back to article Telecoms shack in the middle of Scotland put up for auction at £7,500

Stuck in a flat in London, Tokyo, New York or another less lovely urban area for the pandemic? Even two hours on a Pendolino from London's Euston station brings you to a wonderland of cheap(er) beer, affable people unafraid to strike up conversation with strangers, and the undeniable benefit of cheap housing. To illustrate …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Geography lesson

    Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are not on Scotland's rugged east coast. Scotland's east coast is not rugged. Try west instead.

    1. lybad

      Re: Geography lesson

      In general, the east coast isn't rugged - but parts of it are.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Geography lesson

        By English standards perhaps. But not Scottish ones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geography lesson

      Nor are they on the West coast. In the middle really.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Geography lesson

      Yeah, OK, these things happen and it's fixed -- can you please email if you spot something wrong in future, ta.


  2. Korev Silver badge

    Just two hours on a Pendelino from London's Euston station could bring you to a wonderland of cheap(er) beer, affable people unafraid to strike up conversation with strangers, and the undeniable benefit of cheap housing.

    My British geography gets a bit hazy beyond the Tamar, but I'm pretty sure that it takes longer than two hours to get to Scotland on a train...

    1. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

      ah but

      You are forgetting the wonderful levelling up, super fantastic, world beating and bozztastic HS2 will whisk you away to Nicola's realm in record time... By 2100 perhaps

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: ah but

        Via the Isle of Man underwater roundabout

        1. S4qFBxkFFg
      2. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: ah but

        What? By nine o’clock tonight?

      3. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: ah but

        If Britain was serious about HS2, it would be simultaneously starting work from the Scotland and north of England (Newcastle, Carlisle) ends at the same time as the southern segment of the route is underway. It's how the M6 was built, after all, a series of improvements that gradually all linked together, but each of which was of benefit individually.

        The time savings possible for each stage from Scotland and the north of England (gradually increasing as each stand-alone stage is completed) are far greater overall, and would divert more journeys from air travel (greater environmental benefit), than do the time savings merely between London and Birmingham, where the route is as much about capacity as it is time saving (a journey pretty much short enough that the reduced journey time is more of a "handy bonus" than a real actual game-changer).

        And don't start me on the idiocy of most of the stations being terminuses, rather than through stations. The lack of a through connection between HS2 and HS1 is particularly short-sighted.

        All of this makes me somewhat skeptical as to whether they really do intend to extend the route north of Birmingham at all, and certainly beyond Manchester and Leeds.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      3h40m will get you to Carlisle, which is still in England. You will reach the Scottish border about 10 minutes after that. If your train stops at Lockerbie, most don't, then it will take 4 hours. To Glasgow, it takes 4h50m, or a bit longer if it is one of the trains that stops at extra stations such as Lockerbie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a two-hour drive from Glasgow to Cairndow: longer if the A83 is closed because of another landslide.

        And where is Campbell Town?

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Campbeltown - southern end of the Kintyre Peninsula. It is a very long way by road. Boat is quicker to get to places like Glasgow.

          1. lybad

            I think you misunderstood the question. Where is Campbell Town? Not Campbeltown.

          2. Intractable Potsherd

            When I lived in Yorkshire and visiting my aunt lived neae Campbelltown there was always the decision whether to drive around the corner and come down through Inveraray and Tarbert, taking in some wonderful roads, or use CalMac Ardrossan-Brodick, amble round Arran, then Lochranza-Claonaig. The decision was often based on how much I wanted one of the great breakfasts on the first ferry...

    3. lybad

      It would take me about 45-60 mins to get a train to anywhere in Scotland. And I live here, but the nearest train station would be Arbroath or Dundee.

    4. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      The Secret Policeman's Ball

      In the wonderful sketch with Alan Bennett and John Fortune (I think, definitely not Cleese, although other Johns are available), they are discussing, well sex. John says he 'did it' with young lady, and didn't get much change out of two hours. Bennett's reply was:

      "Two Hours! You could be in Leeds by then!"

