Devon Escape to the Country


Devon

Property series. Denise Nurse joins a couple ready to leave their 1930s semi in Surrey and relocate to east Devon. They would like a secluded property with great views.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Devon. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Today, I'm in a part of the country

0:00:000:00:02

that's home to this magnificent beast.

0:00:020:00:05

He may look fearsome, but I reckon he's actually quite friendly.

0:00:050:00:09

These cattle have roamed this part of the world for thousands of years

0:00:090:00:14

and they're still prized by the farmers who work the land today.

0:00:140:00:17

But which part of the country are today's buyers moving to?

0:00:170:00:21

Find out as we Escape To The Country.

0:00:210:00:24

Today, we're helping a couple find a big country pile

0:00:360:00:40

with bags of potential.

0:00:400:00:42

Could you imagine creating that vision here?

0:00:420:00:46

No.

0:00:460:00:47

They're self-confessed tough customers,

0:00:470:00:50

so we're pulling out all the stops.

0:00:500:00:53

That's just so amazing, that view. Oh, my word.

0:00:530:00:56

I feel like a Cheshire cat grinning.

0:00:560:00:58

But will it all end in hysteria?

0:00:580:01:01

-I can't stop laughing.

-Your laugh is brilliant.

0:01:010:01:05

Today, I'm in Devon and these are the ruby red Devon cattle

0:01:090:01:13

so called because of the deep, rich, red colour of their coats.

0:01:130:01:17

Although they were once popular

0:01:170:01:19

there are now only around 300 herds left in the country

0:01:190:01:23

because they've given way to quicker-to-rear breeds.

0:01:230:01:26

But the diet of Devon grass makes this some of the best beef you can buy.

0:01:260:01:31

If that's got you interested, let's see what else this county has two whet your appetite.

0:01:310:01:36

Making up the lion's share of the West Country

0:01:360:01:40

Devon is England's third largest county.

0:01:400:01:43

It's a big place with some big claims.

0:01:430:01:46

It's the only English county to boast two separate coastlines

0:01:460:01:50

and one of those, the South Coast, is a Natural World Heritage site

0:01:500:01:54

up there with Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

0:01:540:01:57

Wander away from the coast and the countryside is equally impressive

0:01:570:02:01

with five areas of outstanding national beauty and two national parks.

0:02:010:02:06

The stunning countryside and wild coastline makes it a honeypot for visitors.

0:02:060:02:12

The tourist industry is worth £1 billion a year to the local economy.

0:02:120:02:16

Farming is still a mainstay of life, particularly dairy farming.

0:02:160:02:20

The wealth of traditional and period housing stock has made Devon the cream of the crop with homebuyers,

0:02:200:02:25

from thatched cottages to Victorian farmhouses.

0:02:250:02:29

There's something to suit just about every taste.

0:02:290:02:33

The money of affluent re-locators into Devon

0:02:370:02:40

has pushed property prices right up.

0:02:400:02:43

Some areas of the county, especially north Devon,

0:02:430:02:46

are some of the least affordable rural parts of the UK

0:02:460:02:50

with property prices at nine times the average local salary.

0:02:500:02:53

But if you have the money, there are great properties on the market now.

0:02:530:02:57

If you have a princely £1.7 million to spend,

0:02:570:03:01

check out this six bedroom, Regency house near Exmoor.

0:03:010:03:05

A Grade II listed home of grand proportions

0:03:050:03:08

it has a huge kitchen and palatial dining room.

0:03:080:03:11

Off the first floor is a self-contained, two bedroomed annex.

0:03:110:03:15

You could recoup a few pennies with two self-contained holiday lets,

0:03:150:03:21

although with 22 acres you might want to hire a gardener.

0:03:210:03:25

For the rather more modest sum of £595,000,

0:03:250:03:29

how about this three-bedroom, stone barn conversion near Lapford?

0:03:290:03:33

The 36-foot living room and galleried snug are definite highlights.

0:03:330:03:39

Floor to ceiling windows maximise the views

0:03:390:03:41

out over six acres of land towards Dartmoor.

0:03:410:03:45

If cosy, country living is more your style, £375,000 will snap up

0:03:450:03:51

this three-bedroom, former coach house in pretty Tor Valley.

0:03:510:03:55

A compact farmhouse kitchen gives way to a 22-foot living room.

0:03:550:03:59

Outside there's plenty of space

0:03:590:04:02

with a pretty garden, stable blocks and three acres.

0:04:020:04:06

There are plenty of beautiful properties in Devon,

0:04:060:04:10

but will any of them capture today's buyers' hearts? Let's meet them.

0:04:100:04:14

Chris and Pat have been married for seven years.

0:04:140:04:17

Chris is a retired MD and Pat a freelance management consultant.

0:04:170:04:21

They live in this large, 1930s, five-bedroom house in East Horsley, Surrey,

0:04:210:04:27

Which Pat has owned for 23 years and Chris has shared for the last 11.

0:04:270:04:31

A complete change of scenery is now on the cards.

0:04:310:04:34

-We'd like to move to the country for a few reasons.

-Yeah.

0:04:340:04:39

Particularly one of the things we really would like to have

0:04:390:04:43

is a situation where when you wake up in the morning

0:04:430:04:46

and open the curtains, there's a nice view.

0:04:460:04:49

So it's a room or two with a view they're looking for

0:04:490:04:53

and East Devon is where they want to be - time now to pinpoint an exact location.

0:04:530:04:58

We haven't got a fixed view.

0:04:580:05:00

In an ideal world it would be in a fairly secluded or quiet location,

0:05:000:05:06

relatively close to the sea.

0:05:060:05:08

Whether that would be possible is entirely another matter.

0:05:080:05:12

If it's further inland with some nice country views, yes,

0:05:120:05:16

quite a lot of flexibility there I think.

0:05:160:05:19

I've got more fixed views, but I'm prepared to be persuaded.

0:05:190:05:23

Having lived in this house for quite some time

0:05:230:05:27

Pat and Chris have clear ideas what works for them.

0:05:270:05:30

Is there anything that will help us?

0:05:300:05:33

What we'd actually like is not necessarily somewhere

0:05:330:05:37

that's smaller overall but probably with bigger rooms.

0:05:370:05:41

We'd like the downstairs to be more conducive to entertaining.

0:05:410:05:45

-We hardly ever use the lounge.

-Or the dining room.

0:05:450:05:50

We live in the kitchen, the study and our bedroom.

0:05:500:05:52

It would be nice to have a house with a larger downstairs for entertaining.

0:05:520:05:58

And three bedrooms maybe upstairs.

0:05:580:06:02

That's all quite practical, but what's the ultimate dream?

0:06:020:06:06

My ideal dream property in the country would be a Georgian rectory

0:06:060:06:10

and I don't mind if it needs lots of work doing on it.

0:06:100:06:14

I really would love a feature hallway

0:06:140:06:16

with a stone floor and a big staircase.

0:06:160:06:18

I don't think we will find the ideal property for us

0:06:180:06:25

without it being some form of a project.

0:06:250:06:27

Sounds like DIY will be taking up a certain amount of spare time,

0:06:270:06:32

but what other pursuits do they have in mind for their new, rural life?

0:06:320:06:37

For me, doing more cooking and gardening,

0:06:370:06:40

growing herbs, peppers and vegetables.

0:06:400:06:43

I'd love to be able to take up riding again.

0:06:430:06:46

I'd love to learn how to make cheese.

0:06:460:06:49

What will Chris be doing whilst Pat is whipping up some Cheddar?

0:06:490:06:52

One of the things I would like to do is to grow some vegetables.

0:06:520:06:58

This garden doesn't lend itself terribly well from that point of view.

0:06:580:07:02

Certainly in the new place

0:07:020:07:05

a dedicated vegetable garden would be something we'd be looking to do.

0:07:050:07:09

Being cash buyers is a strong position to be in.

0:07:090:07:13

Let's find out what the final budget is.

0:07:130:07:17

We're really looking to spend a maximum on the next property of £650,000.

0:07:170:07:22

So Pat dreams of living in an old rectory with a huge staircase and an impressive hallway.

