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 pounds.


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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

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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

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'who want to step out of retirement and make a new life for themselves

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'running a B&B in England's lovely Lake District.

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-'We'll get them excited about a guesthouse.'

-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,

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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,

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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

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'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 with him 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

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and a rather fine kitchen with dual-aspect windows

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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,

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with a light and spacious family kitchen, modern bathrooms

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and an enormous conservatory to relax in

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and soak up the beautiful rural location.

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Or how about this three-bedroom rustic barn conversion in Gosforth

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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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Now the couple, who have three 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're selling their four bed house in Pudsey, West Yorkshire,

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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

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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

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and we see it as an opportunity therefore

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to have a nice little business

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that will make some reasonable money utilising tourism.

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Linda and Andrew have a clear wish-list

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for their dream home in the country.

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I think what we need from this next property

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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. And...

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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 would be amazing,

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and join the local community clubs and be an active part of a village.

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I really enjoy growing fruit and vegetables

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and I'm hoping that we'll have the facility to grow them

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in the bed and breakfast

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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.

-SHE LAUGHS

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But before we can start looking for their new home,

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we need to find out what their house is worth.

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The property is in a great location in a sought-after area of 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 very 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 they're 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 draw in perspective B&B guests,

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so our search will radiate out from the popular towns

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of Keswick and Windermere.

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I'll show them some fantastic properties, amongst which I hope is their ideal home.

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But we also have the mystery house,

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which will serve up something they hadn't bargained for.

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-Morning, guys.

-Morning, Alastair.

-Isn't the Lake District beautiful?

-Isn't it just.

-Fabulous.

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I'm glad you're looking here. 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 a 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?

-Yeah.

-A lifestyle, not too serious.

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But I hear are looking for a B&B?

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-Yes.

-Something like that.

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Exciting. 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've stayed in them

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and we've asked people 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 up.

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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? The Lake District is a great place for a B&B

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as everyone wants to come and stay, 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

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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

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and spacious reception rooms for family visitors.

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For the B&B side, they are looking for at least four bedrooms,

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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 on their budget

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is going to be an uphill struggle, 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'll 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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And let's just hope we back a winner among the selection of properties we've lined up for them,

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starting with our first one in the market town of Ambleside,

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right in the middle of the Lake District National Park.

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Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ambleside is located at the northern end

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of England's largest lake, Lake Windermere.

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It also has superb access to outstanding mountains and fells

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so it's a great place for outdoor pursuits such as walking or sailing.

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For the less adventurous, there are many places to eat and drink

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and a variety of shops to browse.

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Our first property is a charming 18th century cottage,

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five minutes' walk from both the town centre and the lake.

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-Roll on up for our first lakeside B&B.

-Wow.

-Very good.

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This is the one I want to show you.

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It's the cream part of this building, not all of it unfortunately.

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It's nice. Nice.

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-Sounds a bit cagey?

-Yes.

-You don't like it?

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No, I can't say that I don't like it

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cos it's quite a pretty building.

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It's pretty, it's got history, but I think we need to see inside, then look at the view.

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-Does the garage belong to the house?

-Yeah. The garage and the next green door is yours.

-I see.

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-Are you happy with this?

-I like the style of the property.

-Yeah.

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-Not blown away, but I like it.

-Shall we go inside?

-Absolutely.

-Yeah.

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The current owners run a successful bed and breakfast business,

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and I'm hoping that the mix of historic character

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and income potential is a combination Andrew and Linda will find appealing.

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-In we come!

-Wow.

-Sweet.

-It is sweet, isn't it?

-Yes.

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-It's uber-cosy.

-Yes. Yes, it is.

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-It's nice.

-It is. I love it.

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This is what the present owner calls the guests' lounge.

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So, this is where people can come in after their walks, they can sit down, have a cup of tea.

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I think it's really nice in here.

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-It's cosy. It's quiet as well.

-It's very quiet. Very thick walls.

-Yeah, yeah.

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Muted enthusiasm there, but what about the kitchen?

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-Come on in to the kitchen.

-Oh, it's lovely.

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-I like it.

-Really?

-Yes, I do.

-Cosy.

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-It's nice.

-Cosy - is that codeword for tiny?

-It's bijou. It's fine.

-It IS tiny.

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-So, you think it might be a bit too small?

-I think it's too small.

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-It's kind of in proportion with the cottage, really.

-Yes, it is.

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-The cottage may be too small. We'll have to wait and see.

-This is in proportion to your budget!

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-We've come to the kind of crucial crux of house-buying.

-Yes.

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-But, in terms of style and everything?

-I think it's pretty.

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There is another space here. This is a sitting room

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that the present owner uses as her own private space, so this is sealed off from the guests.

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-Small.

-Small, too?

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-Love the floor.

-Yeah, this is Indian slate.

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-Yes, it is nice.

-These beams are over the windows,

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and the very thick walls obviously are part of the original farmhouse cottage,

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which are tendentially quite small.

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Hmm. Okey-dokey.

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Good. So, that's this space. Then, of course, you've got the dining room, which is the heart of any B&B.

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We retrace our steps through the kitchen

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to the dining area, where the decor is sure to lift their spirits.

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-Oh, look! It makes me want to have breakfast all over again.

-Yes!

-Absolutely!

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It's small, but she's packed such a lot in here.

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We can't pretend this has got the best views in Lakeland, but certainly it's a pleasant room.

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I think it's full of character.

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That's one of the main criteria that we were looking for -

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-we need somewhere with character. This is oozing character.

-It is.

