Could cave home found in Scottish cliff face belong to victims of mortgage lending squeeze?

With getting a first foothold on the UK housing ladder so tough, a growing variety of alternatives to traditional house purchase are being pursued.

So it is possible that a frustrated first-time buyer is responsible for the construction of a cave dwelling discovered this week by Scottish lifeboat crews.

The RNLI crew from Arbroath was on an emergency callout in the Angus area on Tuesday when it came across the makeshift home halfway up a cliff face.

Climbing up a rope ladder found dangling down the 35m-high cliff face, they found a cave house with painted walls, seating and tea tree lights. The homeowner was not in.

Allan Russell, from the Arbroath RNLI lifeboat, told the BBC: “This is certainly the most unusual thing I have come across during my 10 years as a lifeboatman.

“It's been well made - it's been cemented into the cliffs, sealed round the entrance hatch, the rope ladder's tied down with eye-bolts, so it's been professionally done.

“We are all wondering who has gone to such time and effort to build this.”

The cave's exact location is not being revealed because of fears that curiosity could lead adventuring members of the public into danger.