Britain’s best home

It's quite something to be able to say that you own Britain's best home, but that's exactly what one Norfolk lady can lay claim to – her luxury eco-home near Attleborough has nabbed the top spot in the Channel Five competition, which held a public vote to find the country's finest property…

Amanda Barrington has spent eight long years creating ‘Woods End,' her modern country home on the Hargham Estate in Norfolk.

It took 18 months to find the ideal riverside location and get planning permission to create the eco house on the site of three derelict cottages. Construction then took more than two years.

Set in two acres of landscaped, wooded grounds, the house has been designed by award winning Architects Roderick James to be in close harmony with the surrounding landscape.

One of the briefs was to showcase the Norfolk light and use sustainable materials where possible. Douglas Firs were supplied by a sustainable UK source at Longleat and formed the frame of the building, which was then wrapped in Redwood Cedar with dipped hardwood window frames from Sweden, carefully positioned and sized to maximise views of the garden and beyond.

Its curved roof lines with flowering sedum and organic materials are married together with an open plan design and hi-spec furnishings to create a modern living space with four bedrooms split over three levels.

The property was one of 24 to be picked as contenders for the programme ‘I Own Britain's Best Home 2009' and was announced as the winner, partly due to its green credentials. It has also featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs, which showcases weird and wonderful designs from all over the country.

Aswell as the ‘best home' accolade, Ms Barrington has also won £20,000 for charity, which she plans to donate to a dog rescue centre in Yorkshire, a monastery in Wales, and the Carmelite Monastery at Quidenham near Attleborough.

But, despite the recognition, Woods End is proving hard to sell – perhaps due to its uniqueness. It was put onto the market two years ago with a £2 million price tag but has failed to sell.

Once the house does sell, Ms Barrington is eager to get started on her next large scale building project, which will also be in Norfolk.

If you want to take a closer look at the house, visit its website at www.woodsendnorfolk.co.uk .

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