      Scotland is lot further.

      1. Goldmember

        Re: The Secret Policeman's Ball

        "Scotland is lot further."

        Indeed it is. The article specifies the journey as being by Pendelino, which is considerably faster than a standard train. But even so, 2 hours on said Pendelino service from Euston will only get you as far as Manchester.

        To be fair, the beer is cheaper, the people are nicer and the property is cheaper in Manchester. It would be quite a stretch to describe it as a desolate wonderland, however.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: The Secret Policeman's Ball

          > It would be quite a stretch to describe it as a desolate wonderland, however.

          I think their new tourist slogan is "Manchester: Gateway to Liverpool"

    5. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge

      Not Scotland

      2 hours would be North Yorks & NE England by train.

      Geordies would meet the person specification listed.

      Or Lancashire / Cumbria if using the west coast main line, with similar disinhibition.

      DoI : local to one of these bits and ex resident of Scotland.

  3. John Riddoch

    Road access

    Just as a warning for anyone pondering a cheeky bid - the Rest and Be Thankful road (A83) is notorious for landslides and is often blocked for weeks at a time. Frankly, the main reason I've heard of it is because of the latest news story telling us the road is closed. Again.

    For slightly different reasons, I can tell you the A939 runs from Cockbridge to Tomintoul. Reason being, it was always the first road closed by snow in winter time and if any road was shut, the A939 was too. This was from when breakfast TV was on in the morning when I was getting ready for school and the road closures would flash up at the bottom of the screen.

    1. aje21
      Thumb Up

      Re: Road access

      My parents were in Tomintoul for around a decade at the end of the 20th century, used to visit them in the summer and winter - so I am familiar with the A939 and the Lecht Road was usually the first to close in the winter (and I too remember it featuring on the news).

      I even stopped one August evening on the way back from Aberdeen because it was (just) snowing as you reached the top from the Cockbridge side. Of course, these days the snow isn't as reliable as it used to be...

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Road access

        Ah, I did my driving lessons on the Lech. In the snow. In July.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Road access

      Another cheeky bit warning ... it's in Scotland so if you win the auction you're buying the property - none of the "after a couple of weeks I had second thoughts and decided not to continue with the purchase" which seems to affect 50% of the people who accept offers on Location^3 in the rest of the UK

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Road access

        In England, that applies too if you buy at auction, but not if you buy from an estate agent.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Road access

      "Just as a warning for anyone pondering a cheeky bid - the Rest and Be Thankful road (A83) is notorious for landslides and is often blocked for weeks at a time. Frankly, the main reason I've heard of it is because of the latest news story telling us the road is closed. Again."

      Agreed. On thankfully rare occasions I have to go over there. When those jobs come on, the very first thing I do is check if the A83 is open at the Rest and Be Thankful. So far, I've been lucky. The 60+ mile detour could be a pain. Or the queues for the one-way-at-a-time convoy system on the valley road. I suppose the regulars know which ferries to use and when.

      Having said, it's a lovely drive down to Campbeltown. For southerners, it's very reminiscent of driving along the Cornish coast. Rugged and rocky and the sea has that gorgeous azure blue colour that seems to be relatively rare around the UK coastline.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Road access

      If the A83 doesn't take your fancy then (from the linked site) there are a few of these exchanges up for auction. For example this one is by the A819

  4. lybad

    Campbeltown - it's Campbeltown, not Campbell Town?!?

  5. cantankerous swineherd

    not overburdened with sources of income thereabouts.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      £4.9 billion in whisky exports in 2019 - and that's during Trump's tariffs. What's exported from your locale?

      Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky

  6. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Cairndow is where they keep the Old New Year.