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Unfortunately, it just needs stretching out a little.

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Also downstairs, there's a utility room and a cloakroom

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with shower cubicle.

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We'll head upstairs now to the first floor, which is completely done over for guests,

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where we'll take a look at the first of the four letting bedrooms.

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Entre dans la chambre.

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-This is beautiful.

-Wow. Isn't it?

-You do have views!

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-Yes.

-It does have views, absolutely.

-But it is absolutely gorgeous.

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-It's a great room, isn't it?

-It is. It's a nice size as well.

-Yeah.

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-I'm really impressed with this. And it's light!

-You get more light cos you're not on the ground floor.

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-You've got a little en suite there, if you want to poke your head in there.

-Oh, yes.

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-It's nice, good.

-It's nice and it'll do the job very well.

-Does everything. Great.

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At the end of the landing is another well-presented double bedroom,

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leading through to a single bedroom and en-suite shower room.

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But it can be offered to guests as a twin, double or family room.

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The third of the four bedrooms on this floor is another elegant double guest bedroom

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with a wash-basin. And last but not least, there's a single room with a cosy window seat.

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The guest bedrooms have all been contained to one floor,

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leaving the remaining two bedrooms on the second floor solely for the home-owners.

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Time to take a look.

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We're up in the eaves, as you can see.

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-So, nice view.

-It is.

-Good view.

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And this would be... Well, at the moment, she uses this as her accommodation, so there's this room

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-and then there's a little single room next-door.

-Mm-hmm.

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-And an en suite, of course.

-Good, yeah.

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-Nice.

-The ground floor was diminutive compared to the first floor.

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That's unusual. Usually, it's the other way around. Usually, it gets smaller as you go up.

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I've got to say that decoratively, it's quirky, it's beautiful, it's...

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-It's in-keeping.

-Yeah, it really is.

-I'd definitely stay here.

-Super.

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Yeah, I'd love to stay here.

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-Let's take a look at the outside cos I know that's important.

-Absolutely.

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That's the tour of the house completed,

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so it's back downstairs, through the kitchen and out to the garden.

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Another view.

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-This is the end of the end of the Fairfield Horseshoe.

-Wow.

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-You are in the middle of Ambleside, but you're kind of at the edge as well.

-Yeah.

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It's not a huge garden.

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-It's big enough. You've got to do it.

-With all the hobbies that we're looking forward to enjoying,

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it would be nice to have some space without it becoming a chore.

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-Who needs a garden when you've got that to look at?

-Precisely so.

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Sit here and admire the view, yeah.

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A few more facts vis-a-vis the sums.

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Overall, it's about 65% occupancy through the year.

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And she turns over just under £45,000.

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So, bearing that in mind, and all the other factors,

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would you like to have a stab at guessing how much it's on the market for?

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580, just under six.

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-580?

-I'm going to go an awful lot lower than that.

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I think it ought to be on the market nearer 500.

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Oh, Andrew! It's in Ambleside. Come on! Don't be a...

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You see, this is, I think, going to be the learning curve.

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-Because this is on the market for 610.

-Shock horror!

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So, why not take that salient information

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-and have a nosey round the house, and then I'll meet you out the front?

-OK.

-Thank you.

-Good.

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That, dear viewers, is what we call a reality check.

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And, I know this is a specialised area,

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but this is going to be a wonderful journey of compromise.

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The price tag wasn't exactly music to Andrew and Linda's ears,

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but, on the market for £610,000,

0:17:220:17:25

our first property is still £40,000 under budget.

0:17:250:17:28

With six bedrooms, three of which are en suite,

0:17:280:17:31

and four reception rooms,

0:17:310:17:32

it's a deceptively large cottage set on three floors.

0:17:320:17:36

Situated in a great location,

0:17:370:17:38

just a five minute walk from the popular town of Ambleside,

0:17:380:17:42

this is a fully operating bed and breakfast business

0:17:420:17:44

with an annual turnover of £45,000.

0:17:440:17:48

It has a slither of a view,

0:17:480:17:49

but they can't have everything on their budget.

0:17:490:17:52

-What do you think of this one?

-Well, I like all the rooms.

0:17:520:17:55

The rooms are just perfect. I can't fault the rooms.

0:17:550:17:58

Although it is very charming and I was blown away with the bedrooms -

0:17:580:18:02

they were just beautiful - it's just too small. We've got a big family

0:18:020:18:06

when we're all together,

0:18:060:18:07

and we've got to consider family life as well as business life.

0:18:070:18:11

It's way too small as it stands, but there is the garage next-door.

0:18:110:18:14

so there may be the possibility of knocking through.

0:18:140:18:19

Standing in the garden, looking at the views of the Fairfield Horseshoe

0:18:190:18:23

excites me with the concept of being here.

0:18:230:18:25

I'm excited at the prospect, I really am.

0:18:250:18:27

-Ah! Finished?

-Yes.

-Yeah.

0:18:290:18:32

-Shall we move on out of Ambleside?

-Yes.

-Here we go.

0:18:320:18:35

A thorough understanding of the local area is key when setting up a holiday accommodation business.

0:18:400:18:45

So, Andrew and Linda are taking a tour of the thriving town of Bowness-on-Windermere.

0:18:450:18:50

On the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, Bowness is the largest town

0:18:500:18:54

in the Lake District National Park and Cumbria's most visited tourist destination.

0:18:540:18:59

There are hundreds of shops, restaurants, pubs and historical attractions,

0:18:590:19:03

but the real draw is the lake - both for birds and tourists alike.

