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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This dinky des res behind me is called Bridge House.
And it's a one-up, one-down built 500 years ago as an apple store.
And it was constructed over this running stream
in an extraordinary attempt to avoid paying land tax.
Find out where we are in just a moment.
'In today's show, I will be helping a couple
'who want to step out of retirement and make a new life for themselves
'running a B&B in England's lovely Lake District.
-'We'll get them excited about a guesthouse.'
-That's the house.
-That's the house?
'We'll be offering them unexpected opportunities.'
We said that whatever you came up with we'd look at.
Any sort of business and, great, let's look.
'And there's the mystery house which could make them reassess their plans entirely.'
Today I'm in Ambleside,
a village right in the heart of the Lake District here in Cumbria.
And Bridge House is probably the most photographed and painted building in the whole county.
Even J M Turner captured it on canvas.
In its long history it's had many uses,
but in the 1850s a family with six children lived there.
I don't think even I could persuade someone to buy it under those conditions.
'Sitting shoulder to shoulder with the Scottish border,
'Cumbria in the north-west of England
'is the country's second largest county
'and home to the Lake District National Park.
'The park's mountain landscape consists of volcanic rock and slate peaks
'which give way to lake-filled valleys.
'Boasting 16 lakes, this is a hugely popular holiday destination,
'attracting some eight million visitors every year who flock to the area
'to take advantage of all the outdoor activities on offer.
'As well as tourism, farming is extremely valuable to the economy with around three million sheep
'grazing on the hill farms and moorlands.
'Cumbria's dramatic landscape has inspired generations
'of artists, writers and poets.
'It was William Wordsworth who declared that the Lake District
'was the loveliest spot that man has ever known.
'And I couldn't agree with him more.'
The Lake District National Park is pretty sparsely populated.
There's just under 23,000 properties here
and it's a big area, so it works out to about 26 per square mile.
Now, if you want to live inside the park, that makes it very expensive,
but just take a look at what your money can buy.
For a premium price tag of £1.25 million,
this five-bedroom house in Troutbeck has an enormous sitting room
and a rather fine kitchen with dual-aspect windows
that make the most of its prime position
overlooking Lake Windermere and the Fells.
At the gateway to the northern lakes at Penrith, this impressive
period five-bedroom family home is up for grabs at £650,000.
Immaculately renovated throughout,
with a light and spacious family kitchen, modern bathrooms
and an enormous conservatory to relax in
and soak up the beautiful rural location.
Or how about this three-bedroom rustic barn conversion in Gosforth
on the market for £380,000?
Lying on the western edge of the National Park, this family home
also comes with planning permission to add a further two bedrooms on the first floor.
A great opportunity to maximise the beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.
You see, properties inside the Lake District National Park are pretty special
but are they special enough to float to the boat of today's buyers? Let's meet them.
Today's house-hunters are Andrew and Linda Dagg who, two years ago,
sold their printing business in Leeds
and, by their own admission, have been on holiday ever since.
Now the couple, who have three daughters and two grandchildren,
are looking to begin a new chapter.
We've had 10 very happy years in this house but we've a long way to go till we retire properly.
We need something to do to keep us busy.
We're too young to be getting out of bed with nothing to do.
They're selling their four bed house in Pudsey, West Yorkshire,
with plans for a new lease of life in the Lake District to run a bed and breakfast business.
We'd like to move to the Lake District
because we've grown up there as a family on holiday.
It's an area that's very busy with tourism
and we see it as an opportunity therefore
to have a nice little business
that will make some reasonable money utilising tourism.
Linda and Andrew have a clear wish-list
for their dream home in the country.
I think what we need from this next property
is four-plus letting bedrooms.
Two bedrooms for us, perhaps a sitting room.
A cosy country kitchen with a range.
-That will be nice. I think it's important that the private side is the private side.
We want separating from the guests.
Yeah. I think I'd like a garden if possible.
Well, I would like a garden.
-I want a garage.
-You want a garage. And...
A property with views and character.
Somewhere that visitors want to come and stay.
But life's not all about work. Andrew and Linda also want
to use their move to the Lakes to indulge in more outdoor pursuits.
We're really excited about moving to the country and I, for one,
can't wait to get involved with outdoor pursuits again.
And I'm particularly looking forward to getting another Labrador and marching the hills.
And Linda's excited about moving to the country too.
Yes, painting in the Lake District would be amazing,
and join the local community clubs and be an active part of a village.
I really enjoy growing fruit and vegetables
and I'm hoping that we'll have the facility to grow them
in the bed and breakfast
and hopefully I'll be able to make jams and chutneys
and serve them in the business.
I like cooking. Andrew likes eating.
And I enjoy wildlife.
I love being out and about walking.
I enjoy the Lakes themselves, in terms of rowing or kayaking.
And when it comes to decision-making, who's the boss?
Who makes the decisions? I think we both make the decisions.
-Yeah, I'd be frightened to make them on my own.
But before we can start looking for their new home,
we need to find out what their house is worth.
The property is in a great location in a sought-after area of Pudsey.
It's four bedrooms, three reception rooms.
Was formerly two cottages knocked into one,
so offers very good-sized family accommodation.
And I would value the property at £375,000.
I'm very happy with the estate agent's valuation at the moment.
We've got to bear in mind the market we're in.
We've been here 10 years. We've made a very good return.
So what's Andrew and Linda's budget for their escape to the country?
Our budget for this move is £600,000 to £650,000.
