Politician or footballer: Which celebrity house would you choose?

Fancy yourself as a footballer... or a prime minister?


Holwood House

There's no doubt that houses have an atmosphere, an echo of previous owners - and many people like to bask in the reflected glory of owning a pad that was once home to a celebrity.

But if you had the money, whose lifestyle would you choose? Do you see yourself as footballing royalty, or the real thing? We take a look at two houses fresh on the market, one once owned by a prime minister, and the other by a footballer. Let us know which you prefer...

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Highfield House

On the books of Fine & Country right now is Highfield House near Ipswich, a seven-bedroom house dating back to around 1914.

The vendor - a former Manchester United player who wishes to remain anonymous - is said to be selling in order to move back closer to his home town after finishing work as a manager for a local team.

The house has over three acres of land, with lovely views of the River Deben, and boasts a swimming pool and tennis court (which, as you might expect, doubles up as a five-a-side football pitch). There's even an impressive tree house in the back garden for those times when you want a slightly cosier spot.

Inside, there's a sophisticated home entertainment system, Adam-style open fireplaces and a solid oak kitchen with granite surfaces, large breakfast island and Aga. The bathrooms include include suites from Vileroy and Boch and Lefroy and Brooks.

"The décor has been tastefully done (quite unusual for the average footballer's home!), with solid oak throughout, open fireplaces and a pretty luxurious bathtub," says Rightmove.

It's on the market for £3,500,000.

Holwood House

Holwood House

On a rather grander scale is Holwood House, described by agents Knight Frank as "one of the finest Grade I listed Palladian mansions within easy reach of London". A mile or so from Biggin Hill airport, the house has fabulous views stretching all the way to Canary Wharf, fourteen miles away.

But one of the most interesting features of the house is its illustrious past. In 1785, it was bought by William Pitt the Younger, who had become the youngest ever Prime Minister just two years earlier at the age of just 24. It was here that Pitt and his fellow politician William Wilberforce first discussed Wilberforce's plans to abolish the slave trade.

Around 40 years later, Charles Darwin moved to the area and fell in love with the parkland surrounding the house, regularly picnicking with his family there and conducting experiments in the grounds.

The seven-bedroom house is now being sold by City banker Martin Zapico, who has decorated it in extravagant style, with much use of gilding and chandeliers - even in the enormous kitchen. It does, though, retain many original features, including parquet flooring, domed ceilings and ornate cornicing.

"A stately entrance hall and inner hall occupy the heart of the property, from which all primary reception rooms flow. These two rooms are spectacular, with double height ceilings to the first floor gallery, intricate cornicing and fine limestone floors," say the agents. "They lead to the music hall with its parquet flooring and a breathtaking panoramic southerly view over the parkland."

There's a swimming pool complex with steam room, sauna, two 'rain forest' showers and a wet lounge, and the 40-acre grounds include a tennis court, walled garden and garden pavilion. It's on the market for £12 million.

So if money were no object, which would you choose? Let us know in the comments.