0:19:030:19:08

At almost 11 miles long, Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in England

0:19:080:19:13

and has been used to transport goods, animals and people for more than 600 years.

0:19:130:19:17

Andrew and Linda have come to meet local guide Ian Jones

0:19:170:19:20

to find out what sort of effect all these visitors are having

0:19:200:19:24

-on the natural environment.

-Before 2005, there were speedboats

0:19:240:19:28

and jet-skis and waterskiing on the lake.

0:19:280:19:31

And that certainly had an impact with increased waves and the noise.

0:19:310:19:35

But one thing that national park has done to counteract that,

0:19:350:19:39

they imposed a speed limit on Windermere.

0:19:390:19:41

It's 10 mph and, as you're probably aware,

0:19:410:19:44

it's difficult to water-ski at less than 10 mph!

0:19:440:19:47

But enough about the environment.

0:19:480:19:50

-Let's go and see another attraction of Bowness.

-OK.

0:19:500:19:53

This beautiful area is well worth preserving,

0:19:530:19:56

as are the architectural gems that fit so harmoniously

0:19:560:19:59

into the Lakeland landscape,

0:19:590:20:01

such as the magnificent Arts and Crafts house, Blackwell.

0:20:010:20:05

Built in 1900 by architect Baillie Scott, it's one of Britain's

0:20:060:20:10

finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture,

0:20:100:20:13

and was commissioned by wealthy industrialist

0:20:130:20:16

Sir Edward Holt as a rural retreat for his family.

0:20:160:20:19

The house survives today with nearly all of its original decorative features intact,

0:20:190:20:24

such as stained glass work and carved wooden panelling. The use of

0:20:240:20:28

split level spaces, minstrel galleries and rooms within rooms gives this house the essence

0:20:280:20:33

of an intimate family home, despite its magnificence.

0:20:330:20:36

And, of course, the house lies perfectly positioned to enjoy the very best of the local scenery.

0:20:360:20:43

So, this is the white drawing room and it draws the most from these

0:20:430:20:46

two windows. This window here, lovely view over the lake.

0:20:460:20:50

And it resembles in some ways a bridge of a ship. You can imagine the skipper

0:20:500:20:55

looking ahead that way. And then over here we've got the other window

0:20:550:20:58

which has a lovely view out over the surrounding countryside.

0:20:580:21:02

The last leg on Andrew and Linda's tour of Bowness takes them to a vantage point above the town

0:21:030:21:08

for a chance to savour some of the finest scenery in the whole of the Lake District.

0:21:080:21:12

So, welcome to this viewpoint. This is called Biskey Howe.

0:21:120:21:16

Bowness down below us here was very much a Victorian resort

0:21:160:21:21

and they loved their viewpoints which didn't involve too much walking. Remember, the ladies

0:21:210:21:25

would be in their voluminous skirts. So an easy access,

0:21:250:21:29

but a place where they could admire the splendour of the Lake District.

0:21:290:21:33

It's Andrew and Linda's dream

0:21:330:21:35

to own a home with similar awe-inspiring views,

0:21:350:21:38

but first we've got to find it. So, it's back to the hunt.

0:21:380:21:42

Next, we're venturing to the tranquil village of Thornthwaite,

0:21:430:21:46

which lies at the north end of the Lakes.

0:21:460:21:48

The location makes an excellent base

0:21:480:21:51

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

0:21:510:21:56

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

0:21:560:22:01

Our next property is an 18th century manor house

0:22:010:22:04

which I'm hoping will fit the bill.

0:22:040:22:06

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

0:22:060:22:09

Ta-da!

0:22:090:22:11

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

-That's beautiful.

0:22:130:22:16

-Yeah.

-That's the house.

-That's the house?

0:22:160:22:19

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

-Stunning.

0:22:190:22:25

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

0:22:250:22:27

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

0:22:270:22:33

-Stunning. Looks lovely.

-I can't wait to get inside.

0:22:330:22:36

I'm not surprised they like what they see.

0:22:360:22:38

This elegant house sits very comfortably in the landscape,

0:22:380:22:41

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

0:22:410:22:46

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

0:22:460:22:50

You could never get that again.

0:22:500:22:53

-Boot cleaners.

-Excellent.

0:22:530:22:55

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

0:22:550:22:59

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

0:22:590:23:04

-You were worried about the proportions of the last house.

-Yes.

0:23:040:23:09

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

-Perfect.

-Absolutely. Perfect.

0:23:090:23:14

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

0:23:140:23:17

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

-Yes, look at the windows.

-Look at the VIEW!

0:23:170:23:22

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

0:23:220:23:24

A lovely bay window with shutters.

0:23:240:23:27

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

0:23:270:23:30

-So it works?

-They all work, yeah.

-Splendid.

-Good.

0:23:300:23:32

So far, the proportions and potential of this house seem to be

0:23:320:23:36

hitting the nail on the head.

0:23:360:23:38

-Got your own bar.

-No! SHE LAUGHS

0:23:380:23:43

What can I get you?

0:23:450:23:47

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

0:23:470:23:50

-You've got this exquisite slate fireplace.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

0:23:500:23:54

Original, and it's all solid slate. Pretty much priceless.

0:23:540:23:59

I love the windows. They're just fantastic. And what's beyond.

0:23:590:24:03

Just bear in mind that

0:24:030:24:06

this wall, this little hatch here, connects through to the kitchen.

0:24:060:24:10

-Right.

-All will become clear.

0:24:100:24:14

There's a lot to think about and a lot to see

0:24:160:24:18

and I have a simple suggestion that could really tailor this property's layout

0:24:180:24:23

to suit Andrew and Linda's specific needs.

