Grouse moors are rarer than superyachts. There are only 149 driven moors in England and about half that number in Scotland. So it's rare to find one on the market.
If you have £25m or so going begging, however, you could put in a bid for the Tulchan Estate on Speyside. It is not the most beautiful estate in Scotland, but it's easy to reach (40 miles from Inverness), and includes two grouse moors. There's also a 26-bedroom lodge plus deer stalking, pheasant, snipe and duck shooting and, perhaps most precious of all, eight miles of double-bank fishing on the River Spey.
Owning a grouse moor is a costly business: running even a small moorland estate will cost you £100,000 a year, one owner tells the FT. "For the large estates you can add a zero." And though most estates have let days (typically charging about £150 per brace, including VAT), very few make money. Employing a gamekeeper is likely to set you back £50,000-£70,000 a year, and you will need one for every 3,000 acres of moor. Then there's the SNP's hatred of landowners and the growing opposition to grouse shooting. Not a proposition for the faint-hearted.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
Where the sheikhs go to shop
"A man who is tired of London is tired of life," said Dr Johnson. Would he feel the same today? I doubt it. Congested, overcrowded, it becomes less attractive with every passing year. It's no wonder that other cities become more so among them Manchester, according to The Times. "The sheikh and his entourage who visited Manchester and left with one of the city's top football clubs for £210m appear to have started a trend," reports the paper. Visitors have taken a shine to the hotels and the designer shops; the money spent in both has gone up significantly in recent years, as has the number of direct flights.
One of the advantages of Manchester is that you can walk from most of the top hotels to the shops in just a few minutes. This summer one Qatari family paid £180 for an extra roomin their hotel just to hold all the shoes, clothes and jewellery they had bought from Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Alexander McQueen.
One visitor, Jay al-Azme, 18, a business student from Kuwait, says: "We came here because there's not a lot of traffic. It's easier to shop here too many people in London. It's too expensive. Here it is very easy. Here you can walk." Sheikh Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group has "pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into Manchester", according to The Times. His compatriots seem to be following his lead.
What complicated breakfasts people now have. Ed Balls says he doesn't eat any at all, but tells The Sunday Times that his wife has "started making these green juices with things like spinach and they're appalling. I can only drink them if I do it in one gulp". Simon Nixon, the MoneySuperMarket billionaire, has "porridge made with a third almond milk and two-thirds water, with blueberries, chia seeds and honey. I'll also put a carrot, some spinach, cucumber and kale into a cold-press juicer." Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned English breakfast?
Inside Westminster Theresa May's new broom sweeps sofas out of Number Ten
Theresa May has introduced a more formal style of government, says Rachel Sylvester in The Times. Staff at Number Ten now hold meetings at tables. Sofas have been banished. "When she chairs cabinet, she listens to both sides of an argument then gives an even-handed summary before making her own views clear. She's got a big work appetite for reading long papers. She likes lots of detail,' one senior civil servant says." When she appointed Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, she wrote to him making clear she wanted a "realistic", not "idealistic", approach to foreign policy.
In his memoirs, Kenneth Clarke recalls a cabinet meeting at which an "infuriated" Michael Heseltine intercepted notes being passed from John Major to his colleagues across the cabinet table. Heseltine suspected some kind of briefing was being handed around as part of a "concerted campaign" against his views. "On about the fourth or fifth occasion he snatched a note thrown to me in order to intercept it. He opened it and read England 175 for 4'. It was the Test match score in a game being avidly followed by three cricket fanatics. Michael had no interest whatever in any kind of sport [and] obviously decided that he was dealing with lunatics."
In his book on the Brexit campaign, Craig Oliver, the former director of communications at Number Ten, says the Remain campaign was hampered by Labour: "Jeremy Corbyn's office is at best equivocal and sometimes appears actively hostile Corbyn offers excruciating and baffling soundbites. Lynton Crosby's right-hand man, Mark Textor, refers to Corbyn as "an international superstar of f***wittery To us, Corbyn's office resembles a madhouse where the patients have taken over the asylum". On the day after the murder of Jo Cox, Peter Mandelson calls, furious that campaigning "has been suspended for a week after an agreement between Tom Watson and Downing Street... You have been taken for an enormous ride. The Labour leadership never wanted to campaign... Now they have the perfect excuse not to do anything. Corbyn and Watson want us to lose. Everyone needs to wake up'."
December 2023 NS&I Premium Bond winners - check now to see what you’ve won
If you hold money in NS&I Premium Bonds, you can check from today (2 December) to see if you have won in the December prize draw. Here’s how to check.
By Vaishali Varu Published
OpenAI – corporate drama unleashed
OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT, was in uproar as its boss was booted out, briefly snapped up by Microsoft and then brought back again.
By Dr Matthew Partridge Published