Seven beautiful homes in national parks
If you want beautiful scenery and the knowledge that greedy developers won't ever spoil your lovely views, then the answer is to find a home in a national park.
There are ten in England, along with two in Scotland and three in Wales, and all offer stunning unspoilt scenery, a strong community and the chance for a wonderful outdoors lifestyle.
Gelerally speaking, you'll have to dig deep to afford a property in one of these special areas, with a survey last year by Lloyds Bank revealing that, on average, they cost £118,711 more than average for their surrounding county - a premium of 49%.
"Quality of life and an attractive environment are two major factors for people eyeing their next home move, and our National Parks provide both of these in abundance," says Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director.
"It's therefore not surprising to learn that many homemovers are prepared to pay a premium to live in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. These highly attractive areas are also very popular with second home purchasers."
However, we can all dream: so here are seven lovely homes in national parks.
You get a business as well as a home with this nine-bedroom house surrounded by the glorious countryside of the Lake District National Park. Lane Head Country Guest House dates back to the 1750s and has all the traditional features you'd expect. There are stunning views of the fells from the house, and you can walk to Blencathra, Helvellyn, Striding Edge and Skiddaw and back within a day. It costs £720,000 from agents Penrith Farmers & Kidds.
This pretty four-bedroom semi-detached cottage is in the small village of Roadwater, on the edge of Exmoor National Park. It's been extended and renovated, and now has a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, giving the potential for a granny annex. The real star of this property is the quarter-acre of gardens, which have a fairy-tale quality thanks to lots of mature trees and a delightful stream running through. The cottage costs £360,000 through agent Red Deer Country.
This 1920s house has a lovely setting in more than half an acre of stunning gardens overlooking the Beaulieu river and lovely woodlands in the New Forest National Park. It has six bedrooms and three bathrooms, with four lovely reception rooms leading onto a terrace. Like most New Forest properties, though, it's pretty expensive: £2.5 million through agent John D Wood & Co.
This four-bedroom cottage hasn't always been in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, but the boundary was extended earlier this year. The modern windows might not be to everybody's taste, but they do maximise the stunning views of the dales. There's a large sitting room, a farmhouse kitchen and two acres of lovely gardens. It's priced at £440,000 from agent VMove.
This lovely barn conversion in the Pembrokeshire National Park has panoramic views of the nearby sea and is just ten minutes' walk from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which meanders along miles of beautiful beaches, secluded coves, pretty villages and quaint harbours. It has three bedrooms, a large open plan living/dining room, and there's plenty of garaging and stabling outside. It's all been beautifully finished, with an emphasis on local materials; it costs £550,000 from Fine & Country.
Boat Of Garten, Scottish Highlands
A u-shaped steading conversion including a four-bedroom family home and two-bedroom annexe, this home sits in half an acre of land in the Cairngorms National Park. The main house has lovely high ceilings, natural stone finishings and bespoke doors, and there's a lovely secluded courtyard which, like the rest of the house and garden, has amazing mountain views. Balvattan Steading costs £550,000 from agent Masson Cairns.
Designed to take full advantage of the location, this four-bedroom house has stunning views from all the main rooms, balconies and terraces across the South Downs National Park. There's a huge open plan kitchen/breakfast room with two Bosch ovens, steam oven, microwave, dishwasher and Quooker tap, and a couple of the downstairs rooms could be used as an annexe. It costs £1.25 million from Hamptons International.