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It's hard to believe that only ten years ago these gardens were derelict,
but thanks to one man's determination,
they've been restored to their former glory.
And which county inspired such horticultural devotion?
Stay with us as we escape to the country.
In today's show, I'll be helping a couple who want to sell up and find the perfect country retreat.
This is lovely. I would be more than happy with this.
I'll be showing them some of the best homes the area has to offer.
Just what we're looking for.
And as ever, our surprise offering.
Mystery house time, and you can already see something pretty impressive.
I'd say so, yes.
I'm in Somerset, and these are the Georgian landscape gardens at Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton.
Designed in the 18th century, they were hidden for many years
by hundreds of trees and thousands of tonnes of undergrowth
until they were rescued by a mixture of dogged determination
and just the slightest hint of British eccentricity.
I will be discovering more about these gardens later, but for now,
join me as we unearth some property gems in this bewitching county.
Somerset is situated in the south west of the country, bordered by Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire.
Our house hunt takes us to the region dominated by the Quantock Hills,
the first place to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Just to the south of the hill range is Taunton, the county capital,
a busy market town with Saxon roots, which boasts a 12th century castle.
But Somerset's jewel in the crown is the royal city of Bath,
celebrated for its Roman baths and Georgian architecture, made from distinctive Bath stone.
From grand limestone houses to pretty cottages thatched
in locally-sourced reed, this county offers classic country properties for all budgets.
This county is about more than just poetry and grandeur.
If you're thinking of moving here, you should know
that there are big plans ahead for this part of Somerset.
Taunton is undergoing a £1 billion regeneration project.
It's aimed at creating 18,000 new homes and at least 7,000 new jobs.
If you bear that in mind, an influx of money into the region does mean that property prices
are likely to inflate, making now the perfect time to get a slice of the West Country.
So what DO you get for your money?
Well, £1.3 million would buy this fabulous five-bedroom family home
just outside South Petherton.
All the rooms are of generous proportions, not least the master en suite.
And who could resist an indoor pool like this?
Or a more reasonable £550,000 would buy this six-bedroom former manor house in Woolavington.
It's believed to have belonged to the Abbey of Glastonbury
and its core is said to date back to the 1400s.
It's been lovingly restored and has a large, mature garden.
Or if you're looking to unearth a property for less cash,
try this house built into the face of a disused quarry.
Arranged over four floors, it has three bedrooms,
two sitting rooms and far-reaching rural views.
You'll dig the price, too - £350,000.
With such pretty houses just waiting to be snapped up, today's buyers
might just be in for a treat, and it's time to meet them.
Fitness fanatic and business manager Eugene, and medical secretary Jane
live in a modern, five-bed house in Swanwick, Hampshire, but not for much longer.
I feel sad about leaving this house, because it's my home and I've lived here longer than anywhere else.
And I love it.
But after 11 years together in the suburbs,
they've re-evaluated what's important to them.
They've decided a move to Somerset, where Eugene grew up,
will offer them the lifestyle change they're looking for.
It was always the intention at some point in my life to go back to what was home, which is in Somerset.
I'm tired of the hustle and bustle here.
I'm tired of spending an hour driving 14 miles down the road on the motorway to get to work.
So it's a move home for Eugene, but a big step for Jane.
I'm very nervous because I grew up here, so it's going to be major change for me.
But I'm very positive. Really looking forward to it.
As Jane and Eugene hot-foot it to the West Country,
there are considerations that need to be taken on board.
You can see I'm a bit of a hoarder.
This is just a fraction of the number of pairs of shoes I've got
and they're spread everywhere in this house.
I'm really looking for some more storage space in the next place.
It's important for me, working from home,
to have an office in my next property. Something this size will do fine.
Jane also has aspirations of owning a horse, so she's looking for at least one acre of land.
So what does all this boil down to?
In our next house, we'd like four bedrooms, two en suite.
The kitchen's very important to me,
that's my workshop.
Ideally, it'll have a kitchen that will be quite spectacular.
-A utility room.
-A downstairs cloakroom.
It would be nice, a bonus, if it had a garage.
It's got to have some character inside it as well. If it's got the wow factor, even better.
My dream house in the country would be a converted barn
that had a very high specification, with a fantastic kitchen and a paddock.
Jane and Eugene's wish-list is pretty extensive, but where ideally will this dream home be situated?
The sort of location we're looking for would be not directly in a village, but on the outskirts.
I don't want to be totally remote. We'd like to be a couple of miles from a shop -
not too far out...
Before we can start the search, we've invited round an estate agent
to give a valuation for the house they bought 12 years ago.
This is a spacious and well presented five-bedroom detached house
with a much larger than average plot and I'd value this at £470,000.
I wasn't disappointed.
I thought it was a fair price.
So what's in the pot for this move?
The budget for this move would be £650,000.
Eugene and Jane are looking for a four-bedroom, detached house.
Jane, in her own words, is looking for a spectacular kitchen and Eugene wants the wow factor.
They also want a manageable garden and Jane wants at least an acre
of paddock so she can get reacquainted with her love of horses.
So let's get going.
Eugene and Jane are keen to be within easy reach
of Eugene's family in Bridgwater, so we'll be hand-picking properties within a 25-mile radius of the town.
Over two days, I'll be guiding them round some delightful properties
and, as ever, letting my buyers guess the price.
