Norfolk Escape to the Country


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Norfolk

Property series. Nicki Chapman is in Norfolk helping an animal-loving couple to find their perfect pad in the country. They have a budget of 350,000 pounds.


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Believe it or not, I'm standing quite literally on the edge of nowhere.

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Intrigued? Find out more in a moment when we escape to the country.

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This week, I'll be helping an animal-loving couple find a perfect pad in the country,

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and our search for that fantasy island seems never-ending.

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-There's room for an island.

-You could fit an island in there perfectly.

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You could fit a continent in here, young lady.

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But will they land more than they bargained for with the mystery house?

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This week, we're in Norfolk, and this area of marshland used to be, according to the 19th century

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directories, known as Nowhere, where for hundreds of years, local residents would come to pan

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not for gold but for salt, which they used to preserve their food.

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However, in 1862, Nowhere was formally incorporated into

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the local parish of Acle, and now no longer appears on the map.

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Norfolk, in East Anglia, is the fifth largest county in England,

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looking out over the North Sea.

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Its landscape may be flat,

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but it's no less beautiful for that, with 100 miles of sweeping coastline

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offering up stunning white sandy beaches and quiet seaside towns.

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And from these shores emerged one of Britain's most famous seafarers -

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Admiral Lord Nelson, who was born and schooled here.

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But he wasn't the only water lover.

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Two million visitors a year flock to the Norfolk Broads, the UK's largest

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protected wetland, to soak up its wildlife and expansive views

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from the comfort of their pleasure boats.

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On firmer ground, Norfolk is home to a host of historic buildings,

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from its 650 medieval churches

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to its royal residence, the spectacular Sandringham Estate.

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And there are plenty of rural hideaways to tempt any escapee,

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from the traditional flint cottages to detached period homes.

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From Rule Britannia to Cool Britannia, Norfolk is on the up.

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Despite being the butt of many comedians' jokes over the years, the county is on a new

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charm offensive, championing itself not only as a great holiday location

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but as a world class business destination too.

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And there are some first-rate properties to be found in the county.

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Here are a few currently on the market.

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For a cool £1 million, this Grade-II listed,

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six-bedroom manor house in Lingwood

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still has period features stretching back to the 1600s

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in its magnificent reception rooms.

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The more modern garden room is very much in keeping

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and has delightful sunny views over the lawns outside.

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£525,000 would land you

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this four-bedroom barn conversion near Bungay.

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With walls replaced by full-length windows,

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the property makes the most of natural light.

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The kitchen-diner is a hub for entertaining, and there's

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an alfresco option with the patio, which all the rooms lead out to.

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And for just shy of £300,000, this quirky 1950s three-bedroom cottage

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in Barton Turf features a modernised kitchen

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and comfortable dining in the recently added conservatory,

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which overlooks the private rear garden.

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We've searched high and low to find the very best properties here in Norfolk.

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All that's missing is this week's house hunters.

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Let me introduce you to Carol and Philip.

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Philip, who's a fireman, and Carol have lived in their three-bedroom

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semi-detached house in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, for nine years.

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Phil works in London, but will be retiring in a couple of years, so they've decided that now is the time

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to put down some roots in rural Norfolk, and it doesn't sound like they're going to be lonely.

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We like adopting animals that need looking after, and we think we'll

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be able to do that better if we move to a larger property, bigger garden,

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and we can then sort of adopt as many animals as we want to and look after them and give them a good home.

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Another good reason is that Norfolk is only a couple of hours away,

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and we have three children, we have two grandchildren and we still want to be part of their lives.

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So far, Carol and Phil have not been prepared to compromise.

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This is probably going to be our final move and we want to make sure that the property that we get

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is perfect, so we have a quite demanding wish list for you to look at.

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That sounds ominous. So, what kind of property are they looking for?

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It must be detached, it must be in a rural location.

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Three or four bedrooms, with a good sized lounge, a good sized kitchen

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-and a nice big garden.

-And there are some other important considerations.

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I'd really love a big kitchen, with a big range cooker and a big island

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in the centre, so that we can cook together and entertain together.

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Moving to Norfolk would mean a complete lifestyle change for Carol and I.

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Within the next two years, I'll be retiring, I'll have a lot more time on my hands for interesting

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activities such as boating, horse riding, long walks with the dogs and hopefully trips to the seaside.

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I'm a great animal lover and I'd love to adopt more dogs and cats,

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but also, I'm worried about

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the plight of the battery hens

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that need adopting at the moment,

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and one of my passions would be to get some from a battery farm

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and give them a good home

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for the rest of their lives.

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Are there any special features they're after?

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A unique feature I think that I'd like in the new property would be an inglenook fireplace.

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I think it would be lovely curling up on a winter's evening in front of a wood burner. Wouldn't it?

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Very nice. We've seen a couple of barn conversions on our travels,

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and I particularly like the character of those properties, with the vaulted ceilings and the beams.

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And we may have another resident to consider if Carol gets her way.

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I'm quite keen on adopting a donkey as well, but I've got to convince Phil of this.

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Yeah, I'm very keen to adopt a donkey as well,

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but if I let you have a free rein,

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we'd have London Zoo down here, so I do have to rein you in a little bit.

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Carol and Phil already have their house on the market for just shy of £350,000.

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So, with that in mind, what's the budget for their new house in Norfolk?

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Our budget for our move is £350,000.

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We're after a period detached property with a good-sized kitchen and open fireplaces.

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Outside, we need enough land for Carol to adopt a whole menagerie of animals in need of some TLC.

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But I think a paddock for the donkeys may be pushing it.

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Although Norfolk is affordable, finding a detached country property

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with land and on their budget, well, it's a big ask.

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The couple want to be close enough

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to London for Phil to commute

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to work and for Carol to continue

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looking after their grandchildren.

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So with transport links in mind,

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our house search will radiate out

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from Norwich, from where

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countryside is just a short drive away.

