The city girl living in the countryside

City girl Lisa had always lived in Bristol until she was tempted to become a guardian by a rural mansion nestling in the rolling Mendips.

The property: Rural mansion in Winscomb

Weekly license fee: £46

The huge Victorian mansion sitting in its own grounds is just outside the tiny village of Winscombe. 

The property is a stones’ throw from the Strawberry Line, a former railway turned long-distance foot and cycle path linking medieval Axbridge and the famous Cheddar Gorge with the picturesque seaside town of Clevedon.

For  Lisa who works part time in a Bristol law firm, teaches yoga and is a support worker to people with disabilities it is the perfect country retreat.

“I actually own a flat in Bristol and had always lived in the city but I found that paying the mortgage and bills was eating up all my money. All I did was work. I want to have time to do things that give me real satisfaction.

“I found out about Camelot from a friend who is living in an old school in Lockleaze, Bristol and he recommended Camelot to me.  I looked on their website and found this beautiful Victorian mansion in Winscombe.  I was familiar with the area as my sister lives close by.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw the property.”

The building is a huge Victorian mansion built in grey limestone with a fine veranda overlooking tiered lawns. Even on a grey winter day the setting is stunning.  A sweeping drive takes you to the entrance, which is marked by a heart shaped flowerbed.

Mooseheart was a hotel, run by an international charity until a few years ago. It is in really good order. The building is beautifully warm and has amazing views across the Somerset hills.

Lisa continues: “It’s almost too good to be true. I get to get to live in a lovely country hotel and yet I can easily get into work in Bristol by car or train. I can even cycle there along safe cycle trails although that does take a couple of hours.

“For me it's the perfect solution. I rented my Bristol flat out which covers all my outgoings and became a property guardian in this amazing building. The lower lease costs mean I can spend more of my time doing things I enjoy. I love being a support worker but that type of work is poorly paid.

“I was a little bit nervous about moving in with six other people but because Camelot do proper checks its been great. I share the property with, among others, a teacher and a therapist.

So is Lisa missing the city life Not a bit of it. “It’s wonderful to have peace and space to really think, to read a book, or to listen to the owls at night. Before I was on a treadmill working just to pay the bills. I was always rushing about. Here I enjoy time in the present moment.

“I have my own ensuite room and share the hotel kitchen. We have a communal room where we can meet up but although we get on well we all tend to do our own thing. We have loads of space outside for storing bikes and parking cars.”

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