Owner - Her Majesty The Queen

When walking on the Glenlivet Estate you can be in no doubt as to the landowner. The estate is part of the larger Crown Estate, and the little crown logo tells you that the land belongs to Mrs Queen, or, to be more formal, to the reigning monarch.

The Crown Estate owns quite a chunk of Britain, from farms to forests, coastline (55% of the foreshore around Britain's coasts) to major bits of central London. I knew of the Crown Estate, having grown up on the doorstep of what we called 'Crown land', but until I read more when writing this post I didn't realise the scope of the organisation. Have a look at their website if you want to find out more.

In today's Scotland, with a strong trend towards devolution from the rest of the UK and even independence, there are probably mixed feelings about the Crown Estate. I say 'probably' because I don't follow these debates closely. What I would say is that the Crown Estate encourages the public onto its land and provides just the right level of facilities so that the wild aspect is preserved. The waymarked route we followed made a great morning's walk through farmland, forest and moorland.


  1. I watched a program a few years ago called "who owns Britain" which established that a vast amount of Britain is still owned by aristocratic families who were gifted the land way back when and have been handing it down ever since. It makes my Scottish boyfriend fume with anger.

  2. I love walking on these lands...we have a lot of "Crown" lands here in Canada and you are right they offer just the right amount of civilized wilderness! Have more great walks and a great week.

  3. Nadurra by Glenlivet is one of my favorite Scotch whiskeys, one which I drink regularly. Great post.

  4. So would you say that this land is the British equivalent of our National Parks, National Historic Sites, Nat'l Monuments, Nat'l Preservation areas, etc.?

  5. When I lived in Glasgow an old neighbour fumed about the Governor General Michael Forsyth "No use looking for 'common ground' with them: they nicked all the common ground in the clearances: that's why we live in this ****hole in Glasgow"

  6. PurestGreen, Carolyn, Breezy Point Mom and Richie, land ownership in Scotland is a very vexed question. I was aware that I painted quite a rosy, personal picture here, and after publishing this post I began reading more about land ownership.
    I have a friend who is a researcher in this area and who maintains that it would be within the competence of the Scottish Parliament to transfer ownership of the lands from the Crown to Scottish ministers. This would be important for eg sea bed rights, which would allow the local control of revenue from renewable energy derived from wavepower.

    Breezy Point Mom, we also have National Parks, so the Crown Estates aren't quite the same thing. It's more as if large bits of the US were owned by the President, by right of one of the early Presidents having bought them up/fought a battle giving them title to the land, and that the ownership was passed down from President to President to this day, but always through the same family. So you would have swathes of the US owned by a Republican Bush dynasty, or a Democrat Kennedy dynasty.

    Al, you have good taste!


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