0:07:260:07:32

She'd like a large kitchen, space downstairs to entertain

0:07:320:07:36

and a garden big enough for Chris to tinker about in.

0:07:360:07:39

I'm impressed with the fact they want to spend serious time creating their ideal home.

0:07:390:07:45

Visualising something like that takes some doing.

0:07:450:07:47

I'm intrigued to see what they're thinking.

0:07:470:07:50

More importantly, I'm definitely up for the challenge of trying to fulfil Pat's dreams.

0:07:500:07:55

All of that for £650,000 - I can't wait.

0:07:550:07:59

Pat and Chris wants to focus the search in rural East Devon,

0:07:590:08:03

so we've cast the net from the Dorset and Somerset border in the east

0:08:030:08:07

to Exeter in the west.

0:08:070:08:09

We've lined up a real array of period homes to view

0:08:090:08:13

and I'll be keeping tight-lipped on the asking prices until the end of the tours.

0:08:130:08:17

Finally, we'll reveal the mystery house but will it make the grade?

0:08:170:08:22

I think we've picked a decent day to come to Devon house-hunting. Why Devon?

0:08:250:08:30

I think it's a gorgeous county, but what's the appeal to the two of you?

0:08:300:08:34

We used to come on holiday here quite a lot when my children were younger and I have family down in the area

0:08:340:08:41

and now that we've both cut back on working we want to move down to the country.

0:08:410:08:45

Somewhere more rural, which we don't have immediately where we are at the moment.

0:08:450:08:51

Is it possible for us to find you your dream home,

0:08:510:08:54

or are you going to walk into any house and want to make complete changes?

0:08:540:08:58

It would be wonderful if you could find us our ideal house, but I would be amazed if you could.

0:08:580:09:03

I doubt very much we'll walk into a house and say, "Everything is perfect."

0:09:030:09:08

Budget-wise I understand we have 650 or maybe a bit more?

0:09:080:09:13

An absolute maximum of 700,000.

0:09:130:09:15

But that would be to include any renovation, any rebuilding,

0:09:150:09:19

any work that needed to be done.

0:09:190:09:22

That gives us lots of scope and we have three fantastic houses

0:09:220:09:25

and then a mystery which is even better.

0:09:250:09:29

Let's get going and get house-hunting.

0:09:290:09:31

Armed with a budget of up to £700,000

0:09:310:09:36

Chris and Pat want a large, period property to transform into their perfect home.

0:09:360:09:42

Rural, secluded and good views are all requirements.

0:09:420:09:45

It must have a large kitchen-diner and enough space to entertain.

0:09:450:09:49

Three bedrooms with one en suite are a must when their grown-up children visit.

0:09:490:09:54

An ample garden would be just great.

0:09:540:09:57

The fact is that large period homes in rural settings come with

0:09:570:10:01

equally large price tags in East Devon.

0:10:010:10:04

I'm concerned that no property will ever live up to Pat's long-held dream.

0:10:040:10:09

Pat, I understand your ideal home is an old, Georgian rectory. Tell me about that dream.

0:10:110:10:16

Oh, I've had this sort of fantasy for a long time,

0:10:160:10:21

walking through the front door with a stone hallway.

0:10:210:10:26

Um, a fairly large staircase,

0:10:260:10:29

cornices and architraving and original doors.

0:10:290:10:34

That's the sort of place I really wouldn't mind renovating.

0:10:340:10:37

-You'd still need to do some work on a place like that.

-Yes.

0:10:370:10:42

I can't imagine finding my ideal kitchen already done for me.

0:10:420:10:46

No worries there, then, as Pat will have plenty to sink her teeth into with our first property.

0:10:490:10:55

It's situated in prime Devon countryside

0:10:550:10:58

four miles from Broadclyst a typically pretty Devonshire village.

0:10:580:11:02

Even the bus stop is thatched.

0:11:020:11:04

Colourful houses sit in sleepy, country lanes and the local's needs are catered for

0:11:040:11:10

with one pub, a tea shop, village stores and a 15th century church.

0:11:100:11:15

But we're heading out into the countryside around the village for our first viewing.

0:11:150:11:20

First, we've brought you to this amazing rural location

0:11:200:11:24

-look at these views.

-These are absolutely fantastic.

-Incredible.

0:11:240:11:29

And this way is the house.

0:11:290:11:31

Ah, it's different.

0:11:310:11:33

THEY LAUGH

0:11:330:11:35

We went from "wonderful views" to "Oh, yes."

0:11:350:11:38

I thought you might say that.

0:11:380:11:40

This property is really to test how far you want to go

0:11:400:11:44

in terms of rebuilding and creating your dream.

0:11:440:11:47

Location-wise you'd be hard pushed to ask for much better.

0:11:470:11:51

-It's fantastic.

-The property is 1930s build.

0:11:510:11:54

The current owners have been here about four years.

0:11:540:11:57

They came with the intention of doing some work.

0:11:570:12:01

They have planning permission to add an extra third to what's already here.

0:12:010:12:06

Circumstances mean they're moving on.

0:12:060:12:08

I know it can all be changed but I just wonder

0:12:080:12:12

if we're going to rebuild and extend this house, we're just going to

0:12:120:12:16

end up with a newer house than a 1930s and that's not really what I wanted.

0:12:160:12:22

But, I'm prepared to be persuaded.

0:12:220:12:25

It doesn't immediately hit me as wow in that sense,

0:12:250:12:29

but let's see what possibilities there are.

0:12:290:12:32

The current owners did think about knocking it down and starting again.

0:12:320:12:37

That might be an option.

0:12:370:12:38

Or just extending, and they've got planning permission for both options.

0:12:380:12:42

Bear that in mind and let's take our imaginations inside

0:12:420:12:46

-and see what we come up with.

-Right.

0:12:460:12:48

I think that when it comes to potential this house has it and then some.

0:12:480:12:53

But will Pat and Chris buy into the plans?

0:12:530:12:56

So we're starting in the kitchen and...

0:12:560:13:00

I want Pat...

0:13:000:13:02

THEY LAUGH

0:13:020:13:04

-Now.

-Right, OK.

0:13:040:13:06

The current owners were thinking of extending that way,

0:13:060:13:10

adding an extra third onto the property.

0:13:100:13:13

Their idea was to create a huge kitchen-diner looking out onto the views.

0:13:130:13:19

-That would be great.

-Yeah.

-Could you imagine creating that vision here?

0:13:190:13:25

-No.

-I had a feeling you were going to say that and I'm a bit disappointed.

0:13:250:13:29

Only initially looking here, but the ceiling is quite low.

0:13:290:13:34

It feels a little bit closed in to be honest.

0:13:340:13:37

That was a definitive answer. Pat clearly isn't afraid to tell me exactly what she thinks,

0:13:370:13:43

however this house has real scope so I hope she sticks with it.

0:13:430:13:48

Next door is a dining room currently used as a study.

0:13:480:13:52

I'm hoping the living room will prove more inspirational.

0:13:520:13:56

They've managed to fit a big dining-room table in here

0:13:560:14:01

as well as a living room.

0:14:010:14:04

-This is actually a nice room.

-It's a good-sized room.

0:14:040:14:08

I don't think we'd have it as a combined lounge-dining room,

0:14:080:14:13

but the room is quite a good size, I like the effect of the bay window

0:14:130:14:18

and that's capturing the views which are magnificent.

0:14:180:14:21

This room could be really very special.

0:14:210:14:26

It's very nice now, but you can see how you could make it even nicer.

0:14:260:14:31

Could they slowly be warming up to the possibilities this house offers?

0:14:310:14:35

There's a lot they could do with it, so it's onwards and upwards.

0:14:350:14:41

I need you to keep your imagination going up here.

0:14:410:14:46

There are four bedrooms, three of them are on the smaller side.

0:14:460:14:50

Let's have a look at one so you can get an idea.

0:14:500:14:53

Remember the idea with this house was to extend and create more.

0:14:530:14:57

-Right, OK. Is this the smallest room?

-No.

-Right.

0:14:590:15:02

It's not the biggest day either. It's not the master.

0:15:020:15:05

-That's what you were thinking. Is this my bedroom?

-OK.

0:15:050:15:09

Oh, silence.

0:15:090:15:11

I mean, it's...

