Cumbria Escape to the Country


Cumbria

Series in which prospective buyers are helped to find their dream home. Alistair Appleton is in the Lake District with a couple looking for a B&B to buy for £650,000.


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Transcript


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This dinky des res behind me is called Bridge House.

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And it's a one-up, one-down built 500 years ago as an apple store.

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And it was constructed over this running stream in an extraordinary attempt to avoid paying land tax.

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Find out where we are in just a moment.

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In today's show, I will be helping a couple who want to step out of retirement

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and make a new life for themselves running a B&B in England's lovely Lake District.

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We'll be getting them excited about a house.

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-That's the house.

-Yeah.

-That's the house?

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We'll be offering them unexpected opportunities.

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We said that whatever you came up with we'd look at.

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Any sort of business and, great, let's look.

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And there's the mystery house which could make them reassess their plans entirely.

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Today I'm in Ambleside, a village right in the heart of the Lake District here in Cumbria.

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And Bridge House is probably the most photographed and painted building in the whole county.

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Even J M Turner captured it on canvas.

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In its long history it's had many uses, but in the 1850s a family with six children lived there.

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I don't think even I could persuade someone to buy it under those conditions.

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Sitting shoulder to shoulder with the Scottish border,

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Cumbria in the north-west of England

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is the country's second largest county

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and home to the Lake District National Park.

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The park's mountain landscape consists of volcanic rock and slate peaks

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which give way to lake-filled valleys.

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Boasting 16 lakes, this is a hugely popular holiday destination,

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attracting some eight million visitors every year who flock to the area

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to take advantage of all the outdoor activities on offer.

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As well as tourism, farming is extremely valuable to the economy with around three million sheep

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grazing on the hill farms and moorlands.

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Cumbria's dramatic landscape has inspired generations of artists, writers and poets.

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It was William Wordsworth who declared that the Lake District

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was the loveliest spot that man has ever known.

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And I couldn't agree more.

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The Lake District National Park is pretty sparsely populated.

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There's just under 23,000 properties here

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and it's a big area, so it works out to about 26 per square mile.

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Now, if you want to live inside the park, that makes it very expensive

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but just take a look at what your money can buy.

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For a premium price tag of £1.25 million,

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this five-bedroom house in Troutbeck has an enormous sitting room and a rather fine kitchen

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with dual-aspect windows that make the most of its prime position

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overlooking Lake Windermere and the fells.

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At the gateway to the northern lakes at Penrith, this impressive

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period five-bedroom family home is up for grabs at £650,000.

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Immaculately renovated throughout, with a light and spacious family kitchen,

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modern bathrooms and an enormous conservatory to relax in and soak up the beautiful rural location.

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Or how about this three-bedroom rustic barn conversion in Gosforth on the market for £380,000?

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Lying on the western edge of the National Park, this family home

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also comes with planning permission to add a further two bedrooms on the first floor.

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A great opportunity to maximise the beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.

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You see, properties inside the Lake District National Park are pretty special

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but are they special enough to float to the boat of today's buyers? Let's meet them.

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Today's house-hunters are Andrew and Linda Dagg who, two years ago,

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sold their printing business in Leeds

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and, by their own admission, have been on holiday ever since.

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But now the couple, who have three grown-up daughters and two grandchildren,

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are looking to begin a new chapter.

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We've had 10 very happy years in this house but we've a long way to go till we retire properly.

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We need something to do to keep us busy.

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We're too young to be getting out of bed with nothing to do.

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They are selling their house in Pudsey,

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West Yorkshire, with plans for a new lease of life in the Lake District to run a bed and breakfast business.

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We'd like to move to the Lake District because we've grown up there as a family on holiday.

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It's an area that's very busy with tourism and we see it as an opportunity therefore

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to have a nice little business that will make some reasonable money utilising tourism.

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Linda and Andrew have a clear wish-list for their dream home in the country.

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I think what we need from this next property is four-plus letting bedrooms.

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Two bedrooms for us, perhaps a sitting room.

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A cosy country kitchen with a range.

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-That will be nice. I think it's important that the private side is the private side.

-Yes.

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We want separating from the guests.

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Yeah. I think I'd like a garden if possible.

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Well, I would like a garden.

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-I want a garage.

-You want a garage.

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A property with views and character.

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Somewhere that visitors want to come and stay.

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But life's not all about work. Andrew and Linda also want

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to use their move to the Lakes to indulge in more outdoor pursuits.

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We're really excited about moving to the country and I, for one,

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can't wait to get involved with outdoor pursuits again.

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And I'm particularly looking forward to getting another Labrador and marching the hills.

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And Linda's excited about moving to the country too.

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Yes, painting in the Lake District should be amazing and joining the local community clubs

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and being an active part of a village.

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I really enjoy growing fruit and vegetables and I'm hoping that we'll have the facility to grow them

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in the bed and breakfast and hopefully I'll be able to make jams and chutneys

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and serve them in the business.

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I like cooking. Andrew likes eating.

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And I enjoy wildlife.

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I love being out and about walking.

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I enjoy the Lakes themselves, in terms of rowing or kayaking.

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And when it comes to decision-making, who's the boss?

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Who makes the decisions? I think we both make the decisions.

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Yeah, I'd be frightened to make them on my own.

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But before we can start looking for their new home, we need to find out what their house is worth.

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The property is in a fantastic location in one of the most sought-after areas in Pudsey.

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It's four bedrooms, three reception rooms.

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Was formerly two cottages knocked into one,

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so offers very good-sized family accommodation.

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And I would value the property at £375,000.

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I'm very happy with the estate agent's valuation at the moment.

