Northumberland Escape to the Country


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Northumberland

Buyers are helped to find their dream homes. Jonnie Irwin travels to Northumberland with a couple who want to escape their cramped London lifestyle and move back to the north east.


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Transcript


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In the 1880s, the house behind me was known as the Palace of the Modern Magician.

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I'll be revealing who that person was

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and where they lived in just a moment.

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On today's show I'm helping two university sweethearts

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move back to the county where they first met.

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One of our properties hits the right notes...

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I really like this kitchen.

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-It's lovely.

-That's music to my ear.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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..and there are a few surprises along the way.

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Yeah, I wasn't expecting that.

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I'm in Northumberland,

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and all this water is flowing towards Cragside House,

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home of Victorian inventor and industrialist

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Lord William Armstrong.

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Now, back in 1880,

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it was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity,

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harnessing the power generated by the lakes on his estate.

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Now, today, Armstrong is remembered as being

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a leading light in renewable energy,

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who also claimed that the use of coal

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was both wasteful and extravagant.

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Well, he was also a forward thinker when it came to picking

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the perfect spot to enjoy the county's natural splendour.

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England's most northerly county, Northumberland,

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borders Cumbria to the west and County Durham to the south.

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Beyond its northern boundary lies Scotland.

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Centuries of border conflict have left behind a rich legacy

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of ancient and medieval fortifications,

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from the 73-mile long Hadrian's Wall

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to imposing fortresses such as Alnwick Castle.

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Away from the former battleground,

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the county boasts two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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One of which is the entire stretch of Northumberland coastline,

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with its 39 miles of wide, sandy beaches.

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A quarter of the county has protected status

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as the Northumberland National Park.

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It's fair to say this tranquil county

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Northumberland is close to the hearts

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of both of today's buyers, so let's meet them and find out why.

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For the past few years, Terry and Joanne, both 31,

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have lived in this three-bedroom flat in southwest London.

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But they now yearn for more space and a less urban lifestyle.

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We've been in London for over eight years now.

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In Earlsfield for five years

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and we've absolutely loved living around here.

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It's been fantastic, but it is very built-up.

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We live on a terraced street and there's people above us

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and to the left and to the right,

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and it is just getting a little bit claustrophobic.

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The solution - a return to the county

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where they first laid eyes on each other.

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Terry and I met in Newcastle, at university about ten years ago.

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We got married three years ago up in Northumberland.

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We've always wanted to go back out to the country

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to be back nearer to family and nearer to friends,

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but also just back in the countryside.

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Back up to the North East where we originally met.

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Jo works as a tax advisor and Terry is a freelance project manager.

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But while Jo will continue in the same line of work

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and has found a job in Newcastle, Terry has a business plan.

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We have a plan to start with a few holiday lets.

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Maybe a few cottages or yurts or log cabins,

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depending on what the land is like.

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As far as the new house is concerned, the kitchen will be key.

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Well, we have an agreement that I do all the cooking

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and Jo does the washing.

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That's been in place for quite a few years now, hasn't it?

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-We did swap it once, but it really didn't work.

-It didn't work out.

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We got very bad food and not many clean clothes.

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The Northumberland countryside will also give Terry and Jo

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more time to indulge their interests outside of work.

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Over the last couple of years we've both got quite active, haven't we?

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Jo managed to persuade me to do a triathlon with her last year,

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so we do quite a lot of training together.

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We take our bikes over to Richmond Park to train there,

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It can take you longer to get there

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-than it can to actually do the training.

-Yeah.

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So it'll be really nice when we're up in the countryside.

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We have a garage to store our bikes in

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so we can just get them straight out and get straight on the road.

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All that's left is to find out how much money they've got to spend

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on the new home and the new venture.

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The budget for the new house is £500,000.

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We also have up to £150,000 to develop the business.

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Since Jo will be commuting to Newcastle for her new job,

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we're concentrating our property search

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in the bottom half of the county,

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along the southern edge of the Northumberland National Park.

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I've come to meet Terry and Jo to find out more

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about what they want from their new home.

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So, welcome to beautiful Northumberland.

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A huge move for you, geographically, of course.

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You're also looking for a new lifestyle.

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Tell me a bit about that.

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We want to move out into the country somewhere we can set up our new home

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and also develop this holiday let business as well.

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All right, let's focus on the house first.

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Need to find you somewhere to live, don't we?

