Got your eye on a slice of the good life? Fuel your bucolic dreams with these pretty cottages to buy now.

This year has thrown a lot into flux – chiefly, those small matters of how we live, how we travel and how we work. Ironically, lockdown has actually given many of us the opportunity for flexibility as the world of nine-to-five office work has been replaced with simply ‘work anywhere with good WiFi’. With this new realisation that remote working can indeed be possible for more of us than previously imagined, many are now seriously considering making the move out of big cities to seek a better work/life balance, more affordable property prices and a slower pace of living. With that in mind, we have compiled an edit of the prettiest and most cosy country cottages on the market right now for anyone who wants to claim a slice of the good life. Tom and Barbara would be proud.

St Mawes, Cornwall

Country And Waterside Prestige

Could this be the exemplar of the classic Cornish cottage? Located on the waterfront in smart St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula, the three-bed, bay-fronted characterful property makes the most of its sublime River Percuil views. Olga Polizzi’s famed Hotel Trestanton is a mere 100 yards away if you don’t fancy cooking – but for all other times, what could possibly beat staying at home curled up in front of the open-fire and watching the ever-changing harbour outlook?

Dawlish, Devon

Wilkinson Grant & Co

If a thatched, chocolate box cottage is on your wish-list, this grade-II listed beauty in south Devon ticks all the boxes. Nestled in a rural hamlet close to the coastal resort of Dawlish and within easy commuting distance of Exeter, it has a surprisingly modern interior, with secluded gardens and five bedrooms – plenty of room for envious house guests or a growing family. It’s the perfect rural idyll for a slower pace of living.

Marston Meysey, Wiltshire

Sharvell Property

The 17th-century Cotswolds’ stone Rose Cottage has charm by the bucketload. Brought to the market by local experts, Sharvell Property, it has the perfect balance of character and practical amenities for everyday country living. There’s a beautifully stocked modern cottage garden, a cosy woodburning stove, exposed beams and Farrow & Ball tones aplenty. There’s even an outbuilding ripe for conversion into a home office, making this the perfect escape for the new work-at-home set-up.

Great Staughton, Cambridgeshire

Fine & Country

You’d never imagine London was under fifty minutes away from the front door of this timber-framed cottage, such is its beguiling rural charm. Complete with thatch and character features, it has been lovingly restored by the current owners, with an inglenook fireplace, a roll-top bath and a well-stocked garden filled with fruit trees, potting shed and sheltered dining area. The perfect find for those looking for the good life within commuting distance of the capital.

Nr Chew Magna, Somerset

David James & Partners

With a river-frontage garden and Chew Valley Lake right on the doorstep, this rural Somerset cottage is perfect for nature-lovers. Close to both Bristol and Bath – handy for work as well as play – the stone bridge approach and pretty wisteria-clad frontage make for a picture-perfect cottage, which is deceptively large after a recent expansion. It comprises four bedrooms, three receptions and a stunning garden room from which to drink in the rural views and visiting wildlife.

Budworth Heath, Cheshire

Fine & Country

Perhaps lockdown has brought you and your family closer together in more literal ways than you may have expected. If you’re thinking about co-habiting with parents, grown-up children or even just bagging yourself some holiday let potential, this handsome double-fronted period cottage in a village edge location in Cheshire has a great annexe for flexible accommodation. Inside, the cottage has a modern, airy feel, with a shaker-style kitchen, newly renovated bathrooms and sociable, communal living space. Outside the original brick archways make a charming garden feature, alongside the smart box hedging and far-reaching countryside views. Equidistant between Manchester and Liverpool, it’s a great option for those hankering to escape city life.

Powys, Wales

James Dean

If 2020 has left you hankering for off-grid living, this stunning rural idyll in the Brecon Beacons could be your calling. With no near neighbours and an acre of land, it has all the history and atmosphere you’d expect from a Welsh flint cottage. Yet it is outside that the three-bedroom property really shines, with panoramic views in all directions and numerous outbuildings – including workshops and potting sheds. Perfect for conversion into artists’ studios or home offices, depending on your interests.

By Lydia Mansi
September 2020


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.