The second-biggest island of the Inner Hebrides has just come up for sale for the first time in 70 years, offering the opportunity to acquire 4,500 acres of sensational Scottish landscape, including a Grade B listed principal house plus a church and a range of other commercial and residential buildings.
Ulva Island (the name derives from the Norse for “Wolf Island”) is being pitched as “one of northern Europe’s most significant and impressive private islands” by selling agents Knight Frank and Bell Ingram, which is looking for offers in excess of £4.25m.
The island lies just off the west coast of the Isle of Mull, and is around 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, giving a total area of c.4,583 acres. As Scottish private islands go, this one is remarkably accessible; there are regular ferry services from the neighbouring Mull to the mainland resort town of Oban.
The principal residence on the island, Ulva House, is a Grade B listed property built in 1950 in the neo-classical revival style. The island is also home to a Telford-designed church, a restaurant and tea room, let on a commercial tenancy, and eight other residential properties ranging from traditional bothies to a former Manse and a Sporting Lodge. There are also farm buildings to support the agricultural and livestock operation and significant sporting opportunities.
Ulva has three anchorages to take advantage of all the sailing around the Treshnish Isles, Dutchman’s Cap and Mull, and is home to 123 different bird species, including white-tailed sea eagles. Minke whales, porpoises and dolphins are regular visitors.
There’s quite the social, as well as natural, history attached to Ulva, with the likes of James Boswell, Dr Johnson, Dr Livingston, Sir Walter Scott, Beatrix Potter and the Clan MacQuarrie all claiming strong links to the island…
Major General Lachlan MacQuarrie, the fifth and last Governer of New South Wales and known as “Father of Australia”, was born on Ulva in 1810. He often referenced his island upbringing on Ulva in his writings: “I do not think that because I come from a small and desolate island my ideas are as limited in extent. It is the man who is born in a city on an island who seldom gets himself and his country into true perspective with the rest of the Universe. But when a man of ideas, like myself, emerges from a mere speck in the ocean, he becomes a citizen of the world”.
On the western side of the island are the remains of Livingstone’s Croft, the house occupied by the father and grandfather of missionary and African explorer David Livingstone. Beatrix Potter regularly visited Ulva and dedicated two books to “Francis William of Ulva”, the last of the Clark family to live on the island.
“Ulva Island is without doubt the most beautiful and remarkable property I have dealt with in my career”
Ran Morgan, Partner and Head of Scottish Residential at Knight Frank: “Ulva Island is without doubt the most beautiful and remarkable property I have dealt with in my career. The scenery is truly breath-taking but the island is more than just and landscape or seascape; it has a range of property and land types, there is fascinating geology, a huge amount to explore both on land and sea and it has excellent sporting opportunities. There is something for everyone. A property such as this will always surprise when offered to the open market.”