Escape from it all to magical Goat Island

If you've ever dreamed of being master of all you survey on your own private island (not necessarily in the Caribbean) you may just be interested in a novel proposition that's being grabbing headlines all over the country - priced just £120,000.

Sunday, 19th August 2018, 4:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th August 2018, 5:19 pm

The cash won’t buy you a building to live in, but you may not want to actually stay there anyway - because Eilean Nan Gabhar, or Goat Island, is a scenic sanctuary just a brief trip by outboard-motored rubber dinghy from the Argyll mainland.

You might even rent it out as a film set for shows like Outlander.

Currently on the market through property agent Galbraith it is in a fascinating corner of coastal Argyll which until the last 20 years or so was almost a hidden enclave.

Nearby “civilisation” includes the Balamory-style chalet complex of Craobh Haben (used by yachstmen) and - on Loch Craignish - the charming village of Ardfern, with its bustling marina and legendary The Galley of Lorne Inn.

This in turn is a few minutes’ drive from the winding coastal road between Lochgilphead to Oban, passing through Scotland’s archaeological “valley of the kings” at Kilmartin (must visit - Kilmartin Hotel) and on towards the beautiful gardens at Arduaine, and then to Kilmelford, Seil Island, Oban and Dunstaffnage.

Some would argue the view across sea loch Loch Melfort to the Inner Isles, where the Paps of Jura are visible on a clear day, is the best in Scotland.

Is there a down side, apart from the actual purchase price?

Winters are characteristically diabolical, so we’re really talking about a seasonal retreat.

But you are in the territory of early Christian saints and ancient church chapels, of standing stones and indecipherable prehistoric cup and ring markings, burial cairns and medieval stone carvings of the ferocious Galloglaich warriors who once ruled Argyll and the Isles as a realm quite independent of Scotland.

As a place to witness nature in the raw it can hardly be bettered, with legions of completely unafraid seals nearby, besides porpoises, basking sharks, a whole gallery of seabirds (for example cormorants) and spectacular - awesome - scenery.

It is a botanical wonderland too, and as a sailing resort is on a route (next stop Crinan) which has become one of the most popular in the British Isles.

Some might be content simply to use their island as a private, dry land haven on which to pitch a tent in the summer, untroubled by tourists, because as a base for seaborne exploration it could be ideal.

Apart from the current lack of fripperies such as a building or utilities the only other downside in the summer months is the hated Highland Mosquitoes - the dense clouds of midges which swarm among the bracken all over this otherwise idyllic region.

But a few bites here and there might be a small price to pay ... for a 13-acre slice of West Coast paradise.