For sale: ex-hippy island at pounds 40,000

A REMOTE island that was once home to a hippy commune founded by the Sixties singer Donovan has been put up for sale for a mere pounds 40,000.

Mingay, which has no buildings, is a 25-acre island three miles off the north-west coast of Skye. It is known locally as the Blue Isle because in early summer it is covered in bluebells. The surrounding waters are a favourite haunt for seals and dolphins.

Donovan bought Mingay and two neighbouring isles in the Sixties and formed the commune, but none of the islands has ever been permanently inhabited.

Mingay is cheaper than a one-bedroom flat in many cities and estate agents believe it is a bargain, despite the absence of accommodation.

James Carnegy, of Brodies, the agents handling the sale, said there had already been a lot of interest from prospective buyers. "It's a romantic island in a wonderful position with lovely scenery and lots of wildlife - it's a fantastic place," he said.

"As the island is uninhabited, we are not selling it with a view to someone building a home on Mingay. If someone wanted to set up house there, they would have to go through official channels.

"There isn't a great deal you can do with it, and I don't anticipate that anyone would build on it, but it is a wonderful place to base yourself for a holiday. I think it would appeal to someone with a boat which they could moor off the island and go ashore whenever they wanted."

He said the marine wildlife included schools of porpoises and the fishing was excellent.

Alan Beaton, of Highland Council, said: "The islands used to belong to the Vaternish Estate, which sold them to Donovan in the 1960s. Since then, they have changed hands a number of times. I have never met Mingay's owners, as they have not made their presence felt."