Denise Nurse is in Yorkshire with a couple keen to retire to the country. They want to spend £500,000 on a property large enough to accommodate all their hobbies.
Browse content similar to Yorkshire. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This Steam Age cotton mill engine
stands as an historic reminder of the pivotal role
that this part of the country played in the mighty Industrial Revolution.
Where am I?
We'll find out as we Escape To The Country.
In today's show, I'll be helping a couple swap their suburban house
for a new home in the country.
I didn't think I'd ever say it, but it's picture-postcard.
I'll be showing them a selection of superb rural germs.
And there's the mystery house.
But will any of the properties entice the cash out of their pockets?
This is Bancroft mill in Barnoldswick,
on the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
This was the last of 13 mills built on the edge
of what was Yorkshire's industrial centre.
Now this 13 ton wheel of this mill engine
used to power 1,250 weaving looms.
It's pretty impressive, isn't it?
Nowadays, it's been lovingly restored and maintained by a team
of enthusiasts who are oh, so keen to maintain the history of this region.
Today, we're focusing on the area where North Yorkshire
rubs shoulders with neighbouring Lancashire.
To the east of the border,
this region is dominated by the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Totalling 680 square miles, its breathtaking scenery
is characterised by fells and valleys, woodlands and rivers.
Deeply woven into the fabric of the Dales life is livestock farming.
An important employer for several centuries,
it has left an extensive network of dry-stone walls behind that now typify this area.
Despite the Dales' close proximity to Leeds and Bradford,
it is significantly rural, offering almost 1,000 miles
of public footpaths and seemingly endless countryside to explore.
This part of the country is definitely happening right now.
In 2008, Skipton's High Street won the Great British
Street of the Year award for its independent boutiques and shops.
It beat London's trendy Portobello Road and High Street Kensington.
Add to that a Michelin-starred restaurant and you have a recipe for one desirable hotspot.
So what do you get for your money round here?
With £1.75 million to spend, take a look at this home near Pateley Bridge.
The six-bedroom Grade II listed property bears all the hallmarks of a period house,
but also has a fabulous contemporary leisure wing,
with a gym overlooking the indoor swimming pool.
Alternatively, £625,000 would buy this
superb three-bedroom house sitting in a conservation area in Skipton.
The huge windows allow the natural light to flood in,
and there's a fabulous riverside terrace.
Or, if you're chasing a truly rural setting, then check out this
three-bedroom cottage on the market in Dallowgill for £400,000.
The interior has a rustic feel, and the uninterrupted views are second to none.
It's heartening to see such a great selection of properties
currently on the market.
And it bodes well for today's buyers, so it's time to meet them.
Engineer John and retired HR director Margaret live in a large six-bedroom house
in Braintree, Essex, with their dogs Beauty and Taz, who have free rein of the half-acre plot.
With John's retirement looming, Margaret's elderly mum moving in, and the need for a lifestyle change,
the time is right for them to up sticks and head to the country.
It's a move that can't come soon enough.
We've lived here over 13 years now and we've seen it become over-developed.
There's the noise from the road, car after car, and our next property
will be one that gives us peace and quiet, space, rural aspect,
somewhere to walk the dogs and let them roam.
The decision to relocate was made a year ago,
but so far they have only looked at properties on the internet.
The key to the move is not just finding a house with a separate lounge for Margaret's mum
so she can have some independence, but also finding space to accommodate their hobbies.
This is my passion, and it's the bikes, and they are noisy.
And my passion is music, which is also noisy, and I will need my own music room.
But it's not just music and motors that they have to house.
Margaret also has plenty of gym equipment, so what sort of house would suit them best?
My dream property in the country would be traditional Yorkshire stone,
lots of reception rooms,
large plots, lots of land, garage for John,
in the middle of nowhere.
We need to get cracking, but first John and Margaret are getting a current valuation
for the house they bought 13 years ago for £183,000.
It's a very individual detached property
on the favoured side of Braintree,
on a good-sized plot,
flexible accommodation, with the possibility of a nice, self-contained annex.
And for that reason, I value the property at offers in the region of £525,000.
'It's a slight disappointment,'
but I have to bear in mind the current market.
And I'm just thinking, well, it isn't just our house,
so the house that we are looking for should have been affected in a similar way.
For this move, we've got to be looking at
a maximum budget of £500,000 total.
So, a key component to this move will be Margaret's mum, who's moving in with them.
She needs her own independent space, which means we need to find a house with two to three reception rooms.
Then there's the dogs. We need a large enough garden for them to run around in,
and of course, we need outside space for John's motorbikes
and a music room for Margaret.
So there's plenty to contend with here.
John and Margaret are keen for us to focus our search
to the west of Skipton, heading towards Lancashire.
I'll be giving them a tour of gorgeous country homes,
but I won't reveal the price tag straightaway.
And last, of course, is the mystery house,
which will challenge their idea of the perfect country retreat.
John and Margaret, thank you very much for bringing me to North Yorkshire, a gorgeous county.
That's a big move for you, from Essex all the way up here.
-Yes, it is.
-It is. Well-thought out.
We love the area, we love the scenery and we particularly love the people.
And we like Yorkshire across to Lancashire.
So we've got a nice area that we can look for properties.
