North Wales Escape to the Country


North Wales

Property series. Nicki Chapman helps a couple relocate from south Wales to north Wales, with a job promotion the driving factor and on a budget of 300,000 pounds.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

I'm on the only cable-tour tramway in Britain,

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a feat of engineering

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which leads to this region's most famous coastal landmark,

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the Great Orme. A limestone outcrop stretching across two miles,

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it's also home to several hundred Kashmiri goats,

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descended from Queen Victoria's very own private goat herd.

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So where am I? Find out as we Escape To The Country.

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In today's show, I'll be helping a couple relocate

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from the suburbs of South Wales, and head for a completely new start in the north of the country.

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Our house-hunters seem to be in property paradise.

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-Perfect.

-Perfect, yeah.

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-Perfect again!

-SHE GASPS

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And they're even prepared to compromise to get there.

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-We'll manage.

-THEY LAUGH

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-You're going to find a way to manage, aren't you?

-Yes.

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But we might be sailing close to the wind with the mystery house.

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'Today we're in North Wales, and this is the Great Orme Tramway,

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'which, along with Lisbon and San Francisco,

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'is one of only three such tramways in the world.'

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Since 1902, it's been ferrying visitors

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between Great Orme and the seaside town of Llandudno.

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As well as stunning coastline, North Wales's great natural asset

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is the Snowdonia National Park,

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which stretches over 820 square miles.

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Over half a million people a year visit its mountain range

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and the crowning glory, Mount Snowdon,

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which was the training ground for the first expedition team

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to conquer Everest in 1953.

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Amongst them was Sir Edmund Hillary.

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Back down to earth, man has made his mark,

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from the medieval fortress of Conwy Castle

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to the £20-million cutting-edge building

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for the Welsh Assembly Government in Llandudno Junction.

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In fact, the fortunes of North Wales's coastal region

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are looking rosy, so this could be a good time for property spotting.

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So what's it going to cost to buy in this up-and-coming area?

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Well, buying a property in this part of North Wales,

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in the regions of Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd,

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is actually really good value for money.

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The cost of a detached house here

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is 48 percent below the national average,

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and, with £35 million of regeneration money

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being poured into this area,

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now could be a very good time to invest in a slice of North Wales.

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For a country seat in the Welsh mountains,

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there's this eight-bedroom Victorian lodge in Salem,

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for £885,000.

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It's been mostly converted from a former guesthouse

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to a sprawling family home.

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Outside there's 11 and a half acres of grounds

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and views of the valley to enjoy.

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For £575,000,

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there's this real one-off five-bedroom Italian-style villa

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in St Asaph. Inside it's high-spec throughout,

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from the kitchen's granite worktops

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to the oak floor and French doors in the sitting room.

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Outside, there are stunning views to the Vale of Clwyd.

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And what about this three-bedroom converted church school

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in Glasfryn, for £378,000?

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It's awash with beautiful original features,

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and surprisingly spacious, with two characterful sitting rooms

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and a charming kitchen/diner.

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With such lovely properties out there,

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things look promising for today's house-hunters.

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It's time to meet them.

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Tanis, a civil servant, and Andrew, a retired community-education officer,

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currently live in a three-bedroom house in Neath, South Wales.

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With a job promotion and relocation on the cards for Tanis,

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they need to uproot to North Wales.

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We want to improve the quality of our lives,

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but the reason why we're specifically moving to North Wales

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is because I recently secured a new post

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as head of Youth Work Strategy in the Welsh Assembly Government,

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I'm delighted to say.

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The actual team will be located in Llandudno Junction,

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so we need to look at a property in that region, really.

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They've spent seven happy years in their current home,

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but they've got a clear wish-list for their new house.

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We're looking for a detached, minimum of three-bedroom property,

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ideally a nice-size lounge. Don't want to be cramped.

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I like to cook, and having people round for a meal and drinks,

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so I'd want a separate dining room.

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We're not able to put a conservatory on this house, which I would like to have,

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but I would also like a piece of garden

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which I could use as a veggie patch.

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They'd also like outdoor space for other projects.

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A big bonus for us, as well,

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would be, perhaps, an opportunity to have a granny flat,

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or to modify a garage or whatever,

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so that friends and family could come and stay with us

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in total privacy then. They could stay a week,

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and there wouldn't be any interruptions,

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and they could make it as a holiday.

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With a move so far away, there will be some compromises.

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One of the biggest wrenches, moving to North Wales,

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is leaving my granddaughter Leah, who is four years old now.

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But the up side is that she'll be able to come and visit us

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and stay with us for longer periods of time.

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And there are some other considerations.

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We have lovely views here, and one of the things

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we would like to have in North Wales is to continue to enjoy that.

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One of the things Tanis and I are really looking forward to

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in our move to North Wales is to indulge our passion

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in walking and hiking,

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and having beautiful countryside right on our doorstep,

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without having to use the car first of all to get somewhere to walk.

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Before Andrew and Tanis make their move to the country,

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they need to find out how much money they have to play with,

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

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This is a modern, three-bedroom detached house.

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Superb condition, a nice location, super views from the front.

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It should achieve £235,000.

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A little bit disappointed with the valuation of the property.

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My concern is that, up in North Wales,

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it could be a little bit more expensive,

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because it is more rural, more sought-after.

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So how much do they have to spend on their next home?

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If we find everything we want,

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then, our budget would be £300,000.

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So, the pressure's on to find Andrew and Tanis their new home

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before Tanis starts her new job.

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So, what are they after?

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Essentially they want a three-bedroom detached house

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with a separate dining room and study

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and a large-size garden.

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That shouldn't be too difficult.

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Our house search will focus on rural locations

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around Llandudno Junction,

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where Tanis will be based for her new job.

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I'll be showing them some prize properties on the market,

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but, as always, I won't be revealing the price straight away.

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And then there's our mystery house, which offers a grand alternative they might love or loathe.

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Andrew and Tanis, welcome to a beautiful, sunny North Wales.

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-Thank you.

-I think the weather will be kind to us on our search.

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-Beautiful day.

-Are you looking forward to it?

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-Really, very much so.

-Well, I can't wait,

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because standing here today, just looking at this view,

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I think we've found the perfect location already.

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But we've got to find the right house.

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-We're currently looking at a budget of £300,000.

-Yes.

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Has that changed, or are we going to stick to that?

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No. We need to stick to that. We've just recently bought a property

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in Portugal, so our limit, really, is governed by that.

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We have no additional funding, then, to be able to put into the purchase.

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So 300 is the top line, but anything a bit lower would be helpful as well.

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This area is a bit more expensive than where you currently live,

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but we've got some amazing properties lined up for you to see,

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and, of course, little bit of a curve ball, the mystery property,

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which I can't wait to show you. Shall we get started?

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-We shall.

-I'm all excited now.

-Great! Come on, let's go.

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So, Andrew and Tanis have a budget of £300,000,

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which would ideally get them a three-bedroom detached house.

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Tanis wants a large kitchen and separate dining room,

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while top of Andrew's wish-list is a garden

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big enough for a vegetable patch

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with the added plus of a conservatory.

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The journey from South to North Wales is quite a long one, isn't it?

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You can't just pop up here for a day.

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It's about three and a half to four hours,

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and the journey isn't an easy one,

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cos the roads are not extremely good.

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But we are fortunate that my parents live up this way,

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so we can fit in a visit to them and then go across to look at properties

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whilst we're visiting.

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They must be thrilled that you're moving up to this area.

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I think so. I've also got two sisters in the area,

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so I've got family up this way as well.

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Well, it looks like family reunions might be a regular fixture

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with this move.

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Our first property is just outside the village of Llandyrnog,

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which would be a 25-mile commute for Tanis.

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It's a pretty village with a couple of local pubs,

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a handy village shop, and a typical Vale of Clwyd church

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with its double nave,

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and this indeed would be walking heaven for Andrew,

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with the Clwydian mountains right on their doorstep.

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The property is this restored cottage, formerly a rectory lodge.

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So, here's your first property.

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-Very quaint.

-Yeah, I like the setting.

