Have a spare $2.5 million lying around? In search of an ancient volcanic island with an Olympic pedigree? Ailsa Craig off the coast of Scotland might be right for you! The granite of this uninhabited island in the Irish Sea is the source for the majority of curling stones throughout the world, and it is also home to one of the largest gannet colonies in Europe.
Kays of Scotland has been manufacturing curling stones from Ailsa Craig since 1851, with the Blue Hone and Common Green granite of the island being considered the cream of the crop in the curling world. Its water resistant nature is described as being ideal for slick and controlled gliding across the ice. Quarrying of the island's granite ended in 1969, but there still remains vast reserves of its famed volcanic rocks in the crumbling infrastructure of the island.
Once described by the Irish poet John Keats as a "craggy ocean pyramid," the island is now owned by the Scottish peer Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, the 8th Marquess of Ailsa. The marquess's family has owned the island since the 16th century, but due to bloated inheritance taxes and decades of dwindling revenue, he has been forced to put the ancient island on the market.
Ailsa Craig comes equipped with a ruined castle, a solar powered lighthouse, and a humble cottage. Its castle dates back to the 16th century and was used as a defense against Spanish invaders; the island was also a refuge for Catholics fearing persecution during the Scottish Reformation. It later served as a prison during the 18th and 19th centuries, resembling a sort of Scottish Alcatraz.