  7. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Maps link

    If anyone else is as curious as I am... it's here:

    1. HorseflySteve

      Re: Maps link

      At least it's got its own parking place. ☺

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Maps link

      That's barely big enough to be a bothy! And I bet it stinks of piss round the back. There's not that many stopping place along that road with both somewhere to park and somewhere to hide behind while pissing.

      Thanks for mapping the location. I'll keep that spot in mind for future trips assuming there's no one in residence :-)

  8. David Neil

    Mind as you step out the door

    Just this week the local police have reported people being caught on that stretch at 120mph+

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Mind as you step out the door

      Let me guess - their brakes failed going downhill at one of the steeper sections?

      1. Andy Non

        Re: Mind as you step out the door

        No it was a Lamborghini and it was going uphill. ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No it was a Lamborghini and it was going uphill. ;-)

          Can anyone suggest a comparable road in Forza 4?:-)

          1. lybad

            Re: No it was a Lamborghini and it was going uphill. ;-)

            I'm sure someone could for Forza Horizon 4 - but not Forza 4.

            Just cos I'm pedantic. :-)

        2. Spacedinvader

          Re: Mind as you step out the door

          2 BMWs and a Mini Cooper;

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mind as you step out the door

            From the above Scotsman link: "Three men have been arrested and charged after travelling at speeds of up to 123mph on a main road in the Scottish Highlands."

            I realise that The Scotsman is a pitiful shadow of an excuse for a national newspaper these days, but that's poor reporting. The Rest and Be Thankful (and the rest of the A83) is in Argyll, not the Highlands. Argyll does also have some wonderful scenery, but the Highlands it isn't (neither geographically, nor in terms of mountainousness). Also, the location snapshot that they have pinched looks as though it's from the section of road alongside Loch Fyne, rather than Glen Kinglass. Pretty poor journalism all round.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. RobThBay

      Re: Mind as you step out the door

      Were their names Clarkson, Hammond and May?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Mind as you step out the door

        Can't be; none of those three would drive a Mini Cooper.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Mind as you step out the door

          A quick glance at DDG suggests you are incorrect. Seems all three of them would. Who knew?

  9. AdendHy

    I wouldn't say sitting a couple of metres away from the A83 is "Getting away from it all". Maybe at 3am, but for most of the daylight hours that is a well used road by HGVs, buses/coaches, tourist and local traffic (in normal circumstances).

    Interesting point, where does "being on the coast" end? Is there an official distance? Bearing in mind that the sea is 2 miles away at the end of Loch Fyne. Or do sea lochs not count? Maybe we should consult a Norwegian...

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Interesting point, where does "being on the coast" end?

      In estate agent speak (realtor for those west of the pond), probably Coton in the Elms...

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        EasyJet locations locations locations

        I suspect that it counts as the 'coast' as much as an EasyJet destination* counts as the one you first thought of (sorry, booked).

        *(I'm sure they mostly do send flights to the actual advertised destination airport, and it is just the very few occasions when they are unable to that get on the news.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: EasyJet locations locations locations

          You're thinking of Ryanair - London Shannon airport.

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: EasyJet locations locations locations

            You're thinking of Ryanair - London Shannon airport.

            You jest, but I had a potential foreign client who asked how far I was from London Oxford Airport. As the place I worked was in Fulham, by the river the answer was "Quite far". I suggested a helicopter to Battersea Heliport, they declined.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: EasyJet locations locations locations

              To be fair, large parts of London are a shorter drive from 'London' Oxford than Gatwick or Stansted.

    2. Pedigree-Pete
      Thumb Up

      "Consult a Norwegian"?

      Just ask Slartybartfast!

  10. Bogbody

    Planning ?

    How far above zero is your chance of getting planning permission to do anything like "extend".

    "Extend" as knock it down and build something more useful along with buy enough land to gaurentee acces and have some sort of garden.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Planning ?

      I don't know, if you put in a wind farm or some sort of deer shit digester to make gas/electricity I am sure there are all sorts of grants to be had.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Planning ?

