As Bilbo Baggins has it: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.’ Best stay warm, under cover of thatch.
Not so much a thatched cottage, to be fair, as a thached mansion: this is a five-bedroom home near Oundle with huge, fabulously-proportioned rooms that has been kept in excellent order inside and out.
The outside space is just as impressive as the inside. There are lawns, a terrace and a spectacularly pretty 13th century church as a backdrop — this house, in fact, was the church rectory for hundreds of years.
Grade II-listed Churchers Barn sits peacefully to the north-east of the Test Valley town of Romsey and, with a little modernisation, would make a charming family home. The thatched property, believed to date back to the 16th century, sits in an acre of gardens that are mostly set to lawn, with a paddock to the west.
The main house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and three reception rooms set over two floors. Outside, there are stables, a separate barn, workshop and carport, which comes with a clocktower on its tiled roof. With planning permission, the property could be extended to maximise views of the surrounding countryside.
A delightful Cotswolds cottage in the village of Taynton, just nearby the town of Burford, which feels like it’ll be just the right mix of charm and size — not to mention the right location — for all sorts of buyers.
It’s a three-bedroom house full of original touches — beams, an inglenook fireplace, country kitchen — as well as sensitive updates.
Outside, there is a delightful patio and garden at the back, while the village beyond is perhaps one of the most unspoilt in the Cotswolds.
The phrase ‘they don’t build them like that any more’ could have been invented for this magically higgledy-piggledy house in Long Crendon, a village roughly half-way between Aylesbury and Oxford. Indeed, if an architect submitted these plans in 2020, he’d very likely be carted off to an institution for some ‘enforced rest’… yet this lovely home is all the better for it. Even its name, ‘Bertie’s Cottage’, is irresistible.
The four-bedroom, 18th century home — once three separate cottages — is part-tiled and part-thatched, boasts a long garden which backs on to open fields and is so full of quirks and foibles that it’s impossible not to grin while looking through the agent’s pictures. Yet it’s also in many ways a modern, practical house that’s eminently liveable.
Itty bitty, teeny weeny The Old Thatched Cottage is a very charming three-bedroom home situated in the heart of Wolvey, which by all accounts is a very popular place to be.
Perfect for a new family, the property had a sizeable master bedroom for mummy bear and daddy bear, smaller rooms for the baby bears and a lovely garden for them to run around in.
Perfectly quaint is the perfect way to describe this charming, chocolate box cottage in Norfolk. Dating from around 1650, this cottage is surprisingly thought to be the combination of multiple houses.
With a sociable kitchen, a complete guest suite and a wonderful view out to the garden, there’s not much that needs to be done to bring this one up to scratch – although a new owner with an eye for renovation would certainly have a new project on their hands.
Imaginatively-named The Round House wouldn’t look out of place several hundred feet in the air at the top of a castle. However, it is firmly on the ground in Sparkford.
With four bedrooms and a fairytale garden, this could be as close as one could get to a hobbit hole in Somerset, with rather less chance of bumping one’s head.
Weavers Thatch dates from the 15th Century and is Grade II listed, set in lovely gardens in South Shropshire. Made up of a main, two-bedroom house and a one-bedroom cottage, the lovely home lends itself to guest house or AirBnB potential.
Unusually for a 1 acre garden, there’s a lovely pond and plenty of space to roam. Inside the house there’s a lovely woodburner and one of the cosiest baths we’ve seen in such a tiny home.
Picture-perfect Springbanks sits right on the Bythorn village green next to St Lawrence’s Church, about 12 miles from Huntingdon and 15 from Kettering.
There are four bedrooms, a conservatory/breakfast room and flagstone and oak floors throughout. The gardens have been recently landscaped, incorporating a cast-iron water pump, vegetable patches, a raised lawn area, a terrace and an ornamental pond.
Willow Farm might be half a millennium old, but this fine old place is a real family home for the 21st century with four bedrooms, a huge playroom, a workshop and garage with room for four houses.
There is a huge amount of character in this Grade-II listed home, with the charmingly crooked beams in the ceilings and walls, while outside there are huge lawns and a pond.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
Beautiful country houses often come with price tags which put them out of reach for many – but delightful character