Property: 2,000, a space odyssey: where to find it, how much to pay

Forget the Dome - rent your own millennium party space, but be .prepared to pay the price.

NOW WE are well into 1999, people are thinking seriously about what they are going to do to celebrate the passing of the millennium. A good number of families are considering renting a property for the New Year week to entertain their friends and guests.

In response, house owners are starting to put up their homes up for rental for just that week, encouraged by the lure of mega rents, possibly up to five times the normal going rate.

Suzanne Coker, who lives with her husband, James, in Barton-on-the-Heath in the Cotswolds, has a large house with an adjoining cottage which she is just starting to let out. "We had considered inviting a few friends up for the millennium weekend and putting them up in the cottage. But we have been told by local rental agents that we could get a very good return and that is just too tempting."

The cottage, which sleeps five, with a large dining room, sitting room and wood-burning stove, is usually let for pounds 350 to pounds 400 a week, but with the possibility of earning at least pounds 800 for that one week, they hope to take a short, but extravagant, holiday later in the year. "We will just stay with friends," says Suzanne.

Although the Cokers are looking at doubling their rent, larger properties are being let for up to five times the norm. Warren de Longe of Blandings, the country-house holiday-rental agent, which is offering a number of properties for the millennium, says: "Most of the larger houses are going to groups of individuals or couples wishing to celebrate the event, rather than families.

"While these groups are often willing to spend greater sums of money, many of our owners prefer families, as they are less likely to bring in the millennium with a `bang'."

The most expensive property the company is offering for the New Year week is Hatton Castle, near Turriff, Aberdeenshire. This has eight bedroom suites, and will cost pounds 55,000 per week, excluding staff. For a little bit less, you could take Braxted Park in Witham, Essex, which is a nine- bedroom country house, at pounds 30,000 for the week.

Then there is St Catherine's Court near Bath, Somerset & Avon, a 14th- century property, which accommodates 16, for pounds 40,000 or, Widecombe Manor in Devon, a 19th-century manor house sleeping 14, for pounds 15,000 - or just over pounds 1,000 a week per person.

Leon Betchley of Countrywide Residential Lettings covers the south coast of England. He says: "I am getting an awful lot of enquiries from the Home Counties and London, especially from large families or parties. Within the last two weeks we have taken 50 enquiries."

He reckons that a four-bedroomed property usually let out for pounds 450 to pounds 500 a week could easily command pounds 1,500 to pounds 2,000, and he is advertising for suitable property. He already has a few houses on his books in the Isle of Wight, and these include Cove Cottage, a three-bedroom cottage at Ventnor; The Barn, a four-bedroom house at Whitwell; and Stoneplace Cottage with three bedrooms at Ventnor. They will all be available for around pounds 800.

Many of the properties already available for renting over the New Year are in Scotland. Robert Rattray of Finlayson Hughes of Perth, which has published a special millennium brochure, says: "We have been inundated with enquiries for large and exclusive venues."

Several of the 16 properties are already booked, and of those still available you could take Burnknowe at Lochgoilhead, Argyll, sleeping eight for pounds 5,000 a week, Denfield Farmhouse in Trinity Gask, Perthshire, for pounds 5,500, or Lochiehead at Auchtermuchty, Fife, sleeping 14, plus four in a cottage, for pounds 12,500 a week.

Knight Frank's Edinburgh office has also been asked by some of its clients to find tenants over the millennium week. Properties up for grabs range from stately homes to castle and shooting lodges. "Some are fully staffed, others are self-catering farmhouses, and packages are being tailored to meet people's individual requirements wherever possible," says Colin Strang Steel.

One property available is Strathtyrum at St Andrews, Fife. Twelve people staying here would have use of the drawing room, library, billiard room and dining room, and the pounds 30,000 for seven nights includes all meals and drink.

Also in Scotland, F D D Savills has several properties available for that week. On the Airlie Estate, for example, Cortachy Castle, which sleeps at least 20 people, is available for pounds 24,000 for four days; and Wellbank Cottage, which sleeps six to eight people, pounds 2,000 for the week.

You should, of course, insure your home while it is rented out over the millennium week. A standard buildings and contents insurance will not cover the property if it is let and anything untoward occurs, and it is unlikely that a high street or telephone insurance company would countenance such an extra liability.

Countrywide say it is encouraging people to take a very much larger deposit than usual - pounds 300-pounds 400, as opposed to pounds 50-pounds 100 - to cover any damage. And it is offering an insurance package covering all liabilities, which will cost around pounds 150-pounds 200, depending on what has to be covered.

Suzanne Coker, 01608 674603; Blandings, 01223 293444; Finlayson Hughes, 01738 451111; Countrywide Residential Lettings, 01983 821111; Knight Frank, 0131-225 8171; F P D Savills, 01356 628600

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine