Category: Location

04- Oct2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
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Perranporth Beach Cornwall: Is it worth visiting

If you are considering visiting Perranporth Beach in Cornwall, this post will give you some of the information you need to decide if Perranporth Beach is worth visiting or not.

Since I arrived in the UK in 2005, I have been privileged to visit a lot of beaches. My concession in that time is that majority of the beaches are reasonably ok.

Perranporth beach is one of the beaches I can confidently say I really enjoyed visiting. We visited the beach in July when the weather was very warm and it was a sunny day which made our experience very enjoyable.

Perranporth beach

Perranporth beach

The beach is located in Perranporth town which is a seaside resort town on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The town is around 8 miles south-west of Newquay.

Perran beach faces west onto Perran Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The very first thing we noticed was the Perranporth beach popularity for surfing.

As we were walking down to the beach, we saw a lot of people dressed in  wet suits carrying surfing boards. We knew straight away that the beach was popular with surfers. I must admit that neither I nor anyone in my household is into surfing.

Perranporth Beach, Family Day-out

If you are a surfer or would like to learn about surfing, Perranporth beach is a place for you to try out.

Perranporth is a popular family holiday destination for a lot of British families. I really love sandy beaches and Perranporth beach is one of the very best of the sandy beaches of Britain. The beach is very wide. Perran Beach extends northeast of Perranporth town for about 3 km (nearly 2 miles) to Ligger Point.

How long is Perranporth beach?

Perranporth beach is about 2 miles long. It extends northeast of the town to Ligger Point.

Things to Do in Perranporth

Of course, the beach is the major spot to explore but surfing isn’t the only attraction in Perranporth. There are lots of things to do in Perranporth and environment.

During our visit, we had a great time at the beach. There are other places near Perranporth were you can have a nice family time. One of such is the Newquay Zoo which is about 9 miles to Perranporth.

Newquay Zoo

We visited Newquay Zoo and it was a good place to visit. Our boys love animals and that influenced our decision to visit the zoo. From Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park where we stayed to Newquay Zoo is about 20 mins.

We’ve been to a lot of establishments in the UK where wild animals are conserved. Newquay is a reasonable sized zoo. However, it is not as big as zoos like Edingugh or Bristol which we’ve visited in the past.

Newquay Zoo has over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and endangered animals. One unique animal which I remember seeing is Capybara.

As one of the leading tourist attractions in Cornwall, it was not a surprise that the zoo was very busy.

They also have a children play area which our younger son really loved. He enjoyed himself a lot.

We had a great family time at the zoo.

Other places to visit to find exciting things to do in Perranporth are

1. Perranporth to St Agnes Clifftop Walk

2. Perranporth Museum

3. St Piran’s Oratory –  site seeing

4. Black Flag Brewery. – food and drink

5. Ticket to Ride Surf School -BOAT TOURS & WATER SPORTS

6. Perranporth Surf School

7. Reen Manor Riding School

8. The Watering Hole

9. Cornish Lavender

Haven Perran Sands Caravan Holiday Park in Perranporth

Our main reason for travelling down to Perranporth in Cornwall was because of Haven Perran Sands Caravan Holiday Park.

It has been an extraordinary second quarter of the year 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. After the lockdown was eased, we decided to get away from the house to broaden our horizon and get back some much needed life positives.

Explore Haven Perran Sand

Over the years we’ve been familiar with Haven holiday parks so it was an easy decision to go with Haven. And we chose Cornwall because we’ve never been to Cornwall before.

Perran Sands Holiday Park offers a perfect resting place for families.

Deluxe Caravan, Haven Perran Sand

The holiday park has stunning views of the sea. The beach which is exclusive to the holiday park is perfect for surfing if you love surfing.

You can learn to surf at the Surf School located in the park.

There is also an indoor pool and a hub for various sports and leisure activities.

I really enjoyed a stroll to the beach in the evening during the sunset.

We stayed in one of the Delux Caravan and I must say that it was sparkling clean. I have nothing bad to say about the condition of the caravan.

Categories:
16- Jul2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
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Why is the Cotswolds so expensive?

The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. However, Cotswolds is an expensive area to live in.

The Cotswold boasts of some of the most recognized traditional English villages. There is no doubt that house prices play a major role in determining how expensive it can be to live in an area.

The house prices in the Cotswold area has always been above the UK national average. It doesn’t matter the year you check the figures, the average house price in the Cotswolds is usually double of the UK average house price.

 

Cotswold, England

Planning restrictions to build new homes

I worked in the planning department of three different Local Government Authorities for over 12 years.

Working in the Local Government Authority helped my understanding of the UK planning system.

The planning law restricts the planning of new houses being built in rural areas. Usually planning permission applications will be rejected for building new houses outside the existing boundary of towns and villages.

The Cotswolds is home to quintessential British villages. These villages have a lot of astonishing history. They are small villages and haven’t seen new houses built for a very long time.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 which came into effect in July 1948 gave the power to local government authorities to approve planning proposals.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 set the foundation of the modern town and country planning in the United Kingdom.

If we follow the age-old law of supply and demand. It is not a surprise that house prices in the Cotswold area are higher than the UK average. 

The restriction to build new homes in rural areas means there is a shortage of homes. When there is a shortage of anything, the little available will be expensive.

 

Idyllic rural aerial view, Cotswolds

Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the unique features of the Cotswold Area.

AONB are protected because of their exceptional landscape, distinctive character and natural beauty.

They are specifically safeguarded in the national interest. The Cotswold AONB is one of the 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Because of the large areas covered by Cotswold AONB.  This means there is not enough land available outside the AONB in the Cotswold area to build new houses.

 

Burford, Cotswold

Affluence and celebrities

The Cotswolds area is home to a lot of British celebrities.

Celebrities don’t buy houses just anywhere. They tend to buy a house in an affluent area where their privacy can be protected.

If celebrities have a home in an area. There is no doubt the house prices in that area will skyrocket.

One of the popular celebrities who has a home in the Cotswolds is Jeremy Clarkson. He has a house in Chipping Norton.

Jeremy Clarkson co-hosted the hit BBC series Top Gear from 1988 through 2015. Top Gear is one of BBC’s biggest shows which attracts 350 million viewers worldwide. He is also known for the Amazon Prime Show ‘The Grand Tour‘.

Not only celebrities have homes in the Cotswolds. Some royal family members also have houses in the Cotswolds.

Zara Phillips is one of the Royals, she and her Rugby player husband Mike Tindall live in the Cotswolds. Princess Anne also has a property in the Cotswolds.

 

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Easy commute to London

The Cotswold area is part of the Southwest and within a commutable distance to London.

There are a lot of people from the Cotswolds who work in London. They commute to work from the Cotswolds area.

Part of Oxfordshire County is within the Cotswolds area, Oxford is popular among places where people commute to London.

Cotswold villages in the northern part of the area are within a commutable distance to London. Those are the villages within the Oxfordshire part of the Cotswolds. You can easily join the train to London and within a few hours, you will be in London.

People who are not able to afford the astronomical price of houses in London can live within commutable distance in the Cotswolds.

Even this small budget which cannot get you a house in London but can in the Cotswolds is still a lot of money for a standard house outside of London.

People who commute from the Cotswold to London not only do it because of London house prices.

