Monday, December 09, 2013

Some "REAL", estate possibilities in Scotland...

Castle Stalker, on a tidal inlet on Loch Laich. 
As preparations to return to base camp on Vancouver Island wind up, it's easy to say that there are a lot of places that could be called "home", here in Scotland. So, just for fun, here's a few, "real", estate no particularly order at all:

Castle Stalker (pronounced "Stal-ker"), is a fine example. Very appealing! Built around 1440, it is admittedly, privately owned but it would be a great place to do lots of reading and creative writing. The kayaks would be immensely useful, for coming and going, and gaining quick access to the sea. A rare and unique location, indeed.

There's a cute little cottage in the tiny, former-fishing village of Auchmithie, the original home of Arbroath "smokies". It sits above the red sandstone cliffs and has a wonderful view out over the sea. Sir Walter Scott once stayed in a hotel, just down the street. It's simply lovely there. And with a morning run or walk along the path above the cliffs - it would be an amazing start to any day! The lush, green foliage that grows up and over the roof simply adds to the charm. :)

Auchmithie cottage, overlooking the North Sea.
Currently unoccupied, an interesting complex of buildings is located on the sand dunes at Montrose Bay. We can see a lot of potential for a cosy home, separate writing studio, workshop, and garage. It would take some work but never too late to learn some "Do It Yourself" skills. William Wallace probably enjoyed these same dunes when he was here in 1297 - well, maybe there wasn't quite the same opportunity for him to fully appreciate the now-peaceful scenery.

Near Montrose, near the beach.
It's a bothy now, maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association, but it's a desirable piece of property. James Stewart (James of the Glen) was born here c.1698. Sadly, he was hung at Cnap a'Chaolais in 1752 for the murder of Colin Campbell, aka the "Red Fox". The thing is, James didn't do it. There is an appeal for his pardon, on the books, to this very day. Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, Kidnapped, was based on this event.

The dwelling is simple, and clearly well constructed, having held up well for over over 300 years. The walk in, through the woods, takes less than an hour and is very pleasant.

Taigh Seumas a' Ghlinne (home of James of the Glen)
Now, the Duror Bothy.
Running water isn't a problem, you just have to..."run" for it, to a nearby stream. And even with just one room, there's lots of room for company to stay over.

Let's, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...lots of room!
The town of Falkland, in the Kingdom of Fife, is simply wonderful. If we could secure accommodations here in the Falkland Palace, a favourite of Mary Queen of Scots, regular hikes up East and West Lomond and Largo Laws would ensure aerobic fitness. We could even attempt one of the annual trail runs to the summits! Built in the early 1500s and replacing earlier 12th century buildings, it is now cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. It would probably take some persuading for permission to call this place "home".

Falkland Palace, in Fife.
Remove the shutters, install some new stormproof, double-glazed, energy efficient windows and this sturdy place would be "good to go". Its location at the west end of Loch Lee means that superb hillwalking is pretty much right out the door. It's currently unoccupied so we'll definitely do some more research on this one.

Just a short walk to Loch Lee and the "crags".
We loved Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, but it is currently occupied by the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. It was very kind of them to allow a hundred or so of us (wearing antlers!) to run the 10 kilometre "Reindeer Run" through the castle grounds, in support of "Lifeboats"

Glamis Castle - a lot of rooms to furnish!
This one is an "open concept"...but very close to the Glenshee Ski Centre. Great skiing! It would require some substantial DIY, but hey, anything is possible where there is sufficient will. ;)

"Open" to lots of possibilities!
After thirty-six years of parish ministry and military chaplaincy, the idea of living in a church would not exactly be new. A flat in this converted church in Bridge of Allan, however, would be simply "divine". In addition, daily stair-climbing up and down the inside of the steeple (if permitted) would ensure "hill fitness"!

The former Chalmers Church, in Bridge of Allan, built around 1850.
This little cottage, near the Cairngorm mountains, just made us think of sunshine.

But one of our all-time favourite possibilities remains this little stone, former crofter's dwelling. We came upon it a couple of years ago, just inside Cairngorms National Park. It would need some work and it could be a little isolated. But it's really quite magical, and it would have so many stories to tell.

So there you have it, some "real" estate possibilities in and around Scotland. :)

Warm thanks to family here - Mike, Lee, Christine, Sheila and Ronny, Ian and Carol in Scotland, Brian and Sheila in Cumbria, and Dugald in faraway Portugal - for putting up with our constant use of superlatives. And back in Canada, warm thanks to Linda, Gabby, "Solstice", and "Spartan" - for exactly the same thing. :)


  1. Enjoyed reading your section on Falkland Palace. The Palace has been a home for the hereditary Keeper of the Palace and his family for over 100 years, so it would be right to call it a home. The National Trust is the Deputy Keeper. It is very homely, especially at Christmas! There are fantastic hotels in the village of Falkland where people come to enjoy walking locally.

  2. Many thanks for your comment. We've been back to Falkland since and always marvel at the history and beauty of the area. Best wishes, Duncan.