Not only are the owners of one superb B-listed Highland home preparing to say farewell to their much-loved house, they’re saying a reluctant goodbye to the fantastic residents of Plockton, writes Susan Welsh.
Although Fife has a beautiful coastline and can lay claim to being home to award-winning beaches, it doesn’t hold the same appeal as Plockton for one couple.
Until recently, Dr John Cummings and his wife Geraldine, also a doctor, spent every other weekend driving the 180 miles from their main home in Fife to their holiday home in Plockton – Number 26 Harbour Street.
“My wife used to work in St Andrews and I worked at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and we bought the house as an escape from work,” said John.
“It was a distance of 180 miles, but didn’t seem much as driving through the Highlands is a real treat on its own. Fife and the east coast is nice, but Plockton, well, that’s a different place altogether.
“It’s so beautiful and less densely populated. We had a boat, used to go fishing and generally had a great time here.
“But the best bit about living here, without a doubt, is the community. It’s amazing as lots of very talented people live here, such as former businessmen, oil magnates, scientists and so on.
“There’s a huge mixture of people and a very level society that is hugely supportive. People really look after each other. If your curtains aren’t drawn by the normal time in the morning, they will want to know why!”
To escape busy lives, they bought the distinctive B-listed home on Harbour Street 14 years ago.
“We think the house was built some time between 1810 and 1830. It’s had some interesting owners including Medwyn Ormerod, who was a director of Unilever, who bought the house in about 1967. He built an extension and did a good job, with a view to retiring here. He retired in 1979 from Unilever but died in 1984 so didn’t get to enjoy it for too long.”
The house stayed in the family for 25 years, largely untouched, before the Cummings bought it and sympathetically modernised it from top to toe, re-wiring, re-plumbing and adding a new bathroom and kitchen.
“At that time the back garden was a field with cattle in it. We put up a fence and had the garden landscaped – Geraldine is the one with green fingers, but it took about eight years to fully establish it, and it now looks really lovely.”
The sloping back garden has been transformed into a colourful array of plants, trees and shrubs and a pathway leads to the top of the garden to a magnificent summer house with idyllic, far-reaching views of the ever-changing landscape.
“It’s the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine in your hand and watch the sunset lighting up the boats in the harbour – it’s just stunning,” said John.
Inside, there’s also much to be admired about this traditional home on Harbour Street, a postcard-pretty quiet cul-de-sac with painted cottages, and several of Plockton’s famous palm trees.
The house has accommodation spread across three floors, with each of the front-facing rooms enjoying stunning views over the harbour, Loch Carron and the crags beyond.
The full accommodation comprises, on the ground floor, a reception hall, dining room, dining kitchen, utility/boot room and a bathroom. The sitting room is on the first floor, where there’s also two bedrooms, a shower room and a bathroom.
The second floor has two double attic bedrooms.
The kitchen comes with a range of Miele fitted wall and base storage units and includes an Aga, American style fridge freezer, electric hob, dish washer and washing machine. There is ample space for a table and chairs for informal dining.
The dining room is ideal for formal occasions and entertaining. Nice touches here include exposed roof beams, raised skirtings, a fireplace and loch views. A staircase leads to the half landing and the utility/boot room and modern bathroom which comes with bath, wash hand basin, WC, wall and floor tiles and a heated towel rail.
On the first floor there is a beautifully appointed sitting room which has elevated views over the bay to Duncraig Castle and beyond; two large double bedrooms, contemporary shower room, WC and family bathroom.
On the second floor the landing leads to a further two bedrooms with coombed ceilings and delightful views.
Unusually for a property on Harbour Street, this house has a front garden across the road with a beautifully landscaped Ying and Yang styled garden area with a sun terrace and a single garage.
It’s a stunning home which enjoys an equally stunning location, so it’s with a little reluctance the Cummings have decided to sell. The house is on the market at offers over £495,000.
The couple retired recently, sold their house in Fife and moved down south which means they now face a 500 mile trip to get to their beloved Plockton, which is why they are selling.
“We aren’t here as often as we’d like now but when we are away our neighbours look after the house. It’s wonderful to be part of such a very caring community.”
Contact: Strutt and Parker on 01463 719171.