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We've got to bear in mind the market we're in.

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We've been here 10 years. We've made a good return.

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So what's Andrew and Linda's budget for their escape to the country?

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Our budget for this move is £600,000 to £650,000.

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Of course, Andrew and Linda couldn't have picked a better spot to open a B&B

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and according to the Lake District Tourist Board, bookings are up 18% on the same time last year.

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However, I'm slightly worried that they are not prepared to look at outside the park

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because that's putting a lot of pressure on their £650,000 budget.

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They do want six bedrooms, four for the guests and two for themselves.

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And views. And views, they're always expensive.

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Andrew and Linda want a perfect Lakeland location

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which would also drawing perspective B&B guests,

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so our search will radiate out from the popular towns of Keswick and Windermere.

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In today's show, I'll be taking them to see three fantastic properties

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amongst which I hope is their ideal home.

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The last is the mystery house which will serve up something they hadn't bargained on.

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-Morning, guys.

-Morning, Alastair.

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-Isn't the Lake District beautiful?

-Isn't it just.

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-Fabulous.

-I'm glad you're looking here.

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You've been on a permanent holiday for the last two years?

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Yes, we have. We had a really good time.

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Why are you stopping being on holiday?

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Basically, we want something to do.

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We want to reason to get up, a purpose.

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-You're bored of your retirement?

-We're bored of all the travelling and fun.

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Just a tad too young to retire.

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-So you want something more serious?

-Yes.

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A lifestyle, not too serious.

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But I hear are looking for B&Bs?

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-Yes.

-Something like that.

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I can't remember us finding a place like that before.

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-No, it's different.

-This is a great place to look.

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-Absolutely.

-I did want to know whether you've had any experience of running a B&B?

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No experience running a B&B but we'd stayed in them and we've asked people

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that own them what the lifestyle's like.

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And it's quite a flexible way of going on.

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If we want to go and see family or family come to us, we can have no vacancies open.

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-Just take it as it comes but we appreciate it is hard work.

-Absolutely.

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What about the business side of things?

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The Lake District is a great place to have a B&B but it's expensive.

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-Very expensive.

-So I want to talk to about your budget.

-Sure.

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You said 650?

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We said 600, 650 for a tidy business.

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Less than that if we're going to be investing in something that we will need to turn into a business.

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-Shall we get going?

-Yes.

-Love to.

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Andrew and Linda have a budget of £650,000

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to find their home with a B&B business in the Lake District.

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The property needs to have private quarters,

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including two double bedrooms and spacious reception rooms for family visitors.

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For the B&B side, they are looking for at least four bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms.

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And the property must be within the National Park

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and offer outstanding views.

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I fear getting what they want is going to be an uphill struggle

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but let's see what we can do.

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Is there anything you're anxious about the business or is at an exciting prospect?

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No, excited about it.

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-Absolutely.

-It will be good fun.

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It's different to just buying a business in the sense that it's a home as well,

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so the value of the property underwrites the business risk in many senses.

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It's win-win, whichever way we look at it.

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-We like win-win.

-We like win-win.

-We do.

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Well, let's just hope we back a winner from our selection of properties,

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starting with our first one in a tranquil village of Thornthwaite,

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which lies at the north end of the Lakes.

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The location makes an excellent base

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for touring the northern lakes, particularly for travellers who prefer a more rural getaway.

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But for all the important amenities, the lively town of Keswick is just three miles down the road.

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Our first property is an 18th-century manor house which I'm hoping will fit the bill.

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But as they'll discover, there's a price to be paid.

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Ta-dah!

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-Wow! That's lovely, isn't it?

-That's beautiful.

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Yeah.

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-That's the house.

-That's the house?

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-Well, from this, it's just everything I ever thought.

-Stunning.

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I love it when people say that. That's fantastic.

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The whole entrance is welcoming and pretty and traditional and good.

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-Stunning. Looks lovely.

-I can't wait to get inside.

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I'm not surprised they like what they see.

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This elegant house sits very comfortably in the landscape,

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especially seeing as it's constructed entirely out of local stone.

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I just want to point out this solid slate. Irreplaceable.

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You could never get that again.

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Boot cleaners.

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Excellent.

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'A solid first reaction and I'm sure the inside won't fail to impress either,

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'as we head through the generous entrance hall and straight into the lounge.'

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-What do you think about the proportions of this one?

-Perfect.

-Absolutely. Perfect.

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The room is a very nice size and all our furniture would fit,

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the furniture we'd want to bring, wouldn't it?

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-Yes, look at the windows.

-Look at the VIEW!

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That's more to the point, isn't it, yeah.

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A lovely bay window with shutters.

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A lovely fireplace there, with a good draw, apparently.

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-So it works?

-They all work, yeah.

-Splendid.

-Good.

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'The proportions and potential of this house seem to be hitting the nail on the head.'

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-Got your own bar.

-No!

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What can I get you?

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Again, the present owners are using this as their sort of dining room.

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-You've got this exquisite slate fireplace.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

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Original, and it's all solid slate.

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Pretty much priceless.

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I love the windows. They are just fantastic.

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And what's beyond.

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Just bear in mind that this wall, this little hatch here, connects through to the kitchen.

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Right. All will become clear.

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'There's a lot to think about and a lot to see and I have a simple suggestion

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'that could really tailor this property's layout to suit Andrew and Linda's specific needs.'

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-The kitchen is the heart of the home.

-Absolutely. Yes. Nice space.

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Yes. Good range.

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-Got a sofa.

-Sofa.

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You've got a big, nice, solid-fuel burner there and a nice inset.

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But what I want you to bear in mind is that this wall is actually,

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unlike most of the walls, not so very thick.

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-Right.

-So what I was thinking was that you could have that front room as your front room,

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knock through into the kitchen because if we go through here, this could all be your private quarters.

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OK, lead on.

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So coming back into the hall with these lovely flagstones,

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you'll notice this is a fire door cos they used to run it as a business.

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-So effectively this would seal off your whole half of the house from your guests.

-Right.

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You'd have that front room, the kitchen.

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You've got a whole annexe at the back of the house here.

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And in the annexe there's a host of rooms to consider

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including an office, perfect for running their business.

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A games room. Plenty of storage with a large cellar.

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A bathroom and a utility room.

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Also on the ground floor, is the first of seven bedrooms

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which will be ideal as Andrew and Linda's sleeping quarters.

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-Oh yes.

-It's a lovely-size room, Alastair.

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-Great, yeah.

-What do you think?

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Great, yes. Wardrobe space.

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And you've got a very nice en suite down there.

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-A bathroom.

-What more do we need?

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Windows onto the garden.

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Lovely windows onto the garden.

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-I like it lots.

-I do.

-Like it lots.

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-Do you want to go and see the guests' accommodation?

-Yes, please.

-Absolutely.

-Upstairs.

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Halfway between the ground floor and the first floor

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is a small mezzanine level which houses a kitchenette and a store room.

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And further up on to the first floor, there are three guest bedrooms.

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Let's take a look, they are using this as the guest dining room.

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-But it could also be reinstated as a very nice bedroom.

-Yes.

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-Great potential, don't you think?

-Absolutely.

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-It just goes on and on, doesn't it?

-It does.

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But if you put a bit of love and kindness and made it really beautiful, high end,

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reinstated this fireplace, put in some beautiful bedding, you could charge a fortune.

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You could, you could.

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This room also has access to the kitchenette, which could

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further boost its potential as a self-catering letting.

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The first of three double bedrooms on the first-floor comes with an en suite shower-room

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and across the hallway is an enormous bedroom with enough room for a double bed,

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two single beds, sofas and a spacious en suite bathroom.

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Perfect to rent out to families.

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Lastly on this floor is another double bedroom and large family bathroom.

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But it doesn't end there.

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A trip upstairs to the second floor brings us to the remaining three of the seven bedrooms.

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A massive double room with attractive exposed roof timbers.

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Another good-sized double and, across the hallway,

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the smallest of all which still has room to fit a double bed.

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Finally, this floor also has a modern shower-room.

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That's a lot of rooms and there's plenty more to see outside in the garden.

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Out in the fresh air with your view and your mountains.

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-Yes, impressive.

-Super. And sunshine.

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-And sunshine.

-Glorious.

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-And you've got your own already made veggie patch.

-Oh, veggie plot!

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-That's great.

-Summer house.

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-Yes. Absolutely glorious.

-You've surpassed yourselves.

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You have, you have.

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-Spot on.

-It's an amazing property and I think it could, with investment,

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earn you quite a lot of money if you were serious about this business part.

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However, how much you think it costs?

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I'm going to suggest probably about 650,000, maybe a little more.

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I think I like it, so it's got to be 680.

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OK, so this is the difficult bit.

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It's on the market for 795.

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-Right.

-Right.

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And I know that's an awful lot over what you were hoping to spend,

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-but I know that you really wanted a lot of the things that this house offered.

-Absolutely.

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This is a lot to take on and I know it's a big change of perspective, but have a look round the house.

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-Thank you.

-And we'll meet out front.

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-Super, OK. Thank you.

-Thank you very much indeed.

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Well, I hate having to tell somebody that the property is so far out of their budget, but

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I still think this property really offers them what they want and that they might be able to embrace that.

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Just might.

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Over budget at £795,000, this beautiful manor house is proof

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that Andrew and Linda's dream lakeside property isn't going to come cheap.

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With extensive accommodation on three storeys, comprising four reception rooms,

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seven bedrooms, three with en suite, a three-roomed annexe with its own bathroom and separate access,

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with far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside,

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this elegant property is certainly gives Andrew and Linda what they asked for -

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a comfortable family home and a potential B&B income -

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but the price is a hefty reality check for them.

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-So what do you think of the kitchen, Linda?

-I like it, yes.

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It's a big enough to do what we want.

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Words are difficult to describe this property.

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There is more than adequate space for us and the family.

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And there's a more than adequate, a very nice room for letting.

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It ticks all of the boxes.

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I think the house is just spot on.

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The location is divine.

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Everything about it is good.

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It's over budget, but I'll have to work on Andrew.

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Let's step out over this beautiful slate porchway one more time. But who knows, you might be back.

0:18:530:18:59

Let's hope so.

0:18:590:19:00

It all goes to show that if you want views, you have to pay a premium.

0:19:040:19:07

With views like these you can see why the Lake District attracts

0:19:070:19:11

millions of keen walkers like Linda and Andrew every year.

0:19:110:19:14

The trouble is that all those pairs of feet trampling

0:19:140:19:17

the public footpaths are having a detrimental effect on the landscape.

0:19:170:19:21

So I've come to meet John Atkinson who is project manager

0:19:210:19:25

of a £5 million lottery-funded scheme called Fix The Fells.

0:19:250:19:29

-Morning, John.

-Morning.

0:19:300:19:31

-How you doing?

-What an amazing view.

0:19:310:19:33

-It's great, isn't it?

-It's a good job you've got.

0:19:330:19:36

It's the best job in the world.

0:19:360:19:37

So you're here fixing the fells. What does that involve?

