Browse content similar to Carmarthenshire. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
"In this timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town, here we are.
"And there is nowhere like it, anything at all."
These are the words of Dylan Thomas, one of the world's most renowned poets,
who is included on The Beatles' legendary Sgt Pepper album sleeve,
amongst a few very famous world figures.
And this is the town that inspired him to write some of his best-known work. So where am I?
Let's find out for a very poetic Escape To The Country.
'Today we're helping a couple swap the suburbs for early retirement in the country.'
-I'm so excited!
-'We've got a big challenge on our hands, so can we rise to the occasion?'
It's a ridiculous size! Huge!
'And will we have them signing on the dotted line?'
Go and get the chequebook out!
I'm in the seaside town of Laugharne in the county of Carmarthenshire,
where Dylan Thomas spent some of his happiest and most productive years.
This is the house that he lived in for the last four years of his life, from 1949 through to 1953.
It's since been turned into a museum dedicated to his memory.
Looking around at the scenery, you can't help but understand why he was so inspired
and wrote some of his greatest works here.
Situated in south-west Wales and bordered by Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Powys and Swansea,
Carmarthenshire is the third-largest Welsh county and it's easy to wax lyrical
about this beautiful and diverse landscape.
In the east is the remote and awe-inspiring wilderness of the Brecon Beacons National Park,
which gives way to an almost endless sea of rolling farmland
that has earned Carmarthenshire the nickname The Garden of Wales.
But if it's the sea that stirs your creative impulses, the south has 60 miles of glorious coastline.
Running from north to south, the picturesque Towy Valley is home to one of the best sea trout rivers
and many historic market towns and pretty villages. If you like your properties really old,
here you'll find some of the best-preserved medieval castle ruins in Europe.
So whether it's a country or coastal escape you're looking for, Carmarthenshire is not to be missed.
The property market in south Wales used to be mainly local,
but over the past 10 years has become increasingly popular with buyers from further afield.
The Welsh Assembly in April this year announced plans
to invest around £1.7 million
in transport schemes in Carmarthenshire
making a move to this county even more appealing.
What type of property could you hope for? Well, take your pick.
If you fancy a stint as lord and lady of the manor,
then check out this 11-bedroom mansion.
Built in 1903, it's a stunning example of turn-of-the-century revivalist architecture.
The opulent interior is equalled by seven acres of landscaped grounds.
It will set you back a rather stately £1.5 million.
For a fraction of the price at £617,000,
how about this beautifully-finished five-bedroom barn conversion near Llandeilo?
It has three reception rooms and a cosy country kitchen,
but it's the 36 acres of land that make this property a real steal.
But if it's rural views that you're after, then check out this four-bedroom converted forge.
It offers contemporary open-plan living, combined with plenty of character features.
And with a price tag of £395,000, it won't break the bank.
There's certainly plenty to choose from and something for all budgets.
Time now to zone in on today's buyers, so let's find out who they are and what they hope to find here.
Police constable Brian and his wife Jane love their five-bedroom house in Maidstone, Kent,
but with retirement on the horizon for Brian, they're dreaming of a lot more land
and have set their sights on Wales.
We want a nice, relaxed lifestyle. Just to live the rural dream to a point.
Our dream is to not really have to work and just spend our time pottering around on our land,
-Tending the fruit.
It's not just the good life Brian has in mind for his retirement.
I'd love to build a little golf course, even if it was three holes.
Or if I couldn't build that, maybe a crazy golf course or something, 18 silly holes.
So plenty of outside space will be key, but it's not just Brian and Jane's requirements to consider.
Jane's mum Betty will be leaving her house near London to join them in Wales
and wants a separate annexe of her own.
What I'm really looking forward to is living with my daughter and her husband
and having a small house, two bedrooms, a good-sized living room and kitchen
and en suite bathroom, wood floors, central heating.
Betty obviously knows what she wants, but what do Brian and Jane have in mind for their dream house?
A minimum of four bedrooms for us. With an en suite.
A minimum acre and a half of land, a big lounge.
-I'd like our kitchen to be bigger.
-They know the area well and have clear ideas about the new location.
Ideally, we'd like edge of a village or not too far from a village,
so the village amenities are within striking distance, a couple of minutes.
Brian and Jane have spent over a year househunting in Carmarthenshire
but their property search has run out of steam.
We find something that's right for us, but it's not right for Mum, and vice versa, really.
Yeah, it can be ideal for Mum, but rubbish for us.
We know it's out there. It's a case of finding it.
Before they can home in on their dream property, they need to sell their house,
so we've invited a local agent to give them a valuation.
It's a lovely large five-bedroom detached house on the edge of a conservation area.
I'd value the property at £375,000.
