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Take hold, wrestle!
Now, these two aren't fighting over a woman or indeed a spilt pint of beer.
In fact, they're practising an ancient sport that's thought to have been brought to this border county
over 1,000 years ago by the Vikings, so stick around
for a fairly tough Escape To The Country and we'll find out who wins.
'In today's show I'll be helping some newlyweds
'leave their marital home in the city and settle down in the country.
'So they'll need some space for the in-laws.'
How do you think your mum and dad would feel about living in the pigsty?
They'll get used it, I think!
They'll need space for her indoors.
-I'll put you in there when you're naughty.
'And they'll need space for some boars.' Pigs! how about that?
Country life, there it is.
Well, today I'm in Cumbria and the glorious Lake District, and John and Richard here
are engaged in the tried and tested sport of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling,
and I've got a feeling that Richard just won that one.
It's thought that back in the day men would compete for a month's wages.
I'm not quite sure what's at stake on this bout, but while these two
continue to battle it out, I'm going to go and explore the local area.
Cumbria is England's third largest county,
tucked away in the north-west, with Scotland to the north
and the Irish Sea on its west coast.
And with the Lake District at its heart, it's a feast for the eyes.
England's ten highest mountains rise over this beautiful corner of the country
and its shimmering lakes reflect the most exquisite of scenery.
Generations of artists from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Beatrix Potter
have all drawn inspiration from these magnificent surrounds.
Although over eight million tourists stream here every year, it still holds onto its agricultural roots,
with much of Cumbria given over to sheep and dairy farming. But it's not all countryside.
There are many beautiful towns and villages to explore, such as the pretty market town of Keswick
in the heart of the lakes with its wide range of shops, restaurants and galleries.
The author and poet John Ruskin once said that Keswick was a place almost too beautiful to live in,
but the thousands of lucky residents who DO live there have proven that you can have your cake and eat it.
Well, most people coming to this part of the world want views and there are plenty to choose from,
but if you want a view of one of those, you'd better get your chequebook ready because
anything that looks out on to a lake can go up by as much as £50,000 to £100,000 above a normal asking price,
but with this on your doorstep, whatever you decide to buy - well, trust me, it's worth every penny.
Set at the foot of the Newlands Valley, this Grade II listed residence has neighbours
you would want to be overlooked by - the Skiddaw mountain range.
Inside there are four bedrooms, a contemporary bathroom and an elegant sitting room.
It's being sold for £1.2 million.
But you don't need to be as minted to own this Kendal property,
as this former 16th century farmhouse with attached peel tower is on the market for £600,000.
It has three bedrooms, a large kitchen and garden with great views.
And, finally, there's this three-bedroom barn conversion packed to the rafters with, well, rafters!
There are joists, lintels and crosspieces galore, and you'll be beaming when you hear the price -
Well, as you can see, there are some wonderful houses to be had up here,
but today's buyers haven't just fallen in love
with the area's properties, they've also started a long-term love affair with Cumbria itself.
Today's buyers are blissfully happy newlyweds Ben and Sarah,
who live together in this three-bedroom, semi-detached 1930s house in Chester.
And not much has changed from when they first met on a blind date ten years ago.
We just hit it off really well.
-I think Sarah just got...
Drunk all my alcohol and then put the lips on me!
I didn't throw the lips on you at all!
Sarah wants to kiss goodbye to the city and put down some new roots in the country,
while Ben, a dentist, wants to pull some new roots of his own at a fresh practice.
We decided now is a good time to move because we've lived in a city all of our lives.
We want to live in a larger house with a bit more space.
Which we can fill with children, I think!
And I think it's just time to reassess our lives.
So which part of Cumbria are they looking to escape to?
We've decided that we want to move to the lakes, the reason being that it's somewhere
that's special to both of us. We've been going up there for about ten years, since we first got together.
It was the location of our very first weekend away together
and it's also where we got married, so a very special location for us.
I think our life in the country may take a bit of a step back.
-A bit more relaxed.
-Yeah, absolutely more outdoor focused.
We hope to move to a small village, somewhere in the area around Keswick,
maybe a 10, 15 minute commute to the town would be perfect.
You'd like somewhere, wouldn't you, with a village pub and a few amenities, but...
-Maybe a post office or...
-But not in town, nor isolated in the middle of nowhere would be perfect.
But how will they feel about leaving their current house behind?
We do love the house itself. If we could lift it up and transplant it to the lakes, that would be lovely.
Actually, if we could lift it up, transplant it and add a few rooms, that would be lovely!
So, as well as more rooms, what else do they want?
It's very important to me that, in the new house, we have a spacious kitchen which I can fit
either a substantial island or a large kitchen table in.
I'd also like a range cooker, and that's something I've been nagging Ben about for years and years.
We need a lot more storage.
At the moment, one of our bedrooms is just full of cricket kit,
climbing kit, walking kit, so we've nowhere to put that at the moment.
If we had a child it would have to sleep in the shed!
As you can see, I'm very tall, at 6ft 6, so in the new property we need nice high ceilings,
no low beams or anything that I can bang my head on.
And with their budding art collection they might need some high walls, too.
-But, wait, there's more.
-My parents plan to retire sometime in the near future,
so there's a chance that they'll follow us to the Lake District soon.
So, if we could find a house with an annex or with some outbuildings with scope for conversion in the future,
that would be really helpful, and ideally we would set the lot in one to three acres of land.
