Beautiful country houses often come with price tags which put them out of reach for many – but delightful character properties can be found that are well within reach for most buyers, as these places demonstrate.
Sometimes we struggle to believe the value on offer when compiling these round-ups — and that is the case with the imposing, six-bedroom, four-storey Middle Wild Oak House, in Trull, near Taunton.
Certainly, there is work to be done — not least in the rather neglected garden — but this grand Victorian home of nearly 3,000 sq ft could be something spectacular.
This dreamily-pretty four-bedroom thatched house is in the village of Longcot, roughly half-way between Oxford and Swindon, with easy access to both.
It’s deceptively large: there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms in a house with an unusual curved wall, plus a huge sitting/dining room.
Outside, there is a garden, garage and a series of sheds which were featured in a ‘Shed of the Year’ competition in 2018.
If you think the external picture makes this place in Builth Wells looks too good to be true, the interior images will bring you back to reality, but this seven-bedroom house is an amazing opportunity.
It needs a complete overhaul inside, but whoever takes it on will be the proud owner of a majestic Georgian home with pretty gardens and its own well.
Clover Cottage is an incredibly pretty two-bedroom home from the outside that’s been beautifully-kept inside by the present owners, who have refurbished the whole place.
There are separate lounge, sitting room and dining rooms, with handsome beams running across the ceilings to give real cottage character.
The garden is a real feature too, a mix of formal planting, lawn and vegetable patch, with a greenhouse at the end.
Within the walls of the ancient city you’ll find this two-up, two-down terraced house that seems a perfect spot either for a young couple or downsizers looking to live in the heart of one of England’s prettiest cities.
As well as the sitting room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms there is also a study area and a cellar which has been converted into a home office.
Just a few miles off the M6 on the main road from Kendal to Kirkby Lonsdale is this six-bedroom barn conversion, part of a converted farmstead of six properties.
It’s a huge house — one which has been used as a holiday let, sleeping 12 people — with delightful views over the rolling countryside beyond.
Location is the number one draw at Tignna-Mara, a five-bedroom villa on the banks of Loch Goil within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Inside, however, there is also plenty to like. There is a huge hallway, three reception rooms, kitchen and utility, plus a gym and games room and a huge loft that could be converted into something truly spectacular.
Perched on the edge of the South Downs National Park, April Cottage is Grade II listed and, we’re positive, just as pretty all year round.
Dating from the 17th century, the house is chock full of natural wood, original fireplaces and surprisingly, light, due to most of its windows being south facing. Lovingly restored for the last 34 years, April Cottage is ready for its new family, set to be welcomed with a freshly-painted gate.
‘Prepare to fall in love’ warns Minors & Brady of this three-bedroom house by the River Wensum, and we do not disagree. Far from needing work, this charming property is shiny and ready to go.
With a beautifully-tended-to garden and some weird and wonderful interior choices, this is certainly a find – the new owners can either alter it a bi to suit their tastes or embrace the quirky environment the current owners have lovingly created.
This two-bedroom stone cottage is as utterly charming as it is affordable. Full of bright, fresh interiors, it’s two miles from the closest town and firmly in the countryside.
It’s a little small (only two bedrooms) but makes up for its size with open spaces and a mature garden.
Location, location, location. Birchenwood, set in half an acre of peaceful surroundings, is a nature lovers dream. The brochure promises the appearance of wild ponies and deer, as well as a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from.
‘The property could best be described as an unfinished project’, says the agents.
No, its not exactly habitable yet, but after a few months spent on hands and knees sanding the floorboards and a few nights in the village pub (half a mile away), you’ll have an idyllic cottage in an even prettier setting. Worth it, right?
You can almost hear the new owner sigh as they walk through the front door of this special house after a busy day at work. Sitting on the banks of Loch Fyne, this family home is unique and incredibly spacious, boasting six bedrooms and an idyllic location.
The views across the Loch speak for themselves. A favourite retirement spot, the village had benefited from the additions of a pontoon and a sailing club. A short drive from the nearest town, central Scotland can be accessed via A roads and by ferry, though why you’d ever want to leave we don’t know.
Stunningly antique on the outside and sensitively refurbished on the inside, Barton Lodge was built in 1850 as one of a pair of lodges, forming part of Queen Victoria’s reconstruction of the Barton Estate.
Barton Lodge could be bought furnished as a successful holiday let, however with a little care in the garden and some personal touches in the house itself, it could be a wonderful family home.
11 bedrooms in an equestrian facility for under £400,000 sounds unimaginable, but that’s just what you’d be getting with Bailey Mill, placed just 8 miles from Newcastleton in Cumbria’s beautiful Bailey Water Valley.
The first lot includes the main house and four self-catering apartments, as well as the formal gardens. For those really keen on living the countryside life, the second lot includes stables, a ménage, two further apartments and various plots of land. The choice is yours.
No, not the whole building at this price, but you do get the best bit: the five-bedroom penthouse flat within this grand Georgian manor house set in 11 acres of rolling grounds in Cowley, just a few miles north of Exeter.
The rooms are grandly proportioned and the views across the Exe Valley are spectacular.
As well as the lawns, the communal grounds and facilities also include an indoor pool, gym and tennis courts.
There’s an astonishing amount of period character in this extremely pretty cottage, surrounded by a wraparound garden in a village not far from Barry.
A stone fireplace and door surrounds give an almost gothic feel to the place in parts, and it’s lovely to see those original details being preserved – the pretty stone wall in the bathroom being a case in point.
A few miles north of the wonderful town of Rye you’ll find the village of Wittersham, and in that village sits this four-bedroom home that is bursting with potential.
It certainly needs some TLC and there are structural issues to address as well, but for a brave buyer there will be all manner of things to love about this family home, from its fine proportions and its location on the prettily-named Swan Street.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
We spoke to experts to find out what you need to know about buying a picture-perfect weekend cottage.
Buying a thatched cottage needn't mean walking into a nightmare of work to do – these delightful places are all