It's not as much
as I anticipated, but I suppose in today's market it's probably about right.
Betty will also be financing the move with the sale of her home, so what's the final figure?
Our budget for this move is £500,000.
With good friends located between Carmarthen and Lampeter, Ceredigion,
Jane and Brian want to focus their search to the east of these towns.
We've lined up some fantastic homes with an array of accommodation options for mum Betty.
Finally, we'll reveal the mystery house, but will it strike the right balance?
Jane and Brian, welcome to beautiful Carmarthenshire.
You live in Kent, the Garden of England, so what makes you want to move to this part of Wales?
We just want the peace and quiet and the beautiful views that are around.
You've got a budget of £500,000 from the sale of your property and savings.
-Is there any negotiation on that?
-Maybe a very small amount.
-But keeping around that mark.
-The idea is that we don't have a mortgage any more.
-And you've got quite a long list of demands, shall we say.
-Are you going to be flexible on it?
-I think we will be for our bit, but Mum's is a bit different.
Mum's coming with us and I want Mum to be happy and content.
-We're kind of hauling her up here.
-Yeah. That's understandable.
-So you can be a bit flexible, but we've got to concentrate on what she needs and wants.
-Fair enough. And land. We're looking for quite a lot.
-That would be nice.
-And plans for the land?
And I'd like to build a small, three-hole golf course.
A golf course(!) OK.
I don't think that's come up before, so that's a first.
-That'll be a challenge for me.
-I think it's one for us as well! A golf course, OK.
-In an ideal world, enough land to build your own?
-You've got time on your hands.
-Hopefully. If she'll let me.
We've got some amazing properties lined up. We've also got the mystery property as well.
-So shall we get started?
-Let's see what we found you.
So for a top budget of £500,000 Jane and Brian are looking for a lot of property.
They want a four-bedroom house with a big kitchen and at least one acre of land.
And they need a two-bedroom annexe for Jane's mum Betty.
Finding two home for the price of one is going to be a real challenge
and I think realistically they will need to consider taking on a project to create their ideal.
For our first property, we're heading to Llandovery on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.
You'd be hard-pushed to come across a prettier or quieter town,
but back in the Middle Ages it saw a mammoth power struggle between the Normans and Welsh.
Both its 12th-century castle and modern statue of national hero Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
are impressive testaments to the war.
Thankfully, life is a lot more peaceful today and Llandovery is best described
in the words of a Victorian travel writer who reckoned it to be,
"the pleasantest little town in which I have halted."
But will this be the place Brian, Jane and Betty will want to put down roots?
So here is your first property.
Built in 1746, this used to house the ministers that worked at the chapel.
It was called the Manse House.
I'll get straight to the point. Ideally you'd like an annexe for Mum. This house doesn't have one.
But we think it's got loads of potential.
-So what are your first impressions?
-The surrounding area is beautiful.
-You can hear the birds, the water.
-It sounds lovely.
-So are you keen to go inside?
-Let's have a look.
'We're testing the water with this, so I'm glad they have an open mind
'as this house delivers really spacious accommodation, which with a bit of reworking,
'could give them and Betty various living options.'
I'll take you into the sitting room.
-You can feel the difference in the temperature as soon as you walk through.
-I do like a fire.
-Have you got one now?
-No. I grew up with a fire and I miss it.
-That's something I really wanted - an open fire.
-What about the size of the rooms?
-It's not a bad size.
You could get the sofa in here, but it makes it feel very cosy, very inviting with the fire.
Let's keep looking. There's plenty more.
'That's a pretty good start. Let's hope the rest of downstairs gets the thumbs up, too.
'There's a spacious open-plan kitchen/family room,
'but will it measure up to their dreams of a huge kitchen?'
It's a good size. Sort of T-shaped.
It's a good-sized kitchen.
This room actually looks bigger because of the space you have here.
And this area here is big enough for Brian and I to both be in here
and not feel too crowded.
'There's also a separate utility room and cloakroom on this level
'and a very spacious dining room.'
This has the potential, if you wanted, to be a downstairs bedroom, or leave it as it is.
-A dining room, an office, a study.
-It's a nice size for a study.
Or even a dining room. As a bedroom for Mum, it's not enough for her, really.
Mum is very independent and she does want her separate kitchen.
-She wants her separate house, so...
-Yeah, rather have a completely separate house or a wing of a house.
'So we can rule out that option, but this property comes with plenty of alternatives,
'the first of which is upstairs.
'As it used to be a B&B, there are six double bedrooms, five of which are en suite,
'although one is currently a study.
'With three bedrooms each side of the hallway, they could create a wing for Betty.
'She'd get an en suite bedroom and the other two rooms could knock through for a kitchen/living area.