There are some groups of people who just do not like the busyness, traffic and the crowd of London. These group of people like the countryside or semi-rural area like what the Cotswold offers.

Because of the popularity of the Cotswold and being a choice place for highly skilled professionals and business people who commute to London. This factor drives the house prices in the Cotswold up.

 

Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold

Beautiful area

The beauty of the Cotswolds area is very easy to see if you have been to the area. the landscape in some of the Cotswold villages is breathtaking.

The neatness and organized countryside have different feels compared to a lot of areas I have been to.

You can see the historic environment which has strong links with the Romans.

A beautiful area like the Cotswold is almost guaranteed to be expensive to live in.

I am not sure if anyone will deny that Cotswold villages are some of the most beautiful in Britain. The honey-colored cottages, cozy pubs, tiny tearooms, and narrow streets are part of the features which make the Cotswold unique.

A lot of the Cotswold villages have narrow lanes that lead to the market square. The lanes were built to allow the easy shepherding of sheep. These lanes are an important part of the history of the Cotswolds area.

Most of these villages are known for their picturesque and quintessential nature.

Categories:
13- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
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Part Exchange Houses: Is part exchange on house a good idea?

Are you asking yourself, is part exchange on house a good idea?

The major benefit of a home part exchange is that it provides a simple and stress-free route to moving home.

Let’s face reality here, the process of moving home can be overwhelming and stressful.

As a family that has moved home twice to a new home in both cases, I can definitely say the home exchange is an option that is worth considering if you are thinking about moving home.

This is not an advertisement for any homebuilder but it worth mention that our own experience is with Bovis Home.

There are various reasons while someone might consider moving house. You could be trying to downsize to a smaller house or upsizing to a bigger house.

Our own experience on both occasions was upsizing.

By sharing our home part exchange experience I thought someone will find this useful.

You will find home exchange useful if you are a homeowner and want to upsize to a newly built property.

Some people already have their house on the market but struggling to find a buyer and it’s holding them up from moving.

Housebuilders can offer such people the opportunity to move by buying the house from the homeowner, the builder will then sell one of their homes to the homeowner.

The concept of home part exchange is simple. The housebuilder purchases your home from you, they then leave you free to buy one of their new houses.

What actually is a home part exchange?

Home exchange is similar to the part exchange of a car, or a phone or anything really. It means that you are giving what you have in exchanging of another thing. Usually, it will be exchanging a used item for a new item.

In the case of new home part exchange, it is mainly a case of selling your used or existing home to a developer and buying one of the developer’s new homes.

Notice the word PART in the Part Exchange. This means that you are not exchanging like for like. For example, the price of your existing home will usually be less than the price of the brand new home you will get from the developer.

What will you benefit from Part Exchange?

  • For my family, we like the fact that we didn’t have to wait and worry about whether our house will sell or not. The waiting can be months sometimes.
  • As soon as we receive the offer from the developer, the moving plan started for us and this was beneficial.
  • The price they offer us was what we were expecting so good price for our home was a benefit.
  • The cost of an advertisement, the agent fees etc. All these fees can add up. We didn’t have to pay any of that.
  • My wife, in particular, wasn’t interested in getting into home selling chains. We heard about it from friends that sometimes it can be frustrating. I thought its a big benefit.
  • The home exchange meant that the buyer was already available without any hassles of finding a buyer.
  • After the new home was completed, we had all the time we needed to move, were not under any pressure to move out of our old home.
  • People coming around for viewing from agents can be frustrating because of arranging a time for viewing. Not having to worry about schedules for a view is very beneficial.

New Homes UK

How does part exchange work?

Obviously, there are requirements you need to meet. The housebuilders do have terms and conditions. Each builder set their own terms and conditions but the concept of part exchange schemes is similar in the house building industry.

Price

The major requirement that most of the developers expect you to meet is that your existing home must be a certain percentage of the value of the new home you are considering purchasing from them.

The percentage differs from one developer to another.

For example, let’s say you want to buy a new home valued at £300,000,  70% of £300,000 is £210,000. This means that the value of your existing home cannot be more than £210,000.

The other way to look at it is this.

If your existing house is valued at £210,000 and you want to part exchange it for a new home, you would divide £210,000 by 70% which will give you £300,000. This will be the minimum price of a new home you can get from the developer.

Not all existing homes can qualify for part-exchange due to some reasons like

  • As houses were constructed with different materials and methods, not all properties can be considered by home builders in their part exchange scheme. Some houses are unmortgageable which can disqualify them for new home part exchange
  • Whether a house is a freehold or leasehold can be a factor as well in considering if a house qualifies for home part exchange or not. For example, leasehold flats with less than 80 years left on the lease or small studio flats might not qualify
  • Location of the existing property could be significant also.

YouTube video

How does part exchange work? Our experience

The First Step

We put our house on the market. After about 3 months with 3 views with no offer.

Our fear about the part exchange was that developers will usually offer less than the market value for our house. We thought let’s try and see what offer they will give us.

We identified a site we were interested in in the City we wanted to move to. We rang the developer (Bovis Homes) to enquire about their part exchange scheme.

The Bovis Home Sales Executive we spoke to asked us some question to check if our home will qualify for their part exchange scheme. The obvious question I could remember they asked was our address.

The Sales Executes explained the part exchange scheme process for us.

 

Valuation of our existing home

Bovis home sent two independent local estate agents to our house. They came on two different occasions. They came 2 days apart. On the day the second agent came we received a call from Bovis Homes shortly after the agent left.

Developers usually offer the price they think is the market price that they will be willing to pay for the property.

They will not offer you the asking price of your home. It’s your choice to decide if you think what they offer is right for you.

We did not haggle but I think you can actually renegotiate what they offer.

For us, the price home builder offer for our house was the first we were hoping to accept when we first listed our house for sale.

We had about two days cooling-off period to decide we wanted to move forward with the part exchange scheme.

We rang Bovis two days after they gave us the offer to say we would accept their offer.

Reservation

After the verbal offer on phone, they also sent using a written offer letter to confirm the verbal offer.

We just accepted the offer verbally.

We then proceeded to reserve one of Bovis Home.

We visited their site office to see the site layout and the house plans. For us, it was the second time we were buying a new home so there were no surprises in the process.

We made a provisional reservation at the site office. We later contacted them by phone for full reservations by making payment for the reservation. The reservation fee was non-refundable if the mortgage didn’t go through.

The reservation fee was refunded to us after the exchange of contract and completion.

Sales and Mortgage process

Every other thing was just as usual as in the normal mortgage process.

As the part exchange means they were buying our house from us. Our solicitor took over the bank transfers and liaising with the developer solicitors.

Bovis Sales office were very helpful throughout the sales process.

After the reservation, were continued to live in our house while the new home was been built.

One of the good things about the new home is the opportunity to choose some home appliances, kitchen cabinets, bathroom tiles and certain interiors.

It worth mention that while the new house was been built, the housebuilder sent estate agents to our house with potential buying for house viewing.

I think there were about 3 views after we accepted the offer the home builder gave us for our house.

After the exchange of contract and completion

One of the benefits of part exchange is that you are not under pressure to move from your existing house. Since the developer is the one that bought your house from you, they give you sometime after the exchange of contract to move at your own pace.