0:24:230:24:25

The kitchen is the heart of the home.

0:24:250:24:28

Absolutely. Yes.

0:24:280:24:30

-Better.

-Better?

-Better!

-Nice space.

0:24:300:24:34

Yes. Good range.

0:24:340:24:37

-You've got a sofa.

-Sofa.

0:24:370:24:40

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

0:24:400:24:46

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

0:24:460:24:49

unlike most of the walls, not so very thick.

0:24:490:24:51

-Right.

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

0:24:510:24:55

as your front room, knock through into the kitchen

0:24:550:25:00

-because if we go through here, this could all be your private quarters.

-OK, lead on.

0:25:000:25:05

So, coming back into the hall with these lovely flagstones,

0:25:080:25:12

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

0:25:120:25:16

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

-Right.

0:25:160:25:22

You'd have that front room, the kitchen.

0:25:220:25:25

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

0:25:250:25:28

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

0:25:280:25:31

including an office, perfect for running their business.

0:25:310:25:34

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

0:25:340:25:38

A bathroom and a utility room.

0:25:380:25:40

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

0:25:400:25:45

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

0:25:450:25:48

-Oh yes.

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

0:25:480:25:51

-Great, yeah.

-What do you think?

0:25:510:25:53

Great, yes. Wardrobe space.

0:25:530:25:55

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

-A bathroom.

-What more do we need?

-Windows onto the garden.

0:25:550:26:00

-Lovely windows onto the garden.

-I like it lots.

-I do.

-Like it lots.

0:26:000:26:04

Do you want to go and see the guest accommodation?

0:26:040:26:07

-Yes, please.

-Absolutely!

-Upstairs.

0:26:070:26:10

Halfway between the ground floor and the first floor

0:26:100:26:13

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

0:26:130:26:17

And further up on to the first floor,

0:26:170:26:19

there are three guest bedrooms.

0:26:190:26:21

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

0:26:220:26:26

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

-Yes.

0:26:260:26:31

-Great potential, don't you think?

-Absolutely.

0:26:310:26:34

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

-It does.

0:26:340:26:36

But if you put a bit of love and kindness

0:26:360:26:39

and made it really beautiful, high end, reinstated this fireplace,

0:26:390:26:45

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

0:26:450:26:49

-You could, you could.

-Hmm.

0:26:490:26:52

This room also has access to the kitchenette,

0:26:520:26:56

which could further boost its potential as a self-catering letting.

0:26:560:26:59

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

0:26:590:27:04

and across the hallway

0:27:040:27:05

is an enormous bedroom with enough room for a double bed,

0:27:050:27:08

two single beds, a sofa and a spacious en-suite bathroom.

0:27:080:27:12

Perfect to rent out to families.

0:27:120:27:15

Lastly on this floor is another double bedroom

0:27:150:27:17

and large family bathroom.

0:27:170:27:20

But it doesn't end there. A trip upstairs to the second floor

0:27:200:27:24

brings us to the remaining three of the seven bedrooms.

0:27:240:27:27

A massive double room with attractive exposed roof timbers.

0:27:270:27:31

Another good-sized double and, across the hallway,

0:27:310:27:34

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

0:27:340:27:38

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

0:27:380:27:41

That's a lot of rooms

0:27:410:27:43

and there's plenty more to see outside in the garden.

0:27:430:27:46

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

0:27:470:27:52

-Yes, impressive.

-Super. And sunshine.

0:27:520:27:56

-And sunshine.

-Glorious.

0:27:560:27:58

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

-Oh, veggie plot!

0:27:580:28:04

-That's great.

-Summer house.

0:28:040:28:05

-Yes. Absolutely glorious.

-You've surpassed yourselves.

0:28:050:28:09

You have, you have.

0:28:090:28:11

-Spot on.

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

0:28:110:28:15

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

0:28:150:28:19

However, how much you think it costs?

0:28:190:28:22

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

0:28:220:28:28

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

0:28:300:28:34

OK, so this is the difficult bit.

0:28:340:28:38

It's on the market for 795.

0:28:380:28:40

-Right.

-Right.

0:28:400:28:43

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

0:28:430:28:46

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

-Absolutely.

0:28:460:28:52

This is a lot to take on and I know it's a big change of perspective,

0:28:520:28:56

-but have a look round the house.

-Thank you.

-And we'll meet out front.

0:28:560:29:00

-Super, OK. Thank you.

-Thank you very much indeed.

0:29:000:29:04

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

0:29:040:29:09

I still think this property really offers them what they want

0:29:090:29:14

and that they might be able to embrace that. Just might.

0:29:140:29:18

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

0:29:200:29:25

that Andrew and Linda's dream Lakeside property

0:29:250:29:28

isn't going to come cheap.

0:29:280:29:30

With extensive accommodation on three storeys,

0:29:300:29:33

comprising four reception rooms, seven bedrooms, three with en suite,

0:29:330:29:37

a three-roomed annexe with its own bathroom and separate access,

0:29:370:29:41

with far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside,

0:29:410:29:44

this elegant property certainly gives Andrew and Linda

0:29:440:29:46

what they asked for -

0:29:460:29:48

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

0:29:480:29:51

but the price is a hefty reality check for them.

0:29:510:29:55

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

-I like it, yes.

0:29:550:29:58

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

0:29:580:30:01

Words are difficult to describe this property.

0:30:010:30:05

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

0:30:050:30:08

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

0:30:080:30:12

It ticks all of the boxes.