And last, of course, is the mystery house,
a property chosen to challenge their idea of the country dream.
Jane and Eugene, welcome to lovely Somerset.
Fantastic county, great choice.
It's the place of your birth, isn't it?
That's right. I left in 1976 but we come back periodically to see relatives.
But a big change for you, it'll be the first time you've lived here.
It's going to be a dramatic change for me.
-Very much so, yes.
Have you got a clear picture of what it is you're looking for?
There's this mix between the traditional and modern you're looking for.
My area is kitchens. I do most of the cooking.
I want a modern kitchen and I like nice bathrooms.
That's where the modern bit comes in.
As well as the property, you want a fair amount of land
because you want to get back into horse-riding.
That's right. I want a paddock for my horse. Which I haven't bought yet!
After the perfect house...comes the horse to live the country dream.
We've got lots of lovely properties to show you,
all for a wonderful budget of...
£650,000, that's pretty good around here.
I'm looking forward to showing you the properties.
For that budget of £650,000, Eugene and Jane are looking for...
a four-bedroom house with a kitchen to impress.
Eugene needs a study as he works from home,
and outside, Jane is looking for an acre of land to accommodate a horse.
That all seems to be pretty reasonable, so it's time to get going.
The first house on our shortlist is in the parish of Churchstanton,
seven miles from Taunton
and enviably sitting among the Blackdown Hills.
Although the house sits in a beautiful rural position with just one neighbour,
Jane and Eugene needn't worry about being isolated,
as the small village of Churchinford is only a couple of miles away.
There's the convenience of a shop and a village hall,
and Jane will be delighted to know there's a local riding school.
I can't wait to show them this first house,
as it could be a dream come true for Jane.
Beautiful entrance to this property. I love the explosion of colour here,
but...we're here to look at the house itself.
We have a barn conversion for you.
I know barn conversions are something you particularly like...
-What are your first thoughts on this one?
It's a very attractive house. Yeah.
It's attractive, isolated...
It is isolated - but with the isolation comes the peace and quiet
and the tremendous views all the way around.
I do like the er...front door.
-Yeah, it's a lovely oak door, isn't it?
-Let's take a walk inside.
Come on in...
Step through here.
A nice big hallway - and the back of that door is just gorgeous.
-Come straight through to the first reception room...
-Oh, this is nice.
-Yeah, it's really cosy.
It's a cosy room, isn't it? And it's quite interesting, quirky -
there's a lot of wood features in this property.
-What do you think of it as a room for the two of you?
-I like it.
-It's very nice.
-It's a very welcoming room, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
-There's another one right through here...
Now, we step up into the second reception room,
which is currently being used as a dining room.
-What do you think of it?
-Yeah, it's nice.
-It's very spacious.
-It's a good size, isn't it?
You could fit a good-sized dining table in here.
Again we've got a decorative fireplace, no wood burner...
but lots of light coming in.
Now, you've probably spotted the door there -
it doesn't lead anywhere at the moment.
On the other side there's space for you to build a garage, which we'll see outside.
So you could turn it into something, but at the moment
it's a bit more like a work of art! The door to nowhere(!)
-What you need to see though, is the kitchen.
-Back this way.
'Jane is looking for a kitchen to wow her -
'so how will this one fare?'
Now, this kitchen fits the rest of the property -
it is a very sort of countryfied kitchen...
Well, it's very traditional,
but one thing I am impressed with is the amount of work space that's uncluttered.
And it's all in one place
rather than a bit here and a bit on the other side of the room.
What do YOU think?
It's a kitchen(!)
"It's a kitchen"? Could be the heart of the home.
A room you don't spend too much time in, then.
-So this one's for you.
Could you work with this,
or do you think if you moved into this property
you'd want to rip it all out and put something ultra-modern in?
I could work with it - there would be some changes, though.
-But you've got the space to do it.
-The room is big enough.
-And there's a bit more to it - come this way.
-A breakfast room!
-Wasn't expecting this.
-Yeah, a little bit more.
Very nice room, this.
It feels very comfortable.
The proximity to the kitchen means you could be cooking and socialising at the same time...
And nice views across the valley there.
'The rural views are lovely from this house -
'let's hope there as fond of what they're about to see upstairs.'
Now, up here there's a surprisingly large hallway I think, for this property.
There's four bedrooms -
-three that way, and the master's this way.
Now, this is currently the master bedroom...
Good-sized room. What do you think for the two of you?
I don't know where I'd fit my clothes.
No. It just doesn't do it for me.
I just don't get the right feelings for it.
-Not that good for you.
I think I'd need a bigger room.
-A bigger... It's the size!
The bathroom is just next door - so let's have a look at that.
-Very big bathroom...
-..for this property.
Erm, my big issue is there's no shower.
True... I will tell you that there is another shower in this property.
-What would you do with this?
-Well, I'd have to put a shower in here for a start. Erm...
Change the bathroom suite.
Change the bathroom suite, change the tiling...
I'd want to make it part of the main bedroom.
Good idea, actually. And then you'd get that en suite feeling.
It would widen that space that you thought was too small,
and it'd be better for the two of you.
Let's see what else this property has to offer. Out there...
'It sounds like Eugene and Jane definitely want to put their stamp on this place -
'which is completely understandable.