'Finally, a room for Brian and Jane.'
The bathroom's through here. The master bedroom is here.
-Again, quite a good size.
-It is. Nice size. I like the window.
-You could lie in bed and just look out at your land.
-Sheep, trees, countryside.
-Shall we explore downstairs?
'I can see Brian is itching to check out the garden and there's not just plenty of space out there.
'There's one last accommodation option for Betty.' I know land is important to you, and location.
What this house does provide is nearly two acres, nice and private.
-There's actually a stable block as well.
-I was wondering if we could convert that for Mum.
-Maybe add another storey.
-Well, there's certainly space at the top of the driveway.
With the right planning permission, there's enough space for a chalet or bungalow-type building.
-We've got to talk money now.
-That dirty word.
-This house has been on the market for nearly a year now.
Brian, how much do you think it is currently on the market for?
-I'm going to go for...525.
-I was going to say that!
-Well, you can't now.
I'm going to go to probably 530, then.
Because I think this is... It's ticked a lot of our boxes.
-Your budget is £500,000.
-You'd get £5 change.
-A whole fiver?
-A whole fiver.
-You can buy me lunch on that!
-That's not too bad.
-With an annexe, it would be very close to our dream home.
Do you want another look round? And check out that stable block. See how large that bit of land is.
-I'll catch up with you in a minute.
With a price tag of just under £500,000, this is bang on budget,
but it's a huge property with stacks of potential.
Having been on the market a year, there should be room to negotiate.
It has a big kitchen/family room, a cosy living room and, with six bedrooms upstairs,
there could be a wing for Betty. Or they could convert the stable block.
So plenty of options, but it will stretch their budget,
so will it be something they are prepared to go the extra mile for?
This house is lovely. Lovely-sized rooms, wonderful setting.
Peaceful, quiet, beautiful.
You've got the stables. You could pull it down and build a cottage for Mum, but how much will it cost?
It's got distinct possibilities. Well built.
-It's a nice area, nice aspect as well for her.
I love the house. It's got everything we've been asking for. The land around the house is gorgeous.
The only thing that's missing for me is the annexe for Mum. Such a shame.
-Have you seen enough?
-It's a good start, isn't it?
-It's not bad.
I've got plenty more to show you, so let's press on.
As Brian and Jane are keen to get to grips with the history and culture of their potential new home,
they've decided to check out one of the county's oldest and prettiest market towns, Llandeilo,
where they're meeting up with local historian Suzanna Van Eeghen for a guided tour.
Hello, my name's Suzanna. Welcome.
Set on the fertile banks of the River Towy, the town grew up to service the farming community
and was awarded a market charter in the 12th century.
By the 1800s it was one of the most important commercial centres in south Wales
and home to one of the very first Welsh banks, established in 1842.
Traditionally, the Towy Valley was a very rich area.
It's got fantastic opportunities for agriculture and they used to take the cattle from here
to England for better prices. The drovers were our Welsh cowboys.
As you can imagine, it wasn't very safe to carry a lot of money, so they started banks.
The first was the Black Ox in Llandovery and then we had it here not long afterwards.
But this little town has more big claims. It's home to the longest single-arch stone bridge in Wales,
built in the 1800s.
Going even further back, to the Middle Ages, it was a royal capital.
One-time residence of Welsh princes, Dinefwr Castle is not to be missed.
Today it's owned by the National Trust and the parkland is home to a breed of rare white cattle,
but it's the castle ruins the locals are really proud of
as this is a true Welsh castle and not Norman-built like many others.
For centuries, its occupants successfully repelled English invaders.
There's a nice little story about it. Henry II wanted to capture the castle
and attack it, so he sent a scout around who got the aid of a local cleric
and asked him to show him the easiest route to get here.
The cleric took him the most tortuous route. Before he got there, he started eating grass.
The scout said, "What are you doing that for?" He said, "This is what locals eat when times get tough."
So Henry II abandoned attacking the castle.
Hundreds of years on and the English still have property aspirations in Carmarthenshire.
When a county has as much to offer as this one, it's not hard to see why.
'For our next property, we're hopping over to Ceredigion to the outskirts of Lampeter.
'Set in hilly countryside on the River Teifi, Lampeter is the oldest university town in Wales.
'With a population of just 2,000, it's also the smallest university town in the UK.
'With origins back in the 12th century, this pretty market town has plenty of amenities
'and is renowned locally for its food festival every July.
'But can we whet Brian and Jane's appetite with the house we've found?
'It's situated on the edge of town so Betty has amenities close by,
'but also comes with countryside views that will take some beating.'
-Now I believe you both know this area quite well.
-Yeah. I really like Lampeter.
And this is really well situated. Mum could walk into town from here.
