Jules Hudson helps a Carmarthenshire mother-and-daughter look for a family home on a budget of £250,000, and horses around with some Welsh Cobs.
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We all know that selling property can be a tricky business.
But who would accidentally include the sale of a 13th-century castle when selling their house?
Well, just over 40 years ago, that's exactly what happened here -
a spectacular mistake in a spectacular setting.
'On today's show it's a mother and daughter reunion.
'We'll help them find a home together
'from a selection of excellent country properties.
'And, if they can learn a bit of give and take...'
Everybody must stay out. It's mine.
'..we could exceed all expectations.'
Jules, you've surpassed yourself!
Today we're in Carmarthenshire in South Wales,
and these are the glorious ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle.
Back in 1966 the then tenant farmer
who farmed the 200 acres around these ruins
had a chance to buy them and the farmhouse.
What he hadn't expected is that he'd also end up owning the castle.
The then owner, Lord Cawdor,
had inadvertently included the castle in the title deeds,
a fantastic stroke of luck for the farmer.
Today, he and his family welcome 100,000 visitors every year.
Lying in South West Wales,
bordered by Pembrokeshire to the west and Ceredigion to the north,
Carmarthenshire is the third-largest Welsh county.
The River Towy flows through its heart,
and it's surrounded by stunning agricultural scenery,
from verdant, rolling hills inland
to the vast expanses of golden sandy beaches
that are the hallmark of the southern coast.
To the east lie some of the least explored areas in Brecon Beacons National Park,
overlooked by the brooding Black Mountain.
Carmarthenshire's landscape is scattered
with the remains of ancient medieval castles
and historic market towns, lined with traditional Welsh stone cottages.
Boasting beautiful countryside and a glorious coastline,
it's little wonder that Carmarthenshire is fondly known as "the garden of Wales".
For a long time, Carmarthenshire has been regarded as a well-kept secret,
but recent figures would seem to belie that.
Three million people a year enjoy the spoils of this county,
spending an estimated £332 million.
Combine that with house price figures and the picture is even rosier.
The national average across the UK is around £260,000,
but in Carmarthenshire the average property will set you back a cool £176,000.
So plenty of reasons to make this place your new home.
In the rural outskirts of Laugharne you could get your hands
on this fabulous five double-bedroom property, on the market for £635,000.
With four reception areas and a huge kitchen/diner,
it also features a detached two-bedroom, self-contained annexe
and comes with some five acres of land.
Or, if you're looking to spend £355,000,
this 18th-century stone-built house in Llanelli
comes with four bedrooms, two receptions
and a super-slick, open-plan kitchen/breakfast room.
Lastly, £265,000 is the price tag attached
to this considerable five-bed family home
in the rural village of Llanboidy.
It comes with three reception rooms, a bright country kitchen
and half an acre of landscaped gardens.
Whatever your budget, Carmarthenshire should not disappoint you -
which is precisely why today's buyers want to move here.
'Plymouth-based mother and daughter June and Claire
'decided to partner up after Claire fell ill with a debilitating condition.
'Claire herself is mum to four
'and lives five minutes from June's four-bedroom house in this rented property
'with her two youngest children, Samuel and Natasha.'
In 2004, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus,
which is an autoimmune system disorder
that affects the cells and organs of the body.
In my case, it affects my joints.
Although it's not degenerative in any way,
it leaves me in a lot of pain and fatigue.
'They're hoping that a good dose of Welsh country air
'will be the ticket to a more relaxed and healthy life,
'even though June has never actually set foot in Wales.'
I've seen Wales on the television.
I've heard about Wales.
I've met a few people that have been to Wales, and they all say the country's beautiful.
We discussed it and thought that South Wales was probably the best option
as it's within a reasonable driving distance back,
because I have two other children, grown up, left home.
'They'd like to live in a village location with a community close by.
'But what about the house itself?'
From the new property we would need four good-size bedrooms,
a large kitchen,
two reception rooms so that Mum and I have separate space.
I would dearly love, out of all of the choices, a nice kitchen.
And also a nice large garden if possible.
We're not looking for a mansion,
but we're looking for something with a lot of room.
I love doing DIY,
and over the years I've done a few little projects, when my lupus has allowed.
In this house this is the only thing I've done for Mum.
She's got a lot of clutter in her utility room
and she needed more space.
