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In a class of their own Home front Designs on a dream retreat? Here are four that were built as one-offs and guarantee exclusivity, says Sue Tranter

Strachur offers over £ 175,000 What: Sadly a romantic ruin, Dunans Castle was developed by the Clan Fletcher from around 1590. They spared no expense on the fittings and fixtures.

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It was reconstructed in baronial style and given castle status in the early nineteenth century, but it was extensively fire damaged and now needs a saviour with plenty of ambitious dreams. Where: At the head of Glendaruel, 23 miles north of Dunoon and nine miles from Strachur on the Cowal peninsula. Why: To restore a historic building to its former grandeur as a labour of love while enjoying the extensive private grounds. Wow: The original accommodation over three floors includes a private chapel as well as eight principal bedrooms, all en suite. It is the only significant example of Franco-Scots baronial architecture in the west and the approach via a listed arched bridge across the River Ruel ravine is magnificent. Contact: DMH Baird Lumsden on 0131 477 6001. kilmacolm offers over £ 550,000 What: Heatheryknowe is a late Victorian villa which was built for the prosperous Glasgow merchant, AC Wallace, grandfather of the singer and broadcaster Ian Wallace. It has a drawing room, dining room, kitchen, two butler's pantries, study, laundry, six bedrooms, dressing room, bathroom and billiard room. The house is set in three-quarters of an acre of garden, and also boasts a double garage and summerhouse. Where: Near the golf course in Rowantreehill Road, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. Why: This is a handsome stone house with plenty of period detail - including fine timber panelling and impressive fireplaces - all set in a prime location. Wow: When this home was dreamed up, the potential owner thought of everything, even a loo built especially for the gardener. The house also has a wine cellar. Contact: FPD Savills on 0141 222 575. inverness offers over £ 1.2m What: Built by the Fraser family in the seventeenth century as a modest home for a laird, Aldourie Castle was later extended in 1839 to full Scots baronial splendour. In 1902, the leading Edwardian architect, Sir Robert Lorimer, was employed to build the east wing. Principal rooms include a great hall, library, drawing room, sitting room, dining room and kitchen. There are also eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, a shower room, more bedrooms in the attic and staff quarters. Where: On the banks of Loch Ness at Dores, six miles from Inverness. Why: Spacious Highland living with two cottages, a charming two-bedroom garden cottage and a three-bedroom gate lodge included in 93 acres of grounds. Wow: This would make a fantasy purchase as it's the first time the castle has been offered for sale outside the family in almost 300 years. Contact: CKD Finlayson Hughes on 01463 224 343. fort william offers over £ 325,000 What: Dunbeg House was built by Bishop Chinnery-Haldane, Episcopal Bishop of Argyll and the Isles in 1902. He died just four years later, but the water to the front of the house is still known as Bishop's Bay. The accommodation includes a balconied drawing room, formal dining room, kitchen, morning room, billiard room, office, en suite main bedroom with dressing room, three further bedrooms, store rooms, family bathroom and shower room. There are also outbuildings and a garage. Where: Onich is near Fort William and on the shores of Loch Leven. Why: The house has been carefully maintained, restored and decorated. It has lots of space and a magnificent decorative balcony looking over the water. Wow: The house has a magical, almost dreamy, setting sheltered by native woodland. It appears to rise on stilts from the shoreline. The grounds between the house and shore have been left in their natural state, but to the north there are more formal gardens, while a burn runs down to the bay where there is a private jetty. Contact: FPD Savills on 0141 222 5875.

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