THERE ARE cottages and then there is The Cottage, a splendidly drunken structure, pink-washed with three bedrooms and three miles from Colchester, in Essex. The part-tiled, part-thatched house in almost six acres of grounds dates from the 17th century, but it has recently been extensively refurbished to include a hand-made upmarket kitchen with butler sink and brass taps, AEG oven and hob and a plum-coloured Aga.

From the 20ft-by-15ft conservatory, there is a view across the garden to a pond and old haywain. There's a beamed sitting room, study area and, outside, a timber-framed garage, barn and summer house. Offers over pounds 355,000, details from Strutt & Parker (01206 763388).

THE COTTAGE, in the Buckinghamshire village of Pitsone, is a Victorian semi so handsomely restored it was pictured as an example of perfect rendering by a DIY firm. Near to the Grand Union Canal, it has a 12ft square sitting room with an open fireplace and stripped pine doors, a study and a 20ft- by-18ft kitchen/breakfast room with a Rayburn set in a brick fireplace. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom.

The mature Victorian garden has a path built of stone thought to come from the old station platform at nearby Tring. There are greengage bushes, crab apple, hazel and wych elm trees, a herb garden and climbing roses. Offers of pounds 185,000 through Cesare Nash (01442 827000).

THE COTTAGE, seven miles from Eastbourne in Wilmington, East Sussex, suggests something modest, but it is a Grade II listed, four-bedroom house dating from the 17th century and boasting views across the South Downs from its half-acre garden.

The brick-and-flint property - in need of some modernisation - has a large sitting room with an inglenook fireplace, built-in bookshelves and cupboard and a large panelled dining room with French doors to a courtyard. There are two bathrooms and a dressing room or nursery. Outside, the garden includes a pond and fig and walnut trees, and there are two garages. Offers over pounds 325,000 to Strutt & Parker (01273 475411).