Dorset Escape to the Country


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Dorset

Series helping buyers find dream homes. Denise Nurse is in Dorset helping an ex-army couple, who have lived in 30 different properties around the world, settle down for good.


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Today, I'm at the southerly most point of one of our most sought-after rural counties.

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The lighthouse behind me protects ships from a rugged coastline

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and a fast-moving current.

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But will it be all hands on deck or plain sailing

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as we escape to the country?

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In today's show, I'll be helping a couple find their home of a lifetime in the country.

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I'll be taking them on a tour of some desirable properties and things get a bit steamy.

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-A sauna in here.

-Interesting.

-Now I'm using my imagination!

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I think I might have a thing to ignite your rocket.

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-But the results go stratospheric.

-Houston, we have a lift-off.

-Fantastic!

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And there's the mystery house which looks out of this world.

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Today, I'm in Dorset and this spectacular lighthouse is

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the Portland Bill lighthouse which has stood here since 1906

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and it's standing on the Jurassic coastline, a world heritage site.

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71 miles this stretches right the way across the Dorset coast.

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These rocks record over 185 million years of the Earth's history.

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And if that is not enough for you, this county has a lot more to offer.

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Dorset is one of the maritime counties that

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stretches down the south-western arm of England.

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It offers the best of both worlds with its Jurassic coastline

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and fine beaches, as well as beautiful countryside inland.

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With nearly two thirds of Dorset designated as areas of outstanding

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national beauty, there are stunning and varied landscapes to enjoy.

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From the Blackmore Vale, home to dairy farming

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to the chalky slopes and hedgerows of the Dorset Downs.

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The historic architecture of town and country is alive and well,

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from imposing Georgian townhouses to quintessential country cottages,

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with the local grey Portland stone

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cropping up in buildings across the county.

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Dorset's capital, Dorchester,

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is home to some notable buildings with plans afoot for more.

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This building was designed by Crickmay, an architect that

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Thomas Hardy worked for before he became a writer.

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It's now part of Brewery Square, a £200 million regeneration effort

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to redouble and reinvigorate Dorchester town centre.

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But it's not just this building.

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It's actually this 11 and a half acres of space which is going to be

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turned into luxury flats, there's going to be a theatre

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and the first solar-powered train station.

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But if it's property you're looking for,

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then take a look at some of these properties on the market right now.

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You could reap the rewards of this six bedroom farmhouse

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for £1.25 million.

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The kitchen and sitting room with their open fireplaces are large enough,

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but then there's 30 acres of land

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and wonderful countryside views to take in too.

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For £575,000, this three-bedroom converted Victorian coach house

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in Wick has a quirky grandeur with its light, spacious reception rooms

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and a welcoming kitchen.

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Outside, there's a south-facing walled garden.

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For character charm, you could pick up this four-bedroom

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Grade II listed thatched cottage in the village of Preston for £350,000.

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The original exposed beams

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and stonework run throughout the reception rooms and kitchen,

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and there's a conservatory which leads into a landscaped cottage garden.

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So we know that Dorset has some beautiful properties

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but will any of them suit today's buyers?

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Let's meet them and find out.

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Today's buyers are Sally and Jeff, who have lived in

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their four-bedroom bungalow in Ash Green, Surrey, for 15 years.

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With Jeff now a retired Army brigadier

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but with a new job in Weymouth and Sally wanting to quit

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running her management training company, they're drawn to

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the Dorset countryside for a completely new life together.

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We've always wanted to move down to Dorset.

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I was actually born in Dorset.

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I intend to give up my own work at the moment,

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although I'll keep going with the charity work that I'm doing.

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But I do want to enjoy the countryside.

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Our ideal location would be a village but a good sized village,

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perhaps with one or two good pubs within walking distance.

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A village shop perhaps. But certainly a quiet location.

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We would love to get involved in the community.

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The lifestyle we are looking for is a little bit more stability

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because I've been away so much with the military over the past 33 years.

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It would be nice to spend a bit more time at home.

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We would like to do some more entertaining as well.

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Jeff's army career has meant they've spent their married life

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living all over the world

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with 14 moves into rented army accommodation under their belt.

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But this move is all about a new lifestyle on their own terms.

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I miss the dogs. We had dogs. We are going to get dogs again.

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So dog walking is going to be a big feature of my life.

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And perhaps get involved with a wildlife trust

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and do some voluntary work with them.

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There are some very specific and quite unusual demands for their new home.

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This is the garden that we have at the moment and it's a good size

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and we'd like to garden the same size if not bigger.

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But what we would really want to have in our garden,

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which we've always wanted, is a hot tub.

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This is the favourite room in the current house.

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With a south-facing garden, we get lots of light coming in.

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So we definitely want to replicate that in the new house

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in the country, but with more storage space

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and we would also like an open fireplace, please.

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This is a reasonable-sized kitchen and quite good to work in.

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But what we are really looking for is a bigger kitchen.

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A kitchen to entertain in so we can have people around

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and most certainly a nice country view.

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I do collect model vehicles and, as you can see, this is a model fire engine.

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Sadly for Sally, I've got about 700 of these packed away in boxes at the moment

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and what we'd really like when we move to the country is a room where we could have them

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on display with glass cabinets all around the outside.

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With 700 fire engines coming with them,

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this does not sound like a move to downsize.

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As well as four bedrooms with at least one ensuite,

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there are other elements to squeeze in.

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We would like to have light and airy rooms rather than enclosed rooms.

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Both of us will need space in an office. We have a gym.

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We want to keep fit still.

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We'd like a fishpond. Sally has got very attached to the goldfish that we've got here at the moment.

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Sally and Jeff need to know how much their property is worth

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so we've arranged for a local estate agent to value their home.

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This four-bedroom detached bungalow has got off-road parking

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at the front and a south-facing rear garden.

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It's in lovely condition throughout and in a great location.

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Therefore, I'm going to put a price on it of £450,000.

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Slightly disappointed. I know the market has dropped over the past 12 months.

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However, we were hoping for a little bit more than that

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considering the amount of money we've invested in this property.

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So how much are they prepared to pay for their dream property?

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The budget for this move is £600,000.

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Jeff and Sally have fairly straightforward requirements.

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They want three to four bedrooms, room for a gym,

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a large office and a reasonable garden.

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The thing is, although they've moved many times over the years,

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they've only bought twice and that means I think they're going

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to need a bit of help with this house hunt.

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But don't worry, that is what we are here for. Wish me luck.

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We are basing our property search around Sally's former hometown

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of Dorchester which is also

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just a 20 minute drive to Weymouth for Jeff's work.

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I'll be showing them an assortment of impressive homes,

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but I'll only reveal the price once they've had a good look around.

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Lastly, we'll see the mystery property which will challenge their preconceptions that big is best.

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Hello, Jeff. Hi, Sally.

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What a gorgeous day for househunting here in beautiful Dorset.

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This is a county you've chosen to come and settle down in

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-because you have moved around a lot over the years, haven't you?

-Yes. We certainly have.

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With Jeff being in the Army for more than 30 years, we've had a lot

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of moves, so we really are looking forward to settling down permanently.

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We've got a good healthy budget, about £600,000.

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What's the situation now? How soon can it move?

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We've got our house on the market in Surrey where we are living at the moment, near Guildford.

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Just before we came away we had an offer, which we have accepted, so we are ready to rock and roll.

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Fantastic. Well, we've got great houses to show you.

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Of course, there is the mystery house as well. A little bit of a twist in the tale.

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But all of that means we've got a lot to do and we need to be organised.

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I'm relying on you, Jeff. You've been in the Army a long time,

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-so are you ready to put all of that into action?

-Logistics matters.

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Logistics, exactly! I think you might be leading the way on this!

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-Shall we get going then?

-Yes, let's go.

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So Sally and Jeff have £600,000 to spend on their ideal country home.

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For that, they are after a couple of living areas with open

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fireplaces and a large kitchen for entertaining.