Of course, Andrew and Linda couldn't have picked a better spot to open a B&B
and, according to the Lake District Tourist Board, bookings are up 18% on the same time last year.
However, I'm slightly worried they're not prepared to look at outside the park
because that's putting a lot of pressure on their £650,000 budget.
They do want six bedrooms, four for the guests and two for themselves.
And views. And views, they're always expensive.
Andrew and Linda want a perfect Lakeland location
which would also draw in perspective B&B guests,
so our search will radiate out from the popular towns
of Keswick and Windermere.
I'll show them some fantastic properties, amongst which I hope is their ideal home.
But we also have the mystery house,
which will serve up something they hadn't bargained for.
-Isn't the Lake District beautiful?
-Isn't it just.
I'm glad you're looking here. You've been on a permanent holiday for the last two years?
Yes, we have. We had a really good time.
Why are you stopping being on holiday?
Basically, we want something to do.
We want a reason to get up, a purpose.
-You're bored of your retirement?
-We're bored of all the travelling and fun.
Just a tad too young to retire.
-So you want something more serious?
-A lifestyle, not too serious.
But I hear are looking for a B&B?
-Something like that.
Exciting. I can't remember us finding a place like that before.
-No, it's different.
-This is a great place to look.
-I did want to know whether you've had any experience of running a B&B?
No experience running a B&B, but we've stayed in them
and we've asked people that own them what the lifestyle's like.
And it's quite a flexible way of going on.
If we want to go and see family or family come to us, we can have no vacancies up.
-Just take it as it comes, but we appreciate it is hard work.
What about the business side of things? The Lake District is a great place for a B&B
as everyone wants to come and stay, but it's expensive.
-So I want to talk to about your budget.
You said 650?
We said 600, 650 for a tidy business.
Less than that if we're going to be investing in something
that we will need to turn into a business.
-Shall we get going?
Andrew and Linda have a budget of £650,000
to find their home with a B&B business in the Lake District.
The property needs to have private quarters,
including two double bedrooms
and spacious reception rooms for family visitors.
For the B&B side, they are looking for at least four bedrooms,
all with en-suite bathrooms.
And the property must be within the National Park
and offer outstanding views.
I fear getting what they want on their budget
is going to be an uphill struggle, but let's see what we can do.
Is there anything you're anxious about the business or is at an exciting prospect?
No, excited about it.
-It'll be good fun.
It's different to just buying a business, in the sense that it's a home as well,
so the value of the property underwrites the business risk in many senses.
It's win-win, whichever way we look at it.
-We like win-win.
-We like win-win.
And let's just hope we back a winner among the selection of properties we've lined up for them,
starting with our first one in the market town of Ambleside,
right in the middle of the Lake District National Park.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ambleside is located at the northern end
of England's largest lake, Lake Windermere.
It also has superb access to outstanding mountains and fells
so it's a great place for outdoor pursuits such as walking or sailing.
For the less adventurous, there are many places to eat and drink
and a variety of shops to browse.
Our first property is a charming 18th century cottage,
five minutes' walk from both the town centre and the lake.
-Roll on up for our first lakeside B&B.
This is the one I want to show you.
It's the cream part of this building, not all of it unfortunately.
It's nice. Nice.
-Sounds a bit cagey?
-You don't like it?
No, I can't say that I don't like it
cos it's quite a pretty building.
It's pretty, it's got history, but I think we need to see inside, then look at the view.
-Does the garage belong to the house?
-Yeah. The garage and the next green door is yours.
-Are you happy with this?
-I like the style of the property.
-Not blown away, but I like it.
-Shall we go inside?
The current owners run a successful bed and breakfast business,
and I'm hoping that the mix of historic character
and income potential is a combination Andrew and Linda will find appealing.
-In we come!
-It is sweet, isn't it?
-Yes. Yes, it is.
-It is. I love it.
This is what the present owner calls the guests' lounge.
So, this is where people can come in after their walks, they can sit down, have a cup of tea.
I think it's really nice in here.
-It's cosy. It's quiet as well.
-It's very quiet. Very thick walls.
Muted enthusiasm there, but what about the kitchen?
-Come on in to the kitchen.
-Oh, it's lovely.
-I like it.
-Yes, I do.
-Cosy - is that codeword for tiny?
-It's bijou. It's fine.
-It IS tiny.
-So, you think it might be a bit too small?
-I think it's too small.
-It's kind of in proportion with the cottage, really.
-Yes, it is.
-The cottage may be too small. We'll have to wait and see.
-This is in proportion to your budget!
-We've come to the kind of crucial crux of house-buying.
-But, in terms of style and everything?
-I think it's pretty.
There is another space here. This is a sitting room
that the present owner uses as her own private space, so this is sealed off from the guests.
-Love the floor.
-Yeah, this is Indian slate.
-Yes, it is nice.
-These beams are over the windows,
and the very thick walls obviously are part of the original farmhouse cottage,
which are tendentially quite small.
Good. So, that's this space. Then, of course, you've got the dining room, which is the heart of any B&B.
We retrace our steps through the kitchen
to the dining area, where the decor is sure to lift their spirits.
-Oh, look! It makes me want to have breakfast all over again.
It's small, but she's packed such a lot in here.
We can't pretend this has got the best views in Lakeland, but certainly it's a pleasant room.
I think it's full of character.
That's one of the main criteria that we were looking for -
-we need somewhere with character. This is oozing character.
