UK Country Houses Available for Sale…Not Always With Planning Consent

LOCATION: Right Round the UK – Home Counties, Midlands, North West,Scotland 


NO. OF KEYS: Currently 10 – 20, with huge tracts of land that could make up to 50 room hotel

The Properties: Can vary, but to take this as an example: Location Salisbury, Wiltshire – 80 miles to London, 18th century, Grade II listed, Country House in small village. 260 acres.

The front door opens into an entrance hall which leads through to the main reception, sweeping staircase and mezzanine landing area. There are four principle reception rooms including a drawing room, dining room, sitting room, and family room with high ceilings and large original fireplaces.

An internal corridor leads to the large kitchen/breakfast room with an oil-fired aga, fitted units, island counter and larder. The ground floor also comprises utility room, laundry room, cellar, downstairs cloakrooms and annexe flat offering sitting room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

On the first floor is the master suite comprising bedroom with built in wardrobes, feature fireplace, bathroom with separate shower and large dressing room. There are a further 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms spread over first and second floors.

Gardens, Grounds and Outbuildings: The Lodge sits within mature gardens and grounds with views over an ornamental lake. The grounds incorporate a number of specimen trees, most notably a Plane Tree at the front entrance and a collection of crab apple trees on the approach to the main house.

To the west of the house is an arboretum of mostly mature rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas. Within the grounds there is also a swimming pool and hard tennis court with galvanised fencing which is not currently in use.

To the rear of the house lies an extensive range of traditional buildings and stables, with development potential subject to necessary planning permission. The traditional stables are divided into 8 loose boxes with adjoining horse paddocks and the outbuildings are currently used for storage.

Walled Garden Cottage is a detached, four bedroom cottage comprising two reception rooms, a family sized kitchen, cloakroom and family bathroom. The garden is mainly laid to lawn, and there is an outbuilding which is currently used for storage purposes.

Stable Cottage is situated next to the stable yard adjacent to the main house. It is made up of a kitchen, dining room, sitting room with fireplace, larder, bathroom and three bedrooms along with a large garden in a tranquil setting.

The property has been in the business of growing and trading a mixture of species for 30 years. The main crop has always been field grown on the estate, mostly ornamental and grown on site giving the business a fine reputation for producing quality trees.

Sales have increased steadily to the current level of £650,000 per annum, made up of around 50% retail and 50% trade. There is an existing client base in excess 3,000 customers including trade contacts and private individuals.

Approximately 55 acres of mature, predominantly deciduous woodland is located in 3 main blocks across the estate.

Sporting: The shooting rights are let to a local syndicate who shoot between 8 and 10 days per season to include 2 family days for the owners averaging 70 birds per day. The shooting rights have been let under a licence for the current season to 1st February 2020.

Farmland: The farmland comprises a mixture of permanent pasture and arable cropping and is described on the soil survey of England and Wales as being a mix of Hurst and Wickham 3, comprising river terrace gravel and drift over Mesozoic and Tertiary clay and loam.

The lighter arable ground allows for a diverse range of cropping that rotates around the tree nursery and includes a wide range of vegetables and salads. The owner also holds a water abstraction licence, for irrigation of the tree nursery and vegetable crops if required.
Land occupation can be summarised as follows:

Approximately 30 acres occupied by entitlements claimed by the owner. Land at nearby Farm – approximately 68 acres of grassland and arable let on annual periodic FBT. BPS entitlements owned by the property and leased to farm tenant. Land at The Lodge – approximately 26 acres of permanent pasture around The Lodge let on annual periodic FBT.

We could go on….The point being these would make fab country house hotels, with more land than one can use….Planning consent is the key issue…the rule of thumb is that local councils hate empty buildings and would rather give planning consent to such properties be used as a hotel, than letting the building/s go to ruin. THPT can help with planning advice.

Currently occupied by a private family….

Main Photo: The imposing 18th century, Grade II listed, Country House

Tenure: Usually Freehold (this one is)

Brand/Management: Flag and Management can be found easily – again THPT can help.

Yield/Financial: Business plans can be drawn up…once again THPT can help

Guide Price: £6m!

Date Posted: June 2019

Agent: Usually local agent

THPT Comment: Examples of superb hotels that started as a Country House: Four Seasons Hampshire, Coworth House by The Dorchester Collection, Lime Wood New Forest, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Heckfield Place Hook and perhaps the star of them all – Cliveden.

And JLL agree with us!



This is a new feature on the THPT site…. Hotel owners can be naturally reticent in publicising their hotel is for sale…for confidentiality reasons, for staff and current client reasons, so the hotels featured in this section will either be “generic” or “name specific”


The Hotel Property Team (THPT) is a small group of highly experienced business professionals. Between us, we provide a range of skills and experience which is directly relevant to those involved in the hotel property market.

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