The locals know about the Kibworths – Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beachamp, which are divided by the A6 – but until Michael Wood’s programme on ‘the Story of England’ was filmed in these villages and shown on BBC 1 last year, they were not on many other people’s minds
Where? Seven miles south of Leicester, 8 miles north of Market Harborough
Prices from: £120,000
Why buy here: “There’s so much going on in the villages that you never need to leave,” says James Abbott of Strutt & Parker’s Market Harborough office. On the other hand, these rural hideways are so central you can get as easily to London as you can to Leeds, Norwich or Wales.
Travel pioneer Thomas Cook, who lived in Kibworth Harcourt and was a pastor of the local Methodist church (pictured, below), started his first package tour in the 1860s, which ran from Kibworth to Leicester.
Then and now, glorious countryside surrounds the villages and if you like the outdoor life, you can ride, walk or play tennis, bowls, golf and cricket within minutes of leaving your front door. The villages are also favoured by rugby players, with four of the Leicester Tigers living there including Thomas Waldron, who is hoping to play for England.
The villages are mentioned in the Domesday Book under their original name of Chiburde, which eventually turned into Kibworth. In 1235 Richard de Harcourt held land in Kibworth and it is probably that the manor was named Kibworth Harcourt after him.
The manor was given to Merton College, Oxford who still hold manorial rights today and own land in both villages. Kibworth Beauchamp was so named after the Beauchamp family, who – in the 13th century - held the manor as 'Chief Pantelers to the King' on the day of his coronation. There are Heritage Trails around both villages.
The villages have two excellent Italian restaurants – one smart, one more suited to families with children – run by the same couple, Sarah and Lino Poli; three pubs; lots of shops including a good wine shop, a Co-op, Moko, which is an excellent hairdressers and florist; nursery, primary and middle schools; doctors surgery which is in the old School House (see picture); post office and library.
“There has been a lot of building over the last few decades and there is really good mix of people living here from young families to the retired” says Sally Harrison, who also works for Strutt & Parker and has lived in the area for a long time.
Properties in villages such as Medbourn, Hallaton and Horninghold are around 10% more expensive, according to James, because they are better known, closer to the more well known public schools and further away from the A6. But as the Kibworths spread out away from the main road, it’s easy to find a property in a quieter location and there’s a wide spread of homes from small to large and from very old to just built.
David Wilson and Barratt are currently working on a development of 300 homes, Kibworth Meadows, which is on the edge of Kibworth Harcourt, prices range from £209,995 to £519,995. Strutt & Parker is selling three storey, five bedrooom Georgian town house in Weir Road, Kibworth Beauchamp for £440,000. Andrew Granger is selling a two-bedroom apartment for £129,950 and a two bedroom terraced house for £149,950 in Kibworth Beauchamp, and a three bedroom semi-detached in Kibworth Harcourt for £310,000.
“Half our sales last year were to people moving out of London or moving commuter lines. People also commute to Leicester and Nottingham. Since the TV show, there has been quite in increase in interest and demand, which has in turn pushed prices up,” says James.
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Travel pioneer Thomas Cook lived in Kibworth Harcourt started his first package tour in the 1860s, which ran from Kibworth to Leicester.