Children love dens; men yearn for man-caves; and now women are getting in on the act with the she-shed. We all love somewhere of our very own to sneak off and hide.
Plenty of people are perfectly happy with an off-the-shelf timber shed at the bottom of the garden, maybe kitted out with a comfy chair and a few books. Some, though, have a little more ambition: so from a hobbit house to a Mongolian yurt, we check out some of the coolest garden retreats on the market.
Could you live in one of these tiny houses?
If you had this delightful hobbit house in your garden, it might take quite a lot to tempt you indoors. Luckily, the home that goes with it is rather lovely too, a seventeenth century four-bedroomed cottage oozing character in every room, with exposed timbers, beams, Cotswold stone walls, fireplaces and cottage latch doors. Agents RA Bennett are looking for offers over £500,000.
Castle Donington, Leicestershire
This stylish home office stands at the bottom of the garden of a traditional Victorian house that was once three cottages. It's now been updated with clean, modern interiors, though the brick fireplace and cast iron wood-burning stove remain. The home office measures around sixteen feet by eight and boasts a timber floor, halogen downlights and a wall mounted electric radiator, keeping it cosy and warm. The house costs £385,000 through agent Newton Fallowell.
This one-bedroom cottage started life as a garden studio itself - and now has one of its own. Set in around 7.5 acres of land with lovely views, the main cottage has one large open plan kitchen/dining/living room, along with a bathroom, on the ground floor. There's a pretty loft bedroom above. The timber chalet in the garden - heated with a wood-burning stove - isn't that much smaller. All this costs just £160,000 through agent Beresford Adams.
The owner of this house, a builder, bought a patch of land from a neighbour in order to be able to build a bar and games room. There's a shower room too, as well as a hot tub just outside. The four-bedroom house that goes with it is large and airy, with plenty of French windows leading to the good-sized garden. It's been stylishly designed, with exposed brick walls and a lovely kitchen; agents Douglas Allen are looking for offers over £1.1 million.
Did you know that barbecue huts were a thing? Us neither. But once you've seen this, who wouldn't hanker for one of their own? It's from Finland, purpose built and has power and lighting with, circular seating round the central barbeque and chimney. The four-bedroom house that goes with it is modern and attractive; and it's in a lovely spot with canal frontage. It's on the market for £345,000 with agent Roger Parry and Partners.
This timber building takes up quite a lot of the garden of the house to which it belongs, but the gym enthusiast will be delighted anyway. The fifteen-by-twelve foot cabin is double glazed and fully insulated, with lighting and power - and a TV point to keep you entertained on the tradmill. The house itself is a three-bedroom semi with a lovely kitchen/dining room. It costs £225,000 from agent Ingdene.
Grandmother ordered to demolish granny annex in the garden
You'll have to fight the kids for this delightful treehouse, set in a good-sized and pretty garden that also contains a pergola, hot tub and detached workshop. The recently modernised four-bedroom home that goes with it is on the outskirts of a village with shop, post office, doctors surgery, chemist and pubs, and is only a few miles from a lovely beach. The house costs £340,000 through agent John Francis.
Rather better equipped than your average tent, this yurt has a stove and even a shower room. It's set in stunning gardens surrounding a very pretty three-bedroom cottage with exposed stone walls, beams and a stone-flagged entrance porch. It's all beautifully decorated and in lovely conditions - and set in the Lake District National Park, all of which goes to explain the £595,000 price tag. Contact THW Estate Agents for more details.