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5 Bedroom detached house Dedham £1,100,000

Ivy Cottage is set in sought-after Dedham and has been carefully extended and upgraded to offer bright and generous family living space


Set back down a long gravel drive, beautiful Ivy Cottage feels very much in a world of its own. Yet its convenient position was a major attraction to the current owners, who have enjoyed every moment of their time at the house. "Although it feels secluded here, we are just a mile from the village, where there are pubs, restaurants and shops," one of them observes. "There is a brilliant primary school within walking distance and the doctor's surgery has been voted the best in Essex! We are just a short drive from the A12, where you can be London or Ipswich-bound within a few minutes and we are just five or 10 minutes from Manningtree, which is on the main line for trains to London."


It has been 12 years since they moved to Ivy Cottage and decided to make it their own. "This was originally all heathland and then Heath House opposite was built and from what we can gather our home was originally two cottages for the people who worked there. At some point it was made into one dwelling - the original part of Ivy Cottage dates back to the 1800s," she says. When the couple first saw the house they realised it held great potential to be extended and upgraded. "When we bought it, it had one reception room, three bedrooms, a bathroom and a lovely kitchen," she recalls. "We did have a vision of what we wanted to do with it. Now it has three main reception rooms, plus a study, games room, kitchen breakfast room and utility room downstairs, and five bedrooms and three bath or shower rooms upstairs."


The ground floor accommodation brings great flexibility. Upstairs, the master bedroom has an en suite bathroom, with bath and shower, as well as his and hers hand basins, while the guest room has an en suite shower room. The whole house is decorated in fairly neutral tones to make the most of the abundance of natural light. "It offers so much space and, there are no two ways about it, this is a beautiful family home," she admits. "Even if we have lots of people here, there is always plenty of room to spread out." The drawing room is a great place to relax and watch television in the evening. This opens into the family room. "I do love the family room because it has so much glass and seems to bring the outside right in."


There have been so many happy occasions at the substantial house over the years: from lively family meals around the kitchen table to special celebrations out in the sunny garden. "This house really lends itself to entertaining all year round," she says. "There have been some lovely Christmases here and some great barbecues outside. We recently had a party for my daughter's birthday, which was fun, with the boys all going off to play pool in the games room."


The garden has given the family great pleasure. This is mainly laid to lawn and includes an attractive terrace for outside dining and entertaining. The country location of the property has also given them the opportunity to explore their surroundings. The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, often referred to as Constable Country for its association with the landscape artist John Constable. There is a myriad of footpaths and bridleways to follow, as well as pretty villages to explore and lots of renowned pubs and restaurants. "When my daughter was younger she enjoyed riding here - following the bridleways or going round the edge of farmland, which you can do with a permit."


Having decided to downsize, the couple known they will miss their splendid home. "This is a lovely place to live, which has suited us very well," she says. "We will miss everything about it, especially all the space it has given us for family events. It is so peaceful here yet it is also so convenient. It offers you a country lifestyle and the chance to spread your wings, with the benefits of being within easy reach of everything you need. It is perfect.

Setting the Scene
Ivy Cottage is set down a long driveway. It enjoys generous gardens to three sides of the large house. There is plenty of lawn for children to play out on and a terrace for outside dining. The garden enjoys views out over the paddocks.
The Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Essex/Suffolk border. The vale lies within the Stour Valley and is at the heart of the countryside made famous by the late 18th century and 19th century artist John Constable. A much sought after village which is centred around the 15th century parish church, made famous in Constable's paintings. The village benefits from a good range of local shops and public houses and there is also an excellent village school.
The nearby towns of Colchester, Britain's oldest recorded town, and Ipswich provide a full range of business, recreational and shopping facilities. There are some well-regarded schools in the area including Orwell Park, Old Buckenham Hall and Holmwood House Prep Schools, Woodbridge School, Ipswich High Schools for Girls and The Royal Hospital School.

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