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Rightmove: Five most viewed UK homes revealed

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Britain is a nation of nosey window (or app) shoppers when it comes to homes for sale and having a look inside.

The top five most viewed properties on Rightmove have been revealed for March, and it is clear that wannabe buyers are dreaming about spacious homes.

Included are castles, homes by the coast and properties with character and charm, that are out of reach of most people’s budgets.

Your next home? Orchardton Castle is a unique Grade B listed Scottish castle

Your next home? Orchardton Castle is a unique Grade B listed Scottish castle

Locations featured in the line up are in Whitstable, Bucks Mills, Auchencairn, Rainford and Besthorpe.

The question is, which property would you buy if money was no object?

1. 20-bedroom castle in Auchencairn – offers over £1.7m

Divine: The Scottish castle, being sold by Fine & Country, could be yours and is on sale for offers over £1.75m

Divine: The Scottish castle, being sold by Fine & Country, could be yours and is on sale for offers over £1.75m

Options: The castle is now a family home but could be turned into a hotel or wedding venue

Options: The castle is now a family home but could be turned into a hotel or wedding venue

Ample space: The castle has ample space to cook and dine in style

Ample space: The castle has ample space to cook and dine in style 

Grand: The castle is brimming with history and spacious rooms for buyers to enjoy

Grand: The castle is brimming with history and spacious rooms for buyers to enjoy

Orchardton Castle is a unique Grade B listed Scottish castle located on the Solway coast.

The property was originally constructed in the late eighteenth century for Robert Maxwell as a mansion house and subsequently largely rebuilt in 1881.

The property was extensively renovated in 2011 with a new roof, electrics, central heating and pipework, and the current owners continue to restore it.

Its status was changed to a castle in 2014, having been approved via Scottish heritage and government services.

In late 2017, the owners offered the property for sale in a lottery with £5 tickets. But, not enough tickets were reportedly sold and a cash prize was offered as an alternative. 

Now, the castle has 30 working fireplaces and 40 rooms spanning four floors, including 20 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. 

While the castle is currently a family home, it could be turned into a wedding venue or boutique hotel, says the sales blurb. 

It is set among five acres of stunning grounds. It also has access to a very private beach via a footpath across the field in front.  

The property is on sale via Fine & Country, Selkirk, for offers over £1.7million. This time last year, it appears to have been listed for £2.5million – a 32 per cent reduction. 

2. Six-bedroom former Victorian farmhouse in Besthorpe – offers over £750,000

Perfection: This former Victorian farmhouse in the Nottinghamshire village of Besthorpe is on sale now

Perfection: This former Victorian farmhouse in the Nottinghamshire village of Besthorpe is on sale now

Practical: The bespoke hand-made fitted kitchen has a large island, ideal for family life

Perfection: A welcoming and spacious hallway at this home in Besthorpe could be yours

Perfection: A welcoming and spacious hallway at this home in Besthorpe could be yours

Wow factor: The property has a large, light and airy kitchen for cooking and socialising

Wow factor: The property has a large, light and airy kitchen for cooking and socialising 

Space: You can enjoy great views of the countryside from this Besthorpe-based home

Space: You can enjoy great views of the countryside from this Besthorpe-based home

This former Victorian farmhouse in the Nottinghamshire village of Besthorpe blends period features with modern styling.

It is believed to have been built around 1890 and used to be the main residence for a farm next door. It has a colourful history of many different uses including as a vet’s practice.

The property sits in the middle of an acre worth of grounds, and provides top-notch views of the Nottinghamshire countryside.

The house even comes with its own separate summerhouse, which will be ideal for entertaining. It also has a 25ft long triple aspect living room with French doors opening to an idiylic rear courtyard.

3. Four-bedroom oast-style house near Whitstable – £895,000

Ideal: This oast-style property near Whitstable could be yours for £895,000

Ideal: This oast-style property near Whitstable could be yours for £895,000

Restful: Buyers can sit back at relax at this gorgeous home near Whitstable

Restful: Buyers can sit back at relax at this gorgeous home near Whitstable

Options: Buyers can reconfigure spaces however they like to suit their needs

Options: Buyers can reconfigure spaces however they like to suit their needs

Space: The oast-style home comes with ample open outdoor space, perfect for relaxing

Space: The oast-style home comes with ample open outdoor space, perfect for relaxing

Handy: This workshop space is a real bonus for any would-be buyer of the oast home

Handy: This workshop space is a real bonus for any would-be buyer of the oast home

This unique, quintessentially British oast-style property is set in two thirds of an acre of land

The property comes with several outbuildings, and boasts sweeping views across the countryside. 

The home has a mezzanine floor with a bedroom, overlooking an open plan living space with tremendous views outdoors.

