Glenstriven is an exceptional quality residential, sporting and waterside estate, extending in total to about 1,041 acres. It was purchased by the current owners in the early 1980s and during the past 30 years has been developed and improved in many ways. Glenstriven House was comprehensively refurbished and modernised and has been maintained and run to a high standard. Each of the additional houses has also been modernised to provide very comfortable accommodation – for letting as holiday accommodation and for employees. Each of the properties has stunning views over Loch Striven, a sea loch providing wonderful access to world-class yachting.
Amongst the improvements effected by the current owners is the establishment of an exceptional pheasant and partridge shoot, which has earned the reputation as one of the best shoots in Scotland. Much of the credit for this lies with the former Head Keeper who built up the shoot over 30 years. His determination, creativity, attention to detail and hard work have attracted shooting parties from around the world to return year after year to shoot the most challenging of birds. His son has now taken on the role of Head Keeper and has continued to ensure that Glenstriven provides sport of the highest quality.
The shoot was highly commended in the Purdey Awards in 2001 for Wild Game Conservation in recognition of the quality of habitat, conservation and game management employed on the estate.
In addition to the pheasant shoot, the terrain at Glenstriven provides the opportunity for red and roe deer stalking on the open hill and woodland edge. Due to the mild climate of the west coast and shelter from the forestry, the red deer thrive and tend to grow to a larger than average size with culled stags of up to and over 20 stones being relatively common.
One of the particular features of the estate is its network of vehicular access tracks. Established in conjunction with the development of the pheasant shoot, these tracks also provide excellent opportunities for walking, riding and biking.
The estate pier provides direct access to the sea and some of the best sailing in the British Isles and Europe.
For the owners’ families, Glenstriven has been a most wonderful project over more than 30 years. A second home in the true sense of the word and the most wonderful environment in which to enjoy family holidays and to entertain friends.
The components of the estate are described as follows:
Glenstriven House was built in 1860 and is accessed by an unusual and attractive cobbled drive flanked by an avenue of lime trees and specimen conifers. Whilst the principal façade faces west towards Loch Striven, the drive leads to a gravel sweep adjoining the northern elevation as a result of which, the north door to the house is the most actively used.
It should be noted that the public road terminates at the entrance to the Estate.
Occupying an elevated position with westerly views over Loch Striven, the house is of stone construction which is painted beneath pitched slate roofs.
The northern façade of the house features a portico with decorative game-bird themed niches. Other features include dressed stone quoins and a circular cupola above the stairwell.
The internal accommodation is very well suited to the purposes of entertaining house parties of guests with spacious and well-proportioned reception rooms, eight bedrooms (including four bedroom suites) and extensive utilitarian and storage space including a purpose-built wine cellar with capacity for around 500 bottles.
Features of the interior include a sweeping central staircase with decorative cast-iron spindles and wooden balustrade, decorative cornices, panelled doors with brass door furniture and sash and casement windows throughout.
The services include private water supply, oil-fired central heating and propane gas cooker. The electrical, plumbing systems and heating systems were comprehensively renewed following the vendors’ purchase of the estate in the 1980s and have been well maintained and repaired as required since.
The layout and dimensions of the accommodation are as shown on the floor plans included in this brochure.
Gardens and Grounds
Glenstriven House is surrounded by several acres of kept lawns, parkland and wooded policies, beds of herbaceous shrubs, a wide variety of hybrid rhododendrons and has strategically placed seating benches to take full advantage of the stunning views across Loch Striven.
Situated within the grounds is one of the more quirky attractions of the estate. Known as “The Glenstriven Arms”, this is the conversion of a former generator building as a small, discreet, private bar used by guests from the main house. It comprises a single room with working bar, bench and stool seating and it exudes charm and character.
Stables and Outbuildings
Lying close to the north of Glenstriven on the other side of the gravel parking area is the former stable block, part of which has been converted to provide auxiliary living accommodation to complement Glenstriven House. This includes two bedroom suites, which, in combination with the main house, provide accommodation for a house party of 20 people in total.
Also within this range of buildings is a timber-panelled shoot room, fur and feather game larders (including a chiller) and the former estate office.
Lying close by is a traditional stone barn with a slate roof, which is used for general storage and opposite the Stable Block is an implement shed (6.1m x 11.6m) of timber frame construction.