This is just our own experience I am not sure if they do this in every situation.

Categories:
12- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
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15 Best Cotswolds Villages

The Cotswolds, located in southwest England, has long been a favourite for tourists looking to escape the hustle-and-bustle of London.

The region’s rolling hills and meadows are home to numerous villages, many of which remain preserved in their Medieval states.

Cotswold Villages

Visiting the Cotswolds gives an authentic look at life and history in the English countryside.

Most visitors stick to the more touristed villages, but this guide will take you through the top 15 villages to visit, so you can venture further along the tourist path, and see the Cotswolds’ best, sans crowds.

 

Tourists on bridge, Bourton-on-the-Water

 

  1. Bourton-on-the-Water

One of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water has been voted among the prettiest villages in England.

Visitors here can immediately see why. The River Windrush cuts through the village, and is connected by five historic bridges, earning Bourton-on-the-Water the moniker of “Venice of the Cotswolds”.

The village offers a wide range of attractions, making it great for families travelling with children.

Stop by the Cotswold Farm Park or the Birdland Park & Gardens to see everything from baby pigs to King Penguins.

Adults can also tour the Cotswold Brewing Company, a family-run brewery which offers a large selection of craft beers and lagers.

There’s also delightful museums like the Cotswold Motor Museum and the Bourton Model Railway and Village, which offer unique perspectives on English life.

Another great activity is hitting up the shops while strolling through the village streets. Bourton-on-the-Water has local artisan shops selling perfume, pottery and sheepskin.

 

Burford

  1. Burford

Burford is well-known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by uninterrupted views of the surrounding meadows.

However, its town centre isn’t its only claim to fame. You can stay in the Bull Hotel, which was once frequented by King Charles II, or wander amongst Burford’s numerous Medieval landmarks. Burford is even home to England’s oldest pharmacy.

To experience the village’s Medieval history, visit the Tolsey Museum, located in a former trading house, or admire the architecture of the Church of St John the Baptist, with its picturesque crossing tower and Medieval art collection, including one of the first depictions of indigenous Americans.

Many visitors come to Burford for Levellers’ Day, commemorating the execution of three revolutionaries in 1649, held annually on the nearest Saturday to May 17th.

 

Picturesque, Cirencester

  1. Cirencester

Cirencester is known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds”, and is one of the largest villages in the region.

Its size, however, doesn’t deter from its charm.

The town is steeped in history, going all the way back to Roman times, when it was Britain’s second-largest town.

To see these Roman relics, visit the Corinium Museum, home to one of the best collections of Roman mosaics in the world, and the Cirencester Amphitheatre, now buried underneath a landscape of grassy mounds.

Like many villages in the Cotswolds, Cirencester was also a bastion of Medieval wealth, thanks to its wool industry.

This wealth can be seen in the Church of St John the Baptist, decked in flamboyant Gothic style.

Another favourite of visitors is Cirencester Park, part of the grounds of the Earls of Bathurst, which is now open to the public.

Other attractions include the town’s weekly markets, including the Street, Cattle and Antiques Markets.

 

Castle Combe

  1. Castle Combe

Castle Combe is named for its 12th-century eponymous Castle, which once stood just north of the city.

The castle is almost long gone, but there’s still plenty to see.

The village’s picturesque streets and rowhouses have long been popular as a filming location, having been featured in 1967’s Doctor Dolittle, as well as more recent films, like War Horse.

This tiny town with a population of just 344, looks much the same as it did in 15th century.

Stop by the historic water pump, the 12th-century St Andrew’s Church, or see one of the oldest working clocks in England.

 

High Street, Chipping Campden

  1. Chipping Campden

Another village on the tourist track, Chipping Campden is a popular home base when visiting the Cotswolds.

Its central location allows easy access to other Cotswold villages, as well as other towns in the region, like Stratford-upon-Avon.

Chipping Campden is known for its seasonal beauty, offering colourful blooms in the spring from its bluebells and daffodils, and snow-topped cottages in the winter.

Besides the village’s natural beauty, visitors can also be delighted by the historic Market Hall and Silk Mill, which still produces prized silkworks today. Additionally, Chipping Campden is a hotspot for local business, with several antique-sellers, antiquarian bookshops, and artisan craft and food stores.

 

The Village Green at Blockley

  1. Blockley

The village of Blockley offers a unique landscape from other Cotswold villages.

Retaining the golden-coloured charm of its neighbours, Blockley is a compact town, sheltered by the surrounding hills.

The streetscape is built in a circle-like formation, making the village easily walkable, and Blockley offers a look at a more modern style.

The Medieval almshouses seen in other Cotswold villages are not present here, in exchange for wider cottages.

There’s also the quaint Church of St Peter and St Paul, which has recently been used as a filming location for the British television series, Father Brown.

Most visitors come to Blockley for its classic cars.

Watsonian Squire has been building sidecars since 1912, and has been based in Blockley for the past 30 years.

Visitors can hire out classic cars to explore the area from Classic Car Hire North.

 

Stow On The Wold Market Cross Looking Towards Parish Church

  1. Stow-on-the-Wold

Located at the crossroads of several local roads, Stow-on-the-Wold became a powerful trading force during Medieval times.

It’s also the Cotswolds’ highest village, sitting on top of an 800-ft hill, which proved useful during the English Civil War.

Visitors can still see remnants of this history today.

First stop for all visitors should be the expansive Market Square.

During the height of Stow’s power, this square held some of the Cotswolds’ largest sheep fairs.

You can still catch the market atmosphere during the monthly Farmers’ Market.

Stow is also a popular spot for walking. You can see stunning viewpoints from within the town, or wander out to the neighbouring villages.

 

Thatched Cottages On Main Street of Stanton

  1. Stanton

Stanton is popular with visitors walking the Cotswold Way, a national hiking trail.

Consisting of just a few streets, there isn’t much here in the way of sightseeing.

However, this tiny village of just under 200 people, is one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds, and is relatively void of large crowds.

Despite its size, Stanton is home to several historical buildings, including the Church of St. Michael, most likely built on a former pagan site.

There are also a few cottages and manor houses, like Sheppey Corner and Stanton Court.

You can also venture just outside the village and wander the gardens of nearby Snowshill Manor and Stanway House.

 

Picturesque Tetbury

  1. Tetbury

Tetbury lies on the Southern end of the Cotswolds, and is a great base for exploring this part of the region.

The village is larger than other Cotswold villages, thus providing a great opportunity for walking.

Visit the Church of St. Mary’s, with one of the tallest spires in England, then head up the Chipping Steps for the town’s best viewpoint.

Like many villages in the area, Tetbury was a wool trading hub, and its Market House, one of the best-preserved in England, still hosts two weekly markets.

You can also visit the Police Museum, a quirky institution with a collection of local memorabilia.

Tetbury is also a hotspot for shopping, with 25 antique stores, and several high fashion boutiques.

 

Painswick Beacon

  1. Painswick

Another gem of the south Cotswolds, Painswick is a hub for local culture and art.

The colourful village features the famed golden stone buildings typical in the Cotswolds, as well as some Medieval half-timbered buildings.

The Painswick Hotel is a favourite base for travellers, and the hotel provides several self-guided walking tours for visitors.

