Your own private island just £3.95m - in Berkshire
If you're dreaming of living on your own private island, you may have the Caribbean or some far flung corner of Scotland in mind. However, you don't need to travel anywhere near so far in order to snap up a secluded private island, because there's one for sale in Wraysbury, Berkshire.
And it comes with a unique history.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The Island in question is Magna Carta Island, in the Thames. It got its name from the fact that the Magna Carta is thought to have been signed there. For £3.95 million you get 3.72 acres - with 402 metres of river-front. There's also a tree in the garden that was planted by the Queen on a visit in 1974. The island is connected to the mainland by a small bridge - and there's plenty of space to moor boats for a more unusual approach to London.
The property started life as a chapel in the 17th century, and in 1834 it was developed into a house - which is now Grade II listed. History oozes from the place - from the exposed beams, leaded windows, wood panelling (said to be from Bisham Abbey) and an enormous stone fireplace, to the crests of King John and the barons who were elected to protect the Magna Carta on the walls. There's also a commemorative plaque in a specially-built 'charter room' announcing the significance of the spot, so you will never forget that you're living in a place that made history.
The flip side of this is that the Grade II listing means that it's going to be hard to make major changes to the property, which is not exactly flooded with light. The oak paneling, meanwhile, is striking and historic, but hardly exactly bright or airy.
As for the accommodation itself, it boasts seven bedrooms, four receptions and an outdoor swimming pool. There's also a separate cottage with two further bedrooms, a bathroom, a reception and a kitchen/breakfast room. However, the estate agent warns that it is in need of modernisation.
If this doesn't float your boat, there are a vast number of private islands up for sale at any one time. Privateislandsonline.com is currently listing a £1.78m 6 acre island in the Bahamas - which comes with three simple cottages and the potential for building. There's also a £3.57 million 20 acre island on the Lake of Bays in Ontario, Canada. This comes with a five-bedroom boathouse, private beach and a 'majestic forest'. Alternatively, if you have £16 million to spare, there's always Katafanga Island in the South Pacific, offering 226 acres, encircled by a 5,000 acre blue lagoon and a coral reef forming a natural dock.
There's clearly less momentous history attached to these places - and they're all a fair commute to London. However, in return you get more space, beaches, forests and often more sun. So which would you choose?