Islands for Sale in Scotland

Updated: September 26, 2022.

Credit: Dreamstime

From the prehistoric settlements of the Outer Hebrides, to the rugged coastlines of the Northern Isle; Scotland is home to some of the most visually stunning archipelagos on the planet.

In total, Scottish borders are home to more than 900 offshore islands, though only four currently find themselves on the market for private sale.

Two of these islands are located off the western coast, not far from Glasgow. The other two can be found in the waters surrounding both Orkney and Shetland. The Isle of Vaila is by far the most expensive Scottish island on the market, with a minimum offering price of £1.75 million.

A maritime temperate climate awaits those investing in one of the Scotland’s private islands – a weather system influenced by the neighbouring oceans and characterised by a lack of extreme conditions. Rather, British summers are warm, the winters are cool, and rain is to be expected throughout the year. Nuances do exist though, with the experience of cooler temperatures the further north travelled – and vice versa. The more remote islands also experience stronger winds.

4 Private Islands for Sale in Scotland

Scotland Private Islands in Numbers (Of Known Values)
Private islands for sale: 4
Largest island size: 3,060,000 SQM (~760 acres)
Most expensive island price: £1,750,000
Most expensive square metre price: ~£3.09
Last updated: September 2022

1. Holm of Huip (Price Upon Request)

Credit: Vladi Private Islands

  • Location: Orkney Islands
  • Size: ~62 acres, ~25 hectares
  • Description: 62km from shore, 25km northeast of Kirkwall. Boat transfer is possible from Stronsay.
  • Ownership: Full ownership / Freehold
  • See on Google Earth

The Holm of Huip stands as testament to the visual beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The ~62-acre parcel of land is characterised by open grassland, a bevy of stone and shale shorelines, and a singular sand beach to the island’s south. It’s a space largely untouched by man-made development – save for a trio of dilapidated buildings – with the previous owners prioritising the preservation of the its natural aesthetic. Worth noting: though now little more than ruins, the buildings have potential to serve a purpose after some comprehensive renovations.

Whilst much of the Holm of Huip’s allure relates to its rural setting, it’s pertinent to add that the island still benefits from convenient transport and access links. Residents can make use of the Orkney Ferry services, as well as daily flights that transit between Mainland Orkney and the island of Stronsay.

Nearby landmarks of note include: the Quoyness Chambered Cairn, a burial monument located on the neighbouring island of Sanday; the wildlife-rich Calf of Eday; and the natural rock arch known as the Vat of Kirbister.

From its promise of Atlantic Ocean serenity, to the potential for residential development, the Holm of Huip stages an enticing pitch to its prospective investors.

Holm of Huip is listed for sale here.

2. Sanda Island (Price Upon Request)

Credit: Bling-Bling Island Estates Broker

  • Location: Mull of Kintyre, Argyll and Bute
  • Size: ~314 acres, ~127 hectares
  • Description: 3km from shore, 15km south of Campbeltown, 106km southwest of Glasgow
  • Ownership: Full ownership / Freehold
  • See on Google Earth

This 314-acre island resides just a short distance from the Mull of Kintyre, a locale made famous by Paul McCartney’s ‘Wings’ – the musician penned a tribute to the peninsula after having bought a farm in the area.

Sanda Island’s history can be traced back to the seventh century, and purchase of Sanda would grant the opportunity to cement oneself as part of that history – the island’s owner would inherit the title of either Laird or Lady of Sanda. Such a title would also allow an investor, should they wish, to issue their own postage stamps and mint their own gold coins – two interesting historical caveats.

Still, the isle’s history is but just one facet of its allure. The 1,270,000-square metre expanse is also a stunning example of natural beauty; playing host to both a variety of habitats and an abundance of wildlife. The Sanda Bird Observatory stands as further testament to the richness of the island’s coastal meadows and heathland.

Sanda Island is listed for sale here.

3. Isle of Pladda (In Excess of £350,000)

Credit: Knight Frank

  • Location: Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde
  • Size: ~28 acres, ~11 hectares
  • Description: 1km from shore, 16km south of Brodick (Isle of Arran’s main village), ~31km from Ayr, 73km southwest of Glasgow
  • Ownership: Full ownership / Freehold
  • See on Google Earth

The Isle of Arran is one of Scotland’s greatest treasures – a 400-square-kilometre expanse renowned for its rugged coastlines, dramatic landscapes, dense forests, and abundant local cuisine. The Isle of Arran’s closest neighbour? Pladda.

Just ~1km from the shores of ‘Scotland in Miniature’, Pladda Isle is a poster child for well-connected serenity. The ~28-acre island comprises a lighthouse, former residences of the lighthouse keepers, a range of out-buildings, walled gardens, and a stone jetty. Six double bedrooms are distributed amongst the different living spaces, though, having not been lived in for some years, there is a definite need for refurbishment.

The wealth of Pladda extends beyond its man-made developments and prime location. The island is an important breeding ground for a variety of migratory seabirds – from gulls to arctic terns; Pladda is an incredible reflection of Scotland’s native flora.

A final note to investors: there is an urgency regarding the sale of the island. With a closing date set for the end of September, interest in Pladda Isle should be expressed as soon as possible.

Private serenity awaits.

Isle of Pladda is listed for sale here.

4. Isle of Vaila (£1,750,000)

Credit: Savills

  • Location: Walls, Shetland
  • Size: ~760 acres, ~306 hectares
  • Description: 330m from shore, 2.4km southwest of Walls, 23km west of Lerwick (Shetland’s main town and port)
  • Ownership: Full ownership / Freehold
  • See on Google Earth

Vaila is an island with a storied past. The ~760-acre body of land, located on the western flank of the Shetland archipelago, has been inhabited for thousands of years. After generations of Norwegian possession, the island was finally returned to local ownership – Arther Anderson, a Shetland-born businessman and founder of the P&O shipping and logistics company, leased Vaila to establish a fishing company.

Following years of growth and commerce, the island was sold to Herbert Anderton, a Yorkshire mill owner who oversaw the construction of Vaila Hall – a mansion still considered to be one of Shetland’s finest. After a series of extravagant parties, plans to extend the hall were broached – though these were ultimately derailed by the outbreak of the First World War.

History aside, the reasons for Vaila’s popularity remain apparent. Reaching 95 metres at its highest point, and with more than ten kilometres of diverse coastline, the island offers breathtaking views on clear days. Vaila is also home to a diversity of flora and fauna – from visiting marine birds and a resident flock of Shetland ewes, to otters and orca.

A host of existing infrastructure – beyond the titular hall – adds further appeal. Purchase of the island would also be to inherit its farm, additional accommodations, and boating piers.

Connected, historic, and diverse – the Isle of Vaila offers much to its prospective investors.

Isle of Vaila is listed for sale here.

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