How you can buy an entire private island

Aerial view of Ulva

What's described as 'one of the finest private islands in northern Europe' is up for sale for the first time in 70 years.

Ulva, in the Inner Hebrides, is around seven and a half miles long and two and a half miles wide, extending to 4,583 acres - and the £4.25 million price tag covers the whole thing.

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It has a manor house, church, restaurant and teahouse and ten more properties - but a full-time population of just 16, mostly working at sheep and cattle farming, fish farming, oyster farming and tourism.

There are no tarmac roads, with most people travelling by quad bike.

Aerial view of the manor house

Agents Knight Frank describe Ulva as 'offering a truly unique combination of peace and privacy whilst being easily accessible by boat from the nearby Isle of Mull'.

The main building, Ulva House, is a large grade B-listed property built in the neo-classical revival style in 1950 to replace an earlier house that was destroyed by fire.

It has several large reception rooms, with fireplaces and detailed moulding, and five main bedrooms plus servants' quarters.

"The house has been changed very little since its construction and would now benefit from a sensitive program of modernization and refurbishment," say the agents.

The sweeping staircase

Other buildings include a restored blackhouse and nine other residential properties ranging from traditional bothies to a sporting lodge.

But most of the residents are non-human. The island is home to 123 different bird species, including the white-tailed sea eagle, and minke whales, porpoises and dolphins are frequently spotted.

The agents say it has 'sporting' potential, including red deer stalking, with a five-year average of 16 stags.

The pretty church

The island was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's 1815 poem Lord Of The Isles, and also influenced work by children's author Beatrix Potter.

David Livingstone, the famous missionary and African explorer, was a frequent visitor, as his father's parents lived there.

Major General Lachlan MacQuarrie, the last governor of New South Wales, was born there and described it as a 'small and desolate island' and ' a mere speck in the ocean' - but credited his upbringing there as having made him 'a citizen of the world'.

Britain's most remote island: Foula in pictures
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Britain's most remote island: Foula in pictures
Bleak yet spectacular, Foula is about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) by 3.5 miles (5.6 km), with a low-lying coastal strip along the east side. With an area of 4.9 square miles (12.7 km2), it is the seventh largest and most westerly of the Shetland Islands.
The island of Foula has the second highest sea cliffs in the UK. Da Noup, in the south, is one of the island's five dramatic peaks.
The Islander Aircraft flies four times a week.  Flights take off and from Foula's airstrip to Tingwall Airport, Lerwick.
Owned since the turn of the 20th century by the Holbourn family, the island has some spectacular sceery and was the location for the film The Edge of the World
The island is home to a most traditional strain of the Shetland Sheep, famed for its legendary fine wool qualities.
Foula lies 20 miles to the west of the Shetland Islands. The New Advance ferry is manned by residents and operates three times a week; the crossing takes 2 hours 15 minutes.
The island was one of the last places where the Norn language was spoken, and the local dialect is strongly influenced by Old Norse.
Pictured: The electricity supply hut on Island of Foula.
Both Grey and Common Seals are commonly seen around the shore and can be watched at close quarters in the Voe. Schools of Killer Whales have been seen close inshore and Harbour Porpoises often follow the ferry.
Glaciers and the sea have carved some dramatic features in Foula's layered sandstone. Gaada Stack is a beautiful natural arch measuring 45m high.
The name Foula means 'Bird Island' in Old Norse: Foula is designated as a Special Protection Area for birds, as well as a National Scenic Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its plants, birds and geology.

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