Browse content similar to Norfolk. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Today I'm surrounded by some of the largest protected wetland
in Britain, a unique network of lakes and rivers
that makes up almost 200 miles of stunning waterways,
so join me as I navigate my escape to the country.
Today we're helping a couple swap the suburbs for semi-retirement in the country.
Oh, my goodness. This is a dream kitchen, isn't it?
-We've got character homes aplenty.
You are, aren't you?
And today's mystery house has real potential, but will they be up to the challenge?
Today I'm in Norfolk, and this is Wroxham, the gateway to the famous Norfolk Broads.
The interesting thing about these waterways is that they were actually carved out by man.
Back in the Middle Ages, this area was used to dig for peat, which was used for fuel.
400 years of digging later, the sea levels rose and these rivers and lakes were created.
Of course, nowadays, they're much more used for pleasure-boating, and Norfolk attracts a huge amount
of tourists and a rich diversity of wildlife, which does make Norfolk
a priceless jewel in the UK's environmental crown.
Jutting out into the North Sea at the top of East Anglia, Norfolk is
the UK's fourth largest county, but it's also one of the most untouched rural areas in England,
with 96 per cent of the landscape given over to farming.
If a slower pace of life is on the agenda, Norfolk is the place to be.
It doesn't even have a motorway, but what it does have is 90 miles of stunning coastline,
650 pretty villages, miles of marshland,
50 nature reserves and, of course, the beautiful Broads,
a haven for wildlife fanatics, bird-watchers and boaties alike.
But if a life afloat isn't your thing, rest assured there are plenty of homes to be found on dry land.
Norfolk is renowned for its traditional stone and flint cottages, but architecture comes in
all shapes and sizes, from windmills to waterside properties.
Well, if you're looking for some peace and quiet, then Norfolk could be the county for you.
The average age here is 42, which does makes its population the second oldest anywhere in the UK
and it is a top destination for retirement.
Now, fortunately for the prospective pensioners here, the property prices really aren't that high.
The average detached property will set you back about £211,000
and, temptingly, that is 10 per cent below the national average.
So is Norfolk tempting you?
Well, take a look at some of these properties that are on the market right now.
If you've had a windfall and have £2.3 million to spare,
how about this five-bedroomed stone and brick house in Brancaster Staithe?
It's a substantial property with a country kitchen and two large character reception rooms,
but the real stand-out has to be the stunning views out over the marshes to the sea.
For £650,000, you could be horsing around in this four-bedroomed
converted barn with equestrian facilities near King's Lynn.
Completed four years ago, the barn comes with character finishings
and plenty of space with two reception rooms and a bespoke kitchen.
Outside, there are seven acres in all, including paddocks and stable blocks.
But if it's a room with a view you're after,
how about this four-bedroomed Grade-2 listed lighthouse in Hunstanton?
On the market for £395,000, it may need some work to transform it from its current holiday-let status,
but you'd be the proud owner of a unique piece of Norfolk's history.
Well, I hope Norfolk's got your attention,
and if you enjoyed looking at those properties, don't worry, we have plenty more Norfolk gems coming up.
But first, let's meet our buyers.
Today's escapees, Kerry and Denise, have been married for 28 years and,
for 20 of those, have lived in the same house in Southampton.
Now their two daughters have flown the nest, they've decided to follow suit
and have their hearts set on semi-retirement in the country.
We really would like to move to Norfolk.
It obviously gives us that opportunity of moving to a very,
very rural area compared to perhaps the south of England.
It's the Mecca or one of the main bird-watching centres of this country.
Very important to us.
It's a big hobby of ours.
It's close to the Broads as well, and we have an interest in sailing
and we're very interested in taking that up again.
In fact, Kerry and Denise are so desperate to embark on their new life of leisure,
they've already sold their house and are renting a three-bedroomed semi just 100 yards from their old home.
But they have very clear ideas about their countryside escape.
We're looking for a period house, a character house, with a minimum of three bedrooms.
The kind of features that we're looking for are a log-burning stove... we're looking for somewhere
that's got a few beams, but sort of not too many beams to make it dark -
a cottagey kind of feel, I think, aren't we, really?
