A number of years ago, I discovered the British television show “Monarch of the Glen”. Have you seen it? The comedy/drama comprised seven seasons that aired from 2000-2005. I immediately fell in love with the premise and the quirkiness of the characters and storylines. If you’re not familiar with it, the first five seasons revolve around the story of Archie MacDonald, a young restauranteur in London, who reluctantly moves back to his family’s home in the Scottish Highlands (after being bamboozled by his mother), to assume his role as laird of the severely cash-strapped Glenbogle Estate. In his quest to save Glenbogle, Archie seems to constantly face a barrage of obstacles and disappointments, and his strained relationship with his eccentric father (played brilliantly by Richard Briers) makes things even more complicated. It is because of the teamwork and dedication of the family’s loyal and offbeat estate staff, that Glenbogle slowly begins to emerge from the ashes. Archie even finds love.
Like all good shows, they come to an end, and unfortunately, by the sixth season, several of the main characters had left the show, including Alastair Mackenzie (Archie – such a shame). In my opinion, the series was never the same again. But, even so, if you ever have the chance to watch it, do, because the first five seasons are so charming. I own the series on DVD and I still get it out to watch it from time to time.
On our last trip to Scotland (not long before the world turned into a dumpster fire), Mr. C and I captured some photos of Ardverikie, the home that was used for Glenbogle House on the show. In fact, the “Monarch of the Glen” series was filmed almost exclusively on the Ardverikie Estate. You may also recall that Ardverikie stood in for Balmoral Castle in the fourth season of “The Crown”.
Ardverikie Estate is located near Kinloch Laggan, Newtonmore, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, and the house sits along the banks of Loch Laggan. You can see the home clearly from the A86. Though Mr. C and I only viewed it from a distance, we were thrilled to catch a glimpse of this grand property.
The current home was completed in 1877 in the Scots Baronial style; however, this is not how the house originally looked. When first built, the building was a much simpler design, without the towers, embellishments, and frills. (Click here to visit Ardverikie’s web page, and you can see a photo of the house that was taken in 1869, as well as read a more detailed history of the estate.) It was only after a fire in 1873 that Ardverikie was rebuilt as we see it today.
The Ardverikie Estate, which encompasses some 38,000 acres of land, is privately owned and managed by a board of directors comprised mostly of family members. This governing body has taken on a number of endeavors to not only keep the estate running but to also play a larger role within the local community. Some of the activities they are involved in include hydro-electric generation, forestry, deer management, farming, tourism, and filming.
The property has a number of self-catering options, one of which is the cute Gatelodge house pictured above, and offers a number of leisure activities that take advantage of the beautiful Highland nature and scenery. It looks like a lovely place, and one day I hope to see and experience it closer.
Well, friends, that’s about it for today. All this talk of Ardverikie has me wanting to dig out my “Monarch of the Glen” videos, so I think I’ll go and do that right now! Hope you all have a pleasant and productive week ahead. Stay safe.