Convenience and decent schools has made Hatton in Warwickshire an ideal hot spot for property buyers. Sarah Probert pays a visit.
Once a tiny village on the outskirts of Warwick, Hatton has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, growing to more than double its size and becoming an ideal spot for young couples and families to reside.
The village, off the busy Solihull road between Warwick and Balsall Common, is split into three neat areas, each home to different types of residents.
Hatton Green is the original village, where cute cottages are huddled together down a quiet lane near to the Grand Union canal. Many of the homes give an indication to what was once a thriving area full of shops and businesses, with such names as Wheelwrights Cottage and Post Office Cottage. There is also a sprinkling of more modern 1960s homes dotted in between these charming homes and the main school acts as a centre point.
The largest cluster of homes can be found in Hatton Park, an imposing housing estate a few miles away from Hatton Green.
It is a massive, rather clinical looking housing estate, built on a former psychiatric hospital site 12 years ago. Although the majority of the 700 houses are new builds here, developers did convert a few of the original Victorian hospital buildings.
The estate itself has a rather empty feel, with little amenities apart from a community centre and village shop.
However, the estate's position nestled in rolling fields makes it an ideal place for young families or those who would like to reside in the countryside but cannot afford the steep prices often associated with rural areas.
A third area of Hatton is a cluster of homes at Hatton Station, which sits on the London to Birmingham line, making it easily accessible for commuters.
District conservative councillor Clare Sawdon has lived in for seven years after being lured here by the decent schools, surrounding countryside and convenience of rail and motorway.
"The main attraction is it is so convenient for everywhere," she says. "You have Hatton Station and Warwick Parkway Station on the doorstep and people do commute to London and Birmingham daily and we are also very close to junction 15 of the M40 so it is easy to hop onto the motorway from here.
"Hatton is split into three sections, the original village of Hatton Green, a mixed development of homes, some of which is post-war development at Hatton Station and a new development on a former hospital site, known as Hatton Park.
"There are starter homes and large houses along with a village shop. From the old hospital they converted some of the buildings as well as creating new ones."
The large site has prompted the school into expanding to cater for the growing number of children moving into the area, Mrs Sawdon adds.
"The advantage of Hatton is that all the settlements are off the main road, so it is quiet.
"I have lived here for seven years and moved here because it was a convenient place to be. My children went to school in Warwick and there are some great schools in Warwick.
"People are very welcoming in Hatton Green, there is quite a sense of community but it is very much its own unit.
Hatton Park was built 12 years ago with 700 houses.
"There is quite a bit of community spirit and of course there are plenty of country walks.
"The property market is fairly stable but it is certainly moving here, there are always property sold boards up."
Clubs include a newly formed WI at Hatton Park, a youth club and several church groups.
There is also an impressive village hall on the main Solihull road, which caters for weddings and various meetings.
A mobile library service also stops weekly at Hatton.
Some of the most notable features of the village is the impressive Grand Union Canal, with its series of 21 locks and Hatton Country World, which lures visitors from across the region to its public farm and shopping village.
Residents also enjoy the popular Waterman Pub, which overlooks the canal at the top of Hatton Hill and has been noted for its regular large assemblies of motorcycles.
The 18th century former coaching inn has recently been refurbished and offers a large open fire and dining areas.
Other pubs in the area include the Falcon Inn, although less well known as its situated further away from the village centre.