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-Lovely setting. Plenty of character from the outside.

-Yes.

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-Got the slate roof...

-Yes.

-..three bedrooms...

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-OK.

-..but not set out in a traditional style.

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-Right. OK.

-That's interesting.

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This lodge is very quirky. It's got a lot of character.

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I think we should go in and take a good look.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

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So, come on in.

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Thank you.

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Ooh, it's bigger than I thought.

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-It's deceiving, isn't it...

-It is, isn't it?

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-..from the outside.

-Oh, it's really nice.

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Yes. Oh, it's a bit of a "wow" here.

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I thought the ceilings were going to be low, and they're not.

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-Are you pleasantly surprised?

-Pleasantly surprised.

-Yes.

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-Very much.

-Yes.

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-Got your wood-burner.

-Really special.

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Yeah. We wanted one of those. We've always said we'd like to have a wood-burning stove.

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You can imagine it in the winter, with a Christmas tree,

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lovely hot fire, warm fire.

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-Nice!

-Smashing.

-There's a nice smile there.

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-Just take a look at this mezzanine, actually.

-OK.

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Because up here, that actually is your bedroom.

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Oh, is it?

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-Oh, right.

-I see.

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So, you like the dimensions of this room?

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-Yes.

-Not sure about that open bedroom, that's all.

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Let's take you upstairs and have a look at that first,

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see what you think. So, it's up here.

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So, here's your open-plan master.

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-OK.

-OK, right.

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Do you think this might work for you, or...

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The size is perfect. Like Andrew, the mezzanine doesn't work for me,

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so we'd probably take that off and extend the floor.

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-Which you could easily do.

-And the bedroom would be bigger as a result.

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-Yeah. It would be a nice size.

-That's a good point, actually.

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And the en suite, which I know was on your wish-list.

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-Do you want to have a look through?

-OK.

-Go on, Andrew.

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-Thank you.

-Oh, it's fine. A nice size.

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It's got everything that you need,

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but it does need sprucing up a bit.

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The plumbing's here, so we could change that quite easily, I think.

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-Good.

-Mm.

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-Let's keep going.

-Let's.

-Thank you.

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'Although they're not smitten by the mezzanine,

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'they seem positive about its potential.'

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So, you've got quite a modern kitchen...

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-Yeah.

-..with one of the original beams above.

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-They've kept it.

-That's nice.

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It could be big enough to have a formal dining table here.

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-Mm-hm.

-Yeah.

-Oh, there's plenty room here.

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The size is fine, but, um...

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-Yeah.

-..it needs renewing.

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-And a fabulous view to the garden.

-Oh, it is, isn't it?

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And the mountains in the back.

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You certainly know you're out in the country.

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-Yeah.

-We like that. Great. Shall we keep going?

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-Well, hopefully this room will be...

-SHE SPEAKS WELSH

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THEY LAUGH Gosh!

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Because there's conservatories and there's conservatories.

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-Huge!

-Now, you wanted a conservatory.

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-We did. Yes, yes.

-Is this what you had in mind?

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No. I haven't seen a conservatory like this before.

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-It's very unusual.

-When we first walked into the property,

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you probably remember I said it had three bedrooms.

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-We've seen one.

-We've only seen one,

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-and obviously there's nothing upstairs.

-No.

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-The other two... You were ahead of me there.

-Downstairs.

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-We've got to go below stairs.

-Right.

-So, follow me.

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As these rooms are separate from the main house,

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they could make great guest accommodation.

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-Oh, it's quite tight!

-Steep and narrow.

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-They are, quite.

-Yeah.

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But down here, you've got a double bedroom through there,

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so that would be the second one. You've got a family bathroom

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in there, but it is quite basic.

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And then you've got the third double actually in here.

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-Right.

-Yeah.

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I'm not overwhelmed with this room.

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I don't like the height of the ceiling.

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You have got the feeling that you are down below stairs.

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-Yeah.

-A bit claustrophobic.

-Yeah.

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If you did want to look at those configurations again,

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you'd have to go back upstairs, possibly extending out the side.

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I think the only purpose I could see would be as a study or something.

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'Well, at least they're being open-minded.

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'They may not have been inspired downstairs,

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'but I think they'll be wowed by this wonderfully landscaped half-acre garden.'

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So, a very quaint property, very quirky,

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but I do feel we've left the best till last.

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-I think you're right.

-It's absolutely amazing.

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It's a beautiful garden. It's well landscaped.

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I like the way they've done it. I could keep it like this.

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It is quite stunning. A mature garden.

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Obviously a lot of love and attention has been taken into it.

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-Yes.

-And potentially it could be followed on by you.

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It could. Find a spot for my greenhouse and my veggie patch.

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-We would be away then.

-Perfect. Perfect.

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Is this the sort of thing you had in mind?

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-It's more than we expected.

-This is nice.

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-The only concern is the price.

-HE LAUGHS

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-Shall we have a think about that?

-Yes.

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-Let's take a wander through.

-OK.

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-Yeah.

-Oh, wow.

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-It is beautiful.

-Yeah.

-It's just perfect.

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-It is. It's just what we want.

-Perfect.

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And you've got the double garage, with the study at the top,

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with a potential, perhaps, of being a granny flat,

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with the right permission. And you've got the workshop.

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-It's got everything.

-A lot of potential.

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-The potential's there.

-The potential's definitely there.

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It all boils down to money, really, doesn't it?

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How much do you think it's on the market for?

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I think it's on the upper end of our bracket,

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er, probably more.

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-Yeah.

-Um...

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About...315?

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Mm. I was going to say 320.

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-OK.

-So, it's, er...

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-It's only just gone on the market.

-Right.

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The asking price is £275,000.

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Oh, my...

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SHE WHISPERS AND LAUGHS

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That's a shock!

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Now, is that music to your ears or not?

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-Yes.

-Oh, it is, yes!

-Absolutely,

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because I think that we would have to bear the cost of the extension,

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because we're not happy with those two rooms in the basement.

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-To know that we could afford that as well...

-Mm.

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-That'll be...

-Yeah!

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-..perfect.

-It is a lovely...

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-I mean, the grounds sell it.

-Yes.

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Do you want to take one final look around the whole of the house

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and this building, and I'll meet you in a minute.

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-Brilliant.

-See you. Bye.

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Well, they seem bowled over that they could afford this house,

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and have £25,000 left for any work that might need doing.

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So, at £275,000,

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this house offers them a spacious lounge with inglenook fireplace,

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three bedrooms with a master en suite,

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a large conservatory overlooking a stunning half-acre garden,

0:17:050:17:10

and outbuildings which, with planning approval,

0:17:100:17:13

could be useful guest rooms.

0:17:130:17:16

This is the space above the garage that Nicki was telling us about.

0:17:160:17:19

Yeah. It's really big. Great that it's got a toilet facility as well.

0:17:190:17:23

-Potential little granny flat.

-Yeah!

0:17:230:17:26

The location of the house is perfect.

0:17:260:17:28

It's very rural, exactly what we wanted.

0:17:280:17:30

The garden is absolutely overwhelming. It's just perfect.

0:17:300:17:34

There are a lot of pros to the property,

0:17:340:17:37

mainly the garden. I think the house, with a little bit of thought,

0:17:370:17:41

-we could bring it to our liking.

-Yes, it is definitely a contender.

0:17:410:17:45

-Have you seen enough of the lodge?

-We have.

-Yes, thank you.

0:17:470:17:50

It's certainly an interesting property.

0:17:500:17:52

-Very. Lots to think about.

-Good! And I've got more to show you,

0:17:520:17:55

-so shall we get going?

-Yes, please.

0:17:550:17:58

Once Tanis starts work, she'll only be ten minutes' drive

0:18:010:18:05

from the spectacular scenery in and around Llandudno,

0:18:050:18:08

where the Snowdonia mountains meet the Victorian seaside resort

0:18:080:18:11

in this crescent-shaped bay. On the headland stands the Great Orme,

0:18:110:18:16

where copper mining thrived until the mid-1800s,

0:18:160:18:19

when wealthy local landowners transformed Llandudno

0:18:190:18:23

into a holiday haven for the Victorian industrial workers.