One favourite walk is up to Painswick Beacon, which has sweeping views of the Severn Valley.

The main attraction of Painswick, however, is its eccentric culture.

Pubs serve local ales and café like the Patchwork Mouse Art Café serve coffee and fresh-baked pastries.

Do be sure to explore the town’s galleries, or better yet, visit during the Arts Festival or Art Couture Painswick Festival.

 

Moreton-in-Marsh

  1. Moreton-in-Marsh

Moreton-in-Marsh enjoys a direct rail link to London, and serves as a gateway for many travellers and day-trippers to the area.

There are numerous historic hotels and inns, so the village makes another excellent base for exploring the Cotswolds.

Another market town, Moreton-in-Marsh still has a Tuesday street market on High Street. In fact, it’s the largest open-air market in all of the Cotswolds.

Nearby attractions are the Cotswold Falconry Centre, a unique spot for nature lovers, and the Batsford Arboretum, home to over 2,800 species of flora.

Moreton-in-Marsh also has a unique fantasy twist. J.R.R. Tolkien was a frequent visitor, and The Bell Inn and nearby Four Shire Stone inspired locations in his Lord of the Rings series.

 

Arlington Row, Bibury

  1. Bibury

Nearby the large village of Cirencester is the tiny hamlet of Bibury.

This idyllic spot has received much acclaim for its natural beauty, and The Huffington Post recently named it one of the “Most Charming Towns in Europe”.

The main attraction here is Arlington Row, one of the most photographed spots in England, even featuring on the inside of UK passports.

The row of weavers’ cottages was built in the 14th century, and gives a quintessential slice of countryside England.

For a more unique slice of life, stop by the Bibury Trout Farm, the oldest in the country, where you can catch your own dinner.

Alternatively, head to the farm’s shop and make your own picnic to take into the surrounding countryside.

I wrote an article about Bibury. You can click here to read about our experience of visiting Bibury.

 

St Peter And Paul Parish Church Nave A Northleach England

  1. Northleach

Northleach is great stop to get away from the crowds.

Its located along the main tourist track, at the intersection of the A40 and the Roman Fosse Way, and just 10 miles from Cirencester.

Northleach offers the same attractions as many Cotswold villages: an old Market Place with a weekly market, half-timbered buildings, and a gorgeous “wool” church, the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

You can also explore the historic architecture at the Old Prison, now home to a café.

It’s a great place to shop at local businesses, from bakeries and wineries to more unique artisan stores selling everything from doll houses to music boxes.

Northleach also makes a great place to stay if you’re set on finding a more untouched side of the Cotswolds.

 

Broadway Tower, England

  1. Broadway

Broadway is a hotspot for walkers and view-seekers.

Visitors often head to Broadway Tower, for one of the most picturesque viewpoints in the whole region. However, it’s not just scenery.

Broadway also has an illustrious past.

The Lygon Arms Hotel once hosted Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War, and the town was a favourite of many artistic figures.

Gordon Russell, a renowned furniture designer, grew up in Broadway; the Gordon Russell Design Museum houses his former workshop.

There’s also the Broadway Museum, which tells the story of Broadway and its resident artists, like John Singer Sargent.

Broadway’s also a great stop for active travellers. The town offers opportunities for golf, horse riding, and even clay pigeon shooting.

Lower Slaughter

  1. Upper and Lower Slaughter

The Slaughters actually consists of two neighbouring villages but are often paired together by travellers and residents.

Lower Slaughter is known for its historic mill, built-in 1658.

Now restored to its former glory, the mill still has its original water wheel.

You’ll also find the quintessential Cotswold stone cottages, and a stream running through the town.

Lower Slaughter has a simple, workaday charm that wins over visitors and has made it a favourite in the region.

Surprisingly, as you continue on to Upper Slaughter, you’ll find that most of the crowds thin out, as the majority of visitors opt for Lower Slaughter. The main attraction here is the Eyford House.

This mansion, built in 1911, maintains the atmosphere of the surrounding village.

Its rooms are lavishly but tastefully decorated, and it makes a great contrast from the mill in Lower Slaughter.

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What are the best places to visit in the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds is a beautiful rural area in England known for its awesomely picturesque natural beauty.

It was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty in 1966 which makes it one of the best places to visit in England if you are a lover of nature and breath-taking scenery.

The Cotswolds, with its series of picture-perfect villages, traditional stone cottages and beautiful rolling hills is something straight out of a fairy tale, one could call it the Narnia of England. A visit to the place is nothing short of magical.

One of the many notable things about this place is that it can be visited at any time of the year which makes it an ideal exquisite destination for one to soak up the healing magic of nature as well as enjoy the British countryside culture.

Cirencester is the main town in the Cotswolds and you should not miss seeing it when you visit.

The town which is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds has a lot of peculiar places you must visit like the Church of St. John the Baptist, renowned for its perpendicular Gothic porch and merchant tombs.

You may also visit the Corinium Museum of the Roman past, to get a taste of the rich history of the place during Roman times.

Broadway Tower, England

 

Cotswolds, with its old-world charm, has a lot of postcard-perfect villages you should visit. The area has the most beautiful villages in Britain.

Narrow streets, lush walking paths, quaint honey cottages and cosy pubs sound like a sight for sore eyes, right? Well, these and many more characterise most of the villages in the Cotswolds.

Situated in an area of outstanding scenery which makes one’s soul sing with the alluring nature is the best village in the Cotswolds, Broadway.

The ancient village, lovingly referred to as “the jewel of the Cotswolds” is known for its characteristically wide grass fringed the main street, lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured cottages.

It is also close to the ultimate highlight of Cotswolds sightseeing, the Broadway Tower.

The Broadway Tower is a 20m high tower built in the 18th century.

It is a fun place as it allows visitors to experience the great English heritage in its Tower museum and fun-filled pack which will definitely bring your inner child back to life.

Things to do in the Cotswold

The Cotswolds is an enchanting place sure to make you have an activity-filled visit but these are some things to do when you visit:

Stone Bridge in Lower Slaughter, Cotswold

Walk the most romantic street in Britain

Yes, you predicted right. It is located in the Cotswolds who has lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful places in England.

The street is located in Lower Slaughter one of Cotswolds’ prettiest village.

Its alluring natural beauty seen in the quaint honey-coloured stone architecture and lush green trees is every minimalist’s dream.

The street runs adjacent to a pretty stream from River Eye and is lined with leafy green trees and the characteristic stone cottages.

Lower Slaughter is about 17 miles away from Cheltenham.

Address: Copse Hill Road, Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham, GL54 2HY

 

Bibury Trout Farm

Go fishing at Bibury Trout Farm

Bibury Trout Farm was founded in 1902 and it’s one of the oldest working trout farms in Britain.

Its located in the quintessential Bibury village which was once described by William Morris (1834-96) as “the most beautiful village in England”.

You will love the trout farm because of its uniqueness. You can catch fish from one of the ponds and you will be allowed to pay for the fish and take it home.

This trout farm is one of the reasons why Bibury is famous.

Bibury Trout Farm address is Bibury, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5NL, UK

 

The Village Green at Blockley

Picnic in the beautiful fields of Blockley

This village is a charming little village that is a hotspot for visitors.