I'm looking forward to a new house,
getting stuck in to a new project,
building things, knocking things down. It'll be fun.
I like sewing and quilting.
I've only just started quilting,
so I'm a novice.
But I would like to learn more about it.
'Having left home at 17,
'it's been many years since Claire lived with her mother.
'So do they have any apprehensions about sharing a home after all this time?'
-We can generally compromise quite easily.
Really easily. So I honestly don't think...
-that she's going to disagree with me.
I don't think there's going to be a problem. I think we will be fine.
'June is selling her house to finance the move.
'It's on the market for a fraction under £250,000.
'So what's the final figure we have to work with?'
If you managed to find us the right house
that felt right when we went into it,
for both of us,
then the maximum budget would be £250,000.
Clearly Claire isn't going to let her illness get the better of her
and, along with mum June, is determined to start not just a whole new chapter in her life
but, I think, a whole new book.
But what is going to be in it, I wonder?
Well, it will start with a great big picture of a lovely four-bedroom house
with a nice big kitchen, a decent garden,
all within striking distance of a good local community and local schools.
Who knows? It might even be a bestseller.
'June and Claire want to move to South Wales
'but haven't specified an exact area.
'So we've chosen Carmarthenshire,
'which we believe will offer them the best value for their money.
'They need easy access to visit relatives in Plymouth,
'so we'll focus our search on the villages surrounding Carmarthen,
'directly linked to the M4 corridor.
'We've found some first-rate properties for them to view.
'As usual, I won't reveal the prices
'until they've each had a guess as to their market value.
'And, to top it off, we'll also be unveiling the mystery property,
'where they could be seeing double.'
-Good morning, Claire. Hi, June. How are you?
-Fine, thank you.
Nice to find you here in Wales, something of my patch
-but, I gather, a wholly new experience for you both.
And whose idea was it to come to Mid Wales?
-All right. Why, Claire? Why here?
Because it's so beautiful.
It's got the stress-free environment
that I love and Mum deserves.
And it's perfect for bringing up the kids.
They're both nature-loving animals.
They've got plenty of company here. There's lots of nature to look at and enjoy.
I think we're in a good position to find you what you're looking for.
We've got a reasonable budget for your expectations in a gorgeous area.
I love it here. I've been here for over 20 years.
I think you're doing the right thing.
-The weather's fine. Let's see what we can find you.
'With £250,000 to spend,
'June and Claire have given us virtually free rein.
'They want a spacious four-bedroom house
'offering them a reception room each,
'and June fancies a modern kitchen/diner.
'Outside, they're after a good-size garden for the kids to play in.
'The rest they've left up to us.
'Let's hope one of the houses we've chosen
'suits them both down to the ground.
'Our first property is in the small town of St Clears,
'ten miles west of Carmarthen.
'Believed to date back to the 12th century,
'St Clears lies on the River Taf.
'The town has a strong sense of community,
'complete with a range of independent shops
'and a couple of watering holes.
'Situated down a small lane,
'our first stop is a semi-detached stone cottage dating back 200 years.
'Originally a terrace of four small cottages,
'it was converted into two separate houses about 40 years ago.'
The half that you would get is the left-hand portion.
It looks very nice. Very Welshy.
Very Welshy? That's a new word! You heard it here first. Welshy.
-Do you like it, Claire? What do you think?
-It is lovely.
The trees, the birds. It's beautiful. It's very...
-She likes it.
-Is this a good sign?
-The fact that I'm lost for words, it's quite good.
Let's see if we can find a few words to describe it on the inside. Come and follow me.
'Despite its cottage status, this place has great proportions inside.
'So let's find out if there's enough room to suit mum and daughter.'
Right, guys. In you come. Come in, Claire.
-What do you reckon?
Got a lovely working fireplace over there.
It leads to the kitchen. We'll explore that later.
Do you think our table would fit in here? I do.
Nicely! June's taken with it.
-It is really nice.
-It's very pretty. I like it.
-I can see this is going to be a theme.
Let's see if it continues with its Welshiness in the living room.
There we are.
-Still cosy, yes.
In terms of size, what do you think?
It's quite nice. It's comfortable.
We would get our suite in here, wouldn't we?
-You don't know?
-Yes, we would. Yes.
-Yes. We'd have to argue about WHOSE suite was going in here.
