Barbara and Norris Hickerson are no strangers to globetrotting, having spent many years living in various locations around the world, including America and Asia. So when they decided to settle down and retire, their home had to be something special. After discovering City & Country’s development, Balls Park, in Hertford, they knew they wouldn’t find a better place in the world in which to live.
Barbara explains: “Norris and I spent 25 years living in Asia before moving to Tennessee to look after Norris’ mother for a few years. When she sadly passed away we decided it was time for us to find somewhere in which we could settle and retire. We love the experience of living in different counties but had decided we didn’t want to stay in America.
“We were not planning to move to England initially, but our daughter lives on the same road as Balls Park and suggested we arrange a viewing. As soon as we saw the apartments we realised that the development was special; the homes are incredibly beautiful, with so many unusual architectural details and set amidst vast grounds – it was more than enough to persuade us to move to the UK”.
The Grade I Listed Jacobean Mansion House and Grade II Listed outbuildings at Balls Park have been carefully renovated into a range of luxury apartments and duplexes. The properties boast an abundance of traditional features including restored sash windows and original oak floors.
Barbara and Norris have downsized quite considerably. Having previously lived in a duplex with three bedrooms, they now reside in a two bedroom apartment. Barbara comments: “At first we were worried about having less space but it doesn’t feel cramped in our new apartment at all! We thought it would be really difficult to fit all our furniture in and furnish our new home as we wanted, but it has actually worked out really well for us. The ceilings are really high and the apartment is always flooded with light from the large windows which makes it feel really spacious”.
She continues: “We assumed because we were downsizing that we wouldn’t be able to have a garden anymore, but here at Balls Park we have an enormous garden. We joke with our friends that we’ve traded a small private garden for a garden of 63 acres!”
All of the residents of Balls Park have private access to the picturesque Grade II Listed parkland, which features on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. This gives purchasers a rare opportunity to live within an historic country manor without the typical responsibilities of maintaining an estate of its size.
Balls Park is particularly suited to people who are downsizing or retiring, the development is situated in a gated community, offering a sense of security and the 63 acres of parkland which the development is set within provides a beautiful setting for afternoon strolls. Additionally, as the Mansion House at Balls Park comprises of 19 apartments, this provides a community atmosphere which is especially important to those retiring as it allows them to stay connected within their communities.
Barbara explains: “It’s an ideal location for us to retire in. Neither of us can drive, so it’s really helpful that most things are close enough to walk to, we walk to church and into Hertford town centre which has a number of useful amenities; and when we can’t walk somewhere Sarah kindly helps out. It’s really nice that Sarah is able to look after us in our retirement too and we love that we’re closer to our three grandchildren, Ben, Nathan and Eliza.”
Balls Park is an exclusive partially-gated community and offers a calm rural retreat close to all the amenities of the town centre. Residents are well placed to enjoy the variety of shops, restaurants and cafes on the high street, whilst Hertford train station has two separate train lines, providing services of less than 50 minutes to Kings Cross, Moorgate and London Liverpool Street.
Prices at Balls Park start at £245,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, £460,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and £995,000 for a duplex. For further information or to arrange a viewing, please contact the sales suite, open daily between 10am and 5pm, on telephone: 01992 551777 or visit: www.balls-park.co.uk.
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