Well, Norfolk isn't short of cottages, so what criteria will help narrow the property search?
I retired from the police over two years ago now and I started up a gardening and landscaping business.
I've got so much equipment, so I do desperately need some outbuildings at the new house.
I'd love a workshop as well if that was possible.
Although this kitchen is quite spacious with a lot of cupboard space, we would like a kitchen
that's a little bit bigger in our new property in order to entertain family and friends.
But for gardener Kerry, the outside space will be key.
We're in a rental house at the moment, and the garden is pretty small, and we're looking
for a considerably larger garden, particularly so that Denise has somewhere to grow her fruit and veg.
We'd really like an orchard if possible, but we'll have to wait and see.
Being cash buyers, Kerry and Denise are in an excellent position
to move fast, but how much do they want to spend on their dream home?
The final budget for our property, if it ticks all the boxes, would be £415,000.
Aren't they gorgeous?
We've brought them birds, we have the boat, now all we need is the perfect property.
We need to fulfil that wish list for Denise and Kerry because this is an exciting property search.
They have the cash and they're ready to go, and all we need to do is find the right property. And what is that?
Well, it's got to be a period property with lots of history and character.
They want a big kitchen and a large garden.
So...if Lady Luck is smiling down on us,
then maybe they'll have their perfect home by the end of the programme.
Since Kerry and Denise want easy access to both the coast
and the Broads, we'll be focusing today's search in the countryside to the north and east of Norwich.
In today's show, we've lined up three beautiful character homes for them
to view but, as always, I'll be keeping mum on the price tags until they've had a good look round.
And the last of the three, the Mystery House, has tons of potential in more ways than one.
Picked a lovely day to be by the seaside!
-It's a bit chilly!
A little bit chilly, but some people are out there enjoying it.
Lovely Norfolk - great choice for a county, but why have you chosen it?
Because of all the things to do.
It's the bird-watching, the Broads are very appealing and also
somewhere that's a bit quieter, rural, for a change of lifestyle.
-A big change of lifestyle, isn't it?
You retired recently and have now got a gardening business, and this will be retirement for you.
-Yeah, we want to keep ourselves busy,
and that's the reason, if we're going to buy a country cottage, or property should I say,
we want to live here because there is so much more to do than perhaps some of the other rural areas.
And you've got a pretty decent budget. Let's talk money.
£415,000 for the house, but we can go up to 450 if there's an extra.
Yeah, if there is perhaps an annexe, the possibility of a small bed and breakfast facility, it would
give us an income, so that would help us in our semi-retirement.
The best thing about this property search, though, is that you're cash buyers. Brilliant.
Sold your property a while ago, been in rented accommodation for
-nine months - you must be dying to buy a property.
Well, let's not wait any longer. Let's just get on with it. Let's go.
So we have two budgets to work with today - £415,000 for just a house
or up to £450,000 if there's income potential.
Not up for negotiation is the kind of property they want -
Plus some storage and a workshop for Kerry.
For our first property, we're heading to Melton Constable.
At just eight miles from the north coast
and 18 miles to the beginning of the Broads, it's a great location,
and its rural setting should be spot on too.
But it hasn't always been this way.
In the 1880s, Melton Constable was the hub of the Norfolk railway network,
and the village was built to accommodate the workers.
The railway is long gone, and today the village has slipped back into sleepiness,
with a population of just 500 people.
Our property is situated just a few minutes away
on the estate of Burgh Parva Hall, the smallest hamlet in Norfolk.
This is the property I want to show you.
It dates back to the 18th century, start of the 18th century.
I think, once you see inside it, there aren't many changes you'd want to make.
-Shall we go and find out?
This Grade II listed period house was in fact the dairy to the manor.
Converted in the 1980s, the sympathetic restoration packs a massive character punch.
Come straight through into here...
-..and have a look at this.
You are, aren't you?
There's certainly a lot to take in in this room, isn't there?
An incredible amount, absolutely incredible.
It's so imposing. The fireplace is just amazing.
Isn't it just? It's huge, to start off with.
