Country houses for sale

A perfect ‘chocolate box’ cottage in the New Forest where you won’t have to compromise on modern comfort

A bit of a rarity is on the market in the charming village of Minstead in the form of this sensitively adapted and modernised character cottage.

Tis the season to be jolly — and if by that you mean tucking in to tins of festive chocolates and treats with cute cottages adorning the lids, this is a property which should tick your box.

Unusually, though, it’ll tick several other boxes too — namely space and liveability. While we’ve yet to see a thatched cottage that wasn’t full of delightful charm, they quite often have a few serious drawbacks — especially for anyone over 5’6″ tall, since many pre-industrial cottages were designed, built and lived-in by people of very different stature to the modern inhabitants of Britain. A friend of mine once lived in an ancient stone building going back seven or eight centuries, and it was all but impossible for a 6ft human to move from room to room without constantly smashing their head on a doorway. And don’t get started on floorspace: cottages are all too often as tiny as they are delightful.

Coming across a wondrous thatched home in a beautiful part of the country that offers the old world charm as well as 21st century liveability is quite rare, in other words — so it’s great to see a home like this five-bedroom detached place in the village of Minstead, for sale at £1.75 million via Austin & Wyatt.

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As the pictures show, this is an old house that’s been extended and improved to get it to the state it’s in today — ‘meticulously extended and modernised’, as the agents describe it.

As well as the aforementioned bedrooms (one of which is on the ground floor, and another on the second floor) there are four reception rooms, three bathrooms and a conservatory looking out across some of the 2.5 acres of land that come as part of the deal, and which include stables and a paddock.

There’s also a workshop, storage sheds and a detached double garage, with a studio above — ideal as guest accommodation. Or a place to banish a snorer.

Minstead itself is a lovely little spot with a village shop, pub and church with an active church hall — all are within walking distance — while the absolutely adorable Furzey Gardens are right there too. The larger hub of Lyndhurst is only three miles away.

It’s even a straightforward commute, with the M27 just a couple of miles away.

For sale at £1.75 million via Austin & Wyatt — see more pictures and details