9 tiny villages where celebrities have secret vacation homes
As you stroll the streets of LA or the St Tropez boardwalks, you wouldn’t be surprised to catch a glimpse of a familiar face.
As some of the world’s biggest A-listers have risen to fame on the big screen, the hubs of Hollywood and Cannes are home to many.
But what about the quieter corners of the world where celebrities have made their home?
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities can offer a bit of peace, but the big and the good are likely to make more noise in a small pond.
Take the enthusiastic reception that greeted American actor Matt Damon when he chose to rent a mansion in the Irish suburb of Dalkey during the lockdown.
Here, we take a look at nine lesser-known places that celebrities call home.
9. Stephen Fry – West Bilney, North Norfolk
Norfolk’s notoriously flat lands may not be everyone’s idea of paradise. But for national treasure Stephen Fry, they have a familiar attraction, as the British actor and television personality grew up in the village of Booton, near Norwich.
He now lives closer to King’s Lynn, in a small village called West Bilney. Talk to Eastern Daily Press about growing up in a remote area, he says the following.
“All the things that make Norfolk a difficult place for someone with artistic sensibilities, pretensions and hopes to grow up also makes it a wonderful place because you find other people who feel like that.
“Unlike life in London, it’s rarer to get drawn into the artistic world, so there’s an excitement when you come together. “
Norfolk’s magnificent beaches and rich birdlife also make it a charming place to live.
8. George and Amal Clooney – Sonning Eye, Oxfordshire
Powerful couple Amal and George Clooney inhabit many places, and one of them is a small village in Oxfordshire.
The human rights lawyer and movie star has a residence in the hamlet of Sonning Eye, an island in the Thames.
The Clooney family often swaps the lush green fields of Oxfordshire for the shores of Lake Como in Italy during the summer, a more popular spot for celebrities.
7. Johnny Depp – unnamed village, south of France
It sounds like something out of a movie or the plot of Schitt’s Creek, but actor Johnny Depp really bought an entire French village 20 years ago.
The ramshackle hamlet near Saint Tropez has undergone the star treatment and regained its former glory – with a few slightly eccentric touches.
If you have € 48million in reserve, you can take it out of Depp’s hands, as it’s now back in the market.
6. Tina Turner – Küsnacht, Zurich
Zurich sure sounds glamorous, but it’s a far cry from Hollywood where American-born singer-songwriter Tina Turner has a star on the Walk of Fame.
She lived in various places across Europe, including London and Cologne in Germany, before settling in Küsnacht, a municipality in the Swiss city of Zurich.
His home is close to the amazingly clear blue waters of Lake Zürich.
5. Julia Roberts – Taos, New Mexico
The world is Julia Roberts’ oyster, but rather than experiencing highlife in LA or New York like most actors, she has landed in the town of Taos, New Mexico.
She reportedly fell in love with the mountain town in the 1990s and bought a 40-acre ranch to relax on. Taos’ elevation means temperatures vary widely, with sweltering days followed by cold nights. It’s worth packing some layers if you plan to follow in the movie star’s footsteps.
4. Daniel Day Lewis – Wicklow, Ireland
Acting legend Daniel Day Lewis is well known for his immersive approach. Between two intense roles, the now retired actor retired to his farm in the village of Annamoe, County Wicklow, Ireland.
A valued member of the community, Day-Lewis was granted the freedom of Wicklow in 2009, and spoke fondly of the freedom he has long found in the county. “This is one of the reasons why this place suits me so well because I have the right to go about my business quietly”, declared the three-time Oscar winner.
“The truth is I don’t notice [the pressure of celebrity] here because I have the right to live.
3. Nicole Kidman – Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Australia
It’s no surprise that working royalty Nicole Kidman lives in Australia, but did you know that she chose a small village in the hills near Sydney, rather than the famous Byron Bay?
There is nothing small about the house itself, however, a mansion on a 45 acre Angus beef cattle stud in the Sutton Forest. The Southern Highlands region, with its rolling hills, is said to be increasingly popular with celebrities.
2. JK Rowling – Cramond, Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital is too big and vibrant to be put on the map by one person, even the creator of Harry Potter. Yet JK Rowling is arguably the most famous face of Cramond, a suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
A giant 30-foot hedge separates the author from prying eyes in the old fishing village. She also owns a huge estate near Aberfeldy in Scotland and recently acquired her childhood home in the Tutshill village in Gloucestershire.
1. Ed Sheeran – Framlingham, Suffolk
Another celebrity attached to his East Anglian roots, Ed Sheeran lives in the old market town of Framlingham in Suffolk.
The popstar has purchased a number of properties in the area, nicknamed “Sheeran-Town” by locals. It is spread over 16 acres, which gives Framlingham Castle good value for money.