0:15:110:15:12

It's difficult to imagine what you would do with this room, to be honest.

0:15:120:15:18

-I think, the thing is...

-It doesn't work for me, at all, the room.

0:15:180:15:22

For somebody else, maybe.

0:15:230:15:25

'I'm surprised, I thought Pat and Chris would see this as a totally blank canvas

0:15:250:15:29

'and with the extended floor plan, they could create an amazing space up here.

0:15:290:15:34

'I think Pat needs more help visualising the end result.

0:15:340:15:38

'Perhaps looking at the rest of this floor will help.

0:15:380:15:41

'There's a stylish family bathroom and a single bedroom.'

0:15:410:15:44

Imagine waking up and looking out at that every morning.

0:15:440:15:49

That is just so amazing, that view.

0:15:490:15:52

That is exactly one of the things we said, the view that each morning you wouldn't get tired of.

0:15:520:15:57

Just behind there they do have a small shower room. It is en suite.

0:15:570:16:01

Behind this room, they've got the fourth bedroom, which is a single room at the moment.

0:16:010:16:06

I think it would probably be better to extend

0:16:060:16:08

-and create a bigger en suite, something more comfortable.

-Yes.

-A possibility, yes.

0:16:080:16:12

-There's options again. I think, as a base, looking out on that, you can't go far wrong.

-Yes.

0:16:120:16:17

-Pretty good dimensions.

-Yes.

0:16:170:16:19

This is actually quite a nice room, I would say, yes.

0:16:190:16:23

'Well, the interior of this property might not be for them

0:16:230:16:27

'but I think the garden will get top billing.'

0:16:270:16:31

This house sits in a plot of around about two acres.

0:16:310:16:33

It's surrounded by National Trust property from the Killerton estate.

0:16:330:16:37

Oh, yes.

0:16:370:16:38

That means unspoiled views, no chance of any developments going up.

0:16:380:16:42

'It is hard to put a price on views like that

0:16:420:16:44

'but I'm going to ask Pat and Chris to have a go anyway.'

0:16:440:16:47

I need a figure, I'm going to start with you, Chris.

0:16:470:16:51

Right, my view would be this perhaps would be on the market

0:16:510:16:56

for somewhere between 500 and 550,000.

0:16:560:16:59

There's a lot of renovation or, in fact, redevelopment.

0:16:590:17:03

I wouldn't go any higher than 500.

0:17:030:17:06

This house, are you ready, has been on the market for two months

0:17:060:17:12

and the asking price is £625,000.

0:17:120:17:14

I can understand it's got lots of land but, at the end of the day,

0:17:160:17:20

if you can't create the house you really want to live in, you know. Fair enough.

0:17:200:17:25

I'd like you to go back in there and have a final look around and decide what you'd do.

0:17:250:17:29

-Off you go. I'll see you later on.

-Thanks.

0:17:290:17:32

'With a price tag of £625,000,

0:17:320:17:36

'this 1930s property is 75,000 under their top budget

0:17:360:17:40

'so that's enough spare change to tackle the renovation work.

0:17:400:17:44

'The approved plans for the house include a two-storey extension,

0:17:440:17:47

'increasing the floor print by about a third.

0:17:470:17:50

'As it stands, it has a country style kitchen, a dining room,

0:17:500:17:53

'a large living room and four bedrooms.

0:17:530:17:56

'All set in two acres of land.

0:17:560:17:59

'A house can always be changed, but you can't add a view.

0:17:590:18:02

'As far as views go, those are pretty spectacular.'

0:18:020:18:06

It clearly in a fantastic location and the views are just amazing.

0:18:060:18:13

Then we turned the corner and, to be honest, my heart sank because it's a pebble-dashed 1930s house,

0:18:130:18:21

which isn't what I'm looking for.

0:18:210:18:23

The style of the building here, I think,

0:18:230:18:25

is such that even by extending it, we're not really going to finish up

0:18:250:18:29

with a whole house that is really of the design that we would want.

0:18:290:18:35

Hi, there. I think you're so disappointed you've relegated me to the doghouse.

0:18:370:18:42

I'm hoping I can be unleashed

0:18:420:18:44

because we've got more houses to see.

0:18:440:18:46

-Shall we go?

-Fine, OK.

0:18:460:18:48

'East Devon's attractions don't stop at stunning countryside.

0:18:540:18:59

'One of the county's biggest draws is its dramatic coastline,

0:18:590:19:02

'which along with the cliffs and beaches of West Dorset,

0:19:020:19:04

'make up the UK's first World Heritage site.

0:19:040:19:08

'It's the 95-mile Jurassic Coast which charts 185 million years of the Earth's history.

0:19:080:19:15

'Eager to taking both the sea air and scenery,

0:19:150:19:18

'Pat and Chris have headed for the south-west coastal path to meet up with local expert, John Scott.'

0:19:180:19:23

This part of the coastal path is formed by the customs men patrolling on the lookout for the smugglers

0:19:230:19:29

who brought goods ashore here back in 18th century and onwards.

0:19:290:19:32

They've really left us a heritage that we can see today.

0:19:320:19:36

Obviously, this was a perfect vantage point for them

0:19:360:19:39

to look out to sea and watch for the smugglers.

0:19:390:19:41

'One of the most infamous smugglers hangouts was the village of Beer,

0:19:410:19:45

'one of the few remaining fishing villages on the Jurassic Coast.

0:19:450:19:50

'Its name has nothing to do with a frothy pint

0:19:500:19:52

'but instead is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word, meaning "woodland",

0:19:520:19:56

'which hundreds of years ago surrounded the cove.

0:19:560:20:00

'A long maritime history meant it was easy for Beer men

0:20:000:20:03

'to use their sea skills for smuggling

0:20:030:20:06

'and they had a natural hiding place for their ill-gotten gains at nearby Beer Caves.'

0:20:060:20:11

One of the strangest things we found was an old oilskin bundle that had lain there 200 years

0:20:140:20:19

and when it was unwrapped, after all that time, inside beautiful pieces of silk had survived.

0:20:190:20:25

-How amazing.

-Anyway, John, it's been really interesting.

0:20:250:20:27

-Thanks very much indeed.

-My pleasure.

0:20:270:20:29

'From coast, back to the countryside, it's rural seclusion Pat and Chris have asked for

0:20:320:20:37

'and that's what we aim to deliver.

0:20:370:20:40

'We are heading to the outskirts of the tiny hamlet of Westwood.

0:20:400:20:43

'There's little here bar hedgerow lanes and a smattering of houses.

0:20:430:20:47

'For a pint and a paper, they can nip to the nearby village of Silverton,

0:20:470:20:51

'or for more serious retail needs, Exeter is just six miles away.'

0:20:510:20:55

This is what we want to show you this time. This wonderful house dates from about the 18th century.

0:20:590:21:05

-What are you thinking?

-I think it looks very pretty.

0:21:070:21:09

it looks a little cottagey.

0:21:090:21:12

Again, maybe, it'll be interesting to see how bright light, roomy it is inside.

0:21:120:21:19

It's a bit deceptive. It's sunken down there. There's more property than you think.

0:21:190:21:23

Actually, we're standing at the back of the house.

0:21:230:21:25

We're going to walk to the front, go in the front door

0:21:250:21:28

-and then you can make your mind up.

-Great.

0:21:280:21:30

'Pat and Chris certainly aren't giving much away.

0:21:300:21:34

'Let's see if this Victorian farmhouse will garner some bigger reactions inside.

0:21:340:21:38

'I'm hoping it'll deliver the right combination of room size and character features,

0:21:380:21:42

'while still providing Pat with enough of a project.'

0:21:420:21:47

In we come to the hallway.

0:21:500:21:54

You get a glimpse there of what's to come through in the kitchen

0:21:540:21:58

but first of all, I want to bring you into here.

0:21:580:22:02

-Tell me what you think of this?

-It's a very nice room.

0:22:020:22:07

-Nice window, bay window. Great floorboards.

-Wooden flooring, yes.

0:22:070:22:12

And, presumably, a working fireplace?

0:22:120:22:15

It's a gas fireplace, this one.

0:22:150:22:17

-So a great room.

-It's a very nice room.