0:19:370:19:40

Basically we are dealing with access-related erosion,

0:19:400:19:43

so lots of people go out for a walk in the fells, really enjoy the day,

0:19:430:19:47

but it does have a massive impact on the ground that they walk on.

0:19:470:19:50

I imagine fell walkers are pretty responsible. They don't seem like vandals.

0:19:500:19:54

It's not intentional damage then?

0:19:540:19:56

No, it's not. It's because the paths get worn and people tend to walk

0:19:560:20:00

on the nice grassy edge because it's softer on your feet, easier to walk

0:20:000:20:04

and people like walking side by side chatting to each other.

0:20:040:20:07

The path gets wider and then the middle bit gets a bit worn

0:20:070:20:09

and perhaps running with water, so people walk on the edge

0:20:090:20:13

and something has gone from a metre wide to two metres, three metres, to 22 metres.

0:20:130:20:20

-22 metres wide?

-Yes.

0:20:200:20:21

Wow, that's like a motorway.

0:20:210:20:23

-Yeah.

-So what's the answer?

0:20:230:20:25

Not obviously to limit the number of walkers, but what?

0:20:250:20:28

It's a never-ending project.

0:20:280:20:30

Look after the fells, really, trying to re-landscape them, make the access sustainable.

0:20:300:20:37

So can we see the work which is going on?

0:20:370:20:39

-Yes, we've got some chaps working over the hills.

-I might even help them.

0:20:390:20:42

Let's have a look.

0:20:420:20:44

So far, the scheme has repaired more than 160 Lake District paths.

0:20:440:20:48

Moving rocks to provide crossing points where the paths have become most eroded

0:20:480:20:53

and filling in the gaps to stop people from simply going round and exacerbating the problem.

0:20:530:20:58

They are doing a great job but at least 60 paths are still

0:20:580:21:00

in desperate need of restoration and the scheme is looking for volunteers to join in the effort.

0:21:000:21:05

Tip it over.

0:21:080:21:09

-Just like that.

-That's perfect.

0:21:090:21:11

That's great, that.

0:21:110:21:13

We'll fill in the sides, put some blocking there, put some blocking there to funnel people in.

0:21:130:21:17

That's going to save this for how long?

0:21:170:21:20

This will be here hopefully for 100 years now.

0:21:200:21:23

Maintaining these pathways is vital to preserving the state of this beautiful but fragile landscape.

0:21:230:21:29

With the sun beginning to set, the first day of our property tour of the Lake District is over.

0:21:330:21:38

Andrew and Linda are bored of retirement

0:21:420:21:44

and want to exchange their laid-back life in Leeds for a more energetic livelihood in the Lake District.

0:21:440:21:50

With a budget of £650,000, they are looking for a B&B business with access to outdoor pursuits.

0:21:500:21:56

So far, they've seen one potential business, but do they really want to be open all hours?

0:21:560:22:02

-Can you see yourself here?

-Actually, I could.

0:22:020:22:06

Or will we be able to change their minds entirely with the mystery house?

0:22:060:22:10

Even though I showed them a property that was very expensive yesterday, Linda and Andrew seemed fairly happy

0:22:110:22:17

so today I thought I'd push the envelope a little bit further

0:22:170:22:20

and see whether that rocks their Lakeland boat.

0:22:200:22:24

Our first property of the day lies in the pleasant village of Bampton Grange, situated in a quiet corner

0:22:240:22:30

on the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park.

0:22:300:22:33

Bampton Grange is a small historic hamlet which is home to many buildings of architectural quality

0:22:330:22:38

set in a pastoral location surrounded by farmland.

0:22:380:22:42

Although not in the heart of the main tourist track, the village has

0:22:420:22:46

great road links being only five miles from the M6, which will make it

0:22:460:22:50

an easier commute when Andrew and Linda's three daughters and two grandchildren come to visit.

0:22:500:22:54

Our next property will challenge their commitment to running a full-time business.

0:22:540:22:59

Will they go for it?

0:22:590:23:01

This building here in the 1770s was a popular coaching house.

0:23:010:23:04

And now it's a popular pub, hotel and restaurant.

0:23:040:23:08

And it's up for sale. How do you feel about owning a pub?

0:23:080:23:11

Listen, we said that whatever you came up with we'd look at, any sort of business, and great, let's look.

0:23:110:23:17

-This is a big business. Do you want to look inside?

-Absolutely.

-Yes.

0:23:170:23:23

Well, they seem intrigued but they are not giving away too much just yet.

0:23:230:23:27

So let's take a look inside the pub and find out whether it will be bottoms up

0:23:270:23:31

or last orders for Linda and Andrew.

0:23:310:23:33

Come on in.

0:23:330:23:36

-Come into your bar.

-Wow.

0:23:360:23:38

Oh, wow! That's really nice.

0:23:380:23:41

-Isn't it?

-Yeah, OK.

0:23:410:23:43

-Cosy.

-We like it.

0:23:430:23:45

-We do like it.

-Nice. Yes.

0:23:450:23:48

-You said you wanted to be busier.

-Yes.

-And you wanted to meet people. And, you know, country pub...

0:23:480:23:53

-Yeah, yeah.

-It's a good way of meeting people.

0:23:530:23:57

It's an excellent way of meeting people, yes.

0:23:570:23:59

The pub is very popular with locals.

0:23:590:24:01

A lot of people passing from the walking trade

0:24:010:24:04

and then, all the people who are staying with you.

0:24:040:24:07

The owner has put a lot of money in.

0:24:070:24:08

100,000 in the last three years remodelling and renovating.

0:24:080:24:13

She makes quite a lot of money from the business.

