AN ISLAND OF ONE’S OWN
The island of Taransay has been sold for an undisclosed sum just two weeks after it hit the market. The purchaser, whose family already own property on Harris and have a long association with Taransay, have no plans to change the existing regime or management of the island.
John Bound, of GKD Galbraith, who marketed the island made famous by the BBC 1 reality show, Castaway, made here in 2000, said “Given its exceptional beauty and outstanding setting, it was no surprise that Taransay attracted so much interest and that it had been sold in less than two weeks. The existing owners know the purchaser and all involved are delighted with the outcome and the island passes into safe hands.
“There will no doubt be a number of disappointed parties who would have liked to bid but it is fitting that Taransay is now in the new ownership of somebody closely aquainted to the area who will preserve the current management of the island.”
Taransay extends to approximately 3445 acres and is owned in its entirety, which includes the recently refurbished traditional farmhouse and old school chalet, as well as the bothy which provides holiday accommodation.
The island also offers trout and sea fishing, as well as sustainable deer stalking. In addition The island farm has extensive grazing and supports around 680 breeding ewes and followers.
For those who have missed out on the chance to own Taransay, and if press reports are right that includes the most famous resident, Ben Fogle, who was reportedly keen to purchase the island where he found fame as a participant in Castaway, there are other opportunities in Scotland to be master of all you survey.
Ailsa Craig, one of Scotland’s most iconic islands, is up for sale for the first time in many generations. Lying off the outer Firth of Clyde, ten miles off the shore, the island nicknamed ‘Paddy’s Milestone’, as it is visible to all approaching from Northern Ireland, as well as up and down the Ayrshire coast and the Kintyre peninsula. It been for sale since April. Home to the world’s best known curling stone quarry, the island has been unoccupied by humans since 1990, although there are properties here, described as one attractive cottage and three ‘former’ cottages. There is also a Stevenson Lighthouse.
But there are also noisy heighbours to contend with; 40,000 breeding pairs of gannets make their home here, plus puffins, razorbills and guillemots, and the beaches are a favoured nursery for seal families. In all there is about 245 acres of land and the annual income from the rental is £26,000. It is for sale through Knight Frank priced at £2.5million, telephone 0131-222-9600, viewing is by boat or helicopter.
If you aren’t working with a multi-million pound budget, Argyll and Bute offers a possibility create your own kingdom, Eilean Mhic Coinnich (Mackenzie Island) is a small uninhabited island lying off the southern end of the Rhinns of Islay peninsula on the Inner Hebridean island of Islay, off the west coast. It measures 42 acres and sits 200m offshore from the picturesque village of Portnahaven, so just a short hop by boat.
The island enjoys breathtaking views over the Atlantic and North Channel, while immediately to the south lies the larger island of Orsay with its famous Rhinns Lighthouse. Like Ailsa Craig, the island is of particular interest to those with ornithological interests, being home to breeding Greylag geese and Arctic terns. The narrow channel between Mackenzie Island and Portnahaven is frequented by grey seals and otters as well as by various divers and shags. Because of this it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area. In recent years the island has been used to graze cattle and there is a delightful sandy bay, but its protected status means that it would not be possible to get planning permission for a house there.
Mackenzie Island has a price tag of £60,000, contact GKD Galbraith on 0141-953-3089.
For those whose budget is more pocket money than an investment fund, the Island of Scaravay located in the Sound of Harris offers the opportunity to become an Associate Owner for as little as £125. Dave Hill, who is based in Staffordshire, dreamed up the idea of sharing his island and launched the project in 2005. For a one-off payment, associate owners become part of a non-trading company that owns it, with a lifetime guarantee and an opportunity to pass on their stake. Associate Owners can treat the island as their own and camp on the island, fish or photographit, so long as they respect it. Hill says the idea is to improve tourism to the area, create a social connection to people visiting from all over the world, and to protect the environment and wildlife at the same time. It is home to otters, seabirds and many visiting species.
Scaravay even has its own coinage; one of its souvenir sixpences, which are sold to benefit the conservation work here, is on display in the National Museum of Scotland. There are 83 Associate Owners so far, with an optimum number, according to Hill, of about 130. For more details visit www.scaravay.com.
'The Journal' - July 2004
'The Tamworth Herald' - 15 th July 2004
'The Hebridean' - 29 th April 2005
'The Scottish Islands Network Newsletter - May 2005
'The Shropshire Star' - 8 th August 2005
'The Advertiser' - 12 th August 2005
'The Tamworth Times' - 1 st September 2005
'Stornoway Gazette - 15th March 2007