Blessed with beautiful scenery and a lot of greens, a day out in the open village snacking on some good old English snack while taking in the scenery should be on your top list.

Brockley village green is very attractive, it overlooks the popular Bowling Green and beautiful Norman Church.

You will surely enjoy sitting enjoying your picnic on sunny days.

Blockley was regularly featured in a television series of Father Brown.

Address: Blockley, Gloucestershire, GL56 9EX

 

Sudeley Castle

Learn a little bit of the English history while taking in the magnificent structure of the Sudeley Castle

The Sudeley is one of the grandest pieces of architecture in the region.

It is a historic gem as you get to explore the castle, taking in its grandeur while learning about its history.

Sudeley Castle has 1000 years of history.

The castle offers a spectacular day out opportunity in the heart of the magnificent Cotswolds countryside.

Address: Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5JD

For Satnavs, please use GL54 5LP.

 

                                                                   Black Tailed Godwit Limosa, Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Bird watching at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Whether you are a bird watcher or just a family group, you will love this place.

The Slimbridge Wetland Centre is an amazing place to experience natures wildlife in their glorious habitat.

The sound of the birds will give you joy and the amazing feeling of gratitude of been alive.

Address: Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

 

Snowshill Manor

Treasure Hunting at the Snowshill Manor

The manor is packed with extraordinary treasures collected over a lifetime by Charles Wade, so get ready to have your mind blown.

Need I tell you that a beautiful scenery comes with the package as you can explore the gardens in this stunning manor.

Snowshill Manor is one of the UK National Trust sites.

Address: Snowshill, near Broadway, Gloucestershire, WR12 7JU

Moreton-in-Marsh

Do some shopping at the Cotswold Grey

Very sure people back at home would love something from your travels.

You would also like to have some things to remind you of your best days at the Cotswolds, head to Cotswold Grey to shop your heart out.

Situated in Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswold Grey is a furniture boutique shop that boasts of the world’s finest collection of glassware, furniture, candles and home décor.

Address of Cotswold Grey is High St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AE

 

Stow On The Wold Market Cross Looking Towards Parish Church

Sneak a view of the town from the highest town in the Cotswold

Stow-on-the-Wold is located at nearly 800ft and Stow is the highest town in Cotswolds.

You could see the beautiful town sprawled out below you while enjoying a cup of the tea in the abundant cafes in the market square.

Address of the village centre is Stow On The Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

 

Enjoy the great outdoor

Be one with nature at the annual wilderness festival hosted in Oxfordshire that takes place every summer.

Enjoy the food, drink, plays and music to your heart content at the English festival.

Postcode Address: OX7 3DG

Circus Illustration

Have a magical day at the Giffords Circus

It is something straight out of The Greatest Showman and even better, it is the best circus ever!

You get to enjoy exciting performances by acrobats, magician, animals and so much more.

Address: Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Lypiatt, Stroud, GL6 7NE

Best places to visit in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is renowned for its picturesque old-world charm and its enchanting scenery.

While you are in the Cotswolds, these are the best places to visit.

The Roman Baths

The Roman Baths

This is the place to have an amazing Roman-themed experience that takes one down a trip to the time of the Roman empire, 2000 years ago.

It is quite interesting to see how advanced they were at that time.

The bath is located around Britain’s only hot springs that flow with natural hot water and you get to take a dip in this magical place, taking in the serene atmosphere.

You also get to visit the Roman museum which provides an educating insight into Roman life.

Magical nature and educative museum sound like killing two birds with one stone.

Address: The Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath, Avon, BA1 1LZ

Pump Room, Pittville Park, Cheltenham

Pittville Park

This is a must-visit place if you are looking to enjoy a picnic with nature all around you, take a stroll, fish and enjoy some outdoor games.

This is also an ideal place to go if you are on a family vacation and you want to get away from the kids to enjoy some alone time with your partner.

The east side of the park has a large graceful pump room with an equally large children’s play area. For animal lovers, you should definitely visit the aviaries where will see popular birds and rabbits.

Dragonfly Maze

This is the place for you if you are puzzle lover or a big fan of the maze runner and ever wondered how Harry Potter felt like in that maze in the final part of the series.

It promises an exhilarating adventure for you and your friends.

The maze consists of 14 clues to reveal the hidden Golden Dragon Fly.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to find answers to the clues to make it to the centre of the maze.

Address: Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BN

Woodchester Valley

Go on a wine tasting adventure here as you open your palate to a new world of delicious flavours.

You can also take a tour of the winery and watch how they make the wine.

Address: Inchbrook Trading Estate, Bath Road, Woodchester, Stroud GL5 5EY

Alfresco Cinema

live out your Hollywood fantasy of watching a film under the stars. Enjoy a magical night of pure ecstasy watching classic films in gorgeous handpicked venues across the Cotswolds.

Address: 10 Needham Ave, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2SF

Crocodiles of the World

Crocodiles do not come to mind when you think of this peaceful picturesque town, right?

Well, right in the pretty Oxfordshire in the Cotswolds is a zoo with one of the largest collections of reptiles such as caimans, alligators and crocodiles.

Here, you get the chance to pet a baby alligator as well as watch the reptiles in their natural habitat from an underwater viewing spot.

Address: Burford Rd, Brize Norton, Carterton OX18 3NX

Arctic Quest

This is a place to visit if you are feeling adventurous. Situated in Tewkesbury, the place houses ride that takes you through the beautiful countryside. You can camp overnight outdoors, and enjoy the campfire.

Address: Arctic Quest, Croft Farm Water Park, Bredons Hardwick, Tewkesbury, Glos, GL20 7EF

Cotswolds Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park is an amazing place to visit if you are around the Cotswold.

This water park set across three counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire.

The Cotswold Water Park is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Cotswold area.

An area of 40 square miles, with more than 170 lakes will not disappoint you if you love biodiversity, conservation and wildlife.

And, there are a lot of activities ranging from swimming, archery, horse riding, and watersports.

Cotswolds Distillery

this one is for alcohol lovers. Based in Shipston-on-Stour, this distillery is one of the most picture-perfect distilleries in England.

They create their own gin and whisky and you can sample them while on tour.

Visitors are also allowed into the inner sanctum by showing them how to make the spirits.

Cotswold perfumery

get the once in a lifetime chance to design your own scent at this perfumery. The perfumery teaches perfume production.

You should take the chance to make your own signature scent or take that course in perfumery if you have a dream of having your own perfume line.

Address: Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BU

Cotswold Falconry Centre

Spend the evening making an owl friend and live out your Harry Potter fantasies.

The falconry gives visitors a chance to hold and pet different types of owls during their Owl Evening which runs from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

You can also check out the forest, where you will find their breeding owls in their natural habitat.

How to get there. See the address here Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AB.

The Royal Oak

This place is a hotspot for the fit-fams as it boasts of fresh and organic food as well as an award-winning pub.

It is a great place to interact with the locals as they are known to be warm and friendly.

It is also a great place to hang out with friends after a long day while dining on the healthy, nutritious and delicious cuisine.

Their address is here 1 Cirencester Road, Tetbury, GL8 8EY

The Arden

The hotel, situated in Stratford-upon-Avon is an award-winning hotel with a beautiful terrace with the view of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and the peaceful River Avon.