0:30:120:30:15

I think the house is just spot on.

0:30:150:30:18

The location is divine.

0:30:180:30:20

Everything about it is good.

0:30:200:30:23

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

0:30:230:30:26

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

0:30:280:30:32

Let's hope so.

0:30:320:30:34

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

0:30:380:30:42

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

0:30:420:30:45

millions of keen walkers like Linda and Andrew every year.

0:30:450:30:48

The trouble is that all those pairs of feet trampling

0:30:480:30:51

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

0:30:510:30:55

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

0:30:550:30:59

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

0:30:590:31:04

-Morning, John.

-Morning. How you doing?

-What an amazing view.

0:31:040:31:07

-It's great, isn't it?

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

0:31:070:31:10

-It's the best job in the world.

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

0:31:100:31:14

Basically we are dealing with access-related erosion,

0:31:140:31:17

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

0:31:170:31:21

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

0:31:210:31:24

I imagine fell walkers are pretty responsible.

0:31:240:31:27

They don't seem like vandals. It's not intentional damage then?

0:31:270:31:30

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

0:31:300:31:33

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

0:31:330:31:37

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

0:31:370:31:40

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

0:31:400:31:44

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

0:31:440:31:47

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

0:31:470:31:53

-22 metres wide?

-Yes.

0:31:530:31:55

Wow, that's like a motorway.

0:31:550:31:57

-Yeah.

-So what's the answer?

0:31:570:31:59

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

0:31:590:32:02

It's a never-ending project. Look after the fells, really,

0:32:020:32:06

trying to re-landscape them, make the access sustainable.

0:32:060:32:10

So can we see the work which is going on?

0:32:100:32:13

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

-I might even help them.

0:32:130:32:17

Let's have a look.

0:32:170:32:18

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

0:32:180:32:22

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

0:32:220:32:26

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

0:32:260:32:32

They are doing a great job but at least 60 paths are still in need of restoration,

0:32:320:32:36

and the scheme is looking for volunteers to join in the effort.

0:32:360:32:39

-Tip it over. Just like that.

-That's perfect.

0:32:420:32:45

That's great, that.

0:32:450:32:47

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

0:32:470:32:52

That's going to save this for how long?

0:32:520:32:54

This will be here hopefully for 100 years now.

0:32:540:32:57

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

0:32:570:33:03

As the day draws to a close, Linda and Andrew take the chance to sit,

0:33:070:33:11

and compare notes about what they each thought of the properties.

0:33:110:33:15

So what did you think of the Ambleside B&B?

0:33:150:33:19

Quite liked it, although I felt it was surrounded closely by the buildings around it.

0:33:190:33:25

Nestled, more, probably, than overpowered. But yeah, it was OK.

0:33:250:33:30

For me, the big downside...

0:33:300:33:34

was the size of rooms downstairs and lack of accommodation.

0:33:340:33:38

Upstairs, the bedrooms were beautiful. The way she'd done them.

0:33:380:33:41

She'd injected her character in there.

0:33:410:33:44

They were very, very pretty.

0:33:440:33:47

The garden killed it for me.

0:33:470:33:49

They weren't big enough, really.

0:33:490:33:51

-You could sit in one corner and get a wonderful view.

-Yeah.

0:33:510:33:55

But there wasn't a wonderful view from every part of the garden.

0:33:550:33:58

The Georgian, the house with views.

0:33:580:34:01

I thought it was beautiful. Ticked all our requirements, really.

0:34:010:34:05

The only things I've got against it I think are price -

0:34:050:34:09

It's £150,000 over our budget.

0:34:090:34:13

-We'll just have to work harder and be open longer.

-Absolutely that's an option.

0:34:130:34:16

-Cheers, my dears.

-Good luck for tomorrow.

0:34:160:34:19

Andrew and Linda are bored of retirement,

0:34:220:34:25

and want to exchange their laid-back life in Leeds

0:34:250:34:28

for a more energetic livelihood in the Lake District.

0:34:280:34:30

With a budget of £650,000, they're looking for a B&B business

0:34:300:34:34

with access to outdoor pursuits.

0:34:340:34:36

So far, they've seen two businesses.

0:34:360:34:39

But do they really want to be open all hours?

0:34:390:34:42

-Can you see yourself here?

-Actually, I could.

0:34:420:34:46

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

0:34:460:34:49

Even though I showed them a property that was very expensive yesterday,

0:34:510:34:55

Linda and Andrew seemed fairly happy,

0:34:550:34:57

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

0:34:570:35:00

and see whether that rocks their Lakeland boat.

0:35:000:35:04

Our first property of the day lies in the pleasant village of Bampton Grange,

0:35:040:35:08

situated in a quiet corner on the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park.

0:35:080:35:14

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

0:35:140:35:19

set in a pastoral location surrounded by farmland.

0:35:190:35:22

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

0:35:220:35:26

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

0:35:260:35:30

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

0:35:300:35:35

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

0:35:350:35:39

Will they go for it?

0:35:390:35:41

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

0:35:410:35:45

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

0:35:450:35:48

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

0:35:480:35:51

Listen, we said that whatever you came up with we'd look at,

0:35:510:35:55

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

0:35:550:35:58

-This is a big business. Shall we look inside?

-Absolutely.

-Yeah.

0:35:580:36:02

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

0:36:020:36:07

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

0:36:070:36:11

or last orders for Linda and Andrew.

0:36:110:36:14

-Come on in.

-OK.

0:36:140:36:16

-Come into your bar.

-Wow.