-There's a lot to move, isn't there?
We've got all the musical instruments to think about.
We have. And this move will give me the time and space
to practise and to use them more.
-What about you, John?
-Mine is the bikes.
I'll bring the bikes up, possibly build some more,
and be able to use them out in the countryside, which is what they're made for.
And there's, of course, your mother to consider.
Yes, she's 89, very fit and healthy, will enjoy the move as much as we will
and have her twilight years in a really nice place.
What would you be willing to compromise on?
Yeah, I think I'd have to accept that possibly I won't get the garage
and workshop area from the outset.
And if I have to have it built afterwards, then so be it,
but the budget must obviously accommodate that.
At least you're willing to compromise.
That said, we've got brilliant properties to show you.
-I can't wait to get house hunting, so let's go.
John and Margaret have a budget of £500,000.
Ideally, they would like a traditional stone-built house
with a separate reception room for Margaret's mum,
a music room for the piano,
a room for the gym equipment,
a garage for John's bikes,
and plenty of land for the dogs to run around.
I think it's going to be tricky to achieve everything
they want for their budget in this very desirable part of the world.
Let's see if they'll be flexible regarding their needs.
How excited are you both feeling to be out here looking for properties?
I'm really excited. It's another period of our lives we are entering,
and it's just a really... Well, more than exciting.
It's a life-changing couple of days.
It's certainly a huge leap.
I hope we can help John and Margaret with their search.
Bearing in mind they're looking for a beautiful rural location, we decided to kick-off the search
in Newby, a quarter of a mile outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
This area is not cheap, especially with the village of Clapham on its doorstep.
With its beautiful beck, popular attractions and amenities,
it has long been a tourist destination.
Combine that with its neat housing stock and you have a very desirable place to live.
And that, I'm afraid, is reflected in the prices.
The house we're viewing is a stone-built,
Grade II listed former farmhouse, dating back to the 17th century.
You're quite close to the Lancashire border.
You will have neighbours close to you, it's great for dog-walking, lots of wonderful walks here.
And this could be the village that you live in
if you decided to buy this property. First impressions?
-Like the stone.
The stonework is very nice. And very country looking, but substantial.
-Let's see what the inside has to hold then.
In we come.
And immediately you have the feel of this cottage.
It's interesting, it's light.
-Not too low.
-It's quite wide.
-You're just skimming the surface there!
But it's quite wide.
-Go through to the first reception room.
-What do you think?
You're on an absolute winner with the window seat, that's my dream.
-Yeah, the window seat.
So that's a particularly nice one.
John, the fireplace.
-When the current owners moved in, it was actually covered over, Sixties fireplace.
And they unearthed all of that.
-It has a nice feel.
-Good, so great start.
-This could be the room where the two of you relax.
But we need to find somewhere for your mother. So come this way.
Because I think this would just be the right thing.
It would be next door to the main living room, but snug enough for her to enjoy.
-It's quite big.
-Do you think she'd be comfortable in here?
-Yeah. She would.
-You've done well so far.
-Fantastic! Then let's keep exploring. This way.
You get a third reception room with this property.
You don't have to compromise because you get the snug for mother.
-What do you think of this as a dining room?
-That's a huge table!
-It shows how big the room is.
-It's a nice room.
I can see our furniture in it, which means we would be in it. Because they go together.
That is great. Another important room for us to check out on this floor is, of course, the kitchen.
-Let's have a look.
At the back of the house, you've got quite a bit of space.
A bit larder area there.
That used to be the cheese room, where the farmers made cheese.
But through here, is, yes, a small kitchen.
-What do you think?
-I think it's too small.
In its present...
It's not what I was expecting.
The kitchen itself can be replaced, it's not so much about units and cooker and the functional things.
I am already feeling a bit claustrophobic.
'There's no denying, it is small.
'But just off the kitchen there's a utility room
'to hide the white goods, and there's a handy porch area too.
'But that's it for down here.
'Heading upstairs, there are five bedrooms over two floors.
'Just at the top of the stairs is a family bathroom which has a separate shower.
'The first double bedroom has a wonderful feature beam providing character.
'And then there's a small box room which would be great for storage.
'Which leaves us with two rooms still to see.'
This is a nice example of a double.
Do you think this would work for your mother, perhaps?
It would certainly be big enough for my mother. It's a reasonable room.
This isn't the master?
-No, this is not the master. Let's go and have a look.
So this would be your master bedroom.
Much better size.
It's a big room, but there are some lovely features.
You've got this great beam running across.
A beam across the window as well, which has also got a window seat.
And higher ceilings!
-Yes. The room is good.
-There's no en suite here.
We gathered that, because of the age of the property.
How do you feel about that?
The en suite, we don't have one at present so it's not a huge problem.
My problem at this moment is there's no downstairs cloakroom for my mother.
'The fifth and final bedroom is on the top floor.
'There's plenty of natural light and it can take a double bed.
'This room rounds off the inside of the house.
'All that's left to show John and Margaret is the outdoor space which I know they need for the dogs.'
It's time for us to have a look at the garden area that comes with this property.
So through here,
a lovely lawn area. What do you think?
Very nice as a garden.
If it's the only garden, then it's too small.
The dogs would run around once and be bored.