Before they make the move, we've asked an agent to value their house.
This is a beautifully presented and spacious three-bedroom family home.
It's located in a very desirable district of Chester
and I would recommend marketing the property at £250,000.
So how much do they have to spend on their new property?
Our budget for this move will be £650,000.
I think if we found the perfect property, though, that we could probably stretch that somewhat.
We could probably go up to around 700,000.
So, Ben and Sarah are keen to find something with a bit more space and keen to start a family.
I think they're going to want something with a least four bedrooms, a big kitchen would go down well,
and, if possible, a couple of acres outside in which to play around in.
But there's also a bit of a twist to this one.
They're keen also for something that could offer
some annex potential so that Ben's parents could come and stay long-term.
Now, all of that for £650,000 may challenge the budget a little bit, but I'm pretty optimistic.
Having explored the region well, they've told us the area around Keswick would be ideal
and who are we to argue?
In today's show, we have three fantastic houses lined up, each one offering
something really special and, as ever, the last of the three, the mystery house,
which could offer them something they would not have considered themselves.
-Hi, guys. Nice to see you!
-Welcome to Cumbria.
-Well, I say welcome, you know this area probably better than I do in some respects, don't you?
-How much time do you get to spend up here?
We've been coming here for about ten years, probably sort of two or three times a year
for either a week or a long weekend and most of that time is usually spent out on the hills.
Now what are we looking for in terms of size of property?
I think four bedrooms, Sarah thinks five, so...
-Does that depend on how many kids you're having?
-So four or five would be perfect.
In terms of style, you're looking for something that is going to fit in with the landscape,
something quite traditional?
We definitely want something with some character, perhaps a nice period property would be lovely.
All very exciting. Let's have a think about the budget. How much have we got to spend?
Our budget is about £650,000.
-Which is pretty handsome.
It is, and I think if we found the absolute perfect property,
-then we'd probably cripple ourselves and go higher, towards 700.
Well, it's a gorgeous area as you can see, great budget, let's see what we can find you.
They need space for their growing art collection and space for Ben's head!
And they need an annex to accommodate Ben's parents
who might be following them to Cumbria.
So, does it feel quite strange finally committing your idea
to action and coming out here looking for properties?
It's quite exciting.
It's quite daunting in some ways, isn't it?
I think it's going to be such a change from what we're used to,
and from the city lives that we've been enjoying for so long...
It'll be a complete shock to the system, I suppose.
For our first house, we've travelled to the rural area of Overwater
which is overlooked by the majestic Skiddaw Mountain,
England's fourth highest.
Set in the northern lakes, Overwater boasts an idyllic, unspoiled feel, but for amenities,
the village of Ireby is just 2.5 miles away.
Ireby is an ancient market town dating back to the 12th century
which sits just over 500 feet above sea level.
Today there's a watering hole, a village hall, a 19th-century church and a primary school,
which should please Ben and Sarah who are looking to start a family very soon.
What about this?
-What a beautiful entrance!
-It's gorgeous, isn't it? Come on through the gate.
Isn't that quite sweet?
-That is absolutely stunning.
Now it's described in the spec as a cottage,
but it's technically an old lodge that was once part of the Overwater estate, which is just down the road.
-Built 1873, so we're right on...
-You've got the "old", then.
You know, kind of the period charm for you and recently completely renovated
-to a really, really high spec. And you get that.
-Look at that view!
-Now, you walk around here a lot, don't you?
-You may have been up there, that's Skiddaw.
-Yeah, we have.
-Yeah, we climbed that.
So, are we on the right lines?
-I think so.
-I think so.
-Interested to see what it's like on the inside.
-Oh, it's stunning. Come and have a look.
Interesting little snug for you in there.
-Oh, that's great, isn't it?
-Boys' den in there, but look at this place!
All renovated. This was all wallpaper when the current owners took it over.
-They've exposed all the stone.
-Oh, this looks great.
Come in here. This has got you written all over it.
-Oh, this is gorgeous.
-That's a really good sized room, isn't it?
-A really good size.
I love the log-burning stove.
They've really gone to a lot of trouble to try and keep some of the features that were here originally.
That view is beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Good. So, we like?
-Yeah, great start. A really good start.
-What kind of kitchen are you really after?
Probably quite a big one.
A big kitchen.
Now, is this big enough?
This is big enough!
This is absolutely stunning!
I love all of it. There's a seating area and a beautiful big table.
-It's got a range cooker.
-And a range cooker!
It's absolutely fantastic.
They've done something really clever with allowing light to pour in and make the best use of this
-cos you need a tall house.
Is this tall enough?!
Yeah, there's plenty of headroom here. I think I'll be OK, yeah!
This is fantastic. I could see myself never moving from this room.
-Through there we've got you a huge utility room.
Downstairs wet room and a boot room, so if you come in off the hills muddy etc,
it can all go out there.
-On the way in, you may have noticed two staircases.
-I did, yeah.
Come and have a look at these.
OK, there they are.
What is at the top of them...?
-You are wondering!
-What we've got for you are four beds and four bathrooms.
-They're all en-suite.
-Let's start with this one, cos up here is the master.
Now then, Ben, this is what you need to look out for, but I think it's well worth it.
Think we could get our big bed in here?
-Yeah, it would fit, wouldn't it?