Then you've got, as you've noticed, the flagstone floor.
-It's a lot to take in.
-Very much so.
I don't think I could take this in quickly at all!
Well, if you think this room has got you, I think the geography of this house is going to take a little
while to take in altogether, and there's so much to see,
so let's have a look around all these rooms, get your take on it.
-What do you think?
-It...it follows on
from the last room. It's got some incredible features.
-That wall, the brick wall with the wood, is just phenomenal. And the beams.
-It's just unique.
It reeks of historical content.
Well, you did put down character on your wish list and we've gone for it!
It has it in abundance, and more, actually.
Well, even the layout of this house is characterful.
There are five split levels.
On the first landing, there's a double bedroom and family bathroom,
and a quirky little room currently being used as a study.
So we've actually only come up half a flight of stairs. We're up a little hill, really.
It's a useful addition, yeah. I'd make it into a potting room possibly.
Mmm, interesting idea.
This house is full of surprises, and I've got another one for you.
I did say this house had a unique layout.
Bit more space down here
into...well, it could be a wine cellar.
-Lots of bottles in here at the moment.
Different types, but I could soon change that,
I'm sure. But, yeah, that is quite spectacular, isn't it?
I think it can only be used as a wine cellar, really, unless you want a hidey-hole somewhere!
-Sounds pretty good to me.
-I tell you what. Why don't you keep the wine out here?
Always good to have a few bottles handy.
And we've got somewhere behind here for you to keep busy.
A lot more space back here.
Well, this looks like the workshop already.
I can just spot the light chink down the side of that door, so obviously that leads outside, so that's ideal.
A good escape route either way.
-Good space for your tools.
Yeah, tools. I mean...
Great. We've found a space for the tools.
Let's find that living room.
To find that somewhere for Kerry and Denise to relax, we have to head up to the first floor proper.
So, on this level,
to our right we've got the mezzanine above the kitchen, which is being
-used as a library, and through here...is the living room.
You can see why they're using this as the living room, can't you?
-Lovely views. This is south-facing, that's east-facing, so a lot of light coming in.
Quite a cosy room, but it could be a bedroom equally, and that's what it was previously.
Oh, I think it lends itself to a...certainly a sitting room.
I like that you're starting to see how you'd use this house, though.
There's a lot here and it really does lend itself to you putting your own mark on it.
And guess what - we're not finished with this house!
-There is yet another level.
Up again, out there.
I think this house is charming the socks off these two,
and I'm very glad they don't have an aversion to stairs!
The final floor of this property, and it is all dedicated to the master bedroom.
Wow, this is some space, isn't it?
That is absolutely... That's fantastic, I think.
Really, really fantastic.
It's got a modern slant on it, it's bright and airy.
And you've got an en-suite behind you which is rather big.
Right. That makes a difference.
So you've got all of it there. But it would be nice to give your guests a nice view as well.
-One of your daughters?
-This is too special.
This is definitely the master room.
Too special for the children!
And this house keeps on giving, as outside there's a separate annexe.
This used to be the game room for hanging up the pheasants after the hunt,
and now it's what we call the annexe. Fourth bedroom...
-Oh, my goodness.
It's not the hugest of rooms, but potential to be used as a self-contained little let because
you've got the bathroom there, obviously sleeping space, and it is all set out to put
a little kitchenette here, so it's all plumbed in.
Oh, right, everything's there.
It's very much self-contained, as you say, so...
-Yeah, it certainly has.
-Surprise. I hadn't got a clue!
-I did say surprise.
I hadn't got a clue what this building was going to be.
So the annexe could work, but what about the all-important outside space?
I know Kerry and Denise want a large garden, and although this one is under a quarter of an acre,
it's so enchanting with a couple of different landscaped areas, I'm hoping it won't disappoint.
Well, here is your garden.
This is, er,
very different but then, probably
in line with the house, it is different. It's very special.
It's sort of that cottage-garden feel.
Obviously, one thing we do want to do is to grow some vegetables and perhaps some herbs. Um, is there...?
Well, just behind that wall is a little kitchen garden so you can grow your vegetables there,
-and there's even a shed.
