Lonely Scottish island set for new inhabitants

A STUNNING island in the extreme north of Scotland is set to be inhabited for the first time in more than 80 years.
Linga is located on the west side of Shetland. Picture: www.neilrisk.comLinga is located on the west side of Shetland. Picture: www.neilrisk.com
Linga is located on the west side of Shetland. Picture: www.neilrisk.com

Linga has gone on sale for the same price as a two-bedroom flat in a smart area of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

And the £250,000 price tag includes permission to create an eco tourism business on Linga, which has been uninhabited since the last resident died in 1931.

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The 64-acre island presently has no power, water supply or internet.

But whoever buys Linga will get permission to install wind-generated power, build a pier and restore two derelict croft houses as holiday homes.

Uninhabited and frozen in time for decades, the last known person to have lived on the island is reported to have been Captain James Fraser who died in 1931.

The stunning island lies in the Vaila Sound with just a few hundred yards of sea separating it from the mainland Shetland village of Walls.

The agent’s brochure states: “This is a unique opportunity to buy an unspoilt 63.75 acre island.

“Linga is located close to the Mainland with year round access possible. Shetland is the most northerly island group of the British Isles.

“It is a place of spectacular scenery and beauty with an abundance of wildlife.”

Sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the larger island of Vaila and surrounded by clear blue waters the island is small enough to walk across in less than half an hour.


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Untouched for a generation it includes pristine white beaches, a loch and an abundance of wildlife.

Evidence of prehistoric settlements prove continuous occupation and human activity on the island for several thousand years.

In 1881 it is recorded to have been home to 13 people split between the two families but by 1901 only one of the houses was inhabited.

Bob Thomson is selling Linga in the hope that the new owner can finish off his ambitious project.

The unusual business idea would give tourists the chance experience life as it was on a traditional Shetland croft at the end of the 19th Century.

Mr Thomson, who grew up in Shetland and bought the island in 2008, said: “I was brought up in Walls and as a child used to play on the island in the school holidays with friends as we grew up in small boats.”

He said he would like someone “really dedicated” to completing his vision of reviving the island community to purchase it.

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He continued: “It needs a younger person to take over and complete the concept.”

He added: “Owning an island is Shetland is the best feeling ever and it is very sad to have consider selling especially as the development concept has received such fantastic local support.

“When talking to people abroad about owning the island they are always really impressed. My wife especially likes to tell people we meet overseas about Linga.”

Approval has been granted to rebuild the derelict croft houses alongside a new cottage to provide high-end self-catering accommodation with en-suite facilities and ground source heat pumps.

An 11kW windmill and solar panels to provide power to the island for the first time has also been approved as well as well as new sewage systems and rainwater capture systems for water supply.

The estate agent brochure explains: “Visitors would be able to take part in traditional crofting and fishing activities… experiencing first-hand the annual cycle of activities required to support crofting during this period.

“Considerable design and study work has been completed along with a fully developed business plan.”

Shetland Estate agent Neil Risk said: “This is the first time we’ve sold an island.

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“We have had quite a lot of interest and it’s only just gone on the market. We’re expecting there to be a lot more interest.”


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