Herefordshire Escape to the Country


Herefordshire

Property series. Jules Hudson goes house hunting in Herefordshire with a couple ready to leave London and create the good life in the country.


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Transcript


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Today I'm in a county famous for its apple cider and pear perry.

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There are 3,000 apple and pear orchards here, covering 9,500 acres,

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more than any other part of the United Kingdom.

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Today the cider and perry that's produced here is protected under EU law.

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It shares the same status as French champagne or, indeed, Italian Parma ham. Where am I?

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Stick around as we head out for a very fruity Escape To The Country.

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In today's show, I'll be helping two former police officers

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escape their London beat for the tranquil surrounds of the countryside.

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There will be crime.

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I think you might get your arm twisted.

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They will be made to pay.

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I'm already worrying about how much it's going to cost.

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And then they'll be set free.

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Oh, wow. Look at that view!

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Today I'm in Herefordshire, a county with a long and rich history of cider production.

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These days the UK produces 130 million gallons of the stuff.

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Half of it is made right here in the county.

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Perhaps that's no great surprise,

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because in the old days, many farmers would produce their own cider

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and give it to their farm workers

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as a way of supplementing the weekly wage.

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The good old days.

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Herefordshire is land locked

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between three English counties to the east and Wales to the west.

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With a population of just 200 people per square mile,

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it's one of England's most sparsely populated counties and one of its most rural.

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With over 5,000 farms, this is predominantly agricultural land.

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It's celebrated for its Hereford cows and cider producing fruit.

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Rising majestically over Herefordshire

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are the Malvern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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And flowing across it is the River Wye, England's fifth longest.

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But it's not all green. The county town of Hereford is a cathedral city with a population of over 50,000.

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And its many scenic villages are filled with 17th century timber-framed houses,

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which you can admire on the popular 40-mile Black and White trail.

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Amongst the many very good reasons as to why you might want to move here,

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crime levels make for interesting reading.

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They've been dropping steadily here over the last five years

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and currently run at 32% below the national average -

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great news if you want a quiet life in the country.

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If you want to see what's on offer, take a look at some of these properties.

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Let's tee off with this four-bed detached house

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situated in glorious countryside.

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Truly a golfer's heaven, it comes with its own nine hole golf course and clubhouse.

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So get your caddy to grab your cheque book. It's on the market for £1.25 million.

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On a par but for less wedge is this barn conversion

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set within nearly two acres of landscaped gardens with a valley beyond.

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It comes with five bedrooms, two en suite, and a country-style kitchen.

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It's being sold for 595,000.

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Or for even less cash is this modern take on the local black and white vernacular.

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This pretty cottage comes with three spacious bedrooms.

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The downstairs is split by some lovely beam work

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and the garden's large patio area is ideal for entertaining.

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It could be yours for £285,000.

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So, as you can see, there are some fantastic properties on offer here in Herefordshire.

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But what are today's buyers after? Well, let's meet them.

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Today's line-up features two recently retired police officers, Richard and Anne,

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who have 62 years of service between them.

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-We met in City of London Police.

-32 years ago.

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But it was 19 years before we actually went out with each other.

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So, we knew each other and took a while to get the courage up to ask each other out.

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They live in this three-bedroom house in the London borough of Croydon.

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But after a long stretch living alongside this busy road,

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they're desperate to escape and have asked us to investigate.

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We've been looking to move for about 18 months to two years now,

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but we haven't done anything serious about it until such time as the house went under offer.

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Of course, we went under offer last week, so now we're ready to look, so we're in your hands.

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But what is it about Herefordshire that's so arresting?

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If you look from the Malvern Hills, if you look west, it reminds me of Middle Earth, hobbit country.

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It's a pretty area and it appears to be a lot less crowded.

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It looks so inviting and leafy and green, lots of valleys and shadows.

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And what part of this magical kingdom are they looking to move to?

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-Ideally, western side of the Malvern Hills.

-Away from main roads and motorways, in particular.

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We've got a slow pace of life anyway, but we'd like our surroundings to be just as slow.

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When it comes to their new home, what's on their wish list?

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A reasonable size kitchen, ideally kitchen-breakfast room,

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two bedrooms, and I'd like up to about three acres of garden.

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-I don't know about you.

-I don't know about three acres...

-It's your chance to buy a ride-on mower!

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All right. Yes, OK! Three acres!

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It seems that Anne has all the good ideas, but who has the final say?

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-I'd like to think it's me, but it's probably Richard.

-I like to think it's me, but it's probably her!

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So, a lottery! 50-50.

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Well, that clears it up then(!)

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But one thing is for sure - Richard's need for a garage.

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These are three of my four classic cars.

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One of the reasons we're looking to move is I'd like extra garaging.

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Either the garaging is already there or there is the potential for it.

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Anne has a hobby that requires a fair bit of space too.

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In the new property, I'd quite like to be able to have a dedicated room,

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an outhouse, perhaps a summerhouse, or even a third bedroom,

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that we could use for my silversmithing. It's a hobby that's important to me.

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And there's one more thing that's quite important - this pair are looking for the good life.

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-I think Richard would quite like to keep some chickens.

-A smallholding of some sort would be nice.

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Chickens, ducks, maybe even sheep, depending on the amount of land.

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But if we have sheep, the ride-on mower's out of the window.

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You can mow the sheep(!)

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So, how much have they got to spend on their dream home?

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Our budget for the new house is £450,000...

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up to £500,000.

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After all of those years walking the beat in London,

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it's clear our two coppers are looking for the simple life

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and they want a fairly simple house in which to live in.

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They say just the minimum of two bedrooms.

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But they want a big living area and Anne is dying for a big kitchen.

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Added to that, there is something of a twist. We need space for Richard's sports cars.

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And all of this for the princely sum of £450,000 to £500,000.

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Should be interesting.

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To find their dream home, we'll be house hunting around the east of the county,

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between Worcestershire and the city of Hereford.

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We've got four fabulous houses lined up, but as ever,

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I won't be revealing their price tags straightaway, and then, there's the mystery house,

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a property with the potential to shake things up.

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Hello, Anne. Very nice to see you. Hi, Richard. Nice to see you.

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Welcome to Herefordshire. You know this area quite well.

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Reasonably well. We've got family that live not very far from here.

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My sister lives in Colwall, so we've fallen in love with the area

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on our various visits and we thought we'd quite like to get out of London and move to this idyll.

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What are you hoping for in this new country life?

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We want to be a bit more self-sufficient than we are now.

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Ideally, we'd like a bit of land so we can keep some chickens,

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-ducks, what have you... Depends on the amount of land.

-Land is key, I think, for us.

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-We want a bit of peace and quiet.

-Budget-wise, what are we looking at?

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Between 450 and 500, top whack.

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But ideally 450, as cheap as possible, I suppose.

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Hopefully, you're going to pull something out of the bag for us

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and perhaps, very shortly, we'll be living in my idyll of Middle Earth, with secret valleys

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and little wooded hillsides.

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We're not far from where Tolkien was inspired to write Lord of the Rings, over in Powys.

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-We just need to find you some hobbits!

-Well...!

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So, Anne and Richard have a budget of up to £500,000.

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They're looking for a detached house with a minimum of two bedrooms.

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Anne wants a big kitchen and space to carry out her silversmithing,

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whilst one of Richard's must-haves

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are some garages in which to keep his cars.

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And last but not least

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is a bit of land to rear some animals.

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It is a gorgeous part of the world. It's quiet but accessible.

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-Yes.

-Yes, it seems to be "undiscovered" to a certain extent.

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We're on a bit of a mystery tour with you two. What will we discover?

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It's so secret valley-ish. I love these little country lanes.

