8 quintessentially British homes

A home with character tops the wishlist of most house-hunters. Here are eight examples of the most desirable property styles in the UK

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1. Georgian farmhouse

With a grandiose exterior, but a homely country kitchen inside, it is no wonder the Georgian farmhouse frequently tops polls as the most coveted type of home in Britain. This property in the Wiltshire countryside has been perfectly transformed for modern family life.

exterior of a georgian farmhouse

The Grade II-listed, late-Georgian building has a small 1950s extension to the rear, which has been updated with a glazed roof. French doors were added to the kitchen to enhance the space.

2. Suburban Edwardian villa

Estate agents will attest that Edwardian homes (even the more humble semi-detached offerings) are quickly snapped up when they come on the market – most likely prized for their simple, yet effective detailing, welcoming hallways, and generous room sizing. This stunning Edwardian villa in the heart of Glasgow offered the Dean family, who were relocating from a rural area, the perfect opportunity to buy a family home with a distinct country feel but the practicality of a city location.

Their detached four bedroom Edwardian house was built in 1908 and has a colonial-style verandah, wood wall panelling and parquet flooring as well as a new kitchen extension.

3. Converted watermill

Prime location next to a body of water? Check. Quirky interiors with an industrial edge? Check. This converted Victorian watermill encompasses many of the features that anyone looking for a unique home desires. Built in 1862 as a flour mill, this property in Surrey fell out of use and into disrepair in the 1920s.

(Image: © Darren Chung)

Since then it was split into two weekend homes in the 1960s, before being taken on by Tina and Simon Jones, who have unpicked all of the alterations, restoring period features (including the waterwheel and gears), and turned it into a comfy family home.

4. Cosy cottage

Although we generally seek out spacious rooms, lots of natural light and lofty ceilings in our homes today, the classic cottage does not generally epitomise these things. However, it remains one of the most beloved types of home for Anglophiles. Perhaps the main reason is that for everything it lacks in space, it more than makes up for in charm.

(Image: © Jody Stewart)

This Derbyshire cottage – which served as a farmhouse in the 18th century – has been sympathetically extended to create a light-filled breakfast room. Most of its original features, such as the open fireplaces and exposed beams, have been retained.

5. Medieval manor house

Few homes are as atmospheric as the medieval manors still standing proudly on their estates today. Once belonging to lords who controlled the surrounding farmland, they were built like modest castles – many came complete with moats and gatehouses and were expected to house the monarch of the time as they travelled the country.

(Image: © Paul Dixon)

Crows Hall in Suffolk is a fine example of medieval architecture, complete with leaded windows, tall chimneys and, inside, a historic boxed staircase. The 16th-century home had been tenanted from the early 18th century through to the 1950s, when it was then allowed to slowly fall into ruin. It has now been restored to its former glory.

6. Georgian townhouse

From the Regency homes of Cheltenham to the terraces of Spitalfields, Georgian townhouses show the growth and prosperity of their era. Built to an eye-pleasing symmetry, these homes were often three or four storeys high, making the most of their footprint in our burgeoning cities.

(Image: © Robert Sanderson)

This lovingly restored home in Wiltshire has been returned to Georgian splendour, but with a twist. Mismatched alterations from different eras have been replaced with more authentic features, including shutters and a new portico. As the propertry was extended at the front in the Victorian era, two-over-two sash windows were specified to sensitively reflect its evolution through time.

7. Thatched cottage

Imagine a chocolate box village and you probably see pretty thatched cottages covered in climbing roses. Before the prevalence of slate and clay roof tiles, thatch was the go-to roofing material, but is rarely used on modern homes despite its insulating qualities.

(Image: © Brent Darby)

This 16th-century cob longhouse in Devon has a characterful thatched roof. A glazed oak extension has been added to the rear of the property serving as a sunroom.

8. Arts and Crafts home

The Arts and Crafts movement was a revolt against the rigid symmetry of mass-produced housing and products. It saw a return to traditional craftsmanship, and features of the architectural style include catslide roofs, bay or oriel windows, and statement chimneys.

(Image: © Brent Darby)

This Arts and Crafts home in Berkshire had everything its owners were looking for – well-proportioned rooms and a unique look. What’s more, thanks to the movement’s emphasis on quality, the 90-year-old structure was still structurally sound, making it the perfect candidate for the family’s new home.