UK mainland's 'most remote' bookshop up for sale

UK mainland's 'most remote' bookshop up for sale

A bookshop thought to be the most remote in the UK mainland has come on the market as its owners of more than 30 years look to retire.

Achins Book Shop and Coffee Shop is situated down a three-and-half-mile single track, away from the village of Lochinver in the Scottish Highlands, more than a hundred miles from Inverness.

Alex Dickson, who bought the shop and the neighbouring five-bedroom house with wife Agnes in 1983, said he and his family had been very happy during their three decades running the shop. He said: "I was working as an engineer in Glasgow and my wife was a nurse, and we had three young children, when we heard about the opportunity to buy the bookshop, which was already 20 years old by that point. We thought it would be a wonderful place to bring up the children and change in our pace of life, so we went for it, and haven't looked back."

The shop is situated at the bottom of a popular walker's route, and has a 28-seat coffee and tea shop, as well as selling a range of gifts and non-book items. The book stock itself is diverse, with fiction divided into Scottish and others, and a wide range of non-fiction with a particular focus on Scottish and local history, nature, and geography.

Dickson said: "We have a broad range so that there's something for everyone who stops by, whether its a T-shirt or a tea towel, or a few books." The shop has always been profitable, with the seller's listing noting it had a turnover of £182,000 for 2013, with a net profit of £52,000. "We survived through Maggie Thatcher and the interest rates and everything else, and we're still here," Dickson said. "We've always invested in the shop, and had a new roof installed two years ago."

The bookseller said he would love to see the store remain as a bookshop. He said: "It's a part of the local community, you know everyone and there's always plenty of opportunities to be involved with local events and the schools. It's the perfect opportunity for a family looking for a change."

Although visits from publisher's sales reps are "few and far between" these days, Dickson said it was easy to maintain good relationships with them over the phone, while he enjoyed visiting BA events in Glasgow and Edinburgh. He added: "I have to give credit to Gardners too – we're down a single track lane, 100 miles north west of Inverness, but we still guarantee next day delivery for customers."