Northamptonshire Escape to the Country


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Northamptonshire

Property series. Denise Nurse helps a couple cast off from urban life and seek peace and relaxation in the country, in a home with a generous kitchen and garage.


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Today I'm in a county that is famous for two things.

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The first, a very decisive battle fought here in 1645.

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The second is shoes. Want to know how the two of them are linked?

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Join me in a moment to find out.

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In today's show, I'll be helping two city slickers cast off from life by the River Thames

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and seek out peace and relaxation in the country.

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We'll be seeing houses that make them jump for joy.

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SHE LAUGHS

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Not just space for hanging!

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Fantastic!

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Jumping up and down.

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Brilliant!

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And there's our mystery house, which might call for drastic action.

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The furniture we have at the moment

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we'll just stick on a bonfire and start again.

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Today I'm in Northamptonshire

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and this is a monument to the Battle of Naseby,

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the definitive battle in the English Civil War.

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Not only did Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army win that fight,

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they did it wearing shoes and boots made in this very county.

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And that is something that Northamptonshire

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is still famous for. There were 600 pairs of boots

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and 4,000 pairs of shoes marching across this field.

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That's a lot of leather.

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But leather is not the only thing that this county is famous for.

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Northamptonshire has been shaped by its

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strategic position in central England

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since the time of the Romans, with transport links by road

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and river ensuring it became a prosperous trading centre.

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The production of leather emerged as one of Northamptonshire's key trades

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and, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, it was the tanning capital of the world.

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Besides being a hub for industry, Northamptonshire is often dubbed

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the county of spires and squires, due to the many stately homes

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and churches that rise up from its vast, undulating landscape.

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As for properties, there's a great range,

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from thatched cottages made from local sand ironstone,

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to lavish mansion houses, making it an ideal place to seek out a rural hideaway.

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Northamptonshire is great for commuters.

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The M1 runs right the way through the county and there's a regular

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hour service from Northampton station direct to London Euston.

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And those transport links are set to improve.

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In 2011, they are upgrading Northampton station and by 2015,

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there should be brand-new high-speed trains travelling at 125mph.

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And the property prices are pretty attractive round here, too.

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The average detached house comes in at 11% less

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than the national average.

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So let's take a look at what's on offer right now.

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For £1.15 million, this seven-bedroom

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stone-built house in Gayton

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has spectacular character features in spades.

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The kitchen-diner has been modernised

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with doors leading out to the large garden and a host of outbuildings.

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This restored three-bedroom thatched cottage in Spratton,

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on at £410,000, has a contemporary feel

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but retains its beams and fireplaces.

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The kitchen is impressively high spec with granite worktops

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and there are doors opening out to the garden.

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For £325,000, this attractive three-bedroom cottage

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has a cosy inglenook fireplace in the dining hall

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and an inviting sitting room with lots of light.

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The garden is divided into zones and has the bonus

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of a separate stone-built office.

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With such delightful properties on the market, I am pretty hopeful

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about our house hunt for today's buyers. So let's meet them.

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Paul, a tax adviser, and Lorna have lived in their London

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end-of-terrace townhouse in Docklands for the last five years

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and have loved lapping up urban life on the river.

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But after a holiday in New Zealand, they had a major rethink of their priorities

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and a move to Northamptonshire is very much on the cards,

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which racing car addict, Paul, is very pleased about.

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I regularly visit Silverstone, so I know the area well

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and I've gradually introduced Lorna to that area.

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But it's not just Silverstone that's a driving factor

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for their move to Northamptonshire.

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Paul needs space for a few cars of his own.

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The house is not ideal because I have several cars.

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It would be great to get them out of storage and into our own garage.

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He also has an urge to have a boy's shed.

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They may need more space but don't want to feel isolated.

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I think the sort of location we're looking for for our next house

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is a village within striking distance of a town,

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so we can cycle in, which is what we like doing.

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What kind of lifestyle are they hoping for in the country?

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The lifestyle we are looking for in the country is probably

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a lot more relaxed and quiet than we have had in London.

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We are both used to rushing around for work

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and our social lives are really busy.

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Lorna in particular has very definite ideas

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on her likes and dislikes.

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The sort of house I don't want to move to is the typical

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chocolate-box thatched cottage style, with lots and lots of beams

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running across the ceiling, low ceilings, small rooms.

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In the new house I'd four bedrooms,

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dining room, study, utility room,

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outdoor space, garage,

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and if we can get all those in one place that would be fantastic.

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I'm more flexible than Lorna.

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As long as there's room for me to either have an outbuilding

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which I can use for the vehicles, or create one myself, that's fine.

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Interesting. In a county full of rustic properties,

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Lorna's saying "no" to thatch and "yes" to minimal.

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I'm used to clean lines, minimalist interiors, contemporary feel,

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so I'm hoping that whatever we find

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has that modern feel that we've become used to.

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This is my study. I run my business from here.

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It's really important, when we move, that I have an equivalent room.

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One of the main reasons for moving is more outdoor space,

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as we only have a balcony with two window boxes. I want to grow my own vegetables.

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You can't imagine growing carrots in a window box,

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so if we can move and have that vegetable patch, that would be cool.

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So that they can buy a new home, they need to know how much they have to spend.

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We've asked a local estate agent to value their house.

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This property's beautifully presented,

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brilliantly positioned for a family home,

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so we recommend an initial asking price of £575,000.

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With that in mind, what's the budget for the new house?

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Our budget for the new house is around £500,000.

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Thatches are a no-go zone.

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But if there's a garage for the car collection

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and enough space in the garden for a vegetable patch, they'll be happy.

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As long as we also find them four bedrooms, a study, some reception rooms and a large kitchen.

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And they want that elusive mix of old and new.

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Some beams but not too many. An old shell with a contemporary interior.

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That's becoming something of a trend on this show.

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I'm seeing it a lot - but it doesn't make it any easier.

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With Paul and Lorna looking for good road links,

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our house search will radiate out from the market town of Brackley,

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and we might stray over the odd county border.

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I'll be showing them a great selection of properties

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but I won't reveal the price until they have had a guess first.

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The grand finale will be our awe-inspiring mystery house.

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Good morning, Paul and Lorna.

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Thank you for bringing me here on this fabulous morning.

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Great county, Northamptonshire.

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Close to Silverstone. Is that the only reason we're here?

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Yes.

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Different ideas on this one.

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We are in central London at the moment and love it, but with friends and family moving out of London

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and located around the country, if we can move somewhere central, it makes life easier.

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-So, a lot of thought has gone into this.

-Yes.

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Not just about the car racing.

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After six months in New Zealand, you have had time to consider this.

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New Zealand's pretty stunning. Why back home rather than there?

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It's a lovely place to visit, beautiful scenery, wonderful people

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-but we don't think we could live there. We would rather go and visit people.

-And the style of property?

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Conversions - that's really what you're looking for.

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I would love a barn conversion.

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Something that's got a period look, character, but inside, modern, contemporary, a little bit funky.

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New Zealanders are keen on a bloke shed and it's a wonderful idea.

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So, it's a big wish list. How much money?