You can enjoy their delicious cuisine with a glass of wine while enjoying the view from the impressive terrace.

The Model Village

While visiting the beautiful village of Bourton-on-the-water, make sure to take a detour to the Model village where you can see the whole village in one-ninth of its actual size.

The model comprises little houses, trees, a little version of the River Windrush and gardens.

The experience is sure to leave you feeling like a giant in a dwarf world.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Take a scenic railway ride through the peaceful scenery of the Cotswolds.

The train ride starts at Laverton through Toddington, Gotherington and some other villages.

There is so many notables place to see along the way like the Vale of Evesham.

Lavender field in the Cotswolds

Cotswold Lavender

This place is sure to tickle your sense of smell, pleasuring them into receiving some good memories to ponder on when the visit is over.

Home to the England finest lavender, you can walk around to take in the scenery of rows of beautiful lavender and take in the smell that permeates the air.

You can also purchase an array of lavender products including oils, skincare items, soap and so on.

Address: Hill Barn Farm Snowshill, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7JY

The King’s

Make sure to take a detour into the village of the Chipping Campden to dine at the cosiest restaurant in the Cotswolds.

With the elegance of its architecture and interior to its mind-blowing cuisines that explodes in a burst of flavour in one’s tongue, one could say it is indeed like dining with the king.

Address: The Kings, The Square, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AW

Cotswold Balloon Safari

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Cotswolds while you are up high, close to the angels.

The ride in the hot air balloon is sure to leave you awestruck.

Address: Whychurch Farm, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9JL

Burford Garden Company

It is lovingly called the mother of all garden centres. It is an exceptional shop where you can get a beautiful home decors, amazing arts, classy furniture, clothes and so on.

This is the perfect place to get thoughtful gifts for people back home.

 

Cheltenham Festival, Horse Racing

The Jockey Club

Spend your day watching majestic horse race in the beautiful town of Cheltenham during The Festival, hosted by the club.

Exercise your heart with giddy excitement as you watch the horse race while enjoying the delicious food and fine drink.

Cheltenham is an affluent town. You might be interested in the article about why is Cheltenham so expensive.

The Great Escape

Feel the wind in your hair and let all your worries fly away with it while you drive your fantasy car at the Great Escape Cars.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you cruise along the beautiful streets of the Cotswold.

This is indeed a great escape to a happy place, but make sure not to escape with the car.

Gordon Russell Museum

Of the places you should visit while in the Cotswolds is this museum dedicated to the artistic Gordon Russell who worked in calligraphy architecture and furniture design.

The museum is home to his original workshop and toolbox. You also get to learn about this artistic genius.

The Horse and Groom

It is well known for its warm hospitality and fabulous service.

It is one of the best dining pubs in Cotswold that keeps one coming back for more. It is located in Bourton-on-the-Hill.

The Fish

Located on the Fish Hill in Broadway serves some of the best surf ‘n’ turf in the Cotswolds.

If you are a lover of seared scallops and juicy pork belly, you should definitely put The Fish on your list of places to visit while in Cotswolds.

Cirencester Amphitheatre

Cirencester Amphitheatre

Located in the main town and the largest town in the Cotswolds, the amphitheatre is the largest natural Roman amphitheatre in Britain.

It is an impressively large space built in the 2nd century and could hold up to 8000 spectators.

Stanway Fountain and Gardens

It is well known for being the tallest gravity fountain in the world.

Some of its notable delights are the 18th-century water garden, a 14th-century Tithe barn and so on.

It showcases an interwoven of rich cultural history, beautiful scenery and stunning architecture.

The magnificent sight is sure to be an indelible memory in one’s mind.

Address: Stanway House, Stanway, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5PQ

An ornamental fountain at a stately home

Cotswold Motoring Museum

If you are a lover of old cars and ever wondered how they got them moving during the 20th century, this place is perfect for you.

The museum showcases classic car collections, motorcycles and caravans, basically machinery used as transport during the old days.

If you want to take a trip down history lane as regards the mechanics of vehicles, this is the place for you.

Address: Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

List of the must-see towns during your visit to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds boast of beautiful towns that are sure to take your breath away since you can not see them all, here is a list of the must-see towns during your visit to the Cotswolds.

 

Cirencester

The village is referred to as the “Capital of the Cotswolds” and is a place you should definitely visit.

It is the largest town as well as the business hub of the Cotswolds.

It is famous for its buzzing market, scenic Cirencester park, the biggest Roman amphitheatre and the majestic historic church of ST. John the Baptist.

Find Stow-on-the-Wold on Google Map

Stow-on-the-Wold

The beautiful village is set on a hill that makes seems as if it is in indeed “on the Wold”. The town has a lot of elegant cafes that allow you to enjoy delicious meals and drinks while looking down to the beautiful lush town of Cotswolds.

Find Stow-on-the-Wold on Google Map

Castle Combe

Castle Combe

With its fairy tale scenery and lush atmosphere, the town is literally something out of a movie.

It has been used in films several times.

The village features the signature honey-coloured limestone cottages amid lush vegetations.

Find Castle Combe on Google Map

River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon

The town is home to the world-famous writer, William Shakespeare. He was born and buried there. It would be quite nice to see this beloved little town, wouldn’t it?

Find Stratford-upon-Avon on Google Map

Arlington Row, Bibury

Bibury

It is a beautiful town famous for its Arlington Row, which is a set of houses that dates back to the 1300s.

This set of houses is actually on the British passport but painted blue.

It will be fun to see it in person, right? A fun fact about the place is that Bridget Jones Diary was filmed there. Here is another town straight out of one of our favourite movies.

Find Bibury on Google Map

Moreton-in-Mash

It is the town to visit if you are looking to get away from the crowds and noise.

It is a small peaceful town that is not as crowded as the others. Ideal to get away all by yourself, enjoying the solitude while staying in touch with nature.

Find Moreton-in-Mash on Google Map

Burford

It is the direct contrast of Moreton-in-mash as a busy road runs through its main street. However, the beautiful buildings made with thatched roofs and timber frames, as well as the great scenery, make up for it.

Find Burford on Google Map

 

 

 

High Street, Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

Situated here is one of the most beautiful streets in all of England.

Strolling along the street while taking in the exquisite architecture and beautiful nature is a perfect day out.

This village has a beautiful scenery and no wonder it is usually called Jewel of the Cotswolds.

Every season brings its uniqueness in Chipping Campden. In the winter you will love the snow scenes, with snowdrops pushing through. The Springtime blooms with bluebells in the Chipping Campden local woodland.

Poppies in late Spring and early Summer can help your mind stay calm and peaceful as you behold their beauty.

Take a walk around the hills of surrounding Campden and stay connected with mother nature.

 

 

16Th Century Sudeley Castle and It’s Gardens In Winchcombe.

Winchcombe

This place is a delight for foodies as there are a lot of quality English delicatessens and coffee shops guaranteed to give your taste bud an explosive orgasm.

You can also take a walk down the high street, also check out the museums while you are there.

Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, England

Tewkesbury

Famous for its classic black and white Tudor houses lining the riverside, Tewkesbury is a medieval town with splendid architecture.

This is a hotspot not to be missed in all seasons, its nature reserve and museum are great places you should see while you are there.