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In today's show, we've lined up three fantastic properties which I hope fit the bill,

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but I won't be revealing the price of each until they've had a guess first.

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As always, I'll be serving up a mystery property

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to challenge everything they thought they wanted.

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-Hi, guys. Welcome to Norfolk.

-Thank you.

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So, your house is on the market in Potters Bar.

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-How is that progressing?

-Yeah, slow but sure.

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We've had a couple of second viewings, so that's all good.

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So we'll be keeping our fingers crossed on that front.

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-Absolutely.

-Now, budgets. Remind me what your budget is.

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The budget is £350,000.

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And is there any flexibility on that at all?

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There's a little flexibility upwards, yeah, we could possibly go to 375.

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I know, Carol, you don't want to be too far away from your grandchildren. Two hours max?

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And, Phil, you still need to commute into London for a few more years.

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-I would do, yes.

-So why Norfolk?

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Basically, because it's closer to the family.

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We did look at another couple of places.

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We looked at Cornwall and we looked at the Lake District, but they're really too far away.

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Norfolk is a beautiful county, we've come here quite a lot of times and we love it.

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It's easier to get back to the grandchildren.

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We're very much into nature and conservation and things like that,

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and there's wildlife sanctuaries to go and have a look at, so that's another good reason as well.

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Because it does sound like you're going to have your own sanctuary!

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How many animals do you want to re-home?

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We'll do our best.

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It's up for discussion.

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Discussion and negotiation!

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It is, yes, Carol will have the zoo and I'll have to balance that down a bit.

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I was worried whether we were trying to find you a property, or Noah's Ark.

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We've already got Noah's Ark.

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Is it a new Noah's Ark in Norwich?

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Yes, probably. Obviously, we'll have our rescue animals that we've got at the moment

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and bring those with us, and hopefully taking on a few more.

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Well, we do have some great properties lined up, and of course, the mystery property.

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-Are you ready to get started?

-Yes.

-Very much so. Very excited.

-Let's go.

-Thank you.

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Carol and Phil have set us a budget of £350,000,

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but could stretch to 375,000 for the perfect property.

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And even they admit they've got a demanding wish list,

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which includes a good-sized family living room

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topped off with an inglenook fireplace,

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a large country kitchen,

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three to four bedrooms

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and enough land so they can re-home

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their rescued animals, including space for hens

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and ideally a donkey.

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So, with this big move - and I know you love your horses,

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your ponies, your donkeys -

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but, Phil, you want to take up horse riding?

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Yes, I definitely want to have a go at horse riding, Nicky.

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It's not something that I've done before,

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but it's definitely something I'm looking forward to giving a go at.

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Well, I'm impressed. I horse ride - badly, I have to say -

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but I'm very impressed. You're never too old, you see.

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But it's a long way down when you come off.

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It's a long way down, especially for me, and perhaps you can give me some tips on what to do.

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Hang on tightly! That would be it.

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Hang on and be nice to your horse.

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Our first property takes us eight miles outside Norwich

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to the public village of Coltishall,

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often dubbed the gateway to the Broads.

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Besides its thatched cottage, built using the distinctive knapped flint,

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the village has some traditional shops,

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and there are some eye-catching period properties dotted about.

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So, let's see if the style of our first house

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gets the thumbs-up from our couple.

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-Come on through.

-Thank you.

-Here is your first property.

-Oh, wow!

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It's a barn conversion, and I know a barn conversion was high up on the wish list.

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It was, yes. Very much so, yes.

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So, this barn dates back to the 1850s, only converted about 25 years ago.

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-It's got an awful lot of character.

-It's got a lot of character.

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I like the mixture of the brickwork and the flint.

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-So, are you ready to take a look inside?

-Yes, very much so.

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-Let's start with our first property.

-Thank you.

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Phil and Carol may find they have to compromise on something,

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but let's see what their first reactions are to inside.

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-In we come.

-Oh, look.

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-That's nice.

-Isn't that pretty?

-Very spacious.

-Lovely.

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And you've got a downstairs cloakroom there.

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-Always handy, for guests.

-Yes, always.

-Good for your guests, yeah.

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And, Carol, I know you said you wanted a big kitchen.

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-Try this for size.

-Thank you.

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-Oh, look at that!

-The size of the kitchen is pretty much exactly what we're after, isn't it?

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The butler sink is lovely.

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I've always wanted one of those, so that's lovely as well.

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And the work surfaces are beautiful.

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-Looks really, really nice.

-And if you look, they've actually done the windowsill as well in the granite.

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-Oh, look.

-I know you wanted an island in an ideal world. Well, Phil, what do you think?

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I reckon you could fit one there quite nicely.

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You could fit an island in there perfectly, I think, and it would be very useful for...

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working around that area, but there would be no problem with putting an island in there.

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-Have you seen the range?

-Beautiful, isn't it?

-It's wonderful.

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And you've got the dining area here.

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When you look from the outside. it looks so small, as if nothing

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has been done inside,

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and then you come in and it's like a little TARDIS.

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-I just hope you're not too disappointed on the size of the next room.

-OK.

-OK.

-Follow me.

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That's worrying!

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'Just teasing, Phil.

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'I think they'll both be awestruck when they see the lounge.'

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-How is this for living space?

-Oh... Wow!

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-That's lovely.

-Look at the fireplace.

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-Fireplace is fantastic.

-Isn't it?

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You've got to guess what this was used for during the Second World War.

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Would it have been some kind of...

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hospital type place?

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Nice, but no, actually, not quite as serious as that.

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This was a cinema during the war, and then just after that, they used it for tea dances and barn dances.

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-Oh, my word!

-So this really was the heart of the community here.

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-So it has got huge character, this place, hasn't it?

-Hasn't it just?

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-Let's have a better look down here.

-OK.

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-Oh, look.

-It's a huge space.

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-It's a very big space.

