Sev­enth heaven

Stan­ley Ste­wart rec­om­mends more stately res­i­dences to rent in Bri­tain

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

Buck­land House, Devon: Set in 100ha of private wood­land in mid Devon, Buck­land gives new mean­ing to big. I feel there must be guests lost here from pre­vi­ous house par­ties, still wan­der­ing the cor­ri­dors. There is a snooker room, a chil­dren’s play­room with a dress­ing-up box, an out­door pool and a lake with a row­ing boat. But the high­light of this house has to be the gal­leried ball­room com­plete with grand pi­ano. Sleeps 27. www.buck­land­house.co.uk. The Beach House, Porth­pean, near St Austell, Corn­wall: This sea­side villa, perched di­rectly above Porth­pean Beach, has a beach-house at­mos­phere: bleached wood and painted furniture. The ground-floor rooms all open to the gar­den and the wide deck. A board­walk leads to a private en­trance to the beach. There is an at­tic sit­ting room, a great hideaway for chil­dren or teenagers, while adults may end up spend­ing most of their time in the kitchen with its three so­fas and views of the sea. Sleeps 14. www.the­wow­house­c­om­pany.com. Tone Dale House, Som­er­set: A Pal­la­dian villa set in 1.6ha of land­scaped gar­dens with a mill stream, Tone Dale is near Welling­ton on the edge of the Black­down Hills. Light streams into this house through beau­ti­fully pro­por­tioned win­dows. Dec­o­rated with great style, Tone Dale is an in­te­rior de­signer’s dream. Chil­dren can be hap­pily dis­patched to the Long Room with nu­mer­ous games in­clud­ing ta­ble ten­nis and a pool ta­ble, while any ex­tra guests could be ac­com­mo­dated in the five stable bed­rooms. Sleeps 21. www.the­big­houseco.com. Berke­ley House, Glouces­ter­shire: Tucked be­hind a Ge­or­gian fa­cade in Tet­bury is some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent: a mod­ern stylish in­te­rior with­out a whiff of chintz or ba­ro­nial flum­mery. Like the house, the town gar­den is spa­cious and stylish. The Or­angery is the per­fect spot for a can­dlelit din­ner party or for the pre­miere of your latest home video. There is also a deca­dent bed­room tucked away in the gar­den in case you have any ram­pant new­ly­weds in your party. Sleeps 16. www.the­coun­trycastle­com­pany.com. Assynt House, Ross-shire, Scot­land: As be­fits a Scot­tish es­tate, wood­work is one of the great fea­tures of Assynt House. Both the draw­ing room and the din­ing room are lined with the gor­geous light-coloured wood pan­elling that gives the house so much warmth. Ski­ing at Aviemore is only 30 min­utes away. The fa­mous Royal Dornoch golf course is nearby, as is the Mo­ray Firth. Grouse, pheas­ant and clay pi­geon shoot­ing can all be ar­ranged, as can salmon and sea trout fish­ing. Sleeps 16. www.the big­do­main.com. Rec­tory Park, Glouces­ter­shire: This is a Re­gency rec­tory, close to Stroud and Chel­tenham. Plenty to keep kids of dif­fer­ent ages busy here with a home cin­ema and games room while out­side there is cro­quet, petanque and a small foot­ball pitch. A me­dieval moat may keep them from wan­der­ing while the grown-ups lounge in the hot tub on the pa­tio. Sleeps 13. www.dun­ster­liv­ing.co.uk. Voe­wood, Nor­folk: A gen­uine arts and crafts mas­ter­piece, built in 1905. For any­one tired of flo­rals and ba­ro­nial fire­places, this bo­hemian prop­erty is just the thing. It feels very Blooms­bury. Along with a fab­u­lous mod­ern art col­lec­tion, the house boasts hand-painted mu­rals in the bed­rooms, a pi­ano once owned by Lib­er­ace, a 1960s-in­spired chill-out room as well as a gor­geous mo­saic room. There is even a te­pee in the listed gar­dens. The Great Hall can ac­com­mo­date a party of 100 should you wish to in­vite a few more mates round for drinks. The Nor­folk coast is a short drive away. Sleeps 32. www.the­coun­trycastle­com­pany.co.uk.

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