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-We have around £500,000.

-If it was perfect, we would go to 550.

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OK, so there's a bit of room if it's the ideal property and you don't have to do anything.

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That's good to know because we obviously have fantastic properties.

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We should get going.

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This is a real, big change for you.

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Are you sure you going to be able to make the decision easily together?

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When you look at the house, do you think you're going to just know?

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I believe, if you walk into a place, it feels right or it feels wrong.

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So I'm hoping that sort of gut instinct will kick in, either way.

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It certainly happened for us as soon as we walked in at London.

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Yeah, the house that we're in at the moment.

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-So you're expecting the same magic again.

-Yes.

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If a conversion is what they want, a conversion is what they will get.

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Our first property is just over four miles from Brackley in the village of Croughton.

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For drink and provisions, they could bike a couple of miles down the road to Charlton

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with its traditional pub, village shop and post office.

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There are some eye-catching properties in the area, including a Methodist chapel dating back to 1904

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but converted some 15 years ago. Right, this is it.

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I didn't realise you were bringing us to the mystery house first.

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It feels like it should be the mystery but given the requirement of a conversion,

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this is going to deliver on that.

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You're surrounded by neighbours and obviously we are on a road.

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How do you feel about the location?

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That's my only reservation is the road.

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-It's quite busy.

-But I like the front.

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The front's amazing. You've got wonderful arched windows

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and that feeling of a church but you can see it's been converted.

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Well, the unique character appeals to Lorna.

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Let's hope they both see the light as we step inside.

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In we come.

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Through the vestibule.

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-Wow!

-Indeed.

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-Nice space.

-You have some useful things through here as well.

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you've got a room through there which they're currently using as a gym - quite a good space.

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Over here is the downstairs loo and a utility room.

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-That's the washing area, so it's away from things.

-Good. I like that sort of thing.

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The room I really want you to see - one of the many - is through here.

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Through the big, grand entrance hallway into...

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Fairly grand...

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Yes! Like!

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Good space.

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Wood burner.

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This would be perfect.

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It's a nice shape as well.

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Easy to put things in and move things around. Yeah, I like it.

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-Oh! What else?

-She likes it, what else?

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A fabulous kitchen. If you like this, you're going to love what I'm going to show you next.

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'Can it get any better? I can't wait to see Lorna's reaction.'

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What do you think of this?

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Like it. Look at the size of this!

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I love it already. I just want to be able to sell our house!

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This kitchen is exactly what I'd want. Space. Storage.

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Everything's been done to the highest specifications, great attention to detail.

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-That, for example, is your fridge.

-Sold! Are they leaving it?!

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-They're leaving it. All of this stays.

-Stunning. Stunning room.

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Stunning.

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Two big yeses so far.

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We're heading upstairs now. What do I need to show you up there?

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-Bedrooms, bathrooms, en suite.

-"Bedrooms, bathrooms, en suite!"

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More of the same, please.

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This is a kitchen where no expense has been spared and there are more

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beautiful design features on the way upstairs.

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The light streaming through on this stairway is glorious. Isn't it?

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-All thanks to these amazing windows which have obviously stayed from the original chapel.

-Double aspect.

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Double aspect with huge windows, a great feature.

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You've got the beams and a fair amount of space.

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Bit more than perhaps you were expecting?

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Can't see yet.

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-How many bedrooms were you looking for, Lorna?

-I wanted four.

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I'm quite happy with three.

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-He'd go down to three.

-Do you think you could cope with five?

-Five? Up here?

-Yes.

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Yes, indeed. There are five bedrooms.

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One would make an ideal study for Paul.

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And that leaves them three comfortable guest rooms, including a nice sized double

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and two stylish singles - one with some lovely old beam details.

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But we'll take a look at the family bathroom.

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-Here we go.

-Wow! Oh!

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It's a small space but actually we've got a lot in it and it doesn't feel small. It feels really big.

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I like the huge mirror and that, in itself,

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is what makes the room look twice the size.

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-The skylight, looking out at the sky.

-Brilliant.

-Right.

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Time to look at that master suite.

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Excellent.

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And through this way.

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Lovely. Another great room. Really good.

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So this could work.

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I did call it a master suite.

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I did, didn't I?

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Perhaps that's because behind here, there's a little bit more.

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Have a look in there.

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Walk-in wardrobe. Go on, walk in to the walk-in wardrobe.

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Space for hanging stuff.

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And not just space for hanging! Fantastic!

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-A proper wet room.

-A proper wet room.

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Exactly like at home, which is the room I wanted to take with me

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and be able to plonk somewhere else. Brilliant.

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I've just gone from being a little disappointed to being really happy.

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It's like Narnia!

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This is me, just totally.

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So, you're saying this is you.

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But we're doing a "we", so...

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If Lorna's happy, I'm happy. this suits me fine.

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So, what else would this house have to give you, or are you happy already?

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I'm happy with the interior. I need to see what's going on outside.

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I want the same kind of reaction out of you.

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I'm working on you, Paul. I want the joy. And I want some jumping.

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-Come on.

-I can't believe I did jump, actually.

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Let's get outside.

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This is an impeccable conversion and I can see Lorna is totally in love with it.

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I'm praying the outside space holds the same magic for Paul.

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This is the area I am going to come to you a little bit more, Paul, to see what do you think.

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-The cars.

-Yes.

-Front of the house,

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you could park five vehicles and on this side there was planning permission to build a garage.

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There's space there. How do you feel about that?

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This is the area where you compromise with this property.

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-Yeah, it is.

-But it's a compromise I'm quite happy with.

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OK, we've reached the moment! Go on. You're going to tell me how much you think it's worth.

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I'm going to say 600.

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I would definitely go lower. 545.

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-Wow.

-That is very precise.

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And I've got to say, the winner is Paul. That's spot-on.

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How did you do that?

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This property's on the market and has been on for three weeks at £545,000.

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Three weeks? That's...

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Well, if the... That's great.

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It's do-able. Reversing out of there still could be a problem but let's have a look at it.

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Let's have another look at the front.

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I don't know if you can reverse out of the other side of the house.

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Lorna's going to find a way to make this work. Off you go!

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Investigate how you'll back out of the front and where the cars will go.

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Oh, my word. It's only property number one.

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They love it. Paul, a little bit more reserved, but I have feeling that Lorna gets what she wants,

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but will she still want it when she's seen our other houses?

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At £545,000, this unique chapel conversion is at the top of their budget.

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But there's nothing to change.

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Are you prepared to compromise on...?

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There's only one person making the compromises here.

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I'm compromising on the garden! There's no garden.

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Initially, I was disappointed because of the traffic noise

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but once you come in, you completely forget about it and it's just stunning.

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I'm totally attached emotionally to the house.

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I've been here half an hour and can't find fault with it.

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-I like just playing with the drawers!

-You'd do that all day, wouldn't you?

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I'm going to have to be careful because this doesn't compromise anything, particularly, for me.

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It will be more of a compromise for Paul and we can't always work on what I want.

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I think Lorna's over the moon.

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She will put up with any compromises in order to have it.

