Isle take it! Stunning 103-acre private island on Loch Lomond that was once powerboat champion countess’s summer retreat goes on sale for £500k
LERWICK: A private Scottish island that was once the holiday retreat for the speedboat-racing Countess of Arran could be yours for £500,000.
Inchonnachan Island in Loch Lomond is covered in ancient woodland with a number of secluded bays dotted along its two miles of pristine shore.
The spectacular 103-acre isle includes a derelict 1920s bungalow, a boathouse and pier, and comes with planning permission for a new four-bedroom lodge and a one-bedroom warden’s house.
The crumbling timber house was once the summer home of the Countess of Arran, Lady Fiona Gore, who became the fastest woman on water in 1980 at the age of 53 after reaching 102mph in a speedboat on Lake Windermere.
The island has been in Lady Gore’s family since the 14th Century and is now known for its colony of wallabies, which are thought to have been introduced in the 1940s.
Sitting between the islands of Inchtavannach to the west and Inchmoan to the south, the island is covered in ancient woodland, including oak, aspen, alder, Scot’s pine, Douglas fir and larch trees.
And it is visited by an array of wildlife throughout the year including deer, jays, coal tits, crossbills, collared doves and, occasionally, nesting ospreys.
The island, which is being marketed jointly by Savills and Knight Frank, is only accessible via boat which is a short trip from the pier at Luss.
While the existing derelict bungalow, boathouse and pier on the island were constructed in the 1920s, reportedly by the retired tea merchant Admiral Sullivan who designed the property in the style of an Indian tea plantation bungalow, in 2015 estate agents obtained planning consent to replace the original home.
The planning permission, which was obtained from the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, will allow the new owner to replace the existing house with a new four-bedroom lodge and a one-bedroom warden’s house.
Despite its seclusion, the island can be a base for all manner of outdoor activities including wake-boarding, sailing, mountain-biking, kayaking, angling and hill walking.
Cameron Ewer from Savills said: ‘This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a beautiful and completely private, yet accessible, retreat and create a wonderful new residence there.
‘For those seeking peace and seclusion, yet wanting all that this part of Scotland has to offer in the way of nature and water-based sport and activities, this is surely the ultimate prize.’
Meanwhile Tom Stewart-Moore for Knight Frank said: ‘To be able to build your own house on your own private island but yet in a very accessible and beautiful part of the country will be a dream for many and is likely to have a global appeal.’
The derelict timber property, which has been vacant for approximately 20 years, was once the summer retreat for the Countess of Arran who became the unlikely powerboat champion at the 1980 Segrave Trophy.
The prestigious title, which is given to those who demonstrate ‘outstanding skill, courage and initiative on land, water and in the air’ is awarded by the Royal Automobile Club and past winners include Sir Stirling Moss, Lewis Hamilton, Colin McRae, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Sir Richard Branson.
Born on July 20, 1918, to Geraldine Bryde Tennant and Iain Colquhoun, the seventh Baronet of Luss, Lady Arran, became a record holder by reaching a top speed of 102mph in her powerboat Skean-Dhu on Lake Windemere in Cumbria’s Lake District.
The Countess, who married Sir Arthur Kattendyke Strange David Archibald Gore in 1937, would often retreat to a small house on the Isle of Inchconnachan on Loch Lomond where she spent most of her upbringing.
She was first introduced to the world of powerboating when she was driven across Loch Lomond in Miss England III, a hydroplane powered by Rolls-Royce aero-engines, while still a teenager.
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Fiona Bryde Gore set many records – notably the first woman to travel on water at over 100mph- and was often called the fastest granny on water.
She followed in the steps of her hero Donald Campbell, who broke eight world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s, and began racing her speedboat Highland Fling across Windermere in an effort to surpass the Class 1 record to 85.63mph.
The keen powerboater, who was 53-years-old at the time, went on to compete in 12 more races and won on three occasions.
In 1980, the countess, who was also a painter, became the fastest woman on water when she reached 102mph in her powerboat Skean-Dhu on Lake Windermere and won the 1980 Segrave Trophy.
The countess, who was born on July 20, 1918 to Dinah Tennnant, a champion golfer, and war hero Sir Iain Colquhoun, the 7th Baronet, married Sir Arthur Kattendyke Strange David Archibald Gore, nicknamed ‘Boofy’, in 1937.
Sir Arthur went on to succeed his brother to become the 8th Earl of Arran and became an active member of the House of Lords in 1958.
He became well known during the 1960s for his weekly column in the London Evening New which ran until 1978 and was also a passionate advocate for homosexual rights.
As her husband continued in his political endeavours, Lady Arran pursued her own powerboat interests and would often retreat to the small house on the Isle of Inchconnachan on Loch Lomond where she was brought up.
The countess was brought up mostly on the island and was introduced to the powerboating when she was driven across Loch Lomond in Miss England III, a hydroplane powered by Rolls-Royce aero-engines, as a teenager.
Later in life, Lady Arran, who was a friend of Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond), helped design and construct a revolutionary electrically-propelled 15ft hydroplane, An Stradag, known as The Spark.
In 1989, at the age of 71, she also flew the tiny craft to another record of 50.825mph.
During her life, the countess along with her husband, regularly campaigned for the protection of badgers, and eventually helped pave the way for the Badger Protection Bill.
She died at the age of 94 on the May 16, 2013, in Devon.
Courtesy: (Daily Mail)