Carmarthenshire Escape to the Country


Carmarthenshire

Property series. Nicki Chapman helps a couple who are seeking an impressive house to retire to in South Wales. They have a healthy budget of £650,000.


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Transcript


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It was on this seven-mile stretch of sand 100 years ago

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that one of the stages of the first British motor rally took place.

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The speeds and times of the cars were neither recorded nor published,

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in order to, and I quote from the 1909 rally itinerary,

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"avoid the vulgarity of advertisement."

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How wonderful.

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Find out where I am in a moment, as we start our engines in Escape To The Country.

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'Today, we're helping a couple retire to the country in grand style.'

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It's actually got six reception rooms downstairs.

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-Six?

-Six?

-Six reception...

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'In fact, it's a case of the bigger, the better.'

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These properties have 30 acres.

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30! OK.

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'But will we be able to find them their dream pad for the right price?'

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-I just can't believe it.

-I don't believe it.

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I am just over the moon, I really am.

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This is Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire, Wales,

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where on the 25th September 1924,

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Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the first of his nine land speed records,

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reaching a speed in his Sunbeam car of 146.16 miles per hour.

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Sir Malcolm went to break a further two records here,

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the last on the 4th February 1927,

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in Bluebird II, with a speed of 174.88 miles per hour.

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We, too, will have to move fast today, because there's a lot of ground to cover.

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We are taking in two counties for the price of one,

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Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire,

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which make up the majority of the south-west peninsula in Wales.

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Whilst Carmarthenshire's green, fertile landscape has earned it the nickname the Garden Of Wales,

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Pembrokeshire's 186-mile coastline is undoubtedly the jewel in its crown.

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Home to the only coastal national park in the UK, visitors have 50 beaches to choose from.

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Whilst tourism is a booming industry for both counties,

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farming is still a major player,

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so, escaping the hordes to find a slice of the quiet country life isn't a problem.

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English home-buyers have long been attracted by Pembrokeshire's charms,

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and the average price for a detached property is £23,000 above that of Carmarthenshire.

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However, with both counties coming in at just under 50%

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of the national average for a detached property,

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it's a good choice if you want your pounds and pennies to stretch to a country mile.

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Large swathes of south Wales have been designated specific regeneration areas,

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which means £185 million is being ploughed into the redevelopment of Swansea's waterfront,

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and another £120 million has been spent on the Millennium coastal park in south Carmarthenshire.

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Good news for property hunters,

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as investment in the area makes living here more attractive,

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and property prices are likely to increase.

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So, if you're tempted, here's a selection

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of some great properties currently on the market.

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Head to Carmarthenshire,

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and you'll find this 1920s seven-bedroomed manor house

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in the stunning countryside just outside the county town of Carmarthen.

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A bespoke oak kitchen and four reception rooms should impress.

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If that fails, the indoor swimming pool will surely make a splash.

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It's on the market for a cool £1.3 million.

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Sticking with Carmarthenshire but coming down in price, for £695,000,

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how about this substantial country property near Lampeter?

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Built in 1988, it has a galleried reception room, a quaint country kitchen and five bedrooms.

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Adjoining the property is a very colourful two-bedroomed self-contained annexe,

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and it's all set in an impressive seven acres of land.

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If you prefer Pembrokeshire, just outside Haverfordwest is this four-bedroomed modernised cottage.

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The interior is snug and cosy,

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but there's no shortage of space outside,

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with nearly five acres of land.

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It could be yours for just under £390,000.

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Well, we've lined up some great properties.

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All that's left is to meet this week's house hunters.

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Philip, a finance director and Julia, housewife, have been married for 31 years.

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For the last seven, they've lived in this five-bedroomed estate house in Watford,

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with their pug, Boris, their three cats and some of their five grown-up sons.

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But now the last of the boys has moved out,

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and Philip has retired, they've decided to make a break for the country.

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-We've been looking to move, probably, for two years.

-Yeah. About that.

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What set it off was when we went to Stow-On-The-Wold.

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Yeah, when we went to Stow, we had a short break in Stow-On-The-Wold,

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and I was really excited about being in the country, which was amazing, because I'm a town mouse.

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And Julia's turnabout has been 100%, as she now wants to go the whole hog.

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Ideally, I would like to live somewhere really, really, rural,

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with open fields around us, with lots and lots of space.

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They've set their hearts on South Wales.

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However, so far, their house search has been confined to the internet.

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What kind of property has been grabbing their attention?

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'We would like to have an old-style house. We don't want a modern executive home.'

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We would like somewhere that's sprawling and rambling.

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-Sprawling and rambling. Yes.

-Rather than enclosed.

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That doesn't sound like a downsize.

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Just how much house are they looking for?

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'Six bedrooms, at least.'

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Two or three reception rooms, a lot of space, a large kitchen, a good-sized garden,

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at least half an acre.

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We would like to keep animals on it, and we thought of all sorts, getting some donkeys, sheep.

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So that's the must-haves. What about the no-nos?

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Beams are another thing. Everyone seems to love beams.

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What's to love about a beam? It's just a piece of wood on the roof.

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It's already a substantial wish list, so I'm reticent to ask, anything else?

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We'd like to be within driving distance of the coast, because Julia loves the seaside.

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I do love the seaside.

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Philip and Julia's location and property requirements are considerable,

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so are they willing to put some work in to create the dream home?

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We're both very keen to move into the right sort of property,

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and it will be one that we have to do things to.

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We like to stamp our own mark on the house.

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-We enjoy DIY, so it'll be really exciting to do that.

-Oh yeah, I can't wait for that, yeah.

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Well, before we can find them their rural, coastal, mammoth, period home,

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Philip and Julia need to know how much money they'll have to spend,

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so we've invited a local agent to value their house.

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This is a well-presented five-bedroomed family home,

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in a sought-after area, located close to Watford Met line station,

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so it's good for commuters, therefore I'd recommend an asking price of £725,000.

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With that in mind, what's the final spend for South Wales?

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Our budget is £650,000. If the house is perfect, we would spend that.

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If it's needing work doing, then we would spend up to that with whatever we did to it.

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I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty unusual for a retired couple to be upscaling,

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from a five-bedroomed house to a six-bedroomed one.

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Add to the fact that Julia and Philip are seriously considering

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keeping cows, sheep, goats and chickens,

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they're certainly not going to have a quiet retirement.

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I'm very keen to find out whether their dream matches the reality.

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To maximise their chances of finding the dream home,

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Philip and Julia have asked us

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to cast the property net far and wide,

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from the countryside surrounding Carmarthen,

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to Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire.

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In today's show, we'll be viewing three choice character homes,

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but, as always, I won't reveal the asking prices until they've had a good look around.

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The last of the three is the mystery house, which today might just have them all at sea.

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Philip and Julia, great to meet you. Are you looking forward to the next few days?

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Very much so. Really excited.

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We've got some great properties lined up. But first of all, let's talk money.

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What's your top, top budget, is it the same?

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Yes, £650,000 is our maximum budget.

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Now, you want six bedrooms.

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Yes, six bedrooms. Got to be six bedrooms.

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Who's going to come to stay, all the family?

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Yes. That's why there has got to be six bedrooms.

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-And what about grandchildren?

-Well, they're not here yet, but hopefully on the horizon.

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The third one is married now, so it's increased the probability.

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So you've got to have lots of bedrooms for the whole family to come to stay?

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-They insist on high days and holidays, the house is the gathering place.

-Oh, nice.

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OK, we'll have to bear that in mind.

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That's a lot of work, isn't it?

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And you want a place that's quite remote?

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Yes. Really remote.

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I want some space round me now.

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-I'm bored with living in a town. I want...

-A complete change?

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-I want a complete change of lifestyle.

-Great.

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-Animals and space.

-Animals and space.

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Do you have any at the moment apart from your beloved dog?

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My beloved dog, and we have three cats, but no other animals.