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A-ha! Plenty of space for your cars out here and I reckon we can reverse out no problem.

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I'm going to make Paul practise now.

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I know you love this one but there's so many more to see.

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So let's get moving.

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Paul's passion for cars and desire to be near Silverstone fuelled their choice of location.

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But they know very little about Northamptonshire.

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What better starting point than Towcester,

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the county's oldest market town, three miles from the race track?

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Towcester is loaded with historic buildings, from its Norman Church,

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built on Roman remains, to the 19th-century corn exchange.

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But, just outside the town centre, is an architectural first.

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Stoke Park was designed by self-taught architect Inigo Jones,

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who was inspired by his travels around Italy

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and planned it in the Palladian style.

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In 1629, it was really ahead of its time.

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It was his passion for classical architecture that won Jones many Royal commissions.

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The original house was destroyed by fire in the late 19th century.

0:20:090:20:12

So today only the east and west wings remain.

0:20:120:20:17

Our couple of city slickers will certainly have plenty of local gems

0:20:170:20:20

up their sleeve to show to their friends when they come to visit.

0:20:200:20:23

Let's hope they continue to be wowed by our line-up of properties.

0:20:230:20:27

Our next conversion takes us just seven miles from Brackley

0:20:320:20:36

and we're skipping over the Buckinghamshire border

0:20:360:20:38

to the small village of Chackmore.

0:20:380:20:40

Chockfull of desirable properties, there's a pint on tap at the pub

0:20:400:20:44

and lovely walks at Stowe Gardens.

0:20:440:20:46

Let's see if this conversion of an old stable block gets the thumbs up.

0:20:460:20:52

-Come round here. We've taken you into Buckinghamshire.

-Yes.

0:20:520:20:56

Slightly across the border. And this is the barn conversion...

0:20:560:21:01

-Aha!

-..that I want to delight you with.

0:21:010:21:04

-Really pretty.

-Paul, what are your first impressions?

0:21:040:21:07

It looks quite interesting.

0:21:070:21:09

-Well, a barn conversion was right at the top of your wish list.

-Yes.

0:21:090:21:13

So let's see what you make of the inside.

0:21:130:21:15

On paper, this should suit them down to the ground.

0:21:150:21:19

But with Lorna it's all about gut instinct.

0:21:190:21:22

Let's see how she reacts inside. Right, through the hallway.

0:21:220:21:26

-Nice little boot room area.

-Um-hm.

-And into the dining space.

-Yeah.

0:21:260:21:31

Um...it's a little bit dark, is my first reaction.

0:21:310:21:35

-A separate dining room, which I like.

-Yeah, no.

-You do like that?

0:21:350:21:39

I quite like the idea of a separate dining room.

0:21:390:21:42

-A muted response. This way. Look at the kitchen. See what you think of this.

-OK.

0:21:420:21:46

-Now, it's definitely a lot lighter in this room, I think.

-Yes, it is.

0:21:460:21:50

Fairly nice size. Lots of storage space. Double oven. Brilliant.

0:21:500:21:56

-And you like the granite worktops.

-Yes. I like granite worktops.

0:21:560:22:01

Having a separate dining room, I'm wondering why they need a table here as well.

0:22:010:22:05

Breakfast. You don't always sit at the dining table, do you?

0:22:050:22:10

-So there's scope to move things here.

-Yes. That's personal taste.

0:22:100:22:14

And I like the curved corners on the windows.

0:22:140:22:16

Little details. Oh, yes. OK. So warming up a bit.

0:22:160:22:20

Let's go to the other side, the living room,

0:22:200:22:22

-to see what you make of that.

-OK.

-After you.

0:22:220:22:25

Right, through here, this is your living room.

0:22:260:22:30

A very nice-sized space.

0:22:300:22:33

-It's got a wood burner for you.

-Oh, yes, I like that.

-It's dual fuel.

0:22:330:22:38

-A multi-fuel burner.

-Ah!

-The exposed stonework, does that work for you?

0:22:380:22:43

-I like that wall.

-That wall's nice.

-OK.

-That wall, no, doesn't work.

0:22:430:22:48

-It's not really doing it.

-No. It looks too artificial.

0:22:480:22:51

Does it feel as if it could be a living room for the two of you?

0:22:510:22:55

I don't see us sitting here.

0:22:550:22:58

I haven't got that gut feel that I should be here,

0:22:580:23:01

whereas in the other property, when I walked in I could see myself there.

0:23:010:23:05

I feel as if I'm not winning you over yet.

0:23:050:23:07

-Upstairs we've got five bedrooms.

-Right.

-OK. Right.

0:23:070:23:10

-A bonus on what you were asking for.

-It is.

-So let's have a look.

0:23:100:23:15

-You do get a lot of space and this is a great location.

-Yes.

-OK.

0:23:150:23:18

'Well, you can't predict how someone's going to react. Let's head upstairs.'

0:23:180:23:23

Right. Five bedrooms up here.

0:23:230:23:25

Three on this side and just here is the family bathroom.

0:23:250:23:30

-Poke your heads in and have a look.

-Well, that's quite small!

0:23:300:23:34

-Very small.

-Smallest bathroom sink I've ever seen.

0:23:340:23:37

-It's normally in a downstairs cloakroom.

-It's bijou!

0:23:370:23:41

-Bijou, yeah. But there is a bath and shower.

-It's a huge bath.

0:23:410:23:45

You could have fun in your tiny bathroom! Let's see the bedrooms.

0:23:450:23:49

Well, this is one of the larger rooms. It's a child's at the moment.

0:23:490:23:53

-You could fit a double bed in but not much else.

-Yeah.

0:23:530:23:57

It'd be a bed and bedside table probably.

0:23:570:24:00

-For guests, do you need much more?

-Perfect guest room.

-Yeah.

0:24:000:24:03

'Next door, there's study space for Paul and plenty more rooms,

0:24:030:24:08

'with a large double room in the eaves and another single room.

0:24:080:24:13

'Now we'll go right to the end of the landing to size up where they would sleep.'

0:24:130:24:18

-Right, master bedroom back here.

-Yep.

0:24:190:24:22

-Bigger than the others.

-Yeah, definitely.

0:24:220:24:25

And, because the family bathroom

0:24:250:24:28

was a little bit tinier than you wanted...

0:24:280:24:30

have a look in there.

0:24:300:24:33

So, you get the stand-up shower. A small en suite.

0:24:330:24:36

It's got everything you need.

0:24:360:24:38

So, you've seen pretty much all of the house.

0:24:380:24:43

I've had a fairly, er...restrained response from you.

0:24:430:24:47

It's a family home at the moment. So lots of rooms do work for the current owners

0:24:470:24:51

but for you two, there's scope to open some of it up and, as you say, put your stamp on it.

0:24:510:24:56

-Make it a little more modern or to your taste.

-Yes. More contemporary.

0:24:560:25:00

There's the space here and, in particular,

0:25:000:25:02

the reason we want to show you this property is the outside space.

0:25:020:25:06

-Oh, right, OK!

-This one's for you, Paul.

-OK.

0:25:060:25:09

So let's go outside and have a look.