-You've got access to the patio as well.

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Access to the patio for the barbecues.

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Wonderful. When the children come and stay, they're going to need somewhere to sleep.

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-That's right, yeah.

-So let's look at those four bedrooms.

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'It's been a very positive reaction to the quirky but spacious downstairs rooms.

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'So, fingers crossed for upstairs, as we explore the bedrooms.'

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-So, here is the master bedroom.

-Right.

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-A bit smaller than the room we've just come from.

-Yes.

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It's hard not to compare, but you're not going to get those dimensions up here, I'm afraid.

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-You can see the potential that's there.

-Yes.

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And the master en suite is a real bonus,

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with corner bath and separate shower cubicle.

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Just down the landing, there's the family bathroom,

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a small room currently set up as a study,

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and a light, bright double room.

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The two further bedrooms are tucked away on the top floor,

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one a single which would be good for the grandchildren,

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but we'll take a look at the fourth bedroom.

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-This is a big room, isn't it?

-It is a big room, considering it's in the roof, basically.

-Yes.

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-And it's got a good, high ceiling again.

-Yes.

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-But not so much space outside, unfortunately.

-No.

-That might have to be the compromise.

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-But shall we go and take a look at the garden and the patio?

-Love to.

-Definitely have a look, yes.

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'Carol and Philip seem to like the house.

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'There's certainly enough space, and they seem happy to put their own mark on the interior.

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'But the space outside is what we need to tackle now.'

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So, here is the garden. Sort of separated into three areas, you've got your formal garden there,

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patio for entertaining here, and then

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-off-street parking for two cars behind us.

-Yep.

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-Not huge.

-No, not very much land at all for animals.

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You look really disappointed. It's breaking my heart!

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It's a shame, because the house is so beautiful.

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-So, how much do you think this barn would cost you?

-It's quite a difficult one.

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I think it's going to be,

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you're not going to get much change out of 370, I don't think.

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-OK.

-Carol?

-I think it might be a little bit lower, but not a lot.

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You'd actually get £45,000 change from your budget.

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-The asking price is £329,950.

-OK.

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-My word!

-It's certainly something to think about and consider.

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So, why don't you pop back into the barn, have another look around? I'll catch up with you in a minute.

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-Lovely.

-OK, thank you.

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Under budget, at just shy of £330,000,

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this property does have a lot going for it,

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including a large country kitchen/breakfast room,

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an enormous lounge, with that stunning vaulted ceiling,

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character features with the range and the fireplace,

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and four bedrooms, with a master en suite.

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This is a good sized bedroom, isn't it?

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Very good sized bedroom. All the bedrooms are a good size.

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-Yeah, plenty of room for when the kids come down and stay.

-Yes. Plenty of room.

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The garden was a bit small for our requirements,

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but the actual property itself had loads of character.

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This is a great space, isn't it?

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-It is a great space.

-Playing chess, are we?

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-I would offer you a game, but we've got plenty more to see.

-OK.

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Are you ready to keep going?

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-Yes, please.

-Definitely.

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We may or may not be able to find a property with enough land for Phil and Carol to keep donkeys on,

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but I'm taking them to a rescue sanctuary just outside Great Yarmouth,

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which currently cares for over 1,100 horses, ponies and donkeys on its various sites.

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We've come to meet Nicola Jarvis, the senior vet, to find out

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just what it takes to care for these endearing animals.

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Hi, Nicola, great to meet you.

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-Hey, good morning.

-Lots of very friendly faces.

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-Yes, I'm swamped by donkeys on this field.

-You are.

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How many donkeys have you actually got here?

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In the sanctuary as a whole, we've got about 60 donkeys, I think,

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but 30 on this farm that you can see today.

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How much care do they need, then?

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Quite a lot. In fact, we've some in stables today, if you'd like to see them?

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-I'd love to.

-That would be great, wouldn't it?

-Yes, please.

-Let's go and have a look.

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Adopting a pair of donkeys involves a lot of care, cost and land.

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It's advised to set aside an acre and a half for them to roam, plus a couple of thousand pounds

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to cover the vet's bills, insurance and feed.

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-Nicola, who do we have here?

-This is Tufty,

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our adoption donkey, and we also have Charity, his friend.

0:18:370:18:41

He doesn't look that young.

0:18:410:18:43

Not wishing to be rude! He's not a spring chicken, is he, our Tufty?

0:18:430:18:47

I don't think he'll take offence, but you're quite right, he's no spring chicken.

0:18:470:18:51

He's about 26 years old.

0:18:510:18:53

-What age can they live to?

-Well, the donkeys

0:18:530:18:57

I've come across, probably the oldest one I've met was about 50 years old.

0:18:570:19:00

-50? Did you hear that, Phil?

-50 years old, that's a long time

0:19:000:19:04

-to be looking after a donkey.

-You've got to think of that, yep.

0:19:040:19:06

If you're going to keep a donkey, could you just have one?

0:19:060:19:10

It's always recommended to have more than one.

0:19:100:19:13

Ideally, they're kept in pairs.

0:19:130:19:15

They tend to pine, not eat properly and lose condition if they're on their own.

0:19:150:19:20

But it hasn't got to be another donkey.

0:19:200:19:22

Sometimes, you can get them to pair up with, say, a small pony.

0:19:220:19:25

It's hard not to fall in love with these adorable animals.

0:19:250:19:29

But it'll be a real commitment for our couple, and a challenge for our

0:19:290:19:34

house hunt to find the perfect house with enough land.

0:19:340:19:38

So, as the sun sets over the Norfolk countryside,

0:19:400:19:43

our first day of property hunting comes to an end.

0:19:430:19:46

Fireman Phil and animal-loving Carol want to seek out a dream home in Norfolk.

0:19:500:19:55

Armed with £350,000, the couple are looking for a large house with land

0:19:550:20:01

which allows them to adopt rescue animals.