-But as plants and as a garden, it's a very nice area.
-What more could you ask for?
-A bit more!
A bit more garden. Come on, follow me.
'Fortunately, there is more, hiding just round the corner.'
Now, back here, you've got your own little meadow.
A little shed here, a pond.
All of this area which actually goes up to that stone wall there.
And if that's not enough, you have a formal garden through those archways there
and all of this section behind this wall would be yours as well.
-It was a vegetable patch until recently, it's been laid to lawn.
-This is much better.
-All in all, half an acre.
-Is that enough for you?
Yeah, that's on it. That's just about right.
-I'm assuming, have we not got a garage somewhere?
-The question now is, how much would you be willing to pay for this property?
Well, I'm struggling because it's got certain aspects that don't make it 100% for me.
I would struggle to say it's more than 400,000.
I think it is in excess of 400, but not much.
My concerns are the A65.
We can hear it, we can see it,
and a big thing for me is having the shared driveway where the other property comes up past our house.
I would struggle above 425.
It's quite a way under your budget.
-I must tell you that actually, this property is on the market for £499,000.
What do you think about that?
With the work that I would need to do to bring it up to what I need,
to give it the outside space and garage, and the possibility of the kitchen not being quite big enough,
I couldn't live with that.
I think it's too much.
Time for you to do some thinking. Take a walk through the Jane Austen style garden
-and I'll catch up with you later on.
John and Margaret's lack of knowledge of the local property market
has meant the £499,000 price tag has come as a bit of a shock.
This is, however, a quality home in a highly desirable location,
close to the amenities of Clapham
and right on the doorstep of the National Park.
There are last three reception rooms, one of which can be a snug for Margaret's mum.
Four bedrooms, gardens and a paddock extending to half an acre.
It doesn't tick all their boxes, and as it sits at the top end of their budget,
John and Margaret will have to think about compromises.
This is a nice, interesting room.
It is a lovely dining room.
I worry about you and this beam.
But I can see our furniture, I can see us in here.
A very traditional property,
it's got some very good plus features.
In some ways, the property isn't spacious enough.
Also, it currently doesn't have a garage,
so it would mean I'd need to get built a double garage and the workshop.
I'm struggling with the practicalities, particularly for my mother.
And I have yet to understand where my gym would go.
I have a huge problem with the kitchen.
Had plenty of time to think?
We had a good look round.
-Let's keep moving.
Skipton's location, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park,
has given it the title "The Gateway to the Dales".
It's an ideal base for exploring the area.
So earlier in the week, Margaret and John ventured out to explore.
The market town came to prominence in the 17th century,
when the Leeds-Liverpool canal was built, bringing prosperity to the town.
Providing a magnificent backdrop is Skipton Castle,
regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval castles in England.
John and Margaret were keen to fit in a tour with castle guide Jack Beck.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Skipton Castle.
-This way, please.
-Thank you very much.
The castle is 900 years old.
The first castle which was built here was built in the year 1090.
It was built by a chap called Robert de Romille, one of the Norman knights
who came over to this country with William the Conqueror.
The castle saw its most colourful period during the English Civil War in the 1640s.
As a royalist stronghold, it suffered damage during a three-year siege by Cromwell's forces.
Lady Anne Clifford, the last Clifford to own Skipton Castle,
ordered repairs and commemorated the work in 1659 by planting a yew tree in the courtyard.
The castle's high position, built on limestone and granite rock next to Eller Beck,
was its main defence.
We're now behind the castle, and as you can see, it is practically a sheer drop over 120 feet.
So really, they only had to worry about three sides to defend.
But if you were attacking the castle and you had been detailed off to attack it from this side,
climbing the rock face there, especially where we are situated now
between the privy and the waste chute, I think you'd say that you'd drawn the short straw!
Nowadays, visitors don't have to climb the wall
to get the best vantage point, as 250 steps up, the watch tower provides the perfect view.
Our next property is in a much more rural location, in the hamlet of
Cold Cotes, again, a stone's throw from the National Park.
Two miles to Ingleton, it does put them further away from amenities,
but this old milling town has a good selection of shops.
The scenic Settle to Carlisle rail line runs past the town over the Ribblehead Viaduct,
offering passengers glorious views of the Dales.
Back in Cold Cotes, the house we are seeing is Grade 2 listed.
Here we are in Cold Cotes, and look at the stunning views behind you.
It's quite quiet. All you've got are the sounds of the local animals.
Your little pet lamb in there, and the birds.
This is the gorgeous property that could be yours.
-I think it's lovely, and I love the setting.
The dry-stone walls, I love.
This property is owned by farmers, it has been a working farm.
They've been here 16 years, they're moving on to a new location.
They've sold that outbuilding, with planning permission to be developed into a family home.
But as part of that, those two structures come down, so your views will extend all the way round.
Then you'll get half of this little plot of land here, just where those trees are.
A wall will be erected where those trees are there, in front of the new property, round the back
so this will be your driveway and they will enter their property from the other side.
You also get this lovely pen here at the front, nice bit of land here, and some more.
But we will come back to that.
-How are you feeling so far?
Lovely spot, and the house looks good from the outside.
-I bet you can't wait to get inside!
-No, we can't.