Unfortunately, it just needs stretching out a little.
Also downstairs, there's a utility room and a cloakroom
with shower cubicle.
We'll head upstairs now to the first floor, which is completely done over for guests,
where we'll take a look at the first of the four letting bedrooms.
Entre dans la chambre.
-This is beautiful.
-Wow. Isn't it?
-You do have views!
-It does have views, absolutely.
-But it is absolutely gorgeous.
-It's a great room, isn't it?
-It is. It's a nice size as well.
-I'm really impressed with this. And it's light!
-You get more light cos you're not on the ground floor.
-You've got a little en suite there, if you want to poke your head in there.
-It's nice, good.
-It's nice and it'll do the job very well.
-Does everything. Great.
At the end of the landing is another well-presented double bedroom,
leading through to a single bedroom and en-suite shower room.
But it can be offered to guests as a twin, double or family room.
The third of the four bedrooms on this floor is another elegant double guest bedroom
with a wash-basin. And last but not least, there's a single room with a cosy window seat.
The guest bedrooms have all been contained to one floor,
leaving the remaining two bedrooms on the second floor solely for the home-owners.
Time to take a look.
We're up in the eaves, as you can see.
-So, nice view.
And this would be... Well, at the moment, she uses this as her accommodation, so there's this room
-and then there's a little single room next-door.
-And an en suite, of course.
-The ground floor was diminutive compared to the first floor.
That's unusual. Usually, it's the other way around. Usually, it gets smaller as you go up.
I've got to say that decoratively, it's quirky, it's beautiful, it's...
-Yeah, it really is.
-I'd definitely stay here.
Yeah, I'd love to stay here.
-Let's take a look at the outside cos I know that's important.
That's the tour of the house completed,
so it's back downstairs, through the kitchen and out to the garden.
-This is the end of the end of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
-You are in the middle of Ambleside, but you're kind of at the edge as well.
It's not a huge garden.
-It's big enough. You've got to do it.
-With all the hobbies that we're looking forward to enjoying,
it would be nice to have some space without it becoming a chore.
-Who needs a garden when you've got that to look at?
Sit here and admire the view, yeah.
A few more facts vis-a-vis the sums.
Overall, it's about 65% occupancy through the year.
And she turns over just under £45,000.
So, bearing that in mind, and all the other factors,
would you like to have a stab at guessing how much it's on the market for?
580, just under six.
-I'm going to go an awful lot lower than that.
I think it ought to be on the market nearer 500.
Oh, Andrew! It's in Ambleside. Come on! Don't be a...
You see, this is, I think, going to be the learning curve.
-Because this is on the market for 610.
So, why not take that salient information
-and have a nosey round the house, and then I'll meet you out the front?
That, dear viewers, is what we call a reality check.
And, I know this is a specialised area,
but this is going to be a wonderful journey of compromise.
The price tag wasn't exactly music to Andrew and Linda's ears,
but, on the market for £610,000,
our first property is still £40,000 under budget.
With six bedrooms, three of which are en suite,
and four reception rooms,
it's a deceptively large cottage set on three floors.
Situated in a great location,
just a five minute walk from the popular town of Ambleside,
this is a fully operating bed and breakfast business
with an annual turnover of £45,000.
It has a slither of a view,
but they can't have everything on their budget.
-What do you think of this one?
-Well, I like all the rooms.
The rooms are just perfect. I can't fault the rooms.
Although it is very charming and I was blown away with the bedrooms -
they were just beautiful - it's just too small. We've got a big family
when we're all together,
and we've got to consider family life as well as business life.
It's way too small as it stands, but there is the garage next-door.
so there may be the possibility of knocking through.
Standing in the garden, looking at the views of the Fairfield Horseshoe
excites me with the concept of being here.
I'm excited at the prospect, I really am.
-Shall we move on out of Ambleside?
-Here we go.
A thorough understanding of the local area is key when setting up a holiday accommodation business.
So, Andrew and Linda are taking a tour of the thriving town of Bowness-on-Windermere.
On the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, Bowness is the largest town
in the Lake District National Park and Cumbria's most visited tourist destination.
There are hundreds of shops, restaurants, pubs and historical attractions,
but the real draw is the lake - both for birds and tourists alike.
At almost 11 miles long, Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in England
and has been used to transport goods, animals and people for more than 600 years.
Andrew and Linda have come to meet local guide Ian Jones
to find out what sort of effect all these visitors are having
-on the natural environment.
-Before 2005, there were speedboats
and jet-skis and waterskiing on the lake.
And that certainly had an impact with increased waves and the noise.
But one thing that national park has done to counteract that,
they imposed a speed limit on Windermere.
It's 10 mph and, as you're probably aware,
it's difficult to water-ski at less than 10 mph!
But enough about the environment.
-Let's go and see another attraction of Bowness.
This beautiful area is well worth preserving,
as are the architectural gems that fit so harmoniously
into the Lakeland landscape,
such as the magnificent Arts and Crafts house, Blackwell.
Built in 1900 by architect Baillie Scott, it's one of Britain's
finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture,
and was commissioned by wealthy industrialist
Sir Edward Holt as a rural retreat for his family.
The house survives today with nearly all of its original decorative features intact,
such as stained glass work and carved wooden panelling. The use of
split level spaces, minstrel galleries and rooms within rooms gives this house the essence
of an intimate family home, despite its magnificence.
And, of course, the house lies perfectly positioned to enjoy the very best of the local scenery.
