Country houses for sale

Ian Botham buys in Almeria

Former England Test cricketer and golfing enthusiast Sir Ian Botham has purchased a second holiday home at Desert Springs, the luxury family resort and desert golf course in Almeria, south east Spain.

Sir Ian, who describes his first purchase – a Spanish Colonial-style home on the 17th fairway of Europe’s only championship desert golf course – as ‘the perfect retreat,’ has bought a three-bed townhouse at the resort for his daughter Sarah, 28, who has fulfilled her ambition to have a home in Spain.

‘After six years working with Sky Sports, and then organising my father’s fundraising walks for Leukaemia Research, I was looking for an opportunity to open a wine bar.

‘There were few affordable ones in the area near my home in North Yorkshire, but then, during a holiday at Desert Springs, I discovered that the Bar Restaurante los Pepes in the nearby town of Vera was for sale. I didn’t take me long to snap it up,’ says Miss Botham.

Vera, which Sarah describes as ‘a charming and picturesque town with a flavour of Spain as it was,’ is a few minutes by car from Desert Springs where the family’s second home is a spacious duplex with a roof terrace and views of the Golf Academy and the sea.

‘Although the price paid by the Bothams has not been disclosed, comparable properties currently are available for around £278,000,” reports Bridget Rosser, sales and marketing manager of The Almanzora Group promoting the resort properties built by the Anglo-Spanish developer of Desert Springs, The Almanzora Bay Group.

Earlier this year it was reported that Sir Ian had bought an Arizona villa designed to capture the ambience of the region’s old farmhouses, or cortijos.

Set within a walled garden, his home features deep and shady colonnaded verandas with fans, spacious roof terraces and a private infinity pool.

‘I love the peaceful atmosphere and the desert micro-climate we enjoy in this corner of Spain,’ says Sir Ian, who was attracted by the region’s reputation for having the warmest winter weather on the continent. ‘Desert Springs offers such an amazing variety of sports and leisure facilities that, for us, it is a perfect family retreat and a real home from home.’

* Spanish property for sale