Tel: 01540 661268
Balavil 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 of 1,300 brace of grouse where achieved and wild pheasants were to be found all over the Estate.

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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.

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 guns.

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 birds. Lunch 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 ducks on our 5 flight ponds, woodcock, snipe and rabbit. They normally have an expectation of 10 - 15 head per day per gun.

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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 have 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.

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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 by boat.  

There is also excellent trout fishing over the whole river and brown trout up to 5lbs in weight have been caught recently.

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