0:20:010:20:04

So far, they've seen just one property, but coming up,

0:20:040:20:07

Phil and Carol are smitten...

0:20:070:20:10

Yeah, I can see us here, no problem.

0:20:100:20:12

-Definitely.

-Definitely, she says! Definitely!

0:20:120:20:15

..but there's more to the lay of the land than they think with our mystery house.

0:20:150:20:20

Yesterday taught us that not only does the house need to be right for Carol and Philip, but the land

0:20:220:20:27

surrounding the property has got to be right for their animals too.

0:20:270:20:31

It's the beginning of a new day. Let's see what it brings.

0:20:310:20:34

Next, we're heading to the village of Garvestone,

0:20:380:20:41

some 20 miles from Norwich,

0:20:410:20:42

in the heart of rural Norfolk.

0:20:420:20:44

Besides walking opportunities in the surrounding countryside and the local knapped flint church,

0:20:440:20:49

there's a scattering of rustic properties, and I've got high hopes for our next house.

0:20:490:20:54

-Oh, look!

-So here we are, it's a new day, it's a new property, and here she is.

0:20:560:21:03

-She's beautiful.

-It's lovely.

0:21:030:21:05

-It's really nice.

-The land and the lovely, mature trees.

0:21:050:21:09

-I know you wanted mature shrubs and trees.

-Oh, yes.

0:21:090:21:12

-That's a mature garden all right.

-Definitely. Lovely pond there.

0:21:120:21:17

-There's nothing there that really needs changing at all, I don't think, on first glance.

-No.

0:21:170:21:21

First glances are always good.

0:21:210:21:23

-So let's take a step inside.

-Yes, please.

-Fantastic.

0:21:230:21:26

It looks like a great first impression, and there's the bonus of a double garage and carport.

0:21:280:21:34

Let's take a look inside.

0:21:340:21:36

-Come on into the cottage.

-OK.

-Oh, look at this...

0:21:360:21:40

-Look at that fireplace!

-That's what you call a fireplace, isn't it?

0:21:400:21:44

-Isn't that beautiful?

-You've spotted the inglenook straightaway.

0:21:440:21:47

-I love it!

-It looks like there will be a clearance.

0:21:470:21:50

-As long as I don't grow any more, we'll be all right.

-That's jolly good news!

0:21:500:21:54

Don't want you bumping your head as you walk through the door.

0:21:540:21:56

You've got a large downstairs bathroom and you've got a toilet,

0:21:560:22:00

so two toilets downstairs. You've got a utility room,

0:22:000:22:03

and leading off the utility room is a large study.

0:22:030:22:07

Let me show you what the reception room is like.

0:22:070:22:09

-I don't think you're going to be too upset when you see this.

-OK.

-OK.

0:22:090:22:13

Another fireplace, look!

0:22:170:22:20

Nice sized room. Really nice sized room.

0:22:200:22:23

And you do have your wood burner, as you noticed.

0:22:230:22:25

Yes, that's lovely, isn't it? That's beautiful.

0:22:250:22:27

I can imagine sitting there in front of that of a night time.

0:22:270:22:32

Yeah, I can see us here, no problem.

0:22:320:22:35

-Definitely.

-Definitely, she says! Definitely!

0:22:350:22:37

Access to your garden.

0:22:370:22:39

Yeah, and we've got it all.

0:22:390:22:41

Very pleasing. We have got it all.

0:22:410:22:43

-We'll carry on and see what you think of the next room.

-Lovely.

0:22:430:22:47

'It's all smiles so far. Fingers crossed that continues,

0:22:470:22:51

'as we see what's cooking in the kitchen.'

0:22:510:22:53

-Oh, my word!

-You wanted a big kitchen.

-Yeah.

-Yes.

0:22:530:23:00

This has to be one of the biggest kitchens I think I've ever seen.

0:23:000:23:03

OK. It's not too shabby, is it, dear?

0:23:030:23:08

Are you all right?

0:23:080:23:09

It's just beautiful.

0:23:110:23:13

Look at the cooker. Have you seen the cooker?

0:23:130:23:15

-The wood.

-It's a bit of a journey for you, isn't it?

0:23:150:23:19

It's really good, isn't it? It's wonderful.

0:23:190:23:21

This is just about, it's a wonderful size you see initially when, OK, we're going

0:23:210:23:25

to see a cottage, you think small rooms, and then what we've just walked through and then into this,

0:23:250:23:31

is quite surprising. It's really surprising.

0:23:310:23:34

-It's really taken my breath away.

-Nothing I can say against it.

0:23:340:23:37

And I don't care about the island!

0:23:370:23:39

You could fit a continent in here, young lady!

0:23:390:23:44

There's a sort of an island there.

0:23:440:23:46

I can live with that, don't worry! It's beautiful.

0:23:460:23:49

-And through that door, you have a conservatory.

-OK.

0:23:490:23:53

-As well?

-We like conservatories.

0:23:530:23:56

You two have got a lot to explore with this property!

0:23:560:23:59

-I'll let you have a good look around.

-Just a bit.

0:23:590:24:01

-And I can gather my thoughts.

-Yes.

0:24:010:24:03

I need to gather my thoughts!

0:24:030:24:05

I'm glad it's impressed you.

0:24:050:24:08

Thanks ever so much, Nicky, it's lovely, thank you.

0:24:080:24:11

-I've got to get upstairs right, though, haven't I?

-That's the thing, yeah.

0:24:110:24:14

-Shall we head up those stairs?

-Yes, please.

-Let's have a look.

0:24:140:24:17

'This house is definitely working its magic.

0:24:170:24:21

'The all-important kitchen has totally overwhelmed Carol.

0:24:210:24:25

'While she catches her breath,

0:24:250:24:26

'we'll retrace our steps into the reception hall

0:24:260:24:28

'and head upstairs to look at the first of the three bedrooms.'