-It's a great start. What do you think of the property?
The house was built in 1812, so it's late-Georgian,
although there has been an extension on the side in the 1900s. Five bedrooms and two annexes.
You said that in unison. Your ears pricked up!
Well, let's have a look. Shall we go inside? It's warmer!
'This is a really spacious and beautifully-refurbished country house,
'which on paper delivers everything that Brian and Jane asked for.'
So here's your hallway.
Very light, very spacious.
-I like it so far.
-It seems nice and high.
-It doesn't seem very closed in, which is good.
-Let's go through to the sitting room.
Again, pretty spacious.
It's a really good size. And that fireplace!
-Oh, my goodness!
-Do you like this Georgian feel?
-They always seem to make big houses, big rooms.
I really, really like Georgian houses. I'm so excited!
-So am I!
-I'm liking this.
'Well, I couldn't ask for better reactions than that.'
Here's your dining room. Again, another good size.
The size is really nice. Decor's a little bit dark for me. I'd have to lighten it slightly.
-What would you have in here?
-I'm into creams and pastel colours.
-Just give it a bit of a lift.
-Lighten it a little bit.
'Jane's already redecorating, which is usually a good sign.'
Through this hallway, you've got a huge amount of storage space
and in there a huge storage room that goes right to the side.
So much storage it's not true.
And then, I think, a very impressive kitchen.
-And it's cream, my colour.
-In great decorative order.
If this kitchen wasn't big enough for you, just take a look at what's next door.
-Even more storage space!
-Unbelievable. It just goes on and on.
-Jane, you love your inglenooks.
-There is your inglenook fireplace. It's been covered up,
but behind that wall you could open it up and have a roaring fire.
-That would be very, very nice.
-Now follow me.
'Well, the ground floor has definitely sparked their interest
'and I'm confident the reactions will get even better upstairs. There are five bedrooms.'
So two of the bedrooms are used as a B&B.
And this is one of them.
-A good size again.
-And the window seat.
-You like that?
-I like that, yeah.
Shall we take a look at the en suite?
It's been done very sympathetically.
It matches the rest of the bedroom.
-A nice size.
I do like things looking nice and crisp and clean.
-Brian, lead the way. I'm now going to show you your master.
Now I know ideally you'd like a large master bedroom
-with an en suite.
Ha ha! I love your face! If I could bottle that look...
-No, this is no good(!)
-Gosh, it's beautiful.
It is. It's a huge space. You've got the en suite.
-It has a nice atmosphere as well. It feels very homely and welcoming.
-I like it.
'And there's plenty more space with three further double bedrooms, one with en suite,
'so enough room for Brian and Jane, but we still have to make sure Betty's needs are catered for,
'so let's see what the first annexe at the back of the house offers.'
-This is the kitchen.
-It's a nice size. Good space.
If you'd like to go up the stairs, please.
'Good! That's a positive start.
'There's also a shower room on the ground floor, but we head upstairs to a double bedroom
-'and a snug living room.'
-It feels like we're shoving Mum away into the back.
The only option you could have for this part of the house
is if you see that wall there, that actually goes through to one of the bedrooms
on the other side of the house. You could open that up.
OK. That's a possibility.
'By knocking through, Brian and Jane could create a really good-sized annexe for Betty,
'but I'm not convinced they're seeing the potential. A second annexe is beautifully furnished
'and could give them inspiration, although it's much smaller.
'It's all on one level with a galley kitchen, cosy living room and double bedroom,
'but land is equally important in this search,
'so let's see if the outside space measures up.'
So the property comes with about an acre, so you've got the paddocks.
What the owner actually did was she spoke to the local farmer who owns the land in front.
-He let her have it on a long lease for a very small amount.
-So it was just a pittance if you want it.
But I'm going to ask you how much a house like this might be on the market for.
-With both the annexes, I would go for 550.
-I wouldn't go that high.
-Because it's got only an acre of land, beautiful house, big house...
-Close to the town.
-Yeah. Lovely location.
I would say...490.
This house is currently on the market - it's been on the market for 18 months.
-The asking price now is £450,000.
-Why don't you take one final look round the house?
I think this is amazing value for money at £450,000.
It's a beautiful period home with masses of space.
It has a big kitchen, a sizeable living room and dining room,
five bedrooms and an acre of land.
With a bit of work, the first annexe could provide Betty with sizeable and self-contained accommodation.
And with £50,000 left in the purse, they'd have money to tackle it.
I just get the feeling it's not a job they want to take on.
I thought the price was brilliant. For the views, proximity to Lampeter, I thought it'd be a lot more.
But I'm so disappointed about the annexe. It's just not big enough.
Beautiful house. Absolutely stunning. The master bed was to die for. Two annexes.
