Fancy cosying up in a picture-perfect cottage? Browse this selection, on the market now.

What is it about a cottage we so enduringly love? Though they cannot – and need never – compete with grand Georgian houses for perfect proportions, nor with contemporary design-led homes for rationalised ergonomics and usability, there is something about a cottage that makes us long to burrow; to hunker down; and to create a cosy world of calm. A perfect example will, of course, come with a correspondingly sweet garden (think profusions of hollyhocks, foxgloves and roses), making cottage-life a dream in summer as well as in winter. And as much-vaunted ‘character’ properties go, they often – although of course not always – come in a little cheaper than some other period homes. This is our pick of the cottages on the market to buy right now.

Boscastle, Cornwall

Inigo, £600,000

Harwood Cottage, which stands within both the Boscastle Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is that happy thing: a Georgian cottage, which means it has both the enveloping feeling of snugness, while also boasting wonderful proportions. Grade II-listed and thought to have been built in the 1700s, it has three bedrooms, and a gorgeous third-of-an-acre three-tiered garden. Meanwhile the interior is exemplary, exuding a quiet, stylish restraint that allows the plethora of gorgeous period details to shine. The garden is even bordered by a trickling stream that snakes alongside it – can you imagine anything more perfect? Find further details here.

Milton-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire

Penny & Sinclair, £500,000

Right on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds Hills in the Evenlode Valley lies Milton-Under-Wychwood. A perfect village, complete with pre-school and library, it is just seven miles from beautiful Charlbury, while Oxford is also within easy reach. And there, set back from the road in this idyllic setting, sits a painterly prospect: a perfect Cotswolds stone cottage, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and more original features (think beams, exposed stone walls and inglenook fireplaces) than you can shake a stick at. Glorious. Find further details here.

Mousehole, Cornwall

The Modern House, £685,000

This small but ideally formed three-storey fisherman’s cottage could not be better situated. Sitting within a private mews in the beautiful village of Mousehole, it has gasp-inducing views across the sea, as well as a landscaped garden with a terrace that overlooks the water. We couldn’t love the white-washed and yet still wonderfully cossetting interior any more than we do. Find further details here.

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Flowers Estate Agents, £435,000

Even amongst much-feted Cotswold villages, Woodstock is regarded as a jewel. And rightly so; its perfect high street gives way to the Capability Brown’s landscaped grounds of the John Vanbrugh-designed Blenheim Palace, perhaps one of the most glorious sights anywhere in the country. This two-bedroom cottage is characterful and pretty, with its low-slung beams and pretty fireplaces. We can think of few more ideally situated homes. Find further details here.

Guist, Norfolk

Haart, £250,000

In the mid-Norfolk village of Guist sits this charming three-bed cottage is a double-fronted Victorian example of the classic cottage. Situated on a cul-de-sac, it is wonderfully quiet, and the interior is gloriously cosy. Pensthorpe Nature Reserve is just four miles away, while the famous Norfolk coastline is ten miles to the north. There is a lovely 60ft garden, space for three cars to park and a relaxed country-style kitchen. Do note, there is currently a tenant in situ who could be kept on, should an investor be interested in this property. Otherwise its proximity to nature means it would suit those with children, or simply anyone who loves to explore the great outdoors. Find further details here.

Braunton, Devon

Morris and Bott, £650,000

Who could resist this postcard-worthy thatched cottage? Near Braunton and just a short drive from the Rover Taw and the gorgeous North Devon coastline lies this Grade II-listed beauty. There is a mature garden, a large summerhouse, three external sheds and a double garage – and that’s before you even get on to Ivy Cottage’s irresistible character. There are beams a plenty, deep recessed windows, heavenly fireplaces – and, frankly, everything anyone hankering after an idyllic cottage could ever want. The details suggest that it would make a good holiday let. It would, of course, but that’s if you can ever bring yourself to leave. Find further details here and do take a video tour here.

Holt, Norfolk

Sowerby’s, £385

Anyone on the hunt for a cottage in North Norfolk may well, understandably, wish to be right by the sea. But, we argue, do take a moment to consider the pretty Georgian market town of Holt, which is a just a short drive to the sea (it takes a mere 12 minutes to motor to Blakeney, for example). We like this archetypal flint cottage, which is just a short walk to the town’s plethora of stylish shops, its pretty church and its nice pubs – and all for less than one might expect to pay to be right on the seafront, with excellent amenities aplenty. Find further details here.

Deal, Kent

Thomas and Partners, £150,000

And now for something completely different. For anyone who loves a project – and we mean a really big project – why not consider this Grade II-listed cottage in lovely Deal, which is just a walk to waterfront. It needs a total overhaul – but at £150,000, it could be exactly the thing for a buyer with vision and the drive to make something beautiful from a fundamentally good shell. Find further details here.

Matlock, Derbyshire

Eadon, Lockwoods and Riddle, £335,000

For anyone who likes their houses jam-packed with character, this two-bed former chapel in Matlock, the county town of Derbyshire situated right on the edge of the beautiful Peak District, could be just the place. Whilst we would be inclined to do a more bucolic overhaul of the kitchen, the bones of something glorious are here.

By Nancy Alsop
August 2021

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Nancy Alsop


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