This one is strictly for the birds, but it comes with a price tag of between £2.5 million and £2.75 million. Alisa Craig, located ten miles off the Scottish coast, is up for sale. The million-dollar figures may deter most, but this 219.69-acre island is special for a different reason. It happens to be one of the top birding destinations in the United Kingdom. In addition to that, the island is also a Scottish landmark. Named Paddy’s Milestone, Alisa Craig has long been a welcome sign for Irishmen headed to Scotland for work. The currant bun-shaped island sits on the route between Belfast and Glasgow.
Visible from the Open golf course at Turnberry, the island was formed by a long-extinct volcano. If you are a photography buff, the island provides plenty of opportunity to capture beautiful scenes from the 1000-foot cliffs. To the south you will find rich farmland along the Ayrshire coastline. To the west you get to see the rugged Isle of Arran and the Mull of Kintyre. And then there are some 40,000 birds that head to this untouched island.
A piece of trivia is that this is the only island that managed to win an Olympic gold. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, the winning British women’s curling contingent used curling stones made from Alisa Craig granite. The island still brings in £26,000 by way of annual rent from the granite quarries. 70 percent of curling stones made the world over use Alisa Craig granite.
It is not a luxurious island, but it is a much-loved property as far as its owners are concerned. Unlike other islands, it has changed hands just once in six centuries. From 1404 to the 16th century, the island was the property of the monks of Crossraguel Abbey. Thereafter, it has remained in the hands of the Kennedy family for centuries. The current owner is the 8th Marquess of Alisa – who gets his title from the island itself. He visits the island twice a year and enjoys a barbecue get-together with friends.
Others who want to visit the island can take a public boat tour. Mark McCrindle runs the boat tours on his motorboat Glorious, carrying up to 12 passengers on the journey from Girvan to Alisa Craig. McCrindle, who has grown up in the area, feels that buyers should not commercialize this natural paradise.
Talk is that RPSB might buy the property. But this is yet to be confirmed. What is known is that the island offers limited opportunity for commercial ventures. Alisa Craig is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so there are plenty of controls on the property. Even blasting in the granite quarries is not allowed because the bird populations might be disturbed. Building a luxury hotel here is not going to be easy. One of the few buildings on this island is the lighthouse, built in 1886 by writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s father Thomas Stevenson. Ever since 2001, it has been running on solar power.
A hundred years ago, some 29 people lived on the island. But as time goes on, the human population is thinning and Alisa Craig is being adopted by the birds. The third largest gannet colony in Britain would be the ideal home for a dedicated birdwatcher. If he can afford the £2.5 million price tag, that is.
Via: Daily Mail