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Countless English historical dramas have been filmed in today's counties.
Film crews and set designers have clapped their hands in joy
when they've seen medieval manor houses like this one.
Find which county I'm in very soon.
In today's show I'll be helping a couple head north to find a dream
country home, and there's soon a feeling of deja vu.
I wouldn't change a thing.
-Yes, it's beautiful.
-I really do feel like I've lived here before.
We'll be touring a selection of top rural retreats.
-Just buy it for me...
-It's very good.
-It's a very reasonable price.
And there's a mystery house, but will any of our choices have them packing their boxes?
Today, we're lucky enough to be in Derbyshire, and this
is Haddon Hall, a 12th century masterpiece which has been the backdrop of many a day's filming.
Keira Knightley was here for a scene in Pride And Prejudice, there were two versions of Jane Eyre,
the Zeffirelli one and the BBC, and Cate Blanchett strutted her stuff as Elizabeth.
So, if it's good enough for Cate and Keira I think it's good enough for us. Now, where's the nearest lake?
I want to go for a swim in my riding breeches!
Derbyshire lies in the East Midlands hugged by a multitude of counties.
The north is dominated by the Peak District National Park.
It's 555 square miles take in some breathtaking landscape.
And of course the park is also home to Haddon Hall,
a fortified medieval manor house considered to be one of the finest examples to survive from its era.
Moving away from the impressive medieval homes, the countryside is scattered with pretty
sand and limestone cottages originally built for farmers, quarrymen and local tradesmen.
Today they're immensely desirable with buyers looking for a picture perfect dream home.
But enough Hollywood soft focus, let's get down to brass tacks.
How much does it cost to live inside this Derbyshire film set?
Well, if you look at statistics not as much as you might think.
The average house price for a detached property is £201,000, which
is 14% below the national average, but who'd believe statistics?
Because where people really want to live, inside the Peak District National Park, is very expensive.
Bakewell, right in the centre, is almost double the price of Buxton, which is outside, and there are only
38,000 people living inside the park which makes property very exclusive, but very beautiful. Take a look.
With £1,450,000 to burn you could be the lucky owner of this six bedroom former farmhouse near Ashbourne.
It's believed to date back to 1740 and has been sympathetically
renovated to accommodate the traditional features.
It comes with a range of out buildings and sits in the national park.
Staying with farmhouses, this six bedroom property in Pikehall is less pricey at £50 short of £700,000.
It's a true mix of old and new with cosy features
and ultramodern renovations and it all sits in just over four acres.
Or for something a little bit different, this three bedroom
barn conversion in Bradbourne is up for grabs at £295,000.
The Grade II listed property has been skilfully renovated to provide
luxury modern accommodation and it's just waiting for an owner to put their stamp on it.
Do you see what I mean? Budgets high and low can get beautiful bricks and mortar here in Derbyshire
and fantastic views, but is it going to please our buyers today? Let's meet them.
And they are teacher Ashley and trainee priest Lesley who live in Buntingford, Hertfordshire.
Well, this is a five bedroom detached house and when we first came here in 1983 we paid £45,000 for it.
-It was a bargain.
-It really was.
And now we're hoping to get at least 440,000.
With the children grown up, the house is too large and
the time is now right for that long dreamt of move to the country.
The pace and tranquillity of the country is something that we both love.
We really love the energy that hills and water give and
I think as you get older that peace that you find when you're out walking
gives you much more energy than taking any pills and potions can do.
We've been looking to move for five years
but you were quite ill a little while ago, about three years ago...
-With cancer and it put the whole journey off a bit.
That sort of focused us as well I think, in terms of... I'm fine now, I mean, it was three
years ago and I've been clear, but at that time we were thinking, well, let's go and live life, let's go out
and do something different, so that was one of the reasons for us looking elsewhere.
Yeah. It really focuses your mind, actually.
-It makes you realise that you just want to be together.
Lesley and Ashley's home has been ideal for bringing up the family,
but now they want to downsize and have drawn up a list of desires.
The kitchen from me is the hub of the home, so with the new property I'd love a big kitchen, somewhere to put
a table, people can sit there while I'm cooking, I can chat to them.
-I love to feed people. It's my ambition to be Ma Larkin.
-I like my gadgets.
I'm very into computing sort of side and in the new property we're hoping that we can have a study.
OK, we've got two dogs and six hens and wherever we go it's got to be
a secure garden so that with these six hens they're not going to go and annoy the neighbours.
And it doesn't end there. A range cooker and an acre of land for growing vegetables
are also on the list, along with the ability to make the house as energy efficient as possible.
So, what would be the perfect property?