0:24:280:24:32

So, come on through into the bedroom.

0:24:320:24:35

Right.

0:24:350:24:36

-As you can see, it's much more of a cottage up here.

-Sure, sure.

0:24:360:24:41

Yeah, a little bit smaller. A nice ceiling height, having said that.

0:24:410:24:45

There's no problem with the ceiling height.

0:24:450:24:47

Like the window as well, looking outside.

0:24:470:24:49

And it's light, though.

0:24:490:24:51

Cottages can be dark, but it's not that at all.

0:24:510:24:55

'The other two bedrooms include one that's set up as a study,

0:24:550:24:59

'but I'm saving the best till last.'

0:24:590:25:01

I've been a little bit crafty.

0:25:010:25:03

Oh, you have been crafty, haven't you? Look at the size of this.

0:25:030:25:08

-I never expected anything this size.

-Not from a cottage, no.

0:25:080:25:12

Is this more like it?

0:25:120:25:13

-This, definitely.

-On our wish list, we're doing quite well, aren't we?

0:25:130:25:17

-There was something that you would like.

-Mmm.

0:25:170:25:21

That was a bedroom with an en suite.

0:25:210:25:24

That's right, yes.

0:25:240:25:26

-Thank goodness I can say yes to that!

-OK.

0:25:260:25:29

NICKY LAUGHS

0:25:330:25:35

-I so love your expressions!

-OK.

0:25:350:25:38

-That's not an en suite, that's sort of a master bathroom.

-Yeah.

0:25:410:25:45

-Look at that!

-It's important that you're both happy.

-Just...

0:25:450:25:50

That wouldn't be a dressing room by any chance, would it?

0:25:500:25:53

-It is.

-Oh, my word!

-So much storage.

-I love that little window there,

0:25:530:25:57

and the dressing room as well. Again, looking out on the trees and everything.

0:25:570:26:01

It's brilliant.

0:26:010:26:03

-I think you need some fresh air, don't you now?

-Just a bit.

-I think so.

-Time to go outside?

0:26:030:26:07

-Oh, yes, please!

-Oh, just a bit!

0:26:070:26:09

'What a reaction! But I can understand why.

0:26:110:26:14

'There's all the space and character they could possibly ask for,

0:26:140:26:18

'and outside, there's an old stable block,

0:26:180:26:21

'which I'm sure Carol would put to good use.'

0:26:210:26:23

-Is half an acre enough?

-Oh, yes.

0:26:230:26:26

Plenty of room for my chickens, and maybe a donkey.

0:26:260:26:29

-It's just about the right size.

-And we're at the head of the River Yar, and that's your boundary line,

0:26:290:26:34

so you've even got a stream running through your property, which has never flooded.

0:26:340:26:39

-Now, I'm going to bring you both back to reality.

-Oh.

0:26:390:26:41

-OK.

-I'm going to ask you how much this is worth.

-This is the hard bit.

0:26:410:26:44

-Who wants to go first?

-Carol.

0:26:440:26:46

I don't want to say too much, because I don't want it to be above our budget.

0:26:460:26:51

I'll say the top of our budget - 375.

0:26:510:26:54

-OK.

-I'm going to go for a little less. I'm going to go with 360.

0:26:540:26:59

The current asking price...

0:26:590:27:02

-£349,950.

-OK.

0:27:020:27:09

-We can afford it!

-We can, yes.

-It's wonderful.

0:27:090:27:13

I'm so thrilled! You're so emotional.

0:27:130:27:16

Do you think you might want to go around again and have a little look?

0:27:160:27:19

-Can you wait a few hours?

-The rest of the day, you mean?

-It won't be a short one.

0:27:190:27:24

-You take your time. Make sure you've got a hankie with you. Off you go.

-Thank you. Bye.

0:27:240:27:28

Well, I have never, ever had that reaction before.

0:27:300:27:35

Tears! Fingers crossed, we might be cementing a deal.

0:27:350:27:39

Under budget at just shy of £350,000,

0:27:400:27:43

this character property has everything

0:27:430:27:46

on Phil and Carol's wish list, and dare I say,

0:27:460:27:49

could be their dream home, featuring

0:27:490:27:52

a large, light sitting room with wood burner,

0:27:520:27:55

an enormous kitchen-diner and conservatory,

0:27:550:27:58

three bedrooms with a master en suite and dressing room,

0:27:580:28:02

and besides all the outbuildings,

0:28:020:28:04

there's a half an acre of garden,

0:28:040:28:06

so plenty of room for Carol's

0:28:060:28:08

menagerie of animals.

0:28:080:28:09

It's a beautiful room. it's got my lovely inglenook fireplace, the beams.

0:28:110:28:16

-Lovely beams. I think our furniture is going to be perfect in this room.

-Definitely.

0:28:160:28:20

I'm just speechless, really.

0:28:200:28:23

It's a wonderful property.

0:28:230:28:25

This is a really good sized room as well, isn't it?

0:28:250:28:27

It's a perfect sized room for the grandchildren.

0:28:270:28:30

-We'll get a couple of little beds in here, no problem.

-Yep.

0:28:300:28:33

This is definitely a property that I can see Carol and I retiring to,

0:28:330:28:39

living in and spending many wonderful years here.

0:28:390:28:42

That face says it all!

0:28:450:28:48

I really don't want to drag you both away, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to.

0:28:480:28:51

-That's a shame!

-Come on.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:28:510:28:53

Animal lovers Carol and Phil are eager to re-home battery chickens

0:28:580:29:02

and are all too aware of their plight.

0:29:020:29:04

But although the EU plans to ban the use of battery farmed eggs by 2012,

0:29:040:29:09

16 million battery hens still sit in their cramped cages.

0:29:090:29:14

However, help is at hand.

0:29:140:29:16

Carol and Phil are meeting Simon Taylor, from the Battery Hen Welfare Trust, to get some re-homing tips.