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The house itself, we're quite prepared to do some work to it.

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So it doesn't need to be all completely finished.

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What does it look like? How big is it?

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I think we've got something that's got four bedrooms,

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so it's a family house. Something that we can stay in for a long time.

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We want to have the family over a lot,

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so it needs to have a lot of downstairs space, room for us

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to host people and host events like Christmas.

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And all our friends from London.

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-Right, OK.

-The style of the house, we are really open to it.

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We're not fans of anything really cottagey,

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low ceilings and that kind of thing,

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but other than that we are open

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-to all kinds of architecture and stuff.

-Yeah.

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Now, let's talk about this business, then.

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How much land are you after?

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I think the minimum would have to be five acres.

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-Minimum five acres?

-Yeah.

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What exactly are you hoping to do?

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We'd like to maybe start off with three or four letting units

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of something maybe like wooden lodges or yurts

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-or something like that.

-Right.

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Possibly expand it up to maybe even 15-20 separate little units

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on the plot of land, eventually.

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Let's remind ourselves of this budget.

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-How much are you looking to spend?

-In total it comes to 650,000.

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About 500,000 on the property to leave us with 150,000

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for development and then to put into the business.

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It's a house, it's a business, it's a future lifestyle, isn't it?

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-There's a lot of think about.

-Yeah.

-Yeah, definitely.

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-Well, let's get started.

-Great.

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For a maximum budget of £650,000,

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which includes the financial capital for the business,

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Terry and Jo want a detached family home.

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It has to include four bedrooms, a large farmhouse kitchen for Terry

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and space downstairs to entertain when their relatives come to stay.

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As for their rural enterprise, they need a minimum

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of five acres of land on which to build holiday accommodation.

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We've found three fantastic properties to tempt them with,

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and before I reveal the price of each one, I'll be asking them

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to guess how much they think it's worth.

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The last is our mystery house,

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and they'll need to harness their energy to look around that one.

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Our first house is located in a rural community a few miles

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from the border with County Durham and the village of Shotley Bridge,

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which is around 16 miles from Newcastle.

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Shotley Bridge is a thriving village with a range of local shops,

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restaurants and pubs.

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It is perhaps best known as the centre

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of Britain's sword-making industry,

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which dates back to the 17th century,

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when German sword makers arrived in the country.

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It's believed they were attracted here

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because of the River Derwent, which flows through the village.

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Its soft water was good for tempering steel.

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Five minutes' drive away, back over the border in Northumberland,

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is our first property.

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So here we are, the first house.

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-It's lovely.

-Yeah, very nice.

-Yeah.

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Now, this was the original farmhouse.

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-So you've got the farmhouse and then five other neighbours.

-Yep.

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Each of them face out in different directions,

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so you're not overlooked. What's going through your minds?

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-I think the house is really pretty.

-Yeah.

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-I'm not sure it's quite rural enough, looking out over...

-Right.

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It's quite built-up, the view,

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-but the house from the outside looks absolutely beautiful.

-Yeah.

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-Let's go inside.

-OK.

-Great.

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This Grade 2 listed traditional stone farmhouse dates back to 1750.

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It's been renovated and extended over the years

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but you still get a real sense of its history inside.

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Let's start in the kitchen.

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As every good house does.

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And a farmhouse should have a farmhouse kitchen.

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-This has exactly that, doesn't it?

-Yep.

-It's lovely.

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Really, really nice kitchen.

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So it sounds like you're going to be cooking a lot.

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-I think we'd spend a lot of time in here.

-Yeah.

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-Good.

-Like it.

-Let's just go through here.

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Right, then. The first reception room.

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The lounge area. It's a big room.

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-Yeah. I mean, everything's big in this house.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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But this is one of two, OK?

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-Let's look in the other one just through here.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-So, reception room number two.

-A dining room?

-Yeah.

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For our personal tastes we would redecorate completely, wouldn't we?

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The actual structure and fabric of the building is...

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-Really, it's got loads of integrity, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

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They've stayed true to what it originally was.

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I think you're right.

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Let's go and have a look at the bedroom.

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As well as the kitchen and two reception rooms,

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the ground floor also includes a generous study

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and a utility room off the kitchen.

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Upstairs there are four bedrooms, all of them doubles

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and each overlooking the front of the property.

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The two smallest doubles have built-in wardrobes

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and they're all serviced by a fully-tiled family bathroom,

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which just leaves the largest bedroom for Terry and Jo.

