Country houses for sale

A glorious house for sale in Hampshire that seems to fulfil every bucolic dream

An idyllic house for sale in the heart of Hampshire has come to the market that's pretty, wonderfully refurnished and brilliantly located.

A message dropped in to my inbox on Monday morning. ‘This honestly has to be one of the most beautiful houses in Hampshire,’ read one of the lines. ‘Hah!’ I thought. ‘We’ll see about that!’

Then I opened up the attached images which you’ll see on this page and… well, what can we say? If there are more beautiful houses in Hampshire than this one, we’d certainly love to see them.

The idyllic property you see plastered about this page even has a suitably bucolic name: Kingfisher Lodge. It’s up for sale via Savills, with a price tag of £2,950,000.

For your money you’ll get a delightful, four-bedroom thatched house on the banks of the River Test near Stockbridge, a small town that sits a few miles west of Winchester and a few miles south of Andover — both of which offer superb connections by both road and rail to London and elsewhere. Yet we’d imagine that getting away from Kingfisher Lodge would be the last thing on your mind once you’re here.

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The house is set up on a plan that’s wide but not deep, with the rooms generally facing south and looking out over the the two and a half acres of grounds. There is a beautifully-done kitchen-breakfast room, dining room, garden room and an enormous drawing room that’s effectively two older rooms which have been opened up into one space.

That change was one of many brought about by the present owners, with a conservatory, utility room and study having been added to what was an 18th century building. Yet everything has been done so beautifully and in keeping that it’s hard to see the joins between old and new.

Particularly worth a mention is the garden room, with double doors leading out onto a decked area which overlooks the  Test and its water meadows.

Two staircases head upstairs, each to a separate landing from where you can access the four bedrooms, three of which are en-suite. The master bedroom is really quite something, featuring a bathroom with a balcony looking out to the woodland.

As for the gardens, as you’ll see here they are large and varied, with lawned areas stretching down to the waterside — there is frontage of 557 ft, and fishing rights extending to 105 ft, though the 30 members of a local fly fishing group called the Houghton Club (apparently the oldest fishing club in England) who apparently have fishing rights on the far bank and in the natural woodland section of the 2.57 acres.

Beyond the lawns and flowerbeds you’ll also find a lovely (and huge) greenhouse, a pond and even a pretty little bridge. This is idyllic living.

Kingfisher Lodge is for sale via Savills £2,950,000 — see more details and pictures.

Stockbridge: What you need to know

Location: 12 miles west of Winchester and 8 miles south of Andover in the heart of Hampshire.

Atmosphere: An ancient and picturesque settlement with a bridge over the Test, red phone boxes still on the High Street and a fabulous mix of independent shops, cafés and pubs. There’s even a poetry trail with 10 verses set in stone and etched glass showing verses written about the place over the years.

Things to do: Once you’re tired of catching trout in the Test and pottering about the town, there’s the hill fort at Danebury nearby, Longstock Park Water Gardens (owned by the John Lewis Partnership, who own the nearby Leckford estate) and Mottisfont House. For a more 21st century vibe, Boris Johnson’s favourite theme park Peppa Pig World is just a few minutes down the road — we’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not.

Schools: Two primary schools are in walking distance — both rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted — while the area around Winchester is dotted with outstanding secondary schools, both state and private.