Torsa Island, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4UD | Property for sale | Savills
270.80 Ac(109.59 Ha)
Offers over £1,500,000

Torsa IslandOban, Argyll, PA34 4UD

  • Freehold

Key features

  • About 270 acres (109 ha) in total
  • Modest three bedroom period farmhouse with stunning views
  • Successful holiday let and farm business
  • Attractive traditional stone farm building with development potential
  • Over 2.5 miles of coastline and foreshore
  • Sheltered anchorage and mooring
  • Permanent grazing and woodland
  • Abundance and variety of wildlife and habitats
  • Superb sailing, fishing and watersports


About this property

  • Torsa is something of a rarity as a Scottish island, offering the opportunity to own an idyllic island with complete tranquillity that is also readily accessible to the Scottish mainland. The island is approximately 0.5 miles wide and 1.2 miles long, extending to around 270 acres in total.

    The island rises to its highest point of 62m in the centre, from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the sheltered bays of the surrounding Inner Hebrides across to the mountains and mystical lochs of Argyllshire.

    Torsa is currently managed as a successful holiday let business where holidaymakers can enjoy the charm associated with island life, switching off from the pressures of modern living. A sheltered anchorage for yachts and motorboats is found in Ardinamir Bay, to the south of the island, and is accessed by a marked narrow channel from the sea to the east. There is an additional anchorage at South Cuan to the west of Torsa as well as running mooring in Ardinamir for small vessels, and the beach in Ardinamir Bay on Torsa has a reasonable gradient allowing most smaller rafts to land directly on it. Should a larger yacht or motorboat be used, then a tender is recommended.

    Torsa Island, consisting of Torsa, Torsa Beag, and Eilean na h-Eaglaise as well as their foreshore, which was reclaimed from the Crown in 2009, is now being offered for sale.

    HISTORICAL NOTE - Torsa's name is of Norse origin, roughly translated as "Thor's Island", with the island steeped in Clan history. The most prominent historical feature of the island is the ruined Casteal nan Con (the Dogs' Castle), located to the northeast of the island. Occupying a defensive position on a rocky platform, the tower house was held by Clan Campbell during the late Middle Ages and used as a watch tower to protect the inland waters. There was a brief period when the Castle was occupied by the MacDougalls of Rarey before it was held by Clan MacLean, and it is likely this is where the name derived from, a byname used of Clan MacLean by their enemies.

    In 1699, the indigenous populations of the neighbouring islands of Luing, Seil and Shuna were subject to significant clearances by Clan Campbell and it is assumed Torsa followed the same fate. The Slate Islands then became part of the Netherlorn Estates of the Breadalbane family, a branch of Clan Campbell, with the affairs being overseen from Ardmaddy Castle, the seat of Nether Lorn. Torsa was permanently inhabited by resident farming tenants up until the 1960s.

    The island is being offered for sale for the first time in 85 years.

    TORSA FARMHOUSE - Torsa Farmhouse occupies a sheltered position with a spectacular south east outlook over the mouth of Loch Melfort which can be enjoyed from the conservatory at the front. The mid-19th century farmhouse, constructed of traditional stone (painted white) under a slate roof, is a typical design associated with the West Coast of Scotland and has been regularly modernised and improved over the years to facilitate holiday letting. The house is comfortably arranged over two storeys in a traditional layout as follows:

    Ground Floor: entrance boot / utility room, shower room and
    WC, kitchen / dining room, conservatory and sitting room.

    First Floor: three bedrooms and family bathroom.

    There is a range of traditional stone farm buildings lying adjacent to the farmhouse and, despite being in a fairly dilapidated state, these have significant potential for conversion or a number of uses subject to gaining the necessary planning consents.

    View payable LBTT Calculator for this property

Local information

  • Torsa, a trio of connected islands (Torsa, Torsa Beag and Eilean na h-Eaglaise), is one of the Slate Islands, an archipelago lying immediately off the West Coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. Whilst the islands are linked due to their underlying geology being Dalradian slate, Torsa is unique in that it is a private island.
  • Torsa is nestled between the Cuan Sound and Seil Sound, with the Isle of Seil to the north and the Isle of Luing to the west and south. Fine views can be enjoyed in all directions, particularly Mull and Ben More to the north, Scarba and Jura to the southwest and Loch Melfort and Argyllshire to the east.
  • Ellenabeich, a former slate mining village, lies approximately 3 miles to the northwest on the Isle of Seil, with the island connected to the mainland by the 200 year old Clachan Bridge, famously known as the ‘Bridge over the Atlantic'. Local post offices and general stores can be found at Cullipool on Luing and Balvicar on Seil, with a selection of pubs, restaurants and cafés across the islands.
  • Oban, the unofficial capital of the West Highlands, is the closest town at about 18 miles to the northeast. Originally a small fishing village, Oban is now regarded as the ‘Gateway to the Hebridean Isles', and more recently as the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland', and offers a selection of professional services, shops and cultural services including one of Scotland's oldest licensed distilleries. The surrounding islands and villages offer a number of excellent restaurants including Tigh an Truish on the Isle of Seil and the Loch Melfort Hotel & Bar at Arduaine.
  • Glasgow (108 miles) offers all the cultural and professional services expected of a 21st century city including its international airport (105 miles) which provides regular flights to London, many of the UK's major cities and a wide range of international destinations.
  • Scotland's West Coast is renowned for its striking coastline, breathtaking islands, quality of sailing and abundance of marine wildlife. The combination of exposure to the Gulf Stream and access to the rich Atlantic leads to a diverse mixture of marine species, providing unique wildlife watching and sea fishing experiences. Torsa offers an ideal base from which to explore the hidden gems of the Inner Hebrides and the waters of the Scottish Western coastline, providing a sense of complete tranquility whilst being within striking distance of central Scotland.

Additional information

  • LAND - The majority of the land on Torsa is used as permanent grazing with approximately 7 acres of mature woodland shelter belts. The farm currently has a sheep flock of 80 ewes and 20 hoggs which are shepherded and managed on a contract labour basis. Additionally, there is a 364 day grazing licence for a local herd of Luing cattle which comes to an end on the 4th April 2024. The farming arrangements have worked very well for the current owners and have ensured diversity of both the flora and fauna on the island. The grazier and contractor express a keen interest to continue similar arrangements.
  • The island is regularly visited by sea eagles and other raptors, and has resident blue hare, roe deer, otters and other diverse wildlife typical of the West Coast.
  • For the keen sportsman, there is some wonderful wild bird shooting on Torsa including the opportunity for snipe, woodcock, duck and geese.
  • Directions: Travel to the island can be arranged through a local boat operator, whose details can be provided by the selling agents on request. VIEWING: Strictly by appointment with Savills Edinburgh – 0131 247 3720. Access to the farmhouse will be dependent on holiday lets.
  • EPC Rating: E