0:18:230:18:26

Andrew and Tanis are meeting local guide Judy Brough

0:18:260:18:29

on Llandudno Pier, to find out more about its heritage.

0:18:290:18:34

So, welcome to this lovely seaside resort of Llandudno.

0:18:340:18:37

It's an elegant Victorian seaside resort,

0:18:370:18:40

and we've got the pier, where the liners would've arrived

0:18:400:18:44

right from 1877, when it was built.

0:18:440:18:46

But let's see what more Llandudno has to offer. OK?

0:18:460:18:49

-All right?

-Thank you.

0:18:490:18:52

This Grade II listed marvel of a pier was rebuilt in 1877,

0:18:520:18:56

and, at nearly 2,300 feet, is the longest in Wales.

0:18:560:19:01

For the best views of Llandudno, though,

0:19:010:19:03

a trip up the Great Orme is a must.

0:19:030:19:05

But there's no need to trudge the 680 feet to the top.

0:19:050:19:09

Tanis and Andrew enjoy a bird's-eye view for just over a mile

0:19:090:19:13

from Britain's longest cable-car ride.

0:19:130:19:16

But, if you don't have a head for heights,

0:19:160:19:18

there's the Great Orme Tramway,

0:19:180:19:21

which winds its way up through the town to the summit,

0:19:210:19:23

where they take in the gorgeous coastline.

0:19:230:19:26

Here we are. We've arrived up on the Great Orme,

0:19:260:19:30

-and it's just so quiet up here.

-It is. Very peaceful.

0:19:300:19:33

Just got the sheep in the background.

0:19:330:19:35

But just the views that we have from here,

0:19:350:19:38

you're looking to the corner of the Lake District,

0:19:380:19:40

and we sweep right the way round to the Rhyl Flats,

0:19:400:19:45

where you do have the wind turbines,

0:19:450:19:47

the modern industry,

0:19:470:19:50

and we have the St Tudno's church.

0:19:500:19:52

Of course, that's where Llandudno takes its name from -

0:19:520:19:56

"llan", religious enclosure,

0:19:560:19:58

and "Tudno" as the saint.

0:19:580:20:02

And Tudno actually arrived around the sixth century,

0:20:020:20:06

and he set up a small missionary where the church is.

0:20:060:20:10

With scenery like this, I don't think Tanis and Andrew

0:20:100:20:13

will look back once they've made their move north.

0:20:130:20:16

We've just got to find them their perfect house.

0:20:160:20:19

Our next property takes us to Betws-y-Coed,

0:20:220:20:24

which would be a 25-minute drive to work for Tanis.

0:20:240:20:27

Set against the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park,

0:20:270:20:32

this well preserved village has been a popular destination

0:20:320:20:35

since the 19th century, and, along with rural charm,

0:20:350:20:38

has an array of independent shops

0:20:380:20:40

and plenty of walking opportunities for our couple.

0:20:400:20:43

So, we've brought you to the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed.

0:20:430:20:48

-I hope I've said that right.

-You did. Spot-on.

-Well done.

0:20:480:20:51

Because this house overlooks it,

0:20:510:20:55

and has the most stunning views.

0:20:550:20:58

-Excellent. OK.

-Shall we go and have a look inside?

0:20:580:21:00

-Yes, please.

-Come on, then.

-Come on, then.

0:21:000:21:03

'This split-level house is cleverly built into the hillside,

0:21:030:21:06

'and has an upside-down layout, so we enter on the upper level.'

0:21:060:21:10

Come on inside.

0:21:100:21:13

Let's go straight through into the sitting room.

0:21:130:21:17

Yes. Oh, a fireplace.

0:21:180:21:21

-You like your fires.

-There's plenty of room.

0:21:210:21:24

-I think that's fine.

-Really fresh. Smashing.

0:21:240:21:27

And I like those doors. That's really nice. Perfect.

0:21:270:21:30

-And you've got the view of the woodland there.

-Excellent.

0:21:300:21:33

-It's very peaceful.

-Yeah.

0:21:330:21:35

Well, you spotted those doors straight away.

0:21:350:21:38

I'm going to take you through them now.

0:21:380:21:41

This leads to your private dining room,

0:21:410:21:43

which I know you were both quite keen on.

0:21:430:21:46

I like to cook, and I like friends coming over,

0:21:460:21:49

and it's easy access to the kitchen as well as the lounge,

0:21:490:21:52

-so it's just perfect.

-And also I can see the conservatory.

0:21:520:21:56

-You've spotted it. You like your conservatories!

-I do, yes.

0:21:560:22:00

We like to read and relax, and a conservatory's the perfect place.

0:22:000:22:05

-It's a huge bonus.

-Good.

-It's a big room.

0:22:050:22:07

Well, let's go through into the kitchen.

0:22:070:22:10

Perfect.

0:22:130:22:14

That's a word I don't often hear!

0:22:140:22:17

Yeah. It's just... The kitchen's just lovely and compact.

0:22:170:22:21

It's got everything that you would need.

0:22:210:22:24

-Breakfast area there.

-And I like the view again...

0:22:240:22:26

-View again.

-..from the kitchen window.

0:22:260:22:29

-That's Capel Garmon mountain.

-Right.

-Right.

0:22:290:22:32

So, you can both fight over who does the washing up.

0:22:320:22:35

THEY LAUGH OK.

0:22:350:22:38

They love those views, and I'm sure they'll think the large utility room

0:22:380:22:42

just off the kitchen is a real plus too.

0:22:420:22:45

So, we're back in the hallway, and the bedrooms and the bathrooms

0:22:450:22:48

all work off this part of the house.

0:22:480:22:50

As you can see, it's been built on the hill,

0:22:500:22:53

so two of the bedrooms are down these stairs.

0:22:530:22:56

Oh, nice. So, you've got a double bedroom and a single,

0:22:560:22:59

and they both work with this family bathroom.

0:22:590:23:01

-Right.

-Oh!

0:23:010:23:04

-OK, that's nice.

-Cupboard...

0:23:040:23:07

-Yep, storage. Got the shower there.

-Shower there.

-Everything you need.

0:23:070:23:12

-Perfect.

-Yeah. Perfect again!

0:23:120:23:14

-SHE GASPS

-It's that magic word, twice!

0:23:140:23:18

Got to keep this going now. Let's see if the rest of it is perfect.

0:23:180:23:22

-Andrew, we'll follow you.

-Thank you.

0:23:220:23:24

Further down the hallway you've got the other two bedrooms.

0:23:240:23:28

-Right.

-This is a large bedroom.

0:23:280:23:30

I think it would suit, probably, as a study.

0:23:300:23:33

-Yeah.

-You could put the piano in there,

0:23:330:23:36

so that, when we have guests, they're downstairs

0:23:360:23:38

-and we're on this floor.

-We didn't expect four bedrooms,

0:23:380:23:42

-so that's a bonus.

-It just gives you that flexibility,

0:23:420:23:46

and having your guests downstairs,

0:23:460:23:49

it's like it's their own private wing,

0:23:490:23:51

and you keep upstairs for you. Let's see your bedroom,

0:23:510:23:54

because we've got to get that right.

0:23:540:23:57

-Oh! Right.

-Oh, this is good.

0:23:580:24:01

-Yes.

-The L-shape is nice. Bit of a feature, isn't it?

0:24:010:24:05

Plenty of room.

0:24:050:24:07

-The views are there all the time, as you said earlier.

-Fabulous.

0:24:070:24:11

-And this room has the en suite.

-Oh, good.

-Yes, spotted that.

0:24:110:24:16

-Really well done.

-It's a shower room.

0:24:160:24:19

-Yeah. So you've got your shower in there.

-Perfect.

0:24:190:24:22

'It's another "perfect" from Tanis,

0:24:220:24:25

'and I think they'll like what they see outside.'

0:24:250:24:28

So, the actual house itself is on different levels,

0:24:280:24:32

-but so's the garden.

-Right.

-Right.

0:24:320:24:35

So, the first level is here. Got a nice dining area here.

