We take a look at the finest country houses, castles and estates for sale in Scotland.
The estate agents describe this one as a ‘a unique opportunity to restore the finest Georgian castle in the Inner Hebrides.’
They’re entirely right – and at this price, they will no doubt generate an enormous amount of interest. But there is a lot of work to be done before the magnificently-named Breachacha Castle is back to its former majesty.
Once it’s done, this castle really will be something else. Built in the Palladian style, with Gothic Baronial crenellated parapets and turrets, Breachacha is a 1750 marvel once visited by Boswell and Johnson – and one which both apparently approved of: ‘We found here a neat new-built gentleman’s house, better than any we had been in since we were at Lord Errol’s,’ wrote Boswell in 1773. ‘Dr Johnson relished it much.’
The building fell into disuse after the war, however, and by 1998 was all but a ruin. The present owners took it on in 2006 and have done a significant amount of work with conservationists securing the structure – but a change in their circumstances means they are now moving on.
The ground and first floors, and the wings of the building, still need a lot of work. Or rather, a LOT of work, as these pictures make clear.
The vendors currently live on the top two floors of the central part of the castle – in what is effectively a six-bedroom apartment that enjoys outstanding views over Coll’s beautiful beaches and the Atlantic ocean.
It’s a huge project, of course. But at the price of a modest flat in, say, South West London, the starting point is right. We look forward with great interest to seeing who takes on this wonderful opportunity.
If the thought of all that work to be done is bringing you out in a cold sweat, turn instead to the delightful Glentrium House in Newtownmore, just a few miles off the A9 and roughly half-way between Pitlochry and Aviemore.
This wonderful nine-bedroom house has just been refurbished from top to bottom. It’s Grade B listed with Historic Scotland, but has all manner of modern touches – there is even under-floor heating.
Glentrium is currently run as a wedding venue, but would make a fabulous country home with drawing room, smoking room, games room, library, orangery, home-cinema, beauty spa, sauna and gym.
Beyond the main house there are a further three lodges and a cottage. Glentrium is for sale via Strutt & Parker – see more pictures and details.
Fairytale Craigcrook Castle, in four acres of landscaped grounds, including mature woodland and a walled garden, is an astonishing property just three miles from Edinburgh city centre that is on the market for the first time in 300 years at a price of £6m.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this 16th century castle – from the outside, at least – is the round tower that boasts far-reaching views of Costorphine Hill, Blackhall and the Firth of Forth.
Inside, there are six bedrooms in total set over three floors and a wealth of unusual features, including a fabulous stained glass window – that is part of an internal door – and some handsome wooden-panelling .
The castle became a well-known cultural hotspot in the 19th century, famous for its soirees, and was visited by the likes of Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
There are four acres of grounds included which take in a walled garden and woodland.
The castle became known for its cultural soirees and was visited by Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
Above the River Tay in the heart of the county, some 10 miles south of Perth, five-bedroom Balhomie that is on the market for £950,000 via CKD Galbraith.
The property enjoys an elevated position —indeed, when the house was built in 1901 as a shooting lodge, the site was chosen for the view.
The 3.7-acre gardens include a terraced lawn and a well-stocked rhododendron and azalea bank that provides an array of spring colour.
There’s also an orchard with plum, apple and crab-apple trees, kitchen garden, original glasshouses, an onion house and former stables.
More details via CKD Galbraith
If it’s palatial space you’re after, this might be the ideal home: a 25-bedroom castle in Dornoch, Sutherland, which is so large it’s currently run as a hotel – and it has been since 1947.
While that very fact might diminish its romance a little, it could easily be restored to a residence should you wish to do so. Inside, the fixtures and fittings are exactly what you’d wish to see with all manner of features retained in this 520-year-old building originally constructed by the Bishop of Caithness as his home.
The present owners have been the custodians since 2000, and have put a lot of effort into refurbishing the castle, which is at the heart of this picturesque town and a stone’s throw from the internationally-famous Royal Dornoch golf course.
More details from Strutt & Parker
Barholm Castle is a traditional Scottish tower house dating back to the 15th century that is on the market for £695,000 via Knight Frank.
John Knox is reputed to have hidden out here during 1566 while on the run from his enemies; his accommodation was apparently on the 4th floor, which is now a large bedroom towards the top of the home.
When Knox stayed here, he’d presumably have used a wooden staircase which has since gone: the stone stair tower is a later addition, having been erected in 1573. Those stairs still stand, taking you from the kitchen diner on the ground floor, past the ‘great hall’ on the first floor, up to the top.
While it’s a fine place on the inside, for our money it’s the location that is most breathtaking: it’s situated on a hillside overlooking Wigtown Bay and the Machars of Wigtownshire.
More details from Knight Frank