Country houses for sale

Country Life’s top 10 property stories of 2022

From castles and cottages to manor houses and an entire peninsula of a Scottish island, enjoy our pick of the year's property.

A delightful Georgian cottage for sale in the quintessential English village where ‘The Holiday’ was filmed

Our top property article of the year was actually published a couple of days before the end of 2021. It was this article about a delightful house in the village where the critically-derided, yet widely-adored film The Holiday was filmed. The real cottage used in filming no longer exists, incidentally, as the piece goes on to explain.

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‘One of England’s most treasured and historic buildings’ up for sale for the first time in nearly 100 years

Not in the Cotswolds, nor the West Country — both spots which had red-hot markets earlier in the year — but in North Yorkshire, the Grade I-listed Gilling Castle simply had to be seen to be believed. That such a building could really be a private home seems rather astonishing and wonderful — and yes, it did find a buyer.

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Northumberland’s finest country house on the market for the first time since it was built

Back in May, Penny Churchill took a look at Meldon Park, a glorious country estate set in spectacular countryside. It’s not hard to see why the vendors were reluctant to sell; ‘It’s been a battle between head and heart and, in the end, the head came out on top,’ they told Penny at the time.

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A magnificent house by the sea that ‘invites all sorts of superlatives’

‘Is this the best waterside house for sale on the English coast right now?’ we asked when The Haven came up for sale in June. (Answer: yes.)

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A heartbreakingly beautiful slice of the Lake District for sale, with a grand Arts-and-Crafts house at its centre

It’s usually the houses rather than their surrounds that are the big draw with Britain’s best properties — and while Nanny Brow is a lovely home, the stunning setting near Ambleside was unforgettable.

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One of the finest privately-owned houses in the Cotswolds is up for sale at £20 million

Many of the big sales happened earlier in the year, but not this one. The quite spectacular Edgeworth Manor, a 17th-century creation set amid dozens of acres that include Victorian gardens, woodland and its own enchanting valley, came to the market in late November — and it’s still available at the time of writing.

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An irresistibly sweet cottage in the Cornish beauty spot for just £145,000 — but it’ll need a *very* brave new owner

Way back in January we took a look at this bargain of a house in St Agnes, and found it to be a newly unearthed gem, in the sense that it was horribly rough, filthy and in need of serious work. Ahh, but the potential — the potential was evidently huge, as bidders could see. The hammer eventually fell at almost £60,000 over the guide price.

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After 700 years in one family, this stunning country estate is up for sale – with a £30 million price tag

Houses don’t often come to the market for the first time in three-quarters of a millennium, so it was little surprise to see the huge response to Adlington Hall, in Cheshire — and this genuinely magnificent house was worth it.

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A Scottish peninsula and island have come up for sale in an estate that’s twice the size of Gibraltar

Like no other I’ve seen on the market in the past two decades,’ said agent Robert McCulloch of the Tayvallich Estate, which came up for sale in September with the oddly-specific price tag of £10.465 million.

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A country house once owned by the poet who invented the English sonnet and committed adultery with Anne Boleyn

Not a bad CV — the man in question was Sir Thomas Wyatt, an adventurer and diplomat as well as writer and philanderer. He also talked his way out of the Tower of London despite being accused of bedding Henry VIII’s wife. How he found the time to have this wonderful house built amid all that is anyone’s guess.

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See Country Life’s top 10s of 2022