Rural regeneration is alive and kicking as developers and landowners respond to the growing demand for "country cool". Londoners moving to the countryside seeking quality of life or value for money often prefer a brand-new, low-maintenance property to a high-maintenance cottage or farmhouse.
So cash-strapped farmers are converting barns, stable blocks, mills and hop kilns - the country equivalent of factory lofts and riverside penthouses - into new homes that are in keeping with the green fields they overlook.
Old mansions are being split into grand apartments, while redundant hospitals, barracks, convents and sporting estates are providing a steady supply of new properties in attractive parkland, green belt or bordering golf courses.
The homes are in keeping with the fields they overlook (left). Right, some kitchens come with an Aga
Swallowhurst is a development of 36 Arts & Crafts-style houses on the site of an old clay tile factory bordering 33 acres of ancient woodland in Cranleigh, Surrey. The village, reputedly England's largest, lost its railway station - now the site of a Sainsbury supermarket - during the 1965 Beeching cuts, but prospers as a satellite of Guildford and retains some of its old character, with an independent butcher and fishmonger and a family-owned department store that has been trading since Victorian times.
It is rare to get a cluster of relatively high-value houses in such a location. The homes range in size from 2,050sq ft to 4,730sq ft and have handmade kitchens, above, some with an Aga, plus media rooms. Prices from £850,000. Call Linden Homes on 0844 417 5989.
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