Sarah Brener has loved being able to keep an eye on her horses from the vast kitchen window of her fabulous detached house in North Oxfordshire.

Herald Series:

“I can see the horses in the stables, and they can see me – so it works well for all of us,” Sarah enthused.

Sarah and her husband, Neil, compete at dressage and their lovely, spacious six-bedroom house, Rookery Barn in the village of Piddington, midway between Brill and Bicester, has fantastic equestrian facilities including six stables, two barns, feed room, tack room and an Olympic-sized dressage arena with a topnotch combi-ride surface.

Herald Series:

“We bought Rookery Barn four years ago and have developed the equestrian side for our own personal use,” Sarah explained.

“We compete at dressage and have had up to six horses here. We are quite fussy about our horses and they are rather spoilt with double-aspect views from their stables and even a hot water shower!”

The location of Rookery Barn has also been a winner when it comes to competing, with easy access to the major dressage show centres in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

“We are in a wonderfully quiet and secluded countryside location but the local road network is excellent, so it’s been perfect for us,” Sarah added.

The house itself is large, airy and spacious, covering more than 5,000 sq ft and with a room layout that allows lots of flexibility. There is also the desirable bonus of a newly refurbished annexe with a large living space, kitchen, double bedroom, shower room and its own garden – perfect for a groom, a granny flat or for letting.

Herald Series:

Rookery Barn sits well back from the road on a 5.6 acre plot containing the house, gardens, equestrian facilities and paddocks.

From the entrance hall, one long wing stretches to the left containing a sitting room, dining room, study, utility room and cloakroom, with the annexe at the far end.

Turn right from the entrance hall into the beautifully fitted double-aspect 23x16ft kitchen/breakfast room which is flooded with light thanks to the impressive feature windows which have lovely views of the countryside. This leads to another wing containing three bedrooms – one of them en-suite – family room and bathroom. On the first floor are two further bedrooms and bathroom. An outbuilding contains a cinema room.

Sarah and Neil have both enjoyed getting the décor of their home how they like it.

Herald Series:

“We do enjoy doing it, but we are not fanatical!” she laughed. “We have modernised certain rooms, but retained a nice homely feel.

“It’s such a flexible house to live in – as it’s so large the occupants can have their own space.

“We have loved this place to bits but we are moving a bit further north, to the Banbury area.”

Piddington enjoys a wonderful countryside location but it’s just a few miles to the shops and facilities of Brill in one direction and Bicester, with its duo of train stations and mainline services to Oxford and London, in the other.

Herald Series:

“We are literally ten minutes from towns and shops, and that includes Bicester Village,” said Sarah.

With a population of less than 400, Piddington is a quiet backwater with a friendly close-knit community who love their countryside location for walks and wildlife-spotting. The village website records sightings of all kind of birds and animals including deer, badgers, owls, bats, even a three-legged hare!

Herald Series:

The village hall always has plenty going on, ranging from quilting with the Piddington Patchers to short mat bowls and exercise classes. The village has a church but has sadly seen the demise of its local pub. Weekly visits from a mobile fish and chip van and greengrocer are a boon. Villagers are currently fundraising to update the children’s playground and residents looking for space to cultivate fruit and veg can apply for an allotment.

Herald Series:

Rookery Barn is on the market with Knight Frank for offers in excess of £1,250,000.