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This is your master because it has an en-suite just there.

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Oh, OK.

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-That's a big room, isn't it?

-It is, yeah.

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-Really nice size for a master.

-Yeah.

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-It's got quite a nice, big window in here as well.

-Yeah.

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-With views out over the valley.

-Yeah.

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Let's go outside and have a look at some of the business options, maybe.

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-All right?

-Yeah.

-After you.

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Terry and Jo seem to be able to look beyond the decor

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and can appreciate the heritage of this house.

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As far as the business goes, the property comes

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with half of this outbuilding, which could be converted

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into a holiday let.

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But let's talk land.

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-You get quite a bit of it.

-OK.

-In total,

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-three-and-a-half acres.

-OK.

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How much do you think this place is on the market for, then?

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Erm, I think 535?

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-OK.

-I'm going to a bit lower than that. I'll say 500.

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Well, it's on the market for offers around £550,000.

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-OK.

-So not bad guesses.

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Our first house still leaves our buyers 100,000 for the business.

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It's a traditional, 18th-century farmhouse built of local stone

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with four double bedrooms.

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Downstairs has separate reception rooms

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and a large country kitchen for Terry.

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Outside includes an outbuilding and three-and-a-half acres of land,

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which, subject to planning, could be ripe for development.

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-Now, you've had a good look around.

-Yep.

-Have you seen enough?

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-Yes.

-I think so, yeah.

-OK, time for the next one. Let's go.

-Great!

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One Northumberland home that sadly isn't for sale is this one,

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Alnwick Castle.

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The Dukes of Northumberland have lived here for 700 years.

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Known as the Windsor of the North,

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it is the second-largest inhabited castle in Europe.

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It's both an impressive fortress and a stately home.

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Like many across the country, Alnwick Castle comes with

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a formal garden attached, but this garden is like no other.

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The vision of the current Duchess of Northumberland,

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Jane Percy, the Alnwick Garden combines cutting-edge design

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with traditional landscaping.

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I've come to get my fingers green with head gardener Trevor Jones.

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-Trevor, how are you?

-Very well, thank you.

-Good to meet you.

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-And you.

-Well, Trevor, very impressive gardens.

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How long have they been in this form, if you like?

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They've only been in this form for about ten years.

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Prior to that, this area was completely derelict.

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What are the influences here, then?

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The influences here are all from the designers, Jacques and Peter Wirtz.

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They're from Belgium, so very much a European style of gardening,

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so unlike other gardens in the UK,

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much of the planting here is in straight lines, like behind us.

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I imagine you must have full-time people like yourself here.

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-Do you have volunteers?

-Yes, we do.

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We have a hardy band of volunteers that work with us in the garden.

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It's very much a people's garden. It needs people in it to come alive.

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The centrepiece of the garden is this cascading fountain,

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one of the largest water features in the country.

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Beyond that is a walled ornamental area

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and a series of water sculptures

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made from mirrors of stainless steel.

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But despite the modern twists,

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the Alnwick gardeners are keen to practise traditional techniques.

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One of them is Alistair Dodds.

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So this is pea-sticking?

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Yeah, this is the old-fashioned method

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of supporting herbaceous perennials.

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So it's an old method using birch twigs,

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weaving them in and out of each other and creating a frame.

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Not being much of a gardener myself, I'm keen to have a go.

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-I find the best way is to get three bits together like that.

-Yeah.

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And then just cut it off then just wind those in like plaiting hair.

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So...

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-Take a bit here?

-Yep.

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Oh. Got them? Right, so I'm going to... This is like plaiting?

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So the big branch...

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..in the middle like this?

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Yeah, you just weave it in and out, middle to middle.

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TRADITIONAL MUSIC

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I think it's safe to say that when it comes to pea-sticking,

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I'm just clutching at straws.

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Well, it's not the best, is it? So this just goes over that?

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You stick the bottom in the ground.

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But within about three weeks you won't see any birch twigs at all.

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The garden here at Alnwick is still work in progress

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with five new areas planned in the future,

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adding even more to this unique horticultural masterpiece.

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We're venturing 50 miles further west for our second property

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to the hamlet of Roweltown, which is just over the border into Cumbria.

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We're now an hour and 20 minutes away from Newcastle

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and that could be a struggle for Jo's commute.

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This is as rural as it gets.