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-Who knows what's going to be round the corner!

-Hopefully not a giant!

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First up, we're heading east of Hereford to the village of Bosbury.

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They might have to time their visits well, but these ex-police should feel right at home.

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And what else do we have here? A pub, a barbers and a church.

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The property I'm taking them to see is three miles outside the village in the farming area of Castle Frome.

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It's one of three adjoining houses, converted from a range of farm buildings.

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OK, for our first offering, let's start with this one.

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-What do you think?

-It's very interesting.

-Lovely stone.

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It's a mid-19th century farm complex, but at the heart of it is that tower,

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-which is an old oast house.

-Hops?

-Hops.

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-A nice reminder of the agricultural heritage of this part of Herefordshire.

-Yeah.

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-You don't get all of it, unfortunately.

-Right.

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You do have a couple of neighbours.

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One here, to our right, and one at the main barn building to the left,

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but your bit is the central area, which is huge. It's very deceptive.

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Finished to a really high spec.

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The whole lot was converted two or three years ago, so the finishes are excellent.

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-In terms of land, you get an acre.

-Right.

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-You also get a back garden. The acre is there, at the front of the property.

-OK. Right.

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-"OK", you're saying. Erm...

-Other side of the road...

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Yeah. But if you were going down the route of vegetables, animals, that sort of thing,

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you know, maybe having them slightly separate.

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The other thing we don't have is extensive garaging.

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-That's something we'd have to add.

-Let's see what the property looks like. That's key, isn't it?

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-Come on.

-OK.

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Right. Come on in.

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-Thank you.

-Now, what do you think, Richard?

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-Yes, it's a nice size.

-It's made the best of this as a converted barn, I think. That's the nice thing.

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-You get all this space. That beam over there is original.

-Look at the thickness of the walls.

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-It's classic cottage, isn't it?

-That's the joy of stone built.

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It has to be wide, due to the way it's made, which allows you window seats as well.

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This is very nice. This is the sort of thing I had in my mind's eye.

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-Like I said outside, it's quite deceptive and it does go on, so follow me.

-OK.

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Tucked away in the corner of the kitchen is a utility room, and just off the kitchen is the sitting room.

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I think this is a real bonus because in a lot of conversions,

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they would offer you just kitchen, diner and living attached, which is what we have next door,

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but here, because it goes on, a nice separate living room too.

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-Yes, and French doors to the outside.

-Yes, we'll get to the outside later.

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I love this space. I think it works really well. And that open plan-y feel of the kitchen, it flows.

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Living room through to dining room. A separate dining area too, which makes use of double doors out...

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to the garden. In a conversion like this, I think any separate dining space is a bonus.

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-It is. Yes, it is.

-Does it have a study area, this house?

-Not as such.

-This could be a study.

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-A study, yes.

-Completely, yes.

-Or even my silversmithing.

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-Yes.

-Ah, well.

-We'll fight over it.

-Yes, indeed.

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-Very nice.

-OK. Upstairs.

-Good.

-After you, sir.

-Thank you.

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That's the first I've heard of Richard needing a study.

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I think he plays his cards rather close to his chest,

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but it's not a problem as there are lots of rooms upstairs.

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When I first came up here, one thing that really struck me

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-was the light.

-Yes, it's almost like a reception area for the upstairs,

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-waiting to...suggest what's to come.

-Ah! Now, what IS to come?

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We've got you four bedrooms up here. Let's have a look at the guest room first. Have a look in here.

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So, big enough for a reasonable size double.

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-Yes.

-A bit of storage over there.

-Yes.

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-And shower room en suite through there.

-Right.

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-They've done something clever - they've pushed up into the roof space.

-You've got the sloping roof.

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Also off the landing, there's a family bathroom and two further doubles,

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one of which has a skylight, making it ideal for Anne's silversmithing.

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But I want to show them the master.

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So, this is what we've got in mind for you.

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Oh, lovely size room!

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-Yes, it is.

-How does this compare to home at the moment?

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-Bigger.

-It IS bigger, yes.

-Yes.

-It's lovely. Very nice.

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-Making use of that, which is...

-That's very clever.

-The glazed old barn door there.

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-It's really nice.

-And in here, your en suite.

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-No bath, but that's next door, in the family bathroom.

-Nice size.

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-It's lovely. Nice tiles.

-You've got a shower each.

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-Yes.

-Baggsy this one!

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That's pretty much it for inside.

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We've already had a glimpse at the acre at the front of the property, but there is a back garden,

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which is...different.

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OK.

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Lots of positive noises coming from this pair

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and I don't think their mood will dampen when we spill out into the landscaped garden.

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Now, as water features go...

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-this one is, erm...quite special, really.

-It's lovely.

-It is.

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It was recently put in, the whole grassy bank here,

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was landscaped to incorporate this lot, a mixture of sleepers,

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this kind of waterfall running through it.

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Very, very, very low maintenance.

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-Yes.

-That's partly why it's been done, I suspect.

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There's something relaxing about the sound of flowing water. It's super.

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-Let's have a look at the top.

-OK.

-OK.

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A curved pathway made from original railway sleepers leads up to a lawned area

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with wonderful views over the Herefordshire countryside.

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-There you are.

-Lovely.

-The patchwork of Herefordshire.

-That's very nice.

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It's an odd mixture. You've got this rough paddock at the front

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-and a kind of super designer rear garden...

-No garaging.

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We've had a chat with the planners. The suggestion is that if you went for something in keeping

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-with the local architecture, they'd probably look favourably on that.

-Well, that sounds promising.

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So, how much do you think little oast house is worth?

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Ooh... 425.

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-425. Interesting.

-I'll agree with that figure.

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425. Well, now then...

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It was on the market...

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..for 525.

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-Wow!

-They've just knocked 50,000 off it, so it could be yours for 475.

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-Right.

-Yeah.

-Doesn't bode well for the rest of the search!

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It's not over yet. This is part one of several we'll show you,

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so...have another look around and see what you get for that sort of money. I'll catch up with you later.

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-Thanks.

-See if you can find a hobbit in the garden!

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At £475,000, this former oast house is close to their maximum budget.

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There is a one-acre paddock offering plenty of scope to build a bespoke garage.

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Although the land is separated from the house by a small road,

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this could be a good thing when it comes to keeping animals.

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There's also the large kitchen and breakfast room,

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four bedrooms and a landscaped garden,

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with lovely views over the surrounding countryside.

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The positives for this house are the overall layout, the finish.

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It's beautifully presented, lovely size rooms.

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The waterfall, I love the sound of running water.

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I've got issues with the fact that it's cheek by jowl to its neighbours. There's no privacy.

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The negatives - the land being the other side of the lane and that it's terraced.

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I've just been looking at this paddock. You could make an interesting garage arrangement.

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-Lots to think about, though, and more to see.

-OK.

-OK.

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Although Richard and Anne know Herefordshire well,

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they've never been to the city of Hereford itself,

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so local historian Penny Platts has come to show them around.

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-Hello, Penny. I'm Anne.

-Pleased to meet you.

-You too.

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Set on the River Wye, Hereford was a former garrison town,

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protecting the Saxons from marauding Welsh tribes just over the border.

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Today, a peaceful air hangs over the town,

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as does its cathedral, looming large since the 8th century.

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-What a lovely building.

-Yes, it is.

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Inside, tourists come to see the world-famous Mappa Mundi,

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a priceless medieval map of the world dating back to the 13th century.

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Painted onto a calf skin less than 1mm thick, it reveals how

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ancient scholars interpreted the world in geographical and religious terms.

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Asia sits at the top of the map and Africa and Europe at the bottom,

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with the British Isles lying on its side.