-Come on then.
Nice high ceilings in this property.
No danger of the banged heads.
And straight through, because you come right into a lovely big kitchen.
Now, this is much better, Denise.
This is much more my dream, my vision.
Oh, your dream!
I like the shape. And the size.
-The fireplace is just...
-With the range. There's room to make it your own.
It's big enough. Certainly big enough.
-Fantastic, good start. Let's move into this reception room here.
Come in here.
-I think this is another very good sized room.
-It's a lovely sitting room.
-And my window seat!
-There's a window seat with your name on it!
I can't contain my excitement on that.
And the view from that window seat is just superb.
-Behind us, you can see they've fitted in an upright piano in this room.
Could you fit your baby grand in here? Is this the right room for it?
You could certainly fit the baby grand in.
It probably would go in that corner.
And you could fit other things in as well?
Oh, yes, yes! It wouldn't affect this part of the room at all.
Fantastic, so we've found the space for you.
Perhaps the piano.
Let's consider Mum now.
-Out this way.
Through to the back of the house, we've got this lovely big hallway here.
Grand stairs that we will come back to.
Through there you've got a pantry area. But through here
is a lovely little room which I think could make an ideal snug.
What do you think?
Yes, it's big enough.
A little bit dark, a little bit concerned about only the one window.
But you can get round that with better lighting.
-You'd get the right lighting in the room.
'Great! It looks like the snug scores well.
'Just behind it is a large utility area with a cloakroom
'which will be convenient for Margaret's elderly mum.
'Time now to head upstairs where we find four bedrooms.
'The first is a good-sized double, and the second is a little smaller,
'but I think it would still accommodate a double bed.
'Next door is a family bathroom which is bright and clean.'
Come into this room because this is bigger than a double!
Oh, this is a spacious room, this is big.
It's big enough to be a sitting room, bedroom as dual-purpose.
-Which I thought would be wonderful for Mother.
Everywhere you go you've got those views.
-A lovely view.
What about the two of you? Can't leave you out!
-Let's find the master bedroom.
-We've got an outhouse, have we?
So here is the master bedroom, and it's another lovely big room.
It is another big room.
Yeah, and lovely high ceilings.
-But with this one with the beam.
-Exactly. You've got the beam,
-Oh, I've got a part window seat! I have got a me-sized.
-You've got an individual one.
-A personal window seat.
Just absolutely lovely view.
And on top of that, I think I've spied something in there.
Something that you might like, have a look.
It's not for the bikes, it is an en suite.
Right, yes, very nice.
It's got the stand-up shower, it's a fairly big space.
-You wouldn't have to do anything, would you?
-It's a hidden gem.
So the bathroom scores highly and that rounds off the upstairs.
But there is more to this property beyond these four walls.
Attached to this old farmhouse is an outbuilding which could be converted into a gym for Margaret.
Back outside the front of the house.
-It is beautiful.
-Isn't it gorgeous?
Beautiful views here.
So peaceful, and you do get a fair amount of land out here.
You get the paddock that you saw when you came in,
you also get this little garden area here.
All in all, this plot sits on about a quarter of an acre.
If you did want a little bit more, the owners of this property,
remember, they are farmers, own that paddock over there as well. And it is up for sale.
OK, that might be of great interest.
The big question is, how much do you think this property is on the market for?
I think from when I first came up that it's likely to be...
on our budget or above.
I can't see it being below 500,000.
Give me a figure.
Location, it's not perfect in some ways.
As Margaret says, it's not perfect in every way.
It does need some work, workshops and garage wise.
it's probably on the market for 490.
Leaving you a little bit of space to do something.
But in real terms, it would need to be about 450 to make it work.
Really? You think if it was 450, this could be a house for you?
-It's a distinct possibility.
-Well, guess what?
-This property is on the market at £450,000.
Now that does surprise me, that really does.
-What about you, John?
-Yeah, I'm surprised as well.
No, 450, which gives you plenty of room to do the work that needs to be done.
You are planning and thinking already.
It's only been on the market for eight weeks. I think there's a lot of potential for you there.
So go back inside, start working out if it could be the property for you, and I'll catch up with you later on.
-Off you go.
Well, that was a nice surprise for them!
They completely guessed over-budget this time, but John was really taking a moment to consider there.
I think this may be the property for them, but there's so much more to show them.
At £450,000, this house is a whopping 50 grand under budget
and provides them with plenty of scope.
There's the option to buy the paddock opposite.
It may need some updating, but this is reflected in the price.
I just love this room, this is just the sort of room that I have dreamed of.
The dresser, look at the range.
-It's so nice.
-It's big, it's all in proportion.
-The fireplace, yeah, no, it's absolutely lovely.
I love this house.
I think it has some rooms that are absolutely perfect for us.
I love the sitting room.
The plot is just gorgeous, with the stunning views.
It's not perfect
and downstairs would need some thought about the flow of rooms and some alterations,
but the price allows us to do that.
It is a very nice, big, strong, solid house.
The price seems good. It does have some issues,
which I obviously need to get sorting out.
I just love walking out of this front door, don't you?
-It is gorgeous.
-It feels right.
-It does, doesn't it?
And what better day to do it on?
But we're not finished yet.