-Not a bad size.
-Not much room for a wardrobe.
-That would make it too small. Such a shame.
It's the most beautiful property, but it has to be right.
Once Brian, Jane and Betty have - fingers crossed - settled into their new Carmarthenshire home,
there's one very inspiring property that's well worth a visit, although this one isn't for sale.
The coastal home of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas today is preserved as a heritage centre
and I've come for a proper look around with guide Dawn Bristol.
Hi, Dawn. Pleased to meet you.
Set on the water's edge of the Taf Estuary, Thomas fell in love with the boathouse, calling it
his "sea-shaken house on a breakneck of rocks".
Having lived in Laugharne, on and off, since 1934, it was here
he chose to set up home permanently with his wife Caitlin and three children in 1949.
A refuge from public life and the poverty that had dogged him for years.
Bought for him by close friend Margaret Taylor for £2,500,
he spent the last four years of his life here, finishing one of his greatest works,
Under Milk Wood.
If you look over there, you can see the field. This is the spot where milking cows were grazing
and this is how he would have got his inspiration for Under Milk Wood
because the wood's beneath and the milking cows are above.
Thomas' groundbreaking play written for radio was based on the dreams and innermost thoughts
of the inhabitants of a small Welsh town. The view may have inspired the title,
but allegedly Laugharne's community inspired the characters. Visiting the boathouse offers up
a rare insight into Thomas' personality.
This was the housekeeper's chair.
See how they've cut the legs down so she would be sitting lower than anybody else in the room?
-They've taken the legs down.
-Would he be one for levels of serving?
-She was below him?
-To keep her in her place?
'Although he used the writing desk in the parlour on occasion,
'most of his time was spent in the writing shed, a tiny room that is now a shrine to his work.'
So this is where it all happened.
The writing shed.
You can see some of his sketches.
'Thomas may have been born in Swansea, but Carmarthenshire provided sanctuary and inspiration
'and once Brian, Jane and Betty move here, I hope they find it equally beguiling.
'With the sun setting over the Welsh countryside,
'Brian and Jane have a chance to mull over today's properties.'
-What about the house with no annexe? It was a nice space.
-Outhouses for you.
And all the outside space.
There was space where we could probably add an annexe on,
but that's a lot of work. Would we be able to do it in time?
mum doesn't want work going on. It could make it quite difficult.
-And the one with two annexes?
-The main house was amazing.
-That master bedroom!
-And the decor.
-And those two annexes.
Yeah. Too small. I just don't think it would work.
Brian and Jane from Maidstone have set us a tough challenge.
For £500,000 they want a four-bedroom period house for themselves
and a two-bedroom self-contained annexe for Jane's mum Betty.
-They've loved the houses for them...
..but it wasn't the same when it came to Betty's accommodation.
-Can we find two homes for the price of one?
-I'm speechless again.
And today's mystery house is all about Betty, but can Brian and Jane make it work for them?
Yesterday was an interesting day.
What became apparent was that finding the right property for Brian and Jane was far easier
than finding one for Jane's mother as well, but three people are moving
and it's imperative that all three are happy.
We've got to find a home that suits them all on their budget.
So today we've broadened the search and hopefully found a solution.
Having had a chance to think about what we saw yesterday, have you reached any conclusions?
I think we need to be a bit more realistic in our aspirations.
Looking at an annexe is probably too small for Mum,
so realistically maybe we could do with, say, a barn conversion in the grounds
or an outbuilding that's converted.
-Well, hopefully, the next property might have some answers.
We're on our way to the outskirts of the small village of Llanwrda, just three miles from Llandovery.
It's a typically pretty and unhurried village, complete with stores and one pub,
so they shouldn't have any problem getting to know their neighbours.
Now some properties have guard dogs, but this one's got Billy goats.
-They're a lot friendlier.
-And this is your house.
It looks lovely. Real stone there.
-A proper country house.
-It is a proper country house.
-The sort of thing that I wanted.
-Ready to look inside?
'Dating from 1885, this house is full of the period detailing that Brian and Jane love.
'And it comes with those very spacious room dimensions they like.'
Come through the hallway. We're straight into the kitchen.
This is fantastic.
This is lovely. And it's nice to come straight into the kitchen.
-I like that.
-It's a nice size.
-And then you have to turn and just look at that view.
-Here you've got your sitting room, if you like, but it's still part of the kitchen.
-So if you had a party or friends round, it's very easy to go back and forward.
-Make it the dining room.
-Have you seen the fireplace?
-Stunning, isn't it?
'I thought this kitchen would have the right ingredients for Jane.'
-So two more, if you like, large reception rooms.
This is a nice size. Wow.
-I think I would have this as the lounge.