Rural, three bedroom, definitely detached.
Don't really worry about the area as long as we've got some land.
The property market is going through turbulent times, but Lesley and
Ashley are hoping for a reasonable valuation from a local estate agent.
This is an ideal family home.
It offers well proportioned accommodation throughout
in a popular residential location and for that reason I'd value the property at 420,000.
We were hoping for £440,000 and...
But he's sort of saying 420,
so it is around the same sort of ballpark figure.
With that news, how much are they looking to spend?
For the perfect property, something that ticks all
of our boxes, wants and needs, we're willing to pay a maximum of £340,000.
It seems that Ashley and Lesley really do want to downsize.
They want a small two or three bedroom cottage in the countryside and what's really exciting is they
want to go as green as possible with a low carbon footprint and they want some land to become self-sufficient.
The bad thing is that land is very expensive in Derbyshire.
Lesley and Ashley are flexible regarding location so we are
focusing our search to the south and east of Buxton.
Ashley craves rural isolation whereas Lesley
would like to be in a village so compromises may have to be made.
In today's show I'll be taking them to see three beautiful properties,
but I'll be keeping them in the dark regarding the prices until after the viewings.
The last of the three is the mystery house which always has the potential to shake things up.
-Welcome to your new home, Derbyshire.
-Thank you very much.
Not your home yet because we haven't found you a house, but we're going to try and get you one.
-Which would be great.
-That would be lovely.
And clearly there are no houses in this bit of Derbyshire, but there is lovely spring wind.
-There is. It's very energising.
-Yeah, it's gorgeous.
That's why you wanted to come here, to get a bit of energy.
We want energy and a green lifestyle.
You want energy efficient, don't you? You want a sort of low carbon, high vegetable output.
-Absolutely. If we can get it, that would be wonderful.
Now, you did mention an acre of land, which is a nice idea, but you also mentioned £340,000.
-We can dream.
-You can dream. Any leeway on the budget?
Yeah, we'd like to look at extending I think, really to about 375, somewhere in the region of.
What about half a million?
-Wouldn't that be lovely?
-We'd love that.
-Wouldn't that be lovely?
-Because, you know, land is really a premium.
Although there's lots of it it's all protected because it's in the national park.
-Everybody wants land.
So, that's a bit of a headache.
-But you're very understanding, I can see these beaming smiles.
-We'll go for it.
-The wind is going to lift us!
And we're going to find a house for you, so, come on, let's go.
So, Lesley and Ashley have upped their budget to £375,000 and for that they'd like a kitchen/diner,
a study, three bedrooms and one acre of land for keeping chickens and growing vegetables.
Do you know this part of the country quite well?
I certainly know the Matlock area quite well.
Being working for the Youth Service we used to bring young people up here for Duke of Edinburgh award
schemes, so Matlock we used to stay in quite regularly at a residential unit at Matlock Bath, didn't we?
-So, you certainly know it fairly well, as well.
-Yes, and it's lovely.
-It's looking very lovely today.
It's gorgeous, isn't it?
I think this area looks lovely no matter what the season is.
The first house on our viewing list is in Wensley, tucked just inside the Peak District National Park.
The vast majority of the housing stock is built from the locally quarried limestone and gritstone
which provide the village with uniformity.
In the mid-1700s, lead mining was a boom industry here and many of the properties,
including the one we are viewing, would have been miners' cottages.
-Take a look at this.
It's such a lovely frontage.
-But also take a look at this.
-Just take a look at all of that!
-The view over that way.
Absolutely, well, it's glorious.
-What do you think?
-It's a beautiful location, it really is.
-I really like it.
-I really do.
It looks like the pictures I've always drawn since I was a child.
-It's making us both smile.
-That's a good point.
-Smiling is always good.
-Just wait until you get inside.
-Let's go and have a look.
Well, I couldn't ask for more than that.
First up is the hall. Come on in.
And it's almost a reception room in itself.
-It smells just like our house.
-Well, that's a good sign.
-Yes, it is.
-Well, I hope it's a good sign!
-No, it is, it is. It's lovely.
-It feels like home already.
It's a cottage. It's an old cottage from the 1800s, so it's not massive.
-No, but we don't need massive.
-Yeah. I wouldn't change a thing about this room.
I just felt very joyful as I walked through and I can't believe that,
you know, the first property we've looked at has made me feel like this.
The books look gorgeous.
I can see Lesley using this as a study area, definitely.
There's another sitting room through here.
Let's go through. That's a wood burner.
Here you've got a real fire.
Oh, I've lived here before.
Oh! Are you having flashbacks?
-I'm having flashbacks.
-A former life.