0:24:350:24:39

-Barbecue.

-Barbecue could be perfect.

0:24:390:24:41

And you've got an original stone wall.

0:24:410:24:44

Different bits to enjoy.

0:24:440:24:46

-OK.

-And then...sturdy gate...

0:24:460:24:49

..you've got the more formal part of the garden.

0:24:500:24:53

-Right.

-Another nice area for entertaining.

0:24:530:24:57

A lot of privacy because of this very high hedge,

0:24:570:25:01

and you've got the stone wall. So that's the second half of the garden

0:25:010:25:04

-if you like.

-So, we've got all this, which is fine,

0:25:040:25:07

but where's my vegetable patch? SHE LAUGHS

0:25:070:25:09

You didn't forget, did you? If you look just behind you...

0:25:090:25:12

-Oh, right!

-..there's quite a lot of land there.

0:25:120:25:15

It's certainly big enough for a vegetable patch

0:25:150:25:18

-and a large shed.

-Shed.

0:25:180:25:20

Every man has to have a shed. It's the criteria, isn't it?

0:25:200:25:24

-Goes with the vegetable patch.

-Somewhere to hide.

0:25:240:25:27

THEY LAUGH

0:25:270:25:29

You've seen the whole house. You've seen the garden.

0:25:290:25:32

How much do you think the current asking price is?

0:25:320:25:35

Well, I think Betws-y-Coed is a very sought-after area.

0:25:360:25:39

It's an expensive place to live,

0:25:390:25:41

so I think it would still be at the top of our budget,

0:25:410:25:47

so in the region of 305?

0:25:470:25:51

Yeah.

0:25:510:25:53

I might go for that. 300, I would stop at.

0:25:530:25:56

Current asking price

0:25:560:25:58

is £289,950.

0:25:580:26:03

-Right. OK.

-So it is under your budget.

0:26:030:26:07

-Right.

-And nothing to do.

0:26:070:26:10

-No work.

-And nothing to do.

0:26:100:26:12

The only reservation I have is about the amount of sunlight

0:26:120:26:16

that's left at the end of the day. I think it might be an issue.

0:26:160:26:21

-Well, it is a fabulous property.

-It is.

0:26:210:26:23

-Why don't you take another look around?

-Right.

0:26:230:26:26

And I'll catch up with you in a minute. Off you go.

0:26:260:26:30

'Andrew and Tanis seem delighted by the price,

0:26:300:26:33

'space and location of this property.

0:26:330:26:36

'It may not have the light,

0:26:360:26:38

'as it has a north-easterly-facing garden,

0:26:380:26:40

'but it's certainly got views to die for.'

0:26:400:26:43

And, just shy of £290,000, it's under budget,

0:26:430:26:46

and offers a kitchen and separate dining room for Tanis,

0:26:460:26:50

four bedrooms with a master en suite,

0:26:500:26:52

a conservatory for Andrew, and it's in a desirable village

0:26:520:26:57

within half an hour's commute for Tanis.

0:26:570:27:00

-Oh, that's a single.

-Right.

0:27:000:27:03

-This is fine as a guest bedroom.

-Yeah.

0:27:040:27:07

It's just a shame there's no bathroom on this level,

0:27:070:27:10

-cos we'd get guests here, and...

-Go up and down the stairs.

0:27:100:27:14

-That's right.

-Yeah.

-Otherwise the size is fine.

0:27:140:27:17

I think it's a superb location.

0:27:170:27:19

It's a really smashing property, superb condition.

0:27:190:27:24

-You couldn't fault it at all.

-I like the conservatory.

0:27:240:27:27

I like the fact there's four bedrooms.

0:27:270:27:30

The fourth bedroom could be used as a study.

0:27:300:27:32

I have a couple of reservations. The size of the garden -

0:27:320:27:35

we were looking for something a little bit larger,

0:27:350:27:38

and also the amount of light that we have here.

0:27:380:27:42

During the summer it's fine, but obviously during the other seasons,

0:27:420:27:47

then it may be a major issue.

0:27:470:27:50

-Seen enough?

-Yes, thank you very much.

0:27:530:27:56

Good. Right, let's keep going.

0:27:560:27:58

Once Andrew and Tanis move to North Wales,

0:28:030:28:05

they'll be making the most of the Great Orme's fantastic walking territory,

0:28:050:28:10

and they'll be stumbling across its ancient Bronze Age copper mines,

0:28:100:28:14

the largest of their kind in the world.

0:28:140:28:16

It's astonishing to think that, when these 4,000-year-old mines

0:28:160:28:20

were discovered in 1987, the area was destined to be a car park,

0:28:200:28:24

until a small group of locals bought the lease

0:28:240:28:27

and opened the site to the public.

0:28:270:28:29

I'm here to meet archaeologist Sian James,

0:28:290:28:31

the Great Orme's very own Indiana Jones,

0:28:310:28:34

to find out more.

0:28:340:28:36

-Hello, Sian.

-Hi, Nicki.

-These mines are really special, aren't they,

0:28:370:28:41

not just for the local community,

0:28:410:28:43

but they've changed the way we look at Bronze Age Britain.

0:28:430:28:46

Absolutely. Before these mines were found,

0:28:460:28:49

it was thought that Britain imported all its copper in the Bronze Age.

0:28:490:28:53

Suddenly we've got a copper mine that dates back 3,500 to 4,000 years,

0:28:530:28:57

that has about 2,000 tons of copper, enough to make ten million axes,

0:28:570:29:02

so we were probably leading the world in copper production.

0:29:020:29:05

Are we able to go down into the mine and have a good look?

0:29:050:29:08

Absolutely. You'll need one of these, and off we go.

0:29:080:29:11

Excellent.

0:29:110:29:13

'Excavation work has uncovered over five miles of underground tunnels

0:29:140:29:18

'and prehistoric passageways that go as deep as 220 feet underground,

0:29:180:29:23

'and some are so small they must have been dug by children

0:29:230:29:27

'as young as five years old. It's certainly a squeeze,

0:29:270:29:30

'as Sian leads me through to look at some of the artefacts.'

0:29:300:29:33

Now, that's really green.

0:29:330:29:36

This is the malachite they were digging out.

0:29:360:29:38

It's a mixture of copper and carbon and oxygen.

0:29:380:29:41

Obviously they were just after the copper,

0:29:410:29:43

so they've got to heat it up with charcoal to 1,000 degrees centigrade

0:29:430:29:47

-to turn it into the copper ore.

-And what did they actually use

0:29:470:29:51

-to excavate it?

-We've got some of the tools just on the side here.

0:29:510:29:54

This is a cow's rib, stained green from the malachite.

0:29:540:29:58

We've found about 30,000 animal bones down here so far.

0:29:580:30:01

-That's a lot of animals, isn't it?

-It is.

0:30:010:30:04

And what did they actually produce once they'd managed to mine it?

0:30:040:30:08

Once they've turned that into the copper,

0:30:080:30:11

they're finally pouring it into a mould and making something like this.

0:30:110:30:14

This is a palstave axe, about 3,500 years old,

0:30:140:30:18

one that's been found in the local area, actually.

0:30:180:30:21

This might be the sort of thing you'd find in your back garden.

0:30:210:30:24

We might find one in one of the gardens we're looking at.

0:30:240:30:28

-If you do, give me a call.

-I will!

0:30:280:30:30

Right, let's head back to the surface.

0:30:300:30:33

'North Wales is a popular stomping ground for walkers,

0:30:330:30:36

'and this underground walk back through time

0:30:360:30:39

'has unearthed a fascinating story of how we lived 4,000 years ago.'

0:30:390:30:43

As our first day of house-hunting draws to a close,

0:30:450:30:49

Andrew and Tanis compare notes on what they think of the properties they've seen so far.

0:30:490:30:54

-What do you think about the lodge?

-The location was excellent,

0:30:540:30:57

beautiful views of the mountain range.

0:30:570:31:00

-That's right.

-The garden was spectacular.

0:31:000:31:02

The garden made that property. The house itself?

0:31:020:31:05

I liked the cottagey feel, but I was very disappointed

0:31:050:31:09

-with the second and third bedroom.