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The cathedral is also home to the Shrine of St Thomas,

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the 13th century Bishop of Hereford.

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He had a violent argument with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who excommunicated him,

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so he went on a long journey to Italy to see the Pope

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and sadly, while he was there, he died of a fever, but he wanted to be buried in his beloved cathedral.

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Soon after his death, in 1282, miracles of healing were reported at the tomb

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and for the following two centuries, pilgrims would flock here to be cured of their ills.

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It's said that King Edward I even sent his falcons to the shrine to be healed.

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People still come, to this day, to light candles and pray at the shrine.

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-It's a difficult habit to break, to come to a shrine.

-Fascinating.

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Standing just outside the cathedral is a monument to another of Hereford's famous sons,

0:20:230:20:28

Edward Elgar.

0:20:280:20:30

Elgar moved to the city on July 1st 1904 and was knighted two days later.

0:20:300:20:35

He lived in Hereford for about ten years,

0:20:370:20:40

and of course, while he was here, he wrote many of his most famous works.

0:20:400:20:44

The one most people have heard of is Land Of Hope And Glory.

0:20:440:20:48

We love him. It's nice to have his statue so close to the cathedral.

0:20:480:20:53

And let's hope we can find our house hunters a glorious home of their own.

0:20:530:20:59

The requirement for a solitary detached property is often quite a high one on Escape To The Country,

0:21:020:21:09

-but they're actually quite hard to find.

-Yeah.

0:21:090:21:11

-I don't think we're looking for isolated.

-No.

-We just want privacy.

0:21:110:21:16

Don't mind the odd tractor full of turnips coming past!

0:21:160:21:20

-It's potatoes and apples here, isn't it?

-It is. Apples and pears, it's famous for that.

0:21:200:21:26

-And hobbits, of course.

-And hobbits.

-Yeah.

0:21:260:21:29

-Have you got big, hairy feet, Richard?

-Erm...I may have!

0:21:290:21:33

I'll show you later!

0:21:330:21:34

We're heading to the outskirts of the rural village of Stoke Lacy in the north-east of the county.

0:21:380:21:43

It's very much a farming community, within which stands an independent brewery.

0:21:430:21:49

This is where people come to seek a pint.

0:21:490:21:52

And then seek forgiveness.

0:21:520:21:55

What have we got for you here?

0:21:560:21:58

-Just you wait and see.

-A garage?

0:21:580:22:01

-A garage.

-It looks promising.

0:22:010:22:03

We'll start with the land, I think.

0:22:030:22:06

I know that's a really key part of what you're after.

0:22:060:22:09

-There is a house to show you, don't worry.

-That's reassuring.

0:22:090:22:12

-Let's deal with the land first.

-Oh, wow, look at that view.

0:22:120:22:17

-Lovely, isn't it?

-This is gorgeous, really great.

0:22:170:22:22

-What we've got for you is something of a menagerie as can you see.

-Oh, lovely.

-Lots of chickens.

0:22:220:22:26

-Including pigs.

-Pigs, yeah, look at them.

-Oh, gorgeous.

0:22:260:22:30

Now then land wise we've got you about three-and-a-half acres.

0:22:300:22:33

-Great.

-Come on down, you'll get to see a bit more of it.

0:22:330:22:36

Excellent, what a good start.

0:22:360:22:38

It all goes up there, up to that big tree.

0:22:400:22:44

Oh, lovely, brilliant.

0:22:440:22:46

-It's quite a nice size of land then.

-And, of course...all of that.

0:22:460:22:50

I know, that view is lovely, isn't it?

0:22:500:22:52

The swimming pool, is that for the ducks or for people?

0:22:520:22:54

-HE LAUGHS

-I think they probably share it on occasion, I would imagine.

0:22:540:22:58

Who knows?

0:22:580:22:59

As you can see, there is a house tucking its head round the corner of that hedge.

0:22:590:23:04

Yes, which looks to be in fairly good condition from the outside.

0:23:040:23:09

-Let's go and have a look, follow me.

-Great!

0:23:090:23:11

There it is.

0:23:110:23:13

-Right.

-And it does look promising as well.

0:23:130:23:15

-Yeah.

-It's quite interesting, it's sort of in two halves really.

0:23:150:23:19

That bit to our right, nearest the lane, about 1740.

0:23:190:23:25

Not that you'd know now to look at it, to be honest with you.

0:23:250:23:28

Then this area here -

0:23:280:23:30

very, very recent extension which does make it work.

0:23:300:23:35

-It would have been too small to show you without the extension.

-Yeah.

0:23:350:23:39

Of course the extension has been designed to make use of the views.

0:23:390:23:41

You'll see when we get inside.

0:23:410:23:43

-We like the land.

-Yes.

0:23:430:23:45

-Mmm.

-We do like the land.

0:23:450:23:47

It's all going to hang on the house.

0:23:470:23:49

It is, yeah. It is.

0:23:490:23:51

Let's start in the extension.

0:23:590:24:02

This is the new bit, the addition to this property.

0:24:020:24:05

Yeah, nice sized room. I love the floor tiles, that view.

0:24:070:24:12

Double doors out there to a little patio area,

0:24:120:24:15

-which is what you'd want to make the best of that.

-Lovely.

0:24:150:24:18

-I like it.

-Room for the table.

-Yes. I mean, very much open plan.

0:24:180:24:23

-You can make this your own in an aesthetic way very simply.

-Yes.

0:24:230:24:28

What do you think of all this, it's a bit Middle Earth, isn't it?

0:24:280:24:31

It is, actually, yes, you're right.

0:24:310:24:33

Quite whether I'd want to go that hobbity I don't know.

0:24:330:24:38

On the face of it, thumbs up.

0:24:390:24:41

-Thumbs up?

-Yeah.

-OK.

-Good start.

-Let's continue then through here.

0:24:410:24:46

This is the utility.

0:24:460:24:48

Right.

0:24:480:24:49

The nice thing about this, is whatever you decide to do with the kitchen area,

0:24:490:24:54

it's not going to be encumbered ever with the kind of stuff we have

0:24:540:24:58

in here, washing machines, extra freezers and all that kind of stuff.

0:24:580:25:02

It's got a washroom through there which is great. Guests coming in out of the garden, that kind of stuff.

0:25:020:25:07

The whole lot kind of flows on.

0:25:070:25:10

We've crossed from the more recent extension into the 1740 bit,

0:25:100:25:14

-and the really old characterful part is right through here.

-Right.

0:25:140:25:20

We skip back a few hundred years

0:25:200:25:22

into the original part of this building.

0:25:220:25:25

As you can see, great big fireplace there, wood burner, tucked away.

0:25:250:25:30

It's got quite a cosy feel.

0:25:300:25:32

-Yes, it has.

-What do you think, Richard?

0:25:320:25:36

Yes, I like the overall layout of the house.

0:25:360:25:39

This room may be a little bit dark.

0:25:390:25:41

-Yeah.

-That's my only concern.

0:25:410:25:43

It's quite a contrast from when you come to the modern,

0:25:430:25:46

light and airy kitchen into this the old bit.

0:25:460:25:49

It would never have been traditionally a very light room

0:25:490:25:52

in some respects, but perhaps a different lighting arrangement would lift it.

0:25:520:25:56

And dressing the curtain at the windows.

0:25:560:25:59

You could get more light through there definitely.

0:25:590:26:02

Good. Right. That's downstairs.

0:26:020:26:04

-Let's look upstairs.

-Good.

0:26:040:26:07

In the old part of the upstairs

0:26:070:26:09

are three well proportioned bedrooms all with exposed beams.

0:26:090:26:13

Any one of them would make a great space for Ann's silversmithing

0:26:130:26:17

or a study for Richard.

