Escape the rat race on Inchcolm island

Fed up with your work colleagues? Can’t stand the way they munch their Pret A Manger sandwiches while chatting on the phone and circulating banal "comic" emails? Perhaps a little seclusion on a Scottish island might be tempting.

Inchcolm island isn’t quite the most isolated place in Britain. Perched in the Firth of Forth, the uninhabited isle is just a handful of miles from Edinburgh as the seagull flies. It is amazingly peaceful though. An occasional oil tanker or ferry might pass by on the Firth, but otherwise it’s just the seals, puffins and gulls for company, and they’re unlikely to want to regale you with a funny item they spotted in Metro.

There is a vacancy for an Historic Scotland island manager to live on Inchcolm for eight months a year, from March to October. The salary of £20,000 includes a pleasant little two-bedroom cottage, which just happens to be next to a spectacularly romantic 12th-century ruined abbey.

The abbey means that the island is a popular location for weddings. During the summer months, regular tour boats visit the island from nearby Queensferry but, after the last boat has returned to the mainland, the manager, and their assistant, are left alone beneath the shadows of the spooky ruins.

Did we mention the assistant? This might be the stumbling block, as eight months on a desolate island might be a stern test for even the most easy-going relationship. Especially when a passing tugboat scrambles the TV reception.

All supplies would have to be brought from the mainland. Historic Scotland pointed out that there is water and electricity available. "The cottage is fully equipped with shower, washing machine and cooking facilities," they said. "The main thing about living on the island is that it offers an adventure and the chance to experience new things. You have the whole island to yourself in the evenings, to enjoy beautiful views and the stunning wildlife." And no 11am staff meeting.

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