CELEBRITY designer Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen has made it clear that although he’s put for sale signs up at his Grade II-listed 16th century country manor, he has no intentions of leaving his beloved Cotswolds behind.
The 48-year-old presenter is one of a string of stars who have fallen in love with the chocolate box countryside and traditional honey coloured villages which cover large swathes of the West Country.
From Hollywood stars to top business leaders, the area attracts movers and shakers from all walks of life and is rarely out the news.
Only this week it hit the headlines when it emerged that Jude Law was at a Cotswold wedding with Sienna Miller when he learned about her affair with 007 star Daniel Craig.
This comes on top of news that Sienna herself is heading up the M4 to live in Gloucestershire with fiance Tom Sturridge and their 18-month-old daughter, Marlowe.
Nick Croall, director of top peoples’ estate agents Savills, says it’s not surprising that the electoral register has started to read like Who’s Who.
“For the past 15 to 20 years it has been a real property hotspot and it’s still as fashionable as ever,” he said. “I suppose if you are coming out of London, the Cotswolds have a real cache and are very convenient. Celebrities attract celebrities. If somebody moves into the area, their friends come down to visit, realise it’s a nice place to live and it snowballs from there.
“It also helps that they are left alone here to get on with their lives. I think they get lots of hassle in the more urban areas closer to London, but in the Cotswolds you even see the Royals out and about.”
The Royals give the area added glamour, as do the well-heeled polo clubs but sellers should not get too excited because famous stars rarely go househunting under their own name.
Discretion is paramount when they are looking for a new abode but one they move in stars like Laurence
Llewellyn-Bowen regard the area as home. Liz Hurley turned on the Christmas lights at Cirencester and has been known to visit village fetes.
International stars such as Kate Winslet spend large parts of the time abroad and others use gated communities like Lakes by Yoo near Lechlade as weekend retreats.
“Because their lives are so hectic most of the time, come here to relax and unwind,” said Mr Croall.