Features such as thatched roofs, beams and gorgeous gardens make good-looking period country cottages a magnet for house hunters in search of bucolic bliss.
"Although the phrase ‘chocolate box’ originates from the picturesque scenes printed on boxes of chocolates years ago, the term today is purely synonymous with rural charm," says Tommy Newbigging, head of residential at estate agency Carter Jonas in Suffolk.
"Buyers are often entranced by the idyllic, quintessentially English image conjured up in films such as The Holiday and the Harry Potter series, and enchanted by properties that are almost too pretty to be real." All these cottages for sale ooze kerb appeal and are bound to put you under their spell.
1. Hogin Cottage, Chideock, Bridport, Dorset, £380,000
This whitewashed thatched cottage is in the centre of a historic village only half a mile from the beach, and filled with light throughout.
On the ground floor, you’ll find spacious open plan living/dining room with an original inglenook fireplace, exposed beams and stonework and built-in window seats, a kitchen with a walk-in pantry and utility room, a bedroom and bathroom, and two large bedrooms above.
There’s also a decent-sized garden and the luxury of a pair of parking spaces. For sale through GTH.
2. Sage Green, Polebrook, Northamptonshire, £460,000
A well-maintained Grade II listed, stone and thatched cottage with a modern rear extension. This contains a country-style kitchen/breakfast room fitted with an Aga, a utility and refitted bathroom with a roll top bath, and leads out to a walled, south-facing garden.
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The original part was built in the late 17th century and includes a sitting room with an inglenook fireplace and an atmospheric dining room, both with flagstone floors, two double bedrooms and original timber beams, latched doors and window seats. Contact Woodford & Co for more information.
3. Merchants House, Edingale Village, Staffordshire, £500,000
Equally lovely inside and out, this Grade II listed detached cottage dates from the 17th century and is replete with exposed timber beams, an inglenook fireplace and other period features.
The ground floor comprises a living room, kitchen/breakfast room, a snug and cloakroom, and two staircases lead up to the three double bedrooms and bathroom fitted with a freestanding tub.
There’s a courtyard at the back, and a traditional knot garden with topiary plus a cottage garden at the front. Through Fine & Country.
4. Yew Tree Cottage, Hanging Langford, Salisbury, Wiltshire, £645,000
Stop right now if you’re after an immaculate home in scenic surroundings, as this delightful cottage has got the lot.
Nestling in the heart of the Wylye Valley, it has a 29-foot dual aspect sitting room with a window seat and a woodburning stove in the inglenook fireplace, a dining room and a Shaker-style kitchen with a range cooker fitted inside the original brick hearth.
Upstairs are three double bedrooms and two bathrooms, and there’s a mature south-west facing garden. Discover more from Strutt & Parker.
5. Charlotte Cottage, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, £795,000
The entrance to the National Trust’s Ickworth Park is directly opposite this attractive mid-18th century part-thatched cottage. Blending original features with modern improvements, it consists of a semi open-plan living/dining room with a central open fireplace, a garden room, a large kitchen/breakfast room, a utility, four bedrooms and three bathrooms, with exposed beams throughout.
Most rooms look out over the secluded and well-kept half-acre garden. Available through Bedfords.
6. Rose Cottage, Cockington Village, Torquay, Devon, £925,000
Purchase this pink thatched cottage and you should be able to make it pay its way, as until recently the manicured grounds were home to a thriving garden cafe renowned for its cream teas.
The restaurant is completely separate from the Grade II-listed property, which includes a sitting room with a wood burner, a galleried dining room, three first floor bedrooms and a master bedroom suite occupying the entire top floor.
Torquay town centre is only a mile away. Via Jackson-stops.
7. Hogbrook Farm, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, £1.1m
Combining the spaciousness of a former farmhouse with the characteristics of a cosy cottage, this 400-year old property would make a fantastic home for a big family.
It comes with a six acre garden and a paddock, so there’s plenty of room for kids to run around, and has been fully renovated so you won’t even need to pick up a paintbrush.
Accommodation includes a vaulted kitchen, a dining room, office and living room that opens into a conservatory, and six bedrooms arranged over the first and second floors. On the market through Mr & Mrs Clarke.