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Wednesday, July 14, 1999 Published at 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK

Special Report

Eccentric wanted to run luxury island

The beautiful and luxurious setting of Thorne Island

Wanted: eccentric hotel manager, who enjoys the good life, to run island beauty spot off the Welsh coast.

One of Wales's most unusual and challenging hotels, on Thorne Island, off the Pembrokeshire coast, is up for sale.

Owner Peter Williamson, though, will be carefully vetting would-be buyers to ensure exactly the right person is found to run his treasured possession.

With a price tag of 250,000, the two-acre island includes a hotel favoured with rich yachters and those who enjoy the high life on a secluded island.

Thorne Island is up for sale for 250,000
Mr Williamson, who made a personal fortune through a chain of garden centres, has thoroughly enjoyed his time running the small, exclusive spot, which sits at the gateway to Milford Haven.

[ image: Thorne Island attracts playboys and the rich]
Thorne Island attracts playboys and the rich
It began life as a "Napoleonic" island fort in the 1850s to ward off invasion, but was transformed into a hotel some 50 years ago.

The island enjoys spectacular views of the surrounding area, which has enticed many people seeking a break with a difference.

BBC Wales reporter John Manel explores the high life of Thorne Island
With guest rooms, an outdoor jacuzzi, giant chess board and plenty of champagne on ice, it is a temptation fit for only those with the deepest of wallets.

Visitors to the island arrive either by yacht or the small cruiser the Queen Bee, with people disembarking to discover a breathtaking climb of 50 stone steps from the jetty to the island proper.

Mr Williamson is reluctant to sell Thorne Island but, with the departure of the island's manager - his nephew - he has put it on the market.

The criteria, though, for the new owner is quite specific - eccentric, an instant love of the island and to retain it as a hotel giving people pleasure.

"I think he or she will be rather eccentric, they will buy it because they love it and they will also want to have a lot of fun here.

"I bought it because I loved it and I still do," said Mr Williamson.

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