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So, we've got six bedrooms,

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times the amount of houses to show you,

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divided by the amount of time to do it in.

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I think we'd better get started.

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I think you're right!

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'So, Philip and Julia have a healthy budget of £650,000,

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'but they have a big wish list to go with it.

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'They want a very large period home with at least six bedrooms,

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'so their children can stay,

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'a couple of reception rooms, and a sizable kitchen.

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'With plans to keep animals, half an acre of land is a must.

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'Location-wise, well,

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'the more rural, the better.

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Luckily, they're happy to take on a project and get stuck in with the DIY.

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So what's the current situation with your property? Is it on the market?

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Yes, we've got it on the market

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and the estate agents are quite hopeful that it will sell quite quickly.

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They've got a number of people who are interested in the area.

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-They think that it will be very marketable.

-So feeling optimistic?

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-We are.

-We are.

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Positive thinking all round, then.

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I'm feeling very confident about today's property search,

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which we're kicking off in Pembrokeshire,

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in the very rural outskirts of the ancient county town of Haverfordwest,

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situated six miles from the coast.

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Straddling the banks of the western Claddau,

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this thriving country market town is in fact the largest urban centre in the county.

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But when you compare its population of 13,000 to Watford's 70,000,

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it's a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Julia and Philip's home town.

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The high street is lined with fine Georgian and Victorian buildings,

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home to a good mix of independent and national retailers,

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and presiding over it all are the remains of a Norman castle.

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Our first property won't be quite such a big renovation job, though.

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It's situated three miles out of town in pristine Pembrokeshire countryside,

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and even has its own woodland.

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It's really rural Julia's asked for, so it's really rural we'll give her!

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So guys, here is your first property. Grade II listed.

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-Built in 1812 as a gentleman's residence.

-OK.

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Although they lived here, it was built for hunting and fishing.

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It's absolutely lovely. I love it already.

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It has got some age to it and often with properties that have an age,

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there's a bit of a project attached to it as well.

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-That's OK.

-If there was no project, we'd have nothing to do.

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-We want the project.

-Philip, music to my ears. Music to my ears.

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'This Georgian lodge will definitely keep them occupied

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'and I don't think I've ever come across a house

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'that more aptly fits the description of rambling and sprawling.'

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-So how's this?

-Oh, it's wonderful.

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-Look at that ceiling, absolutely beautiful.

-I love the vaulted...

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-It's grand, it's wonderful.

-It is. It's...

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-You'd expect a good entrance and it delivers, doesn't it?

-It does.

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For a house of this age, this is perfect. Exactly right.

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You've got three reception rooms.

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-You've got the morning room, the dining room and a drawing room.

-Excellent.

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-Shall we start off with the drawing room?

-Let's start on the drawing room.

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It's absolutely splendid, I really, really love it. The ceiling height, it's just great.

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This is a proper drawing room, you could put a Christmas tree there.

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You've got the original fireplace, that works.

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-That's a working fireplace?

-It is.

-I love the surrounds.

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-I'd recommend you got the fireplaces checked out, though.

-Yes.

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'A very warm response to the drawing room,

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'but I can't wait to see what they'll make of the kitchen, which could do with some modernising.'

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So here is your kitchen - I don't think it's changed since 1812!

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-I think that's not an exaggeration.

-It just needs a little bit of love.

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-A bit of modernising!

-Exactly.

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I can just imagine us doing a lot of work in it.

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That is a feature that you are not going to find anywhere else,

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it's lovely.

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Look at that, look. We can have servants. We can, we can have servants!

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'Julia can joke, but there is still a servant's wing here.'

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'It's comprised of a former gun room, a living room, a buttery,

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'a dairy, a saddle room and a cellar. How's that for a country house?

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'So more than enough space downstairs for them, their visiting children and future grandchildren.

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'Now let's see if there's enough room upstairs.'

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-Oh, it's wonderful. It really is. The size is perfect, isn't it?

-It's good.

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And again, it's got high windows so it creates a lot of light.

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The light is great in here, it really is, really lovely. Love it.

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-Good sized bedroom.

-Good.

-Probably be the master.

-Yeah, I would imagine.

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'There's plenty more space so Philip needn't make up his mind just yet.

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'Off the hallway are two double bedrooms, there's one single

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'and two bathrooms right next door to each other,

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'which are in need of some serious TLC. But they could be knocked through to create a very large one.'

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So here's another of the five bedrooms. It gives you an idea...

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-It's huge. It's fine, isn't it?

-Lovely size, and this one has got two windows.

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-You have dual aspect, which is beautiful.

-This could be a master as well.

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It does have the five bedrooms and ideally you were after six.

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Yeah, I'm listening.

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-Remember the servant's wing?

-Yes.

-Above that is a self-contained flat.

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-Is there?

-Self-contained flat!

-There'll be a fight for that.

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-There will be a fight for that one.

-That self-contained flat has three bedrooms.

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-Eight bedrooms. That's fine!

-Now we're getting silly.

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You're both nearly speechless.

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It's not that, we have either got to have more children or more grandchildren.

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Off we go! Thank you.

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The flat is currently rented out to tenants and therefore has its own access.

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It comes with a kitchen, three bedrooms and a living room.

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Believe it or not, this was built in the early 1800s as well, this section.

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Same sort of time as the original.

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Unbelievable! It just shows you what you can do, really.

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It gives you a great deal of flexibility as well.

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Whether we would keep it self-contained or whether we would knock it through...

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-Open it up, yes.

-Food for thought.

-It certainly is.

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This house delivers over and above their requirements inside.

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It's most certainly the project they wanted

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and with two acres of land,

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there's no shortage of space for pugs, cats and all the chickens and goats they could want.

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So I've brought you to the front of the property

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so you can see all your land.

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-Indeed.

-And behind you, if you can look, it's been laid to lawn.

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-That originally was a tennis court.

-Wow!

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So if you don't fancy taking up the sport,

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you can put your animals on there, and if you fancy it, you can easily reinstate it.

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Probably leave it for the animals at the moment.

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-Yeah, stick with the animals.

-Put the old goat on there. Good enough for him.

-That's right.

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So it is time, having seen this wonderful property, to talk money.

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-Who wants to go first?

-Well, I'll have a go.

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-I mean, it's a fabulous house.

-It is.

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How much do you think the current price is?

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Our budget is 650, there's a lot of work, so I'm going to say...

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-500.

-500. Yeah, that sounds about right.

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I would go just slightly lower than that.

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You know, 495 to make it sound better. Yeah.

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I think you're going to be slightly disappointed.

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-The asking price is £650,000.

-Really? Really?

-Yeah.

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-Because you've also got the additional accommodation.

-Of course, with that. That's true.

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We'd need to find out just how much work has to be done on it.

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-It would be worth finding out.

-It's a lovely house.

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Absolutely beautiful.

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Why don't you have a wander around, have a good look,

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think about all your options and I'll meet you in the front in a little while.

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-Off you go.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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With an asking price of £650,000,

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this Georgian lodge is right at the top of Julia and Philip's budget, and it does need work.

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But it's not every day you come across an opportunity like this

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so we had to show it to them.

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It's positively huge, with three reception rooms,

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a big kitchen space, a servants wing, five bedrooms

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and a three-bedroom self-contained flat.

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To top it off, it's all set in two acres of land.

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The renovations could be tackled over time

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and it's worth remembering it's still a buyer's market

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so there should be a little flexibility on the price tag.

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I love symmetrical houses.

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I just love the grandeur of the whole place.

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I know it's a little bit battered, but I just loved it from the moment I set eyes on it.

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It's got nooks and crannies and cellars

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and it's got rooms that we at the moment don't even know what we would use them for.

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I know that it needs decorating and it needs some work,

0:18:440:18:48

but it deserves that work.

0:18:480:18:50

It would be a joy to be able to do it.