'Down the landing, one of the other bedrooms is a single -
'but next door is a much larger room which the owners use as a study,
'which might suit Eugene.
'And that leaves just one more room.'
Now, we do have an en suite room here...
There's the shower you're looking for.
-Toilet behind there...
-..and a double bedroom.
-So a sort of guest room,
-with a quirky little window out into the landing.
-Kind of quirky space, isn't it?
-As a guest room I think it's fine.
-No, it is fine.
-You've seen what the inside of the property has to offer - time to go outside.
'I think Eugene and Jane have mixed feelings about this house,
'but the setting is superb, and what comes with this property might sway them.'
Now, this property does come with a fair amount of land.
At the front when we came in there was about an acre's worth of paddock...
and at the back here, you've got three acres.
-Plenty of room for a horse to run around in.
-More than one horse!
Exactly. As you can see, the current owners have got one.
You also get these two barns.
Now, that far one is being used as a sort of stable at the moment -
you've got a tack room in there so it's all kitted out -
-Is it enough?
-It's perfect. It's more than enough.
-Couldn't ask for any more?
What about you, Eugene?
It's cosy - but I do see a lot of work to be done.
The question is, how much do you think it's on the market for?
Erm...I would say £575,000.
-And I would say...595.
Eugene, you are spot on!
That's exactly what it's on the market for at the moment.
-Go back in, have a look around... and I will see you later on.
-OK. Thank you.
So, at £595,000,
this barn conversion is well within their budget.
It sits in an idyllic rural setting in the Blackdown Hills,
has three reception rooms,
four bedrooms - one of which Eugene could use as a study -
and comes with just under five acres of land,
including some outbuildings
which could be ideal for Jane's horsey dreams.
I like this room. It's got a nice feeling about it.
-It's got a lovely scenery out there, hasn't it?
-Yeah, it has.
-I'd want it as a TV room, I think.
-Yeah, me too.
-Just to relax in, in the evening.
My overall impression is the house is a bit too small for us.
Although having said that, it would be fantastic for the horse.
There's so much land, and stables, and that's a real positive.
I quite like this room... What do you think?
Yeah, it's a lovely room. It's very cosy.
-I like the log-burning stove,
-it'd be lovely here in the wintertime.
-Yeah, it would.
I think this house has a lot of positive things about it,
it's got a lot of character -
but on the negative side, I see a lot of investment needed.
-Have you seen enough?
-Yes, I think so.
Good. Because there's a lot more to do - so let's get moving.
Eugene may be back on his old stomping ground,
but for Jane there's plenty of new sights to explore.
So they're taking the opportunity to visit Taunton,
Somerset's county town.
And Jill Cooper, a local guide, is showing them around.
This is Bath Place. This used to be the main packhorse route to the West.
They used to come through from the market up there,
and you can imagine the old packhorses going down through there and coming out the other end.
The trouble is at the other end was the river, so it was a little bit boggy.
So eventually they built the main road over that side.
But that's made this rather nice,
because it's now sort of crafty shops, and interesting little shops,
and a rather nice place to come.
The town is packed with historic buildings -
including a 12th-century Norman fortress,
now a hotel which in recent years
has nurtured celebrity chefs in the making
such as Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery.
But one of the most important historic buildings is Taunton Castle,
which has been keeping watch over the town for 900 years.
Today, it's a Grade I-listed ancient monument.
There's plenty of history to soak up here -
a trip to this county however wouldn't be complete
without learning a little about one of Somerset's most famous exports -
Production of the drink dates back centuries,
and today Somerset's 100-plus cider producers
bring in nearly half a billion pounds to the local economy.
Eugene and Jane are visiting the orchard of one of the largest producers in Somerset.
These are standard apple trees - these are the big, traditional type of tree.
A lot of the ciders now, they make them from one apple so
a bit like you had a single malt whisky,
you could have a single apple cider.
Either sweet, or dry, or medium, to your taste...
Beneath the apple trees Kunekune pigs graze the orchard,
keeping down the grass and weeds and feeding on the windfalls.
And above, amongst the branches, a well-known Christmas plant thrives.
Some of them have got mistletoe in them,
and of course that's one of the traditions of the cider orchard,
the mistletoe, the wassailing in January...
It's a great time of drinking and making merry.
-But that is all part of the Somerset scene.
And it's a scene Eugene and Jane can't wait to join in
when they find their perfect home here.
I'm really excited to show Jane and Eugene our next house.
It's in Sandford Hill, just two miles from Eugene's relatives in Bridgwater.
Jane will be pleased to know that there's an equestrian centre close by, in the village of Cannington.
Here, the Church of St Mary dominates the skyline with its tower that dates back to the 14th century.
Back at ground level, the River Parrett runs through the heart of Cannington
under a charming stone bridge, providing an air of tranquillity.
We've brought you closer to your old stomping ground for this property. We're near to Bridgwater,
but I know how much you love barn conversions, and I thought
it would be worth bringing you close to the A39 to show you this property.
-Yes. That looks fantastic.
-It looks lovely.
Just what we're looking for.
Good, smiles from both of you.
This is one of three barns in this complex,
all attached to this manor house originally, and this house dates back to the Domesday Book.
So there is a lot of history here, although the conversion was done very recently -
so recently, that it's unlived-in and unfurnished. We'll be looking at an empty property.
-How do you feel about that?
