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Old 21-07-13, 01:29   #1
 
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No Idea PhOtOs-FOR SALE -Prince Charlie's Private Island

For the Price of a Semi in London, Your Very own Private Island Idyll: (But don't expect it to be sunny every day!)

  • Wiay, off the coast of South Uist, has been put up for sale for £500,000
  • It is where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid after his defeat at Culloden
  • Uninhabited for over a century, the current owners used it only for holidays
  • A ruined croft, which was once home to ten islanders, has planning permission for a new home that will provide spectacular views
By Daily Mail UK, 20 July 2013


Its 970 acres offer you breathtaking island views, unspoilt sandy beaches and the chance to watch otters, golden eagles and red deer.
If you fancy the self-sufficient lifestyle, Wiay off the north-west coast of Scotland also boasts an endless supply of lobster, scallops and grouse.
The private island has just gone on sale for £500,000 – less than you’d pay for a family home with a tiny patch of garden in London and many parts of the South.



The island of Wiay: It has been uninhabited since the Second World War



Famous visitor: Hercules with owner Maggie Robin

Before you decide to leave the chaos, expense and pollution of city life behind, however, a word of caution: Although it looks idyllic in this picture, Scotland’s north-west coast is the windiest part of Britain, and it suffers more than its fair share of rain – up to 250 days a year.
Wiay (pronounced ‘wee-a’) used to be home to a crofting family with ten children, but has been uninhabited since the Second World War.

Half a mile south-east of Benbecula, it has to be accessed by private boat from nearby Petersport.
The island is currently owned by Sarah Chettle, a mother of five from Dorset, who bought it for about £20,000 in 1980 after she and her late husband, Robert, spotted a small advert in a newspaper.

She said: ‘It just seemed such an opportunity to have our own island. It was a bit of a romantic whim.’

As far as she can recall, they did not even visit the island before buying it.



The hideout used by Bonnie Prince Charlie following the Battle of Culloden in 1745 was put up for sale earlier this month



The 970-acre island also has sporting rights, and in recent years the land has been used for wood**** and duck shooting. There is also red deer stalking and fishing

Mrs Chettle, 57, compared owning the island to having ‘your own wildlife reserve’, adding that deer often swim over from nearby islands.
Wiay, which has views to neighbouring North and South Uist, has two claims to fame.

The fugitive Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to have hidden in a cave there for a few days after the disastrous Battle of Culloden in 1746.
The cave, known as Prince Charlie’s Rest, is on the east side of the island, which is mostly covered in heather with a number of small freshwater lochs.

More recently, the island was briefly home to Hercules, the tame grizzly bear which ran away while being filmed for a TV advertisement for Kleenex tissues.
In August 1980 Hercules, who was an impressive 8ft 4in, escaped while swimming, triggering a three-week hunt which became a worldwide media sensation.



Wiay from the air. The island has been uninhabited for over a century, although the current owners - the Chettle family from England, who bought it in 2003 - used it for holidays and summer camping



Bonnie Prince Charlie eventually sought shelter in this cave on Wiay, now known as 'Prince Charlie's Rest', while his followers kept watch for the British navy



The prince eventually obtained passage to France and escaped, pledging to his remaining followers that he would return with an army


After a long and fruitless search, the first clue was found on Wiay when his collar and his pawprints were spotted there. He was eventually rescued on North Uist and reunited with owner Maggie Robin.

Yesterday Archie Leslie-Melville, an associate at Bell Ingram, the estate agency selling the island, said it has already attracted one viewer keen to return for a second look.
But there are some significant hurdles for anybody keen to get away from it all and live the ‘Good Life’ dream.

There is no house on the island, except the ruins of an old stone cottage, although it does have planning permission to be turned into a small three-bedroom home.
The planning rules dictate that it can be used only as a holiday home, although it is not clear who will enforce this rule if the new owner decides to move permanently to the island.
It currently has neither running water nor electricity, although Mr Leslie-Melville said both problems could be fixed by a wind turbine, solar panels or a generator, and water pipes from the fresh water lochs.

He said: ‘You could live on the island very happily and be self-sufficient.’

It is likely to have its own salmon and sea trout fishing rights, although these are currently being negotiated.

For her part, Mrs Chettle admits that she and her children rarely visit the island, which is why she has decided to put it on the market, although she feels in two minds about the decision. ‘I don’t really mind if it does not sell,’ she said.
END

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