Killiehuntly Farmhouse from Wildland, Scotland
Will Ross, February 8, 2023
The Scottish Cairngorms are home to a landmark conservation and hospitality operation from the owner of BESTSELLER, Anders Holch Povlsen. Located above the small town Kingussie on the western edge of the Cairngorms National Park, Killiehuntly consists of a 4-bedroom farmhouse, two self-catering cottages and a Hayloft. The property is one of several estates which consists of seven properties owned by Wildland Limited, encompassing over 200,000 acres purchased by Povlsen in Scotland.
Since making his first acquisition in 2005, Glenfeshie, Povlsen has been directing the profits from Asos in support of a 200-year vision for rewilding the Cairngorms and Sutherland in far north of Scotland. Povlsen isn’t unique in absolving the environmental down sounds of apparel production with conversation on a massive scale. Doug and Kristine Tompkins’ rewilding in Chile was financed from the sale of the former’s selling of The North Face and Espirit holdings in the early 1990s, both companies he founded. Meanwhile across distributed lands via their grantees, outerwear brand Patagonia continue to use profits from selling gear to finance the Holdfast Collective, a $100M fund created in 2022.
The primary concern for Wildland is landscape-scale regeneration comprising of natural regeneration via tree planting, habitat management and peatland restoration to name a few. Cairngorms Connect was established to coordinate conservation efforts in the region, with Wildland acting as a founding partner.
This restoration decisions made by Wildland have involved a mass culling of deer, which was met with criticism locally. Returning the ecosystem to balance required the controlling of deer populations which were damaging habitat for other species, and inhibiting prospects for groves, recovering grass and heather to thrive. It’s these principles that have helped establish a more diverse horizon rising to the east of Killiehuntly.
Originally built as a Victorian shooting lodge in the 1850s, Killiehuntly’s farmhouse, its cottages and Hayloft have been impeccably restored by Groves-Raines Architects. Scandi-scot directs the interior design with clean lines and Scottish craft finding a meeting point, adorned by designer furniture and modern art.
Communal dining is a central part of Killiehuntly – guests from the four unique rooms are summoned for dinner, with breakfast the following day allowing each room to present their case for the day. Expect the menu to harness produce from the land – game meats including venison are in plenty supply on the estate, and freshwater salmon are also part of Killiehuntly’s local supply chain. Guests who might have initially balked at the $500 nightly price tag will understand the value in a 3-course meal and a large Scottish breakfast, each assembled by private chef.
As for facilities, a yurt sauna is large enough to toast up to 12 guests at the same time, with a small plunge tub adjacent requiring a line-up. Two snug living rooms are on the ground floor of the property are available throughout the day, with an honesty larder in another shared space in a barn near the self-catering cottages.
Activities can be organised or self-guided, with a fleet of hardtail Trek mountain bikes available for using on trails. Hiking routes from Killiehuntly take walkers onto neighbouring Glenfeshie Estate, where key conservation works have taken place.
Another Wildland property is located near to Killiehuntly in a parallel valley – Glenfeshie, also in the Cairngorms National Park. Remaining holdings are on Loch Ness (Aldourie Castle, closed until late-Spring 2023) and in the far north of Scotland west of Tongue.
For more information visit wildland.scot. You can reach Kingussie from the south via rail (Kingussie station), and from the north via busses from Inverness. The train station and bus station are an 8-minut taxi from Killiehuntly, or 5km by off-road trail. This review is based in a stay in bedroom Elm.