I'm starting a new thread to deal specifically with renting 2/3 places for periods of 4-6 weeks. We will arrive by ship in Southampton and depart by plane from Heathrow, approximately 3 months later. Here are the counties under consideration: Dorset (95% sure we will want a base here) Wiltshire Sussex Kent Additionally we'll spend our last 5-7 days in or very near London for our departure, but those accommodations will be easier to find. Based on a number of the agencies Pauline has listed for southern England, I think our only hope of making this work is to find a smaller town, and even better would be to find a local connection to rent something for less than £1200 per month. I realize England is more expensive than Italy, and I accept that I will have to work harder! I need to do reading and research on all of the counties I've mentioned, to figure out what sights and attractions they have and how easy they are to get to. I love the idea of Pauline's concentric circles, but I'm not quite there yet! We love quaint villages, the stone, the half-timbered, the brightly-colored houses. We also love beautiful scenery, historic houses, ruins, and unique features, and gardens. We've been to Stonehenge several times, and to Winchester once, many years ago. Rye seems appealing, in Sussex, and Castle Coombe in Dorset. We'd prefer in a small village so that we could spend some time 'at home', playing lord and lady of the manor!. Any input on smaller villages with a convenient location most appreciated! I'll be back when I've done more research!