This is so... This is so me. Us.
-It's such a cosy room, isn't it? It's beautiful.
-This is lovely.
-It's a lovely, again, local stone. That's a modern fireplace.
-I love that.
Well, this is the place to be cosy.
-This is the place to be cosy, but this, this is the room to be warm in.
-Look at those views! Absolutely amazing.
-This is lovely.
-Isn't it great?
Yeah, you could imagine... You'd feel really healthy in here.
You'd come in here, have your breakfast.
-Breakfast would be gorgeous in this room.
-Watch the sunrise, maybe, if you're up in time.
I'm speechless, because the first property we've seen has so far ticked every dream box that I had.
Let's look at the kitchen, that could be a deal breaker.
-Yeah, very important.
-Let's walk through.
I hope it's not, but it might be.
So, we're going to go through here.
-OK, it's a split level kitchen/dining room.
-Oh, I like the split level.
-Oh, this will not be a deal breaker.
-Ah, thank goodness.
-This is lovely.
I was thinking it may be a bit small, that was my concern.
But you have this... This area here and I could be cooking up there.
-Yeah, it's quite good.
-You could do some display cooking.
-Throw things around.
-Now, this is all actually in addition, so the cottage itself ends there.
This was put on at the same time as the conservatory, so in the 1990s.
When they put the extension in they obviously were going with the lay of the land.
They went up, put it split level and they put down all this nice Yorkshire flagstone.
Oh, no, I love the flooring. It's gorgeous.
This is exactly what we were looking at for our place, wasn't it?
-It was, it's strange.
-But it's not a vast kitchen.
Well, no. I can imagine myself pottering around because of the...
The other level, there's an illusion of much more space and I can imagine
myself pottering and washing up at the kitchen.
I'd probably put in a butler sink, that's the only thing I'd change.
And you've got lovely views over Matlock Moor.
Well, I'm relieved the kitchen scored so highly.
From here there's also access to a small utility room and there's also
a door through to an extra pocket of space that leads to a cloakroom.
Let's hope the upstairs with its three bedrooms get the thumbs up.
First off, the master.
This is so cosy.
I wouldn't change a thing.
-Yeah, it's beautiful.
-I really do feel like I've lived here before.
-Maybe you have.
-It's... It's unusual in a worker's cottage to have such high ceilings upstairs.
Very typically, they're much lower.
I think they may have actually taken out a bit of the head space to give that effect.
Definitely worth it.
I think we can safely say this room is a big hit.
Next door is another double that's being used as a study.
Oh, my goodness! This is a good size, as well.
-It's another nice room, isn't it? And loft space.
-A bit of loft space, too.
-But you could get a double bed in here if you wanted or...
Or a couple of twins. Oh, it's...
-It's a delight.
-I'm pleased, I'm pleased.
I thought it would be too small for you, to be honest.
-I quite like it as a study, too.
Yeah. I still feel in this house that there's room to move, room to express oneself.
-And to get away from each other... I mean that in the nicest possible way.
-But when you've been married for 30 years you sometimes need separate rooms.
And a big part of your move to the countryside
was the outside space, so do you fancy looking at that?
-Yeah, it would be great. Yeah, essential.
-Down we go.
We seem to be doing quite well here.
Next door is the final double room which will be great when the family visits.
And next to that is the main bathroom.
The last leg of our tour takes us to the garden.
It's not quite the size they were hoping for, but this place is all about the views.
-Words don't even do it justice.
We've even got the pond for the newts and the frogs to keep the slugs away.
I'm not sure whether it would really work for a veggie patch.
Well, I could probably do something quite easily for the veggie patch.
We don't need a lot of lawn, but the thing that I'm considering is room for the hens...
-And the two dogs.
-One of the ways round it is that Matlock...
-Which is nearby, has a very good scheme of allotments.
-Oh, right, right.
-They've 40 plus allotments.
-It's £21 a year...
-That's amazing, isn't it?
-To rent them.
And although they're not vast, that might be able...
You might be able to do your your veggie growing there.
-The one salient point that I haven't told you is how much it's going to cost.
Do you have an idea what it might be?
-Ball park figure.
-Bearing in mind it's in the national park.
-It's in the national park.
I think it must be at least
390, 400, possibly.
-I was going for around 380, I think. Around 380.
-Or even more.
Well, you'll be pleased to know that actually it's on the market for £325,000.
Oh, my goodness!
-That is very good.
-Oh, you've got to just buy it for me...
-That's a very reasonable price.
-It's put you back into a quandary.
Actually, I'm actually quite... Yeah.
-Quite shocked, aren't you?
That's just... That is amazing!