0:24:130:24:15

Also got an open fire over there that you can set during the winter months.

0:24:150:24:20

-Does one have to ski here in the winter? The skis on the wall!

-The long walk home.

0:24:200:24:26

You don't have to walk home because you live here.

0:24:260:24:28

'Smiles all round in the lounge bar and we haven't even touched a drop.

0:24:290:24:32

'Back through the entrance lobby to the reception.'

0:24:320:24:36

This is your reception area because, remember, this is a small hotel, B&B,

0:24:360:24:41

as well as a pub.

0:24:410:24:44

This is where you would greet your guests.

0:24:440:24:47

-It's only been up and running in this format for the last two-and-a-half years.

-Right.

0:24:470:24:51

So the present owner has done an awful lot of work.

0:24:510:24:54

It was pretty run-down. The turnover is about a quarter of a million a year.

0:24:540:24:58

At the moment, because she's invested quite a lot,

0:24:580:25:01

she makes about 40 grand profit.

0:25:010:25:05

Well, that's good, considering the investment, yeah.

0:25:050:25:08

-You would be on the upward curve if you came here.

-Sure.

0:25:080:25:11

This is the dining room and restaurant.

0:25:110:25:17

-Right, OK. A nice size.

-It is, yes.

0:25:170:25:22

The property itself is great.

0:25:220:25:24

I like the property tremendously,

0:25:240:25:26

-but we've got different styles of table here which probably isn't what we would do.

-No.

0:25:260:25:31

-This is a very good point, because, as it stands, everything in the pub comes with the deal.

-Right.

0:25:310:25:37

So you might want to negotiate - "I don't want all that stuff."

0:25:370:25:41

Off the reception area, there are ladies and gents restrooms, a staff room with pool table and a staircase

0:25:410:25:48

which takes us to the first floor where we're going to take a look at one of the eight letting rooms.

0:25:480:25:53

This is a good-sized one right at the front. You get a lovely view over St Patrick's, the church.

0:25:550:26:00

Oh, it's nice. Yes, it's a nice size.

0:26:000:26:03

Works well.

0:26:030:26:05

And they've got very handsome en suites. That's all been put in recently.

0:26:050:26:09

-In terms of accommodation, I think it's really kind of...

-It works well.

0:26:090:26:14

There's everything here that they need, yes.

0:26:140:26:17

There are a further seven newly-decorated bedrooms on the first floor.

0:26:170:26:21

Another twin bedroom with a flat screen TV and en suite shower room.

0:26:210:26:25

Four double bedrooms featuring stylish en suites with roll-top baths.

0:26:250:26:30

And also two single bedrooms, again with en suite showers.

0:26:300:26:34

Now we've seen were the guests sleep, it's time to head back downstairs

0:26:340:26:38

and out the front door to find out what Linda and Andrew would call home.

0:26:380:26:42

And, en route, there's the food prep areas which, of course,

0:26:420:26:45

are more of an industrial catering zone than rustic country kitchen.

0:26:450:26:49

And next door to the kitchen is the staircase that leads to the private accommodation.

0:26:490:26:53

The present owner converted all the upstairs attic space into her private dwelling.

0:26:560:27:01

-Nice.

-It is.

0:27:010:27:03

So it's quite contemporary.

0:27:030:27:05

-Yes.

-But nice and airy.

0:27:050:27:07

You've got a little kitchenette at the end there. It's quite a nice space.

0:27:070:27:10

I'm thinking of your family, particularly your grandchildren,

0:27:100:27:14

so they're not running under the feet of locals and you have a whole separate area,

0:27:140:27:18

which is very airtight from the pub downstairs.

0:27:180:27:20

-Yes.

-Shall we have a look at the sleeping accommodation? OK.

-On we go.

0:27:200:27:24

So far, the landlord's residence with its mix of contemporary and traditional decor

0:27:260:27:30

is receiving a thumbs-up.

0:27:300:27:32

This is being used as the master, but it's quite sizable, isn't it?

0:27:340:27:37

-It's a good size.

-It's big.

0:27:370:27:41

Nice views down over the bridge there along the edge of the church.

0:27:410:27:45

-Oh, that's a pretty view, yes.

-It is.

0:27:450:27:47

Lots and lots of built-in storage which is also useful.

0:27:470:27:51

As well as the master bedroom, there are another two bedrooms

0:27:510:27:54

in the living quarters and a large family bathroom.

0:27:540:27:57

I've thrown the potential of a publican's life into the mix,

0:27:570:28:00

but will the price of the property give them the courage to take a punt on pulling pints?

0:28:000:28:06

-It's a handsome-looking pub, you've got to admit that.

-It is. It's very nice. It stands out.

0:28:060:28:11

-It does.

-One of the drawbacks, apart from the fact that you'll be tied to the bar all your life,

0:28:110:28:18

is that there's not very much outside space.

0:28:180:28:21

There's no space for your veggie garden.

0:28:210:28:23

True, true.

0:28:230:28:25

-You've just got these bits and bobs.

-I don't think I'll have time.

-I was going to say that.

-Exactly.

0:28:250:28:30

It's a big proposition.

0:28:300:28:32

And I suppose the key piece of information that you need is how much it costs.

0:28:320:28:36

I don't like this bit. Andrew, you can go first.

0:28:360:28:39

I'm going to plump for 600.

0:28:390:28:42

I think I'd say a little bit more.

0:28:420:28:44

There's a lot of accommodation there and she has put a lot of money into it.

0:28:440:28:48

650, 660?

0:28:480:28:50

You're closer.

0:28:520:28:54

It's actually on the market for 595.

