Often referred to as Britain’s most remote bookshop Achins is located in the parish of Assynt at Inverkirkaig sandwiched between Suilven and the sea. There has been a shop here for over 50 years, currently the shop enjoys an excellent reputation as a bookshop and gift shop with a particular interest and love of Scottish Books. For over 30 years Achins has been a supplier to the Highland Libraries, a contract which is tendered for every three years. The Gift Shop is an Aladdin’s cave of gifts, jewellery, bags, scarves, and pottery etc . There is also an art gallery around the walls in the café with a nice selection of artists, some local.
The coffee shop itself is airy and spacious comfortably seating 28, configured as seven tables of four. Visitors to the coffee shop can enter through the book shop or through the cafes own external door. On offer are homemade soup, light lunches, home bakes and a fine selection of teas and coffees. This is an area which although trading profitably now and enjoying a healthy clientele could most certainly be developed further. There is a servery to the front of the café with a chill unit, and an open plan kitchen supported by all the usual appliances and continuing into the rear via a door from the kitchen area is a store and freezer room. There are both male and female toilets as well as an office linking the café and gift shop. There is broadband in the office but no public wifi capability at present. The peak trading months are from March to October, the café currently closes over the winter season but the gift/book shop remains open all year round. The Highland libraries contract provides for some winter activity.
The highly attractive retail unit was purpose built 50 years ago and was reroofed two years ago with an insulated profile sheet roofing.
The unit is of timber construction. The unit sits at the right hand side of the driveway, on approach, which opens out to allow parking comfortably for 7/8 cars. There are some tables and benches for sitting outside. At the bottom of the drive there is a car park next to the bridge which crosses over the river. This car park provides access to a footpath which leads to Kirkaig Falls and Suilven. It follows the north bank of the river inland, and after approximately two miles come to the Falls of Kirkaig, a spectacular 60 foot torrent dropping into a pool. The car park is often utilized by patrons to the café before or after the walk or just as a car park.
To the left of the drive sits the owner’s accommodation, a spacious five bedroom house. Originally a stone built cottage, it was extended upwards and to the rear some 50 years ago, the structure of the house is sound and benefits from double glazing . The conservatory which has a stone foundation and plinth is an attractive feature, split in two halves offering a greenhouse work area to one side and a pleasant sitting area to the other. The wood and single glazing in this area are showing some signs of wear and new owners may consider renewing this through time.
The house enjoys stunning views from every window, and is set at the top of the drive. The entrance to the house is via the conservatory or a side door which leads in to the kitchen. There is a generously sized dining room, lounge, office cum library, kitchen and downstairs shower room.
At the top of the stairs opening up from a spacious hall are five good sized bedrooms, each with wash hand basins as well as a family bathroom. This has been a very happy family home with the children of the house growing up here and attending the local schools. The current owners have reluctantly decided that it is time to retire and move closer to family, and it is this decision which places this attractive business on the market.
Achins book shop and coffee shop is of timber construction, single glazed and reroofed recently with insulated sheet roofing. The house, originally a stone built cottage, was extended upwards and to the rear some 50 years ago. The drive is tarmacked and in excellent condition extending up to the house and providing private turning and parking area.
The prominent signage as well as excellent reviews on various web sites, ensure a steady stream of visitors to this business, which also benefits from loyal local trade. The gift shop has its own entrance and visitors step into an Aladdin’s cave spoiled for choice by the large selection of gifts and books on offer. The till is located on the left hand side, where there is a small worktop and serving counter, backing into an office. The Café is located on the left hand side of the building accessed via the shop or through its own external door. There is a large servery with a chill unit and soup kettle as well as a cooker, microwave, dishwasher coffee machine two fridges and a freezer.
There is a good sized office with all the usual office items. Broadband is available but no public wifi is enabled. There is also a storage room behind the kitchen with two chest freezers as well as a sink area and storage. There are ladies and gents wc.
The premises are well laid out to support the trading aspects of the business.
The property sits on two acres of ground, with car parking for 7/8 Cars. Views are to the open countryside, and the mountainous regions beyond.
The House and Shop/Café are heated by electricity. Drainage is by means of a septic tank which is registered with SEPA. The water supply is private, and the extra uvf filter in place for the café conforms to Environmental Health requirements
The Energy Rating of the retail unit, café is 'G'.
The energy rating for the domestic property is 'E'.
The Bookshop/Gift shop is open from 10am until 6pm. The Café is open from 10am until 5 pm. The Café closes in the winter months. The Shop is open all year round.
Offers over £325,000 are invited for the freehold interest complete with fixtures and fittings and goodwill. Stock to be purchased by independent valuation.
Number of bedrooms: 5
This self-employment business opportunity also provides private accommodation for owners use comprising of a substantial five bedroom detached house. The house is well set up at the top of the drive to enjoy the surrounding countryside. Comprising lounge, kitchen, dining room and office as well as two bathrooms this is an ideal family home. The garden and grounds extend to two acres.
The Parish of Assynt has been described in many ways, scenic, beautiful, spectacular and dramatic are just some of the terms used. Set amongst the wildest and most remote mountain and coastal scenery, are many scenic drives hugging the coastline from Lochinver and Drumbeg to the North through Inverkirkaig to Achiltubuie.
The fishing Village of Lochinver, some 4 miles from Achins is now the largest settlement on the West Coast of Scotland North of Ullapool. At the southern end of Lochinver is its harbour, the busiest of the 102 harbours and jetties in the Highland Council area. Here you are likely to see vessels from many parts of the world. Most are involved in some aspect of fishing, many landing catches at the large fish market. It is best known, however, as the start of the most popular - if still very long - route to Lochinver’s most outstanding feature, Suilven. Which is one of the distinctive mountains in Scotland described often as the “sugar loaf”mountain of sheer sided rock. In reality its highest point is a “mere” 2389ft in and though a long walk, Suilven is not a difficult climb.
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