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.
14 thoughts on “Ardverikie Estate – Home of “Monarch of the Glen””
I’ll have to check this out. Thanks for the recommendation!
Looks like a great place to visit! xo
I wish we could have hiked to the house, but it is about a two-mile walk from where you are supposed to park your car.
Sounds like a great series, however, I’ve never have seen it. But no surprise there, I haven’t watched TV most of my adult life. I never seemed to have time for it, though I do enjoy a good movie every now and then.
I’ve read that these grand estates have needed to get inventive in order to stay afloat. Glad this one has been able to do so thus far. It’s beautiful.
Yes, I think in this case life does indeed imitate art. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to run an estate of that size.
Never heard of that series but want to check it out. As usual love your pictures of Scotland especially castles 🙂
We watched the series when it was first screened. It had some of my favourite actors including Richard Briers and Susan Hampshire. Later on, Tom Baker (former Dr Who) was the resident eccentric rascal relative. Did you know Susan Hampshire has dyslexia? Learning scripts relies on an excellent memory and a lot of hard work for her.
Another series for you to look for, is The Cry. It’s a mini-series made for television, I think a joint UK-Australian production with another Dr Who connection, Jenna Coleman in a brilliant role. The last episode particularly (which I watched again just last night) has some marvellous footage of the wild open country around the lochs. I thought of you!
I didn’t know that about Susan Hampshire. She is one of my favorites in the series. I think she is so pretty! Haven’t heard of The Cry, but I will look into it. I really like Jenna Coleman. I wish they would do another season of Victoria!
Gosh, wouldn’t it be fun to stay in that little Gatelodge house! Actually, wouldn’t it be fun to stay anywhere besides our own house? Can’t wait until we can travel again – as I must get back to Scotland! Thanks on the tip about the TV series. Nice post!
I agree, the Gatelodge looks great. I am so ready to travel again too!
When ‘Monarch of the Glen’ first aired on tv I wasn’t interested in these type of programs. I have started watching it now on the Drama tv channel and really love it. In fact I’m glad I didn’t watch it back then, as there is such a lot of rubbish on tv these.
It’s still one of my favorites. 🙂