ONE of the smallest island gems on Scotland's spectacular western seaboard has been sold for £426,000.
Perched off the north-east tip of Kerrera, the four-acre Rubh'a Chruidh enjoys a stunning location overlooking Oban Bay.
Archie Melville, of island sales specialists Bell Ingram, said there was international interest when Rubh'a Chruidh went on the market, priced at offers over 350,000.
Mr Melville said: "I don't know of anything similar in Scotland which is as small as this. It's a tidal island, connected to Kerrera at low tide, and is quite a rare thing to come on the market."
He added: "There was international interest, there were quite a few people from abroad who came to see it and there was also quite a lot of local interest and interest from the south. We had a few offers."
With only days to go until the closing date, the successful bid was lodged by a Lanarkshire businessman, David Hamilton.
The keen sailor said he and his wife Grace had not been looking for an island, but for a coastal property that could be used as a second home.
However, Mr Hamilton said: "It was very close to the closing date for offers when we saw it advertised, and when we saw it, it really blew me away."
He added: "We feel like we have just borrowed the place for a wee while."
The 52-year old, who is the director of haulage and plant hire firm William Hamilton and Sons contractors, owns his own helicopter. So he flew to Oban to view the island the same night that he saw it advertised and lodged his offer two days later, just before the deadline.
Mr Hamilton said: "It only takes 50 minutes to fly to the island from our farm in Larkhall.
"I would be hoping to semi-retire in three years' time, so we are hoping to spend a lot of time here.
"We have a boat and the west coast has some of the best sailing waters in the world, so this ticks a lot of boxes for us."
Rubh'a Chruidh – Gaelic for Headland of the Cows – comes with a three-bedroom Dorran bungalow.
But Mr Hamilton said: "We have submitted a planning application and we would like to build a brand new house, which would be sympathetic to the setting."
Selling agent Mr Melville said the sale of Rubh'a Chruidh, a tidal island which is connected to Kerrera at low tide, took over a year to complete.
This was because the previous owner of the island, Kenny Dunn, died after putting the property on the market, and details of his estate took time to settle.