As soon as on a time, Scottish castles ended up involved with wild chieftains exacting brutal retribution on their neighbours and crofters. range rover hire uk Then arrived the age of enlightenment, which saw the Scottish aristocracy attempting to emulate their English neighbours and become a tiny far more refined. This led to a whole lot of new qualities staying built of the much less defensive nature and with a lot more emphasis on comfort and class. The arrival of Queen Victoria for her lengthy duration of mourning, further heightened the desirability of a Scottish household and lots of huge ones had been built during this era, incorporating new inventions like heating and electrical light-weight.
Regrettably for much of the early portion of your twentieth century, there adopted a period of decline, as being the fantastic estates struggled to take care of their noble homes and have been possibly broken up or fell into disrepair. The good thing is from the eighties a completely new renaissance was emerging which blended with higher prosperity resulted in a period of recovery & rebirth for a good deal of these wonderful households. It took a while for some of your older families to raise the huge sums required to restore their crumbling properties but it was slowly achieved, often with some aid from government bodies. Newcomers with deeper pockets have been able to achieve results quicker and now it is all the rage to own and restore a huge pile.
Throughout the country, properties that twenty years ago you could hardly give away are now selling for millions. Add on to this the huge refurbishment cost and indeed the massive upkeep costs and you have an expensive ‘second’ or in several cases ‘third’ residence! However demand has never been higher and finding suitable homes is now extremely hard. Of course, anyone can stay in a luxury hotel, charter a huge yacht but not everyone can hire a 500 year old castle, surrounded by several thousand acres and boasting private shooting, fishing and total seclusion. Throw in a few battlements, ghosts and old family retainers and you have the makings of the movie set.
Obviously most of these residences are deserted through the winter months but come summer and private jets are plopping down in every small airport throughout the country. A few gleaming range rovers will be on hand to whisk up the guests and within an hour or two, everyone will be lying on the heather with a wee dram in one hand and a smoke salmon sandwich in the other. It’s intoxicating stuff for urban types and there is no danger of some annoying Russian screaming past in his Ferrari or some helicopter buzzing overhead. Of course, guests can easily get bored, so some form of ‘retail therapy’ is vital and the local cashmere outlets are happy to help out.
Grouse shooting and salmon fishing at the time the preserve of the upper classes is now becoming enjoyed by clientele of all stripes and in any case new owners of substantial piles are quick to don their tweed suits and present themselves as lairds of lengthy standing. This is perfectly natural and has been witnessed via the locals for centuries. What is wonderful for Scotland is the huge amounts of money poured into the local economy by these ‘Chelsea’ Highlanders. They head north and not only help preserve these old houses but through a multitude of suppliers, they keep a great deal of shops and other companies busy, as well as employing quite a bit of local people to help look after the houses themselves.
Absentee landlords are often significantly criticised but in fact they are essential and need to be encouraged. They pump funds into rural and often poor parts of your country and take on attributes that are not financially viable at all. They are of course ‘living a dream’ but life is all about fulfilling types dreams and if wealthy folk from all over the world find romance and happiness in maintaining a little bit of our heritage, well then we should encourage them. It is a great era for Scotland’s ancestral houses & castles and it’s wonderful to see.