-That's ideal, isn't it?
And for bird-lovers, a garden like this really does attract a lot of bird life.
-Actually, if you turn around, you get a better view of that beautiful Dutch, crow-stepped gable.
Stunning feature, interesting house.
Could be yours, but for how much?
It's your turn.
I would probably go a bit more.
-465? A bit higher, a lot higher, over your budget.
Hmm, you are surprisingly good at this. It's on the market at £435,000.
-But what do you think?
With a bit of negotiation, it would be possible, I suspect.
And I think with the annexe as well, the potential there, I think that's worth considering.
-It has been on the market for a year, so there's certainly room for manoeuvre, and
interesting that you're thinking about that annexe.
So maybe you need to have a wander round and think a bit more about that,
and then tell me what you've come up with.
-All right? Have a go.
A lot to take in in, isn't there? I think they're
going to take a bit more time before they can really assess whether this could be a property for them.
At £435,000, the old dairy is £15,000 under their top budget,
and the annexe could earn around £6,000 per year
if they let it out for the national average of 22 weeks.
The house itself comes complete with cosy character dimensions but plenty of space.
It's a very unique home, though, so will they be able to see themselves living here?
When I first walked in, I was totally overwhelmed and speechless.
It's so different from anything that I've seen before.
Now I've had a bit of time, with a bit of work and a bit of...
personalisation, I think it could actually work.
Hello! Kerry, Denise, have you got lost?
-I know it's huge.
Bit of a labyrinth, isn't it?
-But time to come away from houses, because one of the reasons
you're coming to this part of the country is to be near the water.
-I think it's about time we found you a boat.
As keen sailors, Kerry and Denise have owned boats in the past, but once they make the move
to Norfolk will definitely want a permanent mooring on the Broads.
So I'm introducing them to yacht-broker Chris Cooper
to see if there's anything that might tempt them.
You've got an amazing array of boats here. Can we take a look?
-Yeah, come and see what we've got.
-This is sexy.
It's a little bit big for me.
-What is it?
-This is a sports cruiser with an open-cockpit style, really stylish boat to use on the river.
Very stylish, isn't it?
Mmm. The sort of boat you'd be into?
Perhaps a little bit too big for us, yeah. We're looking for something a bit more modest.
Ah. It doesn't look very traditional to me, not what I'd imagine cruising up and down the Broads in.
It's quite a modern style of boat.
Over here we've got some more traditional boats.
Right, let's have a look at this one, then. What makes this more of a classic Norfolk Broads boat?
Well, it's all on one level, about five berth in accommodation, go everywhere on the Broads.
It's a very practical boat for the river.
But what sort of costs for keeping that, mooring that?
Mooring's likely to cost you about £1,000 a year.
-Is it easy to get a mooring?
-Yeah, not a problem at all.
-Well, is this one for you?
-Don't think so.
-It looks like finding the right boat can be as problematic
as finding the perfect house.
So something for the guys, then, Chris?
Yeah, absolutely. This is a little CF21 with a little inboard diesel engine, probably more your style.
-That's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of, yeah.
-Can we take this for a spin, then?
-Yeah, sure. We can take you out, but we better put you in some life jackets.
If they decide they like it, this boat will set Denise and Kerry back £11,000.
On top of that, they'd have to stump up the annual Broads toll which, for a vessel of this size,
would be approximately £120, and register their boat with the Broads Authority.
What a fantastic sound, that engine. That one piston.
Magic, yeah. Gotta get out there quickly.
With 125 miles of inland waterways, getting afloat really is the best way
to take in the Broads' full beauty,
and with nearly two million visitors setting sail each year, there's only
one speed you can go here - very, very slowly.
Six miles per hour is in fact the max.
This has got to be the life, hasn't it?
It seems pretty good to me.
I feel really comfortable here.
And it just makes me think it's something to do.
With semi-retirement, there's got to be always something to do and this has got to be a major part of that.
What a combination.
Kerry and Denise can indulge both of their hobbies at the same time -
boating and bird-watching - and it certainly seems to have Kerry sold.