-Yeah. The open-plan bedroom,

0:31:090:31:12

that didn't work for me. I could never live with that.

0:31:120:31:15

-No, I agree.

-Yeah. OK.

0:31:150:31:17

And the modern property in Betws-y-Coed

0:31:170:31:20

was really, really super. The layout was ideal

0:31:200:31:23

-for modern living.

-I liked it from the start.

0:31:230:31:26

I particularly liked the slate on the back walls.

0:31:260:31:29

That was really, really nice.

0:31:290:31:31

And the inside, modern. It had everything - little conservatory,

0:31:310:31:35

-which was nice.

-The garden wasn't big enough.

0:31:350:31:37

-No.

-And I was a bit concerned, as well,

0:31:370:31:40

about the amount of light that we would get.

0:31:400:31:43

Even in the summer, you wouldn't have any sun after about 5:30,

0:31:430:31:46

in the height of the summer, so by the time you came home from work,

0:31:460:31:50

it would be no good for a barbecue.

0:31:500:31:52

Well, we've seen two very different properties today.

0:31:520:31:55

-Let's see what tomorrow brings.

-Yes.

0:31:550:31:57

Andrew and Tanis are upping sticks from their home in Neath, South Wales,

0:32:000:32:05

and relocating to North Wales, where Tanis's new job is based.

0:32:050:32:09

With a budget of £300,000,

0:32:090:32:11

they've embraced this house-hunt with gusto.

0:32:110:32:14

'Coming up, Andrew gets decisive.'

0:32:140:32:17

Why don't you go and have another good look around?

0:32:170:32:20

-I don't think we need to.

-Even better!

0:32:200:32:23

I don't feel at home in it, though.

0:32:230:32:25

And then there's the mystery house,

0:32:250:32:27

which is sure to stir up their emotions.

0:32:270:32:30

Yesterday went really well with Andrew and Tanis.

0:32:320:32:35

Although they know what they want, what I love about this couple

0:32:350:32:39

is they're very open-minded and willing to compromise.

0:32:390:32:42

So today we've got something very special to show them.

0:32:420:32:46

I just hope it hits the mark.

0:32:460:32:49

Our next house is in the village of Llansannan,

0:32:490:32:52

a half-hour drive from Llandudno Junction

0:32:520:32:54

where Tanis will be working.

0:32:540:32:57

Set in the vales overlooking the Clwydian mountains,

0:32:570:33:00

Llansannan is about as rural as you can get,

0:33:000:33:02

and it looks like Andrew and Tanis would get a warm welcome

0:33:020:33:06

from these local residents.

0:33:060:33:08

This restored property, dating back to the mid-1800s,

0:33:080:33:11

was formerly two farmers' cottages now knocked into one.

0:33:110:33:15

So, this is your next property. When you said you wanted rural

0:33:150:33:20

-I think we might have found it for you.

-Right. OK!

0:33:200:33:23

-Here is your cottage.

-Oh, gosh.

0:33:230:33:26

-First impressions, very nice.

-Yeah?

-Yes.

0:33:260:33:29

-It's very peaceful. Lovely atmosphere already.

-Good!

0:33:290:33:33

-Nice feeling.

-Good. Is this what you had in mind

0:33:330:33:36

-when you thought "escape to the country"?

-Yes. Absolutely.

0:33:360:33:39

-Good. Shall we take a look inside?

-Yes, please.

-Come on, then.

0:33:390:33:43

So, come through the porch. Plenty of space for muddy boots and coats.

0:33:450:33:50

-Straight into a very snug kitchen.

-It is. It's very quaint.

0:33:500:33:55

-A true farmhouse kitchen.

-It is, isn't it?

0:33:550:33:58

-It's really lovely.

-And you got the wood-burning stove over there.

0:33:580:34:03

-Oh, it's really delightful.

-I think this could work.

-Mm.

0:34:030:34:06

The only thing I'm not sure of is if there's enough storage space

0:34:060:34:11

-for everything. That's the only thing I would say.

-We'll manage.

0:34:110:34:14

THEY LAUGH

0:34:140:34:17

-You're going to find a way to manage, aren't you?

-Yes.

0:34:170:34:20

-OK.

-It's really lovely.

0:34:200:34:22

Good. I can imagine you having your breakfasts in here together,

0:34:220:34:26

but for more formal dining, let's go through here.

0:34:260:34:29

-Ah!

-Oh!

0:34:330:34:34

-Right.

-Look at this!

0:34:340:34:36

-Nice little room.

-It's compact. I love the brickwork,

0:34:360:34:39

and retained the stone. It's really superb.

0:34:390:34:42

-A lot of character.

-Yeah.

-Nice feature.

0:34:420:34:45

I can just see it would be really cosy.

0:34:450:34:48

-Christmas dinners?

-Be lovely, wouldn't it?

-Yes!

0:34:480:34:51

Yes.

0:34:510:34:53

'If they liked the stone in the dining room, they're going to love this.'

0:34:530:34:57

And this is your sitting room.

0:34:570:35:00

-Oh!

-NICKI LAUGHS

0:35:020:35:04

-That is absolutely fabulous!

-A working fireplace?

0:35:040:35:08

A working fireplace. I think this room is full of character.

0:35:080:35:13

-Yeah, it is.

-Look at that beam!

0:35:130:35:15

I mean, it tells a story in itself, doesn't it?

0:35:150:35:19

Can you imagine yourselves here in the winter, snuggled up on the sofa?

0:35:190:35:22

-It would be very cosy, yeah.

-We can picture that, can't we?

0:35:220:35:26

Yes, we can.

0:35:260:35:28

They've clearly fallen in love with what they've seen so far.

0:35:280:35:31

Next door there's a double room, one of the three in the house

0:35:310:35:34

which would make a great office for Tanis.

0:35:340:35:37

'We'll go upstairs to take a look at the other two bedrooms.'

0:35:370:35:40

You've got a long hallway here.

0:35:410:35:44

Leading off it is the master bedroom.

0:35:440:35:46

-Right.

-Right. That's fine.

-Plenty of light.

0:35:460:35:50

The skylight makes a big difference.

0:35:500:35:52

The only thing I'm a bit concerned

0:35:520:35:54

is that I've got quite a lot of clothes.

0:35:540:35:57

Find me a woman that hasn't.

0:35:570:35:59

You'll just have to get rid of some of them, that's all.

0:35:590:36:02

No. No. That's not what you ever want to hear.

0:36:020:36:05

It does have quite large wardrobes in here already,

0:36:050:36:09

so that's something to think about.

0:36:090:36:12

OK. Well, let's go back through to the third bedroom.

0:36:120:36:15

Oh, this is nice.

0:36:190:36:21

Bit of a recess there for a drawing unit.

0:36:210:36:24

You could put it there, couldn't you?

0:36:240:36:27

-This could be your dressing room when you don't have guests.

-Yes.

0:36:270:36:30

-Or your granddaughter. Got to think of Leah.

-Leah's room.

0:36:300:36:34

-Excellent. Let's keep going.

-Wonderful.

0:36:340:36:38

At the end of the hallway you've got the family bathroom.

0:36:380:36:42

-Lovely.

-This is nice.

0:36:420:36:44

-A lot of work in here again.

-Yeah.

0:36:440:36:47

This bathroom is the only one in the property.

0:36:470:36:50

You've probably noticed there isn't a downstairs cloakroom.

0:36:500:36:54

Perhaps a solution would be a downstairs extension or something.

0:36:540:36:57

Perhaps it's time to go downstairs and have a look at all that land.

0:36:570:37:02

'They seem to have lost their heart to this house,

0:37:020:37:06

'and outside is just as impressive.'

0:37:060:37:09

I know land is important to you, for your gardens, your vegetables,

0:37:120:37:17

so you get plenty here, over an acre.

0:37:170:37:19

And the boundary goes right the way along.

0:37:190:37:22

You can see where the trees are, all the way around the house.

0:37:220:37:26

But I wanted to show you these outbuildings -

0:37:260:37:28

storage, and you've got your workshop,

0:37:280:37:31

-so you might not need to have a shed.

