A remote island off the coast of Arran, complete with former lighthouse keeper’s accommodation, outbuildings and a stone jetty has come on sale for £350,000 – considerably less than the average price of a London flat.
Pladda Isle sits in the middle of the deepest coastal waters in the UK, a rugged, weather-beaten strip of land. Shaped like a tear drop, it is covers 28 acres, with a sheltered concrete jetty, single-room bothy and boat house halfway up its eastern shore.
At the island’s southern tip is a cluster of buildings and a white lighthouse, rising above the waves below.
The former lighthouse keeper’s accommodation is the largest of the buildings surrounding the lighthouse: a stout, single-storey building with yellow-painted frames and green doors.
Inside, there are five bedrooms, two reception rooms and a kitchen diner. Unused in recent years, however, the building requires updating.
Two more modern outbuildings lie adjacent, one containing a reception room and former generator room, and the other with a double bedroom, shower, seating area and kitchenette. The neighbouring outbuildings on the island have been used for storage, but have the potential to be developed.
Facing eastward from the buildings are the walled gardens, neatly segmented and covering 2.5 acres of land. Previously, these were used to grow fruit and vegetables for the lighthouse keeper, with one now containing a helipad and a tractor shed.
A kilometre away from neighbouring Arran, it takes 15 minutes by ferry to reach Silver Sands beach and the closest village of Kildonan. The Scottish mainland is a 55-minute ferry journey.
Looking out from the lighthouse, the island has views to Aisla Craig, the Kintyre Peninsula and Northern Ireland to the south.
It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise: arctic terns, gulls, turnstones, gannets, puffins and over 100 species have been recorded on the island, as an important breeding ground and stop-off point for migratory seabirds.
The warmer, shallower waters around Pladda attract basking sharks at certain times of the year, as well as dolphins, porpoises, seals and the occasional minke whale.
Pladda’s lighthouse was first lit in October 1790, alongside the lights of the Mull of Kintyre, Little Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, and Copeland on the Irish coast.
To distinguish itself from the other beams, Pladda illuminated a lower light from a small lantern – an arrangement that remained for more than a century.
The lighthouse was maintained and powered by its keepers until 1990, when it was eventually automated. Today, it is monitored remotely from Edinburgh, with the lantern and lens replaced by solar powered LED lights.
Pladda’s current owners won the island at a sealed bid in 1990, looking for a place to wind down. In recent years, it has lain unoccupied – now, it’s time for some new life to grace its shores.