Lying a discreet distance from the main house and its immediate outbuildings is a general-purpose shed (16.0m x 18.3m) of steel portal frame construction with concrete block and timber-clad walls beneath a profile metal sheeting roof. With a concrete floor and extensive apron on the south side to allow for it to be extended if required, this building is used for storage of machinery and equipment associated with the shoot.
Houses and Cottages
Situated beside the drive at the entrance to the estate, this is a delightful and deceptively spacious traditional lodge cottage which has been enlarged and modernised by the current owners.
Of harled and painted stone under a slate roof, the accommodation includes a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, three further bedrooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, a bathroom and shower room. The layout and dimensions of the accommodation are as shown on the floor plans.
With private water and drainage and oil-fired central heating, the house is currently occupied by two of the estate employees – the chef/Estate manager and his wife, the property manager, under a Service Occupancy.
Connected to the house is a wooden and steel double car port, outside store, log shed and courtyard patio area to rear of house. There is also a set of kennels. In front of the house, garden ground runs down to a pebbly beach at the edge of the sea.
Situated about halfway between the Lodge and Glenstriven House with access off the main drive, this is an unusual timber framed and clad chalet-style cottage with accommodation over three floors.
Built in the 1990s, Flagstaff Cottage sits in a prominent position with wonderful views over Loch Striven. With large windows to maximise the benefit of the panoramic views, the internal accommodation is partly open plan and laid out over three floors. A feature is a spacious balcony and deck on the first floor.
The layout and dimensions of the accommodation are shown on the floor plans and includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a built-in sauna.
To the rear of the house is a spacious gravel parking area plus timber framed boat shed and wooden garden shed. The cottage is offered for let as weekly holiday accommodation.
Pier Cottage and the Old Smokehouse
This is a wonderfully located cottage with additional accommodation, ancient garden and boathouse, situated on the shore of Loch Striven beside the pier.
The cottage takes its name from the original pier that was located here for many years before being replaced by the current greenheart pier in the 1990s. Of traditional whitewashed stone beneath a pitched slate roof, the accommodation (shown on the floor plans within this brochure) is over two storeys and includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a sauna.
A short distance from the cottage is a detached former fish smoker building, which has been converted as auxiliary accommodation to complement Pier Cottage. Constructed of stone under a slate roof, the accommodation comprises a bathroom on the ground floor and a bedroom on the first floor.
Pier Cottage and the Old Smokehouse are offered for let on a weekly basis as holiday accommodation.
Invervegain Farmhouse and Buildings
Constructed of stone under a slate roof, Invervegain Farmhouse occupies a particularly majestic position on the north side of the Invervegain Burn. The southerly view down Loch Striven to Bute is one of the best of all of the houses on the estate.
Originally built as a farmhouse with adjoining steading forming a u-shaped range of buildings, the house was extensively modernised in the 1990s with part of the adjoining steading being converted as a large games room.
The accommodation is laid out over two storeys and includes two reception rooms, four bedrooms and two bathrooms in addition to the large games room.
The undeveloped elevation of this range includes two former stables providing outbuildings/general storage space.
There is a spacious enclosed parking area and garden together with a small paddock to the rear of the outbuildings.
Available to let on a weekly basis.
One of the particular features and attractions of Glenstriven is its private pier. Constructed from North American greenheart timbers, the pier is about 30 metres in length with a deck width of 3 metres. It is designed to work in low or high tide and enables boats with a draft of up to 6 metres (20 feet) to dock.
The pier enables easy access to spectacular yachting and boating throughout the Firth of Clyde, together with mixed water sports and sea fishing in Loch Striven.
Land and Woods
The land rises from the edge of Loch Striven to the highest point at Cruach nan Capull at 2,036 feet (611m) above sea level.
Whilst there is no longer any farming activity at Glenstriven, there was a hill sheep farm on the estate for many years prior to the current owners’ purchase in the 1980s. Within the policies of the estate, there are several enclosures of former in-bye pasture and rough grazing extending in total to about 59 acres.
The woodland is a mix of native broadleaves and conifers, scattered along the shoreline, up gullies and at the sides of burns.
Having previously owned Invervegain Glen – a commercial plantation of mainly Sitka spruce and larch – this was sold by the vendors several years ago. The boundary between the properties is on the southern fringe of the forest and therefore Glenstriven includes several stands of coniferous woodland which provide both a helpful buffer between the estate and adjoining forest and are also excellent pheasant coverts.
