The Altyre Estate has been the family home of the Cummings clan for 800 years. It is a privately owned family-run historic estate a short drive, walk or cycle (3 miles) from Forres.
There are many points of interest here.
Starting with the first you’ll come to if you enter from the A940. Loch of Blairs is a tranquil fishing loch with a beautifully-restored boat house. Recent works to clear dense undergrowth have reinvigorated this area into a popular local walking spot with a bird hide and picnic benches.
The boat house has been transformed into a natural education centre.
Glasgow School of Art
Further on, is the outstanding and impressive Italianate farm buildings. These have lain derelict for many years, but have recently been restored as a satellite campus for the world class Glasgow School of Art.
This 1830s Grade-A listed building underwent a £3.5 million restoration in 2017, and is one of four GSA campuses across the world offering international teaching, research and innovation centres.
Within view of the campus is the equally impressive Altyre House. A walk along this road provides a diverse sample of architecture in a peaceful and natural setting.
Farming and forestry at Altyre
The estate has diversified into the use of its own sustainably sourced timber for biomass chipping.
The estate is also experimenting with a shift to holistic farming. Altyre manages more than 4000 acres of moorland and 2000 acres are used for arable and beef production.
Around the estate
A small private Episcopal chapel built in 1900 and funded by Lady Gordon Cumming is still used today for private worship, and sits neatly on a grassy plain surrounded by large trees.
There is a long history of sporting activity linked to the pheasant season and deer management, and the estate has a portfolio of around 40 highly sought after unique residential properties, occasionally some become available to rent.
Fly fishing is available by arrangement and offers 2.5 miles of private fishing. For shooting and fishing enquiries call 01309 672265.
Altyre is a lovely place for walking with various forest and estate buildings with many woodland tracks and a chance to spot lots of birdlife. And keep an eye out for the Aberdeen Angus cattle too!
Also look out for the standing stone! Surrounded by an enclosure in a field is the slender ogham-inscribed cross slab made of grey sandstone. It is situated to the west of the site of the old kirk of altyre and believed to date back to late eighth or ninth century.