Crieff Hydro adds Highland Safaris to the Family

Stephen Leckie, Julie and Donald Riddell and Richard Leckie.

THE Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels has expanded its portfolio of businesses with the acquisition of Perthshire business Highland Safaris.

Highland Safaris, in Aberfeldy, offers Land Rover safaris of the Perthshire hills and boat trips on Loch Tay as well as operating its Red Deer Centre tourist attraction. It was founded more than 30 years ago by husband and wife Donald and Julie Riddell and is said to attract more than 50,000 visitors each year.

“The time is right for us to take a step back and create the opportunity for the business to continue to thrive with the investment and energy Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels will bring,” said Donald.

“There is so much synergy between Highland Safaris and the Leckie family’s business, including a shared love of the local area and its wonderful wildlife. We are delighted to see Highland Safaris become part of their family.”

Highland Safaris joins a portfolio of eight hotels in the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, including Crieff Hydro, Peebles Hydro, The Park Hotel in Peebles and Taypark House in Dundee.

Crieff Hydro chairman, Stephen Leckie, said the acquisition was “a fantastic milestone for us and a great example of positive investment in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector”.

“Welcoming Highland Safaris to our family will help us to achieve our growth strategy and expand our offering to guests, particularly for visitors at our hotels in Crieff,” said Leckie.

“Our team is excited to build on the amazing work of Donald and Julie to enhance the experience for the many thousands who visit Highland Safaris every year, and to continue their legacy of working closely with local landowners to enrich the economy and appreciation of local culture and history.

“It’s important to us that the businesses in our portfolio exist in their own right and retain their local identity. Highland Safaris has an enthusiastic, long-standing team in place that will continue to manage the day-to-day running of the company, with our support, to allow them to do just that.”