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• Excellent quality guest house within a spectacular setting on the North Coast 500 in the world-famous village of John O’Groats.
• Easy to operate self-employment proposition generating a modest profit but with strong business development potential providing an excellent work–life balance.
• Includes spacious 2-bedroom owner’s accommodation with a private dining kitchen, lounge and office.
• 5 quality en-suite letting bedrooms with modern facilities and amenities.
• Spacious grounds with ample parking, benefitting from a superb trading location offering elevated views of the stunning surrounding countryside and the Orkney Islands.
An attractive feature of this sale is the comfortable owners’ accommodation set to the ground floor with access from a private rear entrance plus entry via the main doors to the front. The layout of the property allows for easy access to the public areas. The private accommodation consists of a substantial lounge, a spacious kitchen / diner, two double bedrooms and a family bathroom including a 3-piece suite with a shower over bath.
John O’Groats is undoubtedly one of the best-known places in Scotland and the John O’Groats Guest House is uniquely situated in the extreme north of mainland Scotland, within the beautiful coastal area of Caithness offering stunning views of the Orkney Isles. With breath-taking cliffs hosting innumerable seabirds including the puffin, which is one of the ornithologists favourites, and stunning golden beaches that stretch for miles the region has much to offer both residents and visitors alike. Though located within a sparsely populated area, the population of John O’Groats is approximately 300, the guest house is within easy reach of both Thurso and Wick where there is access to a wide range of shops, restaurants and excellent recreational facilities.
Nearby Castle of Mey, the former home of the Late Queen Mother, offers a taste of Scotland’s historic past which attracts many visitors to the area. Moreover, the property is an ideal base from which to plan a range of day trips in the region especially to the Orkney Islands using the nearby ferries at John O’Groats and Gills Bay. The shortest and most sheltered crossing to the Orkneys is the journey between Gill’s Bay and St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay, providing a more appealing option to those who are unsure of sea travel. Gills Bay is only 4 miles from the guest house and provides a crossing for both cars and passengers. For the genealogist research into ancient Brochs or perhaps the local Camster Cairns are aspects that appeal to many. Exceptionally popular with the area is the excellent Caithness trout and salmon fishing. The rivers Thurso, Wick and Forss are all well-known and are highly productive as are loch’s St John’s, Heilan and Watten. Staying on the sporting front there are several 18-hole golf courses within comfortable reach, namely Thurso, Wick or the links course at Reay.
The town of Wick is 15 miles away where there are numerous shops including a supermarket, restaurants, a hospital and an airport. Schooling for both primary and secondary schooling is nearby and the property is close to bus routes. The village boasts two hotels, a campsite and a number of craft shops and studios.
The John O’Groats Guest House is a substantial single-story property set within a tremendous trading location on the A99, only 1 mile from John O’Groats harbour and ferry crossing. The business is situated on the popular North Coast 500 route and is associated with the End to End route taking walkers, cyclists etc. from Lands End to John O’Groats or vice versa. The business trades with 5 outstanding letting bedrooms which benefit from recent and total modernisation. The vendors have also intelligently upgraded the commercial kitchen and all other guest facilities. The private owner’s accommodation, comprising of a spacious lounge, large dining kitchen and 2 double bedrooms plus a family bathroom, makes this a lovely home and excellent business opportunity. Benefiting from a prominent position, the business offers a friendly welcome to its clientele who are attracted to the area from all around the world. In recent years the vendors have invested heavily into the property, upgrading the standard of the accommodation bringing the guest house to the market in excellent condition.
The owners trade purely on bed and breakfast basis reflecting their preference to run the business on a “lifestyle basis” but generating a modest profitability. The vendors restrict their availability throughout the main season (April to October) and close during the winter months. There is no doubt that new owners could increase the existing trading model with more proactive marketing and availability plus possibly the introduction of an evening meal service; both present a genuine opportunity to drive trade further whilst maintaining below the VAT threshold.