0:36:160:36:19

Oh, wow! That's really nice.

0:36:190:36:22

-Isn't it?

-Yeah, OK.

0:36:220:36:24

-Cosy.

-We like it.

0:36:240:36:26

-We do like it.

-Nice. Yes.

0:36:260:36:27

-You said you wanted to be busier.

-Yeah.

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

0:36:270:36:34

-Yeah, yeah.

-It's a good way of meeting people.

0:36:340:36:37

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

0:36:370:36:39

The pub is very popular with locals.

0:36:390:36:41

A lot of people passing from the walking trade

0:36:410:36:44

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

0:36:440:36:46

The owner has put a lot of money in.

0:36:460:36:48

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

0:36:480:36:53

She makes quite a lot of money from the business.

0:36:530:36:55

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

0:36:550:36:59

Does one have to ski here in the winter?

0:36:590:37:03

-The skis on the wall!

-The long walk home.

0:37:030:37:05

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

0:37:050:37:08

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

0:37:080:37:13

'Back through the entrance lobby to the reception.'

0:37:130:37:16

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

0:37:160:37:21

as well as a pub.

0:37:210:37:24

This is where you would greet your guests.

0:37:240:37:26

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

-Right.

0:37:260:37:31

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

0:37:310:37:33

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

0:37:330:37:38

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

0:37:380:37:41

she makes about 40 grand profit.

0:37:410:37:45

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

0:37:450:37:48

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

-Sure.

0:37:480:37:51

This is the dining room and restaurant.

0:37:520:37:57

Right, OK.

0:37:570:37:59

-It's a nice size.

-It is, yes.

0:37:590:38:02

The property itself is great. I like the property tremendously,

0:38:020:38:05

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

-No.

0:38:050:38:11

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

-Right.

0:38:110:38:16

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

0:38:160:38:22

Off the reception area, there are ladies and gents restrooms,

0:38:220:38:25

a staff room with pool table

0:38:250:38:27

and a staircase, which takes us to the first floor,

0:38:270:38:30

where we're going to take a look at one of the eight letting rooms.

0:38:300:38:35

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

0:38:350:38:40

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

0:38:400:38:43

Works well.

0:38:430:38:45

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

0:38:450:38:49

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

-It works well.

0:38:490:38:53

There's everything here that they need, yes.

0:38:530:38:56

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

0:38:560:39:00

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

0:39:000:39:05

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

0:39:050:39:09

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

0:39:090:39:14

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

0:39:140:39:17

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

0:39:170:39:21

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

0:39:210:39:24

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

0:39:240:39:28

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

0:39:280:39:33

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

0:39:350:39:41

-Nice.

-It is.

0:39:410:39:43

So it's quite contemporary.

0:39:430:39:45

-Yes.

-But nice and airy.

0:39:450:39:46

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

0:39:460:39:50

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

0:39:500:39:53

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

0:39:530:39:58

which is very airtight from the pub downstairs.

0:39:580:40:00

-Yes.

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

-On we go.

0:40:000:40:04

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

0:40:060:40:11

is receiving a thumbs-up.

0:40:110:40:12

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

0:40:140:40:18

-It's a good size.

-It's big.

0:40:180:40:21

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

0:40:210:40:24

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

-It is.

0:40:240:40:26

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

0:40:260:40:31

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

0:40:310:40:34

in the living quarters and a large family bathroom.

0:40:340:40:37

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

0:40:370:40:41

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

0:40:410:40:46

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

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

0:40:460:40:50

-It does.

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

0:40:500:40:57

is that there's not very much outside space.

0:40:570:41:01

-There's no space for your veggie garden.

-True, true.

0:41:010:41:05

-You've just got these bits and bobs.

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

-I was going to say that.

-Exactly.

0:41:050:41:10

It's a big proposition.

0:41:100:41:12

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

0:41:120:41:16

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

0:41:160:41:20

You've been more right than me, historically.

0:41:200:41:23

I'm going to plump for...

0:41:230:41:25

600.

0:41:250:41:26

I think I'd say a little bit more.

0:41:260:41:29

There's a lot of accommodation there

0:41:290:41:31

and she has put a lot of money into it.

0:41:310:41:33

650, 660?

0:41:330:41:35

-You're closer.

-Oh!

0:41:360:41:39

It's actually on the market for 595.

0:41:390:41:41

Oh, wow!

0:41:410:41:43

-So well within your budget.

-Yeah.

0:41:430:41:46

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

-We're going to have to think about that one.

0:41:460:41:51

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

0:41:510:41:55

-Don't get lost.

-OK. Thank you.

-I'll see out the front.

-OK, bye-bye.

0:41:550:41:58

Thank you.

0:41:580:42:00

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

0:42:000:42:04

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

0:42:040:42:06

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

0:42:060:42:10

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

0:42:100:42:13

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

0:42:150:42:21

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

0:42:210:42:27

and spacious living quarters with a large living room,

0:42:270:42:30

master suite and two further bedrooms.

0:42:300:42:33

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

0:42:330:42:36

but still attracts a high level of visitors.

0:42:360:42:39

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

-Yeah.

0:42:390:42:44

The property itself, I think, has character.

0:42:440:42:47

It's in a good state of repair.

0:42:470:42:49

The decor is nice, particularly the letting rooms.

0:42:490:42:52

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

0:42:520:42:56

It's a commitment.

0:42:560:42:57

Can you see yourself here?

0:42:570:43:00

Actually, I could.

0:43:000:43:01

I could. I like it.

0:43:010:43:03

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

0:43:030:43:06

-Would you?