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Then there is a space for an office, a gym

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and a hot tub to factor in, as well as a village location for Sally

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which is close to Weymouth for Jeff's work.

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So not asking for much then!

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We're off the starting block and taking to the road.

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You have moved more times than I can even count

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and certainly more than most people on this show.

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Are you concerned at all about what this process is going to be like?

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I guess my concern is that this move really will be our last move.

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We bought the present house thinking it was temporary.

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This one will not be temporary so it is a big decision for us,

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choosing the right the right place.

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With such an important move on the cards, I really hope we can help.

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Our first property is eight miles from Dorchester in

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Kingston Russell with just half an hour's drive for Jeff into Weymouth.

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It is a quiet hamlet surrounded by pastureland

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and has a distinctly Dorset feel with its thatched stone

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cottages and country pub, which should get a thumbs up from Sally.

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A minute's drive down the road is this converted barn.

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You want to upsize. We bring you this property.

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-First impressions?

-First impressions are very positive.

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It is certainly a lot bigger than the property we've got now so that is another plus.

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It is bigger but it's also attached, as you can probably see.

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So you've got a neighbour. How do you feel about that?

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I don't think that's a problem.

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Certainly from the outside, it is impressive

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and it looks distinctive, which is always a good start.

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This property comes with a lot of space,

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enough to give you a triple garage on the outside.

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There is quite a lot to get around so I don't think we should waste any more time. Let's have a look.

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I'll be amazed if they don't think this house is large enough

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for all their collectables and gym kit.

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There is space in abundance.

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As you'd expect with such a big house,

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-we have a big entrance hallway for you. What do you think?

-I like it.

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We've got some mysterious doors going off.

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Lots of mysterious doors which we will go through later on, but I want to start with this one.

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-The kitchen, I think, is often the heart of the home.

-Oh, yes.

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-What do you think of this one?

-A good size. A really nice size. I like it.

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It is very open. Lots of space.

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-Great views out of the window.

-And I love that central island. That is lovely.

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I like to be cooking in the kitchen and having people around me.

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-This is an ideal place for that. A good first impression.

-This is good.

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There is more though. You've also got utility space through there

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-and you've got a walk-in pantry here.

-That, I do like.

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-So a good start to this property?

-Absolutely.

-Absolutely.

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Look at that, in unison. They are so together. I like that.

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Let's see if we can keep this up. There is a lot to explore. Follow me.

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It looks like they are on board.

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Size is everything in this house and I don't think the living room will disappoint.

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This is a good size, isn't it?

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Lots of wall space because we have got a lot of pictures and paintings

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that we need somewhere to hang up and I like the fireplace.

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-A working fire?

-A working fireplace.

-Great. That's what we want.

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This house seems to make the grade so far.

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We'll go back through the hall to explore the other living areas behind Jeff's mysterious doors.

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-Sally, this I think should be just for you.

-Oh, yes. Isn't this lovely?

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-A little snug all to myself.

-All to yourself.

-It's an escape, isn't it?

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There are plenty of rooms to escape to in this property, so let's keep looking.

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-This is where your stairs are.

-I wondered where they were.

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You can really see the height of the barn. More doors here.

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That is big enough to house a freezer chest.

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That door leads through the utility room back to the kitchen.

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-And in here...

-Another room.

-Yes, yet another room.

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-It could be a dining room.

-The current owners have used it as such.

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It could be a study because it's got a nice view over the adjoining properties.

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It could be. Or we could be a bit more inventive

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-and we could use it to house your fire engines.

-We could.

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Whether Sally will agree to that is another question.

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What do we need that to happen?

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We need enough space for everything else like the gym, like the study.

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Maybe I can help.

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-Sally, why don't you take a look through that door there.

-OK.

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Oh, they've already got a gym! This is where it would be. Look at this.

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-Yes. Ideal. It really is.

-This is just a wonderful space, isn't it?

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And a view out, other than looking at a wall as we do at the moment

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when we are on the running machine or the cycling machine.

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-Absolutely perfect.

-This is a really good space.

-A real selling point.

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-Big smiles all round.

-Absolutely.

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-So happy with the downstairs so far?

-Absolutely.

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It is time to check out the bedrooms then and there are many of them.

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Six in fact.

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They wanted big and this house certainly delivers on that front.

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Upstairs, we do have the six bedrooms, which is

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a little bit more than you actually need, I think.

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-Three or four was on your wish list.

-Six is a lot.

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Here are two of the bedrooms. A lot of light coming in.

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A nice double size room there.

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I think this would be an ideal space to use for perhaps an office each, fire engine collection.

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Now you're talking!

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-I'm loving it so far.

-Great. This is two of the six bedrooms.

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There are four more to see and they are all behind this door.

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Through the door, the landing leads on to the other four bedrooms.

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Not surprisingly, they are all great sized double rooms.

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Perfect for overnighting guests.

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There is also a large modern bathroom and separate shower room.

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But I'm going to show Jeff and Sally their master bedroom.

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All of this built in wardrobe space here.

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They really have utilised everything in this property.

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-They certainly have.

-But this is the room I want to show you.

-Oh, yes.

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-A lovely room.

-It's huge.

-It's huge and there is more to it.

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Here, you've got a walk-in wardrobe.

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-I like that.

-I'm not sure that's big enough for all your clothes!

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-Through here, you have your ensuite.

-Oh, look.

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-Great.

-It is lovely.

-I think you quite like this property, don't you?

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-It's growing on us.

-We do.

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We have certainly covered a lot of ground inside

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and addressed a lot of the points in Sally and Jeff's brief,

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and there's a staggering amount to discover outside too.

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-A gorgeous day out here.

-It's lovely.

-Into your garden space.

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With a house that big, you wouldn't expect it to hold back on the garden, would you?

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And it really doesn't. It is not just this area here. Oh, no.

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-Follow me this way.

-This is a surprise.

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Yes, you can maintain this

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but you might need some help from the local sheep to help you

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maintain that field there and the two paddocks behind it.

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-That's part of this? Oh my goodness!

-You don't know what to say, do you?

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-All in all, just over four acres.

-Goodness.

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All of that property, all of this land, the question is, how much do you think it's worth?

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I think we are talking up in the seven hundred thousands, I really do.

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OK. So 700,000 for Jeff.

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I was going to go as high as that, if not higher, to be honest.

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-But I could be wrong.

-Give me a number.

-725.

-725.

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-So that's quite a bit above your budget.

-It is.

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What about if I told you it's actually on the market at £585,000.

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-What?!

-What?!

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-You are serious?

-I'm absolutely serious.

-That's amazing.

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-I'm absolutely amazed.

-That's stunning. That is well within our budget.

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I think it gives you a lot to think about, doesn't it?

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-It certainly does.

-Well, go inside.

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There's plenty for you to have a look at.

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Start thinking, and I'll catch up with you later on.

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That shocked them, didn't it? 585 is actually under budget.

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They wanted space. This property gives them more rooms than they wanted,

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more land than they needed and a wonderful rural location.

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But is it too much space for them?

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Under budget at £585,000, this barn conversion is a strong contender.

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There is a large kitchen dining room, ideal for entertaining.

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Six bedrooms with a master ensuite. A gym room and four acres of land.

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This property may not be slap bang in the heart of a village as Sally had hoped,

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but the potential of its huge living areas could tip the balance.

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I think it is a beautiful house. It's very big.

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It's got everything that we need and more.

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The one thing that sold me was the gymnasium

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because we were really determined that we were going to have to

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convert a room that wasn't designed for that,

0:17:260:17:28

whereas here we've got a room that is purpose built as a gymnasium.

0:17:280:17:31

The location, for me,

0:17:310:17:34

it's slightly more remote than I would have wanted to be.

0:17:340:17:38

I was shocked and stunned when Denise told us what the price was.

0:17:380:17:42

I think this has set the benchmark so far for me.

