Country houses for sale

An estate with glorious views and a library tower on the shores of Loch Ness

This spectacularly-located estate offers grand accommodation, miles of land and a castellated tower with a 360-degree viewing and entertaining space. Toby Keel reports.

The dream of living in a spectacular castle on a Scottish estate has a huge draw for many of us — not for nothing is our round-up of spectacular scottish castles and estates for sale one of the most-clicked pages on the Country Life website.

The appeal isn’t hard to understand: grand properties which look like they’ve escaped from the pages of a Walter Scott novel, looking across craggy mountains and the liquorice-dark waters of romantic lochs, with endless space to roam. Magnificent.

The Bunloit Estate is a prime example of all the above, currently for sale via Strutt & Parker for offers over £2.4m – that price is for the entire 1,264 acres, but you’ll save £650,000 or so if you don’t want the 300-acres of that which are commercial woodland.

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The property consists of a principal house overlooking the splendour of Loch Ness, two traditional self-contained holiday cottages, farm land, sporting rights and some highly attractive native woodland and moorland.

The main house is a three bedroom former schoolhouse built in 1876 and which remained a working school (with an excellent reputation) until 1956. There are unusual touches: one or two of the school features remain — bells and pegs and so on — while the layout has the main sitting room upstairs and the enormous master bedroom downstairs. It makes total sense: this way the house’s largest and grandest room enjoys the best of the views.

There’s also a large kitchen-diner, a home office, boot room and long dining room, among other features.

The relatively modest size of both house and estate make this a very manageable prospect, and the holiday cottages could form the basis of a fine little business — especially given the transport links at Inverness, an easy drive along the north side of the loch.

What could make that business even more successful is the castellated Tower House, built in 2006 by the present owners. Rather wonderfully they created it principally to act as a library to house their extensive collection of books, as well as offering a study and providing a 360-degree view entertaining space at the top.

While it’d be wonderful to keep as a facility for the new owners of the main house, it’d also make a spectacular holiday let (subject to permissions and so on) that would surely command a big premium on Air BnB.

The Bunloit Estate is for sale via Strutt & Parker at £2.4m for the whole, but can be split into lots — see more images and details.

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