Gurrow Point, Dittisham, Dartmouth, Devon
From its position at the tip of an undulating peninsula, Gurrow Point has outstanding views of the river Dart and the South Hams countryside. The Dart is one of Britain’s most beautiful tidal estuaries. Located at the river’s widest point and with many deep-water moorings nearby, the house is perfect for watersports and sailing enthusiasts. Poplar trees line the drive as it curves to the front of the house. There is an easy flow of rooms from the central hallway with spacious reception rooms and a large family kitchen which opens onto a conservatory and an orangery, with access to the terrace. The house is surrounded by stunning gardens arranged on different levels. They are primarily laid to lawn with colourful shrubs and hedges. A wonderful variety of mature trees, including Monterey pine, are landscaped among the formal gardens providing protection and privacy. In addition, there is a terraced croquet lawn and boules court, as well as a tennis court with an elegant pavilion. The property also includes a three-bedroom cottage to the north of the main house. Beyond the gardens, Gurrow Point’s grounds are predominately pasture and a mixture of woodland – extending to around 79 acres in all. Enchanting grass rides meander through the woodland, allowing vehicle access throughout the peninsula – including to the water’s edge and the estate’s own beach.
Dunsborough Park, Ripley, Surrey
Given the beauty and privacy of this 100-acre estate, it may come as a surprise that Dunsborough Park is little more than 25 miles from central London. Occupying a delightful rural setting south-west of the capital, the estate consists of an eight-bedroom Grade II listed house, magnificent historical gardens, 10 cottages, and parkland that includes equestrian facilities. Beautifully landscaped and maintained, the formal gardens are a spectacular feature at Dunsborough Park, rivalling the gardens at neighbouring RHS Wisley. Formally laid out in the 18th century, the gardens have been steadily improved in recent times. To the north of the house, the walled gardens are divided into four main areas: a rose garden, a knot garden, a wild garden-orchard and a topiary garden. High yew hedges, water gardens, a stone bridge and secluded garden architecture are just some of the many other scenic features. The house itself has some elegant period features, particularly the principal reception rooms with their grand, full-height windows which beautifully frame the landscaped surroundings.
Holmwood, Binfield Heath, Henley-on-Thames
Built in the early 1700s, Holmwood is a Grade II listed Georgian country house, that has had earls and vice admirals as previous owners. Built of elegant Flemish bond red brick, the house makes an immediate impression. However, the most charming elevation is undoubtedly the rear of Holmwood. Here, swathed in delightful wisteria, the property overlooks well-maintained gardens and has sweeping views across the Thames Valley from its elevated position.
Holmwood and its 26 acres of gardens and grounds have been extensively refurbished by the present owners. The main south-facing gardens lie to the rear of the house and include laurel walks. Close to the house is a line of terraces planted with roses, lavender and a variety of Mediterranean plants. Steps lead down from the terrace opposite the sitting room to a quartered sunken garden with a fountain, lawns and herbaceous borders. Further to the west are beds of camellias, azaleas and other shrubs, including mature rhododendrons. There is also a large area of old English woodland with a stream running through it. Much of this natural splendor can also be viewed from the heated infinity swimming pool and pool house with kitchen.
The main house benefits from all the signature Georgian flourishes characteristic of early 18th-century houses. The light, double-aspect drawing room, with its marble fireplace, large sash windows, curved extension and access to the two terraces to the south and west, epitomises proportion and balance. The other principal reception rooms include a dining room, comfortably seating up to 24, and an elegant sitting room, both with access on to the south-facing terrace. An unusual feature for a listed property is that all 11 bedrooms have an en suite bathroom.
The estate also features three further properties. Coachmans and Clock House back onto the rear courtyard while the Lodge is close to the main drive. As such, Holmwood provides comfortable accommodation for family and guests in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Camp End Manor, St George’s Hill, Surrey
St George’s Hill is renowned as one of the most highly sought-after private estates in England. Camp End Manor occupies one of the estate’s highest plots, a position that reveals uninterrupted views across more than 20 miles of the surrounding Surrey countryside. The land at Camp End Manor also has a wonderful history. Originally the site of an Iron Age fort, the plateau upon which the house sits curves steeply away, with a secret woodland wildlife garden running down to the south west. Mature trees and shrubs grow abundantly throughout the gardens. The design of the house was a direct response to its unique location. The simple, sensitive plan provides balance and harmony, and its generous ceiling heights, windows and skylights allow natural light to flood its spaces. The house is spread over two above-ground levels and one basement level arranged around a grand elliptical central staircase. This floating staircase is a masterpiece of design and engineering – created by hand, it reflects a free-standing curve of 270 degrees and is crafted using the purest French Limestone. The principal living spaces are arranged in the three wings of the house around the stair hall at ground-floor level, with ancillary accommodation occupying the spaces between. The master bedroom suite takes up the full length of the south side of the house, and it is from here that the view across the landscape can be appreciated the most. Camp End Manor has been created by a unique collaboration. More than 100 craftspeople and design professionals played their part in creating this beautiful and unique English residence. A focus on detail and craftsmanship has covered all aspects of the property from architecture to construction, interior design and furnishing.
Barnfield Estate, Dunsfold, Surrey
Barnfield is one of the most attractive small estates in Surrey. The newly renovated country house is full of period character and is surrounded by magnificent gardens, with mature woodland and pasture extending to around 50 acres. Although the property is believed to date from the mid-16th century, the existing house was largely constructed in the 19th century. It has been luxuriously refurbished and retains its Tudor flavour of Inglenooks and polished beams, floorboards and carved staircase. The spacious reception rooms lead off the inner hall, while the large kitchen opens out on to the courtyard. To one side of the house lies a croquet lawn with a summer house and an apple orchard, which is carpeted with daffodils in spring. There is also a cottage garden with its own summer house. On the other side, there is a large terrace which leads to the swimming pool and changing room. Beyond the manicured hedges, tree-lined paths and manicured lawns, the garden gives way to mature woodland of oak, birch, beech and flowering cherry trees. As well as two separate cottages, the property includes large American-style stabling with fenced paddocks and pasture.
Little Salterns, Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu, Hampshire
Little Salterns sits in a highly sought-after and exclusive position on the banks of the Beaulieu River and is accessed via a private, gated lane. It is in the heart of one of England’s most-favoured yachting locations and is a short sail across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The property is surrounded by manicured gardens that are principally laid to lawn with terraces adjacent to the house and a range of mature trees leading to oak woodland beyond. Unusually, the Beaulieu river is one of the world’s few privately owned rivers. As a result, it remains largely unspoilt in terms of landscape and wildlife. Little Salterns is built as an open crescent – a style that makes the most of its exceptional setting and the views to the river and Solent. The house has also been renovated to a high standard. The interiors are contemporary in design, but retain elements of the property’s original character, with wooden beams and open fireplaces. The spacious reception rooms are perfect for entertaining with fantastic views towards the river from throughout the property. A choice of two staircases lead to the first floor, which is cleverly designed to provide flexible accommodation which, once again, makes the best of the incredible setting and views. The bespoke kitchen/breakfast room has been beautifully designed and includes a central island with a pearlised marble worktop. From here, a glazed walkway links the principal house to the three-bedroom annexe which provides a wonderful area for entertaining as well as superb guest accommodation.