0:22:170:22:21

In actual fact, the ceiling is not as low as one might have imagined from outside.

0:22:210:22:27

What would you use this room for?

0:22:270:22:29

-Probably as it's being used now, as a snug-come-study.

-Yes.

0:22:290:22:34

A place to hide away which begs the question,

0:22:340:22:37

where would your living room be? Let's find out.

0:22:370:22:41

This is where you could be relaxing in the evening and entertaining.

0:22:460:22:50

-This is very nice.

-This is quite a spectacular room, actually.

0:22:500:22:54

There's not a great deal more we can say about this. It's nice.

0:22:540:22:57

I wouldn't change anything in here.

0:22:570:23:01

You wouldn't change anything?

0:23:050:23:07

No. Certainly, everything we've got at the moment

0:23:070:23:10

would look really good in here. It's a super room.

0:23:100:23:13

"Super"! On that note, let's keep going. There's more.

0:23:130:23:17

Just through the door is a separate dining room

0:23:170:23:20

which flows neatly into the kitchen.

0:23:200:23:22

We are at the back of the house.

0:23:230:23:26

Obviously, this whole length is taken up

0:23:260:23:30

by dining, kitchen and utility space.

0:23:300:23:33

That's a pretty thick wall,

0:23:330:23:35

but, on that side, you could open it up and create a bigger space.

0:23:350:23:38

You could have dining and kitchen area all in one.

0:23:380:23:41

Those are my initial thoughts. What are yours?

0:23:410:23:46

Initially, it's a very light room.

0:23:460:23:49

It's lovely and cleanly decorated.

0:23:490:23:52

For me, obviously, it's not large enough.

0:23:520:23:55

But, as you say, if you could knock through,

0:23:550:23:57

that creates a possibility to create a whole new kitchen.

0:23:570:24:00

So plenty of options here for Pat to put her own stamp on the place.

0:24:000:24:05

Let's see what we find upstairs.

0:24:050:24:08

Four bedrooms. They extend this way or that way.

0:24:080:24:11

We're going to start over here.

0:24:110:24:13

And I think this room is very typical of the size of the rooms.

0:24:130:24:19

It gives you a good picture. They're not that small.

0:24:190:24:23

-It's pretty good.

-It's not a bad size.

0:24:230:24:25

There's quite a lot of furniture in here

0:24:250:24:28

which probably makes it look a lot smaller than it actually is. But not a bad size.

0:24:280:24:32

And it's light. Very light.

0:24:320:24:34

To the left is a further double and a family bathroom.

0:24:340:24:38

Along the corridor to the right is double bedroom number three

0:24:380:24:43

and family bathroom number two.

0:24:430:24:45

-This is the master suite and it's huge.

-It's really very nice.

0:24:480:24:53

-A fabulous size, isn't it?

-Yes, nice big room.

0:24:530:24:56

There's so much room here already,

0:24:560:24:58

but I have a cunning plan to provide you with even more.

0:24:580:25:01

You've got a bathroom out there, another bedroom,

0:25:010:25:06

but have a listen to this.

0:25:060:25:08

Just a stud wall. Which separates you from so much more space.

0:25:080:25:13

If you took this away and put a door at the other end,

0:25:130:25:16

you could have an ensuite and your very own, heavenly dressing room

0:25:160:25:19

-that you could fill with clothes and shoes.

-And handbags.

-And handbags.

0:25:190:25:23

-Yes.

-That sounds great.

0:25:230:25:24

Well, that's inside done and dusted.

0:25:240:25:27

Time to turn our attention to the all-important outside space.

0:25:270:25:31

This property isn't lacking in that department.

0:25:310:25:34

There are two acres of paddocks

0:25:340:25:36

and stable blocks that have planning permission to be converted into a two-bedroom self-contained annexe

0:25:360:25:42

which Pat and Chris could tackle in the future or not bother and just rent them out as a livery.

0:25:420:25:46

I think that, for me, probably the concern I have about this is maybe that it's actually too much.

0:25:480:25:53

The house is around the sort of size that we are looking for.

0:25:530:25:59

Oh, dear. It looks like we have over-egged the property pudding.

0:25:590:26:04

The garden should be more manageable with two acres of lawn at the back and front,

0:26:040:26:08

but the big question is, how much is it all worth?

0:26:080:26:10

-I'm going to start with you, Pat.

-Oh, dear.

0:26:120:26:15

The house isn't absolutely huge, very nicely presented,

0:26:150:26:19

so I'm going to guess at around 650.

0:26:190:26:21

OK, Chris. What do you think?

0:26:220:26:24

There are a lot of buildings, a lot of land, so I would see it much more towards the top end of our ceiling.

0:26:240:26:30

I would say 675,000.

0:26:300:26:34

You win this one. You're closer.

0:26:340:26:36

This house is on the market for £695,000.

0:26:360:26:40

So it really is sitting right there at the top of your budget.

0:26:400:26:44

I think that premium is because you've got the outbuildings.

0:26:440:26:48

There is a lot of land, a lot of outbuildings, a lot for you to see,

0:26:480:26:51

so have a look around on your own and I will find you later on.

0:26:510:26:55

Right.

0:26:550:26:57

With an asking price of £695,000,

0:26:570:27:01

this Victorian farmhouse is £5,000 under their top budget.

0:27:010:27:06

The snug and living room are right on the money.

0:27:060:27:08

If they wanted to, there's potential to extend the kitchen.

0:27:080:27:12

And the four bedrooms and two bathrooms could also be re-jigged.

0:27:120:27:16

It is a traditional farmhouse,

0:27:160:27:18

so it does come with stables which are ripe for rental or conversion.

0:27:180:27:21

And it has around 4.5 acres in all.

0:27:210:27:24

But it is a project and that means it needs serious consideration.

0:27:240:27:28

We could create, potentially, the kitchen we want.

0:27:280:27:31

It's probably the size of project that you'd feel comfortable with.

0:27:310:27:35

-Yes.

-And I would feel much happier creating my own kitchen.

0:27:350:27:38

As far as the upstairs goes,

0:27:380:27:40

yes, it is doable, but to be perfectly honest,

0:27:400:27:43

the whole of the upstairs was really rather dark and was my least favourite part of the house.

0:27:430:27:48

The drawbacks of the house for me

0:27:480:27:51

are really the amount of land in 4.5 acres.

0:27:510:27:56

I'm not sure whether we really want that amount to have to try and look after.

0:27:560:28:01

There you are. I've been sitting out here, basking in the sunshine.

0:28:010:28:06

I guess it's time to get back to work.

0:28:060:28:09

Now, together with thatch,

0:28:150:28:17

the vernacular architecture of Devon is characterised by the use of cob,

0:28:170:28:22

an Old-English word meaning "mud wall".

0:28:220:28:25

From the 13th century right up until the early 19th century,

0:28:250:28:28

it was the building method of choice until industrialisation

0:28:280:28:32

and the arrival of brick reshaped Devon's architectural landscape

0:28:320:28:36

and the technique all but died out.

0:28:360:28:39

However, at the forefront of a 21st-century cob comeback is builder and teacher Kevin McCabe

0:28:390:28:45

who, in 1994, built the first cob house in the UK for 70 years,

0:28:450:28:50

so I've come to meet him

0:28:500:28:52

to find out more about this back-to-basics building technique.

0:28:520:28:55

So, what have we got here? What are we going to be doing?

0:28:560:29:00

Basically, the pitchfork is to move it up on to the wall, and these thumpers, these sort of mallets,

0:29:000:29:05

are useful for sort of shaping it.

0:29:050:29:07

-They look like fun to use.

-Yeah. And then the other tools,

0:29:070:29:10

the sort of adze and mattock and spade are all for paring it down,

0:29:100:29:15

which is usually done a day or so later when it's just stiffened up a little bit, to hold its shape.

0:29:150:29:21

Looking at this mixture it looks quite wet, and then we've got this structure here which is quite dry.

0:29:210:29:26

How long does it take to dry out?

0:29:260:29:28

Basically, we'll go up about two feet in one day.

0:29:280:29:30

That'll need about a week of good weather before we can go up again.

0:29:300:29:34

It won't be completely dry, but it'll seem dry on the outside.