0:29:160:29:22

This is an example of a chicken house.

0:29:240:29:26

This is homemade, but there are all sorts of houses on the market that you can do.

0:29:260:29:33

Inside, you need a nest box with bedding in it.

0:29:330:29:37

We usually use hay. They've been in cages and they may not have feathers on,

0:29:370:29:41

and it's softer for them and for the eggs.

0:29:410:29:43

How many hens would you get in a structure this size?

0:29:430:29:47

In here, I'd have thought you'd easily have six.

0:29:470:29:49

But always make it bigger than you need.

0:29:490:29:53

-How many eggs do they lay when they come from the farm?

-Once they've settled down,

0:29:530:29:57

they'll be laying approximately 40 to 50 per cent of what a caged bird would do.

0:29:570:30:02

So you might get three or four eggs a week, but we're currently getting

0:30:020:30:06

from our little girl, we're getting one a day.

0:30:060:30:09

And you'll notice a change in the eggs as well.

0:30:090:30:12

-They'll start becoming firmer and take on a nice brown colour.

-Oh.

0:30:120:30:15

They get the nutrition back into them. Would you like to come and meet some of the birds?

0:30:150:30:20

-Oh, lovely.

-We'd love to.

-Yes, please.

0:30:200:30:22

As hens are flock animals and very sociable, Carol and Phil

0:30:220:30:26

might want to think about re-homing at least three birds for starters.

0:30:260:30:30

Although the cost of keeping them is minimal, they do need to be cleaned out regularly

0:30:300:30:34

and given fresh water and feed daily, as well as being able to roam free every day.

0:30:340:30:40

So, here are some ex-batts that we've had for a while now.

0:30:400:30:43

They soon start feathering up,

0:30:430:30:45

as soon as they're outside getting proper nutrition, moving around.

0:30:450:30:50

What sort of time frame for when you initially get them

0:30:500:30:54

to when they look sort of quite healthy, like they are now?

0:30:540:30:57

They'll start re-feathering within sort of four to six weeks, I think, gradually.

0:30:570:31:01

Then within...

0:31:010:31:03

a couple of months, they should really have come back together again.

0:31:030:31:06

Carol and Phil are not just thinking about improving

0:31:080:31:10

their own quality of life when they move to the country,

0:31:100:31:13

they're also serious about doing what they can to re-home rescue animals.

0:31:130:31:17

So, we're going to be seeing the mystery house in a bit.

0:31:220:31:25

What's the priority?

0:31:250:31:27

The land, or the house?

0:31:270:31:28

-That's very difficult, isn't it?

-That's a very difficult question.

0:31:280:31:32

-It's got to be a little bit of both.

-You want it all, don't you?

0:31:320:31:36

Our mystery property takes us to the village of Alderford,

0:31:390:31:42

just over 10 miles from Norwich.

0:31:420:31:44

It's a quiet rural spot surrounded by fields,

0:31:440:31:46

but Carol and Phil could head

0:31:460:31:48

four miles down the road to Reepham

0:31:480:31:51

for their provisions and a bite to eat.

0:31:510:31:52

There are some interesting looking properties tucked away around here,

0:31:520:31:56

including our historic mystery house, which dates back to 1900

0:31:560:32:01

and is one of two recently extended dairy cottages.

0:32:010:32:05

-So, guys, here is your mystery property.

-OK.

-OK.

0:32:050:32:10

As you can see, two cottages,

0:32:100:32:12

farmers' cottages, so it is semi-detached.

0:32:120:32:16

This is the one we're looking at and I know that wasn't on your wish list,

0:32:160:32:21

-but if you can, I want you to keep an open mind.

-Certainly.

-Of course.

0:32:210:32:25

So, what are your first impressions?

0:32:250:32:28

Lovely outlook, beautiful over the fields, lovely garden.

0:32:280:32:32

-Like the look of the house.

-So, your mystery house is waiting.

0:32:320:32:35

-Are you ready?

-Yes.

-Fantastic.

-Take us in.

0:32:350:32:37

'It's a muted first impression from Carol and Phil,

0:32:370:32:42

'but the living areas inside are a real surprise.'

0:32:420:32:46

So, come on through...

0:32:460:32:48

into the hallway. It has to be a very, very large hallway,

0:32:480:32:51

or you could use it as a reception room,

0:32:510:32:54

or, as they have, keep it as a play room.

0:32:540:32:56

Play room, very good. Lovely fireplace, with a nice wood-burning stove.

0:32:560:33:01

-You like those, don't you?

-I do, yeah. I like a nice fireplace.

0:33:010:33:03

Excellent. And it flows nicely into the next room.

0:33:030:33:08

-So, you've got a separate dining room.

-Lovely.

0:33:080:33:12

That's very nice indeed.

0:33:120:33:14

Lovely, lovely fireplace.

0:33:140:33:16

I like the exposed brick.

0:33:160:33:17

It's a really nice sized room, and I really love the floor as well.

0:33:170:33:21

Good. The kitchen is behind us.

0:33:210:33:23

So, it's a great location for a dining room to be in.

0:33:230:33:26

-I want to take you straight through into the garden room.

-Oh.

0:33:260:33:30

They call it the garden room, but it feels like a very, very nice conservatory to me.

0:33:320:33:37

-It's beautiful.

-It does indeed. It's big.

-Really, really nice.

0:33:370:33:40

Very big, very light, very airy. Lovely views outside of the garden.

0:33:400:33:46

-You couldn't get better, could you, than that?

-Beautifully done?

-Yes, definitely.

0:33:460:33:49

-Let's see what you think of the kitchen.

-OK.

0:33:490:33:51

-My word!

-Very nice.

0:33:560:33:59

-You love a country kitchen.

-Yes. Look at those flagstones.

0:33:590:34:03

-Beautiful, aren't they?

-Shall I let you into a little secret?

0:34:030:34:06

-Go on.