It's a great price for what it is and where it is, most particularly.
-Being in the park, yeah.
-But that's the question of the land.
-Why don't you've a look around inside and then we can
have another look around outside and explore down there.
-Yeah, that would be nice.
-And then we'd better get moving.
-OK. Are you all right?
-You're shocked by the price, aren't you?
-I'm totally shocked!
-A hot flush!
-Let's go and have a look inside.
Fantastic! It's an amazing bargain, largely because of that.
The surroundings are amazing.
And, you know, if they could think about the land, because,
to be honest, to get that much land for their budget is going to be a struggle,
so it might be a compromise that they'll have to make. We'll see.
This cosy cottage was a superb surprise at £325,000.
It has the kitchen/diner they're looking for, three bedrooms, conservatory that they loved
and it looks out over those panoramic views.
And there's plenty of money left to consider improving the energy efficiency of the property.
This bit's absolutely amazing, isn't it?
It's definitely going to be your favourite room, I can see you staying in here.
It will be, it will be.
I absolutely love the house. I've fallen in love with it.
It's ticked every box inside.
Unfortunately, outside I think I'm going to have to rethink, it's a big challenge.
Ashley loved the house. I mean, moving around the house has been a real sort of breath of fresh
air and it is very, very homely and comfortable. What a beautiful room.
It is so lovely. The natural light in here.
-I love the skylight.
I think I'd have this as our room.
The road's quite busy I mean, it's beautiful,
really picturesque, but you do get quite large vehicles going through, so that would be my only concern.
My dream, I can't believe you've found it!
Come on, guys, we got more of The Peaks to explore.
The beautiful spa town of Buxton sits just to the west of our search
area, so Lesley and Ashley are taking the opportunity to explore.
Romans were attracted here in 80 AD by the warm springs
which rise at a constant temperature of 28 degrees Celsius.
St Anne's Well, still offers free water today.
-So, what does it taste like?
-It's fairly warm.
Mary Queen of Scots drew attention to the area by taking the water during the 16th century.
Later, in 1789, the Fifth Duke of Devonshire built the Crescent for
the benefit of wealthy visitors the springs were drawing in.
You can imagine the carriages just sweeping round
here with all the grand ladies in as they came to take the waters.
But long before that time, water played a notable role in the area, creating rock formations.
Just a 20 minute walk away is Pooles Cavern, a cave system
created over two million years ago by rainwater dripping through cracks in the carboniferous limestone.
Wow, that's unbelievable!
-Some of the structures are just incredible.
-See that bit...
-That bit at the top.
-It's just splashing away up there.
I think this bit's called the Frozen Waterfall. You can see why.
Neolithic tribes used the caves for shelter
and today they're regarded as one of the finest show caves in Britain.
Back above ground, the best place to take full advantage of the spectacular scenery
is from Solomon's Temple, a folly built in 1895 to provide jobs for the unemployed.
The structure sits in a former limestone
quarry that has been transformed into a beautiful nature reserve.
The tower's high position makes a superb vantage point.
On a good day you can see up to 15 miles.
What a climb, but it was definitely worth it, wasn't it? Isn't it beautiful?
It is absolutely amazing. It makes your heart sing.
As the sun sets on the Derbyshire countryside, day one of our property search is at an end.
Lesley and Ashley from Buntingford in Hertfordshire want to downsize
from their family home and make a new start in Derbyshire.
They have a budget of £375,000 and ideally want an acre of land, which is proving tricky on their budget.
So far they've viewed one house and coming up Lesley has great expectations.
Oh, my goodness! Can we have it all?
Well, I was just about to say, you're not getting it all, unfortunately.
-And there's a mystery house.
-I feel like I'm in a little Hansel and Gretel place.
But will there be a fairytale ending?
Day two has dawned on our property search and we're still looking in the Matlock area, but the weather
has turned a little grey, but that's all right because I think it's quite important to tease out some not
negative, but constructive criticism of the properties we're showing Lesley and Ashley, because they've
been so nice and I think when you're spending that much money you have to be able to say what you don't like,
and the properties today are probably going to elicit at least different opinions.
We're kicking off our property search this morning in Sturston,
a quiet hamlet just to the east of Ashbourne.
This small market town is famed for its annual Royal Shrovetide
football match, which has been played for centuries.
The two local teams use the town as its pitch and the goals are a massive three miles apart.
The property we've lined up is away from the action
and it's part of a development of old barns next to a working farm.
It's semi-detached but, nevertheless, I'm hoping
that we're going to get this one in the back of the net.
Oh, my goodness! Can we have it all?
-Well, I was just about to say, you're not getting it all, unfortunately.