0:29:340:29:37

Tally in the shrinkage time needed to allow the construction to settle before adding windows and doors,

0:29:370:29:43

and the general build time for a cob cottage or house is around 15 months,

0:29:430:29:49

but cobs come with plenty of benefits to make the wait worthwhile.

0:29:490:29:53

How environmentally friendly is this type of building?

0:29:530:29:56

It's as environmentally friendly as you can get.

0:29:560:29:58

I mean, the thing is it is of the local environment.

0:29:580:30:01

It performs very well in terms of its thermal insulation

0:30:010:30:06

and, you know, general comfort to live in.

0:30:060:30:08

'In fact, cob houses tend to lose 20% less heat than a brick or wood-built house.

0:30:080:30:14

'And in terms of sustainability,

0:30:140:30:17

'the fact that there are around 20,000 cobs still standing in Devon,

0:30:170:30:21

'with some dating back 700 years, should say it all.

0:30:210:30:25

'However, if a whole house seems like a challenge too far,

0:30:250:30:29

'why not start with something simple like an outdoor cob oven?

0:30:290:30:32

'It takes around a month to build and dry out,

0:30:320:30:34

'and the pizza it produces would make any Italian proud.'

0:30:340:30:38

Bon appetit!

0:30:380:30:40

As the sun begins to set over Devon,

0:30:470:30:48

Pat and Chris have a chance to mull over today's property.

0:30:480:30:53

What did you think about the house with the fantastic views?

0:30:530:30:57

You summed it up there.

0:30:570:30:58

The view was absolutely fantastic in every direction.

0:30:580:31:03

The house itself, as it stood,

0:31:030:31:05

really wasn't what I think we would want

0:31:050:31:09

and I'm not sure, even with trying to extend it or change it around,

0:31:090:31:14

we could still finish up with what we wanted.

0:31:140:31:17

What did you think about the farmhouse?

0:31:170:31:21

The inside was more spacious than I thought. Certainly the downstairs.

0:31:220:31:26

The upstairs, I... Despite the fact that we could potentially create

0:31:260:31:32

a suite in the master bedroom,

0:31:320:31:35

I really thought that it was too dark.

0:31:350:31:37

It had loads of land which we didn't want

0:31:370:31:40

and it had all those outbuildings which...what would we do with?

0:31:400:31:44

Yes, but nevertheless, I thought it was a very interesting day.

0:31:440:31:47

-Yes.

-Looking forward to seeing tomorrow's properties.

0:31:470:31:50

Pat and Chris want to swap suburban Surrey for really rural East Devon.

0:31:550:32:00

For 700,000 all in, they're after a period property

0:32:000:32:05

they can seriously put their own stamp on.

0:32:050:32:07

Our first viewings missed the mark, so coming up,

0:32:070:32:10

we're on a mission to find the dream house.

0:32:100:32:13

This is so lovely. I'm so excited!

0:32:130:32:15

Or will today's mystery house have them completely rethinking their wish list?

0:32:150:32:20

I'm just amazed, given that this was everything I was never going to have!

0:32:200:32:25

Pat and Chris have put me into a bit of a dilemma.

0:32:270:32:30

On the one hand, they say they want a property that they can redevelop and really put their mark on,

0:32:300:32:35

but what I think they really want, after yesterday,

0:32:350:32:38

is the ideal home that they can just tinker with,

0:32:380:32:41

and for Pat that's a very specific dream - an old converted rectory.

0:32:410:32:45

And, guess what? Today, I think we've found it!

0:32:450:32:48

But will Pat like it? I do hope so.

0:32:480:32:51

We'll find out soon enough, I guess,

0:32:510:32:53

as it won't take us long to reach the village of Dunkeswell.

0:32:530:32:57

Cob thatches on country lanes,

0:32:570:32:59

a Victorian church and a pond are all part of the village make-up.

0:32:590:33:03

Our next house is situated off one of the roads going out of the village.

0:33:030:33:07

It's not totally isolated, but rectories rarely are.

0:33:070:33:11

And I've brought you to the village of Dunkeswell

0:33:120:33:17

-to show you your very own converted rectory.

-Oh, well done!

0:33:170:33:21

Well done.

0:33:210:33:24

It dates from about the mid-19th century so it is just Victorian,

0:33:240:33:27

but it's got a very Georgian style.

0:33:270:33:30

I'd call it a Georgian-style rectory, so we got fairly close.

0:33:300:33:33

It was converted about 1991. That's when the church could no longer afford to keep it.

0:33:330:33:38

-OK.

-So it's been in private ownership since then.

0:33:380:33:40

-Fabulous.

-Good, excellent.

0:33:400:33:42

'Fabulous? Good? Excellent? That's what you call a positive start!

0:33:420:33:46

'Fingers crossed inside won't disappoint.'

0:33:460:33:49

Come on through. Tell me what you think of the hallway.

0:33:550:33:58

Which I know is big on your list of requirements.

0:33:580:34:01

Absolutely, can't complain about the ceiling height.

0:34:010:34:06

-I don't think you could quite reach there, could you?

-No. All positive.

0:34:060:34:10

-Really good, well done.

-Great start Let's keep going. Through here.

0:34:100:34:13

-We'll start with the dining room.

-Goodness, this is really nice.

0:34:140:34:19

Nice room, yes. It's very spacious in here and I think always with

0:34:190:34:23

the high ceiling it creates this extra feeling of space.

0:34:230:34:26

Yes, it's lovely actually.

0:34:260:34:28

Lovely, great, well done! I'm so happy.

0:34:280:34:32

The only thing I would say is that it's a pity there isn't

0:34:320:34:36

a proper fireplace there, but that's no big deal.

0:34:360:34:39

You can get one from a reclamation yard or whatever.

0:34:390:34:41

-It gives you something to do, you did want some DIY.

-DIY.

0:34:410:34:44

You did want to put your mark on the property.

0:34:440:34:46

I don't think there'll be much to do in this one,

0:34:460:34:49

but little areas like that.

0:34:490:34:50

-And look at these.

-Well done.

0:34:500:34:52

'By my count that's my third "well done" in as many minutes.

0:34:520:34:55

'I think we could be on the right track here

0:34:550:34:58

'and if it's a fireplace Pat's after,

0:34:580:35:00

'just next door the morning room has a lovely example,

0:35:000:35:04

'as does the living room.'

0:35:040:35:05

-The house that keeps on giving.

-Oh, my goodness.

0:35:070:35:11

This is a fantastic room.

0:35:110:35:14

This is so lovely, I'm so excited.

0:35:140:35:17

Pat's excited, I'm excited, how are you feeling?

0:35:170:35:23

Look, sash windows, original locks on the windows.

0:35:230:35:27

-These rooms are really nice.

-Stunning, absolutely stunning. Ooh!

0:35:270:35:32

It's really, really lovely.

0:35:320:35:34

Did you expect this from the outside?

0:35:340:35:36

-No, I didn't.

-No, no.

-I did not expect it to be so beautiful.

0:35:360:35:39

-I feel like a Cheshire cat.

-Grin, grin, grin. I'm so happy.

0:35:390:35:43

'So far so good,

0:35:430:35:44

'but we still need to check out the all-important kitchen.

0:35:440:35:49

'It's 25-feet long,

0:35:490:35:50

'but that's no guarantee it will live up to Pat's big expectations.'

0:35:500:35:54

Voila. The kitchen.

0:35:540:35:56

What do you think, Pat?

0:35:560:35:59

I think it's a nice kitchen.

0:35:590:36:01

For me, I would do it differently, but the space is definitely here

0:36:010:36:06

and that's no big issue for me at all.

0:36:060:36:10

In fact, I'd rather do my own kitchen, so...

0:36:100:36:14

Nice walls, nice skirting, great door, lots of light,

0:36:140:36:18

great place for the range.

0:36:180:36:20

-It provides the space, doesn't it?

-Yes, it does.

0:36:200:36:23

Back that way you have a huge utility room and a walk-in pantry.

0:36:230:36:27

Oh! Pat's pantry for all those products.

0:36:270:36:30

All your products. For jam-making and anything else you want to do.