0:25:090:25:10

'This is a great family home.

0:25:110:25:14

It doesn't have the dimensions they expected with a conversion but it does have all the bedrooms

0:25:140:25:19

'and, outside, there's plenty of space for Lorna's vegetable patch.

0:25:190:25:23

'But I'm particularly hoping it will appeal to Paul.'

0:25:230:25:26

So, from up here, you can see your double garage, Paul!

0:25:260:25:30

It will be for you for the cars. You've got two there and this space.

0:25:300:25:34

-I was thinking enough room to build the bloke shed.

-Oh!

-Could do.

0:25:340:25:40

-That's a good idea.

-Yeah, that would work.

-What are you thinking?

0:25:400:25:44

I had thought I would do away with the bedroom above

0:25:440:25:47

and make the workshop extend upwards.

0:25:470:25:50

I like that! Hydraulic things...

0:25:500:25:52

So I can jack the cars up and work underneath.

0:25:520:25:57

-Three stacked up and you lose a bedroom. You only wanted four!

-Yes.

0:25:570:26:01

-Exactly, a small one. Of course, if this is the house for you.

-Yeah.

0:26:010:26:05

And that partly depends on the price. So, Lorna,

0:26:050:26:08

how much do you think this is on the market for?

0:26:080:26:12

-Um...I'm going to say 495.

-495. OK.

0:26:120:26:16

-And I will go 450.

-450!

0:26:160:26:20

-So quite a big drop.

-Yes.

-It's on the market at £475,000.

-OK.

0:26:200:26:24

-So you're right, it is under budget.

-Yes.

-What do you think of that?

0:26:240:26:30

-It's not for me.

-Ooh! Nothing to consider.

-Um...no.

0:26:300:26:34

It's not a place I've walked into and thought, yes,

0:26:340:26:38

this is where we could move to and be settled.

0:26:380:26:41

And it's strange cos I can't quite put my finger on it

0:26:410:26:45

but we'd have to do quite a lot of work to make it feel like ours.

0:26:450:26:50

Well, before we leave, let's look at that garage and dream about where your classic cars could have lived.

0:26:500:26:57

-Go on.

-All right. See you later.

0:26:570:26:58

Under budget, at £475,000,

0:27:010:27:03

and with more bedrooms than they asked for,

0:27:030:27:06

this stone-built conversion may not have lived up to their dream

0:27:060:27:10

but it has some great selling points.

0:27:100:27:13

-So is this OK for you?

-It would work as a garage but that is all it is. It's a double garage.

0:27:280:27:34

-Yes.

-I've got a door at the back to access the back garden

0:27:340:27:38

and I could put a workshop out there.

0:27:380:27:40

So, yes, it would work.

0:27:400:27:43

I feel with this house, it's like an ordinary four-bedroom detached house.

0:27:430:27:48

In my head, as a barn conversion,

0:27:480:27:49

I was perhaps expecting a property where we got nice,

0:27:490:27:52

high ceilings, bigger rooms, a bit more of an open plan set-up inside.

0:27:520:27:57

Perhaps I've just made that up but once I've got that in my head,

0:27:570:28:01

I think I was a little disappointed with how this was in reality.

0:28:010:28:05

-Right, time to make a move.

-All right. Onwards, yes.

0:28:070:28:10

Northamptonshire has a fascinating shoe-making history.

0:28:170:28:21

In the late 1940s, there were around 240 shoe-making factories in the county, of which about 34 remain.

0:28:210:28:27

I'm meeting David Dickerson from one of the renowned local companies

0:28:270:28:31

to find out how a best-of-British shoe is made.

0:28:310:28:33

This is where it all starts. The beginning of the process.

0:28:330:28:37

I can smell the leather!

0:28:370:28:39

An amazing array.

0:28:400:28:42

This is a typical calf leather. It's probably three to four months old.

0:28:420:28:45

-This is a by-product, isn't it?

-Yes, a by-product of the meat industry.

0:28:450:28:50

Although nowadays modern machinery has kicked in to cut out the leather linings,

0:28:500:28:56

traditional skills are still employed in what's known as the clicking room.

0:28:560:29:01

So, here, we're actually cutting by hand and this is where the term "clicking room" comes from

0:29:020:29:08

because the knife, as it goes round the brass-bound patterns tended to make a clicking noise.

0:29:080:29:13

And that's where the term clicking came from.

0:29:130:29:16

And it's next door in the closing room where the shoe uppers start to take shape.

0:29:160:29:22

Well, it's a hive of activity in here, isn't it?

0:29:220:29:26

Here, we're actually doing an operation called under edging.

0:29:260:29:30

This is trimming off the surplus lining material and stitching around the top at the same time.

0:29:300:29:36

-What style of shoe is this, then?

-This is a classic brogue Oxford.

0:29:360:29:39

And why do we only have girls in this room? Seems segregated?

0:29:390:29:44

Well, historically, it's always been women in the closing room.

0:29:440:29:49

There are stories that machines were brought in, where everything was traditionally hand stitched

0:29:490:29:54

When the machines were brought in, they went on strike and women replaced the jobs the men did.

0:29:540:30:01

So the men went on strike because of modernisation and women came in to save the day.

0:30:010:30:06

That's how the story goes.

0:30:060:30:08

So, where do we find the finished product?

0:30:080:30:11

-The next department.

-OK, thank you very much.

0:30:110:30:14

From start to finish, these shoes go through about 200 different stages

0:30:140:30:19

and typically take around seven weeks to make.

0:30:190:30:22

It's certainly no quick stitch job!

0:30:230:30:25

-What's happening here?

-This is called welt sewing.

0:30:250:30:29

-This is the most important part.

-And what exactly is that?

0:30:290:30:33

We stitch a leather welt to the rib here and we then stitch the sole

0:30:330:30:39

to the welt, so the whole thing is then held together.

0:30:390:30:41

Does it make it more waterproof, longer lasting?

0:30:410:30:46

It's a flexible process. The main thing is, the shoes can be repaired three or four times,

0:30:460:30:51

so they become good value for money.

0:30:510:30:53

How much money would a shoe like that cost?

0:30:530:30:56

-It's been through many processes.

-Retail, you're talking probably £200.

0:30:560:31:01

Some of our customers charge £300 - £400.

0:31:010:31:05

So, what does the final shoe look like?

0:31:050:31:08

This is pretty well at the end of the process, so...

0:31:080:31:11

Look at that. A thing of beauty!

0:31:110:31:14

-It is.

-Isn't it? Just gorgeous.

0:31:140:31:17

I have a new appreciation of what has gone into making it.

0:31:170:31:20

A home-made British shoe.

0:31:200:31:23

100% British, yes.

0:31:230:31:25

With the first day of our house hunt at an end,

0:31:290:31:32

Lorna and Paul have a chance to reflect on the properties they've seen so far.

0:31:320:31:37

-So, how do you think today went?

-I think it's been very informative for both of us

0:31:390:31:43

because I think we now have a better idea of what we like and don't like.

0:31:430:31:46

-So what did you like about the chapel?

-The chapel.

0:31:480:31:51

I loved the lounge space. It was great.