As the sun starts to set, it's a chance to take stock of the property search so far.
What do you think of the house by the beck?
It had a lot of charm, there were some bits of it that were very nice.
There was just too much that wasn't right.
The shared driveway, the house right nearby.
There was a difficulty with where to put your garages,
it was all compromise.
I think the living room would be compromised, putting the piano in there as well.
That would be a shame, because that was one of the nicest rooms.
It would have taken up too much space.
So how about the farmhouse?
Farmhouse - much nicer, much nicer views.
Much better position.
It's a much more substantial house and I think it would work a lot better.
There was a lot of that house I really loved.
The flow and what some of the rooms were used for after the kitchen and sitting room
were more difficult and would need some changing.
And I've also got reservations about the fact that there's no garage in whatsoever to start with.
I can honestly say I look forward to tomorrow and see what comes of that.
I think today has been a fantastic eye-opener.
John and Margaret from Braintree in Essex are looking to ditch their suburban home
and find a slice of rural life on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border.
They have a budget of £500,000 and are hoping to find
a property large enough for Margaret's mother to move in,
and accommodate a piano, gym equipment and John's bikes.
They've viewed two properties, which have given them a good indication of what they can get for their money.
And coming up, Margaret finds her perfect spot.
-This is me, isn't it?
This is the Margaret room.
It's day two of our property search
and John and Margaret have a big budget, but they have also got a very big wish-list.
So today we are going to take our search further afield, pop over the border and go to Lancashire.
We are moving further away from the National Park
where our half-million-pound budget will buy a larger house.
Our next offering is in Barnoldswick.
At just nine miles from Skipton,
it's the closest house to the market town.
Salterforth in the Pendle Valley is just a mile from Barnoldswick
and displays its milling history through old workers' cottages.
There is a pub Margaret and John might like to try.
And from here, they could follow the towpath of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal back to Barnoldswick.
This is the house that we want to show you.
If you come up here, you can see the wonderful views down to Salterforth
but I thought the thing that would really impress you John, would be this.
-Spot on! Triple integral garage. Perfect start.
But what about the house?
It's very nice, very impressive. Lovely stone.
The property dates back to the 1600s, it's made from local sandstone.
I'm surprised that you say it's that old. I didn't think it was.
It's in great condition. A lot of love and care,
but you really need to get inside to get a good look at it.
Coming over the border and being further from the National Park means we are getting more for our budget.
-Come on in. It's lovely and warm and cosy in this property.
I love this flagstone floor through the hallway.
I want to bring you straight in to one of the reception rooms.
I like the original features.
Especially the range. It looks like nothing needing doing to it.
I feel like I have stepped back an era.
It's just so different.
-It's a nice size.
-I was thinking maybe your grand piano
could fit in here quite nicely, what do you think?
It would fit, probably in this big corner there.
-Because you need to keep it away from the radiators.
-And the fire.
Let's see the second reception room then.
-These rooms are separated by these doors, put in by the current owners.
You get another good-sized reception room.
Yes, once again, nicely proportioned.
Another fireplace, working.
-This actually used to be the kitchen.
The current owners swapped things around.
-How do you feel about the piano being next door?
-Doesn't bother me.
-The garage is far enough away at the other end of the house.
I think it's time we headed over that way.
-We've got to find out where they moved the kitchen to.
Across here, we're going into the kitchen.
Originally this was the lounge.
This wall was put up by the current owners, so it was all one big space.
It is now their kitchen area. What do you think?
Yes, it's a nice big space, isn't it? Smashing floor.
-Is it a space you think could work for you?
-Absolutely, there's no doubt about that.
That's great news. And there's more to this spacious house.
Off the rear lobby is another small reception room - the ideal snug for Margaret's mum.
And conveniently, just next door there's a shower-room.
Let's not forget there's also a garage for John.
Oh, yes! Ideal space.
I could fill this a treat!
-Ideal, that is the word I was waiting to hear you say, John.
Is this enough space for you and the bikes?
Perfect space for the bikes. I'd need one addition.
-Put some heating in, it's a little bit chilly.
I was thinking, if you're feeling generous, you could share this space
-and have your gym equipment in here too?
No, I didn't think that was going to be a... It's a nice suggestion,
-but he would need this amount of space. I understand that.
-All of this space, OK.
Well, at least we've made you happy.
I think it's time to check out the upstairs.
Clearly, the garage is going to be John's domain.
Let's see if we can find something to keep Margaret happy upstairs.
Up here, I love the way we have got all of this exposed stonework.
-And there's even more of it as you come up to this really impressive hallway up here.
-Isn't it just?
The first room I want to show you is tucked around here at the back.
Not particularly big bedroom for the master.
It does fit a good-sized double bed, and it's got two added extras.
-You've got a walk-in wardrobe and an en suite.
-That makes a difference.
Without that, you wouldn't have space for wardrobes.
Exactly. Have a look back there.
-A nice bonus?
-That's a good bonus, yes.
-And it makes more sense of the room as the master.
That's what you've got to look at. You don't need pictures on the wall.
A wonderful picture frame of a window.
Do you think this could work for the two of you as your master bedroom?
-Yes. All positives. It's good.
-Yes, this works.
-There's a lot of rooms up here so let's keep exploring.
