Herons Mead, Bromham, Bedford
This is not only a house that stops you in your search, but this is the garden that stops you in your tracks. Nestled at the end of a prestigious road in this delightful and sought-after village, the spectacular garden is one of just a very limited handful that leads directly onto the River Great Ouse-where you can hear the water tumbling down the weir, watch the swans glide by, and see the seasons change right before you.
When the owner's job required a relocation to Milton Keynes all the way from Edinburgh, Bromham provided them with close proximity to centres of commerce (the M1 in 15 mins, London St Pancras in less than an hour, and even Birmingham in an hour and a half) and excellent education at establishments such as the Harpur Trust schools. "Why would we want to live in London?" he questions, and it's hard to find the answer when you're sat in the living room, gazing through the French doors towards the river and fields beyond.
Moving in as a young family of four in 1999, the liberal dimensions, flexible layout and considerable storage proposed huge opportunity for easy separation as well as continuous growth for each of them, without needing to extend. As the children have flown the nest to university and adulthood, the parents feel "spoilt" by their surroundings.
They're able to enjoy their time individually with art and music in selected areas of the home, as much as they do when they join together for candlelit drinks in the summerhouse, or barbeques in what they call 'The Paddock' at the end of the garden.
They suspect they eat outside more often than they do inside!
Although "difficult to leave behind", with plans to move from riverside to seaside, they relocate once again, laden with over 20 years of happy memories from here-including wild swimming, fishing and canoeing.
Whilst they describe their residency in Herons Mead as "feeling as though we're on holiday", especially outdoors during lockdowns in recent times, this is the type of house that truly allows for an inspiring work-life balance.
With four large receptions rooms, five spacious bedrooms, and the detached double garage to utilise as workspaces, the switch from your desk to the romantic 'Italian Courtyard' draped in Wisteria, or fireside by the wonderful Inglenook is seamless. And the peace and quiet is palpable in this secluded cul de sac situation.
Looking at the original marketing brochure, the contained photographs (yes, real glossy photographs!) are testament to how they've sustained and maintained the property.
The country-style kitchen is an update to the one shown in the 90s particulars, yet some elements of the home have come back around, notably the brass and period-style fittings in the main bathroom, and the coloured suites in the two en suites. Character features such as the exposed bricks, wooden beams and leaded windows add to the warm atmosphere emanating around the abode.
When enquiring to the owners what they would possibly change internally, they have nothing to offer up personally, the house works so perfectly for them. However, the immeasurable scope to open up and reconfigure the floorplan would be a case of knocking walls down and reconstructing to suit the new owner's specific requirements. The possibilities certainly are boundless, both in accommodation and design, and in how you'd like to spend your time living here, in this unparalleled position.