Situated a mile and a half off the coast of Scotland, Tanera Mor is the main island of the Summer Isles achipelago – and it just might be your ultimate escape fantasy.
The island stretches 1.6 miles in one direction and 1.2 miles in the other, wrapped around by seven miles of cliffs, coves and coveted private beaches. Within those picturesque borders sits the ideal remedy for the wider world and its problems: a blank slate that you can do what you want with.
In the middle sits a schoolhouse, alongside nine cottages – just the thing for anyone who’s ever wanted to found their own mini-society away from civilisation, or kick-start their own secluded cult. More than 164,000 trees have been planted on the island in the last 15 years, which makes it the tree-climbing paradise of your inner 10-year-old, or an ideal stand-in for that feature-length re-enactment of The Lord of the Rings you’ve been meaning to get around to.
There is even a private postal service, which was inaugurated in 1970 and is authorised to issue its own Summer Isles postage stamps – perfect for those wanting to pretend they’re in charge of their own country, or for die-hard pen-pal enthusiasts hoping to invest some quality time in building up their contacts list.
The entire place could be transformed into an idyllic luxury resort, or the globe’s biggest tailor-made crazy golf course. With a lot of technology and some elbow grease, you could even build your own real life version of Thunderbirds’ Tracy Island. The possibilities are endless.
For those who would rather spend their time binge-watching TV on Netflix without getting interrupted, the rare feature that makes the island worth noting is that it is entirely self-sustaining, boasting wind turbines and generators for 24-hour electricity, as well as a freshwater treatment works. There is even a telephone exchange and broadband available, so you can keep up to date with all newspaper column inches your bold mini-civilisation (or record-breaking time spent logged in to Netflix) is generating, as the rest of the planet descends into chaos. Even a pandemic would struggle to spread to your 760-acre paradise, which means that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, you could charge top dollar for guest houses and rental accommodations; the very definition of a long-term investment. Brexit and the US elections? Who cares, when you have your own postage stamp?
The only catch? Tanera Mor costs $2.3 million. Don’t have that money? You can also divide the island in three, King Lear-style, and buy one-third by yourself, with the whole island split into the north ($850,000 = three houses and post office), middle ($532,000 two houses and the largest beach) and south ($937,000 – four houses and three smaller islands). Be honest: what’s your excuse for not buying it?