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A private island close to Mull of Kintyre is currently on the market for $3.1 million.

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A stunning private island spanning 453 acres is currently on the market off the western coast of Scotland. The island boasts beautiful sandy beaches, an abundance of puffins, seven houses, a pub, a helipad, and a flock of black-faced sheep.

Sanda Island is situated off the southern tip of the Kintyre Peninsula, between Scotland and Northern Ireland. It gained fame through the 1977 song "Mull of Kintyre" by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Throughout its history, the island has been associated with monks, saints, and royalty. Notable visitors include Scottish King Robert the Bruce and Norway’s King Hacon, and the island's chapel has ties to Saint Columba and Saint Ninian. The island has changed hands multiple times, with one of its most famous owners being Jack Bruce from the rock band Cream.

Access to the island is possible by boat or helicopter, with stone slipways at both ends. The island's picturesque landscape includes rolling greenery bordered by rocky cliffs, and it is home to seven residential properties, including a charming lighthouse perched on an outcrop.

The accommodation on the island can accommodate up to 26 people, making it suitable for gatherings at the Byron Darnton Tavern, named after a ship that was wrecked off the island in 1946. The tavern was established in 2003 by former owners Dick and Meg Gannon and served visitors arriving by boat until it closed following the island's purchase by Swiss businessman Michi Meier in 2010.

The island includes seven residential buildings, as provided by Knight Frank.

A personal pub

The pub received significant media attention and operated during the summer months," explains Tom Stewart-Moore, head of rural agency for Scotland at Knight Frank, the agency managing the sale. "For the next owner, it presents an opportunity to maintain the property as a private retreat or to diversify and generate income by offering exclusive stays with high-end accommodation. There is also the option to reopen the pub to cater to people sailing along the West Coast."

The property still holds an alcohol license, allowing the new owners to revive the tavern, and it also has a registered farm code. The island previously housed a small farm and is still home to a flock of 55 black-faced sheep. "The sheep are self-sufficient, acting as natural lawnmowers and requiring minimal management," says Stewart-Moore. "They are included as part of the sale."

In addition to livestock, the island boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including colonies of puffins, kittiwakes, cormorants, shags, razorbills, and other bird species for bird-watchers to enjoy.

As if that wasn't charming enough, Sanda is locally known in Argyll and Bute as "Spoon Island" due to its resemblance to an upturned spoon. It is also one of the few Scottish islands that prints its own stamps.

Rising 23 meters (75 feet) at its highest point, on a clear day, one can see Northern Ireland’s Antrim Hills, located approximately 20 miles away across the North Channel. The main access to the island is through Campbelltown in Scotland, which has a large marina, several whisky distilleries, and Scotland’s oldest cinema.

The financial aspect

Knight Frank reports that the seller is seeking offers above £2.5 million ($3.1 million) for the island. In addition to the main property, two extra islands are included in the sale: Sheep Island, spanning 31.72 acres, and the smaller Glunimore Island, covering 4.41 acres.

The majority of the island's accommodation has been recently renovated, including the addition of new double glazing. Stewart-Moore states, "Energy is currently generated on the island by three generators," and highlights the potential for future owners to explore renewable energy sources to supplement or improve the island's electricity supply.

According to Stewart-Moore, there has been a significant level of interest from potential buyers. When discussing the potential purchasers, he explains, "The potential buyers will predominantly fall into two categories; either a wealthy individual will purchase it to use for themselves and keep private. Or it will be someone who will look to commercialize the pub and the buildings, enhance or increase the farming operation over the ground and potentially go down the route of being self-sufficient."

If you've been yearning to tend sheep and live off-grid this year, it might be time to start searching for spare change in the sofa. The island of Sanda is ready and waiting.


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