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Aside from a couple of local watering holes,

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the closest amenities are a 15-minute drive away.

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If Terry and Jo felt that house number one wasn't rural enough,

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then our second property should deliver on that front.

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It's an isolated smallholding, the heart of which

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is this detached farmhouse which dates back to the 17th century.

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Now, you might be thinking, "Oh, look at all these buildings."

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-A little bit!

-Well, we will be looking at all of these building.

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-OK. Wow.

-That's quite something.

-Yeah.

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There's still lots to do.

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-Well, so far I love it.

-Yeah.

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Let's look inside.

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Right, then.

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Come right in,

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cos I want you to see this farmhouse kitchen in all of its splendour.

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-Oh, wow.

-Deceptively modern in here, actually.

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-It's got this real earthy feel to it still.

-Yeah.

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I don't think I'd change that much in this kitchen.

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I really like this kitchen.

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-It's lovely.

-That's music to my ear.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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Let's keep looking around.

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The old-style appearance of the kitchen,

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which also includes this utility room,

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has gone down well with our buyers and that cottagey feel continues

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in the adjacent room, which is currently being used as a snug.

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But there's a very different look to the next room we're heading to.

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-More impressive.

-Oh, wow.

-Oh, wow.

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Yeah, I wasn't expecting that.

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-Much lighter, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-It's beautiful.

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-Really lovely room.

-It has so much light coming in. So many windows.

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-I don't think I'd do anything to this room either!

-No.

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-So, we're pretty happy so far.

-Yeah, it's lovely.

-Good.

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Let's take a look at the bedrooms.

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Upstairs there are four bedrooms in total, all good-sized doubles

0:16:160:16:19

and a family bath and shower room.

0:16:190:16:22

One of the bedrooms, ideal for guests,

0:16:220:16:23

has a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams.

0:16:230:16:26

Another has a built-in wardrobe and there's wooden flooring throughout.

0:16:260:16:31

That just leaves the master,

0:16:320:16:34

which is accessed via this en suite with roll top bath.

0:16:340:16:37

Mind your head.

0:16:370:16:38

Oh, very nice.

0:16:410:16:42

Yeah.

0:16:420:16:44

Worth ducking for?

0:16:440:16:45

Yeah!

0:16:450:16:47

-We've got so much to see outside, so let me at least make a start.

-OK.

0:16:470:16:51

Mind your heads again.

0:16:510:16:52

And it's only when you get outside that you start to appreciate

0:16:540:16:57

the scope of our second property.

0:16:570:16:59

There's a variety of outbuildings,

0:16:590:17:01

all at various stages of development.

0:17:010:17:03

They include two barns, which could be renovated in the future.

0:17:030:17:07

And with Terry's holiday business in mind,

0:17:070:17:09

there's also a more immediate potential for income.

0:17:090:17:12

So, into this cottage.

0:17:150:17:16

First room, the living room, needs nothing but decorating, really.

0:17:160:17:20

-Yeah. That's great, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:17:200:17:22

You've got three bedrooms and a bathroom behind us

0:17:220:17:25

that need refurbing, and then there's the kitchen.

0:17:250:17:28

Now, there's more work to be done in the kitchen

0:17:320:17:34

-but more work has been done, if that makes sense to you.

-Yeah, OK.

0:17:340:17:39

It's clean, it's dry. It all just needs a little bit of sorting out.

0:17:390:17:43

-25 grand should get this up and running.

-OK.

0:17:430:17:45

What, with planning you're 90% there.

0:17:450:17:47

It's the home straight for this.

0:17:470:17:49

-Exactly. This is more than I expected.

-Oh, yeah. A lot more.

0:17:490:17:53

In addition to this cottage,

0:17:530:17:55

there's a further one-bedroom cottage that,

0:17:550:17:57

with a bit of work, could also be let

0:17:570:17:59

as a holiday getaway for couples.

0:17:590:18:01

But if that's not enough to satisfy Terry's entrepreneurial appetite,

0:18:010:18:04

there's even more on offer.

0:18:040:18:07

You've got land here as well. 14 acres.

0:18:070:18:10

-OK!

-Wow!

-All right?

0:18:100:18:12

From what you've seen so far,

0:18:120:18:14

how much do you think this farm is on the market for?

0:18:140:18:17

I think it's the very top end of our budget, so...

0:18:180:18:22

..650,000?