0:26:170:26:18

The family bathroom is also on this side of the house.

0:26:180:26:21

We're heading up the other set of stairs

0:26:210:26:24

to the new part and bedroom number four.

0:26:240:26:27

Right, so this is master bedroom.

0:26:280:26:33

-Yeah.

-Right.

0:26:330:26:35

-Again over the extension, so over the kitchen.

-New.

-New.

0:26:350:26:39

-Hence you have the head height and so forth and, of course, the views.

-Yes.

0:26:390:26:44

Which because the windows are low

0:26:440:26:46

you can actually see from in bed, which is great.

0:26:460:26:50

-Yeah, waking up to that.

-Lovely.

0:26:500:26:51

It doesn't have an en-suite as such at the moment.

0:26:510:26:55

-You could quite easily put one in here.

-That would work, yeah.

0:26:550:27:00

-All right?

-Excellent.

-Come with me.

0:27:000:27:03

As usual, Richard is a bit poker-faced on this one.

0:27:030:27:07

Now they've seen the house inside and out,

0:27:070:27:10

perhaps he'll give something away as it's time to guess the price.

0:27:100:27:13

Now then,

0:27:130:27:15

there are things there that you will want to adjust and to make your own.

0:27:150:27:20

-Of course, that is going to have some effect on how much you're prepared to pay for it.

-Yeah.

0:27:200:27:24

-Yeah.

-Let's have a think about it.

0:27:240:27:27

-I'd say about 465.

-465, yeah.

0:27:270:27:30

-That's a pretty fair offer actually, yeah.

-Right, 465.

0:27:300:27:33

-Erm...450.

-450.

0:27:330:27:38

Ever the optimist.

0:27:380:27:40

Well, as well you might be. You've sort of straddled it between you.

0:27:400:27:44

-It's on the market for 455.

-Ah.

0:27:440:27:47

So I think you had the measure of this place actually.

0:27:470:27:51

-Yeah, it's food for thought.

-Yeah, it's got possibilities.

0:27:510:27:57

Go and explore the rest of those acres, see what other animals you can find, you never know.

0:27:570:28:01

-Thank you.

-Something supernatural, if you play your cards right.

0:28:010:28:04

At £455,000 this house falls well within budget.

0:28:060:28:11

It offers four bedrooms, a large kitchen/breakfast room, ideal for Ann, that garage for Richard

0:28:110:28:18

and plenty of room to build more on the three-and-a-half acres of land.

0:28:180:28:22

The amount of land is great.

0:28:220:28:24

-Yeah, and that view is to die for. It is lovely.

-Lots of possibilities.

0:28:240:28:28

-Look at those little pigs, aren't they sweet?

-Great, aren't they?

0:28:280:28:32

What I like about this house is the amount of land which is available.

0:28:320:28:36

It offers quite a lot of potential for what we'd like to do.

0:28:360:28:38

It's got everything we need, even space for the garaging.

0:28:380:28:42

The kitchen was lovely.

0:28:420:28:45

The one thing I don't like about the house is the sitting room.

0:28:450:28:48

I think it's too small and too dark.

0:28:480:28:50

It's a possibility.

0:28:500:28:53

We'd have to think further about it.

0:28:530:28:54

-Right, out you come. Have you seen enough, the pair of you?

-I think so.

0:28:540:28:58

-Yeah, I think so.

-Good. Let's see what else we can find you.

0:28:580:29:01

OK.

0:29:010:29:02

Now think of Herefordshire and you may think of apple cider,

0:29:100:29:13

but pear cider or perry,

0:29:130:29:15

once known as the farmer's secret, is on the rise.

0:29:150:29:18

Two years ago, Britain spent around £3.5 million on this effervescent

0:29:180:29:23

alcoholic drink which fizzed up to a massive £46 million last year.

0:29:230:29:30

I've come to meet Martin Harris,

0:29:300:29:31

an award-winning local producer, to find out more.

0:29:310:29:34

Why do you think it is on the up?

0:29:360:29:38

I think it's greater awareness,

0:29:380:29:40

provenance and they want this audit trail of where everything came from.

0:29:400:29:43

I think that's brought perry more into people's focus.

0:29:430:29:47

What distinguishes a perry pear from any other kind of fruit pear?

0:29:470:29:51

Perry pear will have tannin in, similar to cider apples and grapes.

0:29:510:29:56

It's that tannin which gives the drink its particular complexity and flavour.

0:29:560:30:00

How do we get from gorgeous perry pear to even more delicious perry cider?

0:30:000:30:06

We picked some pears yesterday and they are in our perry making barn and we'll go over and make some.

0:30:060:30:10

-And perhaps taste a few?

-Indeed!

0:30:100:30:13

Right.

0:30:150:30:17

I'm beginning to feel like a proper cider maker.

0:30:170:30:20

If I may say so you are starting to look like one.

0:30:200:30:23

There's something quite medieval about it. I like this a lot.

0:30:230:30:26

-OK. Shall we get wet then?

-Indeed.

0:30:260:30:29

30 kilos in each bag approximately.

0:30:290:30:32

-So it's just a rinse, really?

-Yes.

0:30:320:30:35

The pears are drained then emptied into a mill where they're crushed into a sweet-smelling pulp.

0:30:350:30:41

This is some that we milled yesterday.

0:30:430:30:45

We like to leave it for 24 hours to soften up the tannins.

0:30:450:30:48

If you leave it too long, does it go off?

0:30:480:30:50

Yes, it will turn to vinegar.

0:30:500:30:52

These are called hairs.

0:30:520:30:54

'The pulp is then scooped onto a nylon cloth

0:30:540:30:56

'known as a hair that sits within a wooden frame on top of the press.'

0:30:560:31:01

Four shovels should be enough.

0:31:010:31:02

-It's got a wonderful smell, hasn't it?

-Yeah.

0:31:020:31:06

'The cloth is then folded up and the process repeated

0:31:060:31:09

'until there's a stack of pulp filled hairs known as a cheese.'

0:31:090:31:14

How many have we done?

0:31:140:31:16

We've done 11. This is number 12.

0:31:160:31:18

This is the kind of normal level that you do?

0:31:180:31:22

Yes, I would be wary about going higher, because it would probably fall to pieces.

0:31:220:31:26

Right. OK.

0:31:260:31:28

-This is the moment of truth, isn't it?

-It is.

0:31:280:31:31

Will it fall apart? Look at that.

0:31:310:31:33

'Lengths of timber are then put on top of the cheese

0:31:330:31:36

'and the pressing can begin.'

0:31:360:31:38

Do you want to press the button?

0:31:380:31:40

-It's very technical. There we go.

-OK.

-A few squeaks, I'm afraid.

0:31:400:31:43

How long is it going to take before that becomes perry?

0:31:430:31:47

Usually about six or seven months.

0:31:470:31:50

Right. I haven't got six or seven months.

0:31:500:31:53

Have you got some that you made earlier?

0:31:530:31:55

For those who appreciate it, we will always find some perry.

0:31:550:31:58

Fantastic!

0:31:580:32:00

The pear juice is decanted into large drums

0:32:000:32:03

and six months later it's ripe for the tasting.

0:32:030:32:07

Cheers!

0:32:070:32:10

-Oh, that's absolutely delicious, isn't it?

-Thank you.

0:32:120:32:15

It looks similar to champagne. There's a few bubbles in there.

0:32:150:32:18

I'm not a fan of champagne but I love this.

0:32:180:32:20

-It's a bit sweeter.

-It's really nice, isn't it?

0:32:200:32:22

-Not dry at all.

-No. A gentle taste.