0:36:300:36:33

Now, we have to check that the upstairs delivers in the same way.

0:36:330:36:37

I'm confident it will. Let's see if we can keep you happy.

0:36:370:36:42

'This is going very well.

0:36:420:36:44

'I think our Victorian rectory could be turning

0:36:440:36:47

'a property dream into a reality.

0:36:470:36:49

'Let's just hope upstairs won't hold anything in the way of nightmares.

0:36:490:36:53

'There are six bedrooms in all, so over and above their requirements.

0:36:530:36:57

'But first, the family bathroom.'

0:36:570:36:59

What a great amount of space for your bathroom.

0:36:590:37:02

-It's a lovely size, isn't it?

-Yes.

-Really nice size.

0:37:020:37:05

They've put in this roll-top bath

0:37:050:37:08

and you could sit in there

0:37:080:37:10

with some bubbles going, looking out, surveying your land.

0:37:100:37:13

Ah, but you forgot the champagne.

0:37:130:37:16

Well, I mentioned bubbles, both varieties!

0:37:160:37:18

'Pat's mind is on the champers already.

0:37:180:37:21

'Could that mean we're definitely onto a winner?

0:37:210:37:24

'They haven't even seen the seemingly endless amount of bedrooms,

0:37:240:37:27

'which I think have lots of scope.

0:37:270:37:30

'There are two doubles, a single, currently being used as a study,

0:37:300:37:34

'and another double masquerading as a sitting room.

0:37:340:37:37

'The room next to the master

0:37:370:37:39

'has been transformed into a dressing room.'

0:37:390:37:41

So this at the moment is the master,

0:37:410:37:43

but I think it's fair to say with this property there's not one room

0:37:430:37:49

out of all the bedrooms that really feels like the master bedroom.

0:37:490:37:53

But you've got the opportunity. The room behind here is fairly small,

0:37:530:37:56

these walls can be taken down. You could put an en suite in there,

0:37:560:38:00

-because you've only got the one family bathroom.

-Yes.

0:38:000:38:02

-You'll tend to find that with a property like this.

-Of course, yes.

0:38:020:38:06

Certainly it seems to me that there's the opportunity

0:38:060:38:09

to finish up with maybe four bedrooms, but bigger rooms.

0:38:090:38:14

And en suites added into at least one of them.

0:38:140:38:17

'It's obvious the house is an unqualified success.

0:38:170:38:21

'And I think the garden will be a big hit too.

0:38:210:38:24

'At just over an acre, there's room enough for veggie plots,

0:38:240:38:27

'but it's not unmanageable.

0:38:270:38:29

'And there's a very countrified added extra.'

0:38:290:38:32

-Here you've got your very own duck pond.

-Ah.

0:38:330:38:36

-Isn't that amazing?

-How fantastic.

0:38:360:38:38

-I bet you didn't expect to see that.

-No.

-No, no.

0:38:380:38:41

What do you think of it as a garden and a space for you?

0:38:410:38:45

I like it because it's not organised, it's not manicured,

0:38:450:38:49

it's a bit wild, and yet it has lots of lovely features.

0:38:490:38:52

And to have a pond like that is fabulous.

0:38:520:38:56

There's a massive boundary at the back with those huge trees.

0:38:560:39:00

That's lovely.

0:39:000:39:02

Have we got it within the budget? How much do you think

0:39:020:39:05

it will cost you to get your hands on this beautiful house?

0:39:050:39:08

I would put it, yeah, probably around 670,000.

0:39:080:39:13

I'll go for 685.

0:39:130:39:18

This property is on the market at £650,000.

0:39:180:39:24

-Well, that makes it even more attractive!

-Yeah.

0:39:240:39:27

-I got a smile out of you.

-Yeah, that's...

0:39:270:39:29

Yeah, that's quite attractive.

0:39:290:39:31

-But, as you can imagine, it's just come on the market and it's quite popular.

-Of course.

0:39:310:39:36

It's a great property in a lovely area. How much did you like it?

0:39:360:39:39

Liked it very much, very much.

0:39:390:39:42

Then have a wander round and start considering whether it's for you.

0:39:420:39:46

-OK.

-I'll see you later on.

-OK.

0:39:460:39:47

What a result! And at £650,000,

0:39:470:39:50

this Victorian rectory comes in 50,000 under the top budget.

0:39:500:39:56

It has three reception rooms, a 25-foot country kitchen,

0:39:560:40:00

six bedrooms which could be knocked through to create three,

0:40:000:40:04

and it's all set in 1.3 acres.

0:40:040:40:07

For most people, it wouldn't even need a lick of paint,

0:40:070:40:10

yet it gives Pat the opportunity to put her own stamp on it.

0:40:100:40:13

Being a rectory, it is on the edge of the village, though, so how do they feel about that I wonder?

0:40:130:40:19

I'm glad that it's not really done to perfection.

0:40:190:40:23

If it had custom-built units and things

0:40:230:40:26

and I wasn't that keen on them,

0:40:260:40:27

-I'd feel dreadful for ripping them out, yeah.

-No, it's...

0:40:270:40:33

Overall, I'm dead impressed with what they've found.

0:40:330:40:36

Obviously, in an ideal world we were looking for

0:40:360:40:39

something that was fairly secluded out in the countryside.

0:40:390:40:43

Having said that, there's only a couple of houses nearby.

0:40:430:40:46

The house itself is lovely.

0:40:460:40:48

The location is... is actually not too bad.

0:40:480:40:51

Gosh, I never believed they would find me this,

0:40:510:40:55

so I was incredibly chuffed to find they had.

0:40:550:40:59

Hey, there. Now, I've got some ideas. I was thinking rip this down,

0:40:590:41:03

a couple of windows there, a bit of wisteria, Bob's your uncle!

0:41:030:41:06

What do you reckon?

0:41:060:41:09

I'm sure you've got your own list of changes,

0:41:090:41:11

-but the journey's not over yet. Come on.

-OK.

0:41:110:41:14

It looks like they could have made a property dream come true.

0:41:230:41:26

Now let's see if we can sort out one of Pat's hobbies.

0:41:260:41:29

She wants to learn to make cheese.

0:41:290:41:31

We sent her along to meet award-winning, traditional cheesemaker Mary Quickes.

0:41:310:41:35

Mary has been making cheese for 20 years.

0:41:350:41:38

What started as a hobby has become big business

0:41:380:41:41

and she now makes over 250 tonnes a year.

0:41:410:41:44

She has a 500-strong dairy herd but you don't need to be a dairy farmer

0:41:440:41:49

as supermarket milk will do just fine

0:41:490:41:52

and we can all knock up a block of cheese in the kitchen.

0:41:520:41:56

10 litres of milk will make one kilo of cheese and the process

0:41:560:41:59

starts by heating the milk to 36 degrees and adding some starter.

0:41:590:42:03

The starter is lactic acid bacteria, so basically like yoghurt.

0:42:050:42:11

It will turn the milk sugars,

0:42:110:42:15

the lactose in the milk, into lactic acid.

0:42:150:42:18

Cheese is pickled milk with the water taken out.

0:42:180:42:21

Starter can be bought from organic stores and health shops.

0:42:210:42:25

Rennet goes in next and this is a natural complex of enzymes

0:42:250:42:28

that comes from a calf's stomach.

0:42:280:42:30

It can be sourced from a traditional butcher.

0:42:300:42:33

It needs to be stirred for a couple of minutes until it begins to turn solid.

0:42:330:42:37

Stop.

0:42:370:42:38

You can see that it has suddenly started setting.

0:42:390:42:44

After about 50 minutes, it will have formed a junket and needs to be cut.

0:42:440:42:48

There are plenty of websites supplying equipment for home cheese-making needs.

0:42:480:42:52

First of all, cut one way and then cut the other way.

0:42:520:42:56

You're looking to make it into the size of the moon on your thumbnail.

0:42:560:43:02

There we are.

0:43:030:43:04

The curds and whey then need to be cooked slowly at a temperature of 40 degrees

0:43:040:43:08

and stirred for a few hours.

0:43:080:43:11

Cheese making is not for the impatient.

0:43:110:43:13

Once firm and rubbery, the curds and whey are separated

0:43:130:43:16

and left yet again to acidify and lose some heat.

