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Case Studies > Glen Tanar - a destination for all

Glen Tanar Estate, Aboyne

Case Study Glen Tanar - a destination for all Glen Tanar Estate, Aboyne
Case Study Glen Tanar - a destination for all At the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park sits Glen Tanar. The estate spans 25,000 acres of mostly high ground with 11,000 acres of heather moorland, 10,000 acres of woodland, 3,000 acres of upland farmland, as well as and around 8 miles of fishing rights on the River Dee.  

The quality of wildlife and environment for both leisure and sport is at the heart of the Glen Tanar brand promise. The estate's mission is to care for the family owned estate, combining traditional knowledge and care with modern management techniques to provide exceptional hospitality and attention to detail for both guests and visitors all year round.  

Glen Tanar has been in the tourism business for over 100 years, initially working in a relatively narrow range of markets but it is now catering to an ever-wider range of customers. With 9 luxury, 4 star self catering cottages, the standard is high. Glen Tanar aims to offer visitors the best experience of natural Scotland with quality accommodation.

In 2017, the estate's historic Victorian Ballroom celebrates 150 years of hosting a variety of events and celebrations including weddings, dinner parties, ceilidhs and corporate events. With over 40 events per year visitors come from as far afield as America to have their celebration amongst authentic highland heritage. In recent years the estate has hugely diversified its product offering and now runs garden workshops in the walled garden, wildlife photography sessions and learn to fish lessons for salmon on the River Dee. In addition to this, visitors to Glen Tanar can fish for trout on the private loch, walk or cycle up Scotland's most eagerly Munro, Mount Keen, or book an estate safari to learn about the wildlife on, and heritage of, the estate. Many of the activities available on the estate involve use of the land – whether it be through exploring, adventuring or education.

The Illuminator Run, Scotland's toughest night half marathon, also takes place at Glen Tanar and follows 15 dark miles of rugged hill trails throughout the estate. This event has been a huge success in its first 2 years with the number of runners taking part nearly doubling in 2016 to 1200.

Large scale events are welcomed at Glen Tanar, not least the Scottish 6 Days orienteering event which is held in early August each year. This event has come to Deeside for the 4th time this year which is testament to the superb terrain available as well as the flexibility of tourism businesses who gladly accommodate around 750 orienteers whether it be through providing overnight accommodation, use of land for activities, or food and drink hospitality.

The buildings at Glen Tanar are also of historical significance and offer tourists unique architecture not often seen in Scotland. Designed by George Truefitt, the buildings at Glen Tanar are considered to be one of Truefitt's most ambitious and largest commissions outside London. An architectural expert from London, and Cambridge University student, Tszwai So, recently visited Glen Tanar to study the work of Truefitt for his university research. Tzswai commends Truefitt's picturesque and rustic approach at Glen Tanar which honours locally available materials and craftsmanship.

When visiting you might be lucky enough to come across a red squirrel, capercaillie, golden eagle, hen harrier, peregrine falcon, merlin, osprey or an adder. These beautiful and often elusive creatures are as important to Glen Tanar as the guests that visit and that is why the estate offers wildlife photography and safaris - to enable these beautiful creatures to be seen and enjoyed by the wider population.

Wildlife tourism plays a vital part in not only the economy of Glen Tanar, but Scotland's economy as a whole. Scottish Government research has shown that wildlife tourism has been growing in the UK economy. In fact, a greater proportion of wildlife tourists have visited Scotland in more recent years than non-wildlife tourists. In total, 1.12 million trips are made annually to or within Scotland for the primary purpose of viewing wildlife. Around half of these trips are made by UK tourists. 

Claire Bruce said: "The variety of wildlife we have here in Scotland is something to be exceptionally proud of and celebrated. At Glen Tanar we aim to maintain the balance between letting our visitors enjoy the wildlife, whilst taking care of the place these species call their home. We want people to experience Glen Tanar as a first choice destination, where the best of natural Scotland can be explored.  We also actively promote the wider area, Deeside and beyond, through our online platforms and regularly share local businesses through our social media and blog. We have created a specific "Royal Deeside" page on our new website to showcase the area to potential visitors and we believe that our offering at Glen Tanar strengthens Deeside as a whole due to the multitude of activities available, encouraging visitors from the UK and abroad."
Scottish Land & Estates
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