-Is it bigger than that one?
-It's a super-king size.
-Quite a complicated roof space...
..has been adapted to give you something of a little sitting area.
The views out, of course... But check this out.
-Look at that shower.
-It's just the standard of the finish is awesome, isn't it?
It's a top-quality finish.
And remember this is but one of four.
-Let's see the rest.
-Let's keep exploring.
They love the high spec finish in the master, but I think they're being a bit polite about its proportions.
Next door is another beautifully finished double with - like all the other bedrooms - its own en-suite.
'Up the other set of stairs is another nicely decorated double with great views
'over Skiddaw Mountain. The fourth double, that's plenty of space for the children, when they arrive.'
Now, of course you haven't got a family bathroom as such, so...
But they are all en-suite.
But you can live with that, really, when everyone's got their own!
Plus there's the shower room downstairs, as well.
-A small concession.
-Outside space, you had a glimpse at it. Let's go exploring.
-Now, what have we got for you out here?
-As well as the house itself, you also get quite a bit of ground with this, two acres.
-Now, most of it's woodland up here, but you also get quite an interesting little bit of formal garden.
Loads of areas for growing things, some mature hedging, this yew and all the rest of it.
You've also got something of a greenhouse there
which could probably have a little bit of renovation itself, but I don't know...
-I think it's quite sweet, it's quite charming.
-Beyond it there's a vegetable patch as well, which you can explore a little bit later.
Which also overlooks all of that.
I've rarely seen a property on Escape with such a view, I have to say.
-It's amazing, absolutely amazing, isn't it?
So, the key thing is going to be the price of this little number.
-Well, your top end is 650.
-You said you could go some way above that.
-I think you've gone way over.
I think... I think this is more like sort of 725.
I'll be the optimist and say 625.
625, that IS optimistic! If only!
-OK, it does begin with a six, that's the good news, the bad news is it ends with a 90.
-£690,000, so we are very much pushing what you want to spend.
-Certainly. But that, of course, is reflected in the fact that we are in the National Park.
-Because that view isn't going to change forever.
Well, look, there's plenty more for you to explore. There's lots of ground, two acres of it.
-Go and have a look. I'll catch up with you later.
At £690,000, this house is on the outer limits
of Ben and Sarah's budget, but that's the price you pay
for being inside the National Park.
With its huge kitchen/diner, the large downstairs almost sold itself,
but I'm afraid that the four bedrooms, each with en-suite,
might be just a bit too small for 6ft 6 Ben.
If anything can swing it,
it'll be the magnificent views over Skiddaw Mountain.
I could actually cry because I love this property.
We could not ask for more than to be able to walk out of our front door and on to the hills.
That's exactly what we're after.
From the outside I thought it was fabulous, I loved the land.
I adore the kitchen and I felt like every box was being ticked.
This must be the boot room. Oh, Ben, this is fantastic.
Imagine dumping all of our muddy kit in here.
Once we got to the top of the stairs,
despite how excited I tried to keep myself with the bedrooms,
I kept thinking to myself, "Oh, no, this isn't going to work for Ben."
Up here, I've just got a big problem with headspace.
Because it's stretching our budget and it's right at the top end of what we're prepared to spend
I would want a master bedroom which is... Which is perfect.
Ah, now then, I thought you'd be enjoying the view. Why not?
-Isn't it just stunning?
I don't think I'm going to be torn away from this bench.
You have to be because the search goes on.
There is plenty more out there.
Ben and Sarah know Cumbria really well, but they've never visited the village of Hawkshead.
With its whitewashed cottages and picturesque courtyards and cobbled squares,
the village has a great literary connection as this is where Romantic poet William Wordsworth lived.
They've come to find out more from Edward Miller who retired up here 25 years ago.
-I'm Ed, good to meet you.
-Good to meet you.
-Welcome to Hawkshead.
-Know much about the village?
-Well, we've landed here, at Ann Tyson's cottage.
This is where Wordsworth lived as a boy.
Some people call this the prettiest corner, but there's a lot to see in this village.
-Would you like to see a bit more?
-Right, follow me.
Back in the late 18th century, Wordsworth was educated here at Hawkshead Grammar School,
before heading off to Cambridge University.
-They would start at 8am and were only allowed to converse in Latin or Greek.
Couldn't drink water, but they were allowed three pints of diluted beer.
The poet also used to walk up to Hawkshead's 13th-century church for its beautiful panoramas.
-Wordsworth's favourite view, so it is said.
You'll see the entire central mountain range.
There are many, many thousands of people walk that range throughout summer.
He was also a keen walker,
and it was during a stroll with his sister that he penned the line, "I wandered lonely as a cloud".
For the next property, we're heading out of the park to the small hamlet of Unthank,
set against the magnificent backdrop of the Pennine mountains.
But for provisions, Ben and Sarah will have to head to Melmerby, two miles away.
Named after a 9th-century dame,
it's a picturesque fell-side village full of red sandstone buildings.
There is a 13th-century church,
a bakery and a village hall, with its own pre-school - handy for when Ben and Sarah's family expands.
And it's not just the kids who could be arriving soon, it's Ben's folks too.
This sprawling property should fit the lot.
Now, what have we got you here? Ha ha! Come on in.
-What have you got?
-You said you wanted something with some potential.
-So we thought this might fit the bill.
-All of it.
