A FORMER shooting lodge that was a favourite bolthole of the late Queen Mother is on the market for £475,000.

Dorrery Lodge, near Halkirk, Caithness, is where she met friends and fished on the nearby loch during her annual summer break at the Castle of Mey, 20 miles away.

The lodge was built about 1904 by the Crown, is set in 7.9 acres of ground and includes nine bedrooms as well as a number of original features.

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The tower bears the Royal cipher of King Edward VII and includes an original Edwardian billiards room/library with a traditional full-size billiards table which comes as part of the sale. The lodge also has original iron cast fireplaces and Victorian style bathrooms.

Also included in the sale is a steading building that is available for development, as well as a gunroom and deer larder.

The lodge was bought in the 1950s by Donald Carmichael who helped set up the experimental fast nuclear reactor at Dounreay.

He and his wife Margaret owned the property for many years but after they died it was put on the market.

For the past 15 years, it has belonged to John and Serena Ferguson. They were looking for an old property in the far north and after seeing an advert for Dorrery Lodge, went to see it, loved it and bought it. They are selling due to family matters but are “very reluctant” to do so.

The property is described as being “ideally located for fishing on a number of first class salmon rivers including the Thurso and Halladale”.

Dorrery Lodge, seven miles from Halkirk and 12 miles from Thurso, is on the market for offers of over £475,000.

The sale is being conducted by chartered surveyors, land and estate agents Bell Ingram.

Joanne Stennett, of selling agents Bell Ingram, said: “Dorrery Lodge is a truly unique and impressive property due to its royal connections and stunning period features.

“Its substantial grounds and spacious rooms mean it would be ideal for a large or growing family keen to attain a large amount of flexible space.

“The Flow Country is also famed for its wildlife so any budding nature lover will be spoilt for choice.”

She added: “The fact it has a royal connection as one of the Queen Mother’s favourite picnic spots also means it is of great historical significance.”