AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011 - (Page 58)
Live the highlife in the Highlands
Its rugged beauty is unparalleled but there’s more to this Scottish hideaway than good looks – it could be your best property investment yet…
he wildness and unadulterated beauty of the Highlands of Scotland seduces its visitors, attracting undiminished numbers every year. It has provided a spectacular backdrop for big budget films like Harry Potter, as well as attracting celebrities and remaining a firm favourite for the Royal family. But it’s not just the stunning scenery that makes it a winner. The Highlands and Islands of Scotland include Fort William and Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Moray, Inverness, Loch Ness and Nairn, Aviemore and the Cairngorms and the Northern Highlands. The islands include Orkney, The Shetland Isles and The Hebrides. It’s a vast and remote area...but it’s happening! Excellent flight and rail links from airports around the UK and Ireland, plus car hire, makes even the quietest areas easily accessible to everyone.
Tranquil and inTriguing
‘For many people the Highlands really ‘are’ Scotland, living up to their picture-postcard images with majestic scenery, awesome wild places, towering mountains, ancient pine forests and broad expanses of dark, shimmering loch,’ explains Mary McGarrie
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words: una rice | photographs: getty images
from Visit Scotland. ‘They are this of course, and more. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is the obvious springboard to explore more remote areas. There are miles of coastline and intriguing islands. The inspiring landscape, tranquillity and space are main attractions but if you like the active life, the Highlands offer unsurpassed opportunities for a host of outdoor pursuits. This is particularly true around Fort William and Lochaber, which proclaims itself ‘the outdoor capital of the UK’. This is a region where tourists and those tracing their Scottish ancestry will always flock. But of course a stunning holiday that ticks all the boxes is different to investing your money into a property. However, wise choices based on your own circumstances could make the Highlands a solid investment. ‘The property market has weathered the recent financial storms well, and prices have remained relatively stable compared to other areas,’ says Sarah Woodcock, manager of HSPC (Highland Solicitors Property Centre, www.hspc.co.uk), who adds that property buyers today have ‘plenty to choose from’. There’s also the buzz of city life nearby. ‘Inverness sits at the heart of the whole region and offers a city experience, but it
is only a stone’s throw away from some of the highest mountains in Britain,’ says Sarah. ‘And over the last 15 to 20 years Inverness has grown substantially and has much to offer including a busy retail centre with plenty of good shops and big names. It is also a great business hub of the Highlands. The University of Highlands & Islands is developing and will open up opportunities in Inverness. Today’s communication technology means you no longer have to be close at hand to keep in contact with business, friends and family so for those wishing to live out in the sticks it has become a viable option.’
up and coming
But can the buzz and growing communications counter often harsh weather and stunning but arguably extreme remoteness? ‘In the past, I would have said perhaps bigger cities like London and Edinburgh have more going on culturally but Inverness is growing. The weather in winter can be a bit challenging it’s true, but that has been the case all over the UK in the last couple of years,’ says Sarah. So it seems that once you’ve got your money sorted, and your snow gear, you may be ready for your Highland fling!
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011
HELLO FROM SARAH
MAKE IT A DATE
PASTE IT UP
TO LET OR NOT TO LET?
KEYS TO THE DOOR
QUEEN OF THE CASTLE
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
BEST OF THE BRIGHTS
STORE IN STYLE
SHAKE IT UP!
NIGHT ON THE TILES
THE TEMPERATURE’S RISING
BURN BABY BURN
KEEP IT IN
DON’T BLAME THE TOOLS
AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011