James Fisher rounds up family homes ideal for those looking for a balance of a beautiful house and a top education for the children.
Dedham Vale was the setting of choice for Constable and Gainsborough and it certainly suits Grade II-listed Springhill. Dating from 1577, this Tudor home has been recently renovated and is near both Old Buckenham Hall and Orwell Park schools.
With six bedrooms and three reception rooms, it comes with a barn conversion that leads to a separate annexe.
If the thought of being too far from the kids brings you out in a cold sweat, The Gardens, near Motcombe, in Dorset, might be the solution. The 7.5 acres in which it sits backs directly onto the Port Regis School grounds, meaning that the school run can be completed by car, bicycle, horse or on foot.
As well as its mix of garden and pasture, the property comes with five bedrooms, two reception rooms and a double garage, with planning permission to add two further bedrooms.
The mature and private gardens of Earleydene Cottage — which is for rent at £5,000 a month as well as for sale — are the perfect setting for this deceptively contemporary half-timbered home in Berkshire. Ascot, Sunninghill, Sunningdale and Windsor are all short journeys away and the choice for both prep and senior schools is, frankly, so overwhelming there’s little point in me listing them here.
Five bedrooms, two of which are en-suite, plus a magnificent kitchen/breakfast room with an island, supplement the three reception rooms.
Hiding in the heart of Abingdon and set on the banks of the Thames is 1, Fellows Close. This historic house was once owned by the nearby abbey and is within striking distance of Abingdon Prep School, Cothill House, The Manor Prep and Radley College.
The interiors are a mixture of period pieces (including bespoke wooden panelling from Flanders) and modern luxuries and the garden, which backs on to the Thames, was professionally designed and planted with the intention of being low maintenance.
Four double bedrooms make up the first floor and the kitchen contains a Victorian built-in safe that doubles up as a wine store.
On the outskirts of Brampton and a few miles from the handsome and historic village of Lanercost, Wesley Manse is also within easy reach of the Austin Friars independent day school.
This Victorian four-bedroom house has been beautifully restored and decorated, with three reception rooms and a large kitchen-diner and a separate dining room which also opens up into a timber-framed garden room. The setting is particularly fine, with open views across the countryside, while there is also a double garage and several outbuildings.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
Our round-up this week is an astonishing collection of gems, with magnificent houses in Kent and Cheshire plus a breathtakingly