Bumping down the farm track to Hilton Farm Cottage feels a little bit like disappearing from the world, despite the fact Aberdeen is only seven miles away,
It’s hard to know where to look, for this traditional family house at Coalford, near Peterculter, offers panoramic views. From the winding snake of the River Dee to the patchwork hillside, it was the idyllic spot which owners Calum and Dawn MacKinnon fell in love with 27 years ago.
It is rare to find a family home that is not overlooked and this detached cottage has been built with uninterrupted views in mind.
With the four children having now flown the nest, the MacKinnons are looking to downsize.
They are proud to hand over a project which is finally complete, after they started from scratch with a ruin.
“We had already done a steading conversion in Maryculter, so doing a self-build wasn’t an alien concept to us,” said Calum, who is a subsea engineer.
“We were doing self-builds long before Grand Designs became popular.
“I grew up on the island of Eriskay where building your own house is the norm because there aren’t many houses to buy.
“We hunted around for the right spot and then we found this. We fell in love with the stunning view.
“It was a ruined cottage which previously belonged to the farmhand, but it had sat derelict for 30 years.”
After wrangling over planning permission, Calum was finally able to get to work with a pickaxe, and what remained of the cottage was knocked down in just a single day.
A three-bedroom cottage was built within a year, before the arrival of more children meant three further bedrooms were added to the house.
“We wanted all four children to have their own room – big bedrooms as they became teenagers,” said Calum.
“We’ve built on over the years and now we’re ready to hand over our finished project.”
The MacKinnons have every right to be proud of their achievement, as the wow factor is delivered as soon as you walk through the door.
An entrance vestibule leads to the stunning sun lounge, where the view speaks for itself.
A picture window allows you to drink in the landscape and has led to what Calum affectionately calls “sheep watch”.
“There’s no need to put the TV on – all you have to do is look out the window,” said Calum. “It’s incredibly calm and you can watch the deer or the sheep.
“I don’t think many people can have their cornflakes with this view to greet them every morning.”
The sun lounge has natural stone flooring and a feature granite wall. It is set on an open plan level with the dining kitchen which makes it perfect for entertaining.
There is an informal breakfast bar in the kitchen and a further dining room where there is ample space for a large table and chairs.
“We always had Christmas in the sun lounge, but we liked having options for entertaining,” said Calum.
“The kids have had some parties here over the years. The size and the layout of the house meant they could have fun with their friends and we always knew they were safe.”
There are three double bedrooms, two of which have built-in wardrobes and one room offers an en-suite. The family bathroom with four-piece suite completes the accommodation in this part of the house.
The lower landing leads to an elegant lounge complete with wooden flooring and open fireplace.
There is also a further double bedroom. The top landing leads to the en-suite master bedroom.
“It’s definitely time to downsize, as this was always built to be a family home,” said Calum.
The gardens are equally impressive and the space on offer has lent itself to accommodating a marquee in the summer months.
“It’s an enormous space and we designed the wraparound balcony with patio so we could make the very most of the outside,” said Calum.
“We wanted the children to enjoy the countryside. We’d go for walks along the river which freezes in the winter. We are too high up for flooding, but the fields below flood, so it’s like having our very own loch.
“We’ve loved it here and it’s time to let another family enjoy it just as much as we have.”
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Offers should be made of around £645,000.
Contact James and George Collie on 01224 572777.