Lifestyle

have you found your rural forever home?

Charlie Bubear grew up in the New Forest but met his wife Alice, a land property marketeer who lived in London after university. They had three boys and one day while queuing for the seesaw at a busy playground on Wandsworth Common, Charlie snapped. “That’s it, I’ve had enough. We needed more space, so we put the house on the market [2013] and moved back to Hampshire,” he says.

They bought a cottage just outside one of Britain’s most expensive villages, Beaulieu, and surrounded by the New Forest. They also have civil rights and can legally keep ponies and cows in the forest, and they are allowed to forage.

The high prices are being driven by some of the huge houses tucked away around Buckler’s Hard, a hamlet on the banks of the Beaulieu River before it joins the Solent.

“Celebrities and captains of industry live in tranquility and seclusion around Beaulieu,” says Alice. The high-end property buyer (Hutton Bubear) is referring to the likes of billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has secured permission to build a £6million waterfront house on stilts in the area.

“The village itself is considered the most beautiful in the New Forest, despite stiff competition. It’s controlled by the Beaulieu Estate so it’s very well cared for: at Christmas all the lights have to match,” says Alice.

Facilities are country chic, with Greengrocers Bellord & Brown on the ground floor of a Georgian building on High Street, specializing in local and seasonal produce and offering foraging courses.

There are many places where children can learn to paddle and sail. There are Exbury Gardens, owned by the Rothschild banking dynasty, and a steam train. In the evenings, the villagers go to the Montagu Arms Hotel, which has a bar next door called Monty’s.

The New Forest wasn’t always a foodie district, but now there’s the Pig at Brockenhurst and Angela Hartnett’s Lime Wood Hotel. In June, the Pig hosts the Smoked & Uncut Festival with food and live music in the woods.

“Beaulieu is a commute to Southampton, which also has an express train to London. People move because of the sailing culture and the proximity to the forest and the sea,” she says. “There are many potential buyers on the waiting list for large single-family homes. Inventories are low and only come back up through divorce or downsizing,” she adds.

The village worshiped by tourists

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/ups-downs-village-life-have-found-rural-forever-home/ have you found your rural forever home?

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