-Right!

0:37:310:37:34

There's a bit of width there. Maybe I could put my car...

0:37:340:37:38

Perfect. But there's something else I want to show you.

0:37:380:37:41

Something else!

0:37:410:37:44

There is more. Through this gate.

0:37:440:37:46

I'm not sure if either of you ride...

0:37:460:37:48

-Oh, wow!

-..but you've got your very own stable block.

0:37:480:37:52

-I wasn't expecting that.

-If you weren't sure what to buy your granddaughter for Christmas,

0:37:520:37:57

perhaps you want a little Shetland pony.

0:37:570:37:59

-Do you think?

-Perfect home.

0:37:590:38:02

Right. Leah would have that as her play-house.

0:38:020:38:05

-THEY LAUGH

-Excellent.

0:38:050:38:08

I got to come back to that stunning view over there.

0:38:080:38:11

It is ideal. And what I like about it as well,

0:38:110:38:14

-is that you're just completely private.

-It would be lovely.

0:38:140:38:18

-Now, you love your wildlife.

-Yeah.

-You love your walks.

0:38:180:38:21

-Absolutely.

-There's plenty of that around us.

0:38:210:38:24

But the beloved vegetable patch - hopefully there's enough land here

0:38:240:38:28

-to keep you very happy.

-I think I could plant a few potatoes somewhere.

0:38:280:38:34

-It's time...

-Yes.

-..to make some tough decisions.

0:38:340:38:37

So, how much do you think the house is on the market for?

0:38:370:38:42

I would pitch it at about 290. Yeah.

0:38:420:38:45

I'd go slightly higher and say 295.

0:38:450:38:49

Well, you got a budget of £300,000,

0:38:490:38:53

and if you were to buy this property,

0:38:530:38:55

you'd get £50 change.

0:38:550:38:58

-OK.

-The asking price is £299,950.

0:38:580:39:03

Right.

0:39:030:39:05

-That's, er, really good.

-Your face!

0:39:050:39:08

THEY LAUGH

0:39:080:39:10

-I think that's something we could work on.

-Yeah.

0:39:100:39:12

When we walk into a property, we know if we like it straight away,

0:39:120:39:16

-and I think we had that vibe between us.

-We did.

0:39:160:39:19

Brilliant. Why don't you go and have another good look around?

0:39:190:39:22

-I don't think we need to.

-Even better!

0:39:220:39:25

Well, please do, and I'll meet you out the front.

0:39:250:39:28

-Thank you.

-Bye.

0:39:280:39:30

Well, they certainly seem head-over-heels about this house,

0:39:300:39:34

and I think it could be their ideal home.

0:39:340:39:37

For just under £300,000,

0:39:370:39:39

they would get a country kitchen with separate dining room,

0:39:390:39:43

a lounge with period features, three bedrooms,

0:39:430:39:46

1.3 acres of land set in glorious countryside,

0:39:460:39:50

and it's just over a 20-mile commute for Tanis.

0:39:500:39:54

-It's just brilliant, isn't it?

-Yeah. Inglenook fireplace.

0:39:540:39:59

Solid beam. Brilliant.

0:39:590:40:01

-Terrific character.

-Yeah, yeah. And plenty of light.

0:40:010:40:05

It's just been fabulous to see this house.

0:40:050:40:08

The kitchen in particular, very cosy feel.

0:40:080:40:11

The amount of land with it, and the opportunities that are there

0:40:110:40:15

for us to make it our own are excellent.

0:40:150:40:19

I'm very enthusiastic about this property.

0:40:190:40:21

From the moment I came into the driveway

0:40:210:40:23

and saw the house, how well it had been restored from the outside,

0:40:230:40:27

and I wasn't disappointed when I came inside.

0:40:270:40:30

I would say that it's a very serious contender.

0:40:300:40:32

Happy faces! Do you know,

0:40:320:40:35

I don't want to take you away from this property!

0:40:350:40:38

-We don't want to go.

-You really like it, don't you?

0:40:380:40:41

-We do, yes.

-Well, we're all in a very good mood,

0:40:410:40:44

having found this one, but... we've got another one to show you.

0:40:440:40:48

Yeah. So let's keep going.

0:40:480:40:50

Earlier in the week, keen nature-lovers Tanis and Andrew

0:40:570:41:00

met with Rebecca Clews from the RSPB Cymru

0:41:000:41:03

to find out more about the Menai Strait,

0:41:030:41:05

one of the most important conservation wildlife hot spots

0:41:050:41:09

in Wales.

0:41:090:41:11

We've picked a fantastic day to go round Puffin Island.

0:41:110:41:14

We're going to go out on the boat, see the breeding seabirds,

0:41:140:41:17

and in particular those lovely puffins.

0:41:170:41:20

-I hope we find some.

-Me too! OK, let's go!

0:41:200:41:23

Thank you.

0:41:230:41:25

The Menai Strait separates Anglesey from the mainland,

0:41:250:41:28

and there's plenty to see, including the grey seals,

0:41:280:41:31

with three quarters of the world's population making their home in UK waters.

0:41:310:41:35

And, scouring the shoreline for shellfish and worms,

0:41:350:41:38

there's a flock of oystercatchers, who do an impressive fly-past.

0:41:380:41:42

Half an hour's sail up the coast brings them to Puffin Island,

0:41:420:41:46

dated at 320 million years old,

0:41:460:41:48

and now a Special Protection Area for the seabird colonies.

0:41:480:41:53

And there's a noisy welcome from the residents.

0:41:530:41:56

On this side of the island tends to be where the majority of the guillemots are nesting.

0:41:560:42:01

They're on the ledges. They've got a special adaptation with the eggs,

0:42:010:42:05

so instead of a round egg, which is usual,

0:42:050:42:08

they've got a special-shaped egg, kind of a pear shape,

0:42:080:42:11

so if a bird knocks the egg, it'll just roll round

0:42:110:42:14

-instead of rolling off the edge.

-Amazing!

0:42:140:42:16

-Are any puffins here, then?

-There are some puffins, certainly.

0:42:160:42:21

There's a lot of cracks or fissures,

0:42:210:42:23

and this is where the puffins tend to be.

0:42:230:42:26

Although it's called Puffin Island,

0:42:260:42:28

-at the moment there aren't hundreds of puffins.

-Why is that?

0:42:280:42:31

There has been a problem with rats in the past.

0:42:310:42:34

So puffins, they tend to breed in burrows.

0:42:340:42:38

There used to be rats on the island.

0:42:380:42:40

Rats would go into the burrows, eat the eggs or even eat the chicks.

0:42:400:42:44

But in 1998, the Countryside Council for Wales

0:42:440:42:47

eradicated the rats, and the puffins have started to make a comeback.

0:42:470:42:51

-That's good.

-So, there were some counts carried out recently,

0:42:510:42:55

and there was about 50 individual puffins.

0:42:550:42:58

Although Andrew and Tanis are relocating for practical reasons,

0:42:580:43:02

their move will allow them to experience unique sites

0:43:020:43:06

such as Puffin Island on a regular basis.

0:43:060:43:09

It's mystery-house time,

0:43:150:43:18

and so far Andrew and Tanis have liked and seen the positive

0:43:180:43:22

in every property we've shown them.

0:43:220:43:24

But this house - this is completely different,

0:43:240:43:27

so it's going to be interesting to hear what they've got to say,

0:43:270:43:31

and whether it'll change their opinion of their dream home.

0:43:310:43:35

-So, today we're going to be looking at the mystery property...

-Right.

0:43:370:43:41

..which I always think is really exciting,

0:43:410:43:44

because it's always something a little bit different.

0:43:440:43:47

Is there anything you're hoping I'm not going to take you to see?

0:43:470:43:50

I think that the only concern I have

0:43:500:43:52

is that it might not be within our budget.

0:43:520:43:58

-OK.

-Yeah. I'm looking forward to the mystery property.

0:43:580:44:01

-Yeah.

-Although they're all a mystery to me,

0:44:010:44:04

because we don't know where we're going.