0:31:510:31:54

We could do all sorts of things with that. Into the kitchen, clever use of space.

0:31:540:31:59

Lots of storage and five bedrooms.

0:31:590:32:01

To have a wet room which was almost identical to what we've got

0:32:010:32:04

and really wanted was brilliant.

0:32:040:32:07

The garden area was a bit small but it would suit me.

0:32:070:32:10

It's not overlooked. We can sit out there.

0:32:100:32:14

We don't have to buy a lawnmower!

0:32:140:32:16

There's hardly any gardening to do, which suits me fine.

0:32:160:32:18

So what do you think about the barn conversion then?

0:32:180:32:21

The kitchen was OK but nothing more than OK.

0:32:210:32:23

It was nice to have a separate dinging room. That was different.

0:32:230:32:27

There was a lot of money that would have to be spent on that place.

0:32:270:32:30

And we still wouldn't be happy with it.

0:32:300:32:32

-I don't think they're going to be able to top the chapel.

-No. No.

0:32:320:32:36

-I'd be surprised.

-I'd be well impressed.

0:32:360:32:38

Paul and Lorna want to escape from London and, with their £550,000 budget,

0:32:460:32:51

are on a mission to find their perfect country pad in rural Northamptonshire.

0:32:510:32:56

Lorna's already got her heart set on one of the properties we've seen.

0:32:570:33:01

But, coming up, our mystery house could well scupper her plans.

0:33:010:33:05

-I'm loving it.

-He's loving it! A big chuckle.

-I knew he would!

0:33:050:33:10

Don't tell him that. Can you up the numbers a bit?

0:33:100:33:14

Yesterday, I think I may have peaked a little too early.

0:33:160:33:21

Lorna's reaction to that chapel is probably the best reaction I've had to a first house on this show,

0:33:210:33:27

so my challenge today is to try to top that. Wish me luck.

0:33:270:33:31

Our house hunt continues 27 miles from Brackley in the village of Cogenhoe.

0:33:350:33:39

Paul and Lorna could stride out down the Nene Way into unspoilt countryside.

0:33:390:33:44

Alongside the Norman church that overlooks the village green

0:33:440:33:48

is yet another conversion, dating back to 1843.

0:33:480:33:52

-And this used to be the old school house.

-Oh, right.

0:33:520:33:57

-That's nice. Lovely windows.

-You like, but I'm not feeling love.

-I like the concept.

0:33:570:34:01

I think it looks really nice. Looks really pretty.

0:34:010:34:04

-But what's inside?

-You always just want to see inside, don't you?

0:34:040:34:08

Seen the outside now, let's move on!

0:34:080:34:10

Come on, let's see if I can get you jumping up and down.

0:34:100:34:13

This is a really impressive house from the outside.

0:34:130:34:16

And hopefully, they will give the inside a warm reception.

0:34:160:34:21

It's a great door, there, very solid.

0:34:210:34:24

Come on in.

0:34:240:34:26

So, this house was bought by an old shoemaker who did the renovation back in the '70s.

0:34:260:34:31

Wow!

0:34:320:34:34

-Nice kitchen.

-He didn't do this.

0:34:340:34:36

-Modern for his time! I love the oven. Look at that. Really nice.

-That's very good.

0:34:360:34:42

-I quite like it.

-You quite like it? You're surprised, aren't you?

0:34:420:34:46

-This is quite nice! Yes, it is.

-I like the flooring, too.

0:34:460:34:51

Through there is a utility space and a downstairs loo.

0:34:510:34:54

Everything covered and plenty of space to entertain as well.

0:34:540:34:58

Let's go and have a look at the living room.

0:34:580:35:01

Right, through the glass door, into your living room.

0:35:070:35:10

Fantastic windows all around.

0:35:100:35:11

-Beautiful. Lovely windowsills.

-Mullioned windows.

0:35:110:35:15

Over here, this great fireplace. You can still smell it, can't you? You can, actually.

0:35:150:35:20

It does feel nice and comfortable. You can imagine being cosy in here.

0:35:200:35:24

It has a nice feel to it.

0:35:240:35:26

Through there we have another reception room which could easily be a dining room if you wanted it to.

0:35:260:35:33

OK. Let's have a look upstairs. Upstairs we've got a few bedrooms.

0:35:330:35:37

-A few?

-A few.

0:35:370:35:40

We've got three in fact.

0:35:400:35:42

-We've got three. See if that's enough for you.

-OK.

0:35:440:35:49

At the moment, this property seems like a contender.

0:35:500:35:53

Let's see if Lorna can compromise on her demands for upstairs.

0:35:530:35:58

Great shutters on the windows up here.

0:35:580:36:00

And we follow through into this, which is the master bedroom.

0:36:000:36:04

Nice size.

0:36:040:36:07

But there is no en suite.

0:36:070:36:08

Er, right. That's a bit of a negative.

0:36:080:36:12

In as much as if we are looking for a property where we could have more friends and family for a visit,

0:36:120:36:17

-the one bathroom situation is not ideal.

-A problem.

0:36:170:36:22

If we come up with an option for your guests...?

0:36:220:36:25

If there is a workaround.

0:36:250:36:28

I feel as if it's been growing on you as we've been walking around.

0:36:280:36:31

I felt quite comfortable with it.

0:36:310:36:33

In fact, I've probably gone slightly down, knowing there is no en suite, but if there's a solution...

0:36:330:36:39

-We're still in with a chance!

-A possibility.

-Right!

0:36:390:36:42

Well, Lorna, fear not. There's a surprise to follow later.

0:36:420:36:45

Upstairs there are two other bedrooms -

0:36:450:36:49

a good-sized double and a nice, cosy single.

0:36:490:36:52

There's also a bright, modern family bathroom.

0:36:520:36:55

I think they're still on board with this house and my surprise outside should hook them even more.

0:36:550:37:00

-A good-sized garden.

-Very nice. Good views.

0:37:020:37:06

-Staircase!

-You spotted that already!

0:37:060:37:10

I'm coming to that! Concentrate on the garden first of all.

0:37:100:37:13

-Lovely views.

-There's no-one going to be building on that piece.

0:37:130:37:18

And, over here, Paul, a bloke shed. It looks a bit girly at the moment.

0:37:180:37:23

-Looks more like a doll's house.

-It looks really pretty.

0:37:230:37:27

You can toughen it up a bit.

0:37:270:37:30

Finally, I'm going to put you out of your misery. There is a fourth bedroom.

0:37:300:37:33

The staircase leads to...

0:37:330:37:35

The guest room. Come on.

0:37:350:37:37

The bedroom may be in a quirky place but it's not short on space.

0:37:370:37:42

Now, look at this for an extra room.

0:37:420:37:46

-Great space.

-Something you weren't expecting.

-No. Granny annexe.

-Yeah!

0:37:460:37:51

It is, if she can make it up the stairs.

0:37:510:37:54

It's got its own lovely en suite there. Got the shower in there.

0:37:540:37:58

It's a great room. So, take it all in, let's go back outside. And then guess the price.

0:37:580:38:03

All right. Put your thinking hat on.