0:18:230:18:25

I'm going to hope that you've left us

0:18:270:18:29

a little bit of money in the budget

0:18:290:18:30

for some renovations, so I'll say 625.

0:18:300:18:32

Well...

0:18:320:18:33

..this place is on the market for

0:18:340:18:36

-offers around £595,000.

-Wow!

0:18:360:18:40

Yeah.

0:18:400:18:41

This remote, rural smallholding

0:18:440:18:46

is still under Terry and Jo's maximum budget.

0:18:460:18:49

The price includes the detached 17th-century farmhouse

0:18:490:18:52

with four double bedrooms and a large, traditional kitchen.

0:18:520:18:56

The 14-acre plot includes numerous outbuildings

0:18:560:18:59

and two almost-ready holiday cottages,

0:18:590:19:01

as well as land on which to build log cabins and yurts in the future.

0:19:010:19:04

Just think, of an evening, if you bought this place,

0:19:060:19:09

-sunsets with that view.

-Yeah.

0:19:090:19:11

Stunning.

0:19:110:19:12

-Something good to finish on, isn't it?

-Yeah, definitely.

-Yeah.

0:19:120:19:15

Let's go back to the hotel.

0:19:150:19:16

For the mystery house we're back into Northumberland

0:19:290:19:32

and heading to the northern side of the National Park

0:19:320:19:35

to the hamlet of Catcleugh,

0:19:350:19:36

which is just under an hour's drive from Newcastle.

0:19:360:19:39

Although the mystery house cuts Jo's commute time,

0:19:410:19:43

there are a few practical issues to tackle with this property.

0:19:430:19:46

So, the mystery house.

0:19:480:19:52

-Beautiful.

-Yeah?

-Yeah!

0:19:520:19:55

-Look at this.

-Look at the setting.

-That's awesome.

-Amazing.

0:19:550:19:59

-Commute to Newcastle...

-Yeah.

0:19:590:20:01

-..both the owners commute daily.

-OK.

0:20:010:20:04

But, also, there's reason to come here, isn't there?

0:20:040:20:07

You're surrounded by beautiful countryside.

0:20:070:20:09

But I do want to tell you one thing.

0:20:090:20:11

We're off the grid.

0:20:130:20:15

OK!

0:20:150:20:16

You wanted rural! You're thinking, "Why is this the mystery house?"

0:20:160:20:20

Well, it's because...

0:20:200:20:22

Look. Look around. No power cables. Beautiful!

0:20:220:20:26

-This isn't your traditional way of life.

-OK.

0:20:270:20:30

Does that worry you?

0:20:300:20:33

-We can still have lights and stuff?

-Yeah, yeah! Of course you can.

0:20:330:20:35

-This runs as a normal home. It runs automatically.

-Yeah.

-Then it's fine.

0:20:350:20:39

Good! All right. Let's go inside.

0:20:390:20:42

The nervous laughter suggests Jo in particular

0:20:420:20:45

might be slightly worried by our mystery property's

0:20:450:20:48

unconventional power supply.

0:20:480:20:50

We're heading to the main farmhouse,

0:20:500:20:51

which was built just over 100 years ago.

0:20:510:20:53

Let's have a quick peek in the living room.

0:20:550:20:57

Mmm, OK.

0:20:570:20:58

-Probably the smallest we've seen so far.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:21:000:21:03

Big enough?

0:21:030:21:04

It is a small room, but...

0:21:040:21:06

It depends on what the rest of the house is.

0:21:060:21:08

If this would just be the main living area then maybe not big enough,

0:21:080:21:12

But this house is...

0:21:120:21:14

Well, it's actually probably the smallest

0:21:140:21:16

-of all the houses we're seeing.

-OK.

0:21:160:21:17

-But it grows elsewhere.

-OK.

-All right.

0:21:170:21:19

-Let me just squeeze past you and we'll go to the kitchen.

-OK.

0:21:190:21:22

-So we're back to our farmhouse dimensions and proportions.

-Lovely.

0:21:250:21:29

Oh, yeah. That's big.

0:21:290:21:30

Really nice kitchen.

0:21:300:21:32

I think everything we see probably needs a bit of updating.

0:21:320:21:35

It's perfectly liveable, of course, but for your own taste,

0:21:350:21:37

over the coming years you'll want to do something with it, won't you?

0:21:370:21:40

-Yeah, definitely.