0:17:420:17:44

This is an amazing first property to see

0:17:440:17:47

and I am pretty overwhelmed by it.

0:17:470:17:51

-I thought you might have got lost in there!

-You could easily!

0:17:510:17:54

So much to see but that is only one property. There are more.

0:17:540:17:57

Great. Lead on.

0:17:570:17:59

Sally and Jeff are taking a trip down memory lane to Dorchester,

0:18:020:18:05

where Sally was born and lived as a girl.

0:18:050:18:08

It's a lively market town and retains lots of its historic character.

0:18:080:18:12

One of Dorchester's claims to fame is as the birthplace

0:18:130:18:16

and home of one of our most celebrated authors, Thomas Hardy,

0:18:160:18:19

who wrote such classic novels as 'The Mayor Of Casterbridge'

0:18:190:18:22

and 'Far From The Madding Crowd'.

0:18:220:18:24

Sally and Jeff are meeting town guide Alistair Chisholm to find out

0:18:240:18:28

more about Dorchester's influence on Hardy's life and writing.

0:18:280:18:31

-We've got a lot to see. Let's head off in this direction to start with.

-Great.

-OK.

0:18:310:18:35

He was born just three miles away. He came to school here.

0:18:380:18:42

But what people sometimes forget is that

0:18:420:18:45

he trained as an architect in the building just over here.

0:18:450:18:47

He won prizes as an architect, and that is actually how

0:18:470:18:50

he earned his living until he was able to get money from his writing.

0:18:500:18:55

After a short career as an architect and working in London,

0:18:550:18:58

he returned to Dorchester in 1871 when he was inspired to

0:18:580:19:02

write from what he saw in the local landscape.

0:19:020:19:05

A prime example of this lies just outside the town centre.

0:19:050:19:08

So here you have the Hangman's Cottage.

0:19:090:19:12

It's worth remembering that at the tender and very impressionable

0:19:120:19:16

age of 16, Thomas Hardy witnessed the execution of Martha Brown.

0:19:160:19:21

This image stays with him and of course explains the sad ending

0:19:210:19:25

of one of his greatest heroines, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

0:19:250:19:30

Hardy not only mined the local area for his writing,

0:19:310:19:34

but also put his architectural talents to good use,

0:19:340:19:37

designing Max Gate House on the other side of town,

0:19:370:19:40

where he lived until his death in 1928.

0:19:400:19:43

Now owned by the National Trust, the house is open to visitors

0:19:430:19:46

who wish to discover what the true Hardy was like.

0:19:460:19:49

So this is where he wrote quite a few of his books and novels

0:19:490:19:53

-and 900 of his poems.

-Was he famous locally?

-He was very famous locally.

0:19:530:19:58

Of course, he was a very shy man,

0:19:580:20:00

hence the planting of the trees to try and keep a degree of privacy.

0:20:000:20:05

And of course when he dies in 1928, it is decided that

0:20:050:20:09

his ashes will be laid to rest in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

0:20:090:20:13

But actually his heart remains literally in Dorset

0:20:130:20:17

because that lies buried in the grave where Emma,

0:20:170:20:20

his first wife, and later Florence, his second wife, are buried.

0:20:200:20:24

Well, with this move being a return to Sally's roots,

0:20:240:20:27

let's hope we can find our couple their home of a lifetime.

0:20:270:20:30

Our next property is a halfway house in Portesham, nine miles

0:20:320:20:35

from both Dorchester and Weymouth, so a great commute for Jeff.

0:20:350:20:38

It's an idyllic village nestled in the Downs,

0:20:380:20:41

with country pathways and a reviving pint on your doorstep.

0:20:410:20:45

There is a historical nod to a different Hardy.

0:20:450:20:47

Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, Nelson's right-hand man, who lived

0:20:470:20:51

here as a child and to whom this 80 foot tower is dedicated.

0:20:510:20:55

Our property is just a stone's throw from the pub.

0:20:550:20:57

You have your very own gated entrance to this property.

0:20:570:21:01

-Lovely sweeping driveway. Triple garage there.

-This is the house.

0:21:010:21:06

-I like the look of that very much.

-Very contemporary.

0:21:060:21:10

Very modern looking. Clean lines.

0:21:100:21:12

A little bit of road noise, but you are going to get that in any village that you live in.

0:21:120:21:16

Sally likes the walk to the pub, though!

0:21:160:21:18

-Do you, Sally?

-I think that would be good.

-Ready to have a look?

0:21:180:21:23

-Absolutely.

-Thank you.

0:21:230:21:26

The village location has pleased Sally

0:21:260:21:28

and I have high hopes she'll be impressed by the inside.

0:21:280:21:31

In we come. Lots of space to take off muddy boots.

0:21:330:21:38

A fairly generous and modern entrance hallway.

0:21:380:21:42

-That leads you through to a spacious living room.

-Oh, right. Very nice.

0:21:420:21:46

Lovely fireplace. I love that surround. That's very nice.

0:21:460:21:50

-French doors out into the garden.

-Very warm feel to it.

-Very nice.

0:21:500:21:55

-Is it big enough?

-Yes, I think so.

0:21:550:21:57

It's bigger than our current living room.

0:21:570:21:59

It hasn't got any nooks and crannies, that's the only thing.

0:21:590:22:02

There is no shelving or whatever and we've got lots of knick-knacks

0:22:020:22:06

and mementos and you are going to have to bring in bookshelves

0:22:060:22:09

and display cases freestanding to do that, so you have to think of that.

0:22:090:22:13

Let's keep looking around and see what else there is in this house.

0:22:130:22:17

I am sure a spot of DIY would give Jeff the wall storage he's after.

0:22:170:22:21

Maybe he'll be swayed by the size of the kitchen.

0:22:210:22:24

A nice bright kitchen for you.

0:22:240:22:26

Yes. This is nice. I like this. Bright. Lots of space. I like it.

0:22:260:22:31

I like the tiled floor as well, which is ideal.

0:22:310:22:33

-There is certainly enough space to put a central island there if you wanted to.

-There certainly is.

0:22:330:22:38

You are using your imagination here about what you could do.

0:22:380:22:41

-I sense some reservation from you, Jeff.

-A little bit.

0:22:410:22:44

It is a bit bland. There's not much character to it.

0:22:440:22:47

-Keep an open mind, Jeff. Have a look in here.

-Oh, right.

0:22:470:22:51

-This is hidden away, isn't it?

-A little study.

-Yes, very nice.

0:22:510:22:55

-Which could be a home office, a little snug.

-A little snug, exactly.

0:22:550:22:59

We're not done yet. There are plenty more rooms that lead off the kitchen.

0:22:590:23:03

Behind this door, this house just keeps on tumbling on.

0:23:030:23:07

Much more space through here. Wonderful utility space.

0:23:070:23:10

And up here, we have what the current owners have as a dog room.

0:23:100:23:14

It could be great when you get your new dogs. Or perhaps a mini gym.

0:23:140:23:19

Yes, it could be.

0:23:190:23:21

-However, the possibility I saw with this is to have a sauna in here.

-Ah!

0:23:210:23:28

-Now I'm using my imagination!

-That brightened you up, didn't it?

0:23:280:23:33

If this is the sauna then perhaps you can make more of this space.

0:23:330:23:37

-Now, you see, I would then have this as the gym.

-Yes.

0:23:380:23:44

My imagination is still yet to take off. It's on the runway.

0:23:440:23:47

-Has it sparked a little bit?

-A little bit.

0:23:470:23:49

-The fuse is fizzing but we haven't achieved lift-off.

-Not quite. I'm going to keep working on this.

0:23:490:23:53

We're going to get lift-off, I hope.

0:23:530:23:55

Downstairs is a blank canvas, which if Jeff and Sally

0:23:550:23:58

really put their minds to it could deliver the features they are after.

0:23:580:24:02

Upstairs in this property, you have four bedrooms

0:24:020:24:06

and a family bathroom.

0:24:060:24:08

Here is one of the slightly smaller bedrooms.