0:32:220:32:25

There's absolutely nothing added to that.

0:32:250:32:26

No, this is only perry pear juice, nothing has been done to it at all.

0:32:260:32:31

I'm not surprised it's on the up. I hope it's a trend that continues.

0:32:310:32:34

-Thanks for showing me around.

-Thank you for helping.

0:32:340:32:37

So, at the end of our first day's house-hunting,

0:32:430:32:45

it's time for our ex-police officers to consider the properties they've viewed so far.

0:32:450:32:50

So how do you think today went, Richard?

0:32:510:32:54

-Barn conversion.

-Yep. Had a nice kitchen, didn't it?

0:32:540:32:56

In fact, the whole house was nice, really. The interior.

0:32:560:33:01

Whilst I quite like the property, generally, I didn't like the lack of privacy.

0:33:010:33:05

And the fact it was terraced, essentially.

0:33:050:33:08

And the land, although there was an acre...

0:33:080:33:10

-It was the other side of the road.

-Yeah.

0:33:100:33:13

-And no privacy in the garden.

-No.

0:33:130:33:15

-What did you think about the yellow cottage?

-I liked the amount of land

0:33:150:33:20

-which came with it.

-That was very good.

0:33:200:33:22

-And the view, that view was lovely.

-Yes.

0:33:220:33:25

-Kitchen was nice, I thought.

-Yes.

0:33:250:33:27

The extension was nice. But what let it down was the sitting room.

0:33:270:33:32

-Too small and too dark.

-I agree.

0:33:320:33:35

The experience so far's really given us food for thought.

0:33:350:33:39

Oh, yes. It shows what's out there and the possibilities.

0:33:390:33:43

-Yeah.

-So...yeah.

-I'm actually quite excited,

0:33:430:33:46

I'm looking forward to the next round of properties.

0:33:460:33:50

Having recently retired from the police force, Ann and Richard are

0:33:550:33:59

fleeing the capital city and have asked us to find them the perfect Herefordshire getaway.

0:33:590:34:04

With a budget of up to half a million pounds,

0:34:040:34:07

so far they've staked out two properties.

0:34:070:34:10

Coming up, Ann uses her powers of deduction...

0:34:100:34:13

Very cottagey.

0:34:130:34:14

Which is what you'd expect!

0:34:140:34:16

-Yes, I suppose... Yes.

-THEY LAUGH

0:34:160:34:19

And is the mystery house in the frame?

0:34:190:34:22

This has definitely got promise.

0:34:220:34:25

Good. Hurrah!

0:34:250:34:28

What a glorious way to start our final day's house hunting here in Herefordshire.

0:34:280:34:33

Just one day left to try and find Ann and Richard their dream home in the country.

0:34:330:34:37

When it comes to starting any day's house search, I have to confess, it doesn't get much better than this.

0:34:370:34:43

Our next house lies around the quite green spaces of Dinedor Hill,

0:34:480:34:51

with wonderful views over the city of Hereford,

0:34:510:34:54

four miles away.

0:34:540:34:57

There's more going on just down the road in the village of Hoarwithy.

0:34:570:35:00

Set on the River Wye, it has a rather unusual claim to fame

0:35:000:35:05

as this incongruously placed Italian Renaissance-style church

0:35:050:35:08

is featured in Michael Winner's horror film, The Sentinel.

0:35:080:35:12

Now, that is something to write home about.

0:35:130:35:17

Well, the beginning of another day. Our final day.

0:35:170:35:20

-We have it all to play for, really.

-Yes.

0:35:200:35:22

What have we got for you here?

0:35:220:35:24

Well, house, tucked away there.

0:35:240:35:26

A big paddock there.

0:35:260:35:29

All in all about 1.8 acres.

0:35:300:35:34

-Obviously, with that fantastic view overlooking Hereford.

-Yeah.

0:35:340:35:37

-It is good.

-You can see the cathedral down there behind us.

0:35:370:35:40

A whole range of little gardens and pockets and so forth and some great outbuildings.

0:35:400:35:45

-Yes.

-Right.

-Which I think could be quite interesting for you.

0:35:450:35:49

Yes, reasonably favourable. Yes.

0:35:490:35:52

Let's see if you like what's up here, have a look at this.

0:35:520:35:55

I'm very interested to see what you think of this, Richard,

0:35:580:36:00

how it would work in terms of the cars and so forth.

0:36:000:36:04

-Yes, it's big enough to take three cars, I'd say.

-Yes.

0:36:040:36:08

Does that tractor come with it?

0:36:080:36:11

A little ride-on for the lawn. Yeah, well, it's all negotiable, Ann.

0:36:110:36:15

Come on.

0:36:150:36:16

Our property.

0:36:200:36:22

Yes, it's rather pretty, isn't it?

0:36:220:36:24

-Yes, it is.

-I think it's very pretty, actually.

-Yes, it's very cottagey.

0:36:240:36:28

Very cottagey, very Escape To The Country.

0:36:280:36:30

Yes, it is. I like the terrace.

0:36:300:36:32

The big addition is that sun room, really, which does add quite a big

0:36:320:36:37

-area to the footprint of the ground floor.

-Yes.

0:36:370:36:39

-I love the door, actually.

-Yes, that is rather pretty.

0:36:390:36:42

-It's almost like a lych gate, in a church.

-Yeah, it's very sweet.

0:36:420:36:46

-Rather pretty.

-Let's go and check it out.

0:36:460:36:49

It's warm enough outside but it's boiling in here.

0:36:510:36:54

-Yes, it is, isn't it?

-Isn't it just.

0:36:540:36:57

I think, you know, come those cold, crisp late autumn/winter days,

0:36:570:37:01

this sort of thing really does come into its own.

0:37:010:37:03

It will. I see there are electric windows in the roof and there is a door over there.

0:37:030:37:10

Actually, I should imagine you'd get a fair old movement of air anyway.

0:37:100:37:14

Easy to keep it cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter.

0:37:140:37:18

-Yes.

-Right.

-OK.

0:37:180:37:20

Come and have a look through here. Come in, Ann.

0:37:200:37:24

-This is really nice.

-Yeah. Richard?

0:37:270:37:29

-It's a surprise.

-Mmm.

-Why a surprise?

0:37:290:37:32

-I don't know.

-It's bigger than we thought it may be.

-Ah.

0:37:320:37:35

I also thought it might be a bit gloomy.

0:37:350:37:40

From the outside the cottage looked slightly Bohemian, but although this

0:37:400:37:43

is still very country, it's smarter than I thought it would be.

0:37:430:37:47

I think it's lovely actually. It's got a very eclectic kind of mix.

0:37:470:37:51

I mean, lots of hand-made doors and units as you can see.

0:37:510:37:54

The floor, I think, is great.

0:37:540:37:55

Yeah. With the different width of planks, yeah.

0:37:550:37:59

Through there we've got you a little utility room and so forth

0:37:590:38:02

-which you can explore later on.

-OK.

-Good start?

0:38:020:38:05

Yes, it's interesting.

0:38:050:38:08

Right! Let's continue through here.

0:38:080:38:10

This is quite interesting.

0:38:100:38:12

Your thoughts?

0:38:140:38:16

-Small.

-Small?

-Yes.

0:38:160:38:19

Interesting, I thought it was a pretty good size, actually.

0:38:190:38:22

Yes, for a cottage I suppose it is.

0:38:220:38:26

-Yes.

-We wouldn't get our furniture in here, I think.

0:38:260:38:32

-It's very cottagey...

-Which is what you would expect!

0:38:320:38:35

-THEY LAUGH

-Yes, I suppose...

0:38:350:38:38

-Yes.

-Right, well, it's got to be right for you.