Three of the four double bedrooms are on the first floor, alongside a ‘Jack & Jill’ en-suite, with the main family bathroom located on the ground floor. The ‘Kiln’ area comprises an office to the ground floor and fourth double bedroom to the first floor.

The property, being sold by Woodward & Bishopp for £895,000, also comes with a superb large workshop, serviced by power and light, which comprises a mezzanine storage area and houses a car lift. 

4. Three-bed home and separate cottage in Bucks Mills – offers over £695,000 

All yours: A three-bed home and separate cottage in Bucks Mills could be all yours

All yours: A three-bed home and separate cottage in Bucks Mills could be all yours

Pair: The pair of homes are on sale via Taylor Underwood, Barnstaple, for offers over £695,000

Pair: The pair of homes are on sale via Taylor Underwood, Barnstaple, for offers over £695,000

Slice of heaven: Whyte Cottage and Boat House are located just above a beach

Slice of heaven: Whyte Cottage and Boat House are located just above a beach

Quaint: Who wouldn't want to spend time in this cosy living room in Bucks Mills?

Quaint: Who wouldn’t want to spend time in this cosy living room in Bucks Mills?

Let their be light: This light and airy kitchen comes with all the mod cons a buyer needs

Let their be light: This light and airy kitchen comes with all the mod cons a buyer needs

Bathroom focus: The two properties have a number of clean and modern bathrooms

Bathroom focus: The two properties have a number of clean and modern bathrooms

Beach ready: Westward Ho! Beach is right by the two coastal properties up for sale now

Beach ready: Westward Ho! Beach is right by the two coastal properties up for sale now

Located in Bucks Mills, Whyte Cottage and Boat House are located just above a beach, with stunning views across the bay in North Devon.

The properties are steeped in history, with Whyte Cottage having been named after Sir Winston Churchill’s niece Lady Maud Whyte who it is understood owned the two cottages.

In the man site, the open plan living room and modern kitchen are just two of the standout features inside, as are the far reaching sea views outside.

The properties are being sold by Taylor Underwood, Barnstaple, for offers over £695,000. 

The estate agents notes: ‘The majority of properties within the village currently discharge waste water into the natural watercourse.  

‘A planning application has been submitted for a village water treatment system to be installed. 

‘Until this has been approved we advise that the property is only suitable for cash buyers as it could be difficult to obtain a mortgage, however it is advised that viewers should seek their own professional mortgage advice.’ 

5. Four-bedroom contemporary home in Rainford – £2,250,000

Your new property: This large home in Rainford is on sale for £2,250,000 via Fine & Country

Your new property: This large home in Rainford is on sale for £2,250,000 via Fine & Country

Impressive: Wow friends and family in this plush Rainford pad

Impressive: Wow friends and family in this plush Rainford pad 

Sleep well: You'll get a great night's rest in this serene and luxurious bedroom

Sleep well: You’ll get a great night’s rest in this serene and luxurious bedroom

Getting things done: The Rainford property comes with a super-plush office space

Getting things done: The Rainford property comes with a super-plush office space 

This modern home in Rainford, Merseyside, features immaculately designed living areas and each fixture and fitting has been carefully chosen to create an impressive style, and the large open plan dining room is ideal for showcasing the home to friends and family.

The home includes an on-trend home office space, ideal for working from home.

Wrought iron gates providing electronically controlled access to the property enclose the grounds, and the garage and annexe complex in the grounds provide buyers with additional accommodation and great entertainment space, as well as ample car parking for several motors.

A purpose-built cinema room, equipped with Bang and Olufsen technology can be found in the basement of the garage. 

The home is being sold by Fine & Country, Heswall, and is currently on sale for £2,250,000, making it the priciest in Rightmove’s top five viewed homes over the past month.

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Mirrored furniture trend can create the illusion of space in your home

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Mirrored furniture provokes strong emotions. Some see it as the epitome of bad taste, flashy and bling. Others know that mirrors have magic powers.

A mirrored table or cabinet makes a room or a hallway appear more swish and spacious. It’s a trick that bars and restaurants employ to ensure their establishments appear roomier and more inviting — and they can add lustre to your home, too.

Choosing a piece of mirrored furniture also sends out a sign that you are aware of one of the year’s trends — the return of Art Deco, the influential style that emerged in the 1920s. 

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

It blended forms that celebrated modern machinery with decorative elements drawn from Greco-Roman culture and nature. 

The mirror was a favourite material, used on the surfaces of furniture and walls to supply a shimmering silver and gold effect.

Probably the most famous piece of Art Deco architecture is New York’s Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, its sunburst-patterned stainless steel spire remains one of the key elements of the Manhattan skyline.

Art Deco console tables, drinks trolleys and other items from the era of the building’s construction sell for thousands on auction sites such as 1stdibs underlining the growing appeal of this aesthetic. 