As the sun sets over the Norfolk countryside, day one of our property search is at an end.
Kerry and Denise are looking so semi-retire in north-east Norfolk
so they can indulge in their hobbies of bird-watching and sailing.
They want a character house close to the Broads and coast,
but can't decide whether it's just a home or a business too.
So far, they have viewed one property, but there's plenty more to come.
This is the ideal house for us. It's just beautiful.
And today's Mystery House is definitely the business, but will they want to put the work in?
Yeah, it needs some cosmetic surgery, I think.
It's the start of day two. The sun has come out, yet
I am none the wiser as to exactly what Kerry and Denise are looking for.
I think it's time to explore just how serious they are about running a business...
because both of today's properties have income potential.
For our first offering of the day, we're heading to the Broads village of Coltishall.
Located on the banks of the River Bure for 250 years,
Coltishall was the centre of the malting industry and shipbuilding yards.
Today, the only river trade is pleasure-boating
and the village marks the start of the navigable portion of the river.
The moorings are home to a pub and some enviable waterside properties,
but we're heading to the heart of the residential part of the village, a mile up the road.
The property I want to show you is on this road, so it's not
quite a quiet rural location but the house really does make up for it,
and here it is.
-It's a very large property.
Isn't it just?
It's a very pretty, stunning house.
-Come in. Let's go through and have a better look at it.
It is. I love the symmetry of the facade.
Yeah, beautiful, classic Georgian property - the symmetry,
the big windows, getting smaller as you go up three storeys.
There's a lot of house in there.
Renovated in 2007, this Grade II listed former school certainly
can't be described as cottagey, so I'm really pleased to see they like this rather stately home.
-In you come.
-Wow, look at this floor.
Isn't it gorgeous? The first thing that greets you. A great hallway.
Yes, it is.
Come on through here because this is the first reception room, currently being used as a dining room.
This is lovely as well.
You're going to love this house.
-I can feel it.
They've also opened up some of the features. Over there is a very big fireplace, not in working order at
-the moment, but you could open up the flues if you wanted to.
Let's go to the living room where the fireplace is working. That way.
Symmetry means you have another lovely room.
Ah, that's better, actually.
I like the smaller size, and perfectly formed.
Lovely cosy room. I love it.
Could you imagine yourselves in it?
I certainly really like the style, really like the style of the house.
There's sort of mixtures of Victorian and Georgian, but that's great.
That's the history of the house and it's interesting.
Well, I think Denise's smile says it all, but she's also been hankering
after a big kitchen-diner and at the end of the hall is just the thing.
Oh, my goodness! This is a dream kitchen, isn't it?
Spacious, room to eat, lovely.
I've just noticed the sink too!
A huge butler sink. It's a kind of interesting mix, isn't it?
We've got this sort of modern kitchen but they've kept some period features in it.
They've included a larder to allow them space not to have cupboards all
round the wall, and it makes it so much lighter and more open.
-They've done a good job.
-An excellent job, and something you could move right into, fit your lifestyle in?
-Or change your lifestyle, really!
-It would be a change. That's good.
Now let's look at the other levels cos I think we've done well on the
ground floor, but this property just keeps on going up, so after you.
I'd say that's a definite thumbs-up for the downstairs,
but we have a lot of ground to cover with three floors.
On the first floor are three bedrooms - two doubles, one of which
is used as a study - a modern family bathroom and a huge master bedroom.
Gosh, this is big.
This is such a good-sized room! Delightful.
And very light as well with the double windows there. Again, superb.
Space for a huge bed which we need!
And through there, it's currently a walk-in wardrobe which goes right the way along the length
of this room but it's all plumbed up, ready to be a bathroom if you wanted to turn it into an en-suite.
So if it was just cut off here, would this be a perfect house?
The actual house itself, yes.
This is the ideal house for us. It's just beautiful and we've always wanted a house like this.
That's the answer I was looking for, because upstairs are more bedrooms which could
be used for B&B accommodation if Kerry and Denise decide that's the route they want to go down.
Now, up here we're of course in the area which used to be the dormitory, and the current owners have now
turned it into a bedroom, bathroom and another bedroom over here, so let's go through to this one.
