The American south in Lancashire: Huge ranch-style mansion has everything from a hot tub to a cobbled driveway

Those pushing the boundaries of the American frontier were famously captivated by the views out west; the massive skies, the endless land. The kind of feeling which makes people buy ranches and big hats, shotguns and belt buckles. Sheer limitless space. Now, given the UK is about the same size as Louisiana, you wouldn't think that such a notion can't be entertained this side of the Atlantic. Well, think again.

Holly House Farm
Holly House Farm

Set across a not-quite-American-mid-west-sized six acres, Holly House Farm looks like the kind of property George W. Bush would buy. It's larger than life, it has a brashness which says 'I've seen it all before, son', and an air of rich texture, all plaid shirts and dusty Levis. And the price is available on request only.

A huge stone property, this former farmhouse not only comes with the kind of land that a farm typically needs in order to operate as a farm, but also a stone barn and - because everyone knows two buildings just aren't enough - an annexe as well. And from just about every single vantage point available from Holly House Farm, you can drink in the "views across the West Lancashire plain", as the estate agent romantically puts it.

Basically, grab a ten-gallon hat, cowboy, this here's a ranch. In Lancashire.

Get yourself past the electronic wrought iron double gates set into stone walling - which also have lovely coach lamp pillars - and up the sweeping cobbled driveway, and you'll find yourself transported into the US south of huge rooms, stone and wood, and paddocks.

Through the semi-glazed oak door, the entrance hall is paved with York stone flooring and quickly leads through to the kitchen/diner - the heart of any home which professes any tether to America in any way. Pale grey ceramic tiles and gloss units including a peninsula breakfast bar are the name of the game in this surprisingly space-age room, while a peninsula breakfast bar, granite work surfaces, integrated win chiller, exposed ceiling beams, and edgy recessed down-lighting all add to the merged rustic/22nd century feel.

One of four generously-sized reception rooms, the main lounge is dual aspect and has French doors leading out to the patio and sandstone rockery as well as a gas log fire housed in a black granite Adam style fire surround with cast iron inset. Fancy. Mosey on through and you'll find a sun lounge as well. Extra fancy.

Upstairs via the bespoke white oak staircase and you'll be seeing plenty more exposed beams - always a good thing - and in the master bedroom, you'll be seeing a dressing room and an en suite with a rainfall shower - always a very good thing. With a low-level eyelid-style window at the foot of the bed, as well, this room is quirkier than a rattlesnake's tail.

Outside, and past the Tarmacadam parking and turning area (perfect for all your American muscle cars), there's the detatched stone annexe, which has laminate flooring throughout and a kitchen all to itself. There's also a gymnasium, although everyone knows the only real sports - canoein', shootin', fishin', and wranglin' - are done very much outside.


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After a long day of all those things, grab a soak in the hot tub and enjoy the decorative arbour, the mature shrubs, and nominative determinism's holly trees. Too warm for the tub? Wildlife ponds are also available.