Just as James Bond's choice of suit or watch or car seems to drive sales, so too should the latest Bond film's use of the stunning Scottish Highlands as the setting for Bond's ancestral home and the film's namesake, Skyfall. Or at least that's what some desperate Scottish property sellers might be hoping. The blockbuster exposure should help Lady Christine de la Rue, who has gone so far as to apply for a permit to move the remains of her husband and two sons from the family mausoleum at Ayton Castle, in the hopes of an uncomplicated sale. The castle, along with its 159-acre grounds, is listed for "offers over" $3.22M. The listed main house has seven reception rooms, 17 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, "extensive domestic offices," and a billiards room. It is joined on the bucolic property by two lodges, four staff houses, a traditional stone stable, and a gatehouse.
? For the dramatic landscapes from Skyfall, head to the Highlands, where this enormous 28,300-acre estate is listed for $12.52M. Known as Auch and Invermearan, the property surrounds a breathtaking alpine lake and is equipped for agricultural, fishing, and shooting uses. The six-bedroom Auch Lodge, nestled at the base of the estate's valley, is one of eight houses on the sprawling acreage, which lies a little over one hour from the airport at Glasgow. A hydroelectric generator adds a modern touch to this otherwise highly traditional country estate.
? A gloriously wild island on the coast of Argyll, Eilean Righ is referred to in the brokerbabble as "a king's island," but the architecture is refreshingly simple, with low stone buildings taking the place of any royal residence. The 260-acre island is not without its luxuries, however, as one of those stone structures has been refitted as a modern four-bedroom home and a 5,400-square-foot hanger built to accomodate the owner's helicopter. Listed for "offers in excess of" $4.47M, the island boasts "observatory, boat house, two slipways [...] a jetty, moorings, [and] private beaches." Shore power and high-speed internet access ease the transition to island living for any landlubber buyer.
? Set in an enviable location, on a private river island, this recently built stone estate stacks up well against its older competition. A pair of lodges and a farmhouse complement the nine-bedroom main house—completed in 2007 after six years of construction—which boasts seven reception rooms and elevated views of the surrounding woodlands. The city of Inverness lies just 15 miles away, but the Eilean Aigas estate could hardly feel more remote. It may be lacking in patina, but there are very few old Scottish houses that come equipped with a media room and gym. The property is listed for a whopping $22.36M, but at least the modern construction will probably mean lighter maintenance bills.
? Ninety miles from Glasgow on Scotland's west coast, this peninsular property is like a Victorian version of the previous property, with water views on three sides. The grounds are much smaller, at just 1.4 acres, but a newer cottage on the waterfront adds usable space to the offering. The main house dates to 1889, and was expanded in 1908 to achieve its current six-bedroom size. The only negative might be the proximity of the roadway, which lines the rear of the property, but at $2.02M, this is also the cheapest of the five.
· Aristocrat to empty her family mausoleum in order to sell her home [The Telegraph]
· Ayton Castle [Knight Frank]
· Auch and Invermearan [Knight Frank]
· A King's Island [Knight Frank]
· Kiltarlity [Knight Frank]
· Dunfuinary [Knight Frank]