The farm of Backaskaill is located on the island of Sanday, the largest of Orkney’s outer islands. Sanday is well known for its rich agricultural land and outstanding prime livestock which regularly realise market premium prices. Its stunning coastal scenery, long sandy beaches, abundant wildlife and peaceful lifestyle attract new residents and holidaymakers. It is increasingly popular with tourists and boasts a thriving economy. The island benefits from high-quality shops, primary/secondary school, hotels, medical practice and a dynamic social community scene. Backaskaill farm lies in one of Sanday’s most stunning locations nestled at the foot of a hillside, on the very edge of a sweeping sandy bay. The B-listed farmhouse and steading built in the 19th century, incorporates a former mill and character coach house tower. It enjoys a sheltered situation and breath-taking views.
BACKASKAILL FARMHOUSE The farmhouse provides a magnificent, luxury family home with the additional benefit of letting income potential. It has been tastefully restored and decorated to a very high standard with double-glazing throughout, in keeping with its character and heritage, by a professional interior designer.
ENTRANCE HALL The impressive entrance hallway features chequered ceramic floor tiles, original iron coat hooks, and a spectacular sweeping monkey tail cast iron staircase. The high ceilings link upper and lower floors, and the iconic traditional-style lighting is a key feature throughout the house. An under-stair cupboard provides shelved storage space.
KITCHEN/DINING ROOM (6.5m x 4.5m (21"6 x 15")) On the ground floor, the spacious farmhouse dining kitchen features an oil-fired range cooker which also fuels the central heating and hot water. A separate dual-fuel industrial stove and dual sinks make the kitchen suitable for catering purposes. Quality fitted units and island, and marble effect floor tiles are in-keeping with the farmhouse style and the layout provides space for a sizeable farmhouse kitchen table.
BEDROOM 1 WITH EN-SUITE (4.4m x 3m (14'5" x 10')) A corridor behind the kitchen leads to a spacious, bright ground-floor double bedroom with a large window overlooking farmland to the rear of the house, a new en-suite shower/wc and a new quality carpet.
UTILITY CLOAK ROOM (3.1m x 2m (10'4" x 6'4")) A large utility room located off the main hallway includes a toilet, sink and shower, a plumbed washing machine and designer oak effect flooring.
STAIRS AND LANDING (3.5m x 3.0m) The sweeping staircase and upper landing create a grand centrepiece to this property. A large window and gallery halfway up the stairs give the hallway natural light. The stairs and upper landing are carpeted.
LOUNGE (5.6M X 4.3M (18'1" X 14'2") On the first floor, the large lounge offers panoramic views across the bay through two windows. It features cherrywood effect flooring and a Morso wood-burning stove in the original fireplace surround made from salvaged ships timbers. An Edinburgh press uses mirror and glass display shelving to maximise the light in the room.
BEDROOM 2 (4.4M X 3.2M (12'8" X 8') A second spacious twin bedroom with traditional cornice and picture rail is tastefully decorated consistent with the theme throughout the house and includes new quality carpet.
BEDROOM 3 (3.7m x 2.4m (14'9" x 10'7")) The family bathroom features tongue and groove half-panelling, traditional style white suite, shower and cast iron fittings. There is a heated towel rail and designer Pergo flooring. The shuttered window is partly obscured and the upper sash gives views across the fields.
SECOND FLOOR Through a doorway from the first-floor landing, a staircase accesses two large rooms (former servants' quarters) which are currently unused, and undergoing conversion into a cinema room and playroom but could easily become two further bedrooms.
FARMHOUSE GARDENS The front garden is walled and gated, with grass, mature shrubs and stone chips forming a spacious area for outdoor dining and fire pit. It features a cheerful, heated summerhouse and gives access through a side passage to the barn/garage and garden WC. Adjacent to the shed/garage is a kitchen garden formerly used to grow vegetables, and a paddock.
The cottage links internally to the farmhouse but can be separated by internal doors on both sides.
BACKASKAILL COTTAGE The cottage has a separate entrance from its own walled patio garden. A hallway leads to the lounge, kitchen and bedroom.
COTTAGE LOUNGE (4.6m x 3.8m (15'2" x 12'6")) A spacious, cosy lounge is accessed via the cottage hallway or the connecting door to the main farmhouse. It is dual aspect, adjoining the conservatory and was formerly used as a dining room for the house.
CONSERVATORY (4.6m x 2.4m (15' x 8')) The conservatory is south-facing and accessed from the cottage lounge. It gives views over the fields to the sea and leads out to a back garden laid to grass.
COTTAGE KITCHEN (3.3m x 5.0m) A spacious kitchen/diner has new shaker-style units and an induction hob. There is additionally a range-style stove set in a fireplace surround. The stylish larder cupboard is available separately if desired. The kitchen/diner has windows to both back garden and front patio and has a plumbed washing machine. A door from the kitchen leads through to the boiler room, which contains a backup central heating system serviced and ready to work, and on into the stables and workshop, utility room and storage.
BEDROOM WITH EN-SUITE (2.7m x 3.6m) The double bedroom has a window to the rear, built-in wardrobe, en-suite shower room and Pergo flooring.
COTTAGE GARDENS The cottage has a separate walled patio to the front and a grass garden to the rear.
The lands, extending to approximately 350 acres, span the width of the island from clifftop to beach. They provide a good balance of quality grazing, links and sheltered in-fields, silage and arable land, and environmental schemes. There is good goose shooting on the west side. The Bea Loch is on the adjacent farm, but is accessible and well stocked for free trout fishing.
FARM BUILDINGS The square of traditional steading buildings, former grieve's cottage, coach house and barn west of the farmhouse has been re-roofed and adapted to facilitate modern husbandry. These overlook the bay and countryside and would lend themselves very nicely to conversion to further holiday accommodation units, subject to appropriate consents.
A spacious new steel & concrete barn has recently been erected adjoining the traditional steading. To the east of the house are two silos with new floors; a steel-clad cubicle house with feed passage and calf creeps; a loose court with feed passage; and a lagoon. In addition, a large shed, three stables, laundry, garage and workshops adjoin the house.
SELF CATERING BUSINESS Backaskaill has been trading very successfully as "Orkney Retreats" since June 2021 enjoying almost full occupancy, realising, net of commissions, up to £175 and £90 per night peak season (less off-season) for the house and cottage respectively. Priced conservatively in the first year, the business has enjoyed outstanding reviews and already has bookings for 2022. The USPs of the business are outstanding hospitality, luxury heritage interiors and doorstep access to a mile-long deserted sandy bay. Whilst the business is not for sale, the purchaser may wish to continue to operate this lucrative business themselves, or using a local host. The sellers would be happy to pass on the Orkneyretreats.co.uk web site and sell, by separate negotiations, the quality furnishings, linens, contents and many of the artifacts which are key features of this luxury holiday experience.