-And that as the dining room.
-And, again, my fireplace.
-Yes. It's an original. Absolutely stunning.
-And it works.
-You've left me speechless again.
'It's safe to say the ground floor is a resounding success
'and upstairs is just as impressive.'
So you've got a bedroom and a family bathroom along this corridor. And up here
another beautiful pink double bedroom. And here is the master.
Oh, it's a nice size.
With the beautiful view again. Lovely windows. Nice big windows.
-En suite. Shall we take a look?
-Would this be big enough for you?
-And a fireplace! My goodness!
-In the bathroom?!
-Do you like a bit of space in the morning?
-This is a ridiculous size. It's huge.
'And there's plenty more space to come. On the next floor are two further single bedrooms,
'making a total of five. It's obvious Brian and Jane love it,
'but that's irrelevant unless we can come up with suitable accommodation for Betty.
'Well, we may have cracked it. With this house we have a separate semi-converted barn.'
Here we are. Now this is the annexe.
-It actually is double the size.
That side's being used as storage, but the current owners have planning permission to renovate it
-and you could have two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom.
-It's whether you would want to take on that project.
The vendor is in this line of business and he estimated around £40,000 to do the work.
-If you think double the size of this.
-And look at the view she gets.
-Sorry to interrupt, but...
-Would Mum like that?
-She would love that view.
-If we could incorporate a lounge/diner here, kitchen for Mum at the back...
-Ideally closed off. I don't know how we'd do that. And then two bedrooms and a bathroom.
-It would be.
'Jane is really seeing the potential here and it comes with its own separate garden,
'something I know Betty is keen to have. And we're not scrimping on outside space either.
'There are two and a half acres.'
-What about these gardens? Is this enough?
-I think so.
-Plenty of sunshine.
So how much do you think this house, two acres, the outbuildings - what is it on the market for?
-I was going to say...
..higher. I was going to say 560.
-Because it's nearly got everything we want.
-It's been reduced. They're keen to sell.
-On the market for £499,950!
You having a laugh?
Go and get the chequebook!
Gosh, that's really... Wow. I was going right the other way.
£50 short of your budget.
-Would you like to go and have another really good look round?
-Off you go.
At just under £500,000, this is a fantastic find
and it has just about everything Brian and Jane asked for,
including a big country kitchen, two reception rooms, five bedrooms and two acres of land.
The barn conversion could be the answer to finding Betty her spacious home
with an open-plan living area and two bedrooms.
Will they think it's worth the extra investment?
The valley, the hills.
-The views are stunning, aren't they?
-Got a cloche for your veggies and your...
I really liked this house. Inside was decorated to my taste.
The views were to die for. They were absolutely amazing.
I think the annexe has got lots and lots of potential.
The house inside is beautiful. I can't believe the size of that en-suite. It's ridiculous.
The price, I could not believe it. I thought it would be way, way over our budget. It's just made my day.
I've been feeding the chickens.
-Have you seen enough?
-I don't want to drag you away, but I have to.
-I'm not going(!)
-Come on, Brian, more to see.
'Carmarthenshire, as we have discovered, has plenty of evidence of medieval wars
'and there's one weapon that's truly evocative of that time - the longbow and arrow.
'It's been one of Brian's ambitions for some time to take up archery when he retires,
'so we've sent him and Jane to Dinefwr Archery Centre for a lesson from local instructor Cyril John.'
-Good afternoon. I'm Brian.
-I'm Cyril. Welcome to Dinefwr Archers.
'Before they can take aim, they need to get kitted out in protective gear and learn a few basics.
'Cyril is on hand to show them how it's done.'
We'll put it in the bow and you bring it like that back to here...
And that's it.
There is no magic to it, no special secret or anything.
And to get the same shot each time, and that's all it is,
is to do it over and over and over and over, as many times as you like. You could do it hundreds of times.
'Unlike target archery which is played from one spot,
'field archery, which has its origins in hunting, is played out on a woodland course
'with 28 targets of varying size and distance.'
Beautiful. Almost there!
'It's a great way to enjoy the Carmarthenshire countryside.'
-Oh, well off!
-'No-one can be Robin Hood in just a few hours,
'but once Brian and Jane have settled in, they can practise to their heart's content.'
-Thank you very much.
-Thanks very much.
-We look forward to it when you move down to West Wales.
-I'm sure you'll join us.
-We'll have another two members.
'I think Brian and Jane have found a new hobby, but we still need to find them a home,
'so will we hit the bull's-eye with the mystery house?'
-Now, we're on our way to the mystery property.
Do you like something quirky? Is that OK?
As long as it's got plenty of space for us, plenty of space for Mum...
-Yeah. And some land.
