Britain's ‘poshest’ youth hostel is on sale for £1.5million

Laura Hampson
The castle was a youth hostel until 2011 (SWNS)
The castle was a youth hostel until 2011 (SWNS)

The “poshest” youth hostel in the UK has gone on the market for a cool £1.5million.

Carbisdale Castle near Bonar Bridge in Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, was built in 1906 on a hilltop, for an aristocrat to be close to her late husband's family.

With a storied history, the castle was sold to Norwegian royalty in the 1930s and King Haakon VII of Norway took refuge there during the War.

Read more: These are the top 10 staycation spots for summer 2021

At the end of the War, it was donated to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association in 1945 and became Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel, which closed in 2011.

The six-storey castle sprawls over 41,000 square feet and is perched on the famous North Coast 500 road trip route.

The castle sits next to a loch and has its own clocktower (SWNS)
The castle sits next to a loch and has its own clocktower (SWNS)

In 2018 it was bought by an investment firm with plans for a swimming pool and spa. However, as this never reached fruition, the castle has been listed for sale, with significant repairs required.

Robert McCulloch, head of the estates and farm agency at Strutt & Parker, said the property had attracted significant interest since going up for sale just a week ago.

Read more: The best UK seaside getaways to book right now

"Carbisdale Castle is an iconic building with a really rich and notable history,” McCulloch said.

"The property today can be viewed as a ‘blank canvas’ of almost 42,000 square feet of internal accommodation, enabling a buyer to take the property in whatever direction they prefer. That could be as a private home, a commercial venture (e.g hotel or holiday apartments), or a mixture of both, subject to the appropriate consents.”

Ornate fixtures including a stained glass window inside the castle (SWNS)
Ornate fixtures including a stained glass wall inside the castle (SWNS)

With UK holidays beginning to restart, McCulloch suggested that the castle could be a good commercial investment - and he anticipated a wave of interested buyers from the US.

"The flexibility of its future use, together with its striking architecture and dramatic position, will undoubtedly attract global interest,” McCulloch continued.

Read more: The best UK road trips to take this summer

"In particular – and following a surge in American interest in Scottish properties which saw more sold to US buyers in 2020 than any other year on record – we anticipate interest from the other side of the Atlantic.

"What remains to be seen – and will be interesting to discover – is whether the building’s future will be as a private home for the exclusive use of its purchaser, or as a commercial property to be enjoyed more widely".

Additional reporting by SWNS.

Watch: Former royal butler, Paul Burrell, describes how he flew Concorde with the Queen for the first time