Take 5… Homes with a taste of ‘the good life’


In recent years, there’s been a surge in people looking for the rural idyll. As the country shutdown through the pandemic, many in the countryside embraced a bit more of a ‘do it yourself’ attitude when it comes to how they live, maximising outdoor space and any land available to them.

There’s certainly nothing new about self-sufficiency but it has become more popular and for many, the new skills and hobbies we picked up in lockdown are here to stay. Though it’s become less about being stuck inside but instead become focused on transforming your lifestyle, looking at how you can be more sustainable, alongside our growing desire for locally sourced food.

So, what steps can you take to become more self-sufficient?

The pandemic made properties with land ‘gold dust’, with demand skyrocketing from those looking to gain more space. Properties with sizeable gardens for a vegetable patch also boomed in popularity. A lot of us admire the impressive kitchen gardens we see sprawled across stately home grounds but something on a smaller scale can give you access to your very own seasonal produce. Gardening is as challenging as you make it so all you have to do is find the right spot. A couple of raised beds don’t require endless digging and weeding but can be high in output to include while cooking your seasonal recipes.

However, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous than your common vegetable patch, an orchard, a hen house or even a beehive could add a new level to your endeavours. It is surprising how much you can do in your back garden. But, before you jump into your wellies, there is a lot to consider. For every glorious summer’s day, there’s a cold winter’s one to match and getting up to care for everything that inhabits your land is not everyone’s cup of tea. The best advice would be to do your research and make it manageable for you.

If you’re looking for your own rural idyll, we’ve pick five homes that already have this way of living set up:

Bluebell Croft, 15 Anaheilt, Strontian Acharacle

Bluebell Croft is a stunning home plus two 5 star self-catering cottages, set in approximately 6.5 acres of owner occupied working croft. The current owners grow their own produce from their fruit and vegetable garden which also has an orchard and a polytunnel. There is also a 5kw Evance wind turbine and a boiler room with biomass boiler.

Wych Elm House, Andover, Hampshire

Positioned in a tranquil setting, Wych Elm House offers a beautifully presented home with well proportioned, light and airy accommodation. Its gardens are particularly noteworthy, where a vegetable patch and fruit trees provide bounty for the table and there are mature trees interspersed within the lawned areas.

Evelix Farmhouse, Dornoch Sutherland

Evelix Farmhouse is an exquisite country house, set in approximately 11 acres including salmon and trout fishing on the River Evelix. The property is set in a beautifully landscaped grounds of around 11 acres, which include specimen plants, trees, vegetable garden, greenhouse, raised beds and a garden pond.

Clunebeg Estate, Drumnadrochit, Inverness

Clunebeg Estate is a substantial Victorian lodge with holiday letting properties, approximately 29 acres of amenity land & woodland plus fishing rights on Loch Ness.

Nouds Oast, Lynsted, Kent

Nouds Oast is a fine example of Kent’s architectural heritage, showcasing twin oast roundels with their conical roofs, giving the property a distinct identity, whilst providing a spacious, contemporary home for a modern family lifestyle. Within its grounds, there is a carefully designed kitchen garden with paths around raised beds, with two sheds and a greenhouse.

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