-Certainly floats MY boat.
That's what I want to hear you say, Eugene! You're happy...?
-Looks good from the outside. Let's have a look in.
Come on in!
You're quite excited about this one.
-A nice entrance hallway here, a downstairs cloakroom...
But, come into this living room and tell me what you think.
-Wow... Oh, my goodness.
Is it big enough for you, Eugene(?)
Yeah, this is great.
This is one big space that you can use as a living room and dining room.
You can see from here that it leads on to the kitchen.
It's very open-plan, as you'd expect with a barn conversion.
-Right throughout the ground floor.
It's a blank canvas. So what are your thoughts?
I love it. I love it, very much so.
Yeah, I like this. It's got a nice feeling.
It's very echoey, but that's because there's no furniture.
You can do what you like.
'I think we can safely say this room has scored top marks.
'I hope the kitchen proves to be another winner.'
-Oh, this is nice.
-This is lovely.
-Thought you might like this.
-Look at the view.
-That's gorgeous, isn't it?
-Might even entice YOU to step into the kitchen.
I like the flooring, too. That's nice.
I'd be more than happy with this.
-Big enough for you?
-Yeah, loads of counter space. Perfect.
'I knew this wonderful kitchen would be a hit - and next door
'there's the bonus of a utility room for hiding the white goods. But there's lots more to see.'
So, over the other side of the barn,
you get what could be a completely separate annexe, because you have your own entrance here...
and all of this space.
I was expecting a tiny little room.
But what do YOU think you'd do with it?
I think it would be my office.
I had a feeling you were going to say that.
I see it as a bedroom, actually, but...a guest bedroom.
-Guest, rather than the master?
Wouldn't be tempted to have the master on the ground floor?
Well, it could be, yeah...
'This new barn conversion is an ideal shell
'that would offer Eugene and Jane the perfect opportunity to create their dream home.'
Now, up here...you have four bedrooms and a family bathroom.
So let's have a look at the bathroom first of all.
Oh, that's nice. A nice big bath.
-Nicely finished, nice tiles.
-Mm-hm. Yep. Nice floor...
-You wouldn't be ripping this out and starting again?
-No. Absolutely not, no.
'Down the corridor is the master, finished to a high standard
'with beautiful vaulted ceilings and original timber beams.'
Wow, this is lovely, isn't it?
-I love it.
-That's a strong emotion!
-No, it's amazing.
-I thought you might say it's a little too small.
It is significantly smaller than our current bedroom - but how much time do we spend in the bedroom?
Too much information, Eugene!
Maybe you'll spend more now, cos lying in your bed
you can look out of those strategically placed windows.
It's got a nice feeling about it and it's still a decent-sized bedroom.
OK, we're spoilt where we are now, but...
No, this is more than adequate.
It may be smaller than your current bedroom, but you do get an en suite shower room -
and this room could either be the fifth bedroom,
or I see it as a dressing room. Lots of wardrobe space for you!
'There are two other bedrooms upstairs - but will they be able to visualise their furniture in here?
'All that's left is to have a look around outside and talk money.
'Eugene and Jane clearly love this place.
'If Jane likes the outside space, we might have a sale on our hands.'
So you have a lovely patio area here.
Barbecues, outside dining, whatever you like.
And this is the land that comes with the property, this fenced area.
-So all in all, it's around about an acre.
-What are your thoughts?
-Erm... Not enough land.
I thought you might say that. Not enough for the horse to run around.
OK. I should let you know that you could purchase a little bit extra, up to the trees there.
but they're saying maybe £10,000 to £20,000.
-Would that be enough space for a horse?
That would be, yes, definitely.
OK, that changes that. Any other downsides?
The only other thing I'd say is the noise of the traffic.
I had a feeling you might say that as well.
You can really appreciate from here that you are by the A39.
-Is it something you could live with?
No hesitation there!
That all leads us to the big question, how much would you have to pay to own this property?
Let's turn around, have another look.
-That could be your kitchen, there.
Give me a figure.
I would have to say at least £650,000.
Right up there on the budget.
I would say 625.
-You being optimistic there?
You are spot on.
-You win this round.
It is on the market for £650,000.
-You would have no money left over, but you can afford it.
Yes, I like it. What do you think, Eugene?
I do like it. I do like it.
-Like it a lot?
-No, I do like it a lot.
I think you both need to start planning what you'll do
with all of those rooms and I'll catch up with you later.
OK. Thank you.
What a hit! They are even willing to compromise on that road being so close by.
Can we top this property? You'll have to wait and see.
Jane was on the money at £650,000 for this high-spec barn conversion.
It has a huge, impressive reception room,
the spectacular kitchen Jane was looking for,
four to five bedrooms, one of which could be used as a study
and one acre of land with the option to buy more for when Jane buys her horse.
It's a shame about that road, though, isn't it?
It is something we could live with, I'm sure.
Look at the view, though.
I know, it's beautiful, it's lovely.
-What do you think about this kitchen?
-It's fantastic, isn't it?
-Look at all this worktop space.
You can just imagine all the dinner parties, can you?
-I might even take up cooking!
That will be novel!
-I like this.
-I do, too. I get a really nice feeling off of it.
I absolutely love this house.
I could see myself living in it, it's just perfect.
I can't find any faults with it whatsoever.
It's all positive.