-So, that side and...
-That side and that side, all these outbuildings ripe for conversion.
-What do you think?
-I'm amazed actually. There's so much of it.
How much of a renovation project would you be up for?
Um, nothing absolutely major, but I'll have a go at some things.
-The good news is there is a house that comes with it.
-Something to live in in the meantime.
Yeah, right through here.
Wow. Fruit trees!
There! There's a house!
Oh, it's beautiful! Really lovely. I love the stone walls
and the ivy on the side. It's absolutely gorgeous.
-Were you thinking I was going to get you to convert a barn?
"This is it. It's massively under-budget, but..."
Yeah, you get all those farm outbuildings, and you get a pukka farmhouse.
And that means it's got loads of space.
-Come and have a look.
-I can't wait.
-Come on in.
-What about this, then?
-It's like a garden room.
The door there goes through to the barn so you can see how it all ties together.
Wait till you see in here.
-Come on in.
-Oh, wow. This is gorgeous.
-Cast-iron range for you.
-Nice and hot. I can feel the heat coming off that!
This is the classic farmhouse look, as it's a classic farmhouse.
It's absolutely fabulous. I love the floor, I love the tiled worktop.
-Very happy so far with the outside.
Well, there is so much to show you. It's going to be a whistle-stop tour. But come through here.
After that glorious kitchen, you've got this. Very attractive. Some nice original features.
-Love the fireplace, yeah.
-As wood burners go, that's a whopper.
-In terms of height, Ben, this is going to be comfortable.
-Good size, nice high ceilings. I like it.
Right, come with me. The rest of the house continues through here via this area which would make a good study.
There is all sorts of space, you can explore it at your leisure.
-But let's go upstairs.
Well, they certainly seem pleased with what's on offer downstairs.
Let's hope it continues up here. Off the main landing are four bedrooms.
One double with views over the countryside.
Another very spacious double.
A third single bedroom - so that's the kids sorted.
Now it's time to see the master.
-What do you think?
-I think the proportions are lovely.
They're exactly what I would like to have. Plenty of room for a big bed.
It's a good size. Nice big, square room.
Loads of storage space and the views out there are terrific.
-It's more than adequate.
-And it goes on.
Come and have a look through here.
More room than you know what to do with really.
This is the family bathroom. It could do with a bit of updating,
-but it's still charming. I love the bath surround.
-It's nice. Maybe a new suite, possibly a shower.
Down there, I've described four bedrooms to you.
There is a fifth, which is here.
Because through here, is a whole other end to this property.
And if the five bedrooms in the main house are not enough. There are still all those outbuildings to see.
The first of which is back through the garden room.
-This is quite unusual, outside your back door.
-Yeah, a barn.
But again, like all the other outbuildings, this could be converted into something useful.
Opposite the barn and back through the courtyard is another much bigger outhouse,
which I think would be ideal for Ben's parents.
This, clearly, was some kind of parlour, probably a milking parlour at some stage.
-A lot of potential.
-In terms of the folks, if they were going to come full-time,
-do you think a space like this would give them the accommodation they'd be happy with?
-I think so.
I think you could do something with this space, and there's more space through there.
-There's a bit more there.
-And more space though there.
-You've got another two-storey outbuilding through there.
-There's plenty of room.
Now, outside space. Have we got some land for you? Have a look at this.
You've got an interesting mixture on the plot. All in all, four acres.
You get that paddock, the stream, the bridge, and that paddock over there.
-There's just so much of it.
-It's huge, absolutely huge.
-Four acres is a lot of space, isn't it?
-Wait till you walk through it! Haha!
Come with me! You'll see what four acres is really all about.
I think this farmhouse offers more than enough space for Sarah, Ben and everyone they plan to fill it with.
'But will the price fit the bill?'
Come on in!
-So this is the flat bit.
-This is great!
-Question is, how much is it worth?
-It's so hard!
Even though it's outside the park, you've got so much land. I'd pay 625?
-I'm going to say higher than that. I'm going to say 675.
-675. If it were 675...
-I think that it's worth that.
-I don't feel that's overpriced. I think you're getting an awful lot.
-I agree with you.
I would say that 675 was a fantastic price. I'd say 630 was a magnificent price.
-That's what it's on the market for, £630,000.
-That's a brilliant price.
-Only £5,000 out as well.
-That's what he's really pleased about!
-Go and explore and I'll see you later.
At 630,000 this farmhouse falls well within budget.
And a range of outbuildings with development potential.
And it comes with all the room Ben and Sarah wanted and more.
I'm a little bit scared though, all this space.
Wow, so another log burner. What's through here?
First impressions, couldn't really tell what is was about,
but then the more we saw, the more it opened up and the more impressed I became.
Wow, this place just keeps going.
-It does. I'll put you in there when you're naughty.
I can see us spending hours and hours planning what to do with those outbuildings.
And there's so much garden, I'm not sure we'll be able to upkeep it.
I think being outside the National Park is making the massive difference.
You're getting a lot more for your money.
-You found one of the residents.
-Hopefully, it might come with the price of the house.
You never know! Everything's negotiable. Isn't he sweet though?
-Right, I'm going to tear you away and we'll leave the pony to the field.
-After you. JULES CHUCKLES
When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory famously said, "Because it's there."