Just down the landing is a great room for Margaret's mum, with a large built-in wardrobe.
The family bathroom is bright and is big enough to take a separate shower.
The owners use the third double bedroom as a workout space,
but I doubt Margaret would get all her equipment in here.
No worries, though, because I think there are possibilities next door.
This could be your 4th bedroom.
-It's currently being used as an art studio.
That's totally unexpected.
A lovely ceiling. And space!
I just wish it was downstairs.
It's a fantastic room and I could certainly...
-I could see gym equipment, with a stronger floor.
Good! So now we've found a space for you as well. So excited.
This house is scoring well on all fronts.
Let's see if the garden can seal the deal.
It's so beautifully peaceful out here.
The wonderful thing about this property is that you're surrounded by these panoramic views.
-Looking out into the countryside.
All in all, you get about a quarter of an acre with this house.
-This lovely area here has been so immaculately looked after.
-It certainly is immaculate.
-Back there, a little patio area, you can sit out.
-Some dry-stone wall.
You do have dry-stone wall, and down that side you've got a vegetable patch.
And even a few mature trees just over there.
How do you think it could work as a garden for the two of you?
-I think as a garden it's lovely.
-It works very well.
We would have to change it to accommodate the dogs, which would be a shame.
It's not a dog-friendly plot of land.
-It's certainly an enjoyment plot of land.
Well, you've got an enjoyable plot of land, a fabulous property and a great location.
-How much do you think it's on the market for?
-I would say, it would have to be around 495.
I think this is actually a fair bit cheaper than Margaret said.
I think this would be probably in the low 400s.
The low 400s?
So it's a big difference there.
We always are different.
I'm a spender.
I'm the spender.
This one goes to you, Margaret.
This property is, spot on, you are right, on the market for £495,000.
It's been on since February.
I think the way that they've renovated and everything, that is worth it.
I was guessing, because I don't know the area
and I just took it to be off the tourist trail, so it may have been that bit cheaper.
I think you need to go and spend some more time back there,
wander around, see if maybe the dogs could be accommodated here, and I'll catch up with you later on.
OK, thank you.
It's just quite difficult, isn't it?
With a list as long as theirs, there is always going to be something which isn't quite right.
They've got to concentrate now on what they are willing to compromise on to make this move happen.
So Margaret's guess was spot on at £495,000.
This house actually, selfishly, fulfils my immediate need with the garage.
But I do feel that it's a little bit lacking for the overall purposes.
This is a lovely house in great condition and with a lot of accommodation.
It's spacious, particularly upstairs.
And I love the artist's studio.
Well, this is your room.
It's such an interesting room, it's just so unusual.
It's a real struggle between the head and the heart,
because it isn't absolutely right in its current form for my mother and the dogs.
I am not discounting this property as a contender, but it needs a lot more thought.
With years of retirement ahead of them,
John and Margaret are looking forward to indulging in their passion for gardening,
so they are visiting Parcevall Hall Gardens,
the only Royal Horticultural Society and English Heritage garden in Yorkshire open to the public.
-The head gardener is Phil Nelson.
-Hello. Nice to meet you, Phil.
-Welcome to Parcevall.
-What a beautiful spot!
It's just unique and so off the beaten track.
Yeah. The gardens were laid out primarily between 1927 and 1930, by Sir William Milner.
He was a trained architect and he came up from London
to look for somewhere to build as a gentleman's country residence.
The long house was a ruin when he bought it.
Before the gardens were developed, it was just fields, pastureland.
Quite a young garden really, only 80 years old,
all the trees and everything in the garden,
although they have matured into the landscape around them.
The 24-acre plot is laid out in a series of gardens
and is home to a rich abundance of plants and trees
from places as far as Western China and the Himalayas
that thrive in the soil types found here.
Margaret and John are keen to learn about
one of their favourite plants - the acid-soil-loving rhododendron.
When we move up into this area, we will be bringing rhododendrons in our tubs.
And our soil at home is not good for that. We've got special soil.
Is the soil here going to be OK for us to plant them?
Yeah, right throughout this area, there's a lot of heather moorland peat.
It's acidic soil, it would be perfect.
Your plants will benefit from being out of the tubs and into the ground.
Around the corner, the ground changes.
The North Craven Fault Line runs through the site
and has pushed the limestone up through the grit stone layer to form a belt of rock,
making it the ideal space for - you've guessed - a rock garden
where the soil is alkaline.
Perfect for growing the cultivated peony, the Asiatic poppy, and New Zealand's wild Spaniard.
Back at the hall, the south-facing wall is the ideal spot for wisteria to flourish.
We'd really love to have something like a wisteria,
but I'm really anxious about pruning a large climber of this sort.
What wisterias do, is it climbs by putting out these large tendrils.
And these are now taking the life out of the plant if you don't want them.
So we go back to a couple of nodes from the base
and just take a clean cut.
You do that right throughout the wisteria.
What you can also do... This wisteria is coming out from the wall
and it's just going to get bigger and bigger.
You can actually cut into the woody material.
Again, maybe just at that joint there
and remove that part of the wisteria.
It also gives you the opportunity to tie it in again if it's come away from the tying-in point.
Phil, thank you very much. It's been a very interesting day.