0:24:080:24:12

You've got two nice-sized doubles over here.

0:24:120:24:14

-I just want to show you one of them first of all.

-Right, OK.

0:24:140:24:18

It is a reasonable-size room. Probably not as big as I expected.

0:24:180:24:23

They've also got the computer stuff in here

0:24:230:24:25

-so that takes up a good deal of space.

-A big window. Very light.

0:24:250:24:29

-Nice view.

-As a guest room, do you think it would do?

-Yes.

0:24:290:24:32

The other double would also give their guests a great view.

0:24:320:24:36

The modern family bathroom also has a separate shower cubicle.

0:24:360:24:39

We'll go into the master bedroom, which I hope will win Jeff over.

0:24:390:24:43

In terms of room size, I should imagine this is a bit more like it for you.

0:24:430:24:47

-That is a good size, yes.

-That's nice. And great views.

0:24:470:24:51

A really good view. It does look good. I like it.

0:24:510:24:55

-And behind here, have a look. You have an ensuite shower room.

-Yes.

0:24:550:25:00

-A good size. Storage as well.

-Very modern. Very nice. Nicely done.

0:25:000:25:04

My rockets are still fizzing, but they are not blasting off.

0:25:040:25:08

Not blasting off.

0:25:080:25:09

I think I might have the thing to ignite your rockets. Outside.

0:25:090:25:13

A couple of surprises which just might get you going.

0:25:130:25:16

I'm determined to earn my stripes with Jeff

0:25:170:25:19

so I hope he's going to like what he sees.

0:25:190:25:21

Now, Jeff, this is for you.

0:25:230:25:25

Outside we have what I consider to be another room to this house.

0:25:250:25:29

It is. It just hasn't got a roof on it but you're right, that is exactly what it is.

0:25:290:25:33

It's the barbecue area, the manly zone,

0:25:330:25:35

and there is a gas barbecue over there.

0:25:350:25:38

-I'm beginning to blast off now.

-Good. We are going straight to blast off. Brilliant.

0:25:380:25:43

-This is a lovely entertaining area, I must say.

-It's great. Very smart.

0:25:430:25:46

-One of the best aspects yet.

-Good.

0:25:460:25:50

Well, we're on a roll now because just over there, have a look up there.

0:25:500:25:53

-There's the hot tub.

-There's the hot tub. As requested.

0:25:530:25:58

-Wonderful.

-That is ideal, isn't it?

-It is ideal.

-It's a good spot.

0:25:580:26:02

-Houston, we have lift-off.

-Fantastic!

0:26:020:26:04

I think we are really going to be firing up into the sky

0:26:040:26:07

when I show you the final surprise in this garden.

0:26:070:26:09

This half acre lawned garden is a very manageable size

0:26:110:26:14

and I've got the perfect solution for Sally's fishpond dilemma.

0:26:140:26:17

-A river.

-That is so pretty, isn't it?

-And that is your surprise.

0:26:170:26:22

It's a wonderful surprise.

0:26:220:26:24

-Apparently, they have trout coming through here at times.

-Do they?

0:26:240:26:29

-That is super.

-Very, very clean. It looks lovely.

0:26:290:26:33

Now, do we have rockets firing on all cylinders?

0:26:330:26:35

-I think we are about to go into orbit!

-Fantastic!

0:26:350:26:38

There is your stream, you've got a hot tub

0:26:390:26:42

and over there you have a house.

0:26:420:26:44

-All of the things we asked for.

-Exactly.

0:26:440:26:47

And to get them in the location I think you quite like,

0:26:470:26:50

how much do you think you'd have to pay?

0:26:500:26:52

I may be completely wrong but I'm going to say £600,000.

0:26:520:26:57

-Right on your budget.

-Yes. That's what I'm going to say.

-What about you, Jeff?

0:26:570:27:01

I'm going to say slightly less than that and come down to about 570.

0:27:010:27:06

570. So money to play with. Well, there is good news.

0:27:060:27:12

-This property is on the market at £550,000.

-Is it?

0:27:120:27:16

So even more money to play with.

0:27:160:27:18

It's a lovely house and it's a beautiful garden

0:27:180:27:21

and it's got everything that we have asked for.

0:27:210:27:25

-So we'll have to think about it.

-I think that's exactly right.

0:27:250:27:28

Go back in, have a little think, wander round,

0:27:280:27:31

-start to imagine yourself living there and then I'll catch up with you later on.

-OK. Thanks.

0:27:310:27:35

As well as having space and a good price in its favour,

0:27:380:27:41

this property also fulfils Sally's wish to live in a village.

0:27:410:27:44

Well within budget at £550,000, it offers a large kitchen/diner,

0:27:440:27:49

four bedrooms with master ensuite, space for a gym

0:27:490:27:52

and office or snug and a half acre garden with a hot tub.

0:27:520:27:56

Very nice house.

0:27:580:28:00

The best feature of the house is in fact the garden, which is lovely. It's got everything you would want.

0:28:000:28:05

And a hot tub.

0:28:050:28:06

It didn't have a fish pond, but it had a river with its own waterfall and a bridge,

0:28:060:28:10

which I think is just fantastic.

0:28:100:28:12

I loved the stream at the top. Upstairs, four good bedrooms.

0:28:120:28:16

A good size master bedroom and ensuite.

0:28:160:28:20

I think the whole package together is brilliant.

0:28:200:28:23

But it just doesn't fire my rockets

0:28:230:28:25

because it perhaps doesn't have that character, the quirkiness,

0:28:250:28:28

the nooks and crannies that maybe I'm looking for.

0:28:280:28:31

-Hello there. Have you had a good look around?

-Yes, we have.

0:28:330:28:36

-How is that rocket launch going?

-So-so.

0:28:360:28:39

The launch went fine, we got into orbit, but then I think we drifted back down to Earth.

0:28:390:28:44

-Well, don't worry because we've still got a lot more to see.

-OK. Good.

0:28:440:28:48

Sally and Jeff will be able to enjoy

0:28:530:28:55

Dorset's spectacular countryside and coastline,

0:28:550:28:58

but they will need to be aware of potential troubles at sea

0:28:580:29:02

in the stretch between Portland and Weymouth.

0:29:020:29:04

These treacherous waters are known as the Portland Race,

0:29:040:29:08

where two tides clash, causing fierce currents between the bill

0:29:080:29:12

and the Shambles sandbanks.

0:29:120:29:13

The Portland Bill lighthouse built nearly a century ago is

0:29:130:29:17

a vital beacon for vessels to steer a safe course through this channel.

0:29:170:29:21

The lighthouse became automated in 1996 but before that,

0:29:210:29:24

Larry Walker was the principal light-keeper

0:29:240:29:27

and lived here for 26 years.

0:29:270:29:29

There is something very romantic and yet awe-inspiring about

0:29:290:29:32

the job of living here, working up there and protecting our shores.

0:29:320:29:36

Yes, it's nice to think that when you see the beams of light going around here at night

0:29:360:29:40

to think there is somebody out there waiting for that flash of light

0:29:400:29:44

to tell them where they are and guide them to safety.

0:29:440:29:48

Since the lighthouse has been built I'm quite happy to say that no major catastrophes have occurred.

0:29:480:29:53

-So it's doing its job.

-It is doing its job.

0:29:530:29:57

Standing at 135 feet, it's a trudge the 155 steps to the top.

0:29:570:30:01

But I can see a light at the end of it, and impressive it is too.

0:30:010:30:04

The lens is made up of four panels which gives Portland Bill lighthouse

0:30:040:30:08

a distinct character of its own, which is four white flashes every 20 seconds.

0:30:080:30:13

The lens here will actually enable the light from that 1,000 watt bulb

0:30:130:30:17

-to be seen in excess of 25 miles away.

-Fantastic.

0:30:170:30:20

It's a real feat of engineering,

0:30:200:30:23

and controlled along with another 68 lighthouses by the Harwich Operation Centre

0:30:230:30:28

some 240 miles away in Essex.