-Let's squeeze past and we'll go up to the bedrooms.

0:21:400:21:43

The kitchen also has a handy walk-in larder,

0:21:450:21:47

and there are four further rooms on the ground floor.

0:21:470:21:51

A study currently being used as a music room, a utility room

0:21:510:21:54

with a spiral staircase leading up to one of the bedrooms,

0:21:540:21:58

a wet room off the utility

0:21:580:22:00

and, finally, the ground floor is also home to this,

0:22:000:22:02

the only bathroom in the house.

0:22:020:22:04

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms in total,

0:22:060:22:08

three doubles and one single.

0:22:080:22:11

Two of the doubles are currently being used as children's bedrooms,

0:22:110:22:13

and the single for storage, which just leaves the remaining double.

0:22:130:22:17

So three double bedrooms up here on the first floor.

0:22:190:22:23

-This is clearly a master.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:22:230:22:26

-Lovely view.

-Cracking, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Amazing view out there.

0:22:260:22:29

I've got to hold my hands up here.

0:22:300:22:31

There is something that could be an issue for some people.

0:22:310:22:34

-Bathroom is downstairs.

-OK.

-Ah, OK.

0:22:350:22:38

Yeah, it's not ideal.

0:22:380:22:39

For some people it's a definite no-no.

0:22:390:22:41

But that's relieving.

0:22:410:22:43

-No, it that's the worst thing about the house then...

-Yeah, I'm fine!

0:22:430:22:47

Good. I think whilst the house might be the smallest we've seen,

0:22:470:22:50

outside I think you've got maybe the most amount of potential

0:22:500:22:53

-for you specifically.

-OK.

-All right.

-Great.

0:22:530:22:56

Let me just squeeze past you there, Jo, and we'll go have a look.

0:22:560:22:59

Terry and Jo seem to be up for making sacrifices.

0:23:000:23:03

This move is also about the business and any limitations inside the house

0:23:030:23:07

are more than made up for by the business opportunities outside.

0:23:070:23:11

So, little bit like the property yesterday,

0:23:110:23:14

-we have barns to convert.

-Yeah.

0:23:140:23:17

-Big barn.

-Yeah. Really good, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:23:170:23:19

Unlike anything we've seen before, which is, again,

0:23:190:23:22

another reason why it's the mystery house,

0:23:220:23:24

-there's work to be done outside as well as in your home.

-Yeah.

0:23:240:23:26

-Don't forget we're looking for a home for you to live in.

-Yeah.

0:23:260:23:29

You're going to be working hard in Newcastle.

0:23:290:23:31

-You want to come back to something comfortable.

-Exactly.

0:23:310:23:34

But you also want to be thinking, "What's Terry doing.

0:23:340:23:37

"Is he busy?"

0:23:370:23:39

And I tell you what - yes, he will be. Follow me.

0:23:390:23:42

As well as the outbuildings, the grounds also include lawned areas

0:23:450:23:48

to the front and rear of the farmhouse.

0:23:480:23:50

But more importantly for the business,

0:23:500:23:51

a perfect spot for Terry's plans.

0:23:510:23:54

Right, then. Outside.

0:23:540:23:56

-You get over ten acres of land.

-OK.

-Wow.

-All right?

0:23:560:24:00

-Everything that doesn't look like it's being farmed, basically.

-Yeah.

0:24:000:24:03

-And needs something doing to it.

-Yes.

0:24:030:24:05

So more than enough room for a number of yurts,

0:24:050:24:08

-and what better place to have a yurt here?

-Yeah, beautiful, isn't it?

0:24:080:24:12

-Yeah.

-It would really work here as well.

-Yeah.

0:24:120:24:15

-Now, in order to have these yurts, obviously you need facilities.

-Yep.

0:24:150:24:18

The owners did look into that.

0:24:180:24:20

You need to upgrade the entire power supply system here, the generators.

0:24:200:24:24

-And that could cost up to £60,000.

-Oh, wow.

-OK.

-All right?

0:24:240:24:29

-Big investment.

-Yes.

0:24:290:24:30

So how much do you think this place is on the market for, then?

0:24:300:24:33

I'm going to say...

0:24:330:24:35

575.

0:24:350:24:36

-OK.

-I'm going to hope it's a bit cheaper. 500.

0:24:370:24:42

-Well it's actually for sale for offers around £450,000.

-Oh, OK.

-Wow.

