Country houses for sale

An island with a six-bedroom lighthouse keeper’s cottage that’s the stuff of dreams

You'd struggle to buy a decent flat for £325,000 in many British cities, but that's the guide price of this island complete with stunning lighthouse keeper's cottage in Ross Bay.

Little Ross Island is a speck on the map just off the southern coast of Dumfries & Galloway, a spectacular and dramatic spot which is up for sale at £325,000 via Galbraith.

This glorious island has a delightful beach, a natural harbour and 29 acres of utterly unspoilt land to call your own, including the main cottage and a trio of barns and workshops. The latter are all in a state of disrepair and the cottage itself was last updated in the 1980s – but this remains a fabulous chance to own an incredible place.

The lighthouse keeper’s cottage is a reassuringly solid building – as you’d hope for those stormy winter nights – and entirely liveable. There are two kitchens (the cottage was formerly split in half), a 20ft living room and two bathrooms to go with the six-bedrooms.

In terms of services, there is a spring for fresh water as well as a rainwater collection system for non-potable use, and there is a wind turbine and solar panels – though the agents suggest a diesel generator back-up is a good idea. We’d agree.

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You might also want a satellite back-up for your communications – O2 phone users should get a signal, but you can forget about a conventional phone line or broadband.

Ross Island itself is separated from the mainland by a short stretch of water, with the nearest town – Kirkbudbright – seven miles up the River Dee estuary. Living here is not for the faint of heart, as this marvellous piece of description from the agent, Galbraith, points out: “The purchasers should be in no doubt that they should be proficient seaman and will require their own boat (or helicopter) to get to and from the Island.”

That might just be our sentence ever from an estate agent’s details.

The lighthouse is not part of the sale, incidentally: it’s very much still a working lighthouse, owned and managed by Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses, though it’s automated and is visited only occasionally.

It’s also a metaphorical as well a as a physical landmark. Designed and built by Alan Stevenson and going into service on 1 January 1843, it was the first-ever light of the catadioptric type (i.e. having metallic mirrors above and below the lenses) and was hailed by none other than Lord Kelvin as ‘undoubtedly [one of] the three best revolving lights in the world’.

The closest settlement of significant size on the mainland is a lovely harbour town. Kirkcudbright,  known as ‘Scotland’s Artists Town’, is justly popular with tourists, boasting a range of festivities and events including an annual Arts and Crafts trail, a jazz festival, and a regular farmers market which runs all year. The town also has all the services you’d need, including supermarkets, independent shops, schools, doctors and a library.

Ross Island, the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and the outbuildings are for sale at £325,00 via Galbraith – see more details here, but act quickly, as they’re planning to close bids later this week.