-We're looking at that portion.
-It's a lovely property. It really is. I like it from the outside.
-I like the look of it.
And how do you feel about living on a farm?
-I was brought up partly on a farm.
So, I feel quite at home with the noise and the smells. It just makes me feel very peaceful.
Ah, that's good. What about you, Ashley?
Well, home for me was a fairly rural community so I love the smells.
That could probably put some people off, but I adore the farm smells.
-It's been great going in.
-Let's look inside the property.
-Yeah, let's go.
-Great, we're on to a winner straight away.
We're entering into the generous hall, which the current owners are using as a study.
They're not huge and they're not overpowering.
This is the smallest room, what they're using as the study, it could be a dining room.
-But they've used it as a study, which might be nice for you.
Yes, it's a lovely study area.
There's nice light coming in both ways.
Yeah, yeah. Well, in many ways people come into the kitchen because that is the heart of the home.
-Shall we waltz through?
-Oh, this is...
-Wow, that's beautiful.
-This is delightful. I would not...
-Oh! I've just spied the Aga.
-Ah, the range.
-I would not change a thing.
-I really would not change a thing.
I don't think I would, it's beautifully laid out.
I always said that in a new house I'd need the kitchen to be the hub
of the home and I couldn't express what I wanted but I'd feel it.
-Yeah. And you can feel it.
-This is the feel. It's lovely.
Let's take a look at the range. It's an object of desire for you.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
I was interested you wanted a range - they're very un-environmental.
They are very un-green.
-They're red, in fact.
-They're very red!
But I think with me it's kind of the human want
rather than the green in my head, but as this one is oil-fired,
really, that's something we would need to look at, because oil isn't going to be around to be using.
It's probably something...
A dream that I might have to let go.
The range looks the part, but it sounds like Lesley may have to reconsider her eco ideas.
This is the last room downstairs.
-Oh, this is a nice room. Cosy.
-But it has a...
-A wood burning stove.
-The wood burner.
Dual fuel, so you can put coal on there as well.
-Beams again but, you know, I'm beginning to like beams!
-It's not that low either, is it?
These are obviously not original, this would have been open.
Very snug and cosy. I think as the daylight went with the day you could,
you know, you could just end up in here quite comfortably.
-You could imagine yourself here on a winter's night, couldn't you?
Let's take a look upstairs because you've got three bedrooms.
This house seems to be giving Lesley and Ashley all the right vibes.
I only hope it continues upstairs.
The family bathroom is a good size and houses the airing cupboard.
Next door, the owners are making the best of the smallest bedroom with
bunk beds and there's a beautiful feature beam.
Bedroom two is bigger and has the bonus of built-in wardrobes.
And then there's the master suite.
-Oh, my goodness!
-Oh, I like that.
I like the shape of the roof.
Well, it's...it's... I wouldn't say huge, but it's big.
-It is big, isn't it?
-It's quite surprising, because you really do think that it's going to be small upstairs.
Yeah. And the light, I thought it was going to be quite dark, but there's a lot of light coming in.
I like the bed, you could look up at night as well and it would be gorgeous.
You have an en-suite here.
-That's good to know.
-Oh, that's a lovely surprise.
-Oh, look at that. A walk- in shower.
-Which would be great.
-A walk in shower would be lovely.
-When we're in our dotage we can...
-You wouldn't be able to get up the stairs, unfortunately.
-This is true.
-I can just stay in bed.
-Who would... Who would want to?
-Let's go and look at that precious outside space.
Yeah, that's important.
So, the bedroom with its en-suite is a winner, too, and outside
I have a bit of a surprise up my sleeve in the garden department.
Ah, Derbyshire rain, very good!
This is your land.
Land sounds a bit grand, doesn't it? But this is your garden.
-Well, at least it's closed in.
-It is closed in.
You've got a little area here, it gets lovely afternoon sunshine.
-And you've got some great trees planted here. You've got the apples trees.
A plum tree. Lots of berries.
And there's more than enough room for growing veggies, actually.
There is. Well, actually, this is not all your land.
-It's parcelled out.
You've got lots of bits and, Ashley, you'll be very glad to know you've got a big garage.
I saw that on the way in. That's a wonderful garage. Yeah.
-So lots of space for...
-Big smiles there.
-I'll have to look in there later on.
-Let's take a look at your other land.
Beyond the garden block lies the additional green turf.
-This is your land.
Oh, a little parcel of England.
It is a little... Little being the operative word.
-But it is definitely a parcel of farmland.
Which would be great for vegetables.
It is the perfect vegetable... And maybe also a chicken run, as well.