0:38:030:38:04

This house and garden has a bit of everything they have asked for.

0:38:040:38:08

But now we need to go and talk money.

0:38:080:38:10

This is such a beautiful time of year, isn't it?

0:38:100:38:12

The leaves falling, the colours, and that would be your view if you lived here.

0:38:120:38:17

-Wonderful village, 10 minutes from Northampton.

-Very quiet.

0:38:170:38:21

Quiet. Quaint.

0:38:210:38:23

-You know where I'm going with this, don't you?

-I'm struggling.

0:38:230:38:27

I'm hoping you will keep talking to give me more time.

0:38:270:38:29

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

0:38:290:38:33

I would say it's 500,000.

0:38:330:38:36

I'm going to go higher. I'm going to go 540.

0:38:360:38:39

This property could be yours for...

0:38:390:38:42

..£435,000.

0:38:430:38:46

Oh, wow!

0:38:460:38:48

-We were both well out.

-Well out. It's well under your budget.

0:38:480:38:53

-Gosh, that changes things.

-It does.

0:38:530:38:56

So, we could afford to put the staircase in and make that annexe a part of the house.

0:38:560:39:00

Still don't know where to put the cars.

0:39:000:39:02

But you do keep some of your cars in a separate location at the moment, don't you?

0:39:020:39:07

Off you go, start thinking about it.

0:39:070:39:10

I'll see you later on.

0:39:100:39:12

Under budget at £435,000, this old school house is a great property.

0:39:120:39:19

But anything we show them now is going to come up against the chapel conversion which they loved.

0:39:190:39:24

-This is a good space.

-It's all set up as a study.

0:39:370:39:42

Get all your work stuff in here.

0:39:420:39:43

I'm very concerned about the lack of parking. The garden is lovely.

0:39:430:39:48

Nice little surprise to have a balcony where we can sit out and look out across the fields.

0:39:480:39:52

-I think the lack of the shower is a problem here.

-Yes, we need one.

0:39:520:39:56

If you look in this cupboard...there's no boiler.

0:39:580:40:03

I noticed that.

0:40:030:40:04

So you could do away with that and put a decent shower in this end.

0:40:040:40:08

I think we could do with having that option.

0:40:080:40:11

I quite like this property.

0:40:110:40:13

The downstairs space is really good -

0:40:130:40:16

nice living room and kitchen.

0:40:160:40:18

Upstairs is a bit disappointing. Three bedrooms, two quite small and you'll struggle to fit a double bed.

0:40:180:40:25

There is the annexe but, at the moment, it is a bit impractical.

0:40:250:40:30

We could integrate it with the house but it is going to take time and money,

0:40:300:40:34

so the upstairs lets it down for me.

0:40:340:40:36

I think this is where the schoolchildren may have carved their initials into the wall.

0:40:360:40:39

Something that Lorna and Paul could be doing... Hello!

0:40:390:40:42

If you moved in here, you could put your name...

0:40:420:40:46

There's more to see. We haven't finished yet. Come on.

0:40:460:40:50

Paul and Lorna already cycle in London

0:40:560:40:59

but they're keen to get out and about more on two wheels when they move to Northamptonshire.

0:40:590:41:03

Salcey Forest, just seven miles from Northampton, is perfect for getting on your bike.

0:41:030:41:09

So they're meeting Linda Johns, a local artist, who's a passionate regular visitor to the forest.

0:41:090:41:14

-Hi, Lorna. Hi, Paul.

-Hiya.

-Hello.

-Good to meet you.

0:41:140:41:18

-I gather you're keen cyclists?

-Yes.

-Yes.

-OK. Let me show you the forest.

0:41:180:41:22

Spanning 1,200 acres of ancient oak woodland,

0:41:230:41:26

Salcey dates back to Henry VIII's time.

0:41:260:41:29

Nowadays, it's a Site of Special Scientific Interest

0:41:300:41:33

but there are unexpected sites growing on these trees.

0:41:330:41:37

Here we can see we have some books. It's part of a Book Crossing club.

0:41:370:41:41

The idea is that people bring their books up here and leave them

0:41:410:41:45

for others to pick up and when they've read them, they leave them for someone else.

0:41:450:41:49

-That's unusual.

-It is, yeah. So much goes on in the forest!

0:41:490:41:53

They fell in love with the outdoors in New Zealand

0:41:560:41:58

and this forest certainly has its high points, with a 1,000ft long treetop walk.

0:41:580:42:03

Here we are, right at the top of Salcey Forest and you can see out over the trees.

0:42:030:42:08

-Over there you can see Northampton.

-Great view.

0:42:080:42:11

Well, freewheeling around this forest would be the perfect antidote to Paul's motorsport mania.

0:42:110:42:16

We've just got to nail the right house.

0:42:160:42:18

Right, for the mystery house we have decided to show them something old,

0:42:210:42:27

packed with period features

0:42:270:42:29

and at a different end of the county to that which they were looking for.

0:42:290:42:33

But they are going to get a lot more for their money here

0:42:330:42:37

and they could end up as lord and lady of the manor.

0:42:370:42:40

But what do they think we've got lined up for them?

0:42:400:42:44

I have visions of you taking us to a brand new house. Red bricks, square, my absolute hate.

0:42:440:42:50

-Hate.

-But it's more likely to have the double garage and outdoor space than older properties

0:42:500:42:55

because they were not built with that in mind.

0:42:550:42:59

So that's what I think it will be.

0:42:590:43:02

How wrong you are, Lorna!

0:43:040:43:05

Our mystery property is 38 miles from Brackley,

0:43:050:43:08

in the village of Barton Seagrave.

0:43:080:43:10

As well as a handy post office, there's a Norman church right on the village green.

0:43:100:43:16

And, surprise, it's NOT a conversion.

0:43:160:43:19

It's a seventeenth-century manor house.

0:43:190:43:22

I know you like contemporary, so we've brought you period.

0:43:220:43:25

Grade 2 listed period.

0:43:250:43:28

-I think it looks beautiful.

-It looks substantial, solid, old.

0:43:280:43:32

-Paul?

-I'm loving it!

-He's loving it. I got a nice, big chuckle.

0:43:330:43:37

I'm going to score highly with this house with you, I'm sure.

0:43:370:43:40

-Let's have a look inside.

-OK.

0:43:400:43:43

Well, Lorna seems a bit awestruck by the period grandeur

0:43:430:43:47

but, dare I say, Paul's revved up and raring to go.

0:43:470:43:50

This house is full...

0:43:500:43:54

of period features. Amazing hallway.

0:43:540:43:57

All of the panelling. Actually, this was put up in the '30s.

0:43:570:44:01

It doesn't date back that far.

0:44:010:44:03

And this room...

0:44:030:44:05

This is what you call a dining room.

0:44:050:44:08

A dining room. Wonderful fireplace there.

0:44:080:44:11

-Yeah, the stone hearth. Huge fireplace.

-Love the dining table.

0:44:110:44:14

-Yeah.

-This is very different to the contemporary sharp lines, clean...

0:44:140:44:19

Yeah, it's totally removed from that.

