William and Margaret Ashcroft dreamed of moving out to the countryside and making the most of the great outdoors when they decided to retire.
But a two-year search proved fruitless for the couple, until they set eyes on Ard Alinn in Kincardine O’Neil near Aboyne.
The five-bedroom property is set within 1.25 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and Margaret has lavished 21 years of love and attention on the garden.
The couple have also done extensive renovation work, from creating a guest room above the garage to smartening up the conservatory.
Now in their eighties, Margaret and Alan want to move closer to family in Aberdeen, but have been incredibly happy with their slice of rural paradise.
“We made the decision that when we retired, we would move out to the countryside,” said Margaret, who used to be head of business studies at Aberdeen College.
“But retirement was creeping ever closer and we still hadn’t found anything – we were searching within a 25 mile circumference. In those days, all you had was the schedule with a tiny picture on it.
“You were better off going for a look and that’s when we found Ard Alinn.
“It was a three-bedroom bungalow but there was just something about it.
“Some people think the layout means it is back to front, but it has always worked really well for us.”
Ard Alinn offers extensive accommodation and panoramic country views, not to mention the fact that it is also south facing.
There is a good-sized lounge with wood-burning stove, and this room offers plenty of versatility for entertaining.
The dining room provides further options for entertaining, but could be turned into a playroom or home office.
The couple spend most of their time in the conservatory, which they jokingly refer to as “the day room”.
“It looks on to the garden where there is an abundance of wildlife, including red squirrels,” said Margaret.
“It comes in very handy in the winter when we can’t get outside so much, although we do tend to spend most of our time in the garden.”
The kitchen can be found to the rear of the property and is fitted with a range of units, as well as a deep larder cupboard.
A utility room houses white goods, and an inner hall leads to the rest of the accommodation.
Three bedrooms can be found in this part of the property, although one bedroom is currently in use as a study.
The family bathroom has been fitted with a three-piece suite.
The master bedroom offers Velux windows, meaning this room is filled with light, and it also offers an en suite.
“The master bedroom was originally just workshop space above the garage, but I remember first looking at it and thinking it had potential,” said Margaret.
“We actually use it as a guest suite for visitors, but we are really pleased with the transformation.
“It was the garden that was a labour of love for me, the bare bones were there and I have built it up over the years.
“I’ve tinkered about with the design and I set up a gardening club in Aboyne, so we have been very involved with the community.
“Our grandchildren have always loved visiting because of the space on offer.”
The gardens are certainly well established and would be ideal for those who are green fingered.
There is a wide variety of mature shrubs and seasonal plants, and Margaret has created beautiful seating areas for alfresco dining.
The orchard offers several fruits trees and a south-facing terrace will be ideal for summer garden parties.
“We’ve been very happy here, and Aboyne has offered us a wonderful community,” said Margaret. “It is only since growing older that we have decided it would be sensible to leave Ard Alinn behind.
“It has given us a simple lifestyle and that’s all we ever wanted.
“Our two-year search was worth it.”
Offers should be made of more than £435,000.
Contact Raeburn Christie Clark and Wallace on 01330 822931.