0:30:280:30:31

But our work is not quite done.

0:30:310:30:33

In true light-keeping tradition, Larry lets me

0:30:330:30:35

-raise the sign aloft and what a view.

-There we are.

0:30:350:30:40

-The lighthouse is manned today.

-It is today.

-And womanned!

0:30:400:30:44

I have learnt a lot about lighthouses

0:30:450:30:48

but I wonder what Sally and Jeff make of the houses they have seen

0:30:480:30:51

so far on their property search?

0:30:510:30:53

-So how did you feel when we first saw the barn?

-I loved the kitchen.

0:30:550:30:59

That was such a great kitchen for entertaining,

0:30:590:31:02

and the living room with that wonderful fire.

0:31:020:31:06

I liked the snug as a separate room where you could go away and tuck yourself away.

0:31:060:31:10

I also liked the room at the top of the stairs where you could

0:31:100:31:12

look out over the grounds.

0:31:120:31:15

I think as a library that's got a lot of possibilities.

0:31:150:31:18

So what about this afternoon, the house with the hot tub?

0:31:180:31:20

Actually, my first impression as we drove up to it

0:31:200:31:24

and we went through the village, I thought this is a nice village.

0:31:240:31:27

It certainly is very modern. It's very easy.

0:31:270:31:29

You could move in there straightaway. It doesn't need anything doing.

0:31:290:31:33

And I did like the kitchen, actually.

0:31:330:31:35

Plus you have got that dining area at the end.

0:31:350:31:38

So again, a great kitchen for entertaining.

0:31:380:31:41

I think the thing that sold it to me was the garden.

0:31:410:31:43

Having the stream running through there was just such an added bonus.

0:31:430:31:49

Yes. Again, possibilities.

0:31:490:31:51

It will be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow

0:31:510:31:55

and whether it's possible to bring those two things together.

0:31:550:31:58

The location and the house. So, yeah, I look forward to tomorrow.

0:31:580:32:04

Sally and Jeff want to up sticks from the suburbs of Surrey

0:32:130:32:16

and make the up-size of a lifetime to rural Dorset.

0:32:160:32:19

With a £600,000 budget, they want this move to be their very last.

0:32:190:32:24

So far, they have seen two properties,

0:32:240:32:26

but coming up our house and makes them break into a sweat.

0:32:260:32:30

Ta-dah!

0:32:300:32:32

For your next surprise!

0:32:320:32:35

Oh, wow! Look at this.

0:32:350:32:38

And the mystery house where downsizing would reap huge rewards.

0:32:390:32:43

It's the start of day two.

0:32:460:32:48

So far, Jeff and Sally have really not been that specific

0:32:480:32:51

about the style of property they want.

0:32:510:32:53

We have shown them something new,

0:32:530:32:55

but today it's all about age, character and thatch.

0:32:550:32:59

Our next property takes us 19 miles from Dorchester

0:33:000:33:03

to the village of Okeford Fitzpaine

0:33:030:33:05

with a slightly longer hour's drive for Jeff into Weymouth.

0:33:050:33:08

It's a slice of quintessential Dorset,

0:33:080:33:10

surrounded by fields and hedgerows.

0:33:100:33:12

The heart of the village is made up of thatched cottages

0:33:120:33:15

and stone manor houses, along with a fine local pub and village store.

0:33:150:33:18

Our next house is totally in-keeping.

0:33:190:33:22

After yesterday, it's very evident that you want to be near to a village,

0:33:220:33:25

or in the heart of a village, and you're looking for a bit more character. Some quirks.

0:33:250:33:29

So here we are in Okeford Fitzpaine in the heart of the village.

0:33:290:33:34

And I want to show you this property which has character by the oodles.

0:33:340:33:40

-And a thatched roof. Nice.

-I like the look of it.

0:33:400:33:43

Good. Let's just wander around the front.

0:33:430:33:45

-So this is the front of the property. Isn't it gorgeous?

-Lovely.

-It is very impressive.

0:33:500:33:55

This property was actually two cottages which I think you can

0:33:550:33:59

clearly see from here as well, dating back to the 17th century.

0:33:590:34:02

-It is Grade II listed.

-It looks lovely.

-Bags of character.

0:34:020:34:05

It's got that cottagey feel and a few surprises in there, so let's have a look.

0:34:050:34:10

I think it's hard not to fall in love with

0:34:100:34:12

the character of this cottage and you get twice the space.

0:34:120:34:16

Watch your head there. It is a cottage.

0:34:160:34:18

-Oh, this is a country kitchen, isn't it?

-Very smart.

0:34:180:34:22

-A real country kitchen.

-Lovely. Real character. Real beams.

0:34:220:34:26

You said you wanted beams, Jeff. You've got beams.

0:34:260:34:29

An antique feel about it from the start. It's a real country kitchen.

0:34:290:34:34

It's certainly smaller perhaps than I would have envisaged,

0:34:340:34:40

but I'm sure it's adaptable.

0:34:400:34:42

Whether it's right for us, I don't know.

0:34:420:34:45

Let's find out. Let's keep exploring and see how we get on.

0:34:450:34:48

This living room really shows off the fact that this was once two cottages.

0:34:490:34:53

You get double for your money.

0:34:530:34:56

-Two inglenook fireplaces.

-It's almost like walking into a museum.

0:34:560:34:59

-Lovely.

-Brilliant.

-A beautiful cottage.

0:34:590:35:02

And there's a lot of light through this room as well.

0:35:020:35:04

You've got these nice wide windows and all of this character.

0:35:040:35:08

I love it. And then divided into a separate living area.

0:35:080:35:12

-It's got possibilities.

-Definitely.

-It definitely has.

0:35:120:35:14

The one thing that worries me is the walls.

0:35:140:35:17

We have got a lot of pictures and artefacts that we would like to

0:35:170:35:21

hang up on the walls and there ain't much wall space to hang those on.

0:35:210:35:24

There is a bit more to show you on this floor which I think is going to surprise you.

0:35:240:35:28

One of the things you wanted was an extra reception room.

0:35:280:35:33

In here, another one, again with lots of character.

0:35:330:35:36

And actually a good size as a dining room.

0:35:360:35:40

-There is lots of space in here for a big table.

-A nice deep window.

0:35:400:35:44

-Very attractive.

-How are we doing so far?

0:35:440:35:46

Maybe there are more surprises to come.

0:35:460:35:48

Well, there is certainly more space through here.

0:35:480:35:52

Oh, right. This is an amazing library, isn't it?

0:35:530:35:57

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

-It is.

-It's just very relaxing.

0:35:570:36:01

The whole property,

0:36:010:36:03

you could really chill out of an evening or on a winter's day

0:36:030:36:07

with the fires going and I think that is the attractiveness of it.

0:36:070:36:11

You could maybe get away with putting a few fire engines up instead of some books.

0:36:110:36:15

We have got a lot of books.

0:36:150:36:18

There is a little bit more to see. Out this way.

0:36:180:36:20

This cottage has that winning combination of Jeff's beloved nooks and crannies

0:36:200:36:24

and a whole host of different living areas that just seem to keep on going.

0:36:240:36:29

If you come through here, hidden behind the main living area.

0:36:290:36:32

-I wondered where the utility area was.

-A great space for the dogs.

-Yes.

0:36:320:36:36

-A nice Belfast sink.

-It's a bonus, isn't it?

-It is. Lovely.

0:36:360:36:40

But it's not the surprise. Sally, there is a shower room up there.

0:36:400:36:46

-Have a look in there and maybe open the airing cupboard.

-OK.

0:36:470:36:50

-Oh, wow! Look at this.

-A little sauna.

-A sauna.

0:36:520:36:56

-That really is a great addition. That is just amazing.

-Really good.

0:36:560:37:02

-Yes, superb.

-It is superb.

0:37:020:37:04

-Fantastic downstairs, but now it's time to check out the bedrooms.