So, this is the white drawing room and it draws the most from these
two windows. This window here, lovely view over the lake.
And it resembles in some ways a bridge of a ship. You can imagine the skipper
looking ahead that way. And then over here we've got the other window
which has a lovely view out over the surrounding countryside.
The last leg on Andrew and Linda's tour of Bowness takes them to a vantage point above the town
for a chance to savour some of the finest scenery in the whole of the Lake District.
So, welcome to this viewpoint. This is called Biskey Howe.
Bowness down below us here was very much a Victorian resort
and they loved their viewpoints which didn't involve too much walking. Remember, the ladies
would be in their voluminous skirts. So an easy access,
but a place where they could admire the splendour of the Lake District.
It's Andrew and Linda's dream
to own a home with similar awe-inspiring views,
but first we've got to find it. So, it's back to the hunt.
Next, we're venturing to the tranquil village of Thornthwaite,
which lies at the north end of the Lakes.
The location makes an excellent base
for touring the northern lakes, particularly for travellers who prefer a more rural getaway.
But for all the important amenities, the lively town of Keswick is just three miles down the road.
Our next property is an 18th century manor house
which I'm hoping will fit the bill.
But, as they'll discover, there's a price to be paid.
-Wow! That's lovely, isn't it?
-That's the house.
-That's the house?
-Well, from this, it's just everything I ever thought.
I love it when people say that. That's fantastic.
The whole entrance is welcoming and pretty and traditional and good.
-Stunning. Looks lovely.
-I can't wait to get inside.
I'm not surprised they like what they see.
This elegant house sits very comfortably in the landscape,
especially seeing as it's constructed entirely out of local stone.
I just want to point out this solid slate. Irreplaceable.
You could never get that again.
A solid first reaction and I'm sure the inside won't fail to impress either,
as we head through the generous entrance hall and straight into the lounge.
-You were worried about the proportions of the last house.
-What do you think about the proportions of this one?
The room is a very nice size and all our furniture would fit,
-the furniture we'd want to bring, wouldn't it?
-Yes, look at the windows.
-Look at the VIEW!
That's more to the point, isn't it, yeah.
A lovely bay window with shutters.
A lovely fireplace there, with a good draw, apparently.
-So it works?
-They all work, yeah.
So far, the proportions and potential of this house seem to be
hitting the nail on the head.
-Got your own bar.
-No! SHE LAUGHS
What can I get you?
Again, the present owners are using this as their sort of dining room.
-You've got this exquisite slate fireplace.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
Original, and it's all solid slate. Pretty much priceless.
I love the windows. They're just fantastic. And what's beyond.
Just bear in mind that
this wall, this little hatch here, connects through to the kitchen.
-All will become clear.
There's a lot to think about and a lot to see
and I have a simple suggestion that could really tailor this property's layout
to suit Andrew and Linda's specific needs.
The kitchen is the heart of the home.
Yes. Good range.
-You've got a sofa.
You've got a big, nice, solid-fuel burner there and a nice inset.
But what I want you to bear in mind is that this wall is actually,
unlike most of the walls, not so very thick.
-So what I was thinking was that you could have that front room
as your front room, knock through into the kitchen
-because if we go through here, this could all be your private quarters.
-OK, lead on.
So, coming back into the hall with these lovely flagstones,
you'll notice this is a fire door cos they used to run it as a business.
-So, effectively this would seal off your whole half of the house from your guests.
You'd have that front room, the kitchen.
You've got a whole annexe at the back of the house here.
And in the annexe there's a host of rooms to consider
including an office, perfect for running their business.
A games room. Plenty of storage with a large cellar.
A bathroom and a utility room.
Also on the ground floor, is the first of seven bedrooms
which will be ideal as Andrew and Linda's sleeping quarters.
-It's a lovely-size room, Alastair.
-What do you think?
Great, yes. Wardrobe space.
-And you've got a very nice en suite down there.
-What more do we need?
-Windows onto the garden.
-Lovely windows onto the garden.
-I like it lots.
-Like it lots.
Do you want to go and see the guest accommodation?
Halfway between the ground floor and the first floor
is a small mezzanine level which houses a kitchenette and a store room.
And further up on to the first floor,
there are three guest bedrooms.
Let's take a look, they are using this as the guest dining room.
-But it could also be reinstated as a very nice bedroom.
-Great potential, don't you think?
-It just goes on and on, doesn't it?
But if you put a bit of love and kindness
and made it really beautiful, high end, reinstated this fireplace,
put in some beautiful bedding, you could charge a fortune.
-You could, you could.
This room also has access to the kitchenette,
which could further boost its potential as a self-catering letting.
The first of three double bedrooms on the first-floor comes with an en-suite shower-room
and across the hallway
is an enormous bedroom with enough room for a double bed,
two single beds, a sofa and a spacious en-suite bathroom.
Perfect to rent out to families.
Lastly on this floor is another double bedroom
and large family bathroom.
But it doesn't end there. A trip upstairs to the second floor
brings us to the remaining three of the seven bedrooms.
A massive double room with attractive exposed roof timbers.
Another good-sized double and, across the hallway,
the smallest of all which still has room to fit a double bed.
Finally, this floor also has a modern shower-room.
That's a lot of rooms
and there's plenty more to see outside in the garden.
Ah! Out in the fresh air with your view and your mountains.
-Super. And sunshine.
-And you've got your own already made veggie patch.