0:43:160:43:20

The curds are then turned five or six times to create a cheese block.

0:43:200:43:24

It's at this stage that other ingredients can be added,

0:43:240:43:28

including the all-important preservative - salt.

0:43:280:43:32

-Here's the curd straight out of the press.

-Is this cheese, ready to eat?

0:43:320:43:37

Not yet. You have to wait for cheese, it's a labour of love.

0:43:370:43:41

You dress it and then mature it on for three months,

0:43:410:43:47

up to three years is our oldest cheese.

0:43:470:43:50

It's been really interesting, thank you so much.

0:43:500:43:52

-I can't wait to try it myself.

-You are so welcome!

0:43:520:43:55

Well, Pat's got the recipe,

0:43:550:43:57

let's see if our mystery house has the kitchen with all the right ingredients.

0:43:570:44:03

For most people, the idea of a Grade II listed cottage

0:44:060:44:09

in the middle of a gorgeous village would be their idea of heaven,

0:44:090:44:13

but for Pat and Chris, I think the concept of something they can't tinker that much with

0:44:130:44:18

will be quite hard to grasp, but I'm hoping the charms of this house will win them over.

0:44:180:44:22

What do you think we could show you to entice you away from your dream of a converted Georgian rectory?

0:44:250:44:31

How about a huge chateau!

0:44:310:44:34

-I can see where you're coming from. A castle, perhaps?

-Maybe, yeah.

0:44:340:44:39

We can work miracles on this show,

0:44:390:44:41

but I'm not sure we can go that far, but you never know. Here's hoping.

0:44:410:44:45

All will be revealed soon, but first we're escaping the county

0:44:450:44:49

as we're hopping over the border into Somerset

0:44:490:44:52

to the wonderfully named Haselbury Plucknett.

0:44:520:44:55

It's a typically lovely Somerset village with a population of around 700.

0:44:550:44:59

There's one pub, one church and one shop catering to the community,

0:44:590:45:04

and there's no shortage of period properties,

0:45:040:45:07

including the mystery house -

0:45:070:45:10

a 16th-century traditional hall house which isn't in a secluded rural setting,

0:45:100:45:14

it's slap bang in the heart of the village!

0:45:140:45:16

So let's see how that goes down.

0:45:160:45:19

So this is our mystery house. Come on!

0:45:200:45:23

Now, I'm betting that this is a property you would prob...

0:45:270:45:31

You wouldn't have looked at without us.

0:45:310:45:34

No, I wouldn't.

0:45:340:45:36

I wouldn't. I wouldn't have considered it, but, you know what?

0:45:360:45:40

-It's actually really...

-Initial...

-Lovely. It's a lovely-looking house.

0:45:400:45:44

-Initial impressions is it's a very nice-looking house.

-Isn't it gorgeous?

-Yes.

0:45:440:45:48

It's been renovated by the current owners.

0:45:480:45:51

-I can't stop laughing!

-You're laughing, this is brilliant!

0:45:510:45:55

Is it a good laugh?

0:45:550:45:57

I just had a... I thought you might go for something like this and I...

0:45:570:46:01

We talked about it being small, pokey, duh duh duh duh duh...

0:46:010:46:05

And it's actually it's not small, pokey.

0:46:050:46:08

-It doesn't look small or pokey, does it?

-Not at all.

0:46:080:46:10

It's a Grade II listed house.

0:46:100:46:12

Right. Well, you'll have to talk us through what we can and can't do in that case.

0:46:120:46:17

OK, be prepared for this - not a lot, Pat.

0:46:170:46:19

There aren't that many changes you can make.

0:46:210:46:24

-OK.

-But the current owners have done a lot of work.

0:46:240:46:26

A lot of renovation, and they've worked really hard to do it

0:46:260:46:29

-sympathetically and to go back to local craftsmen.

-OK.

0:46:290:46:32

I can't wait to see what you think of what they've done! Come on.

0:46:320:46:35

Well, tickled pink wasn't a reaction I was expecting, but I like it and I'm going with it.

0:46:380:46:43

Come on through.

0:46:450:46:47

-Oh, my word!

-Oh, your word, indeed.

0:46:470:46:49

-Come in.

-Oh, my word!

0:46:490:46:51

-Right.

-What do you think?

0:46:530:46:56

Well, all the...

0:46:560:46:59

All the period features are fabulous.

0:46:590:47:01

It's a bit dark, that's the only thing that worries me.

0:47:010:47:04

I thought you might say that. It's a little dark, but warm still.

0:47:040:47:08

-I mean, look at these windows here. The...

-But how...

0:47:080:47:11

I mean, look, the original features. Oh, gosh!

0:47:110:47:13

-They're screaming at you, aren't they?

-Your own bit of history.

0:47:130:47:16

-Exactly. That's an amazing room to start off with.

-It is.

-But let's keep going because there's more.

-OK.

0:47:160:47:22

Come through to the living room.

0:47:240:47:27

Oh, isn't this a lovely room?

0:47:270:47:28

Take it in.

0:47:280:47:30

Again, not what we would have gone for, but...

0:47:310:47:35

You just seem so surprised, Pat. You're looking...

0:47:350:47:38

-You can't believe that a property like this could have this feeling, can you?

-No.

0:47:380:47:43

-I'm surprised at the ceiling height.

-I'm surprised I like it.

0:47:440:47:48

It really does feel cosy.

0:47:480:47:50

No, it feels lovely.

0:47:500:47:52

'This is a turn up for the books - a definitive thumbs-up from Pat!

0:47:520:47:55

'Let's see what she'll make of the kitchen, just next door.

0:47:550:47:59

'If she wants to change this one, I give up.'

0:47:590:48:02

Now, look at this and tell me what you think of what they've done.

0:48:020:48:06

Gosh! These are all bespoke units.

0:48:060:48:08

They're lovely. Look at those hammered pewter handles.

0:48:080:48:12

Eye for detail. I know. These units were hand-made up in Yorkshire

0:48:120:48:17

and then brought down here and...

0:48:170:48:20

-It's beautiful wood, isn't it?

-Commissioned by the current owners.

0:48:200:48:23

Over there, the structural work they did was take down a wall

0:48:230:48:27

-and open that up so you've got a breakfast room that looks out onto the garden.

-Isn't that lovely?

0:48:270:48:31

-And hasn't it been done in keeping?

-They've created a beautiful space.

0:48:310:48:35

'And the space goes on.

0:48:350:48:38

'The garage has been converted to create a study and a sunroom.

0:48:380:48:42

'Pat and Chris have clearly been charmed by the downstairs.

0:48:420:48:45

'Let's see if the magic continues upstairs.'

0:48:450:48:49

Step into the room that's currently being used as the master.

0:48:490:48:54

What a nice room. How tall!

0:48:540:48:57

-What do you think, Chris?

-I think it's a nice room.

0:48:570:49:00

I suppose possibly just the first slight negative is I guess...

0:49:000:49:04

There's no en suite.

0:49:040:49:06

..unless you're going to surprise us, there's no en suite attached.

0:49:060:49:09

'Well, I do have a surprise up my sleeve.

0:49:090:49:12

'The solution is at the opposite end of the hallway

0:49:120:49:15

'past a single bedroom, a cosy double and the family bathroom.'

0:49:150:49:19

Through here is another bathroom.

0:49:190:49:23

-Oh, this is very nice.

-It's lovely.

0:49:230:49:27

-It's absolutely lovely, yes.

-You do surprise me.

0:49:270:49:30

This is the mystery house - it's supposed to be something you wouldn't like and you love it.

0:49:300:49:35

-I know.

-And as an added bonus, this isn't just a standalone bathroom.

0:49:350:49:39

Oh, no, it connects through to what I think should be the master.

0:49:390:49:42

My word.

0:49:420:49:44

In we come. Now, don't you think this should be the master bedroom?

0:49:440:49:48

-Oh, definitely.

-Yes. I mean, it's plenty big enough, yes.

0:49:480:49:52

Gosh, there's even room for a sofa in here, look.

0:49:520:49:55

It's a bit novel, coming through the bathroom.

0:49:550:49:57

-It's slightly unusual.