The hill ground is divided into two parts lying on either side of the independently owned Invervegain Glen forest. Precipitous in places and exposed to the elements, the views from the hill ground throughout the south-western Highlands and islands are truly breath-taking.
Access to the hill ground is on foot from the Invervegain Glen forestry road over which Glenstriven Estate benefits from a right of vehicular access.
Through a combination of dedicated hard work, investment, creativity and trial and error over a 30-year period, the most varied, challenging and exciting driven pheasant shoot has been established at Glenstriven. A variety of terrain including tall conifers, birch banks and craggy cliffs help in producing pheasant drives of world-class quality.
With 12 named drives in total (shown on the sale plan accompanying these particulars), some of the drives have Loch Striven as the backdrop and the scenery is quite wonderful.
The variety in the presentation of birds is fantastic including high curling birds coming off crags, gliding pheasants over treetops and some extreme pheasants at such appropriately named drives as “Rio Grande” and “The Eiger”.
Having worked as his assistant for many years, the current Head Keeper took over the role from his father in 2017 and has continued to improve and develop the shoot.
Whilst the owners have retained a number of days for their own enjoyment, there is a well-established letting programme with a number of loyal shooting tenants from around the UK and further afield who recognise the unique shooting experience that Glenstriven has to offer.
In addition to pheasants, there are wonderful wild fowling opportunities, good numbers of woodcock in November/December and the occasional grouse on the hill (although the current owners have elected to preserve rather than shoot them).
With a large extent of forestry and open hill ground in this part of Scotland, the Cowal Peninsula is home to significant populations of both red and roe deer. At Glenstriven, the open hill ground lying above Invervegain Glen provides the opportunity for stalking. With access to the forestry, it is customary for the deer to shelter in the forest and graze on the open hill. This provides the opportunity for stalking – particularly at dawn or dusk and is a feature of the sport/amenity matrix at Glenstriven.
Whilst formal cull records have not been kept, the Head Keeper estimates that the recent annual cull by the estate has been in the region of 10 stags and 15 hinds. The estate has a deer larder and chiller and venison is collected as required by a game dealer.
Glenstriven Estate occupies magical setting on the western side of the Cowal Peninsula overlooking Loch Striven. The southerly and westerly views from the estate are magnificent and include the Islands of Bute and Cumbrae, together with the distinctive peak of Goat Fell and the mountains of Arran.
Access to the estate is via a minor public road which leads for about 15 miles from Dunoon through the villages of Innellan and Toward. The village of Innellan has a Post Office, convenience store and two pub/restaurants. A wider range of services is provided in Dunoon, with a good selection of shops, professional services, a hospital with A&E and secondary school with sports and community leisure facilities. Dunoon provides two ferry links across the Clyde estuary to Gourock. The journey time by ferry is circa 20 minutes and ferries leave at 20-minute intervals during the day.
The closest airport with scheduled domestic and international flights is at Glasgow International Airport (41 miles) which can be reached in around 1½ hours under normal traffic conditions. Gourock also has a railway station with frequent services to Paisley (for Glasgow airport) and Glasgow city centre. Glasgow airport also has a heliport with helicopters available for charter. The journey time to Glenstriven by helicopter is about 15 minutes.
With its many islands, peninsulas and sea lochs, Argyll has thousands of miles of coastline and, as such, the sea is a feature of the working life and leisure time of its inhabitants.
The quality of sailing off the Argyll coast and Inner Hebrides is of world renown. In addition to the two deep-water moorings owned by the vendors, there are several well-established commercial marinas within close range of Glenstriven at Dunoon, Rothesay, Port Bannatyne, Inverkip and Portavadie.
In terms of land-based activities, there are golf courses at Innellan (9 holes) and Dunoon (18 holes). Further afield there are internationally renowned golf courses at Loch Lomond and on the Ayrshire coast at Royal Troon, Trump Turnberry and Prestwick. The vendors are keen golfers and have, on several occasions, enjoyed day trips to the Ayrshire courses via a fixed hull (inboard) rib. The journey time to Turnberry (the southernmost of the courses) is about 1½ hours in calm sea conditions.
With many islands to explore, mountains to climb, lochs to fish, pubs and restaurants to dine at throughout Argyll, there is a fantastically diverse range of activities within a drive of an hour or so of Glenstriven.