If owning your own stately home is out of reach, living in the gatehouse can offer much of the charm at a fraction of the price, as these lovely homes demonstrate.
Anyone who read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett as a child has long dreamed of finding such an idyll – and here it is:
The romantic, rose-filled walled garden at Great Maytham Hall, in a setting designed by Gertrude Jekyll, is the very spot that inspired the author.
In the village of Rolvenden, near Tenterden, 1, The Clock House has three bedrooms and has been modernised, yet retains period features, including the split stable door. Laurel hedging creates its own secret garden, with a climber-clad pergola.
As charming as they come and in the glorious Evenlode Valley AONB, The Gatehouse was once the entrance to Jacobean Shipton Court, just four miles from Burford, gateway to the Cotswolds.
Views from this three-bedroom property, which comes with an English ‘mulberry lawn’, take in the grounds of the big house and the village of Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Once the gatehouse to medieval Pengersick Castle, this character property has two bedrooms over three floors, with a private, elevated garden.
It’s only a short walk from Praa Sands, a white-sand beach with shallow waters and backed by dunes, which faces south-west between the Lizard Peninsula and Penzance on the beautiful south-Cornish coast.
Close to the Oxfordshire border, in the Cotswold AONB, castellated Broadmoor Lodge in Little Wolford, near Shipston-on-Stour, was once the lodge to Weston House.
Built in 1846, it has an orangery (recently added) and three bedrooms, one of which is octagonal, and features a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and pretty lawned gardens.
Beautiful country houses often come with price tags which put them out of reach for many – but delightful character
The youngest daughter of Queen Victoria lived in the exquisitely detailed Osborne Cottage, which offers its buyer the unique opportunity
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.