Homes that offer jolly good sports

THE hype around the Glorious Twelfth this year was enough to get even life-long townies interested in shooting. There is something quite exciting about going out to the “country” to pad about in wellies and a Barber jacket.

“People love buying outdoor sporting homes,” Luke Morgan, a partner at The Buying Solution, tells me, “it gives City types a great way to play host to their friends.” Indeed, half the fun is getting the invitation to spend the weekend ambling about with friends.

But if you’re buying as an investment, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. Morgan says: “The key is to find somewhere that is impressive. You need a long winding driveway and a beautiful 18th century property with separate staff quarters.”

Ensuring you have “established” habitat is important too. You can’t create the right conditions for shooting or fishing overnight. It can take up to ten years to get bird settling in your rafters. But fear not, you don’t have to be an expert to find out. Most estates keep records that can tell you how many birds were shot over the last few years.

Finding a good sporting property is certainly worth your while though. Morgan estimates that having good fishing or shooting on your land adds up to 20 per cent to the price compared to like-for-like land. “In the luxury market, this stuff is really sought-after.”

But location is everything. Proximity to London improves the price. “Most potential buyers work in the City. The shorter the commute the better.”

MILL HOUSE
Price: £2.45m

This mill house lies on the River Bourne. While it is little more than a stream, it offers excellent coarse fishing, particularly when the river is in full flow.

Contact: Barton Wyatt on 01344 843000 or go to www.bartonwyatt.co.uk.

OKEWOOD HILL
Price: £12m.

With its own heated koi carp lake and separate stocked fishing lake entirely for private fishing, this property is perfect for keen anglers. Contact: Cluttons on 020 7407 3669 or go to www.cluttons.com

BOUGH OAST
Price: £1.2m.

This oast house comes with 141 acres of undulating farmland, including a small reared pheasant shoot. Contact: Chesterton Humberts on 020 7594 4746 or go to www.chestertonhumberts.com