Homes gossip: Maggie swaps Britain for the big outdoors

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband Peter Sarsgaard have changed their minds about living in London and have opted for a holiday home in Nova Scotia
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Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard
© Getty
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard
Despite renting a “big, beautiful house” in Holland Park for four months this summer while filming her latest movie, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Anglophile actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has changed her mind about living here.

Instead, her beefy husband, actor Peter Sarsgaard, has persuaded her to buy a holiday home in cold, wet and windy Nova Scotia. “We’re starting to feel it would be wonderful to get out into the countryside,” says the New York film director’s cerebral daughter.

“My husband is outdoorsy and would be happy never to see anybody. A couple more movies and maybe we’ll get another house.”

Descended from an aristo Swedish family Maggie lives with Illinois-born Sarsgaard and their daughter Ramona in a Brooklyn brownstone.

Pete Doherty
© Toby Melville
Pete Doherty
Noughties boy Pete Doherty has charmed his landlord, the Earl of Cardigan, into renewing the £3,250-a-month lease on Sturmey House, the Earl’s nine-bedroom Georgian home near Marlborough.

The peer had vowed to evict him after a claim that the former Babyshambles singer had turned the Earl’s childhood home into “a pigsty”. “We’ve had a few problems with Mr Doherty,” he admitted. “We were given a large deposit but it’s time he found somewhere else to live.”

But the former squeeze of supermodel Kate Moss has now promised that he will reform.

Alexander Armstrong
Alexander Armstrong
Alexander Armstrong, one half of that satirical duo Armstrong & Miller, is nursing his wounds after losing more than £500,000 in the property market.

He has sold his three-bedroom Holland Park garden maisonette for £1.8 million, having bought it for £1,895,000 in 2006 and spent £600,000 on improvements. The comic tried to sell it for £2.65 million 18 months ago.

Now he and his wife, Hannah, are house-hunting in north London, “looking for more space for their sons Rex and Patrick and a decent-sized garden”, according to Knight Frank. Fortunately BBC1 has just recommissioned Armstrong & Miller.

Ashiestiel House
Ashiestiel House
None of today’s literary giants will ever rival the fame of Sir Walter Scott, who inspired the Scott Memorial in Edinburgh and had his image displayed on countless 19th century souvenirs.

Now Savills is selling Ashiestiel House, the Scottish Borders property overlooking the river Tweed where he wrote his epic works Marmion, The Lady of the Lake and The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

Scott lived for eight years at this nine-bedroom, 17th century former peel tower, whose 24-acre grounds include two lodges, an equestrian complex and trout-fishing rights. Scott groupies can expect to pay £1.75million.

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