Prestige viewing: A sterling family home by Dollar

The Coachman’s House, just outside the pretty town of Dollar in Clackmannanshire, may just have a claim on the title of best house in Scotland for post-lockdown living.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar

Not only does it have sumptuous bedroom suites and plenty of formal and informal public rooms –including a home cinema – but it sits behind private gates in a six-acre grounds and features an all-weather pitch for tennis or football, a woodland running track, and gym.

There is also a designated home office and a separate two-bedroomed apartment.

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Dollarbeg Castle, the estate to which the house belonged, dates back to the 13th Century and has passed through the hands of the monks of Dunfermline Abbey, the Earls of Dunfermline and the Dukes of Atholl.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar

The current castle, designed by Ebenezer Simpson, was built in 1889 by a Victorian railway tycoon. The Coachman’s House was completed the same year in a similar Baronial style, so it is likely that it was also designed by Simpson. Its crenellated roof line and turret certainly give it a sophisticated and romantic air far beyond its original purpose as a humble coach house and staff accommodation.

The current owner bought the property in 2008, but says she had spotted the house long before that. She explains: “I used to drive past as a young girl and think it looked like a castle and wonder what it would be like to live there.”

At the time of purchase it suited her family’s circumstances as they were looking to live in a multi-generational household, with small children and separate living quarters for grandparents included.

It took a while to get the house to its present high standard, however. The work involved taking the interior back to bare walls to put in enhanced levels of insulation. The heating system was replaced and the layout was reconfigured.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar

The owner recalls: “The main house was originally a six bedroom, but we reduced it to four to add bathrooms.”

The bedrooms are the essence of luxurious space now – all have private ensuites and some have their own sitting rooms or studies. There are an extra two ensuite bedrooms in the cottage annex, which could be incorporated back in too.

Converting an integral garage to create a formal dining room meant space for vehicles was needed and an eight-car garage was built in the grounds, which also houses a home office and gym.

The cottage was extended and now takes up the whole of the west wing with a private entrance. The main house is arranged around the other three sides of a square with a sunny courtyard in the middle – big enough to take a marquee for parties and perfect for barbecues.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar

The six acres of grounds are landscaped and adjoin a paddock. Flower beds are dotted along the driveway and there are patios to take advantage of the sun. Wilder areas of woodland provide screening and paths through the trees.

Another major plus is the location, under two miles from Dollar, with its highly-rated private school. A traffic-free trail runs between the house’s back gate and the town, providing a very safe route.

The finish throughout is exceptional, with further improvements made in the last year. The kitchen is by Stoneham Kitchens and all the bathrooms were designed by Bathroom Planet and feature exclusive tiling.

The house has intelligent lighting, Sonos in every room and a focus on energy efficiency, so utility bills are very low for a house of this size.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar

The owner says: “The layout really suits itself to keeping your own privacy. There is plenty of space and just a sense of closing the gates and creating a barrier between you and the outside world, with total peace and solitude.”

The Coachman’s House, Dollar, is priced at offers over £2.25m.

For more information, contact Harper & Stone on 01259 238938.

The Coachman’s House, Dollar
The Coachman’s House, Dollar
The Coachman’s House, Dollar
The Coachman’s House, Dollar
The Coachman’s House, Dollar