-I can imagine building the actual chicken run down there.
And the good news is that the farmer is very open to offers.
-He actually offered originally the land all the way down to the dry stone wall there, the fence.
-So, it would include that lovely oak.
What are you thinking it's going to cost to buy this?
Well, I think this could go 420.
I think I'm going to go to the upper end of our budget and say between 375 and 380. It's a nice property.
-Yeah, it is lovely.
-You're very pessimistic, because it's actually on at 390, just a shade under 390.
-And it's been on for a few months
and they haven't dropped the price yet, so there is the possibility...
-That you could get it for the top end of your budget.
-Yeah. But there's nothing that needs doing, so we wouldn't have to spend much more money.
-No, we wouldn't, no.
-So, it's a thumbs up?
-I think that's a thumbs up.
Well, I suppose you have to negotiate the fact that you're not
-isolated in the sense that you do have...
-That's the only thing.
I'd like to find out how loud we can have the music.
Ah! Well, let's try it when I come back I'll find a listing to...
-La Traviata at top volume.
-All right, we're going to go in.
This barn conversion sitting next to a working farm has been a hit at £389,950.
It has the perfect characterful kitchen for Lesley,
two reception rooms, three bedrooms, including a master en-suite and a range of gardens
offering enough space to grow vegetables, and wonderful views.
It is over budget, but in this market it's worth putting in an offer they can afford.
This is wonderful.
-It's a fantastic kitchen. I love it.
-It really is. And there's a range...
-Which is fantastic.
I've been really impressed.
I like the way the conversion has blended the old with the new.
It ticks every box that I wanted ticked.
The study, kitchen, snug, the bedrooms are lovely.
Drum kit! This must mean that we can turn the music up loud.
A big bonus is there's an extra piece of land that we could actually grow vegetables on.
This house is a contender and, listen...
There's no cars going past. Really good.
-Hi. You all done?
-Yes, we are.
-Closed behind you?
Very good. Let's head on.
Lesley and Ashley love restoring old furniture and appreciate the beauty of period pieces,
-so we've arranged for them to visit Colin Hall, who has a passion for reclaimed furniture.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Colin and his team scour houses and auction rooms for interesting
artefacts and Colin is keen to show Lesley and Ashley an item of great age that has led a mysterious life.
-OK, so here we have a seagoing chest...
From, we think, about 1640.
-That's so lovely.
It's a seagoing chest and it's got the drama pictures on it.
-Do you think, you know, it could have had some actors taking it on ship somewhere?
-It certainly could have.
Actors were still moving around in those days, so it could have.
And the key. Look at the size of that key!
-If you can pick it up, you can have it!
-Shall we try.
-Give it a try.
Oh! No, I think you're keeping it.
-You're not going to move it.
-Is there something else you can show us?
Yeah, I can show you something quite different to this.
This place embraces the idea of recycling and not throwing anything away.
Our next stop is the door emporium.
These reclaimed doors are hugely popular with those restoring homes to their former glory.
OK, here's a door we only got in recently, actually.
Oh, it looks lovely. How old is it?
-Well, it's not as old as it looks.
This has been made in the last century, because some of these
parts are machined and so it's been made to look older, but it certainly comes from a very grand house.
-I can imagine. What kind of wood is that?
Lovely. Do you think it would fit into one of our houses, then?
Let's hope they can find us a house that it fits. We'll model the house around the door.
That would be a very grand house if you do, I'm sure.
I'm not sure their budget will stretch to that, but
they will need a bed and Colin has one he's proud of.
-Oh, it's marvellous!
-A fantastic bed.
It's very ornate. It's very big and very grand, isn't it?
This is something we've created ourselves from original materials.
The columns and the cornice were obviously not in those
-original positions and we created it into a bed.
I love the colonnades. It's gorgeous.
-This is something you could do yourself.
-Yeah, a quick weekend.
-Keep you busy for a weekend, wouldn't it?
-It really would.
That's certainly something to ponder, but
it's our task to find Lesley and Ashley an idyllic country abode.
In many ways, this whole show has been about finding the limit
of acceptable compromise, because Lesley and Ashley
really wanted a lot land-wise, but they really didn't have enough money to get it here in Derbyshire.
However, the mystery house, it has land, but will it have enough of the other things?
The mystery house is just outside desirable Matlock Bath.
It was the thermal springs that were discovered here
in 1698 that brought in high society and gave it an air of elegance.
Today the area, sitting in a deep gorge, still attracts the tourists who marvel at the stunning scenery.
The location of our mystery house should suit Ashley.
It's tucked away in the hillside with staggering views and has recently been renovated.
It also has an asset which will be a surprise.