-Oh, veggie plot!
-Yes. Absolutely glorious.
-You've surpassed yourselves.
You have, you have.
-It's an amazing property and I think it could, with investment,
earn you quite a lot of money if you were serious about this business part.
However, how much you think it costs?
I'm going to suggest probably about 650,000, maybe a little more.
I think I like it, so it's got to be 680.
OK, so this is the difficult bit.
It's on the market for 795.
And I know that's an awful lot over what you were hoping to spend,
-but I know that you really wanted a lot of the things that this house offered.
This is a lot to take on and I know it's a big change of perspective,
-but have a look round the house.
-And we'll meet out front.
-Super, OK. Thank you.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Well, I hate having to tell somebody that the property is so far out of their budget, but
I still think this property really offers them what they want
and that they might be able to embrace that. Just might.
Over budget at £795,000, this beautiful manor house is proof
that Andrew and Linda's dream Lakeside property
isn't going to come cheap.
With extensive accommodation on three storeys,
comprising four reception rooms, seven bedrooms, three with en suite,
a three-roomed annexe with its own bathroom and separate access,
with far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside,
this elegant property certainly gives Andrew and Linda
what they asked for -
a comfortable family home and a potential B&B income -
but the price is a hefty reality check for them.
-So what do you think of the kitchen, Linda?
-I like it, yes.
It's a big enough to do what we want.
Words are difficult to describe this property.
There is more than adequate space for us and the family.
And there's a more than adequate, a very nice room for letting.
It ticks all of the boxes.
I think the house is just spot on.
The location is divine.
Everything about it is good.
It's over budget, but I'll have to work on Andrew.
Let's step out over this beautiful slate porchway one more time. But who knows, you might be back.
Let's hope so.
It all goes to show that if you want views, you have to pay a premium.
With views like these you can see why the Lake District attracts
millions of keen walkers like Linda and Andrew every year.
The trouble is that all those pairs of feet trampling
the public footpaths are having a detrimental effect on the landscape.
So I've come to meet John Atkinson who is project manager
of a £5 million lottery-funded scheme called Fix The Fells.
-Morning. How you doing?
-What an amazing view.
-It's great, isn't it?
-It's a good job you've got.
-It's the best job in the world.
-So you're here fixing the fells. What does that involve?
Basically we are dealing with access-related erosion,
so lots of people go out for a walk in the fells, really enjoy the day,
but it does have a massive impact on the ground that they walk on.
I imagine fell walkers are pretty responsible.
They don't seem like vandals. It's not intentional damage then?
No, it's not. It's because the paths get worn and people tend to walk
on the nice grassy edge because it's softer on your feet, easier to walk
and people like walking side by side chatting to each other.
The path gets wider and then the middle bit gets a bit worn
and perhaps running with water, so people walk on the edge
and before long something has gone from a metre wide to two metres, three metres, to 22 metres.
-22 metres wide?
Wow, that's like a motorway.
-So what's the answer?
Not obviously to limit the number of walkers, but what?
It's a never-ending project. Look after the fells, really,
trying to re-landscape them, make the access sustainable.
So can we see the work which is going on?
-Yes, we've got some chaps working over the hills.
-I might even help them.
Let's have a look.
So far, the scheme has repaired more than 160 Lake District paths,
moving rocks to provide crossing points where the paths have become most eroded
and filling in the gaps to stop people from simply going round and exacerbating the problem.
They are doing a great job but at least 60 paths are still in need of restoration,
and the scheme is looking for volunteers to join in the effort.
-Tip it over. Just like that.
That's great, that.
We'll fill in the sides, put some blocking there to funnel people in.
That's going to save this for how long?
This will be here hopefully for 100 years now.
Maintaining these pathways is vital to preserving the state of this beautiful but fragile landscape.
As the day draws to a close, Linda and Andrew take the chance to sit,
and compare notes about what they each thought of the properties.
So what did you think of the Ambleside B&B?
Quite liked it, although I felt it was surrounded closely by the buildings around it.
Nestled, more, probably, than overpowered. But yeah, it was OK.
For me, the big downside...
was the size of rooms downstairs and lack of accommodation.
Upstairs, the bedrooms were beautiful. The way she'd done them.
She'd injected her character in there.
They were very, very pretty.
The garden killed it for me.
They weren't big enough, really.
-You could sit in one corner and get a wonderful view.
But there wasn't a wonderful view from every part of the garden.
The Georgian, the house with views.
I thought it was beautiful. Ticked all our requirements, really.
The only things I've got against it I think are price -
It's £150,000 over our budget.
-We'll just have to work harder and be open longer.
-Absolutely that's an option.
-Cheers, my dears.
-Good luck for tomorrow.
Andrew and Linda are bored of retirement,
and want to exchange their laid-back life in Leeds
for a more energetic livelihood in the Lake District.
With a budget of £650,000, they're looking for a B&B business
with access to outdoor pursuits.
So far, they've seen two businesses.
But do they really want to be open all hours?
-Can you see yourself here?
-Actually, I could.
Or will we be able to change their minds entirely with the mystery house?
Even though I showed them a property that was very expensive yesterday,
Linda and Andrew seemed fairly happy,
so today I thought I'd push the envelope a little bit further
and see whether that rocks their Lakeland boat.
Our first property of the day lies in the pleasant village of Bampton Grange,
situated in a quiet corner on the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park.
Bampton Grange is a small historic hamlet which is home to many buildings of architectural quality
set in a pastoral location surrounded by farmland.
