At some 787 square miles and stretching into six counties in the centre and south-west of England, the Cotswolds is our largest official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a favourite place for many to buy second homes or holiday homes, with easy reach of London and Birmingham.
With an abundance of lovely villages and characterful market towns dotting its undulating, rural landscape, buyers are spoilt for choice – if they can meet the budget required. Many traditional buildings are built from the pleasant golden Cotswold stone, a fossil-rich Jurassic limestone, and a significant number of new builds also feature this distinctive material.
Among the best-known places for house-hunters to investigate are Chipping Norton, a market town surrounded by some very affluent villages, attractive settlements such as Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Charlbury, and larger towns and cities, such as Stroud and Bath.
Even with the protection provided by AONB status, the region recognizes the need to provide homes catering for all sorts of buyers, not just wealthy city folk set on a weekend bolthole or buy-to-let property. While prices in such a well-connected and beautiful part of the world are not cheap, not every home is the preserve of the rich.
Of course, the recent referendum has brought up questions about the state of the local property market and its fate over the short and medium term.
Atty Beor-Roberts of Knight Frank Cirencester recently told local newspaper the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: “My advice to all is to keep calm. The property world has experienced many political factors over the years and has ridden the storms. So I look forward with enthusiasm and expectation.
“At the end of the day people’s daily lives have to go on, and move on they will. Parents want to bring their children up in a happy family home and enjoy the beauty of what the Cotswolds has to offer, both in rolling countryside and excellent schooling.
“I am sure the Brexit situation will take months or even years to sort out – but I fully expect the property market to have renewed vigour with an increase in activity and therefore transactions.”
New homes currently for sale in the Cotswold area:
Let’s start with some award-winning properties near Stroud. The Paddocks and Old Common Mews from Lovell won a Bronze for Best Partnership Scheme at the WhatHouse? Awards 2015. There are few properties left at this duet of Minchinhampton developments now, with prices starting at £429,995 for the remaining unsold family homes, but with Help to Buy available.
In neighbouring Nailsworth, agent Perry Bishop, is offering a single executive five-bedroom a contemporary style with an unusual but practical layout, with a possible annex on the ground floor and a mix of reception rooms and bedrooms on the upper two storeys. The £780,000 price tag includes a very good specification, plenty of space and storage and an integrated double garage.
The aptly named Cotswold Edge from Newland Homes, is set on the boundary of the official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Mickleton. With a marketing suite and show home open daily, there’s a choice of three-, four- and five-bedroom detached homes to choose from here.
For older buyers looking for a luxury home to downsize to in their retirement, PegasusLife is seeking registration from those interested in its Steepleton development that is planned for Tetbury, a small town now best known for its collection of antique shops. The development will comprise 113 in nine buildings built around central kitchen gardens to make for a sociable way of life.
Just two homes remain for sale at Cotswold Homes’ Freshford Fields in Freshford, just to the south-east of Bath. Combining traditional materials with some contemporary design features and a modern specification, these homes are within easy reach of the university and city centre.
On Cotswold Water Park, just outside of the AONB, south of Cirencester, are a number of homes for principal use or as a holiday home. At Redrow’s Cerney on the Water, £335,995 is the starting price for a collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom home with traditional exteriors. The Elements section of the site has some spectacular, large luxury homes with a price tag to match – from £2.8m.
In the same area is Watermark, which has been designed for those with a love of fishing, with owners getting the right to angle for the well-stocked waters and having a conveniently located tackle shop. The 1,528 sq ft New-England-style Deck House on Summer Lake is priced at £625,000, with three bedrooms in an ‘upside-down’ layout, with the upper floor reception rooms getting the most of the light and giving access to the roof terrace. (www.watermarkcotswolds.com)
Luxury is also the key at The Lakes by Yoo. These contemporary and design-centred homes are set in woodland or by the water, and can be tweaked by the buyer from basic designs to tailor to their personal taste. Priced on application, these homes combine generous size with excellent locations, a top specification and nature right on the doorstep.