0:28:540:28:56

Oh, wow!

0:28:560:28:58

-So well within your budget.

-Yes.

0:28:580:29:01

-It's whether it's well within your capabilities.

-We are going to have to think about that one.

0:29:010:29:06

Well, you've got time cos I'm going to send you back in to have a rummage around.

0:29:060:29:10

-Don't get lost.

-OK. Thank you.

-I'll see out the front.

-OK, bye-bye.

0:29:100:29:13

Thank you.

0:29:130:29:15

Now, that is not a reality check, but a curve ball.

0:29:150:29:19

That's what we call that - a curve ball.

0:29:190:29:22

Because they really weren't expecting it to be a full-on pub, hotel and restaurant.

0:29:220:29:26

So I'm very interested to see what they think about that.

0:29:260:29:29

At £595,000, this four-star serious business proposition is back well within budget.

0:29:310:29:37

It has a lounge bar with open log fire, eight modern letting bedrooms, all en suite,

0:29:370:29:42

and spacious living quarters with a large living room,

0:29:420:29:46

master suite and two further bedrooms.

0:29:460:29:49

The property is situated in a more rural part of the Lakes

0:29:490:29:52

but still attracts a high level of visitors.

0:29:520:29:55

All the guest accommodation is wonderful. The en suite's superb, isn't it?

0:29:550:30:00

The property itself, I think, has character.

0:30:000:30:03

It's in a good state of repair.

0:30:030:30:05

The decor is nice, particularly the letting rooms.

0:30:050:30:08

I think a project like this is going to take a bit of thinking about.

0:30:080:30:11

It's a commitment.

0:30:110:30:13

Can you see yourself here?

0:30:130:30:15

Actually, I could.

0:30:150:30:17

I could. I like it.

0:30:170:30:18

Do you know, I'd come and visit you if you had this place.

0:30:180:30:22

-Would you?

-It's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

0:30:220:30:24

Not that I'm trying to sway you in any sense.

0:30:240:30:27

Come on, off we go.

0:30:270:30:28

When they make their move to Cumbria, Andrew and Linda are keen to learn how to sail,

0:30:330:30:38

and the Lake District has 13 major lakes covering 885 square miles.

0:30:380:30:42

So there's plenty to quench their nautical cravings.

0:30:420:30:45

They've come to meet Steve Sykes from the local sailing centre

0:30:450:30:48

based at Ullswater to learn the art of traditional sailing.

0:30:480:30:53

Hi, guys. I'm Steve and I'm taking you for a taster session.

0:30:530:30:56

We're going to get you geared up, onto the boat and change your life.

0:30:560:30:59

Lovely.

0:30:590:31:00

At eight miles long and nearly a mile wide, Ullswater is the second largest lake in the National Park.

0:31:020:31:08

The magnificent surrounding mountains can create changing

0:31:080:31:11

weather patterns, causing challenging sailing conditions.

0:31:110:31:14

But today the wind is calm so it should be, well, plain sailing.

0:31:140:31:19

All kitted out in their safety gear, it's time for Andrew and Linda to hit the water.

0:31:190:31:24

For today's lesson, Steve will be demonstrating the basic principle of traditional sailing -

0:31:240:31:30

how to steer the boat.

0:31:300:31:32

Right, guys. When we're sailing, I've got the tiller, the stick, in my back hand, for obvious reasons.

0:31:320:31:38

Pull it towards me, come away from the wind.

0:31:380:31:41

Push it away from me, go into the wind.

0:31:410:31:44

Right. The rope's in my front hand.

0:31:440:31:47

I want to pull the rope in, pull it down to my thumb,

0:31:470:31:50

pull it in again. What we've really got to be careful of, use your back foot to do it,

0:31:500:31:56

is to push the rope back there.

0:31:560:31:58

If we get hit by a bit of a gust, I can just let it go.

0:31:580:32:02

If I'm standing on it and we get hit by a gust, we're going in there, yeah.

0:32:020:32:07

The tiller is attached to the rudder, which provides leverage to turn the boat.

0:32:070:32:11

But will this crew keep their heads above water when Linda puts her navigation skills to the test?

0:32:110:32:16

The wind, you're in a mountainous area.

0:32:160:32:19

-So the wind is going to be unpredictable because of the mountains.

-Yeah.

0:32:190:32:23

You've got slopes on the mountain that are exposed to the sun.

0:32:230:32:28

You've got slopes that are never exposed to sun,

0:32:280:32:31

so you have cool air dropping, warm air rising.

0:32:310:32:35

-It's all over the place.

-Right.

0:32:350:32:37

It makes sailing really interesting, but then again, it's beautiful.

0:32:370:32:42

So how many years does it take to master this craft?

0:32:420:32:46

If you've got the time, it just comes down to how you can practise.

0:32:460:32:50

If running a busy business is what they want,

0:32:500:32:52

I'm not sure Linda and Andrew will have much time to sail off into the sunset.

0:32:520:32:56

Unless, that is, I can tempt them with the mystery house.

0:32:560:33:00

Spot on, guys. Awesome session.

0:33:000:33:02

-Fantastic, thank you.

-Yeah, you've enjoyed it?

-Really enjoyed it, Steve.

0:33:020:33:06

No worries.

0:33:060:33:07

I think to be honest with that last property we've pushed the business side

0:33:110:33:15

as far as we can go without consigning Andrew and Linda to an early grave.

0:33:150:33:19

So I think for the mystery house we're going to bring everything

0:33:190:33:23

back down to a much more quiet and tranquil pace.

0:33:230:33:28

It's right down to the southernmost point of the Lakes

0:33:310:33:34

for our mystery property, the hamlet of Oxen Park.

