Ackergill Tower is an original 15th century Scottish castle in the very north of Scotland which has been recently renovated and is currently run as a 5* exclusive retreat, but could easily revert to a private dwelling.
The property is a substantial size and stands in a dramatic situation on the edge of the sea overlooking the glorious sandy beach at Sinclair’s Bay on the very north east corner of mainland Scotland just 15 miles south of John O’Groats. As a result the castle benefits from very long summer days – one can play golf at midnight in June – and winter nights are punctuated by the Aurora Borealis and stunning views across the sea to the Orkney Isles.
Ackergill was barely lived in between 1898 and 1966 as consecutive owners either lived abroad or in London but it was bought and transformed over two and half years in 1986 and now exists as one of the most awe-inspiring 5* retreats in the UK. The Estate is centered around the Tower and has accommodation over four floors and professional kitchens as well as period features such as double vaulted ceilings, a magnificent dining hall and many original pieces including furniture, pictures and books make the castle a genuine living history.
The property has a vaulted entrance hall, smoking room, study, billiards room, double vaulted dining hall and piper’s gallery, drawing room, morning room, flower room, 17 bedrooms, each with an en-suite bath or shower room and extensive ancillary and staff quarters.
The grounds extend to around 30 acres and run from the edge of the sea to the entrance gates along a mile drive and include a Victorian walled garden, woodland, formal lawns and private gardens.
There is also a converted complex of old estate buildings which have become guest cottages and an Opera House with seating for 90, with room for a marquee in summer. There are also three further guest cottages including the Smiddy – a converted former blacksmith’s shop. Also in the grounds is one of the largest tree houses in the world, located in the Victorian walled garden, which has been fitted with state-of-the-art conference facilities.
Ackergill Tower currently leases shooting and fishing rights on the neighbouring Hempriggs Estate on a five-yearly basis at an annual rent of £2,000 per annum. The shooting is mainly wild duck and geese and there is some Roe Deer stalking while Loch Killimster provides excellent trout fishing. Detailed accounts are available for the business which has averaged a turnover of £1.5m per annum over the past five years.
The property is just three miles from Wick Airport, and 105 miles from Inverness, and 15 miles south of John O’Groats. The guide price is £5m, contact Knight Frank on 0131 222 9600 or visit www.knightfrank.co.uk.