We'll definitely think about putting in an offer for it.
I think it's an amazing house.
The only criticism would be the A39, the noise. Not a lot we can do about that.
The land, well, there's the opportunity of increasing the size of it.
So it's a definite contender.
-Come on, you two.
I had to drag you out of this place!
We haven't finished yet. The journey is not over.
With Eugene growing up in Somerset, he's reasonably well acquainted
with the county and familiar with one of its attractions, Hestercombe Gardens.
But not coming from the area myself, I'm lucky to have the opportunity to explore.
Today the site is celebrated for the unique trio of gardens
that span three centuries of garden history and design.
Little more than 13 years ago, however, a huge part of the estate was massively overgrown.
The transformation is thanks to the dogged determination of one man, Philip White,
who at time was working for Somerset Wildlife Trust from an office at Hestercombe House
and stumbled on the hidden treasure whilst on a lunchtime walk.
I just had this very strong feeling I wanted to restore this wonderful site.
I can't really understand why I reacted as strongly
as I did and it became an obsession in the end that I had to restore it.
-A real labour of love?
My great-uncle was one of the gardeners here in 1900 and his father was a shepherd on the estate.
-So it was in the blood?
-It must be.
-You were born to do it.
Today it's a showcase he can be proud of but it involved an incredible amount of work.
Philip had the help of just one other man and between them,
they restored 20 acres of gardens in just two years,
including removing 17,000 tonnes of silt out of the lake.
How did you get the funds? It's a lot of money.
With the lake, particularly, we were very fortunate because
we had a very generous grant from the John Paul Getty Foundation.
I discovered afterwards, when I thanked them for having given us this grant, they said,
"Mr Getty was well-known for supporting lost causes."
The lost cause turned out to be a winner.
This Georgian landscape garden was designed in 1750
by the then owner of the house, Coplestone Warre Bampfylde.
To view his masterpiece, he created a series
of decorative buildings known as seats, which also fell into disrepair.
This is one of the buildings that we have recreated. This is the octagon summerhouse.
You'll see that it frames the most wonderful view of Taunton.
-It really does, this is spectacular.
This was put here by Bampfylde in the 1750s as part of his design for the garden.
What he was doing was creating a series of views into the garden and then out into the Vale of Taunton.
They're all framed by these little buildings.
17th century Italian paintings had a big influence on the way they designed the landscape.
In a way, they were wanting to recreate the landscape around Rome
and actually have their little bit of Italy in England.
The garden is mesmerising, but for Philip, the most exciting moment
was when the waterfall came back to life.
When we signalled that we wanted the water to be released to come over the waterfall,
there was a four-minute wait
because the water has to come 300 yards to get to the top of the waterfall.
You thought it was never going to come and then all of a sudden,
it poured over, this brown water came over the cascade. It was very exciting.
I have to say, just spending a little bit of time in this garden, I can completely see
how you fell in love with the place and decided to set forth
on this labour of love and I'm very pleased that you're keeping it up.
-Thank you very much for coming.
-It's been a real pleasure.
As the evening creeps up on our house-hunters,
it's time to head back to the hotel and reflect on the search so far.
So what did you think about the house on Blackdown Hills?
-I loved the entrance.
-I liked the breakfast/TV room.
I have some concerns about the kitchen though,
because it's smaller than our house at the moment, isn't it?
-And it was really isolated there as well.
What did you think of the newly renovated barn conversion we saw?
That, I really, really liked.
It had that huge living room.
The kitchen was spectacular with a spectacular view.
It's got everything we want
and I can see our furniture in there already.
I'm really glad you agree with me cos I absolutely loved that house!
-Be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.
-Yeah, looking forward to it.
Eugene and Jane from Swanwick are looking to move to Somerset,
the county of Eugene's childhood and have £650,000 to make the move.
So far they've taken a look at two houses and coming up, there are more monster properties in store.
And a mystery house that's fit for a queen.
Is it too stately, too grand for you, or just fitting?
No, it's great.
Well, after yesterday, it's very clear that Jane and Eugene have grand aspirations.
There may be only two of them but it certainly seems
a case of the bigger the better and who are we to disappoint?
We're heading further north this morning to Badgworth, close to the southern edge of the Mendip Hills.
For a larger selection of amenities, Jane and Eugene may like to visit Axbridge, three miles away.
The town prospered in the Middle Ages due to its wool industry.
Later came Georgian architecture, which were often facades on earlier buildings.
Today, however, it's a neat town, popular with people from nearby villages.
Our next house has a nice surprise in store for Jane.
This morning we've brought you to Badgworth.
I thought I'd start by showing you the land that comes with this property. Because it's all of this.
It's quite a lot.
I know you've got a big property at the moment.
You do want space for the horses.
I think you could have as many as you like,
cantering across those fields. What do you think so far?
It's beautiful here. It's really scenic.
It is scenic, isn't it?
You wanted space, you've got a lot of house at the moment.
We've decided to go one bigger than that.
Come and have a look.
This is the house.
It's a big Somerset long house.
-Oh, I see.
-It dates back to the 16th century, parts of it and it's been added to over the centuries.
There's a lot of it. What you think you think?
It's beautiful. Very beautiful.
-What you think, Eugene?
Charming, beautiful - does it fit your dream of a country home?
-It's looking good.
-Good, let's have a look inside.