-It's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

0:43:060:43:09

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

0:43:090:43:11

Come on, off we go.

0:43:110:43:13

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

0:43:160:43:22

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

0:43:220:43:26

So there's plenty to quench their nautical cravings.

0:43:260:43:30

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

0:43:300:43:33

based at Ullswater to learn the art of traditional sailing.

0:43:330:43:37

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

0:43:370:43:40

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

-Great.

0:43:400:43:44

At eight miles long and nearly a mile wide,

0:43:460:43:49

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the National Park.

0:43:490:43:52

The magnificent surrounding mountains can create

0:43:520:43:55

changing weather patterns, causing challenging sailing conditions.

0:43:550:43:59

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

0:43:590:44:03

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

0:44:030:44:08

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

0:44:080:44:13

how to steer the boat.

0:44:130:44:15

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

0:44:150:44:22

Pull it towards me, come away from the wind.

0:44:220:44:25

Push it away from me, go into the wind.

0:44:250:44:28

Right. The rope's in my front hand.

0:44:280:44:31

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

0:44:310:44:35

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

0:44:350:44:40

is to push the rope back there.

0:44:400:44:42

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

0:44:420:44:47

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

0:44:470:44:51

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

0:44:510:44:56

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

0:44:560:45:01

The wind, you're in a mountainous area. You sail here, you can sail anywhere.

0:45:010:45:05

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

-Yeah.

0:45:050:45:08

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

0:45:080:45:12

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

0:45:120:45:15

so you have cool air dropping, warm air rising.

0:45:150:45:19

-It's all over the place.

-Right.

0:45:190:45:21

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

0:45:210:45:25

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

0:45:250:45:30

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

0:45:300:45:34

If running a busy business is what they want,

0:45:340:45:36

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

0:45:360:45:40

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

0:45:400:45:43

Spot on, guys. Awesome session.

0:45:430:45:46

-Fantastic, thank you.

-Yeah, you've enjoyed it?

-Really enjoyed it, Steve.

0:45:460:45:50

No worries.

0:45:500:45:51

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

0:45:550:45:59

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

0:45:590:46:04

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

0:46:040:46:07

back down to a much more quiet and tranquil pace.

0:46:070:46:12

We're about to go and see the mystery house now.

0:46:140:46:16

What do you think that might involve?

0:46:160:46:18

I don't know what to expect - that's part of the excitement

0:46:180:46:21

-and the fun, isn't it?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:46:210:46:23

Perhaps you'll show us something very modern and contemporary.

0:46:230:46:27

Or...

0:46:270:46:28

something really off the wall, like a mill or a field!

0:46:280:46:31

A field? Yes, I'm going to show you a field.

0:46:310:46:34

-"Here's a blank canvas..."

-"..start from scratch."

0:46:340:46:36

That all sounds too much like hard work.

0:46:360:46:40

So it's time to swing the pendulum the other way with our mystery property.

0:46:400:46:43

And show them something which might leave them

0:46:430:46:46

with plenty of time to enjoy their new surroundings.

0:46:460:46:48

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

0:46:480:46:51

for our mystery property, the hamlet of Oxen Park.

0:46:510:46:54

It's set among the picturesque low-lying fells

0:46:540:46:57

between Lake Windermere and Coniston Water.

0:46:570:47:00

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

0:47:000:47:04

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

0:47:040:47:09

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

0:47:090:47:14

dangling the carrot of total relaxation in front of them.

0:47:140:47:17

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

0:47:170:47:19

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

0:47:190:47:23

-Here we have the mystery house.

-Yes.

0:47:230:47:27

-It's a mystery.

-It's lovely.

0:47:270:47:28

-It is a mystery.

-It's pretty.

0:47:280:47:30

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

0:47:300:47:34

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

0:47:340:47:38

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

0:47:380:47:42

The property is this whitewashed bit.

0:47:420:47:45

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

0:47:450:47:47

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

0:47:470:47:50

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

0:47:500:47:54

and in the outlook department, this cottage definitely delivers.

0:47:540:47:57

Here we have...

0:47:570:48:00

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

-Yes, the view.

0:48:000:48:04

Beautiful, but not necessarily the bit of the Lakes that you were looking for.

0:48:040:48:09

-Different.

-It's different, more gentle.

0:48:090:48:11

The property is not a business venture.

0:48:110:48:13

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

0:48:130:48:15

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

0:48:150:48:23

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

0:48:230:48:28

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

0:48:280:48:31

-Shall we go inside?

-Let's do it.

0:48:310:48:33

The cottage has an abundance of charm and character,

0:48:330:48:36

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

0:48:360:48:39

Come into the cosy cottage.

0:48:390:48:43

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

0:48:460:48:51

You need a bit of imagination here.

0:48:510:48:53

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

0:48:530:48:57

Let's look in through at the old kitchen.

0:48:570:49:00

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

0:49:000:49:03

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

0:49:030:49:06

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

-Right.

0:49:060:49:10

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

0:49:100:49:15

which was replaced by a horrible one in the 60s

0:49:150:49:18

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

-Does it work?

0:49:180:49:22

-Yeah.

-Right, that's nice.

0:49:220:49:25

This is nice.

0:49:250:49:27

It's quaint.

0:49:270:49:29

-But it's...

-Full of character.

0:49:290:49:31

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

0:49:310:49:35

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

0:49:350:49:38

-Let's whizz round.

-What else is there?

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

0:49:380:49:42

I think this is quite a sweet little kitchen.

0:49:420:49:45

It's small.

