If you’re going to be working from home, you’d better make it a good one. You know, a home with everything you’ll need to be productive and efficient. Nice views, for one. A good, spacious home office, for another. Five bathrooms, probably. A sun dial garden, perhaps. A charming fountain, topiary hedging and 970 acres of ancient parkland.
Okay, so we’ve already got somewhere in mind. Over in the lush countryside of Dorset, there’s an estate listed by Knight Frank that ticks every home office box — and then some. And, while its price tag may be a little too steep for the average office worker, there’s no harm in taking a look, right?
West Woodyates Manor — even its name sounds grand — isn’t your run-of-the-mill country house. In fact, in its winning location on the edge of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this Salisbury-adjacent manor is almost perfectly placed in the rolling British countryside.
There’s hints of quaint, provincial England nearby — the closest village is called, somewhat charmingly, Sixpenny Handley — and there are local businesses from butchers to brewers within a stone’s throw. Although, with such an array of buildings, barns and cottages on the estate itself, you’ll barely have to leave. But we’ll get to that…
Because the manor house, West Woodyates Manor itself, is the main attraction. A spectacular Grade II-listed family home, the manor sits in an enviably private position — shrouded by bursts of forestry and vast expanses of meadow. Inside, everything is ideally laid-out — even for a house of this size. There’s a delightful family kitchen and pantry perfect for whipping up everything from a small Sunday breakfast to a grand festive feast.
There’s also extensive cellars — because it’s important to take good care of your wine — as well as a boot room and utility rooms. Out of the five principal bedrooms, the master unsurprisingly has the best views — as well as the best en suite, complete with standalone bath, wood panelling and that chicest of bathroom accessories; a bidet.
But the living room is perhaps the heart of the home. Adjoined to the beautiful vaulted drawing room, the dining hall and the library — a great place to work from home — the living room boasts window seats, wooden floors and even an open fireplace — another traditional touch.
And the views! Even your approach to the house will take you winding up a mile-long, tree-lined driveway. And, once you’re safely inside the warm and cosy living room, you’ll be able to gaze out of your huge windows and across the rolling estate beyond.
Those 970 acres are perhaps the most appealing selling point of West Woodyates Manor. Close to the house, these green areas begin as meticulously manicured formal gardens, before giving way to parkland beyond. We particularly like the sunken garden to the south of the house — compete with charming fountain and topiary hedges.
It’s like getting lost in a period drama. And, along the rear of the house are a series of separate ‘compartment’ gardens, including a sun dial garden, an orchard — with ancient well and apple store — and a 0.8 acre walled garden. And that’s before we even get to the dedicated gardens of the other properties…
That’s right, there are other properties. Because, when you buy West Woodyates Manor, you don’t just get the big house. You also get a selection of quaint additional residences — from the large Manor Cottage nearby to Well House by the orchard.
There’s also a traditional storage barn for any outdoor pursuits, old stables just waiting to be renovated and plenty of garage space to indulge in your passion for classic cars. Because, if you own a heritage English country estate, you must own at least a couple of classics.
Which brings us to the price. £18.5 million may seem a little expensive — but consider this as your new office complex as well as home. You’ve got tons of office space to create an achievable work-life balance. There’s all that parkland on your doorstep for a stroll on your lunch break. And, next time you need to impress on a Zoom call, what better backdrop that your very own library?
West Woodyates Manor
Want more options? Step back in time with this Grade II-listed English manor…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.