-Great.

0:37:040:37:08

Up here, you have five bedrooms,

0:37:120:37:15

one of which is slightly smaller but there are three good size doubles.

0:37:150:37:18

In here is one of what could be your extra bedrooms for the guests.

0:37:190:37:24

Oh, yes. This would make a very nice guest bedroom, wouldn't it?

0:37:240:37:27

-It would be a lovely place to come at the end of the day.

-Ideal.

-I like it.

0:37:270:37:31

It's so quiet and peaceful, isn't it?

0:37:310:37:34

I'm just amazed at how many fireplaces

0:37:340:37:36

they have in this property.

0:37:360:37:38

-There is a feature for every room pretty much, isn't there?

-There is.

0:37:380:37:42

They seem to be finding the character charm of this property irresistible.

0:37:420:37:46

The other four bedrooms include another beautiful double,

0:37:460:37:49

a twin room set into the eaves

0:37:490:37:51

and a small single room which they could use as a study.

0:37:510:37:55

There is also a spruce bathroom and separate WC on this floor.

0:37:550:37:58

And I'm sure they're going to be smitten by the master bedroom.

0:37:580:38:01

So, through here is your master bedroom.

0:38:020:38:06

That's a nice view, isn't it?

0:38:060:38:08

It's very quaint and obviously in character with the rest of the property.

0:38:080:38:12

But we do have a big bed and I do think getting the big bed

0:38:120:38:15

in here is going to be quite difficult.

0:38:150:38:18

So maybe if there was a bit more space, that would help.

0:38:180:38:21

-Why don't you just have a look over there.

-OK.

0:38:210:38:23

Definitely more space in the bathroom.

0:38:260:38:29

This is a wonderful bathroom. A great size bath. I love it.

0:38:290:38:34

I can see real chill out potential here. It's marvellous. It really is.

0:38:340:38:39

A real surprise yet again.

0:38:390:38:41

I think this changes the aspect of this whole bedroom and makes it viable.

0:38:410:38:45

They seem really taken by the house so far, so we'll go outside

0:38:450:38:49

across to the barn which I think will really get their hearts racing.

0:38:490:38:52

-Ta-dah! Another surprise.

-For your next surprise!

0:38:540:38:58

-This is a good space for a gym.

-Isn't it super?

0:38:580:39:02

-It's a lovely space for a gym.

-There is so much you could do with this.

0:39:020:39:05

It doesn't have to be a gym. It could be the office.

0:39:050:39:08

Funny you should say that because what you have is an identical space just over there.

0:39:080:39:12

Currently, it's a workshop but you could make it an office.

0:39:120:39:16

-A fire engine museum?

-You say the nicest things!

0:39:160:39:19

It all looks picture perfect so far,

0:39:200:39:23

but will the all-important price fit the bill?

0:39:230:39:25

As you'd expect with such a wonderful cottage,

0:39:250:39:28

-you have the perfect cottage garden. It's beautiful, isn't it?

-Gorgeous.

0:39:280:39:32

It really is a beautiful garden and one that fits in so perfectly

0:39:320:39:38

with the property, doesn't it?

0:39:380:39:40

It is a beautiful garden.

0:39:400:39:42

It comes with a fantastic and very impressive cottage in the heart of a wonderful village.

0:39:420:39:49

It could be yours,

0:39:490:39:51

but how much do you think you'd have to pay to get it?

0:39:510:39:54

I really don't know. You first. I'm stuck with this one.

0:39:540:39:58

I think it's so quintessentially Dorset that we're probably

0:39:580:40:01

talking about 635,000 at least.

0:40:010:40:04

I would probably go for a little bit more than that. 650,000.

0:40:040:40:10

-Do you know, this property is on the market at £595,000.

-Is it?

0:40:100:40:16

-You could have two saunas!

-It is a good price.

0:40:160:40:20

-We need to go and just have more of a snoop around, I think.

-Off you go.

0:40:200:40:24

-Let me know your thoughts a bit later on.

-Thank you.

0:40:240:40:27

This is the quintessential Dorset cottage.

0:40:290:40:31

They've got their own dream about what they want to do when they move here,

0:40:310:40:35

but this would fit most people's dreams

0:40:350:40:37

and, at that price, it could be the perfect home for them.

0:40:370:40:41

So, within budget at £595,000, this traditional Dorset cottage

0:40:410:40:46

fits Sally and Jeff's brief for their all-important last move.

0:40:460:40:49

It has three spacious versatile living areas,

0:40:490:40:52

lots of original features with beams and fireplaces, five bedrooms with

0:40:520:40:57

a master ensuite, and a ready-made sauna and space for a gym.

0:40:570:41:01

To have a gym there, which was one thing that was very high

0:41:010:41:04

on our list of things and it's there ready made.

0:41:040:41:07

It is higgledy-piggledy.

0:41:070:41:09

I like the nooks and the crannies and the twists and turns.

0:41:090:41:12

It's not stylised in anyway. It's not angular.

0:41:120:41:15

It's all very fitting and with beautiful wood beams throughout.

0:41:150:41:19

I think this would be a lovely place to relax, actually.

0:41:190:41:23

And you have got enough space here to relax with a number of friends.

0:41:230:41:27

I like it very much.

0:41:270:41:29

I love the fact that it really is a Dorset cottage and has got so much history.

0:41:290:41:34

I would love to live here.

0:41:340:41:36

-Hello. You got lost in there.

-We did.

-Or stuck in the sauna perhaps!

0:41:380:41:42

You can tell me about that later on. We've still got more to do.

0:41:420:41:45

During his time as a brigadier in the armed forces,

0:41:500:41:53

Jeff has launched lifeboats for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

0:41:530:41:57

The RNLI has charitable status

0:41:570:41:59

and since Sally wants to continue with her voluntary fundraising work,

0:41:590:42:03

we thought it would be a great way of combining their interests.

0:42:030:42:06

So they are going to meet the coxswain at the Weymouth station.

0:42:060:42:10

-Hello, Sally. Nice to meet you. I'm Andy and you've come to see a bit about what work we do.

-Indeed.

0:42:100:42:15

The RNLI volunteers at Weymouth station have rescued

0:42:160:42:19

over 2,500 people since it was established 140 years ago.

0:42:190:42:24

The Weymouth station has two operational boats.

0:42:240:42:27

A smaller boat for inshore waters

0:42:270:42:29

and 17 metre rescue boat used in open waters.

0:42:290:42:33

How many incidents do you get called out to, Andy?

0:42:330:42:35

That can vary from year to year, but on an average between 90 and 100 services a year.

0:42:350:42:40

That equates out to about twice a week throughout the year.

0:42:400:42:43

So if you have a shout, how quickly can you actually get the crew together and get going?

0:42:430:42:48

Generally, the boats are going down the harbour within 10 minutes.

0:42:480:42:51

Jeff and Sally are joining the crew for a routine training exercise

0:42:510:42:55

so it's weather gear on and time to set sail for a man overboard drill.

0:42:550:42:59

Only this time, a fender is being used.

0:42:590:43:01

But it's a chance for Jeff to take to the helm.

0:43:010:43:04

This is where we come to manoeuvre the boat to go alongside a casualty or recover people.

0:43:040:43:08

One person who sees them go overboard will be responsible

0:43:080:43:11

to maintain eye contact with that person at all time.

0:43:110:43:14

The other crew are getting ready to recover the person.

0:43:140:43:16

-Man overboard!

-Man overboard!

0:43:160:43:20

Man overboard starboard side. Wheel hard to starboard.

0:43:200:43:23

So you come 60 degrees off hard to port.

0:43:240:43:27

Keep coming around to our reciprocal course and there he is. Brilliant.

0:43:290:43:33

Under Andy's expert eye, Jeff steers the boat safely to the spot where the fender is then hauled in.

0:43:350:43:40

-Brilliant. Well done. Congratulations.

-Thank you very much. We saved the day.