0:49:450:49:47

It's hardly traditional.

0:49:490:49:51

I think it's charming.

0:49:510:49:53

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

0:49:530:49:57

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

0:49:570:50:02

-Let's have a quick whizz upstairs.

-Yeah.

0:50:020:50:05

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

0:50:050:50:08

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

0:50:080:50:12

You've got choices on the staircase.

0:50:140:50:16

It's a three-way split.

0:50:180:50:19

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

-Bye!

0:50:210:50:25

No, no, we'll all go this way.

0:50:250:50:29

Upstairs, there's a good-sized and light family bathroom

0:50:310:50:34

and there are four comfortably-sized double bedrooms,

0:50:340:50:37

great for when their three daughters come to visit.

0:50:370:50:41

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

0:50:410:50:46

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

0:50:460:50:50

So we go into this bedroom.

0:50:500:50:52

-Characterful.

-Not for you.

-Not for us.

0:50:530:50:56

Sunny, love the fireplace.

0:50:560:50:59

-It's got some nice original features.

-Yes.

-It does.

0:50:590:51:03

-But it's a bit small.

-Not really what we're looking for.

0:51:030:51:06

Let's go outside and talk about the price.

0:51:060:51:09

'Ah, well. You win some, you lose some.

0:51:090:51:11

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

0:51:110:51:16

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

0:51:160:51:20

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

0:51:200:51:26

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

0:51:260:51:30

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

0:51:300:51:34

-We're still in the park.

-Still in the park?

-Very much.

0:51:340:51:37

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

0:51:370:51:41

I'd go 295.

0:51:410:51:44

295. Marvellous! Marvellous!

0:51:440:51:47

It's on the market for 550.

0:51:470:51:49

Oh, sorry! Oh, God!

0:51:490:51:52

-That's great.

-That's awful.

0:51:520:51:54

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

0:51:540:51:57

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

0:51:570:52:01

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

0:52:010:52:05

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

-Yes.

0:52:050:52:08

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

0:52:100:52:16

which they could plough into a business investment.

0:52:160:52:19

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

0:52:190:52:23

And the cottage has stunning views over the landscape,

0:52:230:52:26

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

0:52:260:52:29

great for all those outdoor pursuits they wanted to indulge.

0:52:290:52:33

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

0:52:330:52:37

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

0:52:370:52:41

I would agree 100%.

0:52:410:52:43

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

0:52:430:52:47

Have you changed your mind?

0:52:480:52:50

-No, not at all.

-No, not all!

0:52:500:52:52

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

0:52:520:52:55

Very clearly focused, absolutely.

0:52:550:52:57

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

0:52:570:53:02

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

0:53:020:53:06

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

-OK.

0:53:060:53:10

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

0:53:160:53:21

to suit both their business and recreational aspirations,

0:53:210:53:24

even if they didn't all suit their budget.

0:53:240:53:27

So there's plenty to consider.

0:53:270:53:29

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

0:53:300:53:34

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

0:53:340:53:39

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

0:53:430:53:47

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

0:53:470:53:50

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

0:53:500:53:53

I enjoyed it.

0:53:530:53:54

Cast your mind back, I know it seems a long time ago, back to the guest house,

0:53:540:53:58

the B&B in Ambleside. What do you think about that?

0:53:580:54:01

Like it. It's nice.

0:54:010:54:04

The upstairs is tremendous,

0:54:040:54:05

but I don't think the downstairs accommodation

0:54:050:54:08

is big enough for when we have our family over.

0:54:080:54:11

For me, it's probably not on my radar at this moment in time.

0:54:110:54:16

How about the Georgian house? You seemed to like that.

0:54:160:54:18

-Is that the wow house?

-Is it the wow house?

0:54:180:54:21

The wow house remains the wow house.

0:54:210:54:24

That's the dream house, almost, isn't it?

0:54:240:54:29

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

-We have.

0:54:290:54:33

Very much enjoyed the Georgian house.

0:54:330:54:35

Ticked almost every box.

0:54:350:54:38

Remarkable in terms of it satisfying what we wanted.

0:54:380:54:42

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

0:54:420:54:46

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

0:54:460:54:50

That was a big project.

0:54:500:54:52

I think if we were perhaps wanting to commit that sort of energy,

0:54:520:54:58

we would go for that, wouldn't we?

0:54:580:55:00

-We loved the atmosphere.

-Absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the place, yeah.

0:55:000:55:04

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

0:55:040:55:09

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

0:55:090:55:12

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

0:55:120:55:16

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

0:55:160:55:20

We did enjoy. We did enjoy.

0:55:200:55:22

It was good, a good find.

0:55:220:55:24

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

0:55:240:55:28

but in terms of buying a property that didn't have a big business attached, like the pub,

0:55:280:55:34

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

0:55:340:55:39

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

0:55:390:55:46

I really do think that's a good idea.

0:55:460:55:48

Overall, looking at all the properties we've seen

0:55:480:55:51

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

0:55:510:55:54

Is there a property you might move on?

0:55:540:55:56

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

0:55:560:56:00

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

0:56:000:56:03

It's been a pleasure showing you around the Lakes.

0:56:030:56:06

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

0:56:060:56:10

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

-It'll be our pleasure.

0:56:100:56:15

-It has been a pleasure. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:56:150:56:17

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

0:56:210:56:25

on what exactly they want from their Lakeland life.

0:56:250:56:28

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

0:56:280:56:33

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

0:56:330:56:36

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

0:56:360:56:39

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0:56:390:56:42

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0:56:420:56:44

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