loch, rivers and coastline and wildlife attract millions of visitors. In 2019, more than 14 million UK people visited Scotland. Everyone enjoys and benefits from spending time in nature. The landscape and nature of Scotland inspires and uplifts, bringing people back year after year. Adventure tourism includes cycling, walking, climbing, river and marine activities, wildlife and nature watching, and snow activities.
Scotland the destination
For a long time, Scotland had been a destination. By late 18th Century, Scotland became a more peaceful land and visitors from the upper classes toured the Highlands. In 1842, Queen Victoria, visited Scotland. Prince Albert bought Balmoral Estate in 1848, and, then four years later, purchased the land on which it stood. The royal couple enjoyed hill-walking, deer stalking (see photo below) and shooting and fell in love with tartan. Wealthy Southerners, influenced by the Queen and Prince Albert, wanted to do the same, and Scotland became a popular holiday destination.
In the last decade, many estates across Scotland recognised the rapidly growing demand for adventure holidays. Estates adapted and offered a wider range of adventure activities, work opportunities and holiday accommodation for tourists. During the pandemic years, and with the ban on international travel, many people took to the countryside for exercise, a change of scenery and to better their mental health. The amount of people heading to the countryside increased and many rekindled their love of the outdoors. When the pandemic restrictions relaxed, a holiday in a remote location appealed more than ever.
Country estates and futureproofing
If you are looking for a rural getaway, what is your preference? Could it be a quiet cottage in the hills or a lodge by a loch, Scotland’s outdoors has something for everyone. One country estate has it sights firmly focussed on the future. The Fearann Eilean Iarmain Estate in southern Skye offers traditional and alternative options for outdoor lovers. The estate has a variety of accommodation on offer: the 16-bedroom Hotel Eilean Iarmain, a stone built character cottage at the end of a track (see photo above) and The Inn @ Aird a’ Bhasair, one of the island’s oldest Inns.
Nurturing Estate nature
On the 23,000 acre Fearann Eilean Iarmain Estate, their commitment to conservation is wildly recognised and applauded. More than 50 years ago, the estate was bought by the late Sir Iain Noble. His restoration of the ancient woodland habitat of Sleat led to Fearann Eilean Iarmain establishing one of the first long-term programmes of native woodland regeneration in Scotland. Over the years, the natural environment was nurtured by Sir Iain’s pioneering initiatives, and today, Lady Noble continues his legacy. Furthermore, the estate is carefully and sustainably managed, and in 2017, Fearann Eilean Iarmain’s conservation work won the prestigious Golden Plover Award for Moorland Management.
Sporting adventure for all
The estate offers traditional and alternative sporting days out. At the helm of outdoor activities is the award-winning Head Gamekeeper and Stalker Scott MacKenzie. Scott is responsible for the shooting sports, and the professional management of the deer. A day on the hill is a much sought-after outing but there is also an alternative without culling of deer. Scott offers guided simulated deer stalking, and was featured on the BBC’s Landward last year. If you would like to find out more about traditional and alternative outdoor activities (simulated game shooting and deer stalking, fishing, Argocat tours, wildlife walks and more..) on Fearann Eilean Iarmain visit Scott’s website.
Scotland has it all
From a romantic break to an adventure in the hills, Scotland has much to offer, and I look forward to exploring and sharing more locations throughout the seasons.