-This is the mystery.
-This is a kingdom!
-It's an amazing view.
-It's the kingdom, isn't it?
-It certainly is.
-You know this area. This is Matlock Bath.
-This is the Derwent Gorge. This is the great Masson Cliff
that goes along the side and we found you a property that is right on the edge of it.
-I can't believe you've done that!
-It is amazing.
-I'm stuck for words.
-Which is rare.
-It's rare, yeah.
What are your impressions of the road, for example.
The road is really pretty, the way it winds through. I've got no problem with the road.
-No, it's a bit noisy, but for a kingdom like this...
-You have to pay something.
-Mind the steps.
Gosh, these steps are quite steep.
-It is. You want to death slide, don't you, really?
-Come straight down.
-Can we get a lift in?
-Imagine when it's icy.
We'll be staying indoors.
It's a small house.
It's... It's quite small.
But it's all about the views.
Yes, it's... It's small, but it is perfectly done.
I mean, it's very, very stylish.
In terms of the kitchen,
friends sitting around tables... you won't get that necessarily.
-Well, two friends.
-Exactly. And it's all about the views this property.
And it's a kingdom out there.
-Kingdoms are important.
And this is the rest of the downstairs.
-It's a lovely room, though.
-I have to say they haven't spared a penny in doing this up.
Everything is done to the highest standard.
Solid oak floorboards an inch thick.
-This whole fireplace was put in by them.
They found these half stones in a smithy, there are still bits of lead you can see in it.
I feel like I'm in a little Hansel and Gretel place. It's lovely.
It is lovely, but it is little.
It is very little.
But it's very pleasing to the eye, I have to say. Yeah, no, I do like it.
-And this is it? This is the extent...
-This is the end of your kingdom.
Of the house? This is the end of the kingdom inside.
I'm just wondering whether it is too small.
But, apart from that, I think I like it.
I really like it.
-I would like it more if there was another room that way...
Because I like my space, I like to be able to zone out and I can't imagine us getting away into our own...
That's the closest we're going to get you to saying that you don't like something, isn't it?
OK, that's good enough for me.
But let's take a look upstairs.
It's not the end of my bag of tricks here. I'm not giving up.
Oh, dear, I think the initial excitement has worn off, but there is more.
Up here there's a small but beautifully finished bathroom,
and down the landing is the master bedroom which takes in the stunning scenery.
You can't deny those views.
-I mean, they are worth a king's ransom, really.
-In both directions.
-The windows in this room are fantastic, the amount of light.
You do have a bit of storage here. I don't know quite how much you need. A chest of drawers.
Well, Ashley needs a whole wall.
-Really? Are you the hoarder?
-I am the hoarder, I'm afraid.
Not necessarily with clothes, but I do hoard a variety of things.
-Ah, that's a turn-up for the books.
There's two more bedrooms.
I wanted to show you the views from the top one.
The first of those two bedrooms is a single with built-in storage and the other room is just next door.
Then there's this little beautiful room. But look at the views!
Oh, the views are wonderful.
-I thought this could be your study.
-It could be.
Actually, they've squeezed quite a lot into a small footprint.
But beautifully formed as this house is, it's not the inside of the house I want to show you, but outside.
-Let's go on, then.
The views from this house really are amazing, but will they be enough to win them over?
-Oh, my goodness! You did promise us a view.
-Wow, what a view.
Lovely terraced gardens.
And you've got these outhouses here which you could possibly develop.
So, how much land do you think this is all told?
Is this enough to do...
Well, I think vegetables
could go on the slope, because it...
You know, you could work with that.
And the chickens, I don't know.
-We'd have to think about.
This is the first one that I've actually felt quite flummoxed about.
Yes, I can see your enthusiasm is down from its usual stellar heights.
So, what you think this is maybe about half an acre?
It's got to be at least half an acre, I think, it sits in.
-If not more.
-Probably the footprint about...
Yeah. Up to half an acre.
-Actually, the plot of land is eight acres.
It encompasses eight acres of this ancient woodland which is yours.
-Oh, my goodness!
-Let's have a look.
-All the way to the top?
I did say I had more in my bag of tricks.
I think the wood is wonderful and it does come with its benefits.
All the fallen trees are for their use, providing free fuel.
-This is wonderful.
-This is an amazing piece of woodland.
-Your own woodland!
But I'm very glad I've got Ashley in front of me to break my slip.
Aw! Yes, I didn't brief you on...
-He's very romantic.
-Woodland walking, did I?
-It is beautiful woodland, though.
-All of this is yours.
-It's amazingly picturesque. And the wildlife.
