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The Castles of Scotland: Part 6
The owners, Alan and Nicholas Russell and their wives Elizabeth and Imogen (what a lovely, old-fashioned name) are a delight, and true "hands-on" managers. The Estate was first referred to back in 1312 when its owner, John de Balbrennie, a follower of Robert the Bruce was made responsible for the defense of Dundee against a possible attack from King Edward of England.
In 1642 the house was purchased by an old Scottish family, the Balfours which kept the house for many generations during which it was added-to and took its current design in 1777. If walls could talk, they could tell quite a story, as this establishment featured house guests who were like a Who's Who of Scotland and Britain.
Today the house guests are more international, with many companies like Abbey Life, BICC, Canon, Conoco, Exxon, Hughes, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and even the British Government, are just few of the organizations which have rented the whole place for important conferences and corporate meetings. A big drawcard here is that the management can arrange for a game of golf at some of the most famous golf courses in the world, quite a few located nearby. I won't mention them by name, because availability varies from day-to-day and I don't want you to go there saying that "Walter Glaser said you could get me a game of golf at Gleneagles."
The Balbirnie golf course adjacent to the hotel is itself a hard act to follow. This splendid hotel, with its lovely walks through woods, gourmet cuisine, many recreational possibilities including fishing, clay-pigeon shooting, motor-racing, falconry, off-track driving, or the exploration of nearby fishing villages, stately homes and castles provides almost unlimited options. We chose to explore nearby Edinburgh.