The former gate-house to Dillington House in Ilminster, Somerset, is Grade II* listed and looks like a miniature castle, built of hamstone, with arched stone mullion windows and turreted roof. With two bedrooms (one just 9ft by 6ft7ins), open fireplace in the sitting room and outside, landscaped gardens, fish pond and parking space. Price pounds 53,500. (Greenslade Taylor Hunt, 01460 57222.)

Medley Cottage in Rayne, near Braintree, Essex, is a Grade II- listed cottage with timber frame and pitched roof. The two bedroom property has exposed beams, open fireplace in the sitting room and gardens. It has been dated as 17th century, but local experts think it may be older. Offers invited around pounds 75,000. (Trembach Welch, 01371 872117.)

An 18th century cottage 45 minutes from the beach in Brittany comes with two period barns and more than three acres. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom house is about an hour and a half from the ferry at St Malo. The owners, from Sussex, chose their holiday home to give their children the chance to enjoy wildlife, sailing, swimming and water-skiing. Around pounds 47,000. (Domus Abroad, 0171 431 4692.)