Income is derived from a wide clientele basis which includes anglers, ornithologists, those active in genealogical research, not to mention business clientele and of course tourism - the prime business driver. However, John O’Groats attracts an exceptionally high number of unique visitors who complete the John O’Groats to Lands’ End journey. In addition, the guest house does have a significant number of repeat guests. John O’Groats Guest House is a “home and income” lifestyle opportunity within a breath-taking geographical environment. The guest house receives many accolades on a number of review websites and has a website. The business utilises a range of generic websites to promote the business without recourse to On-line Travel Agencies.
Under the current trading model all operating functions are covered by the vendors and no staff are employed.
Of stone construction John O’Groats Guest House is an attractive detached, single storey villa of mixed construction (solid masonry with render and block and brickwork) under a new Firestone rubberised flat roof which has a 20-year guarantee. The building was constructed circa 1920. The property has had a number of sympathetic extensions to the original building and benefits from double glazing. Throughout the property is presented to a high level and the majority of fixtures and fittings are new including shower rooms and the fitted guest kitchen. All floor coverings and curtains etc. have also been renewed in recent years; this is a walk-in proposition.
Entrance to the building is via a spacious vestibule which offers access to the right to all guest facilities and to the left to the private owner’s accommodation. Through a corridor access is initially gained to letting bedrooms 1 and 2 with a door leading to the spacious dining room. Set to 4 large dining tables, the breakfast room is easily reconfigured to meet the need of guests. This room has a work desk for those wishing to plan their next day’s activities.
Though not specifically used by guests, there is a dedicated kitchen set aside for use within the B&B business which could be utilised to a greater extent than at present. The dining room could easily be used as a café / dining room if new owners wished to extend trade etc. There is no doubt that a strong demand exists for such services during the summer months. Moreover, there is some capacity to undertake evening meals for guests subject to necessary consents. From the dining room a snug lounge is available for guests to relax. Through a door is a corridor leading to 3 further letting bedrooms.
John O’Groats Guest House has 5 spacious and beautifully appointed letting bedrooms. All rooms benefit from modern en-suites, attractive fixtures and fittings, charming décor and excellent in room provisions. With modern television, hospitality trays etc. The rooms are configured to:
Room 1 – Double with en-suite shower room
Room 2 – Family room (2 x doubles) with en-suite shower room
Room 3 – Single with en-suite shower room
Room 4 – Single with en-suite shower room
Room 5 – Large double with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
The business benefits from a dedicated modern commercial kitchen which offers excellent work space and storage; there are ample floor and wall mounted units. This spacious and bright kitchen offers ample space for extending the current food operation. Throughout the kitchen has modern appliances and reflects the attention to detail in the development of this trading entity under the current ownership. Adjacent to kitchen is a spacious utility room, which leads to the rear garden and car park area. Additionally, the business has an external laundry room and a workshop. The property has ample storage throughout.
The frontage of the building is directly on to the A99, with a small parking area to one side. To the opposite side of the property is a driveway laid to gravel leading to the rear of the building and a large car park which commands stunning views of the surrounding country side and over the Pentland Firth plus beyond to Orkney. A wooden shed provides ample additional storage for guest bikes etc., which is an important feature for this particular business. To the rear aspects there is a laundry room and a separate workshop. There is ample parking for up to 10 cars which is easily accessible from the main road.
The vendors operate on a comfortable lifestyle basis and readily accept that they maintain their business at a low level due to their personal preferences. Energetic and motivated new owners could build upon the established trading pattern and possibly develop the business further by exploiting untapped occupancy and catering potential.
The property operates with mains electricity, and water supply. Drainage is to a septic tank. The central heating is oil-fired with double glazing in all living and customer areas. Cooking is all electric. The subjects are fully compliant in terms of fire alarm systems and EHO requirements. The property benefits from high speed internet throughout.
The current owners are looking to downsize and relocate closer to family.
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