0:44:040:44:07

The mystery house is right on the coast in Y Felinheli,

0:44:090:44:12

meaning a half-hour drive to work for Tanis.

0:44:120:44:15

Looking out over the Menai Strait to Anglesey,

0:44:150:44:18

the village was historically a port for locally mined slate,

0:44:180:44:21

but nowadays its harbour caters more for messing about in boats.

0:44:210:44:25

With vistas out to sea and dramatic skies,

0:44:250:44:28

it's a perfect setting for a gentler pace of life.

0:44:280:44:31

During our house-hunt we've seen some really different properties,

0:44:310:44:36

but it's time now for the mystery property,

0:44:360:44:40

which is the bit I must admit I really love,

0:44:400:44:43

because it's something completely different,

0:44:430:44:46

pushing the boundaries, perhaps taking you out of your comfort zone.

0:44:460:44:50

-So are you looking forward to it?

-Very much. I'm very excited.

0:44:500:44:53

-Yeah?

-Yeah. Can't wait.

-Well, have a look down this lane.

0:44:530:44:56

That is your mystery property.

0:44:560:44:58

-Right. OK.

-But we're not millionaires.

0:44:580:45:01

-SHE LAUGHS

-It does look extremely grand,

0:45:010:45:05

doesn't it? But I'll let you into a secret.

0:45:050:45:08

The house has been divided up into six separate apartments.

0:45:080:45:11

-OK. Interesting.

-OK.

0:45:110:45:14

-Do you like a bit of history?

-I do.

-Do you like plenty of character?

0:45:140:45:17

-Yes.

-Well, hopefully you're going to love this house.

0:45:170:45:20

Don't worry, Tanis - it's only the west wing that's for sale.

0:45:240:45:27

This is a unique opportunity to buy a slice

0:45:270:45:30

of an iconic local property, so a perfect mystery house.

0:45:300:45:35

'It's a 17th-century Georgian mansion,

0:45:350:45:37

'where wealthy dignitaries of the day would have gathered,

0:45:370:45:41

'and it's now a magnificent conversion

0:45:410:45:43

'with bucketloads of original features.'

0:45:430:45:46

So, your front door is at the side of the property,

0:45:460:45:48

and it leads straight into your kitchen.

0:45:480:45:51

Hmm!

0:45:510:45:53

-Right.

-I like the range.

0:45:530:45:55

-It's very nice.

-It's very old, cold...

0:45:550:46:00

Er... Hasn't got that feel to it which I want

0:46:000:46:04

when I walk into a house. It's not there.

0:46:040:46:07

-Well, it is the mystery property.

-OK.

-Yes.

0:46:070:46:09

So we always try and make things a little bit different,

0:46:090:46:12

perhaps shake them up a bit. So shall we carry on exploring?

0:46:120:46:16

-Yes.

-I'm sure there's elements of this house you might like.

0:46:160:46:19

-You think so?

-I hope so, Andrew!

0:46:190:46:22

-I hope so.

-Come on, then.

-Let's go through.

0:46:220:46:25

So this could be a dining room,

0:46:250:46:27

-or it could be like a reception room.

-Right.

0:46:270:46:31

The wood panelling... This wood panelling dates back to the 1700s.

0:46:310:46:35

I'm sure it would do it for some people, but not for us.

0:46:350:46:38

Are you still intrigued by this property?

0:46:380:46:41

-Oh, I'd love to see it.

-Come on. Let's go round and enjoy it.

0:46:410:46:44

-All right.

-OK.

0:46:440:46:46

I'm glad they're intrigued. This house is a voyage of discovery,

0:46:460:46:50

as every room has its own identity.

0:46:500:46:53

We'll go through and size up next door.

0:46:530:46:55

So, how's this for a reception room?

0:46:550:46:58

Oh, that's nice and airy.

0:46:580:47:00

-Oh, I love the high ceilings.

-It's a big room.

0:47:010:47:04

It is. Very generous windows.

0:47:040:47:07

And the fireplace is nice, as well. Lovely!

0:47:070:47:10

-Tremendous amount of character.

-It's a much better room.

0:47:100:47:13

Can you imagine having one of your dinner parties in here?

0:47:130:47:16

-It would be nice.

-Only to hire.

-THEY LAUGH

0:47:160:47:19

-You could see where I was going there, couldn't you?

-Yes, I know.

0:47:190:47:23

-Time to go upstairs.

-Yes. Thank you.

-All right.

0:47:230:47:26

How is this for a hallway? And just look at that chandelier!

0:47:310:47:36

And that's an original Georgian rose feature...

0:47:360:47:39

-All right!

-..on the ceiling.

-Very nice. Yeah.

0:47:390:47:42

And then in here is the master bedroom.

0:47:420:47:44

Spacious.

0:47:460:47:48

It has quite an opulent feel.

0:47:480:47:51

Yes. Yeah, definitely.

0:47:510:47:53

Yep. Yeah. Another fireplace.

0:47:530:47:56

I don't feel at home in it, though. THEY LAUGH

0:47:560:47:59

One thing about this room is, you've got so much space.

0:47:590:48:03

-Oh, there's plenty space.

-You could have a dressing area.

0:48:030:48:06

You could do so much to it. But if the feeling isn't there,

0:48:060:48:09

it's going to be a bit different. But you might like the bathroom.

0:48:090:48:13

-This is the family bathroom.

-Right.

0:48:180:48:21

This property only has one bathroom. There's no downstairs cloakroom.

0:48:210:48:26

I'm surprised at that, the size of the building.

0:48:260:48:28

Nice touch in the beams, and I even like the blue.

0:48:280:48:33

-I quite like this room.

-Yes.

-I can say that.

0:48:330:48:36

-Good!

-I like the bath in the middle there.

0:48:360:48:38

-This is cosy.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:48:380:48:40

Wonderful. And then the other way out through the bathroom

0:48:400:48:43

is through into - well, this could be a second bedroom.

0:48:430:48:46

-It's currently being used as a reception room.

-Right.

0:48:460:48:51

-This does feel a little bit warmer.

-Yeah.

0:48:510:48:53

The mixture of colours just makes a difference already.

0:48:530:48:57

-I like the size of the room for a lounge.

-Yes.

0:48:570:49:00

Well, you like cosy, so there is one more room

0:49:000:49:03

-that you might love.

-Right.

-OK.

0:49:030:49:06

And the way to the third bedroom is up this amazing staircase.

0:49:060:49:12

Staircase.

0:49:120:49:14

So with any guests staying,

0:49:150:49:19

you could always put them up here.

0:49:190:49:22

-Oh!

-NICKI LAUGHS

0:49:220:49:24

Oh, those beams are absolutely amazing!

0:49:240:49:28

-How is this?

-Yeah, OK.

0:49:280:49:30

-You've got to admit this is a spectacular room.

-Oh, it is, yes.

0:49:300:49:33

-Up in the attic.

-Really nice.

-Very warm.

0:49:330:49:36

-And what about that staircase?

-It's something else, isn't it?

0:49:360:49:40

-I really like that staircase.

-You do?

-I do.

0:49:400:49:43

I think it's superb. Yeah, really nice.

0:49:430:49:45

It's unique, I think.

0:49:450:49:47

It looks like we've definitely succeeded in taking them out of their comfort zone.

0:49:470:49:52

'I love the authenticity of this house,

0:49:520:49:54

'but I understand it may be too grand a statement for them.

0:49:540:49:58

'And outside there's more to discover.'

0:49:580:50:01

Now, this country house does have a garden,

0:50:020:50:05

-but it's not attached to the main property.

-OK.

0:50:050:50:08

Because here, this would all be yours.

0:50:080:50:11

-This is where you'd park your two cars.

-Right.

0:50:110:50:14

-And this is actually the garden.

-Right. That could be nice.

0:50:140:50:18

-Getting plenty of sunlight.

-Mm-hm.

-It's not very large, though.

0:50:180:50:21

No. But just take a look at this as a treat. Down here.

0:50:210:50:26

Residents have a right of access across this field...

0:50:280:50:32

..to these magnificent views of Anglesey.