Although not in the heart of the main tourist track, the village has
great road links being only five miles from the M6, which will make it
an easier commute when Andrew and Linda's three daughters and two grandchildren come to visit.
Our next property will challenge their commitment to running a full-time business.
Will they go for it?
This building here in the 1770s was a popular coaching house.
And now it's a popular pub, hotel and restaurant.
And it's up for sale. How do you feel about owning a pub?
Listen, we said that whatever you came up with we'd look at,
any sort of business, and great, let's look.
-This is a big business. Shall we look inside?
Well, they seem intrigued but they're not giving away too much just yet.
So let's take a look inside the pub and find out whether it will be bottoms up
or last orders for Linda and Andrew.
-Come on in.
-Come into your bar.
Oh, wow! That's really nice.
-We like it.
-We do like it.
-You said you wanted to be busier.
-And you wanted to meet people. And, you know, country pub...
-It's a good way of meeting people.
It's an excellent way of meeting people, yes.
The pub is very popular with locals.
A lot of people passing from the walking trade
and then, all the people who are staying with you.
The owner has put a lot of money in.
100,000 in the last three years remodelling and renovating.
She makes quite a lot of money from the business.
Also got an open fire over there that you can set during the winter months.
Does one have to ski here in the winter?
-The skis on the wall!
-The long walk home.
You don't have to walk home because you live here.
'Smiles all round in the lounge bar and we haven't even touched a drop.
'Back through the entrance lobby to the reception.'
This is your reception area because, remember, this is a small hotel, B&B,
as well as a pub.
This is where you would greet your guests.
-It's only been up and running in this format for the last two-and-a-half years.
So the present owner has done an awful lot of work.
It was pretty run-down. The turnover is about a quarter of a million a year.
At the moment, because she's invested quite a lot,
she makes about 40 grand profit.
Well, that's good, considering the investment, yeah.
-You would be on the upward curve if you came here.
This is the dining room and restaurant.
-It's a nice size.
-It is, yes.
The property itself is great. I like the property tremendously,
-but we've got different styles of table here which probably isn't what we would do.
-This is a very good point, because, as it stands, everything in the pub comes with the deal.
So you might want to negotiate - "I don't want all that stuff."
Off the reception area, there are ladies and gents restrooms,
a staff room with pool table
and a staircase, which takes us to the first floor,
where we're going to take a look at one of the eight letting rooms.
This is a good-sized one right at the front. You get a lovely view over St Patrick's, the church.
Oh, it's nice. Yes, it's a nice size.
And they've got very handsome en suites. That's all been put in recently.
-In terms of accommodation, I think it's really kind of...
-It works well.
There's everything here that they need, yes.
There are a further seven newly-decorated bedrooms on the first floor.
Another twin bedroom with a flat screen TV and en suite shower room.
Four double bedrooms featuring stylish en suites with roll-top baths.
And also two single bedrooms, again with en suite showers.
Now we've seen were the guests sleep, it's time to head back downstairs
and out the front door to find out what Linda and Andrew would call home.
And, en route, there's the food prep areas which, of course,
are more of an industrial catering zone than rustic country kitchen.
And next door to the kitchen is the staircase that leads to the private accommodation.
The present owner converted all the upstairs attic space into her private dwelling.
So it's quite contemporary.
-But nice and airy.
You've got a little kitchenette at the end there. It's quite a nice space.
I'm thinking of your family, particularly your grandchildren,
so they're not running under the feet of locals and you have a whole separate area,
which is very airtight from the pub downstairs.
-Shall we have a look at the sleeping accommodation? OK.
-On we go.
So far, the landlord's residence with its mix of contemporary and traditional decor
is receiving a thumbs-up.
This is being used as the master, but it's quite sizable, isn't it?
-It's a good size.
Nice views down over the bridge there along the edge of the church.
-Oh, that's a pretty view, yes.
Lots and lots of built-in storage which is also useful.
As well as the master bedroom, there are another two bedrooms
in the living quarters and a large family bathroom.
I've thrown the potential of a publican's life into the mix,
but will the price of the property give them the courage to take a punt on pulling pints?
-It's a handsome pub, you've got to admit that.
-It is. It's very nice. It stands out.
-One of the drawbacks, apart from the fact that you'd be tied to the bar all your life,
is that there's not very much outside space.
-There's no space for your veggie garden.
-You've just got these bits and bobs.
-I don't think I'll have time.
-I was going to say that.
It's a big proposition.
And I suppose the key piece of information that you need is how much it costs.
I don't like this bit. I'm always wrong. Andrew, you can go first.
You've been more right than me, historically.
I'm going to plump for...
I think I'd say a little bit more.
There's a lot of accommodation there
and she has put a lot of money into it.
It's actually on the market for 595.
-So well within your budget.
-It's whether it's well within your capabilities.
-We're going to have to think about that one.
Well, you've got time cos I'm going to send you back in to have a rummage around.
-Don't get lost.
-OK. Thank you.
-I'll see out the front.
Now, that is not a reality check, but a curve ball.
That's what we call that - a curve ball.
Because they really weren't expecting it to be a full-on pub, hotel and restaurant.
So I'm very interested to see what they think about that.
At £595,000, this four-star serious business proposition is back well within budget.
It has a lounge bar with open log fire, eight modern letting bedrooms, all en suite,
and spacious living quarters with a large living room,
master suite and two further bedrooms.