0:38:380:38:42

Well, yes. It's very pretty.

0:38:420:38:46

The cottagey feeling continues just off the lounge in the snug

0:38:460:38:50

which could double up as a study for Richard, but we're heading upstairs.

0:38:500:38:54

It's very cottagey up here, guys.

0:38:570:39:00

-I hope it's going to go down well, who knows.

-Yes.

0:39:000:39:03

Look, laths without the plaster.

0:39:030:39:05

-Oh, yes!

-There you are, a little historic note, to leave them open.

0:39:050:39:10

Give you a sort of... You get a sense of the age of it in here.

0:39:100:39:14

I'm guessing, could be as early as 18th century. Have a look in here.

0:39:140:39:19

-It's a nice size room, isn't it?

-Guest room, really.

0:39:190:39:22

Effectively... I love the texture of the walls

0:39:220:39:25

and some of the exposed beams and that sort of thing.

0:39:250:39:28

This works, yes. It's nice.

0:39:280:39:30

-Yeah?

-That's a wardrobe, I take it?

-Exactly. You could release a bit of space there if you wanted.

0:39:300:39:36

-Yes, it works.

-A reasonable height.

0:39:360:39:38

-OK.

-Let's continue.

0:39:380:39:40

OK.

0:39:400:39:42

Along the corridor it's effectively got two and a half bedrooms.

0:39:420:39:45

-That's the half. A little box room in there.

-Right.

0:39:450:39:49

Maybe you'll have some ideas about that later on.

0:39:490:39:51

-Shower and bath in there.

-Yes.

0:39:510:39:53

OK.

0:39:530:39:54

Then this really would be the master,

0:39:540:39:56

I would suggest to you. Come on in, Richard.

0:39:560:39:59

Yeah, it's not a bad size, is it?

0:39:590:40:01

-It's very light.

-There's a nice view through the window.

0:40:010:40:05

Yes, the nice thing is you've got windows on both sides spanning the whole width of the property.

0:40:050:40:10

That's why you get the best of the light, pretty much at every stage of the day, I would think.

0:40:100:40:15

This would work. You could actually move this door right the way back down the corridor.

0:40:150:40:22

-Suddenly you've got an en-suite.

-And the room would open up a lot.

0:40:220:40:27

Shall we go and finish off outside?

0:40:270:40:29

-Yes.

-OK.

-After you, Richard.

0:40:290:40:31

Thank you.

0:40:310:40:32

Downstairs, and back through the kitchen at the rear of the house

0:40:320:40:36

is a decked area with views over Hereford itself,

0:40:360:40:40

and a secluded lawn with a herbaceous border.

0:40:400:40:43

But, we're returning to the front of house

0:40:430:40:46

where I have a real treat for Ann.

0:40:460:40:47

Here we are, back where we started.

0:40:490:40:52

I want to show you what's up here.

0:40:520:40:54

Another little pocket, here, for you.

0:40:550:40:58

-With fruit trees.

-With fruit trees.

0:40:580:40:59

This, which is quite interesting, after you, Ann.

0:40:590:41:02

Go and have a look because I think this is really about you.

0:41:020:41:05

A workshop.

0:41:050:41:07

-Yes.

-It's nice and light.

0:41:070:41:09

You can make as much noise as you like up here.

0:41:090:41:12

-Hammering away at your silversmithing.

-Yes. It's a good size.

0:41:120:41:15

The workshop itself, you know, may need a bit of TLC.

0:41:150:41:18

You could line it, make it a bit cosier and so on.

0:41:180:41:20

The view from it is fantastic.

0:41:200:41:23

-There's inspiration there, isn't there?

-Yeah.

0:41:230:41:27

Garage, land, workshop, house...

0:41:270:41:30

You're going to ask us how much is it worth?

0:41:300:41:33

Absolutely, I am, yes. Go on, Ann, you take the first guess.

0:41:330:41:38

-425.

-425, I thought you'd say that.

0:41:380:41:41

That's exactly what I would have said.

0:41:410:41:43

-I thought you would say that. I really did.

-Like minds.

0:41:430:41:46

425. Well, the good news is it starts with a three.

0:41:460:41:49

-Right.

-379.

0:41:490:41:52

-Wow!

-Right.

-Oh.

-Yeah.

0:41:520:41:55

-But in terms of giving you the components you were looking for, it is all here.

-Yes.

0:41:550:42:00

-It is.

-Yes, you're right.

0:42:000:42:02

-Can we have another look?

-Take it away.

0:42:020:42:04

-Thank you.

-After you.

0:42:040:42:06

At £379,000 this cottage

0:42:060:42:09

is over £100,000 under their top budget.

0:42:090:42:14

It comes with three bedrooms, a snug, which could be turned

0:42:140:42:18

into a study for Richard, and he's got garaging for his cars.

0:42:180:42:21

There's a ready-made workshop for Ann's silversmithing

0:42:210:42:24

and it all stands within nearly two acres of land.

0:42:240:42:28

But, will this be the property that wins them over?

0:42:280:42:31

This house has got everything we asked for.

0:42:310:42:33

It's got the land, it's got the garaging, two plus bedrooms.

0:42:330:42:37

The kitchen is not quite what I was hoping for

0:42:370:42:41

but given the actual asking price,

0:42:410:42:43

that does leave us quite a bit of a cushion to do some building work.

0:42:430:42:47

-I quite like this room.

-Mm.

0:42:470:42:49

The overall size of the house, I think, is too small.

0:42:490:42:52

-Yes.

-It would need to be extended.

0:42:520:42:54

I like its location. I like the amount of land.

0:42:540:42:57

The negative side of the house is that it's not actually big enough.

0:42:570:43:01

However, it could be adapted. It is certainly one to consider.

0:43:010:43:06

-There you are. Finished exploring?

-Yes.

-We have.

0:43:060:43:10

-Good. I think this was definitely well worth you seeing.

-Mmm.

0:43:100:43:13

But our search isn't over yet.

0:43:130:43:15

-Good.

-Shall we?

-OK, yes. Lead on.

0:43:150:43:18

At long last it's mystery house time.

0:43:250:43:28

So what better for two pretty challenging buyers

0:43:280:43:31

than something of a challenge?

0:43:310:43:33

Now then, it's mystery house time.

0:43:380:43:40

Our final property for you.

0:43:400:43:42

Any ideas as to what we might have in store?

0:43:420:43:45

-I think, perhaps, you might be taking us to a new build.

-Ah, interesting.

0:43:450:43:49

Which, I'm not sure about because they tend to have smaller gardens.

0:43:490:43:55

-OK.

-I think it'll be something which requires work.

0:43:550:44:01

To what extent is yet to be revealed. THEY LAUGH

0:44:010:44:04

You're good at keeping secrets, obviously.

0:44:040:44:07

Well, don't want to give it all away!

0:44:070:44:10

The mystery property we're taking them to see is in

0:44:130:44:16

the rural area of Stanford Bishop

0:44:160:44:18

on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border.

0:44:180:44:20

Stanford Bishop is set in unrivalled countryside of pasture and woodland.

0:44:200:44:25

The town of Bromyard, just three miles away has all the usual amenities.

0:44:250:44:29

Dating back to Norman times, the High Street has an array of

0:44:290:44:34

half-timbered buildings and many unique shops.

0:44:340:44:37

Our mystery house is a detached period property

0:44:370:44:40

set at the end of its own private driveway with impressive grounds.

0:44:400:44:44

What will our buyers make of it?

0:44:440:44:47

Well, now then, the mystery house...

0:44:470:44:51

Is this what you expected, I wonder?

0:44:510:44:54

Actually, it looks lovely, doesn't it?