Jamie Watkins, the co-founder of fabric and wallpaper company Divine Savages, explains Art Deco’s allure for a new audience.

‘Art Deco, with its bold geometrical patterns was such an iconic period for design: it’s synonymous with glamour and luxury.’

The resurgent popularity of Art Deco is also based on its practicality: a mirrored piece works with almost any interior, adding interest and depth.

The power of the mirror to create a wow impression has been recognised for centuries. 

Examples of this technique include the round mirror on the wall behind the bride and groom in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery. It sends out the message that the couple are discerning — and wealthy.

Cheers: B&M's £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

Cheers: B&M’s £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

The hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles was designed to be a place of beauty, but also to display the financial resources of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Mirrors were a luxury item until an inexpensive manufacturing process was invented in the 1830s.

In 2022, it is possible to pick up mirrored pieces for under £100. B&M has a £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves that would lend an air of Thirties elegance to any gathering. The £94.99 Ellison serving cart (a U.S. term for drinks trolley) from Wayfair has a similar vibe.

If you believe that the right mirrored trolley would save you money on trips to bars, the larger £144.95 gold oval mirrored trolley from Melody Maison could be the thing.

A mirrored cocktail cabinet will dazzle guests. The £1,200 Primrose & Plum champagne and gold cabinet has a Jazz-Age feel.

The £299 Venetian sideboard from Furniture Market, meanwhile, is a more modestly priced way to conjure up the party spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

The show flats of apartment blocks are often equipped with mirrored cocktail cabinets containing bottles of spirits and crystal glasses. This makes buyers dream of dinner parties, with a prelude of aperitifs, but also serves to make the apartment appear even roomier.

A console table in the hall also creates an illusion of space which can be amplified by the addition of a lamp. HomesDirect365 has a range in the style of almost every era including Art Deco, Regency, the 1960s and the 1970s. Prices start at £233.

The bedroom is often the most cramped room in either a house or flat which is why this can be the best place to experiment with mirrored furniture. 

The desire to preserve family harmony is another reason. The other members of your household may prefer the kitchen and living room to be slick and understated, seeing anything mirrored as excessive.

In the bedroom, however, you can indulge your decor fantasies. Habitat has the one-drawer Hepburn bedside table for £76.

Next offers the antique effect Fleur bedside table which costs £225 for the one-drawer version and £275 for the two-drawer version. 

The Fleur is also available as a six-drawer chest for £599 or a £1,150 double wardrobe if you seek to waft around your bedroom channelling your inner 1930s Hollywood screen siren. 

Dunelm’s Venetian mirrored dressing table also offers a chance to live out your dream of silver screen stardom (£449).

If mirrored furniture has brought out your party animal, kindling a passion for Art Deco in every guise, Divine Savages offers Deco Martini wallpaper whose design is based on the geometric forms, with a hidden Martini glass within the print (£150 per roll).

Some of your guests may not be too busy checking out their reflections on the doors of the mirrored cabinet to notice this subtle and witty detail in the wallpaper.

Savings of the week! water jugs… Up to 52% off 

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

Sitting outside on a sunny afternoon is already delightful. But it is even more enjoyable if you are sipping on a cool drink or an iced coffee from a generously sized jug, or maybe even a Pimm’s. The arrival of the July sales means bargains abound.

If you prioritise practicality, Ocado’s textured lustre plastic picnic jug has 33 per cent off at £8.

The price of the pleasingly geometric plastic smoky-grey Prism jug from Wayfair is 16 per cent off at £10.10. 

If you would like to feel as if you are in the south of France, John Lewis has the plain glass Arles wicker-wrapped jug. It is reduced from £25 to £12, down 52 per cent.

Wanting something more elegant that you can also use for flowers? The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is also half-price at £22.

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VGP acquires French logistics development

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VGP NV and VALGO signed an agreement to purchase 32 hectares of land that housed the former Petroplus refining units in Petit-Couronne, near Rouen. This brownfield rehabilitation project is fully in line with VGP’s core expertise and strategy. Thanks to the six years ownership of the site by VALGO and its expertise in asbestos removal, soil and water table decontamination, in-situ waste treatment and development, this area has now become a suitable site for the development of new industries and business activities.

 

On the banks of the river Seine and close to the A13 highway, the 32-hectare area of land offers its future users a highly strategic location. Following the extensive depollution work carried out by VALGO, the site is now ready for redevelopment. VGP expanded into France only a few months ago and is delighted to start its French business activities in the dynamic Rouen Normandy metropolis area, via this major project. In total, around 150,000m² of land are set to be redeveloped to accommodate industrial and logistics projects, with work due to begin in 2023.