In here, what do you think?
Look behind you. You can see the stonework.
-Oh, yes. That's nice.
The first room I want to show you is through here.
-One reception room for you.
-It's very nice.
-It's really cosy.
Big enough space?
-I would think so, yes.
-It's nice, isn't it?
-You got a working fireplace here, these lovely beams.
Could you picture your furniture in here?
Or you are using this room as a TV room or a reading room?
A good room to relax in, definitely.
It's just one of the many in this property.
-We will have to keep moving.
-Back over that way.
-Wow, what a lovely fireplace.
-It's impressive, isn't it?
This is even more cosy than the last one, isn't it? This is nice.
I love that window seat.
-There's a lot of features in this room.
Yes, my cat would love that window seat in the sun.
A place for the cat, that huge inglenook, although there's not a working fire in there.
I think they've made good use of it with the TV space.
What do you think, Eugene?
-I like it.
-Like it, that's good.
-Let's keep moving, because there's more.
This house are just keeps tumbling on and here we fall
-into a very huge kitchen.
-That is big, isn't it?
It's got a regular cooker as well as the range. That's nice.
It's got room for everything.
This big island in the middle so you've got extra preparation area.
Yes, I think you could work well in this kitchen.
Then, at the back there, space for a huge dining table.
It's open-plan, yet it's got a lot of character features.
Yes. It's nice.
It's got a peaceful feeling about it.
I'm delighted they're getting a good vibe from this house.
Off the kitchen is a large utility room with plenty of storage and a cloakroom, too.
They won't be short of bedrooms here as there are seven arranged over two floors.
Just at the top of the stairs on the first floor is one of my favourites.
This is nice.
This is lovely.
A nice window seat again.
You've got the Victorian fireplace there.
-It's a good-sized double, as are all of the bedrooms.
-And the original floor.
-It's a good guest bedroom for you.
This is the guest bedroom?
-It's not the master!
-Does that make it even better?
-Yes, it does.
The remaining three bedrooms on this floor are all spacious,
light and airy doubles and are all nicely decorated.
To ease congestion with all these rooms, there are two family bathrooms.
But I know Eugene is waiting to see what could be their room.
-I think this is much more what you'd call a master bedroom.
-This is lovely.
-It's really pretty.
-It's a big room, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
-Big furniture here.
You've got the wonderful views.
-And the nice flooring.
-The great flooring.
-A nice fireplace.
Like every other room in this house, there's more to it.
-The en-suite's just over there, go and have a look.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-It is very nice.
This is a nice room, isn't it?
-I like the shower.
It's very spacious.
This one's fine. It's beautiful.
-No changes necessary.
I very much doubt they'd want to change anything on the top floor up in the eaves,
where there are two more beautiful bedrooms
with superb exposed beams and one of the rooms has its own cosy bathroom.
This rounds off our tour of the inside of the house but there's plenty more on offer outside.
At the back is an office complex that belongs to the current owners
but they're keeping this and it's not being sold with the property.
There is a double garage and as if there weren't enough rooms in the house,
there's also a self-contained, two-bedroom annexe.
-A lot to take in.
Offices, garage, annexe...
-What do you think of that?
-It's really nice.
More than you were expecting?
-It's a beautiful house, really beautiful.
And we're not finished yet. There's another surprise. This way.
This is the house that just keeps on giving.
-Because back here...
-A swimming pool.
-That's nice, isn't it?
-It's not a small one, is it?
-No. It's lovely.
Heated, too, by the solar panels over there.
-That's even better.
-Let's have a look at the garden.
So finishing the grand tour, at the front of the house,
this is where you have a very neat, manageable garden.
Probably just about right, I think.
I think so, yes, after the rest of it.
It's south-facing, so a lovely suntrap here for you to relax in.
The question is how much do think this sprawling property is on the market for?
I think it would have to be at least £700,000.
I would say 685.
-Over your budget?
And I can see why you would say that.
Do you know what? You can afford this.
-It's on the market at £650,000.
I can't believe that. All that house?
-Taking it all in?
-Yes, there's a lot to think about.
There is a lot to think about.
-Just because there is so much.
-It looks excellent value for money.
A home you could live in for a very long time.
And a home you've got to explore.
So off you go. I will see you later on.
-I love it when my house hunters get a great surprise when I reveal the price.
And you do get a lot of square footage for £650,000.
There are three reception rooms, seven bedrooms with two en-suites, a two-bedroom annexe
and just under seven acres of land providing more than enough room for a horse.
-It's absolutely massive.
It is, isn't it? What a lovely room. I really like this house.
There wasn't a single room I didn't like in it. It was massive.
It's like a maze.
We will have to buy an awful lot more furniture to fill it.
The thoughts are all very positive about it.
We are going to have to do some thinking, though.
Beautiful room, though. Very spacious, isn't it?
Yes. Nice size. I like this.
It got character, it's got a really warm feeling about it.
Every room has got its own individuality about it.
The outside's beautiful.
It's in great surroundings. The only downside is it is absolutely huge
and I really don't know how much time I would have available
to maintain a house of this size.
Do you think they're lost? They've been a while. Here they are!
I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to find you again.
You've made your way out and we haven't finished yet.
A large part of Eugene and Jane's move to Somerset is fuelled by their desire to spend more time together.