-It's cement, made to look like flagstones.

-My word!

0:34:060:34:10

It's really hard wearing and it looks fantastic, I have to say.

0:34:100:34:14

But forget the floor. What do you think of the lovely kitchen?

0:34:140:34:16

It's beautiful, isn't it? Nicely done again.

0:34:160:34:20

-I really like the cabinets.

-Yeah.

-Cabinets are lovely.

0:34:200:34:24

A nice range again.

0:34:240:34:26

So I can still do plenty of cooking.

0:34:260:34:28

And there is room for an island, if I really wanted one.

0:34:280:34:30

Through the door, there's a utility room,

0:34:300:34:32

and you've got a downstairs shower and toilet as well.

0:34:320:34:36

-Oh, gosh.

-So this is all the new part of the house.

-Yes.

0:34:360:34:40

-Workable for you?

-Definitely.

0:34:400:34:42

-Good, good. Shall we go upstairs?

-Yes, please.

0:34:420:34:46

'With such a surprising amount of space on offer, perhaps Carol and Phil

0:34:470:34:51

'can put the fact it's semi-detached to the back of their minds.

0:34:510:34:54

'And upstairs, you certainly wouldn't expect five bedrooms.

0:34:540:34:58

'Let's see what they think of where they would sleep.'

0:34:580:35:00

So, I want to show you the master bedroom first.

0:35:010:35:04

Nice size, very nice size.

0:35:040:35:07

Lovely views through the window.

0:35:070:35:09

I love that. You can wake up to that, and it's quite a low window as well,

0:35:090:35:13

-so you could probably look out of there from the bed.

-Big enough for you both?

0:35:130:35:16

-Yes.

-Pretty much, just about big enough, I think, yes.

0:35:160:35:20

-But I'm sensing a little bit of a reluctance.

-Yes, at the back of my mind,

0:35:200:35:26

I know this property is semi-detached,

0:35:260:35:28

and at the top of our wish list was, it must be detached.

0:35:280:35:33

So, I'm a little bit reserved.

0:35:330:35:36

Everything is wonderful, but the house itself is lovely and everything

0:35:360:35:39

you're showing us is lovely, but at the back of my mind, I'm thinking it's semi-detached.

0:35:390:35:43

-Is it putting a slight dampener on it?

-Unfortunately.

-Just a little bit, yeah, I agree. Just a little bit.

0:35:430:35:49

The only thing I can say to you is, this is the mystery house...

0:35:490:35:52

-Sure, sure.

-..so bear with me.

-OK.

0:35:520:35:55

-Certainly.

-Let's go upstairs.

-OK.

0:35:550:35:57

'I'll leave them in suspense while we explore the other four bedrooms,

0:35:580:36:02

'which include a light single room great for the grandchildren,

0:36:020:36:06

'and one large enough to be a double

0:36:060:36:07

'with those space-saving fitted wardrobes.

0:36:070:36:10

'There's a bright, modern family bathroom

0:36:100:36:13

'with separate bath and shower cubicle.

0:36:130:36:15

'Every inch of space has been put to good use,

0:36:150:36:18

'as we discover upstairs in the former loft.'

0:36:180:36:21

-So, we're at the very top of the house.

-Oh...

0:36:240:36:27

And I don't think this is ever going to be Phil's bedroom.

0:36:270:36:31

No, it won't be my space, I don't think.

0:36:310:36:33

-Don't think so. But

-I

-could live up here.

0:36:330:36:35

You could. And perfect for guests and grandchildren.

0:36:350:36:37

Very nice, yeah. Nicely done.

0:36:370:36:39

Someone shorter than me would have a good time, I think.

0:36:390:36:42

The good news, the other bedroom, which is just along the landing, that has got a higher ceiling.

0:36:420:36:46

So that would be all right for you. It's also got the exposed sort of chimney breasts, if you like,

0:36:460:36:52

with exposed brick, which makes a very attractive feature.

0:36:520:36:55

Behind you is a bathroom.

0:36:550:36:58

So your guests up here have their own bathroom.

0:36:580:37:00

Yes, that's probably a very good thing, because those stairs

0:37:000:37:03

during the night and things like that could be a bit dangerous.

0:37:030:37:06

So shall we pop back outside, have a look around the ground, look at

0:37:060:37:10

the house and perhaps have a bit more of a chat?

0:37:100:37:12

-Sure, lovely, thank you.

-Phil, you lead the way.

-OK.

0:37:120:37:15

'This is a beautifully presented house, but I wonder if they can forget about it being attached.

0:37:150:37:21

'Outside there's three quarters of an acre, so plenty of space for Carol's chickens.

0:37:210:37:26

'On top of that, I have a deal on the land up my sleeve.'

0:37:260:37:31

Standing here, you can see all the garden, because it actually wraps itself around the cottage.

0:37:310:37:36

It's beautiful, isn't it? Lovely, lovely garden.

0:37:360:37:40

How much do you think this is worth?

0:37:400:37:42

I think it's your turn first.

0:37:420:37:44

It is my turn, and I'm going to go for 345,000.

0:37:440:37:48

I think I'll go a bit less. I think it'll be about 339.

0:37:480:37:52

Ooh, you're very close between you, aren't you?

0:37:520:37:54

-The actual asking price for the cottage is £300,000.

-300?

0:37:540:38:01

-My word!

-OK.

0:38:010:38:03

-I've got something else to show you.

-Thank you.

-OK.

0:38:030:38:05

-So, I know your animals are very, very close to your heart.

-Yes.

0:38:100:38:15

This mystery property has the added bonus of being able to buy some land.

0:38:150:38:20

-Really?

-From here to that hedge and all the way around there,

0:38:200:38:25

-all the way through, literally to where the trees are there, that's just under two acres...

-Right.

-OK.

0:38:250:38:30

..that is for sale separately from the house.

0:38:300:38:33

-So the house is 300,000, but you could buy all of that land for £30,000.