0:33:340:33:37

It's set among the picturesque low-lying fells

0:33:370:33:39

between Lake Windermere and Coniston Water.

0:33:390:33:42

Full of pretty cottages, farmhouses and distinctive dry-stone walling,

0:33:420:33:45

Oxen Park is set amongst a magnificent backdrop of fell views and uninterrupted farmland.

0:33:450:33:52

If our last house was all about work, work, work, the mystery house is quite the opposite,

0:33:520:33:56

dangling the carrot of total relaxation in front of them.

0:33:560:34:00

We'll be keeping the business at arm's length

0:34:000:34:02

and concentrate on a country home just for the two of them to enjoy.

0:34:020:34:06

-Here we have the mystery house.

-Yes.

0:34:060:34:09

-It's a mystery.

-It's lovely.

0:34:090:34:11

-It is a mystery.

-It's pretty.

0:34:110:34:13

The idea of the mystery house is that it's something completely tangential.

0:34:130:34:17

Not completely not what you asked for - it's in the Lake District.

0:34:170:34:20

but it's a whole another view of this retirement business.

0:34:200:34:24

The property is this whitewashed bit.

0:34:240:34:28

And in many ways the reason I'm bringing you here

0:34:280:34:30

is not so much to look at the property but to look at this.

0:34:300:34:33

Well, views were right up there on Andrew and Linda's wish list,

0:34:330:34:36

and in the outlook department, this cottage definitely delivers.

0:34:360:34:40

Here we have

0:34:400:34:42

-what I think is the biggest selling point of this property.

-Yes, the view.

0:34:420:34:47

But not necessarily the bit of the Lakes that you were looking for.

0:34:470:34:50

-Different.

-It's different, more gentle.

0:34:500:34:53

The property is not a business venture.

0:34:530:34:56

I wouldn't run a B&B from here.

0:34:560:34:58

But we're hoping that this would be a lovely base for you in the Lakes, for you and your family,

0:34:580:35:06

and it would give you some money to maybe look at some other businesses.

0:35:060:35:10

We know that you've been looking at some other options.

0:35:100:35:13

-Shall we go inside?

-Let's do it.

0:35:130:35:16

The cottage has an abundance of charm and character,

0:35:160:35:19

both inside and out, but will it manage to charm them?

0:35:190:35:22

Come into the cosy cottage.

0:35:220:35:25

It's nice. I suppose it's quite a nice, big living room.

0:35:290:35:34

You need a bit of imagination here.

0:35:340:35:36

Not all of our furniture would fit here, but I suppose as a family room it's quite nice.

0:35:360:35:40

Let's look in through at the old kitchen.

0:35:400:35:43

'The lounge didn't get a warm reaction so we'll head through to

0:35:430:35:46

'the second reception with the hope that this room will fare better.'

0:35:460:35:49

-This would have been the old kitchen in the cottage.

-Right.

0:35:490:35:53

They used to have a huge range here, back in the 40s and 50s,

0:35:530:35:57

which was replaced by a horrible one in the 60s

0:35:570:36:00

-and then replaced by this very pretty open fire recently.

-Does it work?

0:36:000:36:05

-Yes.

-Right, that's nice.

0:36:050:36:08

This is nice.

0:36:080:36:09

It's quaint.

0:36:090:36:11

-But it's...

-Full of character.

0:36:110:36:14

Way too small for what we're looking to do and for our family.

0:36:140:36:17

We would like to be able to have family come and spend time with us.

0:36:170:36:21

-Let's whizz round.

-What else is there?

-Let's go and have a look in the kitchen.

0:36:210:36:25

I think this is quite a sweet little kitchen.

0:36:250:36:28

It's small. It's hardly traditional.

0:36:280:36:34

I think it's charming.

0:36:340:36:35

Continuing to be not really what we're looking for, I think.

0:36:350:36:40

It's a shame because it is a charming little cottage for somebody, but maybe not you two.

0:36:400:36:45

Let's have a quick whizz upstairs.

0:36:450:36:48

'Shame they haven't been seduced by the downstairs of this cottage

0:36:480:36:51

'but perhaps the layout upstairs will raise a smile.'

0:36:510:36:54

You've got choices on the staircase.

0:36:560:36:58

It's a three-way split.

0:37:000:37:02

You can go that way, you can go that way, and I'll go this way.

0:37:050:37:08

No, we'll all go this way.

0:37:080:37:11

Upstairs there's a good sized and light family bathroom

0:37:130:37:17

and there are four comfortably sized double bedrooms, great for when their three daughters come to visit.

0:37:170:37:23

Who wouldn't want to wake up to those fine views over the garden and surrounding countryside?

0:37:230:37:28

And we're going to take a look at the largest of the four bedrooms.

0:37:280:37:33

So we go into this bedroom.

0:37:330:37:36

-Characterful.

-Not for you.

0:37:360:37:39

Sunny, love the fireplace.

0:37:390:37:42

It's got some nice original features.

0:37:420:37:44

It does.

0:37:440:37:46

-But it's a bit small.

-Not really what we're looking for.

0:37:460:37:49

Let's go outside and talk about the price.

0:37:490:37:52

'You win some, you lose some.

0:37:520:37:54

'I thought I might be able to tempt them with these beautiful surroundings,

0:37:540:37:58

'but we'd better get into the garden and find out what they think it's all worth.'

0:37:580:38:03

Just out of interest, what do you think this little pocket of the southern Lakes costs?

0:38:030:38:08

I think it's a very sweet little cottage with a fantastic view,

0:38:080:38:14

-but we're out of the Lake District a little way here.