-Woodland is woody,
and there's not an awful lot you can do with it, in all honesty.
It's lovely to own one,
to say that you own one, but it's not really very practical for us.
-Apart from the free fuel, but that's the only benefit.
So, the free fuel doesn't interest you, but the oil guzzling range does.
Well, what can I say?
A total princess.
How much do you think it would cost?
Now that's a tricky one. Because it's in Matlock Bath
and the location, I think it's quite expensive, so I'd go for about 420 or something like that.
I would go for about just over 550.
-You're going high.
-Do you think I'd show you a property that was so much out of your budget?
-You've shown me one with a kingdom.
-Oh, I did, I did.
Well, the kingdom comes relatively cheap.
It's on the market for just a shade under 400. 395.
-That's a very... That's a very competitive price for its location.
It would be affordable,
but not interested in this one.
-Shall I get a toboggan so I can drag you back up?
-Yes, why not?
That would be great, a ski lift would be fantastic!
The market price was certainly a surprise at £395,000.
It has an immaculate interior, with three bedrooms, sits on a plot, including eight acres of ancient
woodland, and not forgetting those superb views.
I do love this room.
The beams are absolutely amazing.
I can see why you love it, but it's really, really small.
-But you look round and it's just so well finished.
It is too small for us, I agree, but I'm just amazed at the quality of it.
-The quality... It's perfect.
And I have a problem with perfect.
Yes, true. But you married me, though.
-For a mystery house it's a really impressive location again.
I mean, the actual views are stunning and I think they've done the house amazingly well.
The garden is so picturesque, along with the woodland, but to be fair
I think as Lesley and I get older it's going to be fairly impractical.
The reality of being a 70-year-old in the future and going out
and getting your own logs isn't a reality.
And if you can hear it,
the road is very loud.
Come on, this is the last time you'll have to climb these steps, by all accounts.
Wow! That's a workout.
-It's a workout. Think of it as a workout.
-Let's go back.
Lesley and Ashley have now seen all the properties and it's time to hear their final thoughts.
Now is the time for you to really spill the beans, because
you can't have liked them all as much as each other, there must have been differences.
What about the first property? It seemed to go down very well.
It was a beautiful house, that one.
It ticked every single box imaginable for me.
I felt I'd lived there before.
It just felt so right.
The road was a big problem, though. It was surprising the amount of traffic that did come by,
so for an unsecured garden that would have been a real problem and unfortunately, if you'd secured
it you'd have lost that view, that wonderful view.
-The barn conversion in the middle of the farmyard didn't have any road noise.
-What did that have going for it?
-We loved it.
-Out of all of the properties that was certainly my favourite.
We just felt really at home there.
-I was a bit worried that it was attached to other properties.
And it would be something that we would need to look into,
but that was a wonderful property and it's left us with a very good feeling and that's a big possibility for us.
-The mystery house flagged up lots of things that
you didn't like, but have they been useful in focusing your mind on what you do love?
The location and the beauty of Matlock Bath was breathtaking, but the practicalities
of getting older and steps and stairs and woodland, I think we'd have to consider in reality.
Yeah. I can't imagine us logging at the age of 70.
I can't imagine me getting up and down those stairs possibly in the next five years!
And, overall, what have you taken away?
You seemed to like the barn conversion most.
Would you make a move on that?
I'd like to see again the barn conversion and then talk to some of the neighbours, talk
-more to the farmer and see, because I think that one out of all of them had the most potential for us.
So, given the fact
that there are lots of kind of factors that make it
difficult to find your dream house, can you let that go?
Less of a priority for me now would be the actual kind of prettiness of the house,
but the green sustainability, really, and when I think about it is
the way that we should go and I think both of us want to hold on to that.
It was lovely looking at the range.
You can be green, just possibly not 100%.
I really hope you make it, because, you know, it sounds like
-the move will be the perfect thing for you in your life.
For once, you're a couple that have taken downsizing seriously.
They're not downsizing into a house twice as big.
-Well, no, we did discuss that at one point, didn't we?
-So, best of luck.
I hope it goes well and I'll see you up in Derbyshire very soon.
OK. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure.
-It has been a pleasure, it really has. I've really enjoyed it.
Green or not green, landed or not landed, I think that we'll be seeing Lesley and Ashley making
tracks to live in Derbyshire, and who wouldn't? It's a beautiful place.
And if you've been inspired then do tune in next time for more Escape To The Country.
Lesley and Ashley did return to the barn conversion for a second
and third viewing, but their hearts are set on a detached house.
They're now considering buying a plot of land and building an energy efficient property.
If you'd like to escape to the country and would
like our help, please contact us through our website.
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