'Keen climbers Ben and Sarah have much the same outlook and were eager to scale some rock faces,
'so it was time for me to face my fears and join them on Upper Scout Crag,
'where Stuart Carter, a trained guide, has come to show us the ropes.'
This is the man we're looking for.
Hi, Stuart, nice to see you.
-Nice to meet you.
-How are you?
-Sarah and Ben.
-Nice to meet you.
Now then, these guys have done a bit of climbing, they say, but indoors.
-Never in the great outdoors. Where are you going to take us?
We're going to head up to this cliff here.
It's called Upper Scout Crag, and we'll show you all you need to know.
'Like us, over 100,000 people every month are grabbing their kit and taking to the rocks,
'yet in its early days, the idea of using equipment was seen as cheating.
'Purists climbed unaided - still true of some climbers today.
'But for us it's undoubtedly safety first.'
You've got the harnesses on, so I'm going to be able to attach you with a rope to those
and I'll climb up and build an anchor, attach myself to the rock,
and then I'm going to bring you guys up, basically just holding the ropes tight for you.
So if you slip off, the rope will be straight up above you and you'll just kind of hang into the rope
and you kind of get back on and crack on again.
And does it matter how heavy we are?
No, these ropes will hold 22 kilonewtons, which is basically 2.5 tons static load, so...
I'm a bit less than that!
Now, you've all got your helmets on, and mine has got a camera on it.
How exciting is that? So, a nice shot of your backsides!
-There we are!
'Stuart's first to head up the crag, carefully placing a trail of anchors as he goes
'and, crikey, does he make it look easy!'
Stuart pretty much walked up there.
Like a mountain goat, he tore up there! Brilliant!
Ben, you're going to come first.
-When you get past that first clip, Sarah, you can set off.
-OK, guys, go for it.
This should be fun cos Ben and I are competitive with each other,
-so it's going to be a case of who can get to the top quickest.
-Why doesn't that surprise me?
-Out to your right now, Ben.
-Yeah, I'm trying.
-I've got you.
'Ooh, now Ben has set off with confidence,
'but it's harder than it looks, and he's struggling to find his footing.'
You've got to be more precise with your toes, that's it.
'Sarah is next up.
'How will she get on?'
How are you getting on, Sarah?
I'm good, thank you. Just doing a little bit of route finding.
-Well done, Sarah.
-Sarah's making this look very easy.
I have got a fairly tough act to follow, I think.
-Before you get past it, Sarah, just stop there.
'And if I wasn't scared enough, Sarah is handling my safety rope.'
-Do you trust me, Jules?
-I've got no choice!
-OK, here we go.
-Keep pulling in. That's it.
You'll have to go steady, Jules, because Sarah is new to this.
-Was I ever ready?
-That's it, keep pulling it through.
Just don't get flustered with it. Lean it forward as you do it.
-So, how are you finding it, Jules? Is it a bit...?
-I'm getting there.
I know, I know, I do look like a bit of an expert,
but that's because I mastered rule number one, don't look down!
-Stuart, you've done us proud, it's a really good introduction. And what a view, guys.
-It's amazing, isn't it?
-Well, we're only halfway up, a bit more?
-Onwards and upwards!
-That's right, yeah.
-Come on, then!
So, as the sun sinks behind the Cumbrian mountains, Ben and Sarah reflect on what they've seen so far.
So, Victorian lodge? What did you think?
I loved the outside. I thought it was absolutely visually stunning.
-The view was the wow-factor of that property.
There was another wow-factor for me and that was that kitchen with the range. It was just magnificent.
I could've really seen myself in there. I loved it.
The big negative for me was the upstairs. The master bedroom was a big let-down.
The beam was in such an obvious place as well. It would be a huge problem for me.
So what did you think of the farmhouse in the end?
Big surprise, the sheer scale of the property, the land.
The outbuildings were a big positive.
I loved the huge vegetable garden and the orchards. That's what I'd be looking for.
It was certainly amazing value for money.
-So tomorrow, are you excited?
-Excited, a little nervous cos I've seen the contrast today.
-Apart from that, I'm really excited about it.
-Yeah, I'm excited.
Having recently married, Sarah and Ben have decided to kiss goodbye to the city and move to Cumbria
where they spent their first weekend together.
With a budget of £700,000, we've seen one properties inside and outside of the National Park.
Coming up, we find a house that seems to meet the brief.
-And this is working?
-This is working very well.
-It's working well.
-But are we just papering over the cracks?
-I love it.
We'll have a debate over that!
It's the start of another busy day's house-hunting in Cumbria.
Yesterday, we had two interesting properties. Both beautiful, one inside and one outside the park.
Value-for-money-wise you have to go outside the park to get what you want -
particularly for this budget. So, with that in mind, we'll continue.
For our next house we're driving to the village of Newbiggin
outside the national park 25 miles east of Keswick.
It's a pretty village in a tranquil location, so, for more life,
Ben and Sarah could head to Temple Sowerby just a mile away.
Named after the Knights Templar, the village has a school and a medical practice,
something that might interest Ben who is looking to establish his own dental surgery.
Now I think this is a very nice way to start any day's house hunting.
-What do you think?
-I love that.
It's stunning from the outside. Beautiful.
Absolutely gorgeous, it really is.
Now, we do see a lot of village locations on this show,
as you can imagine, but I have to say I think for my money this is one of the best.
It's fabulous. I love the stone fronting, I love the windows, love everything.