0:18:500:18:54

What a great start, you don't get to see properties like that very often.

0:18:550:18:59

-You don't, do you? Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

-Ready to go?

0:18:590:19:02

-We are.

-More to see.

-Lovely.

-Thank you.

0:19:020:19:04

For our next property, we're popping over the border into Carmarthenshire,

0:19:100:19:14

where we should get that little bit more for our money.

0:19:140:19:17

We're heading to the rural outskirts of Whitland,

0:19:170:19:20

which, crucially for sea-loving Julia,

0:19:200:19:22

is just nine miles from the coast.

0:19:220:19:25

Nestled in the Taf Valley, Whitland is a small county town,

0:19:250:19:28

with a good mixture of amenities serving the locals,

0:19:280:19:31

including a mainline train station, with connections to Swansea, Carmarthen and Pembroke.

0:19:310:19:38

The house we're viewing is a mile from the centre of town,

0:19:380:19:41

set in glorious Carmarthenshire countryside, and I have an admission to make,

0:19:410:19:46

as I know this is a property they've seen on the internet.

0:19:460:19:49

'However, when it comes to house-hunting, the proof isn't in the pudding,

0:19:490:19:54

'it's in the viewing, so what will they make of it in the flesh?'

0:19:540:19:58

-Do you remember it?

-Yes.

0:19:580:20:00

It's a property we've seen on the internet.

0:20:000:20:03

-Yes, it is.

-But I didn't realise it was in such a beautiful location.

0:20:030:20:06

I mean, the views from the house must be stunning.

0:20:060:20:09

You can see the Preseli mountains from here.

0:20:090:20:12

-It's wonderful, isn't it? Absolutely fantastic.

-It is fantastic.

0:20:120:20:16

-We are by a road, though.

-Yeah.

-Not a busy road.

0:20:160:20:20

We've lived by roads before.

0:20:200:20:22

If it's a road going from somewhere to somewhere rather than just a suburban road, it's not as bad.

0:20:220:20:27

Well, let's talk about the property.

0:20:270:20:29

Here she is. At the heart is a 100-year-old cottage,

0:20:290:20:33

which is quite difficult to see now, because it's been extended on both sides.

0:20:330:20:37

It was only finished a year ago.

0:20:370:20:39

-So you've seen the outside of the property. Are you ready for the inside?

-Can't wait.

0:20:390:20:44

'This house is a very different proposition.

0:20:440:20:47

'Whilst the core is Victorian, the decor is more contemporary,

0:20:470:20:51

'but there's certainly no scarcity of space.'

0:20:510:20:55

-So, come straight in.

-Thank you.

0:20:550:20:57

This house rambles, but it has a lovely flow,

0:20:570:21:01

because it hasn't got one reception room, or two or three,

0:21:010:21:05

or four or five, it's actually got six reception rooms downstairs.

0:21:050:21:09

-Six?

-Six reception... We should have paid more attention when we looked at it.

-We should!

0:21:090:21:14

This is just the first one. We're in the old part of the cottage now.

0:21:140:21:19

I think it would be fair to say this is one of the smaller rooms.

0:21:190:21:22

-OK.

-It's nice.

0:21:220:21:23

-So are you ready to start?

-Yes.

0:21:230:21:25

-Here we go.

-OK.

0:21:250:21:27

To this reception room.

0:21:270:21:29

-It's much bigger.

-Oh, this is great, this is really great.

0:21:290:21:33

I love that archway through there. It makes it enormous, doesn't it?

0:21:330:21:38

And again, amazing views.

0:21:380:21:39

Yeah, you can see those views out there.

0:21:390:21:41

-They're quite stunning, aren't they?

-Aren't they lovely?

0:21:410:21:45

-That gets you, doesn't it?

-It does. It does.

0:21:450:21:48

Just looking out there is beautiful. We've got nothing like that.

0:21:480:21:52

'It would be easy to stare at those views all day,

0:21:520:21:55

'but there's a lot more to see.

0:21:550:21:57

'So on with the property tour via reception room number three.'

0:21:570:22:01

So we are now on our fourth reception room.

0:22:010:22:04

Fourth! Again, it's absolutely wonderful, isn't it?

0:22:040:22:08

I like the way that they all interlink, so that you feel it's really quite open.

0:22:080:22:13

It's all really one.

0:22:130:22:16

-Yeah.

-I like it.

0:22:160:22:17

-You've got a small utility room there.

-Oh, have you, right?

0:22:170:22:21

You have got two staircases with this property, leading upstairs.

0:22:210:22:25

-OK.

-And then you have got two more reception rooms through there,

0:22:250:22:29

-and then the kitchen, so let me show you that.

-Excellent.

0:22:290:22:32

It's an important room, the kitchen, for you and your family.

0:22:340:22:37

It is, it is, and I feel that somehow this is just a little bit too small for me.

0:22:370:22:43

A bit smaller than we were probably hoping for.

0:22:430:22:47

This area here, I wonder whether you'd be able to knock a wall somewhere and extend.

0:22:470:22:52

-There is potential.

-There is.

0:22:520:22:54

-There is so much space down here.

-You could change the layout of it.

0:22:540:22:57

I think we would probably change the layout.

0:22:570:23:00

There is potential here.

0:23:000:23:02

'Julia and Philip are certainly seeing the possibilities,

0:23:020:23:06

'and although it would be a shame to pull out such a lovely kitchen,

0:23:060:23:09

'I get the feeling these two will want to put their own stamp on any property they move into.

0:23:090:23:14

'So that's it for downstairs,

0:23:140:23:17

'Let's see what they make of the sleeping arrangements.

0:23:170:23:20

'They shouldn't be disappointed. There are seven bedrooms in all.'

0:23:200:23:23

Here it is. With views like that, this has to be the master bedroom.

0:23:230:23:27

I think you are right, it certainly does.

0:23:270:23:29

It's absolutely splendid, and the size of the room is perfect.

0:23:290:23:33

Good. And does it bother you that it is not an en-suite?

0:23:330:23:37

No, no, I mean, we're not really bothered by en-suites.

0:23:370:23:40

-It's not one of our major look-fors.

-No, it isn't.

0:23:400:23:43

That's good. Let me show you one of the bathrooms,

0:23:430:23:45

-see what you think.

-OK.

0:23:450:23:46

Oh, no, this is great. I really like this.

0:23:520:23:55

-It's a big bathroom.

-Yes, it's very big.

0:23:550:23:57

-It's a good-sized bathroom, yes.

-Yeah, but it's not too big.

0:23:570:24:01

We would have a bigger bath, because the room can take it quite easily.

0:24:010:24:04

And a double sink. Crying out for it!

0:24:040:24:06

Yes.

0:24:060:24:08

It's a great bathroom.

0:24:080:24:11

I like the limestone tiles as well.

0:24:110:24:13

'More positive reactions,

0:24:130:24:15

'and I think the rest of this floor will get a thumbs up, too.

0:24:150:24:19

'Just next door is another double bedroom.

0:24:190:24:22

'There's a single bedroom with a secret room,

0:24:220:24:25

'perfect for future grandkids.

0:24:250:24:27

'But, we're not done yet.

0:24:270:24:29

'Off the rear landing are three further doubles and another family bathroom.

0:24:290:24:34

'So more than enough space inside.

0:24:340:24:36

'But how does the land measure up?

0:24:360:24:39

'Well, on top of a rear lawn garden,

0:24:390:24:41

'this property comes with a one-and-a-half-acre paddock.'

0:24:410:24:45

So, here's the additional land that I mentioned.

0:24:470:24:50

All of this paddock comes with the house.

0:24:500:24:52

It's just amazing, isn't it?

0:24:520:24:54

-Amazing.

-Amazing! In unison!

0:24:540:24:56

Is this what you were thinking of when you were talking

0:24:560:25:00

sheep, goats, cows...