0:43:400:43:44

You have saved your first person.

0:43:440:43:46

With their rescue job done, it's time to return to shore.

0:43:460:43:49

Or perhaps this will be the first of many trips out on the water

0:43:490:43:52

when Jeff and Sally move down the Dorset for good.

0:43:520:43:55

Up until now, Jeff and Sally have been pretty definite about one thing.

0:43:580:44:02

They want space, and lots of it.

0:44:020:44:05

But who needs space when you have a view like that?

0:44:050:44:09

It's mystery house time.

0:44:090:44:10

Everything has been full of surprises so far, hasn't it?

0:44:130:44:16

So what do you think we could shock you with now that would really be a surprise?

0:44:160:44:20

-Well, perhaps an underground bunker!

-That would be fitting.

-A castle, a barracks.

0:44:200:44:25

Who knows what we're going to be tested out with?

0:44:250:44:28

But please not a converted fire station! Please not!

0:44:280:44:33

Darn! That's just what I was thinking.

0:44:330:44:36

Our mystery property is five miles from Dorchester

0:44:370:44:40

in the village of Sutton Poyntz,

0:44:400:44:41

meaning just a 15 minute drive into Weymouth for Jeff.

0:44:410:44:45

It's a picture perfect village

0:44:450:44:47

with period cottages overlooking the duck pond.

0:44:470:44:50

Set at the foot of the chalky Downs, it's ideally placed for seeing

0:44:500:44:53

the only hillside white horse carving in England with a rider.

0:44:530:44:57

Our mystery house will challenge Sally and Jeff

0:44:570:44:59

to rethink their lifestyle in a smaller property.

0:44:590:45:02

But there is a huge payoff.

0:45:020:45:04

The mystery house.

0:45:040:45:06

I thought we could come to a point where you see the best of what Dorset has to offer.

0:45:060:45:10

It really is an incredible view, isn't it?

0:45:100:45:13

Right out over the ocean and over the hills.

0:45:130:45:16

-It really is Dorset coastline at its best.

-At its best.

0:45:160:45:21

-Imagine if you could wake up every morning to views like that.

-Superb.

0:45:210:45:25

-It would be pretty impressive, wouldn't it?

-Yes.

0:45:250:45:27

Well, if you look just down there, if you buy that property,

0:45:270:45:32

all of this could be your view. And that is our mystery house.

0:45:320:45:36

We've got a few steps to get down to get there, so follow me.

0:45:360:45:39

There is private parking at the top

0:45:390:45:42

and with these steps as the only way of access to this 1930s

0:45:420:45:46

Arts and Crafts inspired house, they won't be needing a gym.

0:45:460:45:49

In we come.

0:45:490:45:51

Straight through to the first reception room

0:45:510:45:54

and you start to appreciate what this house is all about.

0:45:540:45:57

-Still with the views through the window.

-Exactly.

-Oh, yes. Look at that from here.

0:45:570:46:01

You could just sit there with a pair of binoculars

0:46:010:46:04

-or a telescope for a day and admire the view.

-Or a lifetime.

0:46:040:46:08

I think we should deal with this straight on.

0:46:080:46:11

It is a smaller house than the other houses that we have shown you.

0:46:110:46:14

Right.

0:46:140:46:16

I think you just need to take that in because what this house is about is the wonderful location,

0:46:160:46:20

the great views and the lifestyle you would live here. It's very open.

0:46:200:46:25

You can go out for wonderful walks.

0:46:250:46:27

-You can get fit with the stairs!

-Yes, you can certainly do that.

0:46:270:46:30

If you are looking for original features and quirkiness, this property certainly has it.

0:46:300:46:35

If you are looking for a stunning view, I don't think you could get much better.

0:46:350:46:38

-What do you think so far?

-Awesome.

-Very, very impressed.

0:46:380:46:42

Let's wander over and have a look at the kitchen area.

0:46:420:46:45

It is sort of open plan, this house.

0:46:450:46:47

As I said, it is small, but I think it fits. It works for this property.

0:46:470:46:55

It is a lot smaller than we were looking for.

0:46:550:46:58

I think it would take a bit of getting used to.

0:46:580:47:00

But nevertheless, the views again maybe make it all worth it.

0:47:000:47:05

Maybe they do. Let's keep exploring and see how you feel.

0:47:050:47:10

There are more rooms which might solve the space problem.

0:47:100:47:13

-So this would be your living room.

-Nice.

-Open fire again?

-Yes.

0:47:130:47:19

-Quite small.

-It is small.

-It might be a squeeze to get the furniture in.

0:47:190:47:24

A bit of cutting off the edges! But doable.

0:47:240:47:27

-Or maybe just starting again.

-Yes.

0:47:270:47:29

-Perhaps this move to Dorset for you could be...

-A fresh start.

-Exactly.

0:47:290:47:34

I do like the feel of the house itself.

0:47:340:47:38

It has got the real cosy feel, which is nice.

0:47:380:47:41

Next door, there is another room currently used as a music studio, which would make a perfect snug.

0:47:420:47:47

Now, we'll head upstairs and admire the original features on the way.

0:47:470:47:50

This staircase, as I've said, is the Arts and Crafts movement staircase.

0:47:500:47:54

All that lovely wood. The great window there letting in lots of light.

0:47:540:47:58

It brings you up to the upper level.

0:47:580:48:01

You've got the same amount of space up here, but you do have a total of four bedrooms.

0:48:010:48:05

Along this way first of all.

0:48:050:48:08

I think it's a very cute family bathroom. Have a look.

0:48:080:48:11

-It's nice and bright, isn't it?

-Yes, nicely done.

0:48:110:48:14

Over this way, the toilet is separate.

0:48:140:48:18

I love this little feature here, the porthole window.

0:48:180:48:21

-This is like being in a ship again.

-It is.

0:48:210:48:24

And if you were going to show off the friends you might want to

0:48:240:48:27

put them in here if they came to stay.

0:48:270:48:29

-Nice.

-I like this room. It's bright and light. Again, a lovely view out.

0:48:290:48:35

It could be spoilt on your guests.

0:48:350:48:37

Off the landing there is another bedroom for their weekend visitors to enjoy.

0:48:370:48:41

There's also a through room into the master bedroom,

0:48:410:48:44

which could convert to a useful dressing room and master ensuite.

0:48:440:48:47

And this is back in to the extension added by the current owners.

0:48:470:48:51

It does look good. And it all matches very nicely.

0:48:510:48:55

I think it's a lovely house and it has been very well looked after.

0:48:550:48:59

For me, it does feel small.

0:49:010:49:03

The views certainly are just stunning and that stands for a lot.

0:49:030:49:10

Let's see if those spectacular views can work their magic

0:49:100:49:13

on Jeff and Sally as we stroll down through the terraced garden.

0:49:130:49:17

-So down here, is your garden.

-It's lovely and quiet, actually.

0:49:170:49:22

-It's a nice quiet garden.

-Very private.

-It's very private.

0:49:220:49:25

-Maybe you could put a hot tub down here.

-Oh, yes, that's a good idea.

0:49:250:49:30

-Tucked away in that corner perhaps.

-I think that would be pretty good.

0:49:300:49:33

But over there, you can see, strategically placed, is a picnic table

0:49:330:49:37

and that's because there is a little gate there

0:49:370:49:39

and that gate opens up and leads you straight through.

0:49:390:49:42

There's a public right of way running across the fields,

0:49:420:49:45

-running behind us. It's a wonderful walk.

-That is good.

0:49:450:49:49

You can walk into the nearest village, off to the shops, in about 10 to 15 minutes.

0:49:490:49:53

If you are going to have a new dogs where better to have them for lovely walks?

0:49:530:49:58

I know this house is smaller.

0:49:580:50:01

It doesn't come with the gym or the added extras that you wanted.

0:50:010:50:04

But I have to say, with all of this available to you, you'd get plenty of exercise anyway, wouldn't you?

