A buyer is being sought for the passenger ferry business run by the same family for more than 50 years which operates on Scotland’s north coast.

John O’Groats Ferries, which runs between Caithness and Orkney, was put up for sale a year ago and is on the market for £1.4 million.

The business was started by Ian Thomas in 1971 and is now run by his son Ivor, daughter Deborah and her husband Fred Fermor. All three have worked on the summer ferry for the past three decades.

Mr Fermor said: “We’ve enjoyed running things here at John O’Groats Ferries for many years and could happily keep going on, but we feel it’s a good time to try something new.

“We’ll be taking life a bit easier and travelling more but in some ways it’s a reluctant sale.

Selling agents Christie and Co said the business currently operated for five months of the year, but there was scope to extend its trading season.

The ship used is the 1986-built 186gt Pentland Venture, which can carry

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