0:25:000:25:02

I can see the goats now,

0:25:020:25:03

running down the hills, the chickens in a little pen over there,

0:25:030:25:07

-a donkey or two.

-There's even room for the cow.

0:25:070:25:10

Hmm!

0:25:100:25:11

So all this comes at a price, but you have already seen this property

0:25:110:25:16

on the internet, so do you have an inkling?

0:25:160:25:18

I...I can't remember, we looked at a lot of properties,

0:25:180:25:22

but I don't think that this was one that was right at the top end,

0:25:220:25:26

so something tells me around half a million

0:25:260:25:29

and at the back of my mind, I have got the figures of 498.

0:25:290:25:32

-OK.

-OK, well, I'm going to go a bit higher

0:25:320:25:35

because it's a really beautifully done house, so I'm going to go 525.

0:25:350:25:39

OK.

0:25:390:25:40

The asking price is £398,500.

0:25:400:25:45

-300!

-300!

0:25:450:25:47

Is that a pleasant surprise?

0:25:470:25:48

It's a totally pleasant surprise.

0:25:480:25:50

-It's amazing.

-So, with that good news,

0:25:500:25:52

why don't you go and have another wander around?

0:25:520:25:55

-Have a browse, and I'll catch up with you a bit later.

-OK.

0:25:550:25:58

Excellent, thank you.

0:25:580:26:00

'That came as a shock, didn't it?

0:26:000:26:02

'At £398,500, this modernised Victorian cottage

0:26:020:26:07

'is a massive 200,000 under budget,

0:26:070:26:10

'leaving spare change and then some

0:26:100:26:12

'for Julia and Philip to put their own stamp on the place.

0:26:120:26:16

'It's a positively huge property, with six reception rooms,

0:26:160:26:19

'a country-style kitchen, which could be extended,

0:26:190:26:22

'seven bedrooms, an ample garden and one-and-a-half acres of paddock.

0:26:220:26:27

'Will it be period enough?'

0:26:270:26:30

When we came into the house, I was surprised.

0:26:300:26:33

I hadn't realised it was quite so modern.

0:26:330:26:36

But despite the fact that it's modern, I do quite like it.

0:26:360:26:40

The rooms are really quite huge.

0:26:400:26:42

The only thing that concerns me about the property is the road,

0:26:420:26:45

but I think that's something we'd get used to,

0:26:450:26:48

because it's not as busy as the sort of roads we are used to in the town.

0:26:480:26:52

I think the only thing I didn't like about the house myself

0:26:520:26:56

was the kitchen, really.

0:26:560:26:57

It was a little bit small,

0:26:570:26:59

but it was beautifully done

0:26:590:27:01

and it would seem a shame to do anything to it.

0:27:010:27:04

Ah, Nicky, you look very comfortable there.

0:27:060:27:08

I am very comfortable, but it is time to go. Come on.

0:27:080:27:11

OK.

0:27:110:27:12

Carmarthenshire has no shortage of beaches

0:27:170:27:20

and a must-visit is Pendine Sands.

0:27:200:27:23

Not only is it one of the longest beaches in Wales,

0:27:230:27:25

but back in the 1920s,

0:27:250:27:27

it was the site of the first record-breaking land speed attempts.

0:27:270:27:31

I am meeting up with local motoring historian Lynn Hughes,

0:27:310:27:36

to find out more.

0:27:360:27:37

Tell me, why was Pendine Sands so good for breaking land speed records?

0:27:370:27:42

Well, there's a lot of it, you know?

0:27:420:27:43

It's seven miles long and it's outstanding in the British Isles,

0:27:430:27:48

if not in Europe, for the fact that the quality of the sand

0:27:480:27:51

at certain times of the year is such that it's almost like tarmacadam.

0:27:510:27:58

And how many land-speed records were broken here?

0:27:580:28:02

Well, altogether, I suppose about five.

0:28:020:28:05

Three by Malcolm Campbell and two by JG Parry-Thomas.

0:28:050:28:09

I've heard of Sir Malcolm Campbell,

0:28:090:28:11

but I have not heard of JG Parry-Thomas.

0:28:110:28:13

-Who is he? Have I let the side down?

-I am afraid you have, rather.

0:28:130:28:16

In his day, he was probably as famous a racing driver

0:28:160:28:19

as Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button.

0:28:190:28:23

He had a reputation for total fearlessness.

0:28:230:28:25

He had that sort of tiger,

0:28:250:28:27

which you need to be a frontline racing driver.

0:28:270:28:30

What type of car did JG drive?

0:28:300:28:33

Well, it so happens that we have it on display here

0:28:330:28:35

in the Museum Of Speed, so why don't we go and have a look at it?

0:28:350:28:38

I'd love to. After you.

0:28:380:28:40

The car was built by engineer and racing driver

0:28:400:28:43

Count Louis Zborowski -

0:28:430:28:44

the man responsible for the real Chitty Bang Bang,

0:28:440:28:48

the Grand Prix racing car and, of course,

0:28:480:28:50

the inspiration for Ian Fleming's famous novel.

0:28:500:28:54

Babs, as Parry-Thomas called her, couldn't fly

0:28:540:28:57

but, with a 27-litre aeroplane engine in her,

0:28:570:29:00

she sure could move fast

0:29:000:29:03

and JG pushed her to the very limits.

0:29:030:29:06

-Now, he broke two land speed records with Babs, didn't he?

-Yes, he did.

0:29:060:29:10

In 1926, on two consecutive days, the 26th and 27th of April,

0:29:100:29:15

he broke the world land speed record twice,

0:29:150:29:19

on the second day, at the astonishing speed of 171 mph.

0:29:190:29:24

I can't imagine sitting in her now, going at that speed.

0:29:240:29:28

-So did JG try again?

-Yes, he did.

0:29:280:29:31

He came back the following year.

0:29:310:29:33

He was going, really, for 200 mph,

0:29:330:29:35

but the car somersaulted and he was instantly killed, I'm afraid.

0:29:350:29:40

And what actually happened to Babs?

0:29:400:29:43

Well, they didn't know what to do with her

0:29:430:29:45

and for some curious reason,

0:29:450:29:47

they decided to bury her here, in the sand dunes.

0:29:470:29:51

-No!

-And there she remained.

-And how long was she actually buried for?

0:29:510:29:55

She was eventually disinterred in 1969 by an eminent engineer called Owen Wyn Owen,

0:29:550:30:00

who restored her to the condition that you see her in now.

0:30:000:30:04

Well, I mean, thank you so much.

0:30:040:30:06

It's been amazing and a real privilege to be allowed to sit in Babs.

0:30:060:30:10

With the sun setting over South Wales,

0:30:130:30:15

Philip and Julia have a chance to mull over the properties they've seen so far.

0:30:150:30:21

What did you think about the Georgian house?

0:30:210:30:23

-It was splendid.

-Beautiful.

-It ticked every box.

0:30:230:30:26

-Every single box.

-The rabbit warren of the rooms was great.

0:30:260:30:30

Yes, everywhere you went there was one more room and another room and yet another room.

0:30:300:30:35

You'd get lost in there for years, you really would. I really, really did love it.

0:30:350:30:39

-What did you think of the yellow pointy house?

-Oh, I loved that.

0:30:390:30:43

It was quite modern, really, wasn't it?

0:30:430:30:46

The rooms were fantastic sizes, weren't they?

0:30:460:30:49

-Lots of rooms - seven bedrooms!

-And loads of reception rooms.

0:30:490:30:53

You couldn't really have asked for more.

0:30:530:30:55

-Who knows what they'll find for us.

-They've been very inventive today

0:30:550:30:59

so I'm sure they'll be able to find something tomorrow that will be equally exciting.

0:30:590:31:03

-I hope so. Here's to tomorrow.

-To tomorrow.

0:31:030:31:06

Retirees Philip and Julia are looking to swap busy Watford

0:31:170:31:21

for very rural South Wales, but this is no downsize.