-Would you be able to live with it that way?

0:49:570:50:01

-I mean, it's quirky, isn't it? It's just different.

-I don't see that as a big issue.

0:50:010:50:05

-No, not at all.

-In fact, I think it's quite novel.

0:50:050:50:08

Is there anything that could make this property any better?

0:50:080:50:11

-Well, we haven't seen the garden yet.

-That's true, we haven't seen the garden, but I'm just amazed,

0:50:110:50:16

-given that this was everything I was never going to have.

-You said it!

0:50:160:50:20

-But it's everything you could want.

-Well, it's feeling that way.

0:50:200:50:23

'It just goes to show when it comes to househunting,

0:50:230:50:27

'keeping your options open can sometimes deliver the dream.'

0:50:270:50:31

Now, this garden just keeps on going. It's like a house in itself in terms of different rooms,

0:50:360:50:40

the way it's been laid out by the current owner, so you've got a pond area over there,

0:50:400:50:45

behind is a children's play area, a vegetable garden, sheds, pathways, secret garden walls.

0:50:450:50:52

-I don't know what else you'd need.

-Gosh.

0:50:520:50:54

-How much do you think you'd have to pay?

-Golly, this is difficult.

0:50:540:50:58

I think it's right at the top end of our budget.

0:50:580:51:01

-Give me a number.

-All right, 695.

0:51:010:51:05

-Chris?

-I would go just a fraction under that and say 690.

0:51:050:51:10

It's on the market at £695,000.

0:51:100:51:14

-Oh, my goodness, I got it right!

-You were spot on.

0:51:140:51:17

-Oh, gosh!

-We've given you so much to think about.

0:51:170:51:20

-Why don't you have a wander and explore this amazing garden and I'll see you later on?

-OK.

-OK.

0:51:200:51:25

That is why I love the mystery house!

0:51:250:51:28

We've shown them something that was completely not on their list

0:51:280:51:31

and so often they fall in love with it.

0:51:310:51:34

It just goes to show you don't know everything, even Pat.

0:51:340:51:37

This is at the top of their budget at £695,000, but what a property!

0:51:390:51:45

This beautifully restored 15th-century hall house is crammed with character.

0:51:450:51:51

On paper it shouldn't work for them, but it so obviously does.

0:51:580:52:02

I'm not sure that this is a property we would have looked at.

0:52:020:52:06

I guess, well, you can maybe not take too many judgements without actually inspecting things.

0:52:060:52:13

This is a listed house

0:52:130:52:16

and it's not really going to offer any big projects,

0:52:160:52:21

which is one of the things that you were perhaps looking for.

0:52:210:52:24

I was thinking that when I was walking round the garden,

0:52:240:52:28

but, you know, this feels such a welcoming home.

0:52:280:52:33

I... I'm just going to have to think very hard on that.

0:52:330:52:38

It just feels... It just feels right.

0:52:380:52:40

The dilemma is that I do want a project,

0:52:400:52:44

and I'm saying do because I really do.

0:52:440:52:46

I don't know how we're going to arrive at a decision on this because

0:52:460:52:50

the head says, "Get on and do your project," and the heart's telling me, "This house is just so you."

0:52:500:52:55

I've got to drag you away, but I've had a thought - we rename it Pat's Palace!

0:52:550:53:02

That's, of course, if it's the one for you and right now you've got a lot of thinking to do.

0:53:020:53:06

-I know.

-Come on.

0:53:060:53:09

Well, that mystery house certainly brought out a different side of Pat.

0:53:140:53:19

She got really emotional and stopped thinking with her head for a change, but now it's decision time.

0:53:190:53:24

Which way will they go? Is it the head or the heart?

0:53:240:53:27

-Hello.

-Hi.

-Denise.

-We've reached the end of our journey, haven't we?

0:53:280:53:33

Well, we started with the 1930s house.

0:53:330:53:36

-What did you think?

-When we first arrived,

0:53:360:53:39

we couldn't see the house at all and there was a long drive,

0:53:390:53:43

but I got a feel for the views and we walked round the corner and my heart sank.

0:53:430:53:48

The views were everything we were looking for, but for the reasons of the house,

0:53:480:53:53

we would have to say that that one wouldn't be for us.

0:53:530:53:56

Now, we took you to a farmhouse with 4.5 acres of land, lots of outbuildings,

0:53:560:54:01

and it was a very characterful cottage. What did you think of that?

0:54:010:54:06

Very well presented. Lovely lounge/drawing room.

0:54:060:54:10

But, for me, I felt the upstairs rather let it down.

0:54:100:54:15

The bit that really would be the problem for us on that one

0:54:150:54:19

was the 4.5 acres of ground

0:54:190:54:22

and all those stable outbuildings which, really, we've got no use for.

0:54:220:54:28

Now, very specifically, you wanted to live in an old Georgian rectory.

0:54:280:54:33

We searched high and low and I can't believe we pulled it off.

0:54:330:54:36

We brought you to a Victorian Georgian-style rectory.

0:54:360:54:39

Well, you certainly made me eat my words because I said I didn't think you'd find one and you did,

0:54:390:54:45

and it's a lovely house.

0:54:450:54:47

When we went inside, we went from one room to the next room

0:54:470:54:51

to the next room and it sort of almost got better and better.

0:54:510:54:54

Better and better.

0:54:540:54:56

Well, having shown you a property that pretty much fulfilled every wish on that list,

0:54:560:55:01

including giving you scope to put your mark on it,

0:55:010:55:04

we took you to the mystery house which was everything you didn't want and yet what a reaction!

0:55:040:55:09

And I have to eat my words again.

0:55:090:55:11

I know, it... I can't describe it.

0:55:110:55:16

It blew me away, actually.

0:55:160:55:19

There's cottages and cottages and the way that it had been restored

0:55:190:55:22

-and renovated had been done both...

-With so much love and care.

0:55:220:55:25

Extremely well and sympathetically and to a high standard, as well.

0:55:250:55:29

Given how sure and certain you were about what you were looking for,

0:55:290:55:33

-showing you something that was so opposite...

-Yes.

0:55:330:55:35

..I didn't have high hopes, I've got to be honest.

0:55:350:55:39

Well, if it was a shock to you, it was an even greater shock to me.

0:55:390:55:43

So, what's going to happen next?

0:55:430:55:45

Are you going to go for any of the properties we've shown you?

0:55:450:55:48

I don't think we'll be immediately putting in an offer, but I think what we want to do

0:55:480:55:52

is there's two houses there that interest us enough

0:55:520:55:56

that we would want to go back and have a second look.

0:55:560:55:59

And the two properties are, just to be clear, the old rectory and the mystery house.

0:55:590:56:05

The old house. Yes.

0:56:050:56:06

Yes, so we'd be going back to see them a second time,

0:56:060:56:11

very much with a view that one or other of these could be something that we might want to purchase.

0:56:110:56:16

Well, any house that could bring out Pat's smile like that, I think has got to be a winner!

0:56:160:56:21

Fingers crossed it's not too long before you're moving in to at least one of our houses.

0:56:210:56:26

-Thanks a lot.

-Best of luck, take care.

-Thank you.

0:56:260:56:30

I remember at the start of this journey,

0:56:300:56:33

Pat told us she didn't think we could find her ideal home,

0:56:330:56:38

but oh, how she was wrong!

0:56:380:56:40

We found her two and, most surprisingly,

0:56:400:56:42

the one that she's fallen in love with and opened her heart to

0:56:420:56:45

is something she would never have looked at.

0:56:450:56:47

And I think Chris likes it, too.

0:56:470:56:49

Hopefully it won't be too long before they're moving in

0:56:490:56:52

and I will see you next time on Escape To The Country.

0:56:520:56:55

If you want to Escape To The Country in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

0:56:550:56:58

or England and need our help, please apply online at...

0:56:580:57:03

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:160:57:19

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:190:57:23

Denise Nurse joins a couple ready to leave their 1930s semi in Surrey and relocate to east Devon.

With a budget of £700,000, they are dreaming of a large rural retreat. The period property they are after should be secluded with great views. A large kitchen diner and an ample garden are on their list too. They also need three bedrooms for when their grown-up children come and visit.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS