Real State

‘Golfing Heaven’ in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides

The northerly latitude of the islands are a boon in summer, he added, with games viable until 11 p.m. or so in July; it’s also the reason Askernish hosts its Open every August. (It was canceled in 2020, but returned this summer.)

Demand for property in the Outer Hebrides has surged during the pandemic, as have prices. Mr. Gillies noted that another agency in the islands typically had a roster of about 40 homes available at any time, but its inventory had dwindled to four by midsummer this year. “At some point, with the demand there is, we’re just going to run out of properties,” he said.

Homes here tend to fall into two broad categories, he noted: older, historic cottages and eco-friendly, contemporary architecture with an emphasis on sustainability.

Conventionally, he said, houses here would sell for the price suggested on a surveyor’s home report; in the last six months, successful offers have usually hovered 20 to 30 percent above that number.

Tenancies for crofts, or local farms, used to sell for £15,000 to £20,000 (about $21,000 to $28,000), but one that overlooks the picturesque Luskentyre Bay in Harris was seeking bids of £200,000 or more.

Of course, there are no homes for sale overlooking Askernish, nestled in the dunes. But it’s worth the drive, or ferry ride, to South Uist from any home in the islands, said Mr. McStravick, the golf historian.

“Golf is so much more than a stick and ball game — it’s about escapism,” he said. “And I don’t think there’s anywhere better in Scotland to lose yourself either in the golf, or the scenery.”


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