0:44:540:44:56

Yes, it certainly looks interesting.

0:44:560:44:58

As you can see, red brick.

0:44:580:45:00

You can probably tell from the pattern of the bricks,

0:45:000:45:03

the area to my right with that external chimney breast on it that's the older part of the property.

0:45:030:45:07

-Right.

-At its core, the whole thing's about 200 years old.

0:45:070:45:10

We think it got something of a makeover about 1986.

0:45:100:45:15

On my left here, an extension which was put on about 40-odd years ago.

0:45:150:45:19

-Right.

-As you can see you've got your own private track, right off of the road.

0:45:190:45:23

The setting here is everything.

0:45:230:45:25

I'm already worrying about how much it's going to cost.

0:45:250:45:28

Don't worry, Ann!

0:45:280:45:30

Petty cash!

0:45:300:45:32

Right, come on.

0:45:320:45:35

The mystery of this house isn't immediately obvious,

0:45:350:45:38

but all will be revealed later.

0:45:380:45:40

-Right, if you grab the door there, Richard.

-Yeah.

0:45:400:45:43

As you can see, hallway.

0:45:430:45:45

Right ahead of us, little study area,

0:45:450:45:48

with a WC tucked off to the left.

0:45:480:45:52

-Right.

-Quite handy.

0:45:520:45:54

I suppose it depends how hard you are going to be working, really.

0:45:540:45:56

But let's start in here.

0:45:560:45:58

-Now, this is the main living room.

-Right.

0:45:580:46:01

Now, I know that the size of these things is of some concern to you.

0:46:010:46:05

-Yes.

-Is this one big enough?

0:46:050:46:09

Yeah, I think it probably could be.

0:46:090:46:11

-Just.

-Yeah.

-I like the bays.

-Yes.

0:46:110:46:14

They obviously make it look bigger.

0:46:140:46:16

-Well, actually, they're a recent addition.

-Oh, right.

0:46:160:46:18

Historically, not that many years ago, they were put on to do just that, to draw more light into it.

0:46:180:46:22

I think they obviously do the job.

0:46:220:46:25

-The fire surround is unusual.

-Yeah, it looks like a hobbit door.

0:46:250:46:28

Yeah, you could put a nice oak door in it.

0:46:280:46:31

Who knows who could be lurking in there?

0:46:310:46:33

But this is the older bit. As I say, we're thinking about 200 years.

0:46:330:46:37

You can see that beam there, sort of gives it away.

0:46:370:46:39

Although what date the fireplace is, I wouldn't like to say.

0:46:390:46:43

Is there any timescale in Middle Earth? I am not sure.

0:46:430:46:46

-Pre-Gandalf?

-Pre-Gandalf!

0:46:460:46:48

Come on through. Kitchen!

0:46:530:46:56

As you can see, it does need a bit of updating.

0:46:560:47:00

-It's a nice size room.

-It's a great size.

0:47:000:47:02

It's a perfect size. It's square, it's sort of classically farmhouse in many respects.

0:47:020:47:08

-This has definitely got promise.

-Good.

0:47:080:47:11

Hurrah.

0:47:110:47:13

We got there with the mystery house. Excellent.

0:47:130:47:16

Off the kitchen is a utility room that leads to a small garage that

0:47:160:47:19

might be better suited as a study or a workshop for silversmithing.

0:47:190:47:24

But it's time to head upstairs to look at the bedrooms.

0:47:240:47:27

Now, the staircase is obviously partly occupied by this stair lift.

0:47:270:47:31

-Yep.

-I'm hoping you won't need one of those...

0:47:310:47:33

-Not yet!

-..in the near future!

0:47:330:47:36

It's quite a generous size landing.

0:47:360:47:38

-Isn't it?

-Not bad, is it?

0:47:380:47:40

The oriel window that was at the edge of the old part of the house.

0:47:400:47:45

-Good, the geography is coming.

-Yeah.

0:47:450:47:47

This is the older bit, as you have figured out, to my left.

0:47:470:47:50

All in, with the new extension, we have got

0:47:500:47:53

three-and-a-half bedrooms.

0:47:530:47:55

-Right.

-I say half, one is a box room, that is behind me.

0:47:550:47:59

Two very nice sized doubles which, again,

0:47:590:48:01

you can have a look at a little bit later on.

0:48:010:48:03

But I think importantly, a really good-sized family bathroom.

0:48:030:48:09

We also have a lovely master bedroom for you.

0:48:090:48:11

Bags of room. Right through that door. After you.

0:48:110:48:13

Ooh, this is a nice size.

0:48:130:48:15

-It is, and bright.

-Yeah. See what I mean? Ample, isn't it?

0:48:150:48:18

This is lovely, yeah.

0:48:180:48:21

And again, this is part of the extension 40-odd years ago, so we are pretty much above the kitchen.

0:48:210:48:27

-Yeah.

-Hence you have got the same sort of size.

0:48:270:48:30

-In terms of wardrobes, that's a whopper.

-Yes.

-If that can go

0:48:300:48:33

in here, I'm pretty sure you could put yours in here.

0:48:330:48:36

-Exactly, yes. Yes, this is lovely.

-It's got potential.

0:48:360:48:39

-Double aspect windows as well.

-I think you're liking this one.

0:48:390:48:42

I am, yeah, this has got a lot of potential without too much work, actually.

0:48:420:48:47

I can see it's got potential.

0:48:470:48:48

It depends on the price.

0:48:480:48:51

-He's worrying about the price!

-Let's go and see what's outside.

0:48:510:48:54

Come on, then.

0:48:540:48:56

I think Richard his finally starting to show his hand, and, if

0:48:560:48:59

I have read the situation correctly, I reckon he's ready to take a punt.

0:48:590:49:04

And he hasn't even seen what is on offer outside yet.

0:49:040:49:07

There's an awful lot to explore out here,

0:49:090:49:12

but we will start with this more formal garden, which I think

0:49:120:49:15

-gives a really interesting aspect to what would have been the 1906 sort of frontage.

-Right.

0:49:150:49:21

You can see the two relatively new, I say historically new, bay windows.

0:49:210:49:27

-Attractive front, isn't it?

-Sweet, isn't it?

-Lovely.

0:49:270:49:30

So much to show you. Come through here.

0:49:300:49:32

It really is in its own setting.

0:49:340:49:37

It is, isn't it?

0:49:370:49:39

This is almost a secret garden here.

0:49:390:49:41

At the back of the house are a series of outbuildings, including open barns and stables,

0:49:420:49:48

offering Richard the kind of space he needs to fit in all four of his classic cars.

0:49:480:49:52

And if that's not enough, there is also the land beyond.

0:49:520:49:56

-How about that lot?

-Lovely.

-Yeah?

0:49:580:50:00

Quite an interesting little patch, this,

0:50:000:50:02

-bordered by that field over there, which you don't get.

-Right.

0:50:020:50:06

So all in all, about five acres.

0:50:060:50:08

Hm. Brilliant!

0:50:080:50:10

This house seems to fit them like a glove, but where's the mystery in the mystery house, I hear you ask.

0:50:100:50:16

It lies in a challenge of buying it.

0:50:160:50:18

So, first of all, let's establish its price.

0:50:180:50:23

So, who's going to go first on this one?

0:50:230:50:25

I will go first. I would estimate in view of the acreage about 475.

0:50:250:50:30

475.

0:50:300:50:32

Difficult.

0:50:330:50:36

-500.

-500.

0:50:360:50:38

Half-a-million pounds, Ann.

0:50:380:50:41

Supposing it was 475, would that be a real deal breaker?

0:50:410:50:45

It would be a borderline deal breaker.

