As Bilbo Baggins has it: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.’ Best stay warm, under cover of thatch.

Norfolk, £290,000

thatched cottage

With a lovely garden backing onto paddocks and overlooking Worthing Common at the front, pretty The Cottage in Long Green, near the market town of Diss, has two bedrooms and comes with outbuildings.

Durrants (01379 462233)


Suffolk, £675,000

With parts dating from the 16th century and later additions, Ruggs Hall comes with a lot of character – exposed beams, fireplaces, a back stable door and salmon-pink exterior walls. Nevertheless, the interior is well maintained, with a beautiful modern kitchen with handcrafted wooden cabinets, butler sink and electric Aga. In the popular village of Raydon, near Hadleigh, it has three bedrooms; outside, there are extensive lawns, a summer house and greenhouse.

Fenn Wright (countrylife.onthemarket.com; 01473 232700)


Dorset, £1.475 million

Grade II* listed and with 15th-century origins, palatial Old Sandpitts House is set in 10 beautiful acres with a series of spring-fed lakes, a yard, a large barn with a studio, two stables, multiple garages and a paddock. Close to the village of Broadwindsor, near Beaminster, it has seven bedrooms, a library, a 40ft indoor swimming pool, a gym and a separate three-bedroom detached cottage. Also available as four separate lots, the property enjoys views of rolling Dorset countryside from its prominent position in the historic hamlet of Sandpit.

Knight Frank (www.knightfrank.co.uk; 01935 812236)


Wiltshire, £899,950

Of sandy-coloured limestone and dating back to the 1720s, Cress Cottage has been completely restored within. There’s an inglenook fireplace with bread oven, exposed beams and oak floors, plus three bedrooms and landscaped gardens with several apple trees. There’s also a terrace that overlooks the village pond, created from the former cress beds that gave their name to the cottage, which forms the centrepiece of Sherrington, a delightful Wylye Valley village. The market town of Warminster is nearby.

Strutt & Parker (countrylife.onthemarket.com; 01722 344011)