A cottage in the country surrounded by fields and woodland is at the top of the wish list for many city dwellers.

Splendid isolation may not appeal to everyone, but it ranks alongside a seaside location as the ideal property. It may seem quite a simple desire but the rural idyll is part of the English psyche.

While a country cottage holds a particular place in the hearts of many town dwellers, most people who live in the countryside are less likely to want to live in a town or city.

It is an aspirational purchase, inspired by the dream of roses around the door, country walks and big kitchens with wood-burning Agas, or just the romance of living close to nature without having to get your hands dirty.

Before the bottom dropped out of the property market, cottages became the ideal second homes for city workers to escape to at weekends, or to take a first dip into rural life.

Then the recession stopped the market dead in its tracks and cottage prices took a big hit. But that has changed over the past few months and prices are now close to their peak.

Cottages appeal to upsizers, downsizers, retirees, singletons, weekenders and young families, so there are plenty of would-be buyers around.

Jay Jayaram, negotiator with the Lewes office of Strutt & Parker, said there are many benefits to living in the country.

“If you are moving to the country from Brighton you should prepare yourself for a pleasant shock – unlike many city locations, people do actually know and like their neighbours and there are many community activities that they can take part in.

“Village life can be very friendly and good for your mental and physical health.

“I’ve dealt with many families who have made the move, and apart from getting more for their money, they are getting more out of life.

“The main reason people make the move to the country is to have more space, whether that is a larger garden or somewhere surrounded by open countryside.

“Country properties come in all sizes and locations and vary from splendid isolation to busy villages, there is a great choice.

“Although country living doesn’t suit everyone, most people who have made the move from city to country have no regrets.”

But country living is not all a bed of roses, you need to do your homework and take advice.

For a start shops, schools, banks, doctors and other amenities are likely to be further away; and public transport will be less frequent and less accessible.

Buyers are often drawn to thatched properties because of their quintessential country look and they want to own a piece of the English countryside, but there are considerations they need to be aware of, apart from low beams, such as insurance and maintenance.