Caroline Irwin is pottering around in the garden when I arrive at Ayton Coach House.
“Follow me,” she says, ushering me forward. “It’s cooler towards the bottom of the garden.”
We stroll through the shade of mature trees, followed by her two dogs, Lily and Obama.
It’s the last few days of the summer heatwave and it does get mercifully cooler as we descend into the shade. A hammock strung between two trees shows where Caroline’s been keeping cool during sweltering afternoons.
Ayton Coach House sits just outside the hamlet of Aberagie, a few miles from Newburgh.
A dirt track stretches around half a mile through fields and woods before ending in a small cluster of houses and cottages at the foot of a forested hill.
Caroline’s home is next to the magnificent Ayton House and was the former coach house for the neighbouring mansion.
The semi-detached house dates back to the 18th Century and still has a host of features that give a clue to its original purpose.
Showing me around the back of the house Caroline points to enormous gates that lead through a covered area into the rear courtyard.
“This is where goods deliveries to Ayton House once came,” she explains. “The coach could stay dry in the covered area while its cargo was unloaded. There’s even stabling for the horses with the original posts to tie them to.”
Artist and photographer Caroline bought the house when it was in need of refurbishment and moved in with her mother while the work was carried out.
“We did virtually everything to it,” she continues. “New bathrooms, new floors, wiring, plumbing, painting – the whole lot.”
The heart of the ground floor is the pretty kitchen, which has a wood burning stove and a galleried landing above.
Off the kitchen is the sunroom that looks onto the rear courtyard and is a lovely place to enjoy a coffee.
There’s a dining room on the ground floor and two bedrooms, one of them en suite. The ground floor also houses a large integral double garage, which has potential to be converted into a living room.
“I love this house but the rooms are all quite cosy and some people do like really big rooms,” Caroline says. “This could make a lovely big living space.”
The living room is upstairs, enjoying views over the garden. An open fire keeps it warm in winter and a set of double doors allow it to be semi-open plan to the attic studio next door. “I usually have it open in the summer then close it in the winter so the living room’s nice and toasty for me and the dogs,” Caroline adds.
To the far end of the first floor is a double bedroom with en suite and a dressing room next door.
The grounds cover almost an acre and back onto the wooded hillside, which has numerous trails to explore.
Ayton Coach House, Aberagie, Perthshire is on sale with Galbraith for o/o £450,000.