-This does kind of say to me country dentist.
-Yeah, it does, doesn't it?
It's a bit of All Creatures Great And Small really, isn't it, you know?
Can we see it?
Yeah, all right.
-So now we're a little bit closer, are we getting more excited?
I love the stone. Really nice.
-This is technically your back door.
Bear in mind this structure as well, this will become more apparent as we go through.
-I've got a few ideas for you there, but I think you're going to love it.
-Right, let's start in the kitchen, straight through the back door.
-What do you reckon?
I like it. It's certainly a good size. It's...
-A really nice finish, oak.
The oak panels are lovely.
-Yeah. I mean, there are options with reconfiguring this.
I think the key thing to consider is the space in which it sits...
-..and how you would change that.
-Obviously, the island is taking up a lot of space.
-Yeah, it is.
In general, I think you get the idea that the finish throughout this property is pretty good.
It looks really good. Good start, yeah.
-So, how about a bit of Victorian opulence?
-See what I mean?
-Come on in.
-This is a lovely room.
-Come on in, look at that.
-It's fantastic. Is the surround original?
-The whole thing is original.
-And it works. A nice working fire.
-The tiles are beautiful.
-I love the windows in here.
-That's just gorgeous.
The kind of feel that I like.
If you like this, you're going to love what's through here. Come and look at this.
Oh, this room is absolutely gorgeous!
-What do you think, Ben?
-Yeah, the fireplace, the window, it's just...
Oh, it's absolutely awesome.
-That's fabulous. Are they the original tiles?
-I mean, it's just gorgeous.
-Just the way...
Nothing's been changed, has it? The windows are even more impressive.
And the view out to your front garden.
-It's not bad that, is it?
In terms of a sojourn in Victoriana, this is working?
This is working very well. Very, very well.
Yeah, this is working well. I'm loving the high doors.
High doors, high ceilings.
Does it continue upstairs?
-Let's hope so.
-Let's hope so.
Well, so far, so good, but we have been in this situation before.
Let's hope the upstairs can sustain their enthusiasm.
Off the landing are three double bedrooms, one with exposed wooden floors,
-another with an en-suite shower room and the master.
-Oh, I actually love this wallpaper.
-What about it?
-It's like Chinoiserie, isn't it?
-It's got that Victoriana feel.
-Obviously the paper's not original.
-A good sized room. The wallpaper's not to my taste.
-I love it.
-I was waiting for you to pick up on that.
-We'll have a debate over that.
Right, let's continue that way.
After you, Ben. And he doesn't have to duck!
-it's a big bathroom.
-It's... It's big enough.
Again, whether Ben would go for the paper, I wonder.
-Actually, in this room, the paper's nice, I like it.
-I like that wood panel.
-I like the finish.
I think I'd be tempted to change it and put a roll top bath in here.
-And then you can lie in the bath and look out at the garden.
-Exactly. Just see that lovely big bath.
-Let's go back downstairs and continue inside. There's more.
-After you. Down the stairs.
I'm getting a really good feeling about this house.
I think it's hitting just the right spot.
So, back through off of the kitchen we've got this.
Oh, I wasn't expecting this!
-No. A staircase?
-Here's your snug.
Yeah. The snug here and up there we've got you a fourth bedroom.
-You know, that would work a treat.
Off the snug there is also a utility room, a small study and a spacious garage.
But it's time to head outside to explore the outbuilding
which I think would make an ideal annex for Ben's parents.
So, there is this barn. It's very pretty, actually.
-It used to have a pigsty under it.
It's great. How do you think your mum and dad would feel about living in the pigsty, Ben?
They'll get used it, I think.
I mean, would you be interested in converting this in some manner?
-I think so.
-Yeah, I think if it was nice.
Kids, you know, that would work a treat.
Considering the reasons we're thinking of converting, I think it would be.
And you've got loads of space...
-Yeah, there's still tons of space behind.
-Come and have a look.
Well, family house, family garden.
-Look at this!
-Great sized lawn.
Brilliant lawn. I mean, you know,
whether you have sons or daughters in the future they're going to love playing around up here.
This is great. Absolutely glorious.
how much do you like it?
I like it a lot.
This is the hardest part of the whole thing, I think.
-It's kind of a difficult one to price in some ways.
I think it must be pretty much close near the budget.
-I'll say this time, what, bang on, 650,000?
I'm going to say 685.
You are going to love this.
Where do we sign?
That is amazing because that would give us loads of scope as well to finish that barn off,
maybe put a huge kitchen in there and it would still be under budget.
-That would be phenomenal.
-Way under budget.
-Go and explore. I know you can't wait to get back in there.
Go and enjoy. Figure out what you're going to do with all that change!
At £565,000, this house is over 100,000 under budget.
This would give Sarah and Ben plenty of cash to convert the barn
into something more liveable for Ben's parents.
There's an attractive kitchen diner and many fine period features in the sitting and dining room.
Upstairs are the requisite four bedrooms, one with en-suite,
and outside there's a garage, the barn and all of it set within one acre of land.
Brilliant first impressions of the house.
The stonework is absolutely to die for.
This is the original barn, isn't it?
-It's absolutely brilliant.
It's absolutely ideal. This could be a great living space.
I think the outside barn building has got absolute bags of potential and obviously with the house being
quite a long way under budget, it gives us loads of scope,
not too much pressure, to actually do that to a really high standard.