0:31:210:31:25

They want a six-bedroomed period pile and plenty of acreage.

0:31:250:31:30

So far our properties have had the thumbs up,

0:31:300:31:33

but will the rustic charm of our next property prove to be the dream?

0:31:330:31:37

Why don't I hate these beams?

0:31:370:31:39

-I really like them!

-We've converted you!

0:31:390:31:41

I'm a... Yes, I'm a converted beamer!

0:31:410:31:44

'Or will the mystery house blow everything else out of the water?'

0:31:440:31:48

Julia, you've always said you wanted to be by the sea -

0:31:480:31:51

you're not going to get much closer than that!

0:31:510:31:54

It's a castle!

0:31:540:31:56

Yesterday went really well and what became apparent

0:31:580:32:02

was that for Philip and Julia, family is everything.

0:32:020:32:05

As long as the house can accommodate them, their five children

0:32:050:32:08

and their future grandchildren, they're going to be happy.

0:32:080:32:12

Let's hope today goes as well as yesterday.

0:32:120:32:14

For our first viewing of the day,

0:32:150:32:17

we're heading to the village of Brechfa.

0:32:170:32:19

Situated in the Cothi Valley,

0:32:190:32:21

under the towering oaks of the Brechfa Forest,

0:32:210:32:23

it's been described as one of the most secluded villages in South Wales.

0:32:230:32:28

So it should be remote enough for Julia and Philip.

0:32:280:32:31

There's been a settlement here since the 6th century.

0:32:310:32:33

However, most of the properties today date from the late 1800s.

0:32:330:32:37

We're heading two and a half miles out of the village

0:32:370:32:40

for our first house of the day.

0:32:400:32:42

Surrounded by farmland, it's about as rural as properties come.

0:32:420:32:45

These are your properties.

0:32:450:32:48

-Properties?

-It's both of them.

0:32:480:32:49

You've got the converted barn that was done about 23 years ago.

0:32:490:32:53

And you've got the farmhouse, there. They both date back about 150 years.

0:32:530:32:57

-They look lovely.

-They do, don't they?

0:32:570:32:59

I love the colour of the stone. That's splendid. I like that.

0:32:590:33:03

The lovely stream that we came past.

0:33:030:33:05

That's the head of the River Gwili.

0:33:050:33:06

-Is it?

-It also provides all the water for both properties.

-Oh, wow.

0:33:060:33:11

That's really special.

0:33:110:33:13

-It's got a filter system.

-Couldn't get fresher than that, could you?

0:33:130:33:16

-Lovely. That's really unusual.

-You can't get freer than that.

0:33:160:33:20

That's the magic word!

0:33:200:33:22

That appeals to the accountant in me.

0:33:220:33:24

-It does.

-Now, you noticed some of the livestock around?

-I did.

0:33:240:33:28

Do they come with the property?

0:33:280:33:31

-The livestock don't. But the field that they're standing in does.

-Oh!

0:33:310:33:36

This property, or these properties, have 30 acres.

0:33:360:33:40

-30?!

-30 acres?

0:33:400:33:43

30 acres.

0:33:430:33:44

The good news is,

0:33:440:33:45

-25 of those acres are currently being rented out to the farmer.

-That's a great idea.

0:33:450:33:50

But you could have sheep literally at your back window.

0:33:500:33:53

So you could look after them,

0:33:530:33:55

but you don't have to worry too much about them -

0:33:550:33:58

the best of both worlds.

0:33:580:33:59

There is a sheep at our back window now.

0:33:590:34:01

Yeah, there is.

0:34:010:34:03

'Well, they seemed suitably impressed by those numbers.

0:34:030:34:07

'But will they be taken with the actual property?

0:34:070:34:09

'Style-wise, it's a mix of contemporary and character

0:34:090:34:13

'with a few rustic features that might not be to Julia's liking.

0:34:130:34:17

'But it has all the space they're after

0:34:170:34:20

'and I think it has real wow factor.'

0:34:200:34:22

I really like that. I do. It's really unusual.

0:34:220:34:25

It is unusual, isn't it, to have the dining hall straight as you come in.

0:34:250:34:29

-But, no, that's fine.

-But it works.

-Do you like the balcony effect?

0:34:290:34:33

-I do.

-The gallery, looking down?

0:34:330:34:35

I love the wood. The combination of the wood and the stone.

0:34:350:34:38

The contrast of the wood with the stone, it really works.

0:34:380:34:41

So far, so good.

0:34:410:34:44

'But the living room could be make-or-break, as it

0:34:440:34:47

'has a particular feature I know Julia isn't too keen on - beams!'

0:34:470:34:52

Oh, no, that's lovely.

0:34:520:34:54

And I don't usually like beams.

0:34:540:34:56

-I was a little bit worried about the beams.

-But these are right.

0:34:560:34:59

This is the right setting for them.

0:34:590:35:02

They're high enough up and they're not too imposing.

0:35:020:35:05

-I haven't seen a barn conversion before.

-No, nor have I.

0:35:050:35:08

I have to say, this is really

0:35:080:35:10

giving me a completely different view of them.

0:35:100:35:12

-So this is the first time?

-Yeah, we've never been to one.

0:35:120:35:15

Something you wouldn't have considered?

0:35:150:35:17

-I would never have thought of it.

-It's good.

0:35:170:35:19

-I like it.

-Fabulous. Let's check out the kitchen.

0:35:190:35:23

Follow me.

0:35:230:35:25

We've got quite a contemporary kitchen, here.

0:35:280:35:31

This is... Yes, contemporary.

0:35:310:35:34

This is fantastic, isn't it?

0:35:340:35:36

-I love it.

-I like it.

0:35:360:35:37

If you've got room for a couch in the kitchen,

0:35:370:35:40

it's got to be good, hasn't it?

0:35:400:35:41

-Exactly. And a dining table.

-That's fantastic.

0:35:410:35:44

-This is just amazing me.

-I like it.

0:35:440:35:47

Through the kitchen you've got a massive utility room.

0:35:470:35:51

Huge, with storage. And you've got a wet room.

0:35:510:35:53

That's really useful.

0:35:530:35:55

That's marvellous.

0:35:550:35:57

-With the family, you need all the bathrooms you can get.

-You do, yes. It's perfect.

0:35:570:36:02

'Perfect. Now, there's a word I like.

0:36:020:36:04

'Let's see if we can get top marks upstairs, too.'

0:36:040:36:08

So, the barn has four bedrooms.

0:36:080:36:13

-OK. Four?

-This is the master.

0:36:130:36:16

You've got the beautiful beams, which I think are very attractive.

0:36:160:36:20

I like them again. They're not intrusive.

0:36:200:36:23

Good, good. You've got an L shape with the dressing area.

0:36:230:36:27

-That's handy.

-That's a storage.

0:36:270:36:29

And you've got a fabulous en-suite.

0:36:290:36:32

'As well as the en-suite, off the hallway is a family bathroom.

0:36:320:36:35

'Bedroom-wise, there is a double, a single and a box room.

0:36:350:36:39

'So, by no means the six bedrooms requested.

0:36:390:36:42

'However, let's not forget we have a whole other property to check out - the farmhouse.'

0:36:420:36:49

'It's currently used as a self-contained holiday let

0:36:490:36:52

'and is totally separate from the barn.'

0:36:520:36:55

So, here's your second property, the farmhouse,

0:36:550:36:58

which is pretty big.

0:36:580:37:00

As you walk in, if you turn to the right,

0:37:000:37:02

you've got a fully fitted kitchen.

0:37:020:37:04

This is your drawing room-come-dining room.

0:37:040:37:07

It's absolutely wonderful. This is additional to everything else.

0:37:070:37:11

And why don't I hate these beams?

0:37:110:37:13

I really like them.

0:37:130:37:15

We've converted you!