0:50:330:50:36

-Right.

-This is the Menai Strait.

0:50:360:50:38

You're allowed access through the farmer's field,

0:50:380:50:41

and then down there is a little beach

0:50:410:50:43

-which you're allowed to use.

-Ah! Very nice.

0:50:430:50:47

-How's that for a view?

-Oh, it's a beautiful view.

0:50:470:50:50

-You couldn't beat that.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:50:500:50:53

It is quite a magnificent property.

0:50:530:50:55

So, you've got to start thinking. Numbers time.

0:50:550:50:59

How much do you think it's currently on the market for?

0:50:590:51:02

I think I would put it around about 269.

0:51:020:51:05

OK.

0:51:050:51:07

I was thinking something similar. Yeah.

0:51:070:51:11

Well, the original price was over 400,000,

0:51:110:51:14

but it has come down recently. A little bit more than that -

0:51:140:51:18

-it's £298,000.

-Oh, right!

0:51:180:51:21

It's a beautiful home, but it's not the right home for you.

0:51:210:51:25

-No, it's not. No. But thanks anyway.

-That's all right.

0:51:250:51:28

Our mystery property offers living like a lord

0:51:280:51:32

with change in the pocket left over,

0:51:320:51:34

but its period splendour was lost on Andrew and Tanis.

0:51:340:51:38

Even the beautiful countryside and the beach didn't convince them.

0:51:380:51:41

Reduced from £425,000

0:51:410:51:45

and now under budget at £298,000, it commands respect,

0:51:450:51:50

offering two grand reception rooms with lots of Georgian features,

0:51:500:51:54

three large bedrooms,

0:51:540:51:57

spectacular views over the Menai Strait,

0:51:570:51:59

and it's half an hour's drive for Tanis to work.

0:51:590:52:04

This is quite a cosy room.

0:52:040:52:05

-Yes.

-It's a bit warmer.

0:52:050:52:08

-I think, um, it's got a lot of potential.

-Yeah.

0:52:080:52:12

It's not for me. It's not something that we were looking for.

0:52:120:52:15

It isn't something that we were really planning for.

0:52:150:52:18

But we can appreciate all the good points

0:52:180:52:20

as well as our personal taste.

0:52:200:52:22

Well, it's a very old property,

0:52:220:52:25

retaining many of the original features.

0:52:250:52:27

I'm certain that somebody will find this ideal for them,

0:52:270:52:31

but it's not for us.

0:52:310:52:33

-Well, have you seen enough now?

-I think so, yes. Thank you.

0:52:340:52:38

Well, it's decision time, so let's go and find somewhere quiet

0:52:380:52:41

where we can have a talk and go through the properties you've seen.

0:52:410:52:45

Great. Thank you.

0:52:450:52:47

Well, I think our house-hunt has been a real eye-opener

0:52:480:52:53

for Andrew and Tanis, and has given them a lot to think about.

0:52:530:52:57

It's decision time for Andrew and Tanis,

0:52:570:53:01

and I don't think I'll be far off the truth

0:53:010:53:03

if I say that the cottage was by far their favourite.

0:53:030:53:06

But do they like it enough to put in an offer?

0:53:060:53:10

Let's see what they've got to say.

0:53:100:53:13

Well, it's hard to believe, but it was only a few days ago

0:53:130:53:16

we were actually standing here contemplating our house search.

0:53:160:53:20

-Mm-hm.

-But how's it been for the both of you?

0:53:200:53:23

-It's been very, very interesting.

-Fantastic experience.

0:53:230:53:27

-Very worthwhile.

-Well, I'm really pleased we were able to help you.

0:53:270:53:31

But let's start off with the lodge in Llandyrnog.

0:53:310:53:35

What were your impressions of that property?

0:53:350:53:38

Wonderful garden. Absolutely fabulous position,

0:53:380:53:42

mountain views. The house itself really done nicely,

0:53:420:53:47

and had a lot of potential.

0:53:470:53:49

We weren't happy with bedroom two and three.

0:53:490:53:52

Still not sure about the open-plan bedroom,

0:53:520:53:55

and also there was still quite a lot of work to do

0:53:550:53:58

to turn it into what we would really like.

0:53:580:54:00

Now, we went to the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed

0:54:000:54:03

and we saw the property that was on the hill.

0:54:030:54:06

It was a modern property. The kitchen was really nice.

0:54:060:54:09

I liked the small conservatory.

0:54:090:54:11

The layout was excellent, and it was the right size,

0:54:110:54:14

but the garden wasn't large enough, really,

0:54:140:54:18

for what we wanted, and I was concerned, as well,

0:54:180:54:21

about the amount of light that would be there.

0:54:210:54:23

-Because of all the woodland and the mountains around.

-Precisely, yes.

0:54:230:54:27

Now, you were very taken with the farmers' cottages

0:54:270:54:31

-which had well over an acre of land.

-Yes.

0:54:310:54:35

The location was absolutely superb. Fantastic mountain views,

0:54:350:54:39

and we could just see ourselves in that house.

0:54:390:54:44

The size was excellent. It had three bedrooms,

0:54:440:54:47

everything that we could want.

0:54:470:54:50

Although it was only 20 minutes away from your new offices,

0:54:500:54:53

it was very rural. The property had been very tastefully modernised,

0:54:530:54:57

but retained many of the original features.

0:54:570:55:00

It just was absolutely gorgeous.

0:55:000:55:02

There's a large amount of land there, but it is a blank canvas,

0:55:020:55:06

open for us to put our mark on that exactly how we wanted,

0:55:060:55:09

-and that was nice.

-Yes.

0:55:090:55:12

So, from a property that really excited you

0:55:120:55:15

to the mystery house, and I don't think the reactions

0:55:150:55:19

-could be any more different.

-No.

-No.

0:55:190:55:21

It was an apartment with close neighbours,

0:55:210:55:24

which we're not used to. I said we are not anti-social,

0:55:240:55:29

but we do like our own space.

0:55:290:55:31

And also there was an issue about the garden.

0:55:310:55:34

It wasn't very large and it was on a slope,

0:55:340:55:36

and it wasn't ideal for the purpose that we would like to use it for.

0:55:360:55:41

So, bearing all that in mind,

0:55:410:55:43

what's the next step for you both?

0:55:430:55:46

Our house in Neath is currently on the market,

0:55:460:55:48

so we have to wait to see what happens there,

0:55:480:55:51

if we get enough interest. Then, if all things go to plan,

0:55:510:55:55

then, I think we will contact the vendors of the cottages

0:55:550:55:58

-and see if we can negotiate.

-Yes.

0:55:580:56:01

That's amazing news. So you're seriously thinking of putting in an offer?

0:56:010:56:06

Absolutely.

0:56:060:56:07

-Yes.

-Oh! I'm over the moon! That's absolutely brilliant.

0:56:070:56:12

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you. You've been wonderful,

0:56:120:56:15

and you've done a lot of work on our behalf, and it's helped a great deal.

0:56:150:56:19

And it's been an experience that we'll never forget.

0:56:190:56:22

-All the best with your retirement.

-Thank you very much.

0:56:220:56:25

-All the best with your promotion.

-Diolch.

0:56:250:56:28

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:56:280:56:30

Well, it's been a very successful few days here in North Wales.

0:56:340:56:39

Not only have Andrew and Tanis been pleasantly surprised

0:56:390:56:42

with what they could afford to buy, we also may have found them their dream property.

0:56:420:56:47

If they manage to sell their own home in South Wales,

0:56:470:56:50

they seriously want to put an offer in on that cottage,

0:56:500:56:53

so we wish them the very best of luck.

0:56:530:56:55

Join us again next time on Escape To The Country.

0:56:550:56:59

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

0:57:000:57:04

please apply online at...

0:57:040:57:06

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:100:57:14

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:140:57:18

.

0:57:180:57:18

Nicki Chapman helps a couple relocate from south Wales to north Wales, with a job promotion the driving factor. On a budget of £300,000 they need a three-bedroom detached house with a large kitchen and separate dining room. A garden big enough for a vegetable patch and a conservatory are also high on their wish list.


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