Sports enthusiast Eugene already enjoys kayaking.
He can't wait to spend more time on the water and want to encourage Jane.
With this in mind, we've arranged a kayaking session at Wimbleball Lake in the Exmoor National Park
with instructor Dan French.
That's it - these knuckles lined up.
Cool. As you're paddling along, the whites of the blade will be buried in the water, OK?
We want to make it as easy as possible.
Brilliant, that looks good. Let's get on the water.
With good instruction, a beginner's course
can be completed in just six hours.
The kayaks are relatively easy to paddle
once you get used to the feel and they're pretty stable too.
Learning how to turn is one of the basics.
You can turn on one side to turn your boat
or you can even...reverse stroke on the other side.
So forwards on one side, reverse stroke on the other side.
You can see how much that turns the boat.
A basic kayak will set you back around £300,
but a good second-hand one can be picked up for considerably less.
The only extra is a life jacket.
Time for Jane and Eugene to practise an essential drill that prepares any kayaker
for a potential capsize.
We're going to do a deep-water rescue
when you exit your boat into the water
and I'll get you back in your boat as quickly as possible.
But when the going gets tough, one of our house-hunters is keeping her distance!
At least Eugene's willing to give it a go.
Nice on. Right, come and grab on to the front of my boat.
Ooh, he's a natural!
-Excellent, I'm back in.
-Good one. Brilliant.
Good on you.
Jane, your go!
No! JANE LAUGHS
There's absolutely no doubt Jane wants to keep her hair nice and dry,
and heads back to shore to concentrate on the house search.
There have been plenty of surprises for Eugene and Jane so far,
and now for the mystery house we have something very special.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they'll react to this final offering.
Our mystery house brings us to the quiet village of Chedzoy,
four miles from Eugene's hometown of Bridgwater.
For local amenities, they can head to Westonzoyland, three miles away.
This was the location of the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685 between the royal army
of James II and the rebel army of James Scott, Duke of Monmouth.
The Royalists won and the village church of St Mary's
became a prison for 500 troops after the battle.
Our mystery house in Chedzoy is Grade II listed and is semi-detached,
which they may not have considered.
I think we'd be crazy to overlook this one.
Mystery house time and you can already see something pretty impressive.
I would say so, yes.
We've brought you to the heart of the village
-to see the Old Rectory.
-What do you think?
-A lovely old place.
-It's large, too.
-It's very large, isn't it?
-It's a really impressive building, Victorian Gothic.
I've got to say, it's a mystery house for a couple of reasons.
First of all, it's impressive to look at and will be once you get inside.
We are in the heart of the village and that means you compromise on...
-You've got this patch here and the garden over there that'll we'll come back to.
It would mean for the horses you'd have to buy some land a little bit away.
You've got farms close by or perhaps rent some land.
-Let's have a look inside.
This house might not come with much land but just wait until they see inside.
It certainly has got the wow factor.
Yes, it does. Very much so.
That's what you call a ceiling.
-I like it.
-You like it?
Me, too. I like it, too.
Too stately, too grand for you or just fitting?
No, it's great.
"Oh, no, I can see myself here!" Let's have a look in the kitchen.
Just through here, we've got the kitchen.
-The kitchen area is a little small but this area here is lovely.
It is quite compact over here and I guess if this was your kitchen,
you might want to perhaps move the kitchen over to this side
and extend it out a bit more. What do you think, Eugene?
Yes, I'm not too bothered about the kitchen.
It's nice, it's compact.
-He's more bothered with what comes out of the kitchen.
As long as the cook is OK, that's fine by me.
Then you're OK.
Making sure you're happy.
All right, let's keep exploring.
And the grand tour continues.
-I like this.
-I like this, too.
-I'm impressed with what I see.
It is very stately, isn't it? I love the ceiling rose.
You've got these shuttered doors here, which lead you out to another area.
-A summer room.
-This is nice. This is lovely.
It's very cosy, isn't it?
Isn't it? I like this. This is where I would be sitting reading my books.
-You've claimed this area?
I like it. I do.
I like that, he likes it!
-Come on, there's more to see.
-The same thing in here.
-Wow, look at this.
I don't think I've ever seen a room like it.
No, I wasn't expecting this.
-It's more than a bonus.
-Yes, it is.
-A working fireplace.
-Yes. It's fantastic.
It's a big room, but very cosy.
As I say, you could just imagine being here at Christmas, the long table there, having dinner.
You'd never get rid of your family and friends.
They'd be here every Christmas, keeping you busy.
This house is undoubtedly grand in style and it continues with the elegant staircase.
Halfway up is the beautiful family bathroom with a huge double-ended bath.
At the top of the stairs are five generously sized bedrooms.
They all have large windows, allowing bags of natural light to flood in.
All five rooms can accommodate double beds, although one of the rooms
is currently laid out as a single and another as a study.
My guess is Eugene might like to keep it that way.
Let's look at the master.
It's lovely. It's large, isn't it?
Look at the size of this.
-You could divide this into four rooms.
You are right.
Most people have bedside tables, they have bedside chest of drawers.
That shows how big it is. And these lovely windows.
Some beautiful views, yes.
-I like it.
-You can even hear the birds tweeting.
I can picture you here already.
We heard the birds tweeting.
I think they're calling us to head out to the garden and talk about the money.