 

Jan Van Geet, CEO VGP, said: “VGP is delighted to begin its business activities in France on a site as exceptional as this one, with strong economic and environmental ambitions that are shared by both our partner, VALGO, and the local authorities. As the rehabilitation of brownfield sites is at the heart of our business, this project is a great opportunity for us to deploy our industrial and logistical know-how. The uncertain geopolitical situation and the rise in transport prices mean that companies are increasingly looking for local support to start their business. In this context, we strongly believe in the relevance of our integrated model with a long-term vision. We are now eager to get to work and bring all the expertise of the Group to the project.”

 

Francois Bouche, CEO VALGO, commented: “We are delighted that this huge piece of land has been sold to a major investor with experience in redeveloping brownfields in Europe. However, I would first like to celebrate the work of the men and women who worked so hard to make this colossal project a success. It took more than 1 million hours and over €60m in investment by VALGO to turn the page on over 80 years of refining on this site, which already employs 600 people.”

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Selling your home? Here’s how to make sure it has kerb appeal by sprucing up outside space

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As anyone who has indulged in the brutal ‘swipe left’ culture of internet dating will testify, you don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression. And the same is true when trying to sell your property.

That’s why what lies at the front of your house — be it lawn, gravel or flagstones — can play a major role in making a sale.

Indeed, having a pleasing ‘shop front’ to snag potential buyers scrolling through listings or even walking past outside can offer leverage to boost the asking price, says Colby Short, CEO of estate agent comparison site getagent.co.uk.

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

‘Homes that offer a front garden carry a 4 per cent property price premium versus those without, and that equates to more than £11,000 in the current market,’ he says.

So what changes can you make to the patch in front of your house to help improve the saleability of the property?

Some alterations are simple, entry-level innovations. For example, even the smallest swatch of grass should be mown and rubbish-free. 

In fact, bins and recycling boxes are often the first thing you see in a front garden, as well as the detritus left by squirrels who have curated bits of dinner from your bags of rubbish. But it’s easy to hide bins away in a box unit.

‘If you’re trying to hide ugly bins, how about building a bin store with a planter on the top, then you can have some gorgeous outdoor succulents and flowering alpines?’ says QVC UK’s gardening expert Michael Perry. 

You can also buy wooden bin stores from outdoor furniture suppliers such as Wayfair (from £125.99).

Meanwhile, hanging baskets outside your front door help to break up a harsh brick wall, says Sean Lade, of Easy Garden Irrigation.

‘Hanging baskets are an excellent choice for adding colour and scent to your front garden and soften the front of your house. They should be installed at eye level —about 5 ft off the ground.’

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

And think about replacing tired fencing or dilapidated brick walls with natural borders, such as Boxwood hedging, which will add visual interest and is also easy to prune throughout the year.

‘If you prefer a cottage garden appearance, then why not train climbing plants to create natural archways around your front door, porch or gate?’ says Deborah Cobb, product manager at builders’ merchants MKM.

‘Raised flower beds are also a clever way to add some natural foliage. If you fill them with evergreen shrubs, then they are an easy-to-look-after and low-maintenance option that will look good all year round.’

In terms of what plants to go for, Nicola Bird, founder of seed subscription service The Floral Project, suggests some annual flowers are perfect for planting at the front of your house if you’re looking to sell. 

‘They include varieties such as cosmos, phlox, zinnias and sweet peas — not only to bring a bright splash of colour to your front garden, but also serve as a great conversation starter with your potential buyers.’

Even if you don’t have a patch of grass in front of your home, there are other fundamentals which will help with the sale, says Jonathan Rolande, professional property buyer at housebuyfast.co.uk.

This includes jet-washing your path. And just before a visit from potential buyers, remove any vehicles, where possible, to help to create an impression of space.

‘Clean the windows, frames and front doors — and clean the house number,’ he says. ‘If the garden is mostly given over to parking, soften the look with pots and planters filled with bright flowers and attractive shrubs.’

 You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy

He adds that if you don’t have a lawn, terracotta planters on the front sills look great with fragrant plants such as lavender and rosemary appealing to the sense of smell, too.

If your front garden is really small, use decorative gravel such as pea shingle or slate chippings, suggests Thomas Goodman, property expert at homeowner and tradesman connection website myjobquote.co.uk.

‘This will give you an attractive, low-maintenance base for topping with a few nice plant pots.

‘Fix anything that’s broken, including gates, fences and walls. These detract from any nice planting and give the impression of a home that’s not properly maintained and is going to need work.’

Colby Short says some items in your garden should be permanently jettisoned to improve the chances of a sale.

‘You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy. The same goes for any large statues or display items, particularly if they are of a political, religious or risque nature.

‘When it comes to potential buyers, you want to present a blank canvas. But that doesn’t mean this canvas can’t look good and add appeal in its own right.’

On the market… with kerb appeal 

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

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