Scottish 'Ice House' for sale for £340k:cosy hideaway designed to stop ice thawing has been turned into a toasty three-bedroom home

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As the chill of winter descends, the thought of living in a home called the Ice House might sound like no fun, but this house has been turned into one of cosiest you could find.

Once part of a fishing station in the 19th century, it was used to store ice in which salmon caught in the area were packed and shipped to London.

Because it was designed to prevent ice from thawing for months at a time, the house - which has a guide price of £340,000 - is exceptionally well insulated.

It was converted in 2000 for use as a restaurant, before being bought by the current owners in 2008.

They embarked on extensive renovations, fitting tanking, insulating the walls and roof even further, and installing double glazing throughout.

To add to the cosy feel, there is underfloor heating in the kitchen and bathroom.

The living roof provides natural insulation - as well as a seating area that provides splendid views over Montrose Bay to Scurdie Ness - and solar panels provide heating for hot water, with a back-up immersion boiler.

Inside, patio doors lead into an open-plan kitchen-diner, while the vast living room, with wood-burning stove, has a high vaulted brick ceiling with stairs to a gallery area.

Two bedrooms have doors leading on to the terrace and the one-acre garden is mostly laid to grass, but includes a fire pit and even an outdoor shower.

A further 3.5 acres of land might be available by separate negotiation.

The third bedroom is upstairs and features a brick vaulted ceiling and its own dressing room.

A wood-burning stove will keep the living room cosy in even the harshest of winters

The ice house's origins stem from the need to find a way to preserve the famous salmon from the area.

Until the 18th century, salmon were shipped to markets in London in barrels after being pickled or boiled because salt was banned for the domestic market.

The trade was transformed with the use of blocks of ice cut from artificial ponds in winter and stored in ice houses until the fish were caught in the summer months.

Duncan Fraser, in A Portrait Of A Parish, wrote that the ice-chilled fish was a phenomenal success, as "no one had ever tasted fresh salmon in London before".

The house looks over the dunes of St Cyrus beach, which is part of a nature reserve that provides a haven for 393 varieties of plants, as well as wildlife and insects. 

The area is famous for its sandy beaches and sandstone cliffs, while the fishing is plentiful in North and South Esk and there are golf courses galore in Montrose, Stonehaven and Edzell.

Montrose station is on the East Coast main line and direct trains to King's Cross take as little as six hours and 18 minutes. You could even take the romantic sleeper service: a train to Edinburgh takes just two hours, from where you can board the Caledonian Sleeper, arriving in Euston at 7am.

The Ice House is for sale through Savills under Scotland's sealed bid system. 

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