Saturday, 19 August 2017

Halfway to country living in village cottage

IF you are familiar with Henley, but you prefer a rural setting then the small village of Harpsden, a stone’s

IF you are familiar with Henley, but you prefer a rural setting then the small village of Harpsden, a stone’s throw away, is the ideal solution — and there is a country-lover’s dream of a property there that’s just waiting for you to move in to.

Halfway Cottage, with stunning views over open farmland, is a wonderful family home.

“Possibly the name comes from the house being situated half-way between Henley and Harpsden,” said Lucy Critchlow, who lives there with her partner Tom and their four children.

“Although it could be something to do with it once being a village shop.”

The property had already been converted back into a house when the family moved in 10 years ago, and it still retains an abundance of character features.



With four bedrooms and a large family bathroom, the property is much larger than you would imagine when seen from the front.

Upstairs, attractive white floorboards cover the landing and continue on into the other rooms.

Downstairs, apart from the garage, there is space aplenty with the open-plan living area, a large hall (which has beautiful red and black floor tiles), and a welcoming living room with an iron-surround fireplace. Miss Critchlow said: “Lots of people comment on that.

“When we first looked at buying this house, I remember seeing the hall and then the living room and going, ‘Wow!’”

These are still her favourite things about the house, along with the open-plan back of the house.

The latter includes the kitchen, dining/breakfast room, study area and family room (which has everyone’s rural tick-box wish — a wood-burning stove). They all link up into one large living space and all have stunning views across the garden and countryside beyond. The family room and the kitchen/dining room have doors to the garden, including a barbecue/patio area.

“We were the ones who reworked the back of the house like this,” said Miss Critchlow.

“It really opened up the place, but mainly we just wanted to knock the kitchen through to the dining room to create something a bit quirky.”

The glorious countryside outside the house is another winning feature.

Miss Critchlow said: “It’s just magic. Whatever you’re busy doing at home, you can just look up and see the fields. In the summertime you don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Harpsden is so close to Henley that it is even the location of Henley Golf Club. However, being a village in its own right, it has its own village hall, and football and cricket fields, as well as a 12th-century church. Harpsden is also a great spot for anything outdoor-related.

Miss Critchlow said: “The house is a lovely spot to walk from. Some people think that Henley is miles away but it’s really not. We use paths by the village hall that lead up over the hill to walk to one of the primary schools in central Henley. That takes just 20 minutes.”

The house is also not far from Gillotts secondary school and Henley Leisure Centre.

Miss Critchlow added: “It’s a lovely home for a family and there is lots of stuff you could do, but it’s time to move on now as two of the children have left for university.

“I hope the cottage’s next owners will love it as much as we do.”

Halfway Cottage is on the market with Peers & Hilton at a price of £750,000. Call Tim Peers on (01491) 411066.

By LUCY BOON, Standard property correspondent

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