Estate extends to approximately 7,500 acres running from
the River Spey up into the mountains of the Monadhliaths. The
Estate is long and narrow, approximately 8 miles long by
2 wide, and runs from
marshlands around the River Spey through an agricultural
belt and commercial forestry plantations, birch wood and
onto moor land, which
extends up into Coignafearn Estate. Our neighbour to the west
is Pitmain Estate and to the east is Dunachton Estate. The land
rises to approximately 1,800 feet at the highest point and
is generally of rolling landscape rather than the steeper
topography of the west.
The Estate has been famed for its sport since the late 18th century
when Colonel Thornton rented the land and invited many
guests to come and enjoy the sport there. The sport was probably
at its zenith at the turn of the last century when seasonal bags
1,300 brace of grouse where achieved and wild pheasants
were to be found all over the Estate.
GROUSE - DRIVEN SHOOTS
The best days at Balavil over recent years have resulted
in days of 75 brace being achieved on the hill. We are
fully butted for two separate days of driving and
there are 14 separate drives on the moor.
Grouse are notoriously difficult bird to predict on a seasonal
basis and with the shape of the Estate the weather is also greatly
influential in the success of a day. When the grouse are plentiful,
however the drives provide some of the best shooting in Scotland. We
prefer to leave the booking of grouse till June so that we have
an idea of the success of the breeding season.
GROUSE - WALKED UP SHOOTING
Walked up days for up to 6 guns is a specialty on the
Estate and the relatively easy terrain makes for entertaining
days for guests and their dogs. Bags of up to 25 brace per
day are achievable.
We also encourage black powder shooting and for the past 10 years
have started the season with 3 days dedicated to muzzle loading
Over the last 6 years we have developed a very entertaining
small pheasant shoot at Balavil. We put down approximately
3000 birds and can provide days of up to 150 very sporting
at the house is always one of the highlights of the day.
In recent years we have shot up to 2,000 blue hares in
the course of a season though again, like grouse, they are a
fluctuating commodity. Guests are transported to the top
of the hills where hares are driven towards them. In the
months of November, December and January when there is snow on
the ground, it can provide very entertaining sport. Up to
200 hares a day can be shot.
The mixed typography of Balavil provides some wonderful
locations for mixed rough shooting and combined with
grouse, pheasants and hares we can offer days, which include
our 5 flight ponds, woodcock, snipe and rabbit. They normally
have an expectation of 10 - 15 head per day per gun.
The first 3 weeks of October are dedicated to red deer
stalking for stags. Our terrain is ideally suited for
exciting and entertaining stalking and several trophy heads
been taken off the hill in recent years.
On the low ground, woodlands and on the hill we have
a small number of roebuck, which provide entertaining stalking
during the months
of June and July.
There are a limited number of Sika deer on the Estate.
FISHING The Estate owns 3 miles of fishing on
the River Spey. There are 2 named pools where the River Tromie
and Raits burn flow into the river which provide fast water for
fly-fishing and are probably the best two holding salmon pools
up stream from Loch Insh. The whole water can be atrolled
There is also excellent trout fishing over the whole river and
brown trout up to 5lbs in weight have been caught recently.