Living beside the water — whether that's the sea, river or lake — is a dream for many of us already. And if it's not yours, it will be by the time you've finished looking at these places.
The Cliff House, say agents Knight Frank, ‘occupies one of the most glorious positions along the south coast of England’ — and it’s hard to disagree. Not only is it on the clifftop, it’s situated within its own 11.4-acre plot in a secluded, private position in St Margaret’s Bay near Dover.
The five bedroom, five reception room home has been refurbished by the present owners, and is set over two storeys with almost every room enjoying the sea views.
Beyond the main house and garden there are two cottages — Dolphin and Baby Dolphin — a pair of paddocks and a Grade II-listed (though non-functioning) lighthouse.
This extraordinary home is one of a row of clifftop properties on the Benar Headland in Abersoch, the ‘jewel of the Lleyn Peninsula’ — the farthest-flung part of north-east Wales, nearby to some of the Principality’s most unpronounceable places: Bwlchtocyn, Llangwnnadl, and our favourite, Uwchmyndd, which sounds like the noise you’d make if punched in the stomach.
But we digress. This contemporary home sits on the (relatively) wind-sheltered east of the headland, with views back across Cardigan Bay towards Snowdonia — a truly fantastic spot.
There are five bedrooms, a pool on the terrace and a superb location a short stroll from the village and the South Caernarfonshire Yacht Club.
This magnificent six-bedroom home in Denham Village is full of personality, set in truly outstanding gardens that meander down towards the river.
Inside, the home is large and open, with a layout that blends the open-plan feeling of space with sliding doors that let you close rooms off for cosiness.
The highlight internally is the spiral staircase leading from sitting room to a gallery above, while outside there’s a beautiful swimming pool — perfect if the meandering of the river makes you hanker for a dip.
When people use the phrase ‘location, location, location’ they’re usually thanking about the mundane practicalities of life, such as schools and GP surgeries — not eye-popping spots on vertiginous cliffsides. But that is the charm of Bar Lodge, near Salcombe.
This 4/5 bedroom house looks like the sort of thing you’d expect to find on the Amalfi Coast rather than in Devon, and the views are, as you’d expect, beyond compare.
It’s an Edwardian home of 2,278sq ft that includes a lower ground floor that can be used as a self-contained granny flat. There’s also a private beach at the bottom of the cliff — though prospective buyers are warned that the steps down to reach it need a bit of work to be made safe.
With sweeping views aross Loch Tay in a village near Aberfeldy, this unusual home named Corriegorm has been expanded and improved in recent years, and boasts a pair of exotic-looking turret rooms — something you decidedly do not expect to find in a bungalow.
There’s an enormous central living space — large enough to swallow the full-sized snooker table and giant sofas you’ll see on this page — while much of the rest of the accommodation is on the other side of the U-shaped floorplan, making this an ideal party house.
There is a separate garage with studio apartment above, plus a landscaped garden with ornamental pond and a hot tub — plus the possibility of buying the boat house by separate negotiation.
Few coastal locations are as romantic as that of Fort Charles, a ruined 16th-century fortification built on a rocky outcrop just off the beach of North Sands at Salcombe,’ wrote Penny Churchill in Country Life when this house first came to the market.
The house has an upside-down layout brought in to make the most of the views by the present owners, who’ve also added a hand-built kitchen and conservatory.
There are four bedrooms, triple-aspect sea views and gardens clevely terraced into the cliff. It’s impossible to say how much land they cover — the change between high tide and low tide is around two acres!
Many of the homes on this page have an out-of-the-way feel, but this one — on the banks of the River Exe in Topsham — is right in the very centre of this charming town, full of independent shops and restaurants.
It’s a converted builder’s workshop and warehouse, with white-painted wood panelling throughout much of the home giving it a bit of beach shack charm.
There are three bedrooms, a first-floor living room with Juliet balcony and kitchen diner which leads out onto a large balcony which seems designed specifically for sitting out and enjoying sunset over the river with a glass of wine.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
Penny Churchill says that long histories and tranquil settings make Yorkshire’s country houses irresistible