0:37:150:37:17

Yes. I'm a converted beamer, I really like them.

0:37:170:37:21

I really, really like it. I do.

0:37:210:37:24

Would you be interested to hear what the income is on this?

0:37:240:37:27

The lady does it about five months of the year.

0:37:270:37:30

But some are just odd weekends here and there.

0:37:300:37:33

So it's not a full-time business.

0:37:330:37:35

She makes about £12,000 a year.

0:37:350:37:37

-Goodness.

-So if ever you want six months without family coming down...

0:37:370:37:41

-Well, that had better not happen!

-It is certainly worth considering.

0:37:410:37:45

So you've got four bedrooms in that building. You've got three in here.

0:37:450:37:49

Seven bedrooms.

0:37:490:37:51

Enough for the family. So you've got one on this level, two upstairs with a family bathroom.

0:37:510:37:57

'So, not only is this property beautiful,

0:37:570:38:00

'it could be a nice little earner too,

0:38:000:38:02

'along with the proceeds from the farmland acreage.

0:38:020:38:05

'And there's still garden left for Julia and Philip to just enjoy.'

0:38:050:38:10

So, you've got your 30 acres,

0:38:100:38:12

including this lovely little bit of lawn here.

0:38:120:38:15

So you could have some flowerbeds and everything here?

0:38:150:38:19

-Yes.

-It's really, really beautiful.

-Perfect.

-So, who wants to go first?

0:38:190:38:24

-Do you want to go first this time?

-Well, I will, but we've not been very good at this, have we?

0:38:240:38:28

-We've been pretty awful at guessing.

-But this house is beautiful.

0:38:280:38:33

It ticks all our boxes and a few boxes we didn't even know we had.

0:38:330:38:38

This one's 700, more than.

0:38:380:38:42

Probably 720.

0:38:420:38:45

Do you think so?

0:38:450:38:47

I think it's top side of 700, yes.

0:38:470:38:50

The current asking price for both of these properties and all this land -

0:38:500:38:56

£590,000.

0:38:560:38:59

What?! I just can't believe it.

0:38:590:39:02

I'm just over the moon. I really am.

0:39:020:39:04

-That's fantastic.

-It is.

0:39:040:39:07

That is really, really lovely.

0:39:070:39:09

Oh, you're getting a bit emotional!

0:39:090:39:11

I'm sorry...

0:39:110:39:13

I really was...sorry. That has really, really shocked me.

0:39:130:39:16

-We had got it way over our budget.

-Oh, yeah.

-We really had.

0:39:160:39:19

Do you both fancy a second look, perhaps?

0:39:190:39:22

Second look? Yeah. Yeah, I'm there.

0:39:220:39:24

Continuous look.

0:39:240:39:25

Go and have a continuous look.

0:39:250:39:27

-I'll catch up with you in a while.

-Thank you.

0:39:270:39:29

What a reaction and what a surprise.

0:39:320:39:34

They were both getting really emotional

0:39:340:39:37

when I said that figure to them.

0:39:370:39:39

Well, I'm just going to let them browse for as long as they like.

0:39:390:39:43

'On the market for £590,000 this property is not only

0:39:430:39:47

'60,000 under budget, but it's two houses for the price of one.

0:39:470:39:52

'The barn comes with two reception rooms,

0:39:520:39:55

'a modern kitchen/diner and four bedrooms.

0:39:550:39:57

'While the self-contained holiday house has a further three bedrooms,

0:39:570:40:01

'all set in a breathtaking 30 acres of land.

0:40:010:40:05

'We were taking a bit of a risk with this house.

0:40:050:40:08

It needs no work, it has beams and a barn conversion wasn't the period property they had in mind

0:40:080:40:13

'but it just goes to show,

0:40:130:40:15

'when you're house hunting it's worth exploring all avenues.

0:40:150:40:19

'I get the feeling this property has just jumped to the top of the contender list.'

0:40:190:40:23

When we learnt the price,

0:40:240:40:27

I mean, Julie's reaction set me off and it was just unbelievable.

0:40:270:40:32

It's a superb property and I really didn't think

0:40:320:40:35

we'd get something like this for that sort of price.

0:40:350:40:38

I cannot think of one negative point to this property whatsoever.

0:40:380:40:44

It has absolutely everything I have ever wanted.

0:40:440:40:47

It is the property for me, I love it.

0:40:470:40:50

I would go to the estate agent this afternoon and buy it.

0:40:500:40:53

I just absolutely love it to bits, it's fantastic.

0:40:530:40:58

-So are you happy with that second look?

-Yes, indeed.

0:40:590:41:02

I'm going to have to drag you away now.

0:41:020:41:04

Well, you certainly will have to drag us!

0:41:040:41:06

Now usually on Escape To The Country,

0:41:110:41:14

we send our househunters off to enjoy some countryside pursuits,

0:41:140:41:18

but earlier in the week, they did something rather different.

0:41:180:41:21

We sent Philip and Julia to the Dolaucothi Gold Mines,

0:41:210:41:25

the only Roman gold mines still in existence in the UK,

0:41:250:41:28

to meet up with Sandra Parry and hopefully make like the Romans and strike gold.

0:41:280:41:34

We're in a Roman open-cast pit that was mined out 2,000 years ago.

0:41:340:41:39

If you could imagine that this was 40 feet lower than what it is now.

0:41:390:41:43

What they were actually looking for was this, this is the quartz.

0:41:430:41:48

This is where the gold comes from. Thin little pieces of gold, not much bigger than a grain of sand.

0:41:480:41:54

And how do you know there's gold in that?

0:41:540:41:57

They would crush it very, very fine like dust

0:41:570:42:00

and then they would continuously wash it so all the little gold flakes would fall to the bottom

0:42:000:42:04

and there to catch it would be a sheep's fleece.

0:42:040:42:07

Sheep's fleece!

0:42:070:42:08

They would pick the fleece up out of the water and then dry it

0:42:080:42:12

and set it alight or burn it in a furnace

0:42:120:42:15

-and there would be left just the gold.

-And how much gold did they get out of this, the Romans?

0:42:150:42:20

They reckoned, when they were here 2,000 years ago,

0:42:200:42:23

about three-quarters of a tonne, which is nearly one of these tramfuls.

0:42:230:42:26

-Of gold?

-Yes.

-Three-quarters of a tonne!

-Out of all of this hillside.

0:42:260:42:32

The hillside they took out is about 500,000 tonnes of rock.

0:42:320:42:35

Many of the quartz veins ran deep underground

0:42:370:42:40

and where they led, the Romans followed,

0:42:400:42:42

using slaves to tunnel, and once down there,

0:42:420:42:45

many wouldn't see daylight again.

0:42:450:42:47

How did they dig it out?

0:42:470:42:50

Well, when they found a nice big quartz seam, they would actually

0:42:500:42:53

make a fire against the quartz and kept it burning for several days

0:42:530:42:57

and that would make the rock go very, very hot.

0:42:570:42:59

By throwing water on it, it would crack

0:42:590:43:02

and they used a small pickaxe called a gad and they would gad it out.

0:43:020:43:05

-It was all done by pickaxe?

-Yes.

-What, the whole of this was dug out by hand?

-Yes.

0:43:050:43:09

-This was all been done by the Romans, yes.

-Amazing.

0:43:090:43:13

Time to head back up to ground level, there's some gold digging to be done.

0:43:130:43:17

Panning is the easiest and most common technique for those wanting to get rich quick.

0:43:170:43:23

Well, what you have to do is put your bowl in the water

0:43:230:43:26

and then scoop up some of the gravel, by shaking it around

0:43:260:43:29

and tipping the water off, you have ridges on the bowl

0:43:290:43:35

and then if you just keep shaking it round,

0:43:350:43:37

you'll get all the little shiny bits in there.

0:43:370:43:41

-So if I find some, can I keep it?

-Yes, you can.

