Indeed Queen Victoria and her family fell in love with the wildness of Scotland in the  19th Century making Balmoral the heart of  the Royal Family’s annual summer holiday ever since. The desire for the Scottish estate grew in popularity, partly perhaps as a result of this Royal connection, with the principal recreational pull being fishing, shooting and stalking. The “big house” was very much at the heart of the estate for entertaining, with the estate grounds allowing the chosen outdoor pursuit to be enjoyed during the day amidst the beautiful Scottish countryside. The entire estate was very much geared towards enjoying the outdoors and sporting activities.  

Today, however, the draw for the Scottish  estate can be for much more diverse reasons or criteria. The romantic appeal continues but the activities to be enjoyed are far broader than perhaps the more narrow pull of 100 years ago; rewilding, conservation and forestry being high on the list, together with farming and other outdoor recreational pursuits. Of course the traditional reasons of stalking, grouse moor management, driven pheasant shooting and fishing continue to be on the wish list of many looking to buy a Scottish estate but generally the one type fits all no longer applies and the estate owner of today may have a combination of any of the above or indeed will add in to the mix further diversification ideas, such as gin distilling or a falconry school to name but two.   

The desire for an estate to generate income  is also often on the agenda of a potential purchaser, resulting in many diversification projects including for example the growth of renewable energy generating technology on estates, the cottages and houses being renovated and rented out as holiday homes, the principal house perhaps becoming a wedding or event venue and traditional outbuildings being converted into breweries, artisan distilleries or indeed kitchens for niche products. 

Owning a piece of Scotland provides the owner with the opportunity to indulge a passion or pastime otherwise unavailable; be it creating a focus for conservation by the introduction of woodlands or management of moorland. It may be that a new owner looks to develop a holiday or tourism destination from their estate. The farming side of the estate may run either ‘in hand’ by the owner or tenanted on various short, medium or long term agreements. Or it could simply be for enjoyment such as riding on horseback through the glens, wildlife photography or landscape painting.

The options for a Scottish estate are broad, adding to its appeal.  The demand continues to far out strip the supply with buyers coming from not only within Scotland and the UK but also internationally.  

Scale requirements vary greatly, as does the desire  for a period principal house,  but the common and uncompromising criteria is privacy and an undisturbed setting. 

Over the last five years Galbraith has handled the sale of more Scottish estates than any other firm with our involvement in estate transactions being from all sides; selling, buying and valuation advice.   

The decision to bring an estate to the market can be for many different reasons, sometimes for the first time in generations, and the owner will look for the sale to be handled by a professional agent experienced in the estate market. A landed sale involves many intricacies and an understanding of these complexities is essential. 

Valuing an estate requires a detailed knowledge of the value of each element making it up; the sport, hydro or  wind farm potential, forestry or planting land, farmland, buildings, cottages and of course the principal house  or shooting lodge. 

Galbraith has a long pedigree in the estate market.  Whether selling, buying or valuing we have highly experienced professionals covering Scotland and the north of England. 

For estate sales, purchases and valuations contact:

John Bound  01463 245352 |

Simon Brown  01786 434602 |

Emma Chalmers  01738 456062 |

Sam Gibson  01434 405975 |