0:24:420:24:49

That leaves us a big pot of cash.

0:24:490:24:50

At face value,

0:24:540:24:55

the mystery house is our cheapest property of all.

0:24:550:24:58

The smallholding includes a detached farmhouse with four bedrooms,

0:24:580:25:01

various outbuildings, which could be converted into holiday lets

0:25:010:25:05

and around ten acres of land on which to build yurts or log cabins.

0:25:050:25:08

But if the business is to develop,

0:25:080:25:11

it will require some money to upgrade the power supply.

0:25:110:25:13

-Could really work, then?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:25:150:25:17

Well, hopefully it's something to compare with the second property yesterday.

0:25:170:25:21

So, something to think about on the journey back to where we're going to have a chat.

0:25:210:25:25

-Yeah.

-All right, let's go back.

-OK.

0:25:250:25:29

Which one of the three properties is your favourite?

0:25:410:25:44

-Property number three was clearly the favourite.

-Clearly?

-Yeah.

0:25:440:25:48

-The mystery house?

-Clear winner.

-Yeah.

0:25:480:25:50

It seems to have everything that we were looking for

0:25:500:25:53

in terms of what can be a long-term home for us

0:25:530:25:56

but also really work from a business perspective

0:25:560:25:59

Right from when we first had this idea,

0:25:590:26:02

the single most important thing was that the setting

0:26:020:26:05

was a real beauty spot, so it gave people a reason to come to it,

0:26:050:26:09

and the mystery house just delivered on that

0:26:090:26:12

far more than the other two properties.

0:26:120:26:14

We're looking for a home as well, and there was some work

0:26:140:26:18

to be done to make it what you wanted from a home.

0:26:180:26:21

What would be your first job?

0:26:210:26:22

The bathroom!

0:26:240:26:26

That downstairs bathroom, yeah.

0:26:260:26:28

We'd look to get maybe some outline plans

0:26:280:26:31

for an extension to the house as well.

0:26:310:26:33

So, you've got a favourite property

0:26:330:26:36

but it's a big, huge leap for you guys.

0:26:360:26:39

What's the next step?

0:26:390:26:41

We're moving up here anyway into rented accommodation

0:26:410:26:44

-in just a few weeks.

-Mmm-hmm.

0:26:440:26:46

That will give us the breathing space we need

0:26:460:26:49

to develop more detailed plans.

0:26:490:26:51

I think we'll definitely go back and see property number three,

0:26:510:26:54

the mystery house.

0:26:540:26:55

Does that mean you're seriously interested in this place then?

0:26:550:26:58

-Oh, yeah. Definitely.

-Yeah.

-We are quite interested.

-Good!

0:26:580:27:02

Well, this is one huge step I think you've taken,

0:27:020:27:06

but with many more to go.

0:27:060:27:07

So I wish you both the very best of luck.

0:27:070:27:09

-Thank you. Thanks for all your help.

-All right.

0:27:090:27:11

And let me know when you're up and running,

0:27:110:27:13

cos I would love to come and stay opposite that reservoir.

0:27:130:27:16

Well, Jo and Terry said to me that they thought

0:27:200:27:22

this particular trip up here to Northumberland

0:27:220:27:25

could be maybe a bit of a fact-finding mission.

0:27:250:27:27

But I'm confident it's turned into more than that.

0:27:270:27:30

These past couple of days seem to have

0:27:300:27:31

cemented their thoughts, if you like.

0:27:310:27:33

And the way they both reacted so well to the mystery property,

0:27:330:27:37

I think we could have found them

0:27:370:27:38

not only their first new home in the countryside together,

0:27:380:27:42

their big escape, if you like, to Northumberland,

0:27:420:27:44

but also a location from which to base their exciting new enterprise from.

0:27:440:27:48

Let's hope so. See you next time.

0:27:480:27:51

Jo and Terry have now moved into their rented accommodation

0:27:520:27:55

in the North East, and intend to revisit our mystery house very soon.

0:27:550:27:59

If you would like to escape to the country in England, Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland

0:27:590:28:04

and need our help, you can apply online at:

0:28:040:28:06

Jonnie Irwin travels to Northumberland with a young couple who want to escape their cramped London lifestyle and move back to the north east, where they first met. And with a top budget of £650,000, it is not just a home they want, they also have serious business ambitions. While in the county, Jonnie visits the impressive gardens at Alnwick Castle.