Country houses for sale

The ‘only habitable hobbit hole in the world’ is up for sale — and it comes with a country house and £150k-a-year lifestyle business

Those looking to escape the rat race and thrown themselves into, er, the hobbit race will be delighted by this home on the market.

The idea of hiding away in a comfortable home, safe from the world, is a romantic ideal for many of us. Lockdown will no doubt have cured many of that notion, but for those who’ve particularly enjoyed that sensation of homely cosiness, a house is on the market which will help you hold on to that feeling for years to come.

The property in question really is a home fit for a hobbit: a partly-subterranean house tucked away in the corner of The Old School House, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, currently for sale at £2m.

Pod Hollow, as its known, was designed not as a permanent space but instead as unusual guest accommodation: billed as ‘the only habitable hobbit hole in the world’ it’s a delightful dwelling big enough for a family of four in a woodland setting, designed and built ‘in consultation with Tolkien experts’.

We’ll be honest and admit that we’re not entirely sure what becoming a Tolkien expert entails — our instinctive feeling is that it probably involves more literature and learning to speak ridiculous made-up languages than architecture or interior design.

But the experts have clearly found a winning formula, since it seems that fans of the classic fantasy books have been queuing up to book a stay. Income (pre-lockdown) from Pod Hollow and the six other cabins and pods within this 4.5-acre site was apparently in excess of £150,000 per year, making this a very attractive lifestyle business — as well as a beautiful place to live.

The huge 19th century main house itself is also striking and attractive — not least for that idyllic woodland setting — with five bedrooms and an impressive sitting room with high ceiling, plus a newer annexe that includes a sun room.

The Old School House, including Pod Hollow plus various other pods and lodges, is for sale through Winkworth at £2 million — see more pictures and details.