My thoughts are that you've got two good-sized rooms.
They're pretty much the same on either side.
That is larger than expected.
-You're right. This would make a good B&B, wouldn't it?
-Is it something you would consider?
Yeah, it could be done and it is in a good location for that and being close to the road is not a negative.
-Actually a benefit.
-It's a benefit in that respect, as long as you've got the parking at the rear.
Have you got the appetite for it, Denise?
Oh, I think so, yes, yes.
I need to have something to do.
So what we need now, then, is a decent garden.
-That would be good.
-Let's find it.
The indoor space is obviously working for them but, at one-sixth
of an acre, the garden isn't huge which I know could be a problem.
Fingers crossed they'll keep an open mind.
Kerry, for you, over here we've got these outbuildings which are really...
I think they were toilets, but I think you could turn those into a workshop.
I suppose they were outside toilets once upon a time.
Yeah, once upon a time. And then up here, you've got this...well, a bit of a blank canvas, really.
It's a lawn, you've got a little shed, but is it enough space, even if you were thinking about the B&B?
I think it's a balance, isn't it?
If we're going to be busy in a B&B, you're not going to have as much time to play in the garden, so...yeah.
Yeah, I think...I think, you know, that you could make it work.
I think it's time to talk money.
It's a very big property. I would've thought sort of 545.
I'm not sure, really.
It is a large property. 555?
-Well, I think you're going to be delighted, then, because it's on the market at £450,000.
-Oh, my gosh.
450? It's a lot of house for 450,000.
A lot of house, it's a great location and you can afford it.
Yeah. So that puts the pressure on.
-Yeah, it does.
-It certainly does.
-Very much, yes. That is quite a shock, actually.
It's a lot of house for that money.
-Hmm... I think that's now going to give you a lot to think about.
Wander round, think about that B&B, what you might do, and I will find you a bit later on
and see what conclusion you've come to.
Well, we caught Kerry out that time, didn't we?
That was 100 grand over. Would we do something like that?
The point is they can afford this and this could really change their lives.
With an asking price of £450,000, this comes in bang on the
house-with-a-business budget, and it's a lot of property to the pound.
This is definitely our style of living - the openness of the
kitchen, the ability to sit here with friends whilst you're cooking.
I think we would have a little bit of a concern
that we might rattle round but, if we were to live here, then I think we would make a go of it.
I know you've always dreamed about living in a house like this.
Yeah, it's the proportions and I love the tall...the
high ceilings and the whole feeling of a house like this, and I always thought this would be the sort of
family house that I would've liked, and I've just got that dilemma now whether it's...now we're not
with the family, whether or not there is that need.
-Ah, you caught me!
You were so long rambling around that house that I was enjoying the sunshine.
There was a lot to see, and there's more, so let's keep moving. I'll wake myself up.
Well, it's Mystery House time and everything has been a surprise to
Kerry and Denise so far, so what have we got in store for them?
Well, it's not a chapel and it's not a windmill, but it is a challenge.
All will be revealed soon as the Mystery House isn't far away.
It's on the outskirts of the historic market town of Aylsham, just ten miles from the coast
and the Broads, so it should be ideal for Kerry and Denise.
Although Saxon in origin, it was lord of the manor John of Gaunt
that put Aylsham firmly on the map as a commercial centre in the 1300s.
Fast-forward to the 21st century and there's nothing homogenous about Aylsham's high streets as, in 2004,
the residents joined an alliance of British towns, pledging to turn their noses up at branded retailers.
This olde-world charm combined with a great location makes it hugely attractive to both home-buyers and
tourists, the latter being a vital ingredient for our final property.
All right, Mystery House, and that means it's time to
-challenge you two, really push the boundaries and see how serious you are about running a business.
-But before we get there, let's talk about the house...because this is it.
-It's a very large cottage!
A large cottage. It actually dates back to pre-Tudor times. There's a timber frame under there.
-Mmm, and of course, as well as the gorgeous house, this is
a Mystery House for a reason, and this property is all about
the business, which is over here - three lovely little holiday lets or cottages, all set up.
