Meet Mark Crampton, buying advisor, the Home Counties
9th November 2015
A long cycle ride through the English countryside is one of Mark Crampton’s favourite ways of relaxing. Ironically, it’s also a great way to fit in a bit more research into the Home Counties and the areas of West Sussex, Surrey and the South Downs, which he covers for Middleton Advisors.
“I’m always peeking over some hedge or wall as I’m cycling through the Surrey hills or South Downs,” says Mark, “or keeping half an eye out for a nice looking pub or restaurant.”
“For many of my clients moving from the city to the country, they have a picture in their head of the perfect English country pub, or a village shop. I know this area like the back of my hand now, but things do change and so it’s rare that I don’t jot down a couple of notes, even when I’m out on my bike on a weekend.”
Mark has also noticed the booming ‘Britagne’ (British Champagne) scene, which is particularly vibrant in the chalky landscape of the South Downs, an area stretching along the south of England from Winchester to Eastbourne.
“There are sparkling wines made in this area of the country that are regularly beating French sparkling wines in blind tastings, so it’s really interesting to see more and more land being bought up and vines planted – it’s one more appealing feature of the Hampshire, Sussex, Kent region,” says Mark, who joined the Middleton team in 2010, after spending more than 10 years building up his experience in the property world.
“I moved from quite an urban, commuter-belt area, but now my core is this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and there are some really outstanding opportunities here to combine the rural dream with good access to London and major airports. I bought a house for a client returning from the Far East after 30 years. Often, a Middleton client will be focused on a particular school or railway line or a village where they have had connections in the past, but this particular client had a blank sheet of paper, and that’s when you realise just how many wonderful options there are in this area of the UK.”
“In the end it was a very exhilarating deal, because our client was in a different time zone so we were liaising in the middle of the night knowing that we were competing with four other bidders.”
Mark has now found further ways of combining work and pleasure. Firstly with the M100 – a sociable cycle ride for clients and partners of Middleton, inaugurated in 2015 – which is now an annual feature of the company calendar and an opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of southern England.
And secondly through sponsorship of the Petworth Festival, which he describes as "a wonderfully diverse arts festival that is growing in popularity and reputation every year. It just seems to encapsulate everything that is good about West Sussex life and when we were asked to support it, we agreed in a heartbeat.”