-It's still in the park.

-Still in the park?

-Very much.

0:38:140:38:20

I'm going to stick my neck out at 250.

0:38:200:38:24

I'd go 295.

0:38:240:38:26

295. Marvellous! Marvellous!

0:38:260:38:29

It's on the market for 550.

0:38:290:38:31

Oh, sorry! Oh, God!

0:38:310:38:35

-That's great.

-That's awful.

0:38:350:38:36

Your eyes did light up a little bit when you saw it.

0:38:360:38:39

I think if it's done nothing else, it's focused us on wanting to do B&B.

0:38:390:38:45

So in that sense, at least it's raised those issues,

0:38:450:38:47

and it's made you clear that B&B is what you want to do.

0:38:470:38:50

Yes.

0:38:500:38:51

At £550,000, the mystery house is £100,000 under budget

0:38:530:38:58

which they could plough into a business investment.

0:38:580:39:01

There are two reception rooms and four double bedrooms, enough for a visiting family.

0:39:010:39:06

And the cottage has stunning views over the landscape,

0:39:060:39:09

only a few minutes' drive from the shores of Coniston Water,

0:39:090:39:12

great for all those outdoor pursuits they wanted to indulge.

0:39:120:39:16

I think it's going to make somebody a super little cottage.

0:39:160:39:20

Fantastic views, some lovely features, but not for us.

0:39:200:39:24

I would agree 100%.

0:39:240:39:26

It's just such a shame because the views are just fabulous.

0:39:260:39:30

Have you changed your mind?

0:39:300:39:32

-No, not at all.

-No, not all!

0:39:320:39:34

But it has brought things into focus a little bit, hasn't it?

0:39:340:39:37

Very clearly focused, absolutely.

0:39:370:39:39

We thought and talked, but I think our initial reaction is probably the one that we would run with.

0:39:390:39:45

Now's we need to get an overview of everything we've seen,

0:39:450:39:48

so let's find a place to sit down and have a little head scratch.

0:39:480:39:52

Andrew and Linda have had the chance to explore the area and I've shown them properties

0:39:590:40:04

to suit both their business and recreational aspirations,

0:40:040:40:07

even if they didn't all suit their budget.

0:40:070:40:09

So there's plenty to consider.

0:40:090:40:11

We have rather dizzied Andrew and Linda with the number of options

0:40:120:40:16

for their Lakeland retirement, so it's about time we find out which one, if any, they most prefer.

0:40:160:40:22

Beautiful as the Lakes are, it's exhausting because everything is so beautiful

0:40:260:40:30

and it takes so long to get everywhere because the Lakes are so big.

0:40:300:40:33

It has been tiring, but it's been great.

0:40:330:40:36

-I enjoyed it.

-Can you cast your mind back, I know it seems a long time ago, back to the Georgian house?

0:40:360:40:41

-You seemed to like that.

-Is that the wow house?

0:40:410:40:43

Is that the wow house?

0:40:430:40:45

The wow house remains the wow house. That's the dream house, almost, isn't it?

0:40:450:40:52

-We've got some hard talking to do, I think.

-We have.

0:40:520:40:57

Very much enjoyed the Georgian house.

0:40:570:40:59

Ticked almost every box.

0:40:590:41:02

Remarkable in terms of it satisfying what we wanted.

0:41:020:41:05

But it did make me smile all the way around it. The wow face-ache house.

0:41:050:41:09

What about the hotel and the pub and the restaurant all-in-one?

0:41:090:41:14

That was a big project.

0:41:140:41:16

I think if we were perhaps wanting to commit that sort of energy, we would go for that, wouldn't we?

0:41:160:41:23

-We loved the atmosphere.

-Absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the place, yeah.

0:41:230:41:27

And I can see us having a nice time there, working hard and playing hard.

0:41:270:41:33

I just wonder whether we're looking for that level of commitment.

0:41:330:41:36

Perhaps we need to look at some figures and we need to understand a little bit

0:41:360:41:40

of what staff could do that would make our lives a little easier.

0:41:400:41:44

We did enjoy it. We did enjoy it.

0:41:440:41:46

It was good, a good find.

0:41:460:41:48

You made it very clear that you were not keen on the actual property of the mystery house, but in terms of

0:41:480:41:53

buying a property that didn't have a big business attached, like the pub,

0:41:530:41:57

or that may have the potential for restoration, what are your thoughts on that?

0:41:570:42:03

I like the thought of restoring something, or building to make separate visitor accommodation.

0:42:030:42:10

I really do think that's a good idea.

0:42:100:42:12

Overall, looking at all the properties we've seen

0:42:120:42:15

and the thoughts that you've had, what are your conclusions?

0:42:150:42:18

Is there a property you might move on?

0:42:180:42:20

The pub is still on the radar, as is the Georgian house itself.

0:42:200:42:24

So it's been a really useful experience for us.

0:42:240:42:27

It's been a pleasure showing you around.

0:42:270:42:29

I think that if any two people are going to make a good go of running a B&B here,

0:42:290:42:34

-it's going to be you two, so book me in when you open up.

-It'll be our pleasure.

0:42:340:42:38

-It has been a pleasure. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:380:42:41

I think we've done a fine job on focusing those two canny business brains

0:42:440:42:49

on what exactly they want from their Lakeland life.

0:42:490:42:51

And if I come appear in a few years' time, I know that I will stay in Andrew and Linda's B&B.

0:42:510:42:57

And if you've been inspired by our rural retreats,

0:42:570:43:00

make sure you tune in next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:43:000:43:03

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0:43:030:43:06

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0:43:060:43:08

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