As we hurtle into 2020, it’s not only a time to think of what we want to achieve during the year ahead but where we might see ourselves at the end of the decade. Such deliberation might involve moving home, or a complete change of lifestyle.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you might consider taking on a property renovation. Sometimes, it’s just fun to imagine living somewhere completely different or having a holiday home in a favourite part of the country.
We’ve done a bit of online house-hunting to see what’s on offer in various parts of the UK – and come up with our top five gems for restoration.
From a country house hotel to a traditional stone barn, here are some properties in much need of some TLC that you might find interesting.
Oh ... and don't forget to come back to us when you need to furnish your newly renovated property. From luxury sofas to the finest weathered oak dining tables, upholstered dining chairs and armchairs ... we've got everything you need to live life in style!
Devon farmhouse £450,000
A Grade II listed cottage with great potential, Ridges Farm is in the rural hamlet of Upcott, about 11 miles from the traditional West Devon market town of Okehampton. The detached three-bedroom thatched farmhouse also has a modern two bedroom barn conversion – which you could easily live in while renovating.
Okehampton is known as the walking centre of Devon – the perfect base to discover the wild side of Dartmoor or explore forgotten villages on foot or by bike. To the north are Dartmoor's two highest peaks; while to the south lies the National Trust gorge at Lydford – a picturesque village with a waterfall.
Ridges Farm has a large garden with a lawn and fruit trees enclosed by a Devon bank/hedge and low stone wall. There’s a productive vegetable plot and a concrete yard with access to the annexe/barn conversion, farmhouse and range of outbuildings and further hard standing.
The property is for sale with a guide price of £450,000 with Godfrey Short & Squire (www.gssproperty.com; 01837 54504) and there is an opportunity to possibly purchase further land along with the cottage.
Welsh country hotel £695,000
If you’ve ever dreamed of running your own country house hotel, how about one with spectacular views of Mount Snowdon and Cardigan Bay where guests have included Kylie Minogue, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and the Attenborough brothers?
Maes Y Neuadd is a substantial 14th century Grade II listed Welsh slate and stone property set into the hillside in Talsarnau, Gwynedd. It offers an abundance of history and charm and significant development potential with a guide price of £695,000 (just reduced from £750,000).
Over the past year, Maes y Neuadd has undergone significant renovation, including rewiring, which is still ongoing. There is huge scope for commercial or residential use and a coach house alongside, providing an additional four en-suite bedrooms.
The main property, of almost 13,000 sq/ft, has 16 bedrooms and almost six acres of land, including a walled kitchen garden, Victorian pool, small lake and paddock.
Available through Strutt & Parker, Chester (www.struttandparker.com; 01244 988869).
Yorkshire holiday let £750,000
Another business and development opportunity, Deeside House is a former shooting lodge amid the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in a rural hamlet called Cowgill, which also happens to have the highest railway station in England.
The extensive, detached Grade II listed property was built in 1825. It is currently run as a seven-bedroom holiday let and boasts substantial grounds and a river frontage. In addition, there’s a coach house in need of renovation with planning permission in place for a four-bedroom home with garage. There’s also a self-contained apartment.
Typical of its era, Deeside boasts wealth and character throughout – with high ceilings, large rooms and good proportions, while the upstairs windows feature the original beautiful trellis iron work with secondary internal glazing.
Offers in the region of £750,000 are invited. The agent is JR Hopper & Co (www.jrhopper.com; 01969 622936)
Scottish stone barn £80,000
This could be the perfect place to get away from it all. If you’re not put off by a major renovation project, this traditional stone barn on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands could be transformed into a fantastic residential or holiday property.
The barn is 1.5 miles east of the picturesque village of Arisaig, which has a hotel, restaurants, shop, post office, marina and primary school. The scenic West Highland Railway line passes through Arisaig and provides train links to Mallaig and to Glasgow via Fort William.
The stone barn is a single storey detached building that was a former cottage converted into a storage barn in the 1950s. The property has been granted full planning permission for a one bedroom conversion with open-plan kitchen and living room. The sale will include land to the front for a garden area, with parking space also provided. The property is east-facing.
Offers in the region of £80,000 are invited. For further details contact Bidwells (www.bidwells.co.uk; 01397 702433).
Suffolk cottage – £400,000
Perfectly located to enjoy the coast and surrounding countryside, this three-bedroom detached cottage is in the sought-after village of Wenhaston in Suffolk.
The cottage sits well back from the lane and has a charming period thatched barn with a more modern adjoining garage. The cottage itself is very characterful and the original part of the building is the traditional Suffolk pattern with East-West orientation. Set within equal walking distance of two pretty country pubs, this is a great site offering a wealth of opportunity to develop and modernise.
The seaside towns of Southwold, Aldeburgh and Thorpeness are all within easy reach and the area has some picturesque walks. Norwich is a 40-minute drive away.
The guide price is £400,000. For more information, contact Winkworth Southwold on 01502 723007; www.winkworth.co.uk.