-OK.

0:38:330:38:40

-Oh, my word!

-A lot to think about.

0:38:400:38:42

-An awful lot to think about.

-Options as well.

-Lots of options.

0:38:420:38:45

So, why don't you go and take another look around the cottage?

0:38:450:38:48

-Love to, thank you very much.

-Think about that land.

0:38:480:38:50

-And I'll catch up with you in a little while.

-Lovely.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:38:500:38:54

'It may be semi-detached, but our mystery proposition

0:38:550:38:59

'would give them enough land for a couple of donkeys.

0:38:590:39:03

'Under budget at £300,000,

0:39:030:39:05

'it offers them three very versatile reception rooms

0:39:050:39:08

'with lots of character,

0:39:080:39:10

'a large country-style kitchen,

0:39:100:39:13

'five well-decorated bedrooms, along with two bathrooms,

0:39:130:39:17

'and three quarters of an acre of garden,

0:39:170:39:20

'with the option of buying another two acres for £30,000

0:39:200:39:24

'for Carol's donkeys,

0:39:240:39:25

'and they'd still come in under budget.'

0:39:250:39:28

Five bedrooms here. It's amazing how they've been able to do that, isn't it?

0:39:280:39:33

-It is.

-I definitely think that I could see myself living in this property, so it does make me think

0:39:330:39:40

that there might be something that we could do with this property, even though it's semi-detached.

0:39:400:39:45

Just under two acres is a lot of land.

0:39:450:39:47

Yep, and it's beautiful land as well, and we could do so much with it.

0:39:470:39:51

I can see myself in this house. I'd have to think about it a little bit longer,

0:39:510:39:58

whether I'd want to take up that additional land.

0:39:580:40:00

-You two have got a lot to think about, haven't you?

-An awful lot, an awful lot.

0:40:000:40:05

-Let's take you somewhere quiet and you can think what your next move could possibly be.

-OK.

0:40:050:40:10

Yeah, lovely, thank you.

0:40:100:40:11

Well, our house hunt is at an end,

0:40:150:40:17

and our properties have certainly given Carol and Phil

0:40:170:40:20

lots of options to think through.

0:40:200:40:23

It's been a real emotional couple of days for Phil and Carol, especially

0:40:260:40:32

for Carol, but I suspect we may have found them their dream property.

0:40:320:40:36

But there's only one way to be certain - let's go and ask them.

0:40:360:40:41

Carol and Phil, it's been a great few days.

0:40:430:40:45

I hope you've enjoyed yourselves.

0:40:450:40:47

Absolutely wonderful, thank you very much. It's been a great time.

0:40:470:40:50

Had a wonderful time, it's been very exciting, yes.

0:40:500:40:52

So, let's talk properties, and start off with the barn conversion.

0:40:520:40:56

What did you think about that?

0:40:560:40:57

Barn conversions were something that I was very keen on and very keen to have a look at,

0:40:570:41:03

and while the property was stunning inside, the garden wasn't very big.

0:41:030:41:07

A new day, a new property.

0:41:070:41:10

We saw that very old cottage,

0:41:100:41:13

with the extensions either side, and the enormous kitchen.

0:41:130:41:18

-Took my breath away, didn't it?

-I think you should start, Carol.

0:41:180:41:21

I went all overcome when I saw that!

0:41:210:41:24

I just fell to pieces, I don't know.

0:41:240:41:27

I got very emotional, and when we walked in, I saw all the land and I thought, "This looks perfect."

0:41:270:41:32

As we moved from room to room, it just got better and better and more positive.

0:41:320:41:37

Throughout the whole of the tour of the property

0:41:370:41:41

and the grounds, there was pretty much no disappointment at all.

0:41:410:41:45

-Our last property was our mystery house.

-Yeah.

0:41:450:41:50

That was a mystery as well, wasn't it?

0:41:500:41:52

It was. It was stunning gardens and a beautiful looking house,

0:41:520:41:57

and again, going through the rooms, they were spectacular.

0:41:570:42:02

The disappointment was that it was semi-detached, and we're really sort of sticking by

0:42:020:42:06

that we want a detached property, so that was a little disappointment.

0:42:060:42:10

And it is a shame, because I'd have loved that extra land, and to have

0:42:100:42:14

done something with that,

0:42:140:42:16

but I think we've got enough land with the cottage anyway, haven't we?

0:42:160:42:21

-Yes, and the garden that comes with it.

-That sounds quite leading!

0:42:210:42:26

I was going to ask you, what is the next step?

0:42:260:42:29

-I think, almost certainly, a second visit is on the cards.

-Definitely on the cards.

0:42:290:42:34

And...I'm looking to see where the Christmas tree is going to go.

0:42:340:42:38

Oh, that sounds very positive! And you will let us know

0:42:380:42:42

-how you get on, won't you?

-Oh, definitely, yes.

0:42:420:42:44

-Thank you both so much, it's been a great few days.

-Thank you.

0:42:440:42:47

-It's been wonderful, thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:42:470:42:49

For Carol and Phil, this house hunt wasn't just about finding a property for THEM,

0:42:550:43:00

it was also about getting a property with enough land to support all their furry and feathered friends.

0:43:000:43:06

With their flexibility on location and general open mindedness,

0:43:060:43:11

I think we may have found them their perfect Norfolk home.

0:43:110:43:15

Join us again next time on Escape To The Country.

0:43:150:43:20

If you want to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales,

0:43:200:43:23

Northern Ireland or England and need our help,

0:43:230:43:26

please contact us through our website, at...

0:43:260:43:28

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:430:43:47

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:470:43:50

Nicki Chapman is in Norfolk helping an animal-loving couple find their perfect pad in the country. With a budget of £350,000, they admit to having a demanding wish-list which includes a good-sized living room topped off with an inglenook fireplace, a large country kitchen and enough land to re-home rescue animals.