0:44:190:44:21

-Paul?

-I love it already.

0:44:210:44:25

And I'm loving this role reversal.

0:44:250:44:28

Giggles and smiles from Paul, and Lorna is considering her opinion.

0:44:280:44:33

-Let's work on that.

-OK.

0:44:330:44:35

So, through here you've got a lovely living room.

0:44:380:44:42

Another period part of the property.

0:44:420:44:44

-Lots of beams.

-Look at that fireplace.

-Wonderful fireplace.

0:44:440:44:47

-It's huge.

-So deep.

-I could live here quite happily.

0:44:470:44:51

You're going to have to convince Lorna this time.

0:44:510:44:55

-Some good arguments about this one.

-Not all of it dates back so far.

0:44:550:44:59

There are some extensions, some modern touches.

0:44:590:45:02

Some slightly more modern touches.

0:45:020:45:05

Let's go back to the 20th century.

0:45:050:45:08

Circa 1960. Through here.

0:45:080:45:11

A bit more space.

0:45:110:45:13

-Another sort of seating area.

-I think this would make a nice reading area.

0:45:130:45:18

Nice reading area. A bonus.

0:45:180:45:20

-Something you haven't even asked for.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:45:200:45:23

-Something you have asked for, though, is a good kitchen. You might like this one.

-Go on, then.

0:45:230:45:28

We need Lorna to love this kitchen if we're going to convince her of living the manor house lifestyle.

0:45:280:45:32

So fingers crossed.

0:45:320:45:35

Now, the kitchen is not the biggest, but I still think it's pretty nice.

0:45:350:45:40

It's smaller, from what we've seen of the house so far from the outside,

0:45:400:45:45

the house looks huge and the kitchen is disproportionately small.

0:45:450:45:48

-But you've got everything you want.

-"Everything I want", I hear you say!

0:45:480:45:52

"You've got everything you want!"

0:45:520:45:55

-"I love the house, you like the kitchen!"

-Yes, you will like it.

0:45:550:46:00

In all seriousness, it's smaller than many kitchens and it's obviously not a kitchen diner

0:46:000:46:06

but this house does extend that way as well, you've got two other fairly sizeable rooms down the corridor.

0:46:060:46:12

Perhaps you could put a kitchen in there, but this is Grade 2 listed.

0:46:120:46:17

There's a lot of space, a lot of options.

0:46:170:46:19

-Let's go upstairs and see the bedrooms.

-OK.

0:46:190:46:22

Paul seems at home here but Lorna's still reserving judgement.

0:46:220:46:26

She should be happy as there are four bedrooms upstairs.

0:46:260:46:29

Let's see if the master can win her over.

0:46:290:46:32

You get even more character upstairs, I think.

0:46:320:46:35

Partly the furnishings.

0:46:350:46:37

They've really found furniture that fits the period.

0:46:370:46:41

You've got the big four-poster bed. What would you do with it?

0:46:410:46:44

I think this is a room where we could perhaps modernise it to satisfy Lorna's tastes.

0:46:440:46:50

The en suite round here, you get a shower, a stand-up shower, and it's quite nice, that room.

0:46:520:46:57

-Could become a wet room.

-Indeed.

-Paul, you love this house already.

0:46:570:47:01

-I do.

-Safe to say.

0:47:010:47:03

But what I really want is to make you jump up and down with joy.

0:47:030:47:07

So come and see what I'm going to show you next.

0:47:070:47:10

There are another three bedrooms -

0:47:130:47:14

a very grand double room,

0:47:140:47:17

a single tucked away in the eaves

0:47:170:47:20

and a generous single currently used as a dressing room.

0:47:200:47:24

There's also a family bathroom with a roll-top bath.

0:47:240:47:27

But now let's make Paul a happy boy.

0:47:270:47:30

Right, outside, Paul, and I have finally found you

0:47:300:47:36

what I think is a bloke shed.

0:47:360:47:38

I'm in heaven.

0:47:380:47:41

Jumping up and down.

0:47:410:47:44

Brilliant! You have got your carport, a garage and an extra room.

0:47:440:47:50

Come on, let's have a look.

0:47:500:47:52

'Oh, dear. While Paul's jumping up and down, Lorna's gone very quiet.

0:47:520:47:57

'This is no ordinary garage. There's an upstairs with endless possibilities.'

0:47:570:48:02

Yes, Paul. You don't just get space for the cars,

0:48:030:48:07

you get space for the toys as well.

0:48:070:48:09

-Movie room.

-Yes?

-Yes, I think it would be a music room.

0:48:090:48:14

-A music room.

-I like this, you're actually excited about this.

0:48:140:48:19

-Yeah.

-I prefer...

0:48:190:48:22

This could be my ladies' outdoor shed. House, parlour.

0:48:260:48:31

Bloke shed out the window.

0:48:310:48:33

Lorna's moving in. Sorry, I tried.

0:48:330:48:36

As long as I've still got downstairs, that's fine.

0:48:360:48:38

And that is it. Just the garden to look at and time to talk about how much all this costs.

0:48:380:48:43

-Oh dear!

-Off you go. I'll follow you.

0:48:430:48:47

Well, the mystery house has certainly delivered for Paul but it might be a project too far for Lorna

0:48:470:48:52

unless the garden and the price can swing it.

0:48:520:48:55

Well, the house is big and so is the garden.

0:48:550:48:59

Compared to everything else we've shown you, plenty of room for a vegetable patch up here.

0:48:590:49:03

Good entertaining area.

0:49:030:49:06

And from back here you can have a good look at the manor which could be yours.

0:49:060:49:10

It comes at a price. What do you think that is?

0:49:100:49:12

-Well, because I'm so in love with it, I'm going to say it's right at the top of our price...

-Yeah.

0:49:120:49:19

So I would say, all right, I'll go 540.

0:49:190:49:24

540, OK.

0:49:240:49:26

I'm going to go for 575.

0:49:260:49:27

-575? Over budget.

-Oh, dear.

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

0:49:270:49:32

But you could get your hands on it for £499,000.

0:49:320:49:36

Wow!

0:49:360:49:38

Don't tell him that, please! Can't you up the numbers a bit?!

0:49:380:49:43

We have to bear in mind there are things we would need to do to it.

0:49:430:49:47

With my heart, I would say whatever the price, and just pay it

0:49:470:49:50

but we've got to take into account the work that needs doing.

0:49:500:49:54

And the furniture we have at the moment...

0:49:540:49:56

The furniture we have at the moment, we just stick on a bonfire and start again!

0:49:560:50:01

That's the first time anyone's ever said that!

0:50:030:50:06

I was looking for a reaction from you, Paul. I wasn't expecting that.

0:50:060:50:10

You love it enough to burn all your furniture. Brilliant.

0:50:100:50:13

-And start again.

-I think you'll have to convince Lorna of that.

0:50:130:50:17

And while you work on that, off you go.

0:50:170:50:21

Lot of work to do.

0:50:210:50:23

Who expected that?

0:50:230:50:25

I did not see that coming.

0:50:250:50:27

I wanted Paul to love it, but not that much.

