Anne MacKintosh in our property team recently took a trip to Ballachulish and visited a stunning property we have for sale there. Anne has kindly written about her trip to this beautiful part of the world and the property itself. Situated just beyond Ballachulish, we are currently selling The Old Rectory which belonged to the church next door. In early summer, the ground is covered with bluebells galore and the rhododendrons and azaleas bloom colourfully against the green background of the grass, trees and hills.
The house itself is in an elevated position overlooking Loch Leven. The water today is like molten mercury, quietly lapping at the water’s edge. Deep and dark, the sunshine sparkles like diamonds dancing on the water. This impressive traditional stone-built house has many original features including a beautiful ceiling rose in the dining room. The stripped woodwork through the house has been lovingly restored and there are working shutters on the traditional windows. Requiring redecoration and some modernisation, the fabric of the house is nonetheless in excellent condition. There is also a self-contained one-bedroom annexe, perfect for renting out or as a ‘Granny Flat’. With such stunning views, this house is a must-see and a very desirable home! Whether for a family home or to set up a business perhaps as a Bed and Breakfast, this house sits on a large plot of land which could either accommodate wooden holiday cabins, or a new build house with separate vehicular access.
The local primary school is a short walk away in the village of Ballachulish with a total of 61 pupils and 4 teachers. The local secondary school is at Kinlochleven with a total of 137 pupils. There is a designated school bus to take the children to school. Lochaber High School in Fort William has a roll of 803 pupils. These schools all have very good education records and cater for all needs. The property offers an idyllic lifestyle, from pottering in the garden, afternoon tea on the terrace to the front of the house or playing tennis on the grass court further. Round the back of the house is further garden ground and a wooden summerhouse, currently used as a workroom. With private access to the beach on the loch, one can enjoy a variety of water activities including sailing, canoeing or swimming, and the possibility of resurrecting a mooring. For golfers, only a short drive away is the Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course & The Cabin Club House. From here other outdoor activities are available such as the Scottish Segway Centre, from where bikes can be hired, including electric ones.
For walkers, the north end of Glencoe is about half an hour walk or a 5-minute drive away, whilst at the top of this is probably the most famous and dramatic of all the glens with the impressive Buachaille Etive Mor. Further south, quieter and more secluded, is Glen Etive. North and east of Glencoe is beautiful Loch Leven, with the town of Kinlochleven on the West Highland Way, at its eastern end, nestled beneath the mountain range of the Mamores with walks as exciting as in Glencoe itself. For a gem of a walk you can go to the Lochan at Glencoe Village. Created by a gentleman for his wife there are lots of different routes to choose. The Lochan itself is on the site of the old hospital at Glencoe, which has now been turned into a Boutique hotel. There are many fabulous places to eat and a local pub in Ballachulish village. The Crannog Seafood Restaurant in Fort William is great, as is Browns. In fact, the whole area has fantastic restaurants and fresh seafood. There are many attractions in the area.
For example, you just need to detour off the Oban road to Port Appin with its castle and marina, cross the bridge at Connel and visit Dunstaffnage Castle. Oban, a strategic ferry port to the Western Isles, is around 45 minutes’ drive from Ballachulish. This is a lovely town with superb views down the loch which offers a variety of restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets; it is a popular tourist destination. It is also the home of McCaig's Tower, built by wealthy banker John Stuart McCaig and erected between 1897 and 1902. Built of granite it is about 200m in circumference with 94 arches over 2 levels. Alternatively, you could take the steel bridge at Ballachulish in the direction of Fort William, just a short distance beyond is the Corran Ferry to Ardnamurchan. This ferry is the traditional roll-on, roll-off type, still in operation and allowing access to the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Ardnamurchan Point is the most westerly point of the British mainland.
The road north takes you up to Fort William, around a 40-minute drive and is the largest settlement in the area. With a stunning location along the side of Loch Linne is the self-styled 'Outdoor Capital' for all kinds of adventure activities affording more fabulous views over the water. A crossroads of major long-distance walking routes and convenient base for scores of mountain ascents or easy forest, woodland and canal sidewalks along the Caledonian Canal and the stepped locks at Corpach. Fort William is most famous as being at the base of the highest peak of them all, mighty Ben Nevis and the gateway to Glen Nevis, one of the most picturesque of all glens. This leads not just along the foot of the Ben itself but past the stunning ridges of the Mamores and through the dramatic Nevis Gorge to Steall Falls - surely one of the most dramatic destinations for a shorter walk. Ballachulish is such an amazing place to live and visit with breath-taking views around every corner and the most glorious sunsets. Who wouldn’t want to live here?