Country houses for sale

Best country houses to rent across Britain

Renting doesn't have to mean compromising on space, style or history.

After a two-year bull run, uncertainty is back in the property market. Prices are already falling by pretty much every metric, and on Friday the Halifax reported a fourth consecutive monthly drop.

Opinion is split over just how far house prices will fall, but most economists predict an overall drop of somewhere between 5% and 12%. If the drop ends up somewhere in the middle of that range, it’d look like little more than a pause for breath on the long-term graphs, as Halifax’s Kim Kinnaird points out: ‘It’s important to recognise that a drop of 8% would mean the cost of the average property returning to April 2021 prices, which still remains significantly above pre-pandemic levels.’

That’s all well and good, but what about those who have to move sooner rather than later? If you’ve found your forever home, you can afford it, and don’t want to lose it, then diving in regardless is always the way forward.

For those simply needing a new place to live, renting for a while might seem attractive: Halifax’s numbers show that the average house price dropped by over £4,000 in December alone (down from £285,425 to £281,272). The monthly rental cost for the average house is less than half that.

While there’s nothing quite like finding and owning a home from among the best country houses for sale, there are some lovely country houses available for rent across the nation — including places that would never be put up for sale. ‘Renting a property on a rural estate has always been highly desirable and allows you to live somewhere that would never be able buy,’ says Hannah Bloxham, Director of Land Management at Strutt & Parker.

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So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at what’s available to pick out our list of the best country houses for rent in Britain right now.

Gloucestershire — £20,800 per month (£250,000 per year)

Pinbury Park is a small country estate of 85 acres within Cirencester Park, part of the renowned Bathurst Estate, that has welcomed guests including Queen Mary — The King’s great-grandmother — and Rudyard Kipling.

There are four bedrooms in the main house, glorious gardens, a half-mile private drive and far more besides, including a separate detached cottage, a pair of semi-detached cottages, tennis court and swimming pool.

For sale with Strutt & Parker. See more pictures and details for this property.

Oxfordshire — £151,667 per month

An eye-watering monthly rental cost that’s almost, but not quite, the most expensive in the country (there’s a place in Knightsbridge listed at over £200,000 a month). But you can see why: Kirtlington Park House, dating back to the 18th century, sits within breath-taking Capability Brown designed parkland, a truly spectacular country seat available on a temporary basis.

What’s more, you can dip your toes in without committing to months in the place. This stunning Grade I listed country house with its fabulous state rooms can be taken as a retreat for a weekend away or a special celebration, available for as little as two nights at a time.

For sale with Savills. See more pictures and details for this property.

St John’s Wood, London NW1 — £108,333 per month

Hanover house is a John Nash-designed residence arranged over five floors, situated right next to, and enjoying views over Regent’s Park.

There is a wealth of period features, a private terrace and patio, separate mews house and garage — and it’s available for short lets on a furnished basis.

For sale with Chancellors. See more pictures and details for this property.

East Sussex — £8,000 per month

A delightful country house near Polegate, a few miles inland from Eastbourne, set amid 40 acres of grounds and with five bedrooms.

It’s been exquisitely restored to make the most of the exposed beams and parquet floors, while there is also a separate cottage, workshop, gym and outdoor swimming pool.

For sale with Savills. See more pictures and details for this property.

Aberdeenshire — £2,200 per month

Why rent a house when you can rent a castle? That’s what’s on offer at Pitfichie Castle, in a thriving village 20 miles west of Aberdeen.

It’s a 16th century pile with all the fantasy ingredients you’d want in a castle: a minstrel’s gallery, Great Hall and ‘Laird’s Dining Room’. And all at the price of a two-bedroom flat in Croydon

For sale with Aberdeen Property Leasing. See more pictures and details for this property.

Somerset — £12,000 per month

The spectacular ivy cladding sets the scene, and an interior full of twisting staircases, stone-built fireplaces, portrait-clad walls and wooden beams deliver everything you’d expect of an old country house.

As you might have guessed, Maunsel House — with its 13 bedrooms — has been used in film and TV productions, and clearly could be put to all sorts of different uses, subject to permission.

As well as the fine house itself, there’s a great location close to the Quantocks, and with easy access to the M5 from where Exeter and Bristol are both in easy reach.

For sale with Savills. See more pictures and details for this property.

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