Categories:

How to buy a house as a first time buyer

I remember vividly I asked before we bought our first house, I was looking for information on how to buy a house as a first time buyer.

Let me begin by asking you a question, have you ever bought a house before? What was your experience like as a first time buyer? Did you wish you had a bit more knowledge before buying your house? Or did you get it right on your first buy?

Keep reading as I have some valuable information for you.

Well, chances are that you are also reading this because you seek knowledge about purchasing your first house. It is actually a fairly difficult process and it pays to know what to expect beforehand.

Nothing will break your heart more than knowing you could have saved a few thousand pounds if you knew certain things earlier.

This is why I have prepared this guide to give you a step by step instruction on how to buy your first house without any hassle.

But first, I want you to consider these questions.

Is It Time To Buy A House

It is very important to ponder on this question so as to prevent having regrets down the line. Before you take the leap to invest in a house, you must ask yourself if you are ready for it. You do not need to buy a home because everyone is doing it or because you saw a great mortgage deal.

My advice to you is that you should buy a house because you are ready to settle down in a location for at least five years. And of course, you must be financially ready.

Before we bought our first home, we asked ourself this question. We were convinced that we were ready before we started the process of buying a house.

How Will You Pay For The House?

Buying a home is different from purchasing a car, jewellery and the likes. In fact, unless you are the type that invests a lot of money, buying a house will be the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy.

Three things are needed to help in buying a home for the first time. They are good credit, a solid job and cash for a down payment. These three things are also important in getting a mortgage.

Majority of people who will buy a house will need a mortgage. But, not every house buyer require a mortgage. If you are one of those people who can afford to buy your first house cash, you don’t need to work about this question.

How Much Deposit Do You Need?

It is advisable to have some money saved before going property shopping.

The general rule of thumb is that you should save between 5% and 20% of the cost of your dream home.

For example, if your house is to cost you £200,000, you could save at least £10,000 (10%).

It is, however, important to know that saving more than 5% opens up cheaper mortgages for you.

Budget For Other Costs

Your house cost is more than just paying monthly mortgages. There are still some other costs that you must account for before proceeding.

Some of them include:

  • Solicitor’s fee
  • Survey costs
  • Building insurance
  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Furnishing and decoration costs

Money Advice Service has a very comprehensive guide on Stamp Duties.

Can You Afford It?

Before making up your mind on buying a new house, you must consider some factors to see if you can truly afford it. You do not want to fall short of paying your monthly mortgages in the future.

Review Your Financial Health

Firstly, I wouldn’t advise you to buy a home if you don’t have an emergency savings account. You must have an emergency fund saved in case of those unexpected expenses that are outside of buying a house.

This is because buying a house is quite expensive and will strain your finances.

The next thing you’ll want to do is calculate exactly how much you’re spending every month – and on what?

This will give you the opportunity to cut cost on some unnecessary expenses as well as figure out how much to allocate to your mortgage payment.

We have an article on how to save more money here.

The above review is especially important because checks are now stricter when applying for a mortgage.

It is now very common for Lenders to ‘stress test’ your finances. They do this to check if you can keep up with your payment if unforeseen circumstances happen, interest rates increases, you started a family, etc.

Now that you have ascertained that getting a house is the correct move for you and you have the financial capacity to do so. It is now time to start preparing for the purchase of your new house as a first-time buyer.

Check Programs For First Time Home Buyers Opportunities

There are always government-backed schemes for first time buyers. These schemes were put in place to help get first time home buyers up the property ladder. Some examples of such schemes are Shared Ownership, Help to Buy ISA, Right to Buy/Right to Acquire, and Starter Home Schemes.

You can find out more about these scheme here and here.

You can also read up on Affordable housing schemes, Help to Buy scheme: everything you need to know, and Shared ownership schemes.

Find A Mortgage

Finding a mortgage isn’t so hard if you have your finances in place. But I will admit that it can be tricky to choose the right one from a plethora of options that you’ll get. This is why it is sometimes advisable to get a mortgage broker. You can, however, carry out your own research if you are comfortable doing that instead.

For our first house and when we moved house, we used a mortgage broker. I have friends who did DIY, they researched the market and got the mortgage on their own.

Its really up to you to decide which option are you comfortable with.

To help simplify your research, read this guide for First Time Buyer Mortgages and What type of mortgage should I get?

After agreeing on your mortgage, you can then hire a solicitor or a conveyancer to handle the legal works going forward.

Freehold or Leasehold

Another factor to consider is whether to get freehold or leasehold.

With freehold, you’ll own the property and land it occupies and mostly applies to houses. While with leasehold, you’ll only be buying into a share of the freehold. An example is buying a flat.

You can go through this article for the financial implications of both freehold and leasehold.

Find A Estate Agent

Once you have sorted your finances, mortgage, and the likes, it’s now time to find an estate agent. Ideally, you should choose one who has a diverse team and experience. This can potentially save you cost on wasting money on the wrong home inspectors, insurance agents and others.

But finding a good estate agent also requires a little bit of research. You should know first hand the services they are offering and what their charges are.

Sometimes you can just go the easy route and seek advice from friends and family that have employed the use of an estate agent before. This will save you a lot of time researching.

You can find out more on how to find the best estate agent here.

Decide On Neighbourhood

We all dream about living in our ideal neighbourhood at one point or the other in our life. But reality dawns on us when mortgage and other factors come in

There are two main factors that I’ll like you to ponder on and resolve before deciding on a neighbourhood.

The first is the realization that homes and land are generally less expensive the farther you are away from metropolitan areas.

The second one is the cost of transportation to your place of work and others. Longer commute can drain you quickly and can become unhealthy.

Other factors to consider are local safety and crime statistics as well as nearness to social amenities.

It is also important to decide if you want a new house or an old house. We have an article that talks about this in more details here.

Decide On Survey

Your mortgage lender will want a quick valuation of the property by a surveyor to ensure they are making the right investment.

However, this survey is usually superficial and isn’t a full survey. You can always ask for a full survey separately.

You can read this to get the right survey you need.

Exchange Contracts

You must make pay the deposit agreed with you bank and your bank will pay the balance before you exchange contract. You don’t need to worry about this stage because your solicitor will put you through and deal with the situation

This is the reason why you must get a solicitor that know what they are doing.

Exchanging of properties mean that the seller is committed to selling to you and you are committed to buying.

You must make sure you carry out a survey and make sure there is no problem with the house you are buying before exchanging contract.

Another thing you’ll want to do is get buildings insurance immediately as the property is now legally yours.

Complete Sale

A sales completion is only complete after you pay for the property and take ownership of it. The deeds of the property are then transferred to you through your conveyancer.

The Conclusion

Buying your first home is an exciting experience and it’s a time to be proud of yourself. But you can avoid some rookie mistakes by carrying out proper research before embarking on the journey.

Categories:

Is Cheltenham a good place to live?

If you are considering moving to Cheltenham then you are likely to ask the question, is Cheltenham a good place to live?

Cheltenham prides herself in having very good schools, great transport links and being the Centre of the Cotswold. These factors make Cheltenham popular with families and a good place to live.

As well, Cheltenham is the most complete Regency Town in Britain.

