Owners of Scottish Holiday homes Alastair and Ann MacLennan are well placed to give advice for your holiday in Strathspey.
Alastair was born in 1960, 3 miles away in Grantown-on-Spey, lived one year at Gaich Farm, before his father and mother moved from there across the river to take the tenancy of the bigger farm of Balliefurth where Alastair and Ann still live today.
Alastair met Ann when they were both studying in Aberdeen in 1981 and they were married in 1986 in Ann’s home town of Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
The hard working pair bought Alastair’s father out of the farm tenancy in 1989 and in 1999 they had the chance to purchase the farm from Revack Estate which they took with the help of a large loan from the bank.
Since the beginning of the 90s Alastair has, with the help of a second degree in Applied Environmental Science, managed the beef and sheep farm with great regard to the environment and has enhanced the habitats and species that occur on Balliefurth throughout that tenure.
The couple enjoyed running a very successful BandB in the farmhouse at Balliefurth for 25 years and this diversification has been enhanced with the addition of superb self catering properties, Tigh-na-Coille and Aspen Lodge which they look forward to welcoming you to.
As well as a producer of prize beef and lamb. Balliefurth is a long standing and the most northerly LEAF (linking environment and farming) demonstration farm.
Winner of the Scottish Silver Lapwing Award and runner up in the UK Silver Lapwing Award, Winner of the NFUS Farm Biodiversity Award
We’ve worked alongside RSPB, NFU, LEAF, Cairngorm Partnership and Cairngorm National Park with which was appointed to the board for 7 years.
Balliefurth (Baile phuirt in Gaelic), means homestead of the port or ferry. Referring to the ferry which ran for several centuries across the River Spey at Boat of Balliefurth to the rallying place of the clan Grant, allowing the people of Abernethy access to the courts and fairs and clan occasions at Ballintomb. The ferry ceased to operate around 1920.
It has been an important place since at least medieval times (7th to 12th century) when the area was referred to as the Davoch of Balliefurth.
The farm is 420 acres of mixed grassland, wetland, mixed woodland and a small amount of arable crops. The famous River Spey forms the boundary on the western side. The lower lying half of the farm forms part of the original Spey floodplain now partly protected by flood banks erected in the mid 1800’s.
The farm is still used and farmed for beef and lamb, sold locally at www.balliefurth.com farm shop.
The present Farmhouse was rebuilt in the autumn of 1848 at the expense of £110 to contractors and with the addition of £140 materials, by the farmer of the time a Peter Grant. Only a little of the original farm steading survives as it was pulled down and replaced in 1961.
This is split from the upper level of the farm by a disused railway, which operated from 1863 until in 1968 it fell to the Beeching closure programme. In 1962/63 Balliefurth was one of only two Farm Halts in Scotland where you could flag the train down.
This area is an internationally important site for breeding wading birds, i.e. Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe, Oyster catcher, and Redshank. Traditional shorthorn cross beef cattle and highland mule ewes make up the livestock which graze extensively on the clover and herb rich grass pastures.