It's a going concern with goodwill and an annual income of around about £24,000-£26,000...
-That's very good.
-..which is a decent business.
Most importantly, it's separate from the property, so you've got your property here, the business
on the side, and you don't have to take them both, so that's something to bear in mind when we're going in.
-You could just take the house, you could take the house and the property,
or there's a third way, because the owners are very flexible.
You could rent this business.
-I'm itching to go inside to see what it's like.
-Well, that's good.
-That's the right attitude and I think it'll help we go and have a look at one of the rooms.
This is very much a house of two halves, but we're going to start off with the business.
This is an example of one of the rooms.
In fact they're family rooms, so you can see double bed,
space for the children, all kitted out with the en-suite.
Good to go. Double occupancy, they're going at £60 a night at the moment, single £38.
Pricing's done, the business is there, you can just get up and run.
Excellent, yeah. Well, that's a good size.
There's also an en-suite twin room and en-suite double, and both are charged at £60 per night.
Well, Kerry and Denise don't seem terrified by the proposition
so let's continue with the B&B's catering facilities.
-So this is the breakfast room to go with your lovely holiday lets.
-That's very spacious, isn't it?
It's nice having the individual tables as well.
It's perfectly done, isn't it?
-All set out. Is this something you've even considered, like taking on an up-and-running business?
-No, it's not. No, not at all.
We thought we'd set one up ourselves, you know, just a small B&B, but this is quite extensive, really, isn't it?
Well, we do like to up the stakes with the Mystery House.
Let's see if the rest will give them food for thought.
-a nice cosy country kitchen.
-This is a good-size working kitchen. Oh, my gosh!
-That's cracking, isn't it?
-You could cook a few fried eggs on there, couldn't you?
-Adequate but, er...?
-Yeah, I suppose it depends which use...
If it's just for the house, absolutely fine.
You could put a table in there but you might not have that if
you're going to use it for a working kitchen for the bed-and-breakfast.
You might want it uncluttered.
-You might want another option?
Come this way.
Well, there's a lot more, another kitchen in fact, and even better, if
Kerry and Denise decide they don't want the business, both kitchens are included in the sale of the house,
and there's planning permission already in place to combine the two.
And here we are.
That's a surprise.
That is a surprise. This is a lot more modern, isn't it?
A bit more of a country-style kitchen.
Yes, I could see myself working in here, making bread and jam and whatever.
I like the sound of that. That's good. Let's keep exploring.
The rest of the house isn't as modern, so it could do with a bit of TLC.
On this level, there's a family bathroom, and a good-sized office,
which Kerry and Denise could use however they please.
So what do you think of the living room?
-It's a big room.
Oh, my word. This is the first time we've rendered Kerry speechless.
I got an "mmm". Mmm.
Yeah, it needs some cosmetic surgery, I think.
Taking away the cosmetics, this is a good-sized room and it retains some of that history.
Once you take away the panelling, you've got a fireplace there, which is a feature that you wanted.
That's actually not bad.
This could be a great venture if they could just get past the decor.
Hopefully they'll be able to appreciate the possibilities upstairs.
This is one of the bedrooms but I think it starts to show off the
-potential of this house in terms of room size.
-Massive, isn't it?
-It is, huge.
And...you really get to start to appreciate the views from up here.
You get a feel of the age of it as well with the floor sort of sloping down.
-Shall we keep going?
-This house isn't lacking in character or space.
There are two further double bedrooms
and the upstairs bathroom.
But in here is what's currently being used as the master bedroom.
Probably the lightest room.
-Yes, it is.
-Yes, it's good with the double aspect.
And it's more in proportion for a bedroom size, I think.
So, as a master, do you think actually this is what you would
keep as the master if you were living here?
Or would try and do something with that big room?
Truthfully, the building's quite confusing
and there's no way I could even sort of work that out at the moment.
You'd have to sit down and really think about it.
-I tell you something I think you're going to love about this house.
The outside. The garden. Let's go and have a look.
I know Kerry's been hankering after a huge garden and, with
around two acres, I think this one might come up smelling of roses.