I really like this property.
I think I've fallen a little bit in love with it.
Each room is individual, it has a purpose and all good sized, as well.
When Jules told us how much the property was, I just wanted to know where to sign.
I think it's fantastic at the price that it's at and also with the potential that it's got.
Ah, Sarah and Ben!
-I seem to have spent my entire time this week tearing you away...
..and this is no exception, is it?
-I think this is the toughest one. I absolutely love this house.
-I really do.
-Good. Well, it's not over yet.
Throughout the centuries, great artists like John Ruskin and JMW Turner
have drawn inspiration from this breath-taking landscape.
Art-lovers Ben and Sarah are keen to fill their new home with original pieces.
So they've come to a spot that doubles up as an unlikely gallery - Grizedale Forest.
Hayley Skipper, the Arts Development Officer has come to take them into the woods.
Grizedale was the first forest to create trails and invite visitors to use the forest for recreation.
Now, we have a network of walking and cycling trails.
Covering 6,000 acres, this is the largest forest in Cumbria,
attracting around a quarter of a million visitors a year.
They come to admire the work of sculptors like Richard Harris,
and gaze at exhibitions like this one consisting of 19 giant photographs hung between the trees.
Here we are in the Ghosts In The Wood exhibition by Mike Smallcombe.
It's a fascinating way of exhibiting art.
It's different, isn't it?
Given the vagaries of the weather in the Lakes, how do these pictures survive?
They're all printed on a special waterproof canvas. It's an industrial process.
And the artist developed a special hanging system, so when the trees move in the wind,
the whole thing can move enough that it doesn't get blown away.
I'm hoping to blow Sarah and Ben away as it's time to take them to the mystery house.
Well, at long last it's time to reveal the mystery house to Sarah and to Ben.
Now, so far we've been completely spoiled with the really high quality of property on offer here in Cumbria,
but it's the mystery house so we're looking to try something a little bit different.
We've seen an awful lot of old, now for a bit of new.
So, what have we got for you for the mystery house, I wonder?
I'm quite excited about this. A little bit apprehensive, but quite excited.
The mystery property is located in the hamlet of Park Head
about two miles from the village of Kirkoswald.
Named after St Oswald, the King of Northumbria,
Kirkoswald lies over the River Eden and is a former winner of Cumbria's Best Kept Village competition.
Overlooking its two pubs, primary school and cobbled Market Square,
the village has a rather unique feature, a bell tower detached from its church.
Perched on top of a hill, it was used to warn villagers of an approach from Scots raiders.
Right, now, the mystery house.
Something slightly different.
-Quite new. We've gone for a slightly contemporary twist here.
-Can you hear that? Pigs.
Pigs, look at them!
Pigs, how about that? You see, country life, there it is, OK?
-They want feeding.
-Well, what we've got is this structure here.
Now, buried in amongst all that is a 1900 barn.
-All will become clear as we go through it,
but not only do you get that, but you also get this structure, too.
-This is an enormous studio.
-Yeah, it's a house by itself.
-Well, it is.
And obviously the thinking here is really to give you something
-that does have aesthetically a very different feel, as well.
It's certainly aesthetically got a very different feel!
Location, yeah. The views are beautiful.
The modern feel of the house isn't something I wouldn't have thought of,
but let's give it a chance.
-Go with it.
Now I know Sarah and Ben are keen on period properties, but the mystery house is all about pushing boundaries
-and this property does just that by mixing old and new to stunning effect.
Come into the mystery house. Grab the door, Ben.
Let's... Let's start in here. In you come.
The kitchen is lovely. I like the layout.
A really nice modern kitchen. Great view out over the valley.
It is actually a lot more modern than the kind of thing I was after,
but actually very appealing.
-This is all pretty recently added...
-..this chunk we're in now.
There's a bedroom behind there and a downstairs family bathroom and above us there's another bedroom,
but if you come through here, this is quite interesting.
-Now, this is a pod.
Known in the trade as a pod, a self-supporting steel structure
that's been added to the old building, which is through there, which we'll explore in a moment,
but what it gives you is this huge light airy room.
-Again, with a bit more decking out there and so on.
That window, that wall is beautiful, really nice.
And the way you can just walk out on to the deck and see into the valley, I'm really pleased with that.
This is sort of proper open plan...
-..living in a way. That's quite interesting, though.
There's a mezzanine which is...
I think originally been open and now they've kind of boarded it in
and glazed it to provide one of the five bedrooms that are on offer here.
-Let's have a look. Come on, follow me.
Right, come on in.
The view from up here, down there.
-That's quite cool, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
-It's quite different, isn't it?
-I really like that.
-Quite a fun way to wake up.
-Yeah, that would be nice.
-This is the new bit.
-You're dying for a fix of old, aren't you?
I suspect that Ben and Sarah aren't so keen on the modern parts of this house,
so we're going to step back in time and cross into the old barn which I hope will win them over.
Right, Sarah, come on in.
This is more like it!
It just feels a bit older.
-Yeah. Something of a split level.
-Now, the whole thing is configured currently as a holiday let.
-It's quite a cosy little...
-I like this.
-This feels good.
-Yeah, I like this.
Well, let's explore a bit more of this, then.
-Seeing as we're liking it.
Along the corridor is the family bathroom as well as two light and airy bedrooms.