It's a beautiful spot. Thank you for your time.
Thanks very much, Phil.
For John and Margaret, there seems to be a big gap between their expectations,
that wish-list, and what they can actually afford.
But it's mystery house time, so we're going to show them a property they would never have looked at,
which gives them scope to do everything they want and then some.
I can reveal that the mystery house lies on the edge of Colne,
12 miles south-west of Skipton.
Barrowford, a few miles away, has the sleepy community feel they're seeking.
There's a small selection of shops, and the towpath
of the nearby Leeds to Liverpool Canal offers prime dog-walking opportunities.
It's our final house and I can't wait to see what they think.
Right, this is the mystery property.
It is just through here.
Come in. Take a look.
I have heard people say it before
and I didn't think I'd ever say it, but it's picture-postcard.
-It is picture-postcard.
I love the windows. Love the stone.
This is the mystery property because it is attached.
But it's only attached at that end.
-How do you feel about that?
-It's different for us.
We've not had attached before, but we are open-minded.
If everything else is perfect, spot on...
Perhaps that's the compromise. If everything else is there.
Great start. There is one more surprise with this property,
but we'll come to that at the very end.
-I can't wait that long!
-Let's look inside. Come on.
It was a gamble, selecting this semi-detached house, but it looks like it's paid off already.
Come in this way. You've got a big utility room back there with a downstairs cloakroom.
But I want to show you this.
This is much more like it.
Yeah, absolutely much more what I would be looking for.
It's so unexpectedly modern within the outside.
Such clean lines and obviously a lovely size.
-But the windows are gorgeous, even nicer from inside.
Come forward and have a look.
I love that this flagstone floor all the way through.
-It's a beautiful floor.
-It's a great touch, isn't it?
Yes, the dogs will like that. THEY LAUGH
And I will like it.
I love islands and this one's particularly nice.
I had to give mine up to get a table.
But lots of worktop space.
-You wouldn't have to do anything, would you?
-No, absolutely not.
Great. Good. Happy?
-Spot on. Fantastic.
-Let's keep moving.
There's a lovely wide hallway back here.
-Come through here because I give you...
this as your first reception room.
-No, no, you've given me this as my music room.
It has to be, because look. There are pianos already in here.
The room is already used to music.
So, immediately, this speaks to you and says, "This is the room for my piano."
Yeah. Well, you know, I'd like to look at this superb fireplace.
-It is gorgeous.
-That is unusual.
-It's French limestone.
It was designed by the owner.
The lady of the house, she designed it, and then it was crafted by local craftsmen.
-It's very, very nice.
This is the first reception room, but there are two more.
Let's have a look in here first.
Reception room number two for you.
It's a nice shape, yes.
-I mean, tall.
The beautiful windows again.
But useful. It's a useful area. It's a distinct possibility for my mum, isn't it?
Yeah, definitely. It's good.
It fits. This will work.
Well, there's one more so let's scoot next door.
We have another room for you.
-Spoilt for choice in this house.
-Wow. Some chair!
No, I'm sorry, I've changed my mind.
-THIS is my music room.
No, this is me, isn't it?
-This is the Margaret room.
-Yeah, this will do you.
And looking at the big furniture that's in here,
the baby grand must be able to go in here with the other instruments.
-This is not a John room.
This is a Margaret room.
-Oh, I love it.
We found Margaret heaven.
This is fantastic.
We've given you three reception rooms, Margaret heaven, great kitchen. Let's head upstairs.
What a superb start to a house tour.
I couldn't be happier.
I hope they are just as thrilled with the rest of the property.
Upstairs, the elegant decoration continues and the first stop is the bathroom.
-I think this is very impressive.
-Oh, massive. Yeah.
-It's just a lot of space.
It's just a nice big room, isn't it?
-It's like a room with a bath in it, rather than just a bathroom.
More bonus points there then.
Across the landing is the first of the four bedrooms and I think it's ready-made for Margaret's mum.
Next door is a single room, again immaculately fitted out.
Then there's bedroom number three, which could squeeze in a double bed.
And, as always, I've saved the best till last.
This room is for you, I think, Margaret.
Look at that window seat.
Yes, it's the Margaret window seat.
Yeah. Lovely windows again.
Hasn't got the en suite, but again, there are compromises and other features.
I think we've made a hit with the inside of the house.
We are going outside because there's that surprise that I promised you.
The love and attention that's been paid to this house really shows through, and it continues outside.
Out here, I think it's just as nice outside as it has been inside.
Lovely discrete areas to entertain in.
-You can see a table and chairs here.
-Some nice seating areas.
-Outside the front porch,
you can enjoy a glass of wine on a nice summer's evening. It leads all the way up here.
We've got a couple of grassed areas and at the back there,
there's a gate that leads on to a pathway, so you can go for lovely walks in the countryside.
I can imagine you both sitting out here relaxing.
-Oh, yes, and my mother.
-No issue with that.
-Not an awful lot for John to garden at the moment, but...
-No, no, there isn't really, is there?
I think this house could do with just a little bit more, couldn't it?
-It's time for that surprise. Follow me.
This house doesn't come with the garage John longs for,
but planning permission has been granted to build one
next to a separate gravel parking area just in front of the house.
