One of my favourite pastimes is scrolling through Rightmove for the perfect country cottage. Two, maybe three bedrooms, a little kitchen and sitting room and ideally just fields and fields for miles.
I love living in London, don't get me wrong. It's full of incredible restaurants, galleries and friends, but every time I escape to the country, even if for just a few hours, I return to London feeling completely torn between the two.
So, if you're anything like me, you'll like this article. Or maybe you're seriously considering the move to the country? In either case, here are lots of pretty cottages stretching from north to south and east to west for you to peruse.
Stewart Place, Wanlockhead, Scotland
Charming in white and green, this dinky cottage in Scotland has been recently renovated. It will set you back £125k, but the blank canvas interiors offer someone the opportunity to put their stamp on the place. Avid walkers would love the surrounding rolling hills.
This cottage's claim to fame was that it was at one time the oldest surviving petrol station... pretty cool. The road through the village leads west to Wales and the Black Mountains, and the cottage still has the old petrol pump in the garden. Renovations would be required throughout, but this red-brick cottage has a heap of history.
Another Scottish treasure, this little cottage has been recently renovated and is just a short walk from local shops. Slightly further afield but still within reaching distance, Edinburgh is a 45-minute drive away, giving someone a great combination of rural and urban life.
Just a ten-minute drive to the coast, this pretty redbrick semi-detached cottage in Somerleyton comprises two bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room and a family bathroom, with a spacious rear garden.
North-west of Plymouth sits this barn conversion, which needs a full renovation. The property has already acquired planning permission to create a 2-bedroom home.
If you're looking for an exciting property with huge potential to renovate, check out this old pub near Frome. The Theobald Arms is a detached grade 2 listed building with details dating back to the 17th Century. It does, however, have planning permission to change to residential, comprised of five bedrooms, three bathrooms and true to pub style, cellars. The only catch is it is available to cash buyers only.
This beautiful stone cottage would be an excellent restoration project for someone looking for a Welsh retreat surrounded by hills and forests. It would require extensive work to bring this building to a living standard, but you can't deny it would be beautiful once complete.
A country escape to Wales is on the cards with this lovely cottage in the Snowdonia National Park. Two double bedrooms, wooden floorboards and stunning views make up this little cottage.
This two-bedroom house in Margate's coastal town is up for grabs. Margate in Kent is known for its sandy beaches, the modern Turner Contemporary Art Gallery and the amusement park, Dreamland Margate.
With super modern interior finishes and immaculate front and rear gardens, this refurbished property is a blank canvas for anyone to add their signature style to.
With a lovely back garden with views of the surrounding hills, this sweet stone-built terraced cottage in Hexham is on the market for £175k. Situated in the beautiful countryside, just outside the Northumberland National Park.
This beautiful chocolate-box-style stone cottage in Wales boasts broad slate flagged floors, an inglenook fireplace and original timber beams. It is situated in Snowdonia in Wales.
This cottage contains a modern extension of a kitchen and a bathroom with two double bedrooms and two reception rooms. Although modernised, they've managed to keep the house's old-world charm by leaving the hardwood floors and fireplace. It also happens to b just two miles from Fakenham and a short drive to the coast. Ideal!
West Worlington, Crediton, South Devon
I just can't get over how pretty this thatched cottage is. It has been completely rethatched and decorated this year but also has heaps of character inside the house. I adore the beams, stone fireplaces and thick, wobbly walls. Not to mention the enchanting summer house in the garden.
Just a 10-minute drive from the coast and a one-hour train ride directly into London Liverpool Street, this Essex cottage offers someone the best of the country, seaside and city life. With just one bedroom and a dressing room attached, this sweet cottage is probably just the right size for a single occupant or a couple.
Palgrave, Diss, South Norfolk
This thatched cottage is filled to the brim with personality. It has two good-sized bedrooms which each boast their own staircase. On the ground floor, you have a second bathroom, with two reception rooms. You'll be kept busy as both the front and back gardens aren't lacking in size.
We said properties under £300k, so this one definitely falls within budget at just £125k. This 1860s Methodist Church, which is full of original features and tonnes of character, would require the new owners to gain planning permission to renovate it and turn it into an extraordinary residential property.
Chapleton, Ballindalloch, Scotland
Surround yourself with the most breathtaking views at this traditional stone and slate cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Though its closest train station is 22 miles away, the value of this property lies in its secluded surroundings. It would need full renovations but could be worth the investment just to imagine sitting by a fire looking out across the landscape.
Believed to date back to the 16th Century, this two-bedroom house is situated just outside the city walls of Canterbury. With ancient walls originally built by the Romans and the Cathedral, which was founded in 597AD, Canterbury is full of history just like this house.
This three double bedroom townhouse in Brecon is situated in the Brecon Beacon National Park in Wales. Lovely second-floor dormer windows and pale blue exteriors give this house so much charm.
Another glorious Welsh cottage is situated in South-West Wales, just north of Swansea. Its price tag and need for minimal renovations make it an attractive option for those looking for a rural Welsh property.
This place has two double bedrooms of similar sizes and two good-sized sitting rooms. So far, so good. Along with its painted green windows cottage and mature gardens, you've got yourself a real winner. Where's the catch? No denying it needs work, but good things come to those willing to do the work. We haven't even got into its location - Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines are all within a 40-minute drive.
Appreciate the amazing views of the surrounding landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park while sitting in the first-floor sitting room of this 3-bedroom cottage with an additional stone barn adjacent.