Ben and Sarah certainly seem happier in the older part
of the mystery property, but I think they're being a bit poker faced when it comes to the full house.
I'm hoping the timber clad property next door will force their hand.
This bit's really nice. A really new feel to it.
What you've got is this suspended floor in the middle, which offers living area.
There's a couple of beds up there at the moment and a bit of storage.
It's definitely got some potential. Gloriously light space.
-It's almost like a one bedroom apartment.
Let's get done with the buildings, let's go and have a look at that view.
I'm convinced many young buyers would snap up this creative and unusual property, but I don't think
Ben and Sarah have been won over, but if nothing else hopefully it may have reaffirmed what they're looking for.
So, we've seen all the property that there is on offer. Land-wise it all sits in about an acre.
-You've got this little orchard area, the paddock beyond,
-right down to the stone wall and the area including the pigs.
-So, how much...
-..is the mystery house worth?
I'm not very good at this, so I'm going to say 575,000.
I'm going to say a little bit more. I'm going to say 605.
-Your figures are just randomly plucked from nowhere, aren't they?
OK, well, you're both not far off, really.
-You've straddled it.
-Right, somewhere in the middle.
-So comfortably under budget.
Whether it's your kind of property,
-we'll have to wait and see, won't we?
-Go and have an explore again, your final one, and I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
Coming in under budget at £595,000 this is a unique property combining old and new.
There's a stylishly fitted kitchen diner leading out on to a decked area
and full height living area with a glazed wall.
There are five bedrooms, one with an en-suite wet room and two bathrooms
and outside there is the timber clad studio.
When we first arrived, quite a shock.
I didn't like the finish of the outside, but I was quite pleased with some parts of the interior.
There were some things that I liked about the mystery property.
The feature glass wall in the pod was stunning visually, a great view out onto the hills.
So, this cladding, then, do you think we could change this at all?
Well, you could obviously paint it and change the colour,
but I think the actual structure of the cladding would be something that you'd have to live with.
I'm not really sure I could.
-Found some friends here, Jules?
-Oh, they're great, aren't they?
I love them. Rare breed pigs, they're absolutely gorgeous.
-Now then, house tours are over.
-We should get you somewhere where you can have a think about everything that we have shown you.
-Then we'll have a chat and see if you've made your mind up.
-See you, pigs!
Sarah and Ben's tour of Cumbria and its properties is drawing to a close
and they have plenty to think about.
Well, as you can see, the harvest is over up here in Cumbria, they're already ploughing in the stubble,
and indeed our show is pretty much over, too, apart from one last crucial moment.
It is of course decision time for Ben and for Sarah.
What are they going to do next? I wonder.
Well, chaps, here we are. It's decision time
and where better place than there, look at that, the Pennines?
Not where we started, though. We started in the heart of the Lakes in Cumbria.
That's where you thought you wanted to be, have we changed your mind?
I think so. Seeing the houses outside the National Park has been a massive eye opener.
Yeah. Well, let's just revisit the tour we've taken.
It started in the park with that old lodge underneath Skiddaw, the mountain.
What did you think of that one?
I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
The outside was everything I like in a house. That kitchen diner just absolutely blew me away.
For me, upstairs was quite a large anti-climax.
Not much headroom and I just felt it was like a different house almost.
Then we went into something altogether different, the farmhouse.
Much bigger rooms. Much bigger spread.
I was amazed when we drove into that farmyard and we said, "Which bit's ours?"
And to get the response, "All of it", and then four acres was astounding.
I was quite drawn to it and I was amazed at what you could get for your money. Fantastic.
Our final day's house-hunting began with that extraordinary old hunting lodge on the village green.
-Yeah. Yeah, I loved that house.
-Yeah, we did.
If you asked me to draw a picture of a house when I was a child, I'd have drawn that.
It was absolutely gorgeous. The use of space was absolutely beautiful.
The barn and the garage had bags of potential, plenty of room for the folk to come up.
There was one more to come and that was the mystery house, very different.
Very controversial, I think.
Yeah, very different. There were certain things about it I really liked.
The studio itself I thought was really nice, loads of light,
-but we had a problem with the actual house itself.
Not so much the inside, but more the actual exterior of the house.
Well, we now need to draw this to a close.
I suspect it's going to be of no surprise to anybody watching
what you are going to do next, but go on, you tell me, let's hear it from the horse's mouth, as it were.
-Of all the houses we saw the hunting lodge was our favourite by quite a distance.
-We're certainly considering placing an offer on the house.
-We loved it. It was just beautiful.
-We're just having a big debate now over what kind of...
what kind of price to actually go in at.
If that's how strongly you feel about it, I suspect that is going to be your new future home.
-Well, guys, well done.
Very best of luck and, as ever, let us know how you get on.
There is nothing quite like messing around in the countryside.
It's said that up here in Cumbria you can get four seasons in one day,
but I'm delighted to say that on this trip we've had sunshine all the way,
and in more ways than one because we've had that classic combination
of great houses, good budget and, as you can see,
glorious countryside, all of which has combined, I think, to produce a very likely happy ever after
for Ben and for Sarah, and as far as I'm concerned, frankly it really doesn't get much better than that!
I'm pleased to say that Ben and Sarah have been back to see the lodge and are still very keen.
They're now looking into dental practice opportunities for Ben before putting in an offer.
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