The Hamiltons have settled into their £1.2m Hullavington manor house in the heart of rural north Wiltshire since moving in 2004, but a quieter life is not following suit.

Neil and Christine Hamilton have been on a rollercoaster ride ever since they left the world of politics in the late 1990s under the cloud of cash for questions and libel battles with Mohamed al-Fayed.

Their move to Wiltshire, and Bradfield Manor in particular, might be seen as the couple making an effort to slow down their hectic schedules, but work is getting in the way.

In the past three years the couple have been busy with their Edinburgh festival show Lunch with the Hamiltons, Christine's autobiography For Better For Worse, a world cup song England Are Jolly Dee and various guest speaking and chat show appearances.

From the depths of bankruptcy they embraced the media world with the attitude of if you can't beat them, join them' and are turning their lives around.

The couple seem to enjoy their busy lives and now have the perfect setting to kick back and relax, when they get the chance.

Christine, 58, told Country Times: "We want to be here as much as possible and get away as little as possible.

"We love it here and we've made lots of friends some of which are really close friends who have become bosom buddies.

"We haven't really got any immediate neighbours. Our nearest neighbour is the farmer and we get on very well with him.

"It's a very mixed village here. There's a thriving school and the people are very community minded. We feel as though we've been here forever."

Neil joined the village hall committee when he arrived in Hullavington. The hall burnt down before the Hamiltons arrived and Neil helped to organise its reinstatement.

Christine said: "It's all done and dusted and the village hall is now up and running. A village hall is immensely important to a village.

"As a lawyer Neil said he would help out. There were a lot of legal bits and bobs and he was able to help with that."

The Hamiltons' seven-bedroom manor house was once the home of Edward IV and later William Collingbourne, who in 1484 conspired against Richard III and wrote a defamatory rhyme which cost him his head.

The building is split into two parts, with the older wing dating back to the 1400s, while the new wing is 200 years old, both linked by an exquisite medieval dining room. Christine describes their home as: " quirky, rambling and romantic - a bit like Neil."

Wiltshire holds many memories for Christine. Her late mother, Megan, lived in a cottage overlooking Bradford on Avon during the pre-war years where she taught at Trowbridge High School.

During this period Megan was already romantically acquainted with Ted, Christine's father, who served in the Navy during the war and turned up at Bath railway station for an emotional reunion with his sweetheart.

Christine's brother James, a High Court judge, was educated at Dauntseys School and Christine took her A-levels at Salisbury Technical College.

Christine said: "It was my mother who instilled in me a love of Wiltshire, it was always her favourite county.

"I love the Wiltshire landscapes, it's an inspiring county. I love the downs area and Salisbury plain.

"We are so lucky to have both the Wiltshire life and London life because we can flip between the two. I love London and a lot of work goes on there for us, but I'm a country girl at heart.

"I'm much happier here than in London. Wiltshire just seems like home to me."