The property is situated in a more rural part of the Lakes
but still attracts a high level of visitors.
-All the guest accommodation is wonderful. The en suite's superb, isn't it?
The property itself, I think, has character.
It's in a good state of repair.
The decor is nice, particularly the letting rooms.
I think a project like this is going to take a bit of thinking about.
It's a commitment.
Can you see yourself here?
Actually, I could.
I could. I like it.
Do you know, I'd come and visit you if you had this place.
-It's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Not that I'm trying to sway you in any sense.
Come on, off we go.
When they make their move to Cumbria, Andrew and Linda are keen to learn how to sail,
and the Lake District has 13 major lakes covering 885 square miles.
So there's plenty to quench their nautical cravings.
They've come to meet Steve Sykes from the local sailing centre
based at Ullswater to learn the art of traditional sailing.
Hi, guys. I'm Steve and I'm taking you for a taster session.
-We're going to get you geared up, onto the boat and change your life.
At eight miles long and nearly a mile wide,
Ullswater is the second largest lake in the National Park.
The magnificent surrounding mountains can create
changing weather patterns, causing challenging sailing conditions.
But today the wind is calm so it should be, well, plain sailing.
All kitted out in their safety gear, it's time for Andrew and Linda to hit the water.
For today's lesson, Steve will be demonstrating the basic principle of traditional sailing -
how to steer the boat.
Right, guys. When we're sailing, I've got the tiller, the stick, in my back hand, for obvious reasons.
Pull it towards me, come away from the wind.
Push it away from me, go into the wind.
Right. The rope's in my front hand.
I want to pull the rope in, pull it down to my thumb,
pull it in again. What we've really got to be careful of, use your back foot to do it,
is to push the rope back there.
If we get hit by a bit of a gust, I can just let it go.
If I'm standing on it and we get hit by a gust, we're going in there, yeah?
The tiller is attached to the rudder, which provides leverage to turn the boat.
But will this crew keep their heads above water when Linda puts her navigation skills to the test?
The wind, you're in a mountainous area. You sail here, you can sail anywhere.
-So the wind is going to be unpredictable because of the mountains.
You've got slopes on the mountain that are exposed to the sun.
You've got slopes that are never exposed to sun,
so you have cool air dropping, warm air rising.
-It's all over the place.
It makes sailing really interesting, but then again, it's beautiful.
So how many years does it take to master this craft?
If you've got the time, it just comes down to how you can practise.
If running a busy business is what they want,
I'm not sure Linda and Andrew will have much time to sail off into the sunset.
Unless, that is, I can tempt them with the mystery house.
Spot on, guys. Awesome session.
-Fantastic, thank you.
-Yeah, you've enjoyed it?
-Really enjoyed it, Steve.
I think to be honest, with that last property, we've pushed the business side
as far as we can go without consigning Andrew and Linda to an early grave.
So I think for the mystery house we're going to bring everything
back down to a much more quiet and tranquil pace.
We're about to go and see the mystery house now.
What do you think that might involve?
I don't know what to expect - that's part of the excitement
-and the fun, isn't it?
Perhaps you'll show us something very modern and contemporary.
something really off the wall, like a mill or a field!
A field? Yes, I'm going to show you a field.
-"Here's a blank canvas..."
-"..start from scratch."
That all sounds too much like hard work.
So it's time to swing the pendulum the other way with our mystery property.
And show them something which might leave them
with plenty of time to enjoy their new surroundings.
It's right down to the southernmost point of the Lakes
for our mystery property, the hamlet of Oxen Park.
It's set among the picturesque low-lying fells
between Lake Windermere and Coniston Water.
Full of pretty cottages, farmhouses and distinctive dry-stone walling,
Oxen Park is set amongst a magnificent backdrop of fell views and uninterrupted farmland.
If our last house was all about work, work, work, the mystery house is quite the opposite,
dangling the carrot of total relaxation in front of them.
We'll be keeping the business at arm's length
and concentrate on a country home just for the two of them to enjoy.
-Here we have the mystery house.
-It's a mystery.
-It is a mystery.
The idea of the mystery house is that it's something completely tangential.
Not completely not what you asked for - it's in the Lake District.
but it's a whole another view of this retirement business.
The property is this whitewashed bit.
And in many ways the reason I'm bringing you here
is not so much to look at the property but to look at this.
Well, views were right up there on Andrew and Linda's wish list,
and in the outlook department, this cottage definitely delivers.
Here we have...
-what I think is the biggest selling point of this property.
-Yes, the view.
Beautiful, but not necessarily the bit of the Lakes that you were looking for.
-It's different, more gentle.
The property is not a business venture.
I wouldn't run a B&B from here.
But we're hoping that this would be a lovely base for you in the Lakes, for you and your family,
and it would give you some money to maybe look at some other businesses.
We know that you've been looking at some other options.
-Shall we go inside?
-Let's do it.
The cottage has an abundance of charm and character,
both inside and out, but will it manage to charm them?
Come into the cosy cottage.
It's nice. I suppose it's quite a nice, big living room.
You need a bit of imagination here.
Not all of our furniture would fit here, but I suppose as a family room it's quite nice.
Let's look in through at the old kitchen.
'The lounge didn't get a warm reaction so we'll head through to
'the second reception with the hope that this room will fare better.'
-This would have been the old kitchen in the cottage.
They used to have a huge range here, back in the 40s and 50s,
which was replaced by a horrible one in the 60s
-and then replaced by this very pretty open fire recently.