        You'd have to find somewhere to put them. I'd assume if it was going to be easy to acquire any additional land it would have been mentioned.

        Water may be a more serious problem - it's possible there's a main in the road, but not especially likely given the topography. Don't fancy crossing someone else's land to the river with a bucket under the cover of darkness. There was a a former Waverley Route signal box for sale some time back - at least it had a bit of land and a well.

        1. KBeee Silver badge

          Re: Planning ?

          Some years ago there was an ex public toilet for sale in Southwark for about 10 grand. At least it would have had running water.

  11. agurney

    Broadband isn't that far away .. I recently had FTTP installed at a property 6 miles from there (as the crow files).

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      SIX MILES!!! That'll take YEARS to sort out with wayleaves and $deity knows what. How do you feel about putting up an aerial encased in a Pringles can to help out your new neighbour?

      1. agurney

        That's not the end of the fibre, it runs far closer and there are Openreach crews rolling more out in the area. Wayleave shouldn't be a problem as there are few landowners, and there may even be an existing route to the exchange (though doubtless in pretty poor shape if it's underground).

        It's certainly not a Des-Res, with fully loaded timber lorries belting past just all day just a few feet away (when the R&BT isn't shut).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A necessary geography lesson

    The only way to get to Cairndow from London in just under two hours will be in a jet. Though it'll take considerably longer than that for Cairndow airport to be built. Unless the navy parks one of its white elephants^W^Waircraft carriers at the top end of Loch Fyne.

  13. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    "...surrounded by nothing but rolling forest."

    Maybe a roadside whisky shop? Looks like a good option - it would be easy to put a still up in the trees back off the road and downwind of the revenue officers. When I was a kid many rural areas in Scotland had excellent whisky available if you knew the guy making it.

  14. frankyunderwood123

    So, have a look at this 'shack' on the link

    ... you would have to be completely out of your mind to buy this.

    The patch of land that comes with it, is possibly big enough to build a very small house, slap bang on the edge of an A road.

    Sure, it's unlikely to be that busy, but the speed limit will be 60mph - and I doubt many people abide by it.

    Then there's planning regulations - probably along the lines of having to leave X metre boundary around anything you would want to build there.

    To all intents and purposes, it is a totally useless patch of land.

    1. rcw88

      Re: So, have a look at this 'shack' on the link

      You obviously don't drive in Scotland very often, the speedy cams are out and about every day, [and night] *somewhere*, so you exceed the speed limit at your peril. Yes there are a few who think an empty road is a good excuse for putting your foot down, but if you hit a red deer at 120MPH, hello paradise. If you hit a smaller deer you might get away with writing off your vehicle. Practically everyone I know in my locality has hit one. Best served up on a plate, zero food miles and very tasty. The A83 is not a pleasant drive except out of season when the camper vans are tucked up. If you do Glasgow to Campbeltown in under four hours you have been speeding, because you will barely average 40mph.

    2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: So, have a look at this 'shack' on the link

      Looks like a good location for a roadside shop/burger van though.

  15. John Arthur
    Thumb Up

    Curious Place!

    It looks a bit small for a telephone exchange building and I see no poles or houses in the vicinity so I suspect it is/was a transmission repeater station for amplifying analogue on buried co-ax trunk lines between distant exchanges. Nice bit of road though! I must have ridden that on my bike a few years ago.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Burger van

    That's all you could do with it. It would make a profit in the summer months (both of them), but every time there's a landslide, you'd be stuck there for a week.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Burger van

      There are two months of summer!

      On the few occasions I visited my brother up there (albeit in Mull) it has been cold or wet or both. I can think of about 3 days one June when it was warm.......

  17. jake Silver badge

    If that place is too exposed for you ...

    Here is another, similar abode, just down the road from the first ... but this one is tucked delightfully into the trees.

    A snip at a mere £6,000.

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