The Upscale Cottage | Countryside Living in the British Isles

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Increased privacy, lower levels of stress, even a higher life expectancy—there are many arguments to be made for life in the British Isles. Comprising the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and many other smaller isles in the archipelago, the British Isles are host to some of the world’s most breathtaking coastal vistas and idyllic rolling hills. Whether you’re looking for a vacation home or a permanent residence, a cottage in an English hamlet or a house in the Irish countryside is the perfect answer to both.

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Despite the recent spate of contemporary countryside homes, an ancient abode will always offer an unmistakably British atmosphere. Such is the appeal of this old rectory in Bath. Dating back to the 17th century, the North Wing of the home was enlarged in 1852. Having undergone further upgrades since then, the contemporary furnishings offer a sense of modern luxury while respecting the the home’s conventional roots. Furthering its quintessentially British charm, the property backs out onto a painterly rear garden, which is a symphony in mature woodlands, antique roses, and old-fashioned perennials.

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One of the benefits of island living in the ubiquitousness of the sea. Take up residence on the cusp of the North Atlantic in this refined manor house overlooking Donnegal Bay. The nearby village of Rossnowlagh is known for its wide sandy beach and local restaurant scene, and with this home’s six bedrooms, guest apartments, and 11 acres of pastoral land, there will be plenty of room for all of your beach-going guests. No matter the time of year, the cool blue waters of bay are at your doorstep.

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One of the main advantages to owning a country home is added space. A rural dwelling can be the ideal place to host and entertain guests in comfort—precisely what is achieved by this handsome countryside estate in West Sussex. One of this home’s calling cards is its substantial proportions: flanked by vast expanses of green across 16 sprawling acres, a sizeable wraparound deck boasts sensational panoramic views of the English countryside, ideal for outdoor events. Alternatively, host your party in a stately dining room with barrel vaulted ceilings and offer guests the best of the indoors.

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Spreading out in the British Isles means a recreational ride over the misty moors. Bring your four-legged friends to this late-Georgian home in Newcastle, Ireland, which features stabling, grazing, watered fields, and 30 acres of space to roam. Participate in village life from this seven-bedroom modest estate on mature parkland with its selection of out-buildings that include an Irish cottage and various chalet lodges. The historic details in this home, dating roughly to the 1800s, include decorative plasterwork, timber shuttering, and original doors. Recent modern upgrades ensure this traditional pied-à-terre is ready to keep up with your active, outdoor lifestyle.

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Those wishing to partake in the privacy of suburban life without venturing too far off the grid can take their ease at this private estate located in the internationally renowned St. Georges Hill neighborhood. This private gated community offers all of the amenities of resort living with the added benefit of being only a short 30 minutes from central London, and within close reach of Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Guests can enjoy easy access to the high street shops, restaurants, and cafes of the Weybridge area, or a friendly round of golf at the private club within the community’s gates.

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Cottagers with an appreciation for the greener things in life will relish the foliage of the British Isles. Known for secretive hedges and al fresco teas, these islands offer a wealth of opportunity for the garden connoisseur. Revel in the stately lawns and manicured shrubs of this genteel estate home in Clonegal. Greenery on the grounds includes a formal garden, small orchard, and enclosed productive garden, while the house’s bright reception hall, comfortable drawing room, and generous bedroom suites give horticulture enthusiasts ample reason to come indoors.

From refined manor houses to contemporary country estates, the countryside offers a plethora of ways to leave the stresses of city life behind.