And there's plenty of space outside
with two paddocks, a chicken coop and a vegetable patch.
Three-and-a-half acres with his property.
I mean, it's not only nice, in terms of the greenness
and the amount of land, it's in the right place.
So, well, now the big question is, with all of this land,
a stunning picture-postcard property there behind you,
give me a number. What's the price, do you reckon?
It is a substantial, lovely house.
I would say 530,000.
I'd go with 525.
John, you get the prize this time.
You are spot on. It's on the market at £525,000.
It's a little bit over your budget. What do you think?
I think it's very good value.
I think, for what is here, all in all, although it's not absolutely what we want
-and we would have to spend a bit more, it's still good value, isn't it?
-It is. Yeah.
I think it's time you had a wander round. Scope out those rooms and I'll catch up with you later.
-OK, thank you.
-See you later.
I love it when a plan comes together.
It's the mystery house, something they probably would never have looked at,
but this could be the one.
This beautiful property is over budget at £525,000.
But it has been on the market two years, so it's possible there may be some room to negotiate.
This is the room with the wow factor.
This really is a special room.
-And the fireplace.
-Elegant, the fireplace, the windows.
The fireplace sets it off.
The space. It's just gorgeous.
This house is absolutely stunning and I really love it.
The head and the heart don't have a struggle here.
It has some truly stunning rooms, particularly the kitchen and the sitting room.
The plot itself is absolutely gorgeous.
Now this is just a kitchen to die for.
This is so what we were looking for.
This house is very surprising.
Although it's a semi, which I didn't really want,
the property is certainly large enough to accommodate what we need.
It is so nice, it must be given serious consideration.
SHE RINGS A BELL
Time's up. I had to get your attention.
Right, let's find somewhere for you to sit down and have a think.
John and Margaret have now seen a selection of properties available for their budget
and it's time to think about their priorities.
It's quite difficult to read this couple.
John and Margaret seem to like a lot about the properties we've shown them,
but I'm not sure if any one property has everything that they were looking for.
But there's only one way to find out. Let's ask them.
John and Margaret, we started with the house by the beck.
What did you feel when we walked up to it?
I thought it was a very attractive property.
There were some particularly nice features.
The living room was very, very nice.
Lovely fireplace, we liked that.
The kitchen was not suitable and would have needed a lot of work.
We did have a concern about the shared drive and a major thing looking onto the A65.
And finally, there was the issue with no garages.
Let's talk about the farmhouse with those spectacular views.
I thought the house was spectacular from outside, its position.
Its views were just gorgeous.
And there was plenty of room for the dogs.
The sitting room was particularly nice although the piano would have had to have gone in the sitting room,
but it was a very nice sitting room.
But then I began to be a little disappointed in regard to OUR needs
because I couldn't identify where my mother might go,
where there would be a nice room for her, and anything else really.
It disappointed me a little bit towards the back.
Now that was an extensive and quite specific wish-list that you had,
but you did give us a lot of scope to travel around
so we popped over the border to Lancashire and went to the house on the hill.
-The house on the hill...
-Had a garage!
-It fulfilled my selfish need for the massive garage.
And the gardens were lovely, in terms of gardening and flowers and it was immaculate.
I think that, inside the house, there was a lot to be pleased about.
The things that concerned me about that property
was not finding anywhere to put the gym equipment.
I couldn't easily identify that.
Well, finally, there was the mystery house.
I think you threw us quite a big curve ball there
because it didn't fill some of the boxes,
but it filled other boxes so well it's made us think.
Well, the kitchen was to die for. There is no doubt.
The sitting room was just mind-blowing.
Never seen anything like it.
And of course, I thought immediately, "My room, my music room, my baby grand."
-Then we found another room, even better.
-Which you also claimed!
-And there was definitely the separate room for my mother.
-And then there was the surprise.
-It was much more than you asked for.
-Yes, much, much more.
So, tell me, do you like any of the properties enough to put an offer in?
-Yes, we do.
-Yes, we do.
We like the mystery house enough to put an offer in.
Our offer would need to be a bit less than they are looking for.
It's been really nice spending time with the two of you.
Thank you. And same for us.
-It's been wonderful.
-We've enjoyed it.
I am so pleased that you have chosen one of our properties. Do let us know how you get on.
-We will do.
Finding your dream home is not an exact science.
And sometimes, despite all the lists and criteria,
you get exactly what you want in the most unexpected place.
I think that's the case for John and Margaret.
And if they buy our mystery house, it will not be long before John, Margaret, mum, the dogs,
the piano and the bikes can all start their very own Escape To The Country.
I'll see you next time.
The latest from John and Margaret is that, after serious consideration,
they have decided not to put an offer on the mystery house
and have moved their house hunt to Lincolnshire,
where they will be able to get so much more for their money.
And if you would like to Escape To The Country,
and would like our help, please contact us through our website.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Denise Nurse is in Yorkshire with a couple keen to retire to the country. They will be leaving a large house in Essex behind and want to spend £500,000 on a property large enough to accommodate all their hobbies, with enough land for their two dogs and a separate lounge for mum, who is moving in with them. They have chosen a very desirable part of the world to relocate to - so they will need to be flexible regarding their expectations.