You could be forgiven for thinking that you're in a rather grand hotel,
but this could be Jane and Eugene's home
if only Jane is prepared to compromise on the amount of land that comes with this house.
Out into a fairly formal garden,
but, I think, easy to maintain.
Yes, I agree.
Not too much hassle. You've got this pond here.
They do have children here, which is why it's covered over.
Another water feature at the back.
Tucked behind there, they keep some chickens.
-Of course, another feature, the hot tub.
You've got a greenhouse and a vegetable patch there.
Very attractive, isn't it? It's lovely.
Everything you need in this garden. Easy to look after.
-So you're happy.
-Tough question, but I have to ask.
How much do you think it's worth?
-It is a very tough question, but I would say 625,000.
Well, it is a magnificent house and inside it's faultless,
but because it's attached, I'm going to go for 595,000.
-You both think you can afford it?
-We do need some money left over so you can find some land for the horses.
How about this figure?
-I wasn't expecting that.
-No, I wasn't.
-I shocked you, Eugene, I've shocked you!
-What do you think of that?
-Now you've made our life extremely difficult.
-Yes, you have.
-Given you choices?
With that you've got a lot left over in the budget and it's just fabulous.
I can see you starting to think there.
-Go on, why don't you go in and have another look around and have a think on that?
I will see you a bit later on for decision time.
All right, thank you.
That's got them, hasn't it? I don't think they ever expected
to see a mystery property that they liked, they could afford
and that would completely blow their mind.
I think this splendid house at £550,000 has taken them by surprise.
It has an impressive hall and staircase,
rooms of grand proportions, five bedrooms, and a conservatory Jane is longing to make her own.
This is lovely, I really like this room. Don't you?
It's got a lovely, warm feeling about it.
I think this is a really lovely house.
It's almost perfect.
I think the only thing it's lacking is an en-suite.
The land isn't a factor for me.
I mean, we can rent some land for Jane to get a pony, or buy some.
I know you like this room, don't you?
-I do, too.
I like the colours and the fireplace.
-The fireplace is gorgeous.
-I love that stone, I love the colour of it.
This house has given me a lot to think about because I really love this house.
It's got everything except the paddock.
It's very beautiful inside.
It's wonderful. I really like it.
Well, final house, and what a great house it is, but lots for you to think about.
Let's find somewhere for you to sit down.
Jane and Eugene have viewed all our properties,
but have any of them inspired them enough to make the move?
Well, they wanted the wow factor and I think we've surpassed Eugene and Jane's expectations,
so much so that I really don't know which property they're going to go for.
So let's find out.
What a journey we've had, escaping back to the countryside for you and inducting you into Somerset life.
We've seen a lot of properties, haven't we?
-And had fun. Let's go through them, one at a time.
We saw that house by the Blackdown Hills.
Great romping land for the horses, but what did you think of the property?
We both liked the reception room.
-It was very nice.
-And also the room...
-The TV/breakfast room.
That was nice.
JANE LAUGHS When we moved from there,
-things weren't... what we were expecting.
And you weren't particularly happy with the kitchen, were you?
That's right, yeah.
-It was a bit small compared to what we've got now.
-On the plus side,
I mean, it did have the land, as well,
-that you were looking for.
-The horse would be in heaven - horse heaven -
but we wouldn't have been, so...
-The other thing was it was very isolated.
-Yeah, it was.
I don't think it's for us really.
Then we saw something brand-spanking-new, the new barn conversion.
Tell me your thoughts on that.
-It was fabulous.
-Yes, it was.
It was absolutely what we were looking for.
Very spacious. The bathrooms were beautiful.
The kitchen was beautiful.
Everything about that place, except there was a shortage of land with it.
But, obviously, there was the option to purchase more.
So we were really pleased with that one. Really liked it.
I know that your current property is very big and you didn't want to downsize at all.
so we took you to probably one of the biggest properties we've had on the show for a while.
Seven bedrooms, almost seven acres, what did you think?
It was massive! Loads of land.
The rooms were just so beautiful.
The bedrooms were nice.
It was very homely, very lived in. I think the downside was the size.
-You know, having to look after a place, we would rattle around in it, wouldn't we?
And finally, the mystery house.
I think it's safe to say that if we hadn't shown you that property you would never have gone there.
That's right, yes.
It just had that wow factor.
It didn't let you down when you went in. It just got better.
There weren't any rooms that would let you down in that house. It was spot on.
I appreciate it hadn't the land for a horse,
but then it's in an area where there's lots of land for horses.
After the barn conversion, I was pretty convinced
that's what you would have gone for, until we got to the mystery house.
Then it all changed. Now I'm not sure, so put me out of my misery!
-Are you going to go for any of our properties?
Definitely the barn conversion.
-The mystery house is a strong contender, too.
-Yes, it is.
Both of them certainly did it for us, I think. Is that right?
Which isn't bad - 50% hit rate!
It's a very good hit rate!
What will be the deciding factor that helps you choose?
It's going to be down to the price.
-So negotiate a good price.
-We could have found you a home!
I'm sure you will.
-Let us know how you get on.
It's been a real pleasure showing you round.
-We've enjoyed it immensely.
-It's been fun.
-It's been fantastic.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Not one, but two properties that Eugene and Jane liked and they both had the wow factor.
I'll see you next time on Escape To The Country.
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