Coastal Clyde home with £1.1m price tag

VIEWS: Tigh Na Mara could be yours for �1.1 million
VIEWS: Tigh Na Mara could be yours for �1.1 million
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IF you have always dreamed of a home with a sea view, you could do worse than base your search around the Clyde coast.

The Firth of Clyde encloses the largest and deepest coastal waters in the British Isles, and reaches across from Renfrewshire, to Argyll and Bute, and down to Ayrshire, encompassing the islands of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae, as well as peninsulas such as Cowal, the east coast of Kintyre and a vast number of sea lochs and inlets.

And if you have a spare £1.1 million to splash, new on the market is Tigh Na Mara in Helensburgh.

The B listed, classic arts and crafts villa - designed by William Leiper in 1905 - has seven bedrooms boasting beautiful period features, a cottage, plus a garden fronting the shore.

Unfortunately its original swimming pool has been lost, but has been tastefully replaced by a pretty sunken garden.

The property is now on the market, with an offers over £1,150,000 price tag.

The Clyde coast has been dubbed Scotland’s riviera, and while it can not guarantee a Mediterranean climate, it is protected from the worst ravages of the Atlantic by Kintyre, and bathes in the Gulf Stream – hence the presence of palm trees on many a seafront in these parts.

The Victorians discovered the delights of holidaying and living in the area. The arrival of the railways in the 1850s meant wealthy Glaswegians could work in the city but move their families out to access fresh sea air and as a result the coast is dotted with gems from the era.

Helensburgh, on the northern bank of the Firth of Clyde, is the epicentre of turn-of-the-century architecture. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece, Hill House, sits alongside works by Alexander “Greek” Thomson, MH Baillie Scott and William Leiper.

Helensburgh is a hotspot in terms of property prices with buyers attracted to the quality of its independent school and the Waitrose supermarket as much as the range of architecture on offer.

But Andrew Perratt of Savills says that the surrounding areas are very much worth considering too.

“Largs, Wemyss Bay and Skelmorlie on the south side of the river are all popular with commuters too,” he said.

“Skelmorlie in particular, like Helensburgh is set up a hillside, so that most of the houses have a spectacular view of the water.

“If you have a budget of, say, half a million, and you are looking in Bearsden or Milngavie to the north of Glasgow or Newton Mearns and Pollokshields to the south, you might want to look further out.

“For an extra half hour on the train you can get considerably more bang for your buck in places along the coast and, I’d say, a better quality of life.”

The property around the Clyde coast is not all high end; the tenements in former shipbuilding areas offer some of the best elevated views of the Clyde and the vista in the up-river areas is ever changing because it is still a busy international waterway.

Further out you are more likely to spot yachts in the famous sailing waters of the Firth.

Wemyss Bay has a world class marina around which new homes have sprung up over the last decades.

Properties beyond an easy daily travel distance to the centre of Glasgow, such as those a train plus a ferry journey away in Dunoon or Rothesay are better value still.

Argyll, Bute and Kintyre are popular spots for self-builders with building plots among the more affordable in Scotland.

Perratt says: “Sea views are a big pull but it is a wide area, with plenty to impress buyers in a diverse number of locations, whether you are searching for high performing schools, easy access to Glasgow or good amenities.”