0:50:450:50:47

I think you might get your arm twisted by Ann, actually, to be honest!

0:50:470:50:51

OK, well, the good news is you do not need to do any arm-twisting

0:50:510:50:54

at all, because the price does that for you.

0:50:540:50:57

This begins with a three. 395, for sale by auction,

0:50:570:51:01

so that's what the auctioneer will probably start at. 395.

0:51:010:51:07

-OK. Shall we go and explore further?

-Let's have a look at the stream.

0:51:070:51:10

-OK. Thank you.

-I will catch you later.

0:51:100:51:12

Brilliant. It's not every day we have houses for auction on Escape To The Country.

0:51:120:51:17

They are a great way of buying and selling,

0:51:170:51:19

because it is immediate, and there's no doubt about it,

0:51:190:51:22

if these two want this place and it is really of interest,

0:51:220:51:26

they are going to have to get on with it immediately.

0:51:260:51:29

As it's being sold at auction, the house's £395,000 guide price

0:51:290:51:35

is only an estimate as to what it might fetch.

0:51:350:51:38

But, with a budget of up to half-a-million pounds, there could be room for manoeuvre.

0:51:380:51:42

It's being sold freehold, and comes with four bedrooms,

0:51:420:51:46

a dual aspect kitchen for Ann,

0:51:460:51:48

garaging potential for Richard,

0:51:480:51:49

and five acres of land, enough for all the animals they could wish for.

0:51:490:51:53

I'm so excited.

0:51:550:51:56

This property is just great.

0:51:560:51:58

I like its location, the amount of land it has to offer and the potential for the garaging.

0:51:580:52:03

It's got a decent sized kitchen, it's just... I just can't express it. It's perfect.

0:52:030:52:10

Yes, the house does need a little bit of updating, but subject

0:52:100:52:14

to what it goes for at auction, it would be of interest to us.

0:52:140:52:18

There's a lot of gossiping and muttering going on.

0:52:180:52:21

Am I interrupting a planning meeting?

0:52:210:52:23

-You are, yes!

-And what about this lot? I am not sure

0:52:230:52:25

-if they come with it, but you never know.

-It's great, isn't it?

0:52:250:52:28

It's an interesting one. I'm really glad you like it.

0:52:280:52:31

I'm really glad you have had a chance to see it.

0:52:310:52:34

But now I'm going to whisk you away

0:52:340:52:35

and get you thinking about all that we have shown you.

0:52:350:52:38

-Right. OK.

-Fancy a drink?

0:52:380:52:40

-Yes, please.

-Come on!

0:52:400:52:43

I can see you as farmers.

0:52:430:52:45

Ann and Richard's tour of Herefordshire is coming to a close, and they have plenty to think about.

0:52:510:52:56

Well, the day is very nearly at an end. The light is beginning

0:53:000:53:03

to go, and we have very nearly finished the show,

0:53:030:53:06

but of course, there is one final part.

0:53:060:53:08

Have we managed to persuade Ann and Richard to part with any of their hard-earned cash?

0:53:080:53:12

Well, one way to find out, and that is to ask them.

0:53:120:53:16

Well, Richard, Ann, when we started our search through Herefordshire,

0:53:190:53:23

you rather hoped this county would be slightly magical

0:53:230:53:26

and full of fantasy. Has it lived up to your expectation?

0:53:260:53:28

-Yes, lots of secret valleys and green wooded hillsides. Yeah, it has.

-Great.

0:53:280:53:33

It all started with the old barn conversion,

0:53:330:53:35

which has a oast house kiln attached to it. Richard, what did you think?

0:53:350:53:39

I liked the property,

0:53:390:53:42

but the problem was the acre opposite

0:53:420:53:44

as it was the other side of the road. The actual house inside

0:53:440:53:48

was very well finished.

0:53:480:53:50

And we liked the rear garden as well. The only other problem I had with it

0:53:500:53:54

-was that it was overlooked.

-And no garage either.

0:53:540:53:58

Let's have a think about the yellow house, with the 3.5 acres,

0:53:580:54:02

and the geese and the pigs and the ducks and the chickens.

0:54:020:54:05

-It was a picture of The Good Life.

-Yes, that land was lovely.

0:54:050:54:07

Really everything we had asked for, to be perfectly honest.

0:54:070:54:11

-Nice property altogether, actually.

-But?

0:54:110:54:14

But, the sitting room wasn't large enough for us. And too dark.

0:54:140:54:19

That was the end of one day. We then woke you up and took you out for our

0:54:190:54:23

final day's house hunting, and we started in the hills above Hereford. What did you think of that one?

0:54:230:54:28

When we arrived, I thought, yes, this looks quite good.

0:54:280:54:32

And then we went inside, and it was just all a little bit too cottagey.

0:54:320:54:40

The house needed doubling in size!

0:54:400:54:44

That's pretty unequivocal. OK!

0:54:440:54:46

Our final offering was of course the mystery house.

0:54:460:54:51

It was sort of all or bust at that point, I think, but

0:54:510:54:53

I did get the feeling it met with a pretty favourable response.

0:54:530:54:57

I thought that was lovely, I really did like that. I got very excited.

0:54:570:55:02

Good. Well, you were right to. It was a very interesting proposition.

0:55:020:55:04

Well, we certainly liked its location

0:55:040:55:07

at the end of a long drive. That was very nice.

0:55:070:55:09

-Five acres.

-Yeah, that was pretty good.

0:55:090:55:11

-That was a surprise.

-And good acres, too.

0:55:110:55:13

I think at the end of the day, if we should get it, then we could have

0:55:130:55:18

a very nice property there, once we had finished working on it.

0:55:180:55:22

Well, you say if you should get it, this draws me to my final question,

0:55:220:55:25

which is going to come as no surprise to anybody watching this - what happens next?

0:55:250:55:31

Which one do you go for?

0:55:310:55:32

Well, I think of all the properties,

0:55:320:55:35

it would be the mystery house that we would explore further.

0:55:350:55:39

I'm quite keen on looking at that further.

0:55:390:55:43

Little bit excited, even, yeah.

0:55:430:55:45

And just hope that on the auction day, luck favours us.

0:55:450:55:50

-Fingers crossed. Good look at the auction.

-Thank you.

0:55:500:55:53

-Let us know how you get on.

-We will.

0:55:530:55:55

-Cheers.

-Yeah, cheers.

0:55:550:55:56

When we started this house search, Ann in particular was very keen on trying to find

0:56:030:56:07

a home in a fantasy land, a land full of hobbits and fairies,

0:56:070:56:12

inspired by the work of Tolkien. But have we managed to turn that fantasy into a reality?

0:56:120:56:17

I must confess, it was a bit of a challenge.

0:56:170:56:19

I didn't think we would really get there.

0:56:190:56:22

But I'm glad to say, the mystery house has actually delivered.

0:56:220:56:25

All they've got to do is go to an auction and try and buy it.

0:56:250:56:29

I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that one.

0:56:290:56:32

Richard and Ann put in an offer of £500,000 on the mystery house,

0:56:320:56:36

but unfortunately the bid was rejected

0:56:360:56:39

and they didn't feel comfortable pursuing it further.

0:56:390:56:42

But they've since had an offer accepted on a nearby property

0:56:420:56:45

and hope to be moving in soon. Case closed!

0:56:450:56:48

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

0:56:490:56:52

Northern Ireland or England and need our help, please apply online at:

0:56:520:56:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:110:57:13

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:130:57:16

Jules Hudson goes house hunting in Herefordshire with a couple ready to leave London and create the good life in the country. With a maximum budget of 500,000 pounds, they are looking for a detached house with a minimum of two bedrooms. A big kitchen is important as is garaging for their classic cars.


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