Who does not take a change in lifestyle in the new year? In the field of real estate, this often means that you have to exchange the neat house in a suburb for something personal. And one of the great eye-catching purchases is a lighthouse.
Standing like sentries guarding our coast, there is a sense of nobility for lighthouses, although many are closed.
At present there are several on sale including one of the nation's most famous – East Bank, Sutton Bridge – located where the Nene River meets the Wash in East Anglia.
Shines: Rua Reidh Lighthouse in Ross-shire is for sale for £ 450,000
This is the former home of Sir Peter Scott, the naturalistic son of the Antarctic explorer, who lived there between 1933 and 1939 and painted geese and other wild birds.
His story is not entirely happy. Scott left East Bank during the war to serve as a commander on gunboats and when he returned the lighthouse was abandoned. Worse still, the seawall was pushed half a mile seaward to create more agricultural land.
Without the tide pools he needed for his wild birds, he did not use the place. Scott went on and the lighthouse went into a spiral of decay.
Current owners Doug and Sue Hilton were the lifeguards in 2010. We have re-created the tower, placed new hardwood frames and decorated & # 39 ;, says Doug, 66, who moves to care for elderly relatives in Wales and lighthouse. on the market for £ 600,000 (fineandcountry.com, 01553 769100).
& # 39; It is a lovely, warm home that wraps around you. It is fantastic for bird watching and I hope that the person who buys it will open it to the public. & # 39;
Like most things with niche activity, lighthouses attract fanatical followers. They even have an appreciation society under the leadership of the retired police officer, Russ McLean in Wick, Scotland. Russ first became addicted to lighthouses when he rented Davaar Lighthouse in Argyll for six years at the end of the eighties.
Later he formed a club of 20 like-minded enthusiasts, who all put between £ 10,000 and £ 20,000 in the pot and who have renovated them in the last 20 years and have lived in eight lighthouses.
At the same time, he runs lighthousesforsale.co.uk – his non-profit & # 39; research facility & # 39; who gets about 24,000 visits per month from fellow enthusiasts.
& # 39; There is something completely tempting about lighthouses, & # 39; says Russ. I can not resist buying things. & # 39;
Owning the Leading Light Lighthouse at Great Castle Head, St Ishmaels, Pembrokeshire, symbolized the beginning of a new life for the late Ron and Mary Udall in the 1980s.
Be proud: Standing like sentries guarding our coast, there is a sense of nobility for lighthouses
"There is something utterly tempting about lighthouses & # 39 ;," says Russ McLean. I can not resist buying things & # 39;
They visited the lighthouse for annual holidays since the sixties, when it was owned by Norman Crabtree, chairman of the pen company Sheaffer.
Now they could afford to withdraw from their craft in Nottingham and lead the good life.
"I am convinced that living there enabled them to live longer and healthier", says Richard Udall, who oversees the sale now that both his parents have died.
The house has a spectacular location overlooking the mouth of the Milford Haven and they loved watching the seals from the kitchen windows. & # 39;
The Udall family has no responsibility for the lighthouse beacon, which is owned by the Port of Milford Haven.
The house itself is square in shape and consists of two lighthouse owners with three bedrooms, connected by an indoor hall. The Udalls have added double glazing and central heating, but have retained the original tiled floors, fireplaces and dressers.
The coastal path runs along the nine hectares of land, while on the northeast side there is a jetty where, according to reports, Prince Charles landed on one of his first visits to the Principality.
It is on sale at tcc estates.co.uk, 01437 765522. Price on request.
And in Ross-shire there is a rare opportunity to buy Rua Reidh Lighthouse for sale for £ 450,000, struttand parker.com (see On The Market below).
Lighthouses are often associated with tragedies. On 18 August 1960, David Collins, at the age of 15 and his father, sailed a dinghy to the island of Little Ross near Kirkcudbright, Scotland.
They called into the lighthouse, but there was no sign of life; only a telephone rings, unanswered. The couple skillfully explored the nearby houses and there they saw a gruesome sight.
The guardian, Hugh Clark, was shot dead. They called the police and it was not long before they found out that the murderer was Robert Dickson, the assistant keeper – the only other person on the island.
Dickson was saved the death penalty and sentenced to life imprisonment because he was considered mentally ill. How much the lonely life on the lighthouse has contributed to his mental state will never be known.
"The most important advice I give to anyone considering buying a lighthouse is to rent one for a few weeks first," says Russ McLean. & # 39; Be there in both winter and summer. It is a fantastic, dramatic way of life, but it is not for everyone. & # 39;
"The most important advice I give to anyone considering buying a lighthouse is to rent one for a few weeks first," says Russ McLean.