-Does it work?
-Right, that's nice.
This is nice.
-Full of character.
Way too small for what we're looking to do and for our family.
We'd like to be able to have family come and spend time with us.
-Let's whizz round.
-What else is there?
-Let's go and have a look in the kitchen.
I think this is quite a sweet little kitchen.
It's hardly traditional.
I think it's charming.
Continuing to be not really what we're looking for, I think.
It's a shame because it is a charming little cottage for somebody, but maybe not you two.
-Let's have a quick whizz upstairs.
'Shame they haven't been seduced by the downstairs of this cottage
'but perhaps the layout upstairs will raise a smile.'
You've got choices on the staircase.
It's a three-way split.
-You can go that way, you can go that way, and I'll go this way.
No, no, we'll all go this way.
Upstairs, there's a good-sized and light family bathroom
and there are four comfortably-sized double bedrooms,
great for when their three daughters come to visit.
Who wouldn't want to wake up to those fine views over the garden and surrounding countryside?
And we're going to take a look at the largest of the four bedrooms.
So we go into this bedroom.
-Not for you.
-Not for us.
Sunny, love the fireplace.
-It's got some nice original features.
-But it's a bit small.
-Not really what we're looking for.
Let's go outside and talk about the price.
'Ah, well. You win some, you lose some.
'I thought I might be able to tempt them with these beautiful surroundings,
'but we'd better get into the garden and find out what they think it's all worth.'
Just out of interest, what do you think this little pocket of the southern Lakes costs?
I think it's a very sweet little cottage with a fantastic view,
but we're out of the Lake District a little way here...
-We're still in the park.
-Still in the park?
I'm going to stick my neck out at 250.
I'd go 295.
295. Marvellous! Marvellous!
It's on the market for 550.
Oh, sorry! Oh, God!
Your eyes did light up a little bit when you saw it.
I think if it's done nothing else, it's focused us on wanting to do B&B.
So in that sense, at least it's raised those issues,
-and it's made you clear that B&B is what you want to do.
At £550,000, the mystery house is £100,000 under budget,
which they could plough into a business investment.
There are two reception rooms and four double bedrooms, enough for a visiting family.
And the cottage has stunning views over the landscape,
only a few minutes' drive from the shores of Coniston Water,
great for all those outdoor pursuits they wanted to indulge.
I think it's going to make somebody a super little cottage.
Fantastic views, some lovely features, but not for us.
I would agree 100%.
It's just such a shame because the views are just fabulous.
Have you changed your mind?
-No, not at all.
-No, not all!
But it has brought things into focus a little bit, hasn't it?
Very clearly focused, absolutely.
We thought and talked, but I think our initial reaction is probably the one that we would run with.
Now's the point where we need to get an overview of everything we've seen,
-so let's find a place to sit down and have a little head scratch.
Andrew and Linda have had the chance to explore the area and I've shown them properties
to suit both their business and recreational aspirations,
even if they didn't all suit their budget.
So there's plenty to consider.
We have rather dizzied Andrew and Linda with the number of options
for their Lakeland retirement, so it's about time we find out which one, if any, they most prefer.
Beautiful as the Lakes are, it's exhausting cos everything is so beautiful
and it takes so long to get everywhere because the Lakes are so big.
It has been tiring, but it's been great.
I enjoyed it.
Cast your mind back, I know it seems a long time ago, back to the guest house,
the B&B in Ambleside. What do you think about that?
Like it. It's nice.
The upstairs is tremendous,
but I don't think the downstairs accommodation
is big enough for when we have our family over.
For me, it's probably not on my radar at this moment in time.
How about the Georgian house? You seemed to like that.
-Is that the wow house?
-Is it the wow house?
The wow house remains the wow house.
That's the dream house, almost, isn't it?
-We've got some hard talking to do, I think.
Very much enjoyed the Georgian house.
Ticked almost every box.
Remarkable in terms of it satisfying what we wanted.
But it did make me smile all the way around it. The wow face-ache house.
What about the hotel and the pub and the restaurant all-in-one?
That was a big project.
I think if we were perhaps wanting to commit that sort of energy,
we would go for that, wouldn't we?
-We loved the atmosphere.
-Absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the place, yeah.
And I can see us having a nice time there, working hard and playing hard.
I just wonder whether we're looking for that level of commitment.
Perhaps we need to look at some figures and we need to understand a little bit
of what staff could do that would make our lives a little easier.
We did enjoy. We did enjoy.
It was good, a good find.
You made it very clear that you were not keen on the actual property of the mystery house,
but in terms of buying a property that didn't have a big business attached, like the pub,
or that may have the potential for restoration, what are your thoughts on that?
I like the thought of restoring something, or building to make separate visitor accommodation.
I really do think that's a good idea.
Overall, looking at all the properties we've seen
and the thoughts that you've had, what are your conclusions?
Is there a property you might move on?
The pub is still on the radar, as is the Georgian house itself.
So it's been a really useful experience for us.
It's been a pleasure showing you around the Lakes.
I was thinking that if any two people are going to make a good go of running a B&B here,
-it's going to be you two, so book me in when you open up.
-It'll be our pleasure.
-It has been a pleasure. Thank you.
I think we've done a fine job on focusing those two canny business brains
on what exactly they want from their Lakeland life.
And if I come appear in a few years' time, I know that I will stay in Andrew and Linda's B&B.
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