0:50:270:50:29

-Here's the space that you wanted.

-It is.

0:50:510:50:55

Garage next door to keep the valuable cars.

0:50:550:51:00

I love it.

0:51:000:51:04

Oh dear, oh dear!

0:51:040:51:06

This house was not at all what I was expecting to see

0:51:060:51:10

but the more I walked around it, the more I could see that it would be a wonderful home to live in.

0:51:100:51:15

And to come out the back and find this as well was just phenomenal.

0:51:150:51:21

My initial reaction about the house when we first arrived was,

0:51:210:51:24

it looks pretty, it looks stable, it looks good in its setting.

0:51:240:51:29

I still feel this is a really large property where just the two of us

0:51:290:51:33

in an average week, we would bumble about it and we would never meet.

0:51:330:51:38

Do you reckon they're still talking to each other?

0:51:380:51:41

Hmm? Smiles?

0:51:410:51:44

Fixed grin, I think.

0:51:440:51:46

Right. Decisions to be made, so let's find somewhere quiet.

0:51:460:51:49

Lorna and Paul's journey around our properties is at an end.

0:51:560:51:59

I don't think they ever thought they'd find themselves disagreeing on their favourite property.

0:51:590:52:05

Just when they think they know exactly what they want,

0:52:070:52:11

we show a couple the mystery house and throw everything into turmoil.

0:52:110:52:14

The problem here is that Lorna and Paul's country dream seems to be going in two different directions.

0:52:140:52:20

Can they get it together? Let's find out.

0:52:200:52:24

A-ha! What a nice place to find the two of you.

0:52:270:52:29

It's great, isn't it?

0:52:290:52:31

In front of an open, roaring fire.

0:52:310:52:33

And...?

0:52:330:52:35

We're talking at the moment.

0:52:350:52:36

Let's just reflect and go through all of them, starting with the chapel conversion.

0:52:360:52:42

What were you thinking when you arrived?

0:52:420:52:45

It was just fantastic.

0:52:450:52:47

Kitchen was fantastic. Really high-spec.

0:52:470:52:50

For me, the whole house worked.

0:52:500:52:52

It was a great compromise between old and new.

0:52:520:52:55

They had mixed the two styles together really well and there was nothing I'd want to do to it.

0:52:550:53:00

I could do with somewhere to keep my cars and a shed, so that was missing but there was space for it.

0:53:000:53:05

Now, we took you to see a barn conversion

0:53:070:53:09

and that was something specifically on your wish list.

0:53:090:53:12

The initial appearance was lovely.

0:53:120:53:14

The sun was shining off the mellow stone. It looked very nice.

0:53:140:53:18

It was a nice setting but I was disappointed with that first room.

0:53:180:53:23

I think that influenced the rest of my feelings.

0:53:230:53:25

Even though it was a good space, these things are important.

0:53:250:53:30

It's that gut reaction, instinct, that first feeling as you walk in.

0:53:300:53:35

I didn't get it.

0:53:350:53:37

I think all the rooms were on the small side -

0:53:370:53:40

downstairs as well as upstairs - but especially upstairs.

0:53:400:53:45

Sticking with our conversion theme, we took you to a converted schoolhouse.

0:53:450:53:49

So, did it tick all the boxes for you?

0:53:490:53:53

No.

0:53:530:53:55

Why not? It should have done.

0:53:550:53:57

Why not? Where am I supposed to put my cars?

0:53:570:54:00

There was absolutely nowhere.

0:54:000:54:03

No potential.

0:54:030:54:05

-The cars would have had to go.

-That is a step too far!

0:54:050:54:10

Definitely a step too far.

0:54:100:54:13

Now, at this point in the show, leading up to the mystery house,

0:54:130:54:17

I was pretty sure we'd already shown you your dream house, the chapel.

0:54:170:54:21

And our mystery, designed to throw a curve ball, might not do the trick.

0:54:210:54:26

What a shock I had.

0:54:260:54:29

I was hoping you would like it, Paul, but you loved it.

0:54:290:54:32

Yeah, I really loved it.

0:54:320:54:33

Beautiful setting, little village green, just looked stunning from the outside.

0:54:330:54:38

Inside it offered a lot more space than even you were expecting.

0:54:380:54:43

Lots of rooms, and of course on the outside, so much room you had your own bloke shed, finally.

0:54:430:54:51

Yes! We even had a room above the bloke shed,

0:54:510:54:53

which could be a music room or cinema.

0:54:530:54:56

Or girls' room!

0:54:560:55:03

I even got you to jump up and down for that property.

0:55:030:55:05

The problem is we have ended up with two houses.

0:55:050:55:10

-Usually I would ask you which one you were interested in but I think it's very clear.

-Chapel.

-Manor.

0:55:100:55:16

OK, have we progressed this any further,

0:55:160:55:19

the discussion between you as to which one you would go for?

0:55:190:55:24

We've got to decide which we want.

0:55:240:55:26

If we go for the chapel, yes, the location's ideal.

0:55:260:55:31

-And so is the property.

-No.

0:55:310:55:33

The house is ideal but it's got nothing that I want.

0:55:330:55:37

I could build it...

0:55:370:55:39

Ideal but not anything that you want.

0:55:390:55:43

It's ideal, the house, but the grounds have not got what I want

0:55:430:55:46

so I'll have to spend a lot of money and time to build what I want

0:55:460:55:50

so that I've got somewhere to work.

0:55:500:55:53

Whereas the manor house has got it already.

0:55:530:55:56

Is this the first challenge like this?

0:55:560:55:58

-Do you usually agree on everything?

-We do. It's been quite interesting.

0:55:580:56:03

Paul would normally side with me if I've got a preference.

0:56:030:56:06

This is the first time I've stuck up for myself.

0:56:060:56:09

Probably one of the first times where he's actually said, "We need to fight this one out." So...

0:56:090:56:14

-So watch this space.

-Watch this space indeed.

0:56:140:56:17

It's been a great journey. I've really enjoyed it.

0:56:170:56:19

I can't wait to find out where you end up.

0:56:190:56:22

Ah! Whoever said the course of true property hunting would run smoothly?

0:56:240:56:29

We started with such a high, then a little low,

0:56:290:56:32

then Paul came to life and fell in love with the mystery house.

0:56:320:56:36

Now, which one will they go for? The chapel or the mystery? I really don't know.

0:56:360:56:40

One thing I do know for sure - whichever one they go for will be ideal for the two of them.

0:56:400:56:45

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

0:56:450:56:48

Paul and Lorna couldn't agree on either house, so for the moment they're happy staying put in London.

0:56:500:56:55

So, if you'd like to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales,

0:56:550:56:59

Northern Ireland or England

0:56:590:57:02

and need our help, apply online at...

0:57:020:57:08

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:250:57:28

Email [email protected]

0:57:280:57:32

Denise Nurse is helping a couple cast off from urban life by the River Thames and seek out peace and relaxation in the country. They are looking for a converted building that offers a generous kitchen for entertaining, four bedrooms, a large garden to grow vegetables in and a big garage in which to mess about with a treasured car collection.