Last year I ran a series of posts which had great feedback, on finding the best holiday home around the UK. We focused on different areas and I highlighted a new property each month. You can see the full series HERE if you need inspiration for your next trip.
Following on from that run of posts, I’m going to write a few around how you go about choosing a holiday home – what to look for – and how to spot the good ones. Each post will focus on a certain aspect of a holiday home which makes it a good find, and we’ll discuss that at length. The aim is to help you find the best property for you and your group, using one specific example to guide you through your search.
As the title of the post suggests, this post is going to focus on the character of holiday homes, how to find it and what to look out for. You only have images to guide you when searching and it’s not always easy to spot the good from the bad. Let me give you some tips on what to look for.
Our example property is the gorgeous Burncoose House in Falmouth, Cornwall.
This beautiful Georgian house in extensive grounds on the South Coast is a perfect example of how a character filled home should look, so it’s a great way for me to show you what to look for when you’re searching for your own holiday home.
How to Spot Character in a Holiday Property:
It might seem obvious, looking for character in a period property should be easy after all, but often homes aren’t all they seem.
Firstly, look for the character details in the fixtures and fittings.
You can’t fake a sweeping staircase and high ceiling. In a property like this you’d notice the door panelling too and beautiful flooring. Make sure it’s real and authentic and in good condition.
In the living room, close inspection confirms that the fireplace is real. Everyone LOVES a real fire when on holiday, it’s one of the joys of a holiday home when you don’t have a real fire in your own. You just need to learn how to build it!
Shutters at the windows showcase the property’s period features in greater depth.
Next you want to know that the owners and property company have been attentive to smaller character details too in the way they’ve updated the home.
Note the detailing on the door – a gorgeous nod to the Georgian era.
Obviously this grand dining space speaks for itself, but looks closely. Again you see the grand fireplace, but just look at the pieces on the dining table, and even the cloth napkins. You know this home has the accessories that pack it full of character.
Whilst the property might look the part, don’t let that detract you from the mod cons either. After all you want this holiday to be special, you want to pamper yourself and indulge in treats that you might otherwise not have so look for ways this home can give you just that.
In a beautiful Georgian bedroom you have an authentic bed, beautiful furniture and a stunning window. It’s possible such character brings drafts so make sure you spot the radiators (or underfloor heating) and in this property you even get a sumptuous towelling robe each too.
Whilst retaining original features and keeping decor true to the period you also need pieces that offer home comforts. Look out for a good oven and hob, a microwave, dishwasher and of course a good sized fridge. If there’s a coffee machine, all the better, right?
What you might often spot in a holiday home listing, are some ‘arty’ images showing close ups of the details. It’s easy to dismiss these as unnecessary and just for show, but they actually tell quite a story, and show the homeowners love of attention to detail. It’s also a way to gauge how you’re going to feel staying in this property; will it feel like home and will you feel relaxed here?
Fancy a long soak in a tub whilst away? Candles help set the scene and show how you could indulge on this trip.
These pictures often give you a feel for the home accessories in the property, and the quality and style of the pieces. No one likes their morning coffee from a chipped mug after all.
Then what about the landscape and location? Is this suited to you and is it packed full of character and personality as we’re looking for.
Now there may be a picture of a hot tub, but check the small print and ensure it’s included in the price. Sometimes it can be an optional extra, but often one worth investing in.
It’s always worth understanding that the characterful interior continues through to the exterior and grounds. Try to get a feel for how the landscape flows around the home, where you park, where you can walk and how far it is to local facilities like a small shop or pub. The image above gives a good sense of the property grounds, their age and condition and what you can realistically expect.
Above all, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a property, and check the listing thoroughly. It’s a little like buying a house really, there may be some elements you need to compromise on, but essentially your holiday home should be a place in which you can kick back and relax, unwind and take stock whilst enjoying your character-filled surroundings.
Do you look for character and personality in your UK holiday home?
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If you love the look of this particular property, Burncoose House, you can find out more about it, and its Falmouth location on the Cornish Horizons website HERE.
All images courtesy of Cornish Horizons