0:43:410:43:45

-I've got the lucky pan. Look at this.

-Excellent.

0:43:470:43:51

-That's a brilliant piece!

-That's huge!

0:43:510:43:54

It's a nice nugget, but I don't think

0:43:540:43:57

it will quite stretch to a deposit on a property.

0:43:570:43:59

But not to worry, as they can always come back.

0:43:590:44:02

It's time now to mix things up a bit

0:44:040:44:07

by showing Philip and Julia our mystery house.

0:44:070:44:10

They've been extremely receptive to everything we've shown them so far.

0:44:100:44:14

Let's hope this property really floats their boat.

0:44:140:44:18

We know Julia loves the sea,

0:44:190:44:21

so we're travelling back to Pembrokeshire

0:44:210:44:23

and heading to the estuary town of Neyland.

0:44:230:44:26

Situated on the northern shore of the Milford Haven waterway,

0:44:270:44:31

Leyland grew up around Brunel's railway.

0:44:310:44:33

Completed in 1856, it resulted in a population burst

0:44:330:44:38

from 200 to over a 1,000 in just five years.

0:44:380:44:40

A marina has now taken the place of the railway terminus

0:44:400:44:45

which closed down in the '60s.

0:44:450:44:48

Our mystery house has almost a birds-eye view of all the boats.

0:44:480:44:52

So, guys, here is your mystery property.

0:44:540:44:57

Julia, you always said you wanted to be by the sea.

0:44:570:45:00

-You're not going to get much closer than that.

-It's a castle!

0:45:000:45:04

-It's your turret.

-It's a turret. I could be a princess.

0:45:040:45:08

-You're going to be Rapunzel.

-Great!

0:45:080:45:10

No, I'm sorry, that's quite impressive.

0:45:100:45:12

It's got a lot of character.

0:45:120:45:14

-It certainly has.

-I bet you weren't expecting something like that?

-No.

0:45:140:45:18

You see, the mystery property never fails to deliver, does it?

0:45:180:45:22

It's exactly that, something different.

0:45:220:45:24

-It looks fascinating.

-It does.

0:45:240:45:27

There's a lot about it, isn't there?

0:45:270:45:29

-Yeah. So, are you ready?

-Oh, I'm ready!

0:45:290:45:32

Ready and waiting, off we go.

0:45:320:45:35

'Philip and Julia are obviously intrigued and I can't wait to see what they'll make of the inside.

0:45:360:45:42

'Because, at just four years old, the mystery house is very much a modern home

0:45:420:45:47

'and it's rather topsy-turvy with living accommodation upstairs to maximise the amazing estuary views.

0:45:470:45:54

'So that's where we're going to start.'

0:45:540:45:57

What a splendid view it is. It is absolutely tremendous.

0:46:000:46:03

-Stunning!

-All those boats out there and the boats here in the yard.

0:46:030:46:08

-It's lovely, isn't it? It really is.

-It's gorgeous, it really is. A beautiful view.

0:46:080:46:12

I knew the scenery would be a hit.

0:46:120:46:15

Fingers crossed the house will live up to the vista.

0:46:150:46:18

So we've come through the dining hall. I wanted to bring you straight into this room.

0:46:210:46:25

This is a lovely-sized room, isn't it? It really is, yeah. I like this.

0:46:250:46:29

Very much like a villa with the stone floors and the openness, yeah.

0:46:290:46:33

Yeah, it is, very much like a villa.

0:46:330:46:36

-Yes, this is rather charming, I like this.

-I do.

0:46:360:46:38

And it flows nicely into the kitchen.

0:46:380:46:41

It's a good kitchen.

0:46:410:46:43

It's beautifully fitted out, yeah.

0:46:430:46:46

You've got the granite worktops, great range. That and the fridge are going to stay.

0:46:460:46:51

So you've seen the first level, let's take you up one to the crow's nest.

0:46:510:46:57

It's not often I can say that in a property. Back this way.

0:46:570:47:01

'It doesn't have period character

0:47:010:47:03

'but this house is definitely characterful.'

0:47:030:47:07

So here we are, Rapunzel's tower.

0:47:120:47:16

The crow's nest. I'll let you name it.

0:47:160:47:19

-This is lovely, isn't it?

-It is.

0:47:190:47:21

-It's a fabulous room.

-It is.

-It's so unusual!

0:47:210:47:26

The views again, it's great.

0:47:260:47:27

-That's right, we come up here for views over the estuary.

-We do.

0:47:270:47:31

As you can see it's currently an office

0:47:310:47:34

but you could easily convert this into a bedroom.

0:47:340:47:36

-Oh, yes, yes. It wouldn't take very much at all.

-A very fun bedroom.

0:47:360:47:41

I think it would, yeah.

0:47:410:47:42

Whoever got this one would really enjoy it.

0:47:420:47:45

'I'm glad they like that idea because, as it stands,

0:47:460:47:49

'this property doesn't meet their hefty bedroom requirements.

0:47:490:47:53

'However, will they like a little project? I do have a solution.

0:47:530:47:57

'As above the double garage, and accessed via the dining room, is a self-contained holiday annex.'

0:47:570:48:04

So, you walk through the bedroom...

0:48:050:48:07

-Yeah.

-You've also got a shower room through there.

0:48:070:48:11

This is the living part.

0:48:110:48:13

-That's fine, isn't it?

-It's a good size for a sitting room.

0:48:130:48:16

-A good size.

-Windows are smaller but then it's a smaller room, isn't it?

0:48:160:48:21

Through there you've got the kitchen and the dining area.

0:48:210:48:24

There's the front door, so you have a separate entrance so you can lock that.

0:48:240:48:29

They can be completely self-contained.

0:48:290:48:31

If you want to open it up and use it, it's so easy to do.

0:48:310:48:34

-Oh, yeah, very easy.

-Yes.

0:48:340:48:36

I'm going to take you back downstairs now to look at one of the bedrooms.

0:48:360:48:42

'It looks like Julia and Philip are taking everything on board but is it really floating their boat?

0:48:420:48:47

'Hmm, I'm not sure.'

0:48:470:48:49

Here's the master bedroom.

0:48:500:48:52

Oh, that's fine, isn't it? That's a lovely room.

0:48:520:48:55

It's a good size and you've got the archway through there

0:48:550:48:58

to what looks like a dressing area with lots of wardrobes.

0:48:580:49:01

Very generous dressing area, generous wardrobes.

0:49:010:49:04

-Always handy.

-Always handy.

-Always.

0:49:040:49:07

It's a very good-sized room.

0:49:070:49:08

It's a double bed and still plenty of room.

0:49:080:49:10

And it leads through into a wonderful en-suite.

0:49:100:49:14

Double sink, showers...

0:49:140:49:16

You've got another two bedrooms on this level.

0:49:160:49:19

-OK.

-And you've got the family bathroom as well. So you've got the crow's nest.

0:49:190:49:24

-Right.

-Yes.

0:49:240:49:26

-And the holiday let accommodation.

-Yes.

-So that makes a total of five.

0:49:260:49:30

-Right, OK.

-I know, ideally, you wanted six.

0:49:300:49:34

-I did, yes.

-It might be worth considering that double garage.

0:49:340:49:39

-It might be worth changing one of those into a bedroom.

-That's a good idea, yes.

0:49:390:49:43

-That's a thought, yes.

-Shall we go back outside?

0:49:430:49:46

-OK.

-OK.

0:49:460:49:49

The all-important outside space.

0:49:490:49:52

I have an admission.

0:49:520:49:53

This property doesn't have a hidden half acre anywhere,

0:49:530:49:57

but will proximity to the water make them rethink their wish list?

0:49:570:50:02

What you see around you is what you get.

0:50:020:50:05

Indeed, yeah.

0:50:050:50:07

That would be a problem, I think, for us. It's a splendid house.

0:50:070:50:12

It's got the space.

