Isle of Mull has many bird species, including sea eagles, golden eagles, puffins and Arctic skuas
The good news is these islands are closer than you think and easily accessible from the UK: the Isle of Mull and Isle of Iona off the west coast of Scotland are just two of them.
“Mull is a beautiful place and it is becoming more and more popular with people from down south who want out of the rat race,” says James MacGillivray, whose family farm on the island is a ferry ride from Oban in Argyll and Bute.
As for exotic birds, Mull has had nesting sea eagles since they were reintroduced in the 1980s as well as golden eagles and seabirds such as kittiwakes, razorbills, puffins and rare Arctic skuas.
“There are deer and seals as well. It’s got everything,” says Mr MacGillivray, who is selling the modern four-bedroom detached house where he has brought up his children in order to move back to the family farm where his elderly father still lives.
Knockalla was built in the early 2000s and has views over the Sound of Mull
Mull is a beautiful place and it is becoming more and more popular with people who want out of the rat race
“We need to be back on the farm,” he explains, “it was always part of the plan to move back.”
Knockalla was built in the early 2000s and has views over the Sound of Mull, with the island’s hills as a backdrop to the garden.
Yet despite its rural position, it is only five minutes from the ferry to Oban and two from the bus route into Tobermory, 15 miles away, where there’s a secondary school.
With a well-fitted kitchen, family bathroom and two en suites, plus a dining room leading into a conservatory, it is on the market for offers over £325,000 (01631 566122; bellingram.co.uk).
The Isle of Mull and the Isle of Iona are easily accessible from the mainland by ferry
“The house would be good for a person who has a business opportunity on Mull or wants to retire here,” says Mr MacGillivray, who points out that tourism is increasingly the biggest industry on the island.
It’s a similar story on the nearby Isle of Iona, where a former croft house – Lagnagiogan – is for sale for offers over £250,000, also with Bell Ingram.
Owner Syd Graham would be delighted if the detached house was bought by somebody wanting to work from home or retire to the island and says: “A number of…