Country houses for sale

An incredible private island for sale in the Summer Isles at the price of a central London parking space

Càrn Deas is a majestically beautiful private island off the north-west coast of Scotland, with a price tag that will have all of us checking our online balance and doing a few sums. Toby Keel reports.

There was a time when £50,000 could buy you a street full of houses. Even as recently as 1992, it was roughly the average cost of a house in the UK — something that’s almost unimaginable three decades later, especially for first-time buyers.

Of course, you can still buy properties, just about, for under £50k, if you’re prepared to do a lot of work. But when you hear that number in relation to property in 2021 it’s generally for a parking space, or the outlandish weekly rental cost of the Mayfair mansion occupied by Adar Poonawalla, which set a record earlier this year.

So to find a £50,000 property which makes you rub your eyes in disbelief — but in a good way — is rare indeed. Yet that’s what we have today in the form of Càrn Deas, an uninhabited private island off the coast of north-west Scotland, which has just been launched to the market for offers over £50,000.

Carn Deas from the air, showing the stunning clear waters.

It’s not rare to find estate agents waxing poetical, but even still the words of Goldcrest Land and Forestry’s Fenning Welstead are striking: ‘it’s stunningly rugged and romantic,’ they write. ‘A remote sanctuary to the buyer seeking an escape to one of the country’s most wonderful natural wildernesses…. Here, you can truly escape from reality, take a deep breath and enjoy what nature can offer.’

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That is a beautiful description for this dot on the map in the Summer Isles archipelago, which sit in the bay beyond Loch Broom, a little to the north-west of Ullapool. Sadly, the archipelago isn’t named due to some devastatingly wonderful microclimate: instead, the island took their collective name thanks to the shepherds who used to bring their flocks here to graze in summer.

Càrn Deas island itself is a 22-acre piece of land with beautiful views across to neighbouring Càrn Iar — to which it is connected by a shingle spit — as well as to the mainland, with the mountains of Coigach and Assynt to the north and east, and the Fannich and Torridon hills to the south.

Accessing the island is a matter of a 25-minute boat ride from Badentarbat Pier near Achiltibuie, almost due east; or from Old Dornie Harbour to the north. You could bring your own boat and anchor off the island, and access it by dinghy. Càrn Deas is sheltered both sides by neighbouring islands, which should make doing so relatively straightforward.

The sheltered, shingle beach at Carn Deas looks relatively straightforward for access via dinghy.

All that leaves is the question of what you could do with your island once it was yours. The island — and all the neighbouring islands — are havens for wildlife, birds and sealife. Porpoises and basking sharks are a common sight, and the waters are full of everything from mackerel and cod to lobsters and crabs. You can camp on the island and live off what you catch, enjoy swimming, snorkelling and the clearest night skies imaginable, and truly escape from modern life for a while.

Or you could spend that £50,000 on a central London parking space. Up to you really.

Carn Deas is for sale via Goldcrest for offers over £50,000 — see more details and pictures.

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