When you are thinking about moving to a new area, it is often wise to check with people that have experience living in the area you will like to move to.

For more than 3 years we’ve been living about 8 miles away from Cheltenham. I work in Cheltenham and so also does my wife. Our boys attend school in Cheltenham.

Also, we regularly attend the Sunday celebration at Trinity Church in Cheltenham.

The reason why we don’t live in Cheltenham is just that the house prices are too pricey.

We do have friends in Cheltenham who we visit regularly so we really know our way around Cheltenham.

As we regularly go to Cheltenham and are in constant communication with people who live in Cheltenham, I can give you my thoughts and experience of Cheltenham.

 

Family Living

Cheltenham is a very family-friendly town. There are a lot of play areas and green spaces where kids can play. The most popular one is the Pitville Park play area.

Pitville Park play area is very big with a variety of activities to do. They have a little cafe where a cold and hot drink can be bought, as well as snacks.

Cheltenham crime rate is low compared to a lot of towns of its size in the UK.

The average crime rate recorded in Cheltenham was 62.37. This figure is lower than the UK average which is 67.81.

The figure above might not be telling the true story. I think Cheltenham is much safer than the data suggest. There are some rough areas in Cheltenham but there are more good areas than the bad ones.

Just like any town or city you go, there will always be the nice and the not too nice areas.

As well, the crime rate in Cheltenham is lower than that of Gloucester.

With the low crime rate compared to the UK average, Cheltenham is a good place to raise children.

I shot some photos at Montpellier Park with my two boys, in one of the photos below you will see a black camera bag on the park chair. We forgot to take the bag with us. We left the park and was close to where we park our car when I suddenly realised we left the bag at the pack. On our return to the park, the bag was still there on the chair we left it.

This is a good example of how safe Cheltenham is.

Parks, Gardens and Open spaces

Transportation

Cheltenham is not different from a lot of other British towns in terms have transportation.

Just like most British towns, Cheltenham Royal Well Bus and Coach Station is located in the centre of the town.

It offers good local bus connections around town, to the railway station and beyond Cheltenham.

If you are someone like me that don’t like driving, you will be fine because the bus service is easily accessible in Cheltenham and run regularly.

The Cheltenham railway station is also located close to the town centre, it is about 1 mile to the town centre.

The train station is on Bristol-to-Birmingham Main Line, it runs regularl

y moving people to various location throughout the UK.

Its an hour and a half to Cardiff in the west, and two hours and ten minutes to London Paddington to the east.

The train station is about 10min walk from the Cheltenham main shopping and leisure area. From the Racecourse, its a 40-minute bus journey away.

The M5 motorway is located close to Cheltenham which makes commuting easy for people working outside Cheltenham. The M5 motorway is also very useful for easily moving in and out of Cheltenham.

Through Junction 10 and 11 you can get into Cheltenham and you can be out through Junction 11.

From Cheltenham, you can easily visit many of the quintessentially English Cotswold villages. As someone who lives in the area, I do enjoy travelling with our boys to the Cotswolds villages because of easy access from Cheltenham whenever we are around Cheltenham.

 

Festivals

Cheltenham is the home of festivals. The biggest of all the festival is the one that takes place at the Cheltenham Racecourse in March of every year.

I remember attending the festival a few years ago and it was a very great experience for me. I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere.

There are other festivals in Cheltenham which will depend on your interest.

I love the science festival and the literature festival. As a family man, I take our boys to these festivals and it’s very great to participate in some of the science activities at the science festival.

Schools around the area also take their pupils to the science and literature festivals.

There are other festivals like the Jazz festival which people that love music will enjoy. For food lovers, you will feel delighted about the Food Festivals which include the Chili festival.

 

Leisure and Shopping

My first impression of Cheltenham shopping centre was a very positive one. Cheltenham is the centre of the Cotswold which host people from all around the Cotswold.

You will fall in love with the Promenade. It was listed by Google as one of the best shopping streets in the UK.

Montpellier Arcade is one of the oldest purpose-built shopping arcades in England.

There are a lot of other shopping areas within the Cheltenham Town Centre. If you move to Cheltenham or on a visit, you could consider The Promenade, Montpellier, The Suffolks and Bath Road.

There are high-quality local shops which sell quality products. And if you are looking for the well known established brands, you will find them in Cheltenham shopping area.

 

The Architecture

There is no doubt that Cheltenham is the most complete Regency Town in Britain.

The wrought-iron veranda and balcony and the facades are just some of the evidence of the Regency era architecture that can still be seen in Cheltenham today.

Some of the evidence of the Regency Architecture in Cheltenham is the Georgian style of the townhouse on Royal Crescent, St Georges House Bayshill Road, Cheltenham municipal offices and a lot of other buildings.

The amazing architecture and the historic buildings in Cheltenham makes it popular with affluent people. Ordinary people like myself are also welcome in Cheltenham so if you are thinking about living in Cheltenham you will love the Regency Architecture in Cheltenham.

Healthcare

The National Health Authority (NHS) is the primary provider of healthcare in the UK. There is an NHS Hospital in Cheltenham which is close to the centre of the town on Sandford Road.

Cheltenham General Hospital mainly serves people of Cheltenham and surroundings. There is also Gloucestershire General Hospital which is about 8miles from Cheltenham. Gloucestershire Royal Hospital is bigger than Cheltenham General Hospital.

There are also other private healthcare providers who have a hospital or clinic in Cheltenham. Among them are Nuffield Health and Spire Healthcare.

Restaurant

In my household, we do a lot of cooking at home so we do not eat out that much. However, we do treat to other delicacies by sometimes eating out.

There are a variety of restaurants in Cheltenham depending on your budget.

If you are looking for fine restaurants you could try one of the following Lumiere, Prithvi (upmarket Indian restaurant), Grill 49.

If you are on a low budget, the majority of the big supermarket also have good food. We have tried the one at Waitrose at Honeybourne Way, which as at the time of writing this blog post has just been refurbished and it is very neat and beautiful.

You could also try the one at Morrisons at Up Heatley.

 

Pub

As an immigrant in the UK, one of the first things I noticed is the British love for pubs. Actually, I first found out about the word pub on a scrabble board back in my home country. On my arrival in the UK, one of the things I was looking forward to is seeing what a pub look like.

You might be looking for nice pubs if you visit Cheltenham or thinking about living in Cheltenham. Few of the most charming pubs in Cheltenham are The Beehive, Montpellier Villas, The Vine, High Street, Wild Beer at Jessop House, Cambray Place.

You might want to consider looking at the list of 12 of the most charming Pubs in Cheltenham here.

Place of Worship

If religion is your thing and you’re interested in where to worship in Cheltenham. You might want to consider the Trinity, Cheltenham which is at the heart of Cheltenham.

Perhaps I am biased because I attend Trinity myself. Seriously, Trinity is a great church which you will love. The band is great and I do enjoy the celebration every Sunday at Cheltenham.

One of the things I love at Trinity is the kid’s church where children are divided into various school years. This help kids to learn age-appropriate values. They also have times when all the children regardless of age have big worship together.

Trinity is a very family-friendly church and there is something for everyone regardless of marital status or age. And there is a youth group for young adults.

Trinity isn’t the only church in Cheltenham. There are a lot of other churches you might want to consider.

 

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