As many more people look to move to the Cotswolds areas, two distinct camps are forming according to The Telegraph. This year, so far, local agents Heaton & Partners have seen a 20% increase in buyers wanting to be in the Cotswolds over other second home spots such as the South West and Berkshire. “Discretion for these high net worth buyers is paramount, so knowing that their neighbours are celebrities who also value their privacy is a big draw.”
There are Cotswolds turf wars simmering below the shiny surface, however, and newcomers must choose which tribe to join. Are they kindred spirits with the Oxfordshire Cotswolds (OC) set: think Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford Organic, Dave and Sam Cam? Or do they belong to the Gloucestershire Cotswolds (GC) brigade, who are all about green wellies, vast estates and a good, old country pub after a day’s hunting?
Harry Gladwin, Partner at The Buying Solution, who lives in the area himself, adds that should you want to buy a home in this part of Gloucestershire – “God’s own country” – it’s largely about who you know. “Property deals are done around the dinner table rather than on Rightmove as the best properties will often trade privately,” he says.
He waxes lyrical about the open wolds around Temple Guiting, the soft, rolling Windrush Valley and the “top notch” luxury spa hotel, Calcot Manor. “Gloucestershire doesn’t need to compete with other regions because it’s comfortable in its own skin. The traditional attractions still apply – The Beaufort hunt and polo. It has the feeling of being slightly set away from the frenetic Chipping Norton pace, with more elbow room,” says Gladwin, pinpointing the village of Cherington, near Tetbury, as “hugely desirable”, although with nothing currently for sale as so many country houses there belong to the big estates.
For a faster-paced Cotswolds, you need to be in the OC. Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford have ramped up this pace, increased demand for property and focused a spotlight on the 10-mile radius around Chipping Norton.
The OC attracts new West London money and everyone wants to be on the eastern boundary near the M40 and fast train connections to Marylebone. Kingham – where Blur bassist-turned-cheesemaker Alex James owns Heath Farm. “Kingham’s foodie credentials – it has Michelin-starred pubs and is within easy walking distance of Daylesford – mean properties very rarely come on the market as people never want to leave.”