-We're not too worried about what you show us.
And I'm already regretting saying that.
-We're just going to have to wait and see.
'So for our final property, we're heading south towards the coast
'to the rural outskirts of Kidwelly,
'so Brian and Jane have the seaside and countryside on their doorstep.
'Set in a hilly landscape, this historic market town was established in 1115.
'As well as running the usual gamut of amenities, the town is famed for its Norman castle
'which dominates the area.
'Built in 1106, it's one of the best preserved ruins in Wales.
'The mystery house is a little more recent and is situated one mile out of town.
'So far, we've catered for Brian and Jane's needs.
'But with our final offering, we're putting Betty first.
'Consisting of four terraced cottages, the very end terrace has three bedrooms
'and Betty could move in straight away, but Brian and Jane will need vision
'to turn the other three cottages into their dream home, so will they be up for the challenge?'
It's time now for the mystery property which is always something a little bit different.
Sometimes it makes you think out of the box.
But I'll have to be very honest with you. The mystery property that we had lined up until 24 hours ago,
someone's put an offer in.
-So it could be early signs.
-The market, they say, is picking up,
which is great for them, but it's also good for you
because although we couldn't use the mystery property,
-what we have found is a brand-new property that's gone just on the market.
It's very different from anything else you've seen, so we're giving it the "mystery property" tag.
Different. Very long.
They're former canal-workers' cottages,
but your requirements are quite different from the normal ones,
so hopefully, what this property might provide is some answers.
-But I think we have to go in with a very open mind.
-Happy with that?
-In good country tradition, we're not going to bother with the front door. No, we'll go round the back.
'Three of the cottages are currently used as holiday lets,
'but we're going to start off in the owners' accommodation.'
The current owners always use this as their main entrance.
-I'm not surprised.
-It's a good working conservatory.
-It's a really nice space.
So far, we're liking this. Let's keep going. Now for the kitchen...
So out of the four cottages, they actually live in this one.
And they're pretty similar as you go through, but this is by far the biggest.
-Nice colour kitchen.
-It's not a bad space. We could work with this.
Nice view across the fields there.
If I take you through this part of the cottage,
you will notice that the rooms are much smaller than a lot of the others that we've seen
and the way it's laid out, it's long, so bear that in mind.
Think about how you could change it to suit your circumstances.
It's four cottages. You said there were nine bedrooms in all. We can soon chop and change that about.
-Good. You can come up with some ideas while we're walking through.
You've got a family bathroom through there.
But let's keep going into the main lounge.
It's got a cosy feel, being a cottage.
Very cosy. I'm a bit disappointed with the size, I have to say.
-Quite dark in here as well.
-And the ceiling being low, it's a bit...
I don't think we'd fit all our furniture in here either.
'This is a cosy room at the moment,
'but there are two further cottages, each with a living room, kitchen and bathroom downstairs.
'It'll be a huge project, but all three cottages could be knocked through to make a large living area.
'The property isn't listed, but they would need planning permission and advice from a structural engineer.
'Once they've seen Betty's cottage, they might think it's a job worth doing,
'but first we need to show them upstairs in their cottage.'
This is the master bedroom. You've got another one next door which has a single bed, but lots of wardrobes.
-Again it's very small.
-I can just tell by your faces. You're having a good look, but...
-Is it really too small for you?
-Yes, it is.
Even if we do start knocking holes here and there, I still don't think it will work.
-You just know in your heart?
We'll wander down past all the cottages, so you can have a look at the three-bedroom at the end,
-which we had as an idea for Mum.
-And then we'll have a look round the grounds.
'Well, Brian and Jane may not be seeing the possibilities with these cottages,
'but the entire property was always selected with Betty in mind.
'I think the end terrace will be perfect for her,
'so let's see if it will change Brian and Jane's opinion.'
This is the one that we had as an idea for Mum
because it's already done, everything's in it.
I want you to go and have a little look around just to get an idea.
The ones in the middle have only got two bedrooms. This one has three.
-Because if the first accommodation had worked for you, this could have been the answer for Mum.
-Let's have a look.
-Have a look. I'll see you in a minute.
-This is quite a nice size, isn't it?
-That's a good size. Why wasn't this the same size the other end?
-Nice little fire there.
What's in there?
-It's a nice size. I don't think we'd use it as a bedroom though.
No. Mum could have it as another sitting room or dining room or whatever she wanted.
Wood panelling. We'll have to change that.
-Yes, not too bad.
-It's small, but...
-It is a bit small.
-But as a spare room...
-It could do as a spare room, yeah.
Again we'd have to change that panelling or paint it.
This is a better size.
-Yeah, something to think about.
Now this has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works.
So how do you feel? Has that changed your opinion?
That is big.
