December Top Picks: English Country Homes


Whilst summer might be over, there is nothing quite like a country home all bright and airy during those summer months. Lucky for some, there are a number of properties for sale throughout winter for houses that can be enjoyed all year round, meaning we can have a good snoop! I have picked 5 of my favourite properties that I have seen on the market, just to give our foreign visitors an idea of what they can buy if 1) they move to England and 2) maybe win the lottery!

1. Barford St Michael, Oxfordshire

If you are lucky enough to be searching for your perfect country home, you don’t have to look too hard in Oxfordshire. The county is brimming with charming cottages, stone houses, and even large country estates. And what’s better is you have one of the most historical cities in England right on your doorstep. Oxford is a world-renowned academic centre with excellent schools, universities, healthcare and plenty of jobs!

With its honey-coloured stone walls, this beautiful home in Barford St Michael, close to Banbury in Oxfordshire, it the home of any family’s dreams. Dating back to the 18th century the home isn’t as old as most in this part of the world, but still oozes in charm from times gone by. I can just imagine the Christmas tree you could erect on the driveway, welcoming visitors from far and wide! Opening the front door letting out wafts of freshly baked mince pies and mulled wine.

The interior, just a homely from the inside as on the out, is cosy and inviting, with a large log burner to keep you going through those winter months… And the kitchen, Mary Berry eat your heart out, this is what an English country kitchen should look like!

2. Snowshill Gloucestershire

Located in one of my favourite villages, Snowshill, any man and his dog would be lucky to live in this magical Cotswold house. Accessed through a country lane, guests can enter the property into a beautiful stone living area with a roaring fire and ceiling beams from a time gone by. This is the sort of place I can imagine myself growing old in, sitting in a rocking chair, reading a book and chomping on some lemon drizzle cake, I can almost smell the remnants of the fire before I have even entered the building.

The property boasts its own stableyard, cottage and barn, for young families this could mean spoiling your little darlings rotten with the prospect of a horse or creating an outdoor office space for some work motivation. The views over the surrounding hills are spectacular and enough to make anyone take on a few extra shifts at work in the dream off affording a place like this one day!

3. Barford St Michael, Oxfordshire

Yes, I am featuring this village again, it’s too good not to. This time a more modern twist on a Grade II listed cottage in a beautiful village environment. Most people can be turned off as soon as they see the words ‘Grade II Listed’, myself included, after all, it takes mountains of paperwork to be able to change anything in your house. However, this property is different, the previous owners have renovated the space, making it bright and beautiful with all the modern amenities you could need, including a stunning egg shaped bath. They have literally done all the hard work for you!

With beams galore, this is quite honestly the house of my dreams. The bespoke kitchen comes with painted maple and oak fitted units and the staple of any English kitchen, a breakfast island, because we all need to eat breakfast in its own designated area am I right? The AGA also means you will never be cold, not even on the chilliest of January days, and in summer you might just get a little overheated, but that’s what open windows are for surely…

4. Slapton, Northamptonshire

To the east of Oxfordshire is the less well known Northamptonshire, why this county slips under the radar time and time again I will never know. Whilst I am not a huge fan of the larger towns, the countryside and villages of Northamptonshire are some of the best in the country, and I’m not just saying that because I grew up here. I suppose the good thing about this is the price point, you can get a lot more for your money in this unsuspecting East Midlands county, starting with Fellyard, a beautiful Georgian family home.

Dating back to 1731 you would be forgiven in thinking this home lives on a movie set… it doesn’t, it is a real family home and could be yours for £2.2 million. Ouch… that is a lot of money, but pick this home up and plonk it in Surrey and you would be looking at double the cost!

Owned by the same family since 1994 I can only imagine the memories this residence contains, the interior gives a nod to the family life that once was with a rocking horse in the corner of the hallway, but I am guessing the children are now long grown up and the owners are looking for a family that can create their own special moments here.

My favourite part of this home is the orangery, the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon, rain or shine. Oh, and did I mention this place comes with its own pool?!

5. Langham, Suffolk

Now, this sweet home looks like it could house a number of fairytale characters rather than real life humans, and with a 10-acre garden, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was the odd magical creature lurking around.

This cosy cottage, perfect for a couple or small family comes with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, so if you are a large family of 5 this might not be your place! With a treelined driveway and acres of land, this home would be any gardener’s dream!

I hope you enjoyed my first instalment of country homes! I will be back in January I guess. Please note this blog post is in no way affiliated with Strutt & Parker, but I found all homes via their website and all photo credits go to them.

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  • David Pomfret says:

    Adding all these to our roadtrip list for this winter!