-I love the walled area.
-Yes, I think that's lovely.
It contains it for me quite nicely, and I
can see this area being a veg patch, and the rest of the garden being...
I could see more coming on.
This isn't it, is it?
Come on! Well, there's no pulling the wool over Kerry's eyes.
Yes, there's a whole other garden.
You were right. There's so much more back here.
Oh, that's a good area, well screened off by some really mature shrubs and trees.
And what a house it is.
It is quite a big structure, isn't it?
It looks even bigger from out here than perhaps from inside. It's pretty impressive.
So...money, finally. There's a lot to consider here.
I want you to give me a price for all of it, but I'll give you a clue.
The business will set you back 100 grand, just about. What do you think this one's worth?
535, with the business.
-I would say 495.
-Da-da-da da-da-da da, tchoo!
-Yes! One for Denise.
-You're absolutely right. That is the price, 495, all included.
So, yes, it goes over your budget, but it has been on the market for about a year,
and there's a lot that needs doing,
and you don't have to have the business. If you don't have that,
it's just under £400,000 for the house.
OK, go and have a little wander round on your own
without me following you, and have a think about it.
-All right, see you in a bit.
Well, I'm not sure if our Mystery House has overwhelmed or underwhelmed.
As a house and business, it is over budget at £495,000.
The farmhouse does need some work but will it be a project that Kerry and Denise want to take on,
with or without the business?
My fear is that, yeah, we could run the business but, actually,
is that what we set out to do?
Did we set out to take on a business that's probably going to end up running us?
The inside of the house I felt needed an awful lot of work doing
and I'm not sure, with perhaps the business and the garden, we're up to it.
It's just too big a project, not only in looking after the
bed and breakfast, but also in getting the house up together and the garden up together.
-So much to think about, huh?
Let's go find somewhere for you to sit down, have a cup of tea or something and mull it all over.
Big discussions going on over there.
It is decision time.
We have given them a lot of surprises on this journey, but now
it's time to find out if there's yet another twist in this Norfolk tale.
There were some quite serious discussions going on with you two.
The quirky manor house - that was an impressive building, wasn't it?
Very. Very. Very awe-inspiring.
Slightly overwhelming for us.
The more we were there, the more you got used to it, but then we got into the cellar, into the basement.
That was really exciting and the tool room. Yes, we really liked that.
You liked the tool room? I think what you liked the most was the garden.
-We probably did, yes.
-It was stunning.
So let's talk about the Georgian house and how you felt about that.
-That was our kind of living.
-Plenty of scope up on the second floor for
perhaps a B&B or there might be some issues, but it's probably workable.
Workable enough for you to want to do it?
That's another question.
But the Mystery House really pushed the boat on the "running the business" idea, didn't it?
It was a beautiful property from the outside and the garden was extensive.
It was going to be a business, full stop, and was going
to actually overtake our lifestyle, so we would say no to that.
It's certainly narrowed our field down into what we now know we want,
and that's a little cottage, quite a big garden.
That, for me, has been a real learning curve.
I think it's just confirmed our idea of what we both, I think, want.
So that said, given what we've shown you, anything that
potentially sparks your interest, you might go back and see?
I think the most interesting house
-was the manor house.
-The one with the stairs!
And I think we probably need to go and look at the local area and see what it offers.
It was certainly a very interesting house.
It's been a great experience with you, and I've enjoyed being on the learning curve.
It's been a bit of a learning roller-coaster at times!
And let us know how you get on, and hopefully it's not too long before you make that move. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
-It's been great.
It's been a real adventure navigating our way through
the property market in Norfolk with Kerry and Denise.
A shame, yes, that we didn't find them their dream home, but I have
a feeling they are a step closer to making their escape to the country.
I'll see you next time.
If you'd like to escape to the country and would like our help, please apply online at...
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Denise Nurse helps a couple swap the suburbs of Southampton for semi-retirement in North Norfolk. With a top budget of £450,000, they want a period property with lots of character and a minimum of three bedrooms. A spacious kitchen and a big garden are a must, plus some storage and a workshop.