-That's three bedrooms.
-Not huge, but it's a good size
and I could see there's great potential there for Mum.
-Has this changed your view on the very first one?
-Yes, it has.
-In a positive way?
-I can see there's more potential now.
-Let's take a wander around the grounds.
We've got some beautiful gardens, two meadows to explore.
-Have a think cos you've seen it now. Let's think if it can work for you.
'Getting the balance right between Betty's needs and Brian and Jane's needs
'was always going to be the toughest part of this property search.
'They've been swayed by Betty's accommodation,
'but if anything can persuade them this property could work for them, it's a massive six acres of land.'
-You want land.
-Definitely got it here.
-There's so much land here.
-That garage is big enough for four cars.
-Wow, that'll do!
-Would I be right that you're in a bit of a quandary? We've found something potentially for Mum.
-We've found you the land, we've found you the life.
Is the property right for you?
It needs a bit of altering for us.
It needs a bit of thinking?
A bit of thinking, definitely.
How much do you think the asking price is?
I am going to say...450?
I'm going to go a bit more than that.
I'm going to go for 475.
You're both under by quite a way.
The asking price is £535,000.
Why don't you take another wander? I'll probably need to give you an hour to get round it!
-I'll meet you at the front.
-See you in a minute.
'At £535,000, this is 35,000 over budget,
'but the stamp duty is paid for by the vendor.
'The three-bedroom end terrace is spot-on for Betty and with some vision and a good architect,
'Brian and Jane could end up with a spacious, open-plan character home
'with between four and six bedrooms for themselves.
'It also comes with six acres of land, so will that swing it?'
I think the land was spot-on. You got the land spot-on here. It's a beautiful space.
-This looks like a good size.
Blimey, it goes on for ever!
-That's a good-sized field, that.
-Yes, definitely. Tee off at that end.
Probably get a par four in here.
The first bit we saw, I thought, "No."
It is really pretty, but I thought that's far too small for us.
Then we looked at the three-bedroom part for Mum.
I thought, "Yeah, I can see Mum in this. Got distinct possibilities."
It's not a golf course yet!
-It's got the makings.
-But there's potential.
-It's time now for some serious decisions to be made.
-So let's crack on.
'Well, Brian and Jane have now viewed all our Welsh properties.
'It's been quite a challenge to meet their very specific requirements,
'but I think we've managed to find a couple of contenders,
'so which one, I wonder, will be the right choice for themselves and Betty?'
It's been a really interesting few days, driving around Carmarthenshire.
-Have you enjoyed yourselves?
-Yeah, it's been great fun.
-Let's talk about the first house that we saw.
-I liked the grounds.
It had the woodland, the place for a vegetable patch.
Absolutely lovely property, but unfortunately, no annexe at all.
It had the stables that maybe we could have done something with,
but we might have been pushing it a bit.
-We looked at a property which was very close to where your friends live, so you knew the town.
That was in Lampeter, a very nice property.
The main house was amazing. It was beautiful.
-That master bedroom...
-It was fantastic.
It was. Unfortunately, again the annexes...
Even though there were two annexes, they were still just that little bit too small for Mum.
Day two began very well - that magnificent house,
-sort of the country house up on the hill.
-It looked so idyllic.
As soon as we walked into the house and we stood in the kitchen and I looked over and saw that view,
that million-dollar view, amazing!
What about the most important part of this equation which is getting something right for your mother?
We saw the out-house. It did have potential
and they had got actual planning permission to extend.
We really liked that.
That brings us nicely to the mystery property. That was quite unique.
It started off a little bit rocky.
The conservatory was lovely. The kitchen, yeah, nicely done.
But when we walked into that lounge, my heart just disappeared.
It was so low, it was so small.
I didn't like it straight away.
Then when you said about the three-bedroom at the other end, we went in there
and the lounge was twice the size of the original one and I thought, "Yeah, this could work for Mum."
Unfortunately, the price was not right.
Were there any that took your fancy?
-The house on the hill.
-Fantastic. Tell me why you think that could be the ideal property.
It has virtually everything we want,
the stunning views.
It has a really good potential for Mum.
-So what's the next step?
-I think the next step is we need to go home and discuss it all with Mum
and make sure Mum's happy with our decision.
-If she is...
-Well, if Mum is happy with everything, I fully anticipate putting in an offer.
-I hope your mum loves it as much as we all do.
-Jane, Brian, thank you so very much.
-Thank you for helping us.
Brian and Jane have been searching for a long time,
but I think we may have found them the perfect property.
With a bit of vision and agreement from Mum, all three could be escaping to the country very soon.
Join us next time.
'If you would like to escape to the country
'and need our help, please apply online at...'
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011
Email [email protected]