0:50:120:50:15

It's got a lot of the features we're looking for but an essential for us, really, are the animals.

0:50:150:50:21

It is an impressive house but the big question now is, what does it cost?

0:50:210:50:26

It's the last time I'm going to ask you.

0:50:260:50:29

Well, we've been wrong by a long way quite a few times.

0:50:290:50:33

Well, that doesn't matter, it makes it a bigger surprise.

0:50:330:50:37

Given the location, given that it's an absolutely splendid house.

0:50:370:50:41

For people who are looking for this, it puts it at the top end of our budget,

0:50:410:50:45

-so I would guess around £650,000.

-OK.

0:50:450:50:48

You're right, yeah. I'm going to go a bit higher because the decor of the place is brilliant.

0:50:480:50:54

That view is amazing.

0:50:540:50:57

-So, 675 I'd go for.

-OK.

0:50:570:51:00

-Current asking price...

-Yeah.

0:51:000:51:02

Is £535,000.

0:51:020:51:06

That's stunning, isn't it? That's amazing.

0:51:060:51:09

I don't believe it. The price of property is just so fantastic here.

0:51:090:51:13

I mean it has come down by £90,000 because they are keen to sell.

0:51:130:51:18

-Yes.

-But it is a very unusual, unique house.

0:51:180:51:22

Yes, it's a splendid house.

0:51:220:51:24

Why don't you go and have another wander around, enjoy those views.

0:51:240:51:28

-I'll see you in a little while.

-Thank you.

0:51:280:51:30

Under budget at £535,000,

0:51:300:51:33

the mystery house is a unique and sizable modern home.

0:51:330:51:38

It has three bedrooms,

0:51:380:51:39

an open plan living area with contemporary kitchen,

0:51:390:51:42

a very interesting study and a self-contained one-bedroom annexe.

0:51:420:51:47

There's plenty of potential for Philip and Julia to rejig it

0:51:470:51:50

to suit their needs

0:51:500:51:51

but I don't think even those stunning estuary views

0:51:510:51:54

will make up for the lack of land.

0:51:540:51:56

It's billy goats not boats that'll win the day here.

0:51:560:51:59

It's a splendid house. It's beautifully decorated.

0:51:590:52:03

Its position is just absolutely wonderful.

0:52:030:52:06

You couldn't get better views than this.

0:52:060:52:08

This actually helped us to realise that our dream of the country was really what we were after

0:52:080:52:15

and although we like the house and the location,

0:52:150:52:19

it said to us it's not for us to live.

0:52:190:52:21

Right, guys, we've got to find you somewhere quiet.

0:52:250:52:27

The two of you, on your own, to gather your thoughts and think about all these properties.

0:52:270:52:32

Yes!

0:52:320:52:34

This is a huge move for Philip and Julia.

0:52:380:52:41

They now have a lot to discuss.

0:52:410:52:44

The time has come for Philip and Julia to make a decision about which of the properties they may go for.

0:52:500:52:56

Now, I think it's rather obvious they're rather smitten with one,

0:52:560:52:59

so let's find out.

0:52:590:53:00

-Julia and Philip, we've had a great few days, haven't we?

-Oh, yes, we've had a lovely time.

0:53:050:53:10

We've seen some amazing properties, so shall we kick off with our first one?

0:53:100:53:14

That Georgian lodge. It was rather elegant.

0:53:140:53:17

It was just absolutely splendid. Such grandeur, it was heaven.

0:53:170:53:23

The detail, the architecture, the bits and pieces, it was really special, wasn't it?

0:53:230:53:27

Yeah, we weren't at all disappointed.

0:53:270:53:29

An awful lot of work was needed to be done and so...

0:53:290:53:33

-I mean, we'd have to take that into account.

-We'd have to.

0:53:330:53:37

You wanted a project, but that would have been a mammoth one.

0:53:370:53:40

It would have been a great project to do,

0:53:400:53:42

but mammoth is the right word, yes.

0:53:420:53:44

We looked at a yellow cottage,

0:53:440:53:46

an old cottage that had been...

0:53:460:53:49

Well, it had had some super extensions done either side.

0:53:490:53:52

We thought that the property was excellent.

0:53:520:53:56

There were a few things we'd have liked to do with it

0:53:560:53:59

because there were some things that could be changed around

0:53:590:54:02

but they were all good and we liked it.

0:54:020:54:04

It was large and had the land. Lots of possibilities.

0:54:040:54:07

So a new day and a new property, or should I say two because we had

0:54:070:54:13

the converted barn and the farmhouse next door.

0:54:130:54:15

-Those properties were wonderful.

-We really loved them.

-30 acres.

0:54:150:54:19

30 acres, that's silly, isn't it? 30 acres.

0:54:190:54:24

-We hadn't dreamed of 30 acres.

-No.

0:54:240:54:26

When we went inside, just the way it was done was perfect.

0:54:260:54:30

Another thing that Julia and I have said to each other we'd never, ever consider are beams.

0:54:300:54:35

The beams worked in the property.

0:54:350:54:37

-Beams... I'm very pleased you liked the beams.

-They just looked right.

0:54:370:54:40

We loved them, they really were, it was a revelation.

0:54:400:54:43

Very taken with that property?

0:54:430:54:47

-Very taken. Very taken indeed.

-Just a smidge.

0:54:470:54:50

Oh, I'm on the edge of my seat!

0:54:500:54:52

I'm not going to ask you yet because we've still got to discuss the mystery house.

0:54:520:54:57

Ah, the mystery house. I liked the house.

0:54:570:54:59

The mystery house was very well done.

0:54:590:55:03

-There's a but...

-There is a but.

0:55:030:55:05

-And that is we felt that we would prefer to be there on holiday...

-Yes.

0:55:050:55:09

..than live there.

0:55:090:55:11

So, what is the next step? I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this.

0:55:110:55:15

The next step, oh, well, over to my financial adviser, I think.

0:55:150:55:20

Erm...

0:55:200:55:23

-Well, I've already contacted the estate agent this afternoon.

-He has.

0:55:230:55:26

I've asked the estate agent for the property with the farmhouse and barn.

0:55:260:55:33

To send us the details and we will be putting in an offer.

0:55:330:55:37

Fantastic news!

0:55:370:55:39

It ticked every single box and a few more.

0:55:390:55:43

Yes.

0:55:430:55:44

It's our idea of heaven.

0:55:440:55:46

-Yes, brilliant.

-Listen, I'm delighted for the both of you but also for all your children

0:55:460:55:52

as well who I know are going to be coming to stay very, very quickly.

0:55:520:55:56

-Keep in touch, and let us know how you get on.

-Thank you.

0:55:560:55:58

-We will.

-Delighted, thank you both so much.

0:55:580:56:01

-Thank you, it's been wonderful.

-It's been a fantastic time.

0:56:010:56:04

What great news and for me it's been a real treat showing this lovely couple

0:56:080:56:14

properties in this beautiful part of Wales.

0:56:140:56:17

Interestingly we showed them houses that they wouldn't even have

0:56:170:56:20

considered before and, lo and behold, they're actually going to put an offer on one of them.

0:56:200:56:26

So we wish Julia and Philip all the very best.

0:56:260:56:29

See you next time on Escape To The Country.

0:56:290:56:32

I'm delighted to report Philip and Julia have had their offer accepted

0:56:340:56:38

on the converted barn and they can't wait to finalise the deal.

0:56:380:56:42

If you want to Escape To The Country

0:56:420:56:44

in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England,

0:56:440:56:47

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

0:56:470:56:54

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:120:57:15

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:150:57:19

Nicki Chapman helps a couple who are seeking an impressive house to retire to in South Wales. There's a healthy budget of £650,000 but a big wish list to go with it. The buyers are after a large period home with six bedrooms to accommodate their five children when they visit. Good reception rooms, a sizeable kitchen and at least half an acre of land are also musts.


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