0:50:040:50:10

In different ways.

0:50:100:50:11

But as you said, it's a compromise between the views,

0:50:110:50:14

which you won't get anywhere else, and the smallness of the house.

0:50:140:50:18

We would have to adapt to fit in here

0:50:180:50:21

and I think you are never going to get that 100% success solution.

0:50:210:50:24

-It's just a matter of balance.

-How much do you think it's worth?

0:50:240:50:27

I think it's difficult because it has that beautiful view.

0:50:280:50:33

It's a very attractive house. I'm going to go for 550,000.

0:50:330:50:40

I'm going to hedge my bets a little bit and say a little bit less than that. £535,000.

0:50:420:50:47

So quite a lot under your budget.

0:50:480:50:50

You are both right but you're both wrong.

0:50:500:50:52

It is under budget but not that much under budget.

0:50:520:50:55

-It's on the market for £575,000.

-OK. All right.

0:50:550:51:00

-What do you think?

-It is a good price.

0:51:010:51:04

I can see why it is that price because it does have

0:51:040:51:09

so many redeeming features and it is a very attractive house.

0:51:090:51:13

-A little bit of the best of both worlds, if not a bit smaller.

-Yes.

0:51:130:51:16

But there is still enough for you to go and wander around so head back up those stairs

0:51:160:51:21

and have a look around the property and I'll see you later on.

0:51:210:51:24

There you go, that is our mystery house.

0:51:240:51:27

Designed to stretch them a little and make them think about a different lifestyle.

0:51:270:51:31

Is it for them? Who knows?

0:51:310:51:33

All I do know is, that is one spectacular view.

0:51:330:51:36

If Sally and Jeff take the downsize option with this Arts and Crafts thatched house,

0:51:360:51:40

they'd be under budget at £575,000

0:51:400:51:44

and get an open plan kitchen and living room, four bedrooms

0:51:440:51:47

and wonderful views of the Dorset countryside.

0:51:470:51:50

It is also walking distance to the village for Sally

0:51:500:51:53

and just three miles to Weymouth for Jeff's work.

0:51:530:51:56

The mystery house offers such a fabulous view that you could

0:51:560:52:00

just not get anywhere else. It is totally unique.

0:52:000:52:03

We talked about having some sort of change of lifestyle

0:52:030:52:08

and I think we would need to do that if we were going to live here

0:52:080:52:12

because it is definitely smaller than we were thinking of getting.

0:52:120:52:17

If you look at the space here,

0:52:170:52:20

it's probably even smaller than we already have.

0:52:200:52:25

From an entertaining point of view, it would be

0:52:250:52:28

not as easy to manage as we would have hoped for.

0:52:280:52:32

It's doable, but catering for 10 people,

0:52:320:52:35

six of whom were staying, might be a bit tight.

0:52:350:52:37

Very much thinking about Dorset

0:52:370:52:40

and an escape to the country feel about it.

0:52:400:52:44

It is the Dorset dream.

0:52:440:52:45

BELL RINGS

0:52:450:52:47

I had to use this bell. I couldn't resist it.

0:52:490:52:51

-Now, are you ready for the stairs?

-We'll try.

-Good.

0:52:510:52:54

We've got plenty to get up, lots to think about and decisions to make.

0:52:540:52:58

Sally and Jeff's house tour of Dorset is over, leaving them with plenty to think about.

0:53:040:53:08

After over 30 years in the Army, Jeff is used to making decisions

0:53:120:53:16

and giving orders. But Sally, she is used to ruling the roost

0:53:160:53:20

and now they have to make a decision together.

0:53:200:53:22

What will they come up with?

0:53:220:53:24

We have been on not quite a military operation,

0:53:260:53:29

but it has certainly been a journey, hasn't it, the last couple of days?

0:53:290:53:32

Lots of properties and lost to talk about so it's time to go through them.

0:53:320:53:36

We started with that barn conversion out in Kingston Russell.

0:53:360:53:41

-What did you think of that one?

-It was a TARDIS.

0:53:410:53:43

From the outside, it looked very small, but it had huge depth.

0:53:430:53:47

It was the wow factor.

0:53:470:53:48

There were so many nooks and crannies,

0:53:480:53:50

and the big beams upstairs I thought were just fantastic. I love it.

0:53:500:53:54

-Quite an incredible property, really.

-It wasn't close to a village. It was quite remote, really.

0:53:540:53:59

I guess, for me, that was probably the one thing I wasn't so sure about

0:53:590:54:04

because I've always said I want to be close to the heart of the village.

0:54:040:54:09

So if we did decide that that was the place for us,

0:54:090:54:13

that would be a real compromise for me.

0:54:130:54:16

Let's talk about the property with the hot tub.

0:54:160:54:19

That is quite an unusual thing to have on your wish-list.

0:54:190:54:22

I must say, I really didn't think you would come up with a property

0:54:220:54:27

that actually had a hot tub, so it had a lot of super features.

0:54:270:54:31

What did you think of it, Jeff?

0:54:310:54:33

It had a beautiful garden but the house was a bit square and angular.

0:54:330:54:37

It didn't have the nooks and crannies and the angles and the beams.

0:54:370:54:40

I just felt it lacked that bit of character.

0:54:400:54:43

Well, from something perhaps lacking in character to the quintessential Dorset cottage.

0:54:430:54:48

Yes. That was absolutely beautiful.

0:54:480:54:51

It was a lovely house.

0:54:510:54:53

Although it was an old property, it had all those extra things like the outbuilding with the gym space.

0:54:530:54:59

Just so much there as well as a beautiful inside,

0:55:000:55:04

which was delightful.

0:55:040:55:06

Absolutely fabulous old oak beams in there, beautiful cottage garden.

0:55:060:55:11

Finally, the mystery house.

0:55:110:55:13

Always designed to throw a curveball into the situation.

0:55:130:55:16

We know you said you wanted size. It was definitely smaller, but it had fabulous views.

0:55:160:55:21

What a dilemma - to have such wonderful views that you

0:55:210:55:24

could just sit there and watch forever.

0:55:240:55:26

You couldn't ask for a better view.

0:55:260:55:29

But the house itself was just a little bit too small for us, I think.

0:55:290:55:33

I think it would really mean a complete change of the way

0:55:330:55:38

we even approach the lifestyle we have got at the moment.

0:55:380:55:41

So it would be a real challenge to even consider that house.

0:55:410:55:46

We just want that extra space and I think certainly one

0:55:460:55:49

of the properties we've seen this week will give us that opportunity.

0:55:490:55:53

Which one of those properties do you think could be it for you?

0:55:530:55:56

The old barn I think was the one that fired my rockets the most.

0:55:560:56:00

What I would like to do is to go back, see how long it takes me

0:56:000:56:04

to walk into Winterbourne Abbas for instance

0:56:040:56:08

and maybe then decide whether I can make that compromise.

0:56:080:56:12

Jeff, how are you going to persuade her?

0:56:120:56:15

We are going for a walk next week.

0:56:150:56:18

Get your hiking boots out because here we go.

0:56:180:56:20

I really hope it all works out well

0:56:200:56:22

and you have finally found your perfect Dorset home.

0:56:220:56:25

-We've really enjoyed the journey with you and I wish you luck.

-Thoroughly enjoyed the time. Thanks.

0:56:250:56:30

What a journey.

0:56:340:56:36

Jeff seems pretty sure where him and Sally are going to end up,

0:56:360:56:39

but I still think that Sally might just pull rank

0:56:390:56:42

and make a different decision.

0:56:420:56:44

I'll see you next time on Escape To The Country.

0:56:440:56:47

But until then, company dismissed.

0:56:470:56:49

If you would like to escape to the country and need our help,

0:56:500:56:53

please apply online at:

0:56:530:56:57

Denise Nurse is in Dorset helping an ex-army couple settle down for good. After having lived in 30 different properties around the world, will their 600,000 pound budget finally find them their ideal home?