Susan Welsh visits a substantial family home ideally placed to take advantage of Portsoy’s many amenities and events.
Sitting on the Moray coast between Cullen and Banff, you might be forgiven for thinking Portsoy is a charming but relatively quiet wee town.
It’s certainly picturesque and home to a beautiful harbour, but it’s far from quiet with little to do.
For the past 10 years, Veronica and Gerry McLaren have stayed at Number 15 Durn Road and called the town home.
Not that they appear to spend much time there, as there’s far too many things happening to keep them indoors.
Originally from Dundee, the couple lived in Ipswich for many years before work took Gerry, a maths teacher, north to Scotland once more.
“You wouldn’t think such a small place had so many things happening,” said Veronica, 69.
“There’s the annual Portsoy Boat Festival, the Salmon Bothy which stages various events and the superb HAAL folk music weekend that everyone knows about, but there’s also lots of regular events taking place. These include Coffee and Company, a weekly coffee morning that’s very well attended, walking groups, table tennis, bingo, a folk music club, choirs, keep fit and a gym, Scouts and a badminton club that Gerry and I started and meets twice a week.
“Portsoy Pipe Band started up a few years ago, while I play the fiddle and Gerry has taken up piano lessons,” Veronica added.
“There’s also a medical centre, a good range of local shops including a chemist, two nice bakeries and a good hotel, which also holds regular events.
“And there’s lots of lovely places to walk.
“Yesterday we spent time just watching the waves coming in before climbing the hill and taking in the views across the Moray Coast.”
The couple’s spacious home is just a few minutes away from all the local shops, cafes, public transport and primary school yet enjoys a peaceful setting. It is surrounded by a large garden and enjoys nice views towards picturesque Loch Soy.
It’s a Victorian property that retains many traditional features such as deep skirtings and window sills, coving, picture rails, beautiful wooden doors and original wooden floorboards.
Over the years, different owners have put their own stamp on it, says Veronica: “It’s quite a large house and was originally two single-storey cottages. In Victorian times they added a second storey and, at some point, an annexe. We added a shower room and, upstairs, changed what we think was once a maid’s room to an en suite
The full accommodation includes a lounge, dining kitchen, dining room/sitting room, utility room, bedroom/study and the annexe bedroom/family room with en suite. Upstairs, there’s a master suite with dressing room and bathroom, three further double bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Features of note include a porch/reception area with wood panelling and a striking mosaic tiled floor. A stained glass door leads to a large hallway that is a grand open space which flows through the house.
The lounge is a lovely, bright room with a large picture window overlooking the garden, while a lovely wooden fireplace makes a nice focal point. The dining/family room has dual aspect views and houses a Victorian traditional fireplace and multi-fuel stove which the couple installed.
The kitchen is very well appointed with a good range of units and integrated appliances including a Bosch fan oven, gas hob and extractor hood which were all installed in 2016.
Between the dining kitchen and utility room is a rear porch that leads to the garden. From the utility room there’s access to the large annexe room, which could be used for a variety of purposes, such as a home office or separate granny flat.
A beautiful wooden staircase leads to the first-floor accommodation, which has tastefully-decorated large bedrooms, some of which benefit from built-in storage.
The family bathroom has a white three-piece suite with corner bath.
“I’m not a great fan of carpets so we lifted them and found lovely traditional flooring underneath,” said Veronica.
The house has gas central heating and double glazing and considering it’s an older property, is a really warm house.
“There’s nothing to beat Portsoy, it’s just a lovely place to stay with plenty going on, but our three girls and two grandchildren, aged two and four, live in England, so we are moving to Norwich to be closer to them.”
Number 15 Durn Road, on the market at offers over £260,000, is now looking for new owners who, I’m sure, will be just as happy living here as the McLarens have been.
The house is accessed by a shared drive but has its own parking area.
Laid mostly to lawn, the garden is filled with an abundance of shrubs and plants. A patio area, which runs the length of the property, is ideal for alfresco dining, while a second seating area offers a different view of the garden.
The house also comes with a garden shed and greenhouse.
Contact Antons on 01542 834835.