-I suppose you've got two.
-Two of everything!
-So are you going to draw lots on who has to sell their stuff?
'Quite early in the tour
'it seems that June and Claire suddenly come face to face with the practical realities of sharing.
'But there should be more than enough space for two sets of pots and pans in the next room.'
Come and look in here. This is the kitchen, off the dining room.
Now then, June, would this work?
Very nice. It's white.
I had white the last time I had a nice kitchen, and it's lovely.
What do you think, Claire?
It's... It's perfect. It's lovely.
-I am. It's...lovely.
It's a good size.
Mum and I, on those rare occasions we do work together,
-would fit quite well in here.
'The ground floor doesn't end there.
'Off the kitchen, the old garage has been converted into additional living space,
'which includes a good-size utility room and guest suite with its own shower room
'and a double bedroom with doors out to the garden.
'This could potentially make a great wing for June,
'providing private sanctuary away from the grandkids.
'The remaining three bedrooms are all upstairs.
'A double and a single room, ideal for the two children,
'which sit next to the family bathroom.
'And the last room I've earmarked for Claire.'
This is the biggest of the three bedrooms up here.
I like it. I like the built-in cupboards, nooks and crannies.
-Good. So you think you'd be quite happy up here.
Now, we've shown you pretty much the bulk of the property thus far.
-What's your overriding thought?
-It's nice. Quaint.
'So far so good for the bricks and mortar.
'But I wonder if they're ready for what's coming up outside.
'Immediately to the rear of the property is a paved, sheltered courtyard with shrubs and flowers.
'But it's back round the front where the garden really comes into its own.'
Let's just settle up here and I'll explain what's going on.
This all comes with the house.
This bit here?
-An acre and a half.
-How about that?
You get what we're standing on here,
that little summer room over there with the workshop attached to it,
that bit of lawn over there,
that fantastic vegetable patch.
-I have to say that is looking absolutely beautiful.
-Yes! All of it?
-And the paddock beyond.
-Beyond the gate?
-Yeah, and beyond the next one.
So an acre and a half.
-All of it?
-All of it.
-Are you sure?
-I'm absolutely sure.
So let's have a think about the price.
Your first price guess of our house tours.
-I would say £245,000.
-£245,000. That would be nice, wouldn't it?
-It would be nice.
-I think it's over budget.
I would say...£270,000.
Could you stretch to £270,000 or thereabouts?
It's a possibility.
Well, here's the good news. You don't have to stretch at all.
-But I'm afraid it's not £245,000.
-Well, that's quite good.
-I think that's very good.
-Very good for all this.
Jules, you've surpassed yourself!
-It's good, absolutely.
-Mum, can we buy it, Mum?
Look, it's our first one. There's a lot to take in.
-Clearly it appeals. I'm delighted.
-I'm happy. I'm staying.
Look around. Check out what you get in your acre and a half.
Look at some of the outbuildings. I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
You never quite know how the first property is going to go,
but this one has been a genuine result.
I'm delighted that the pair of them absolutely love it.
Let's face it, what's not to love?
'Just under budget at £240,000,
'this 200-year-old semi-detached stone cottage
'lies in the heart of the village
'and offers good, comfortable accommodation
'with two reception rooms, a modern kitchen
'and four bedrooms that include a separate guest suite.
'But the unexpected bonus must be the grounds that come with it
'covering one and a half acres.'
-This is a huge, lovely storage area.
-And I am absolutely...
-Overwhelmed with the garden.
-The space in it.
-There's lots of different rooms in it.
I have to admit I'm well impressed.
Well impressed. I think it's lovely.
Well, I've got my wing downstairs.
-Will you and the children be all right up here?
-I think so. I think it'd be quite cosy.
I was a little bit concerned as to whether it would be big enough.
But I did like it. It's a pretty property,
and I like it.
-Marrows there. Look at the size of them.
-Wow! They're huge!
-The apple tree.
-And soft fruit.
-Hello, ladies. Are you admiring the veg patch?
-It is pretty special.
-There's a lot to tend to here.
-But I have to drag you away.
-Yeah. More to see. Come on.
'The largely rural county of Carmarthenshire
'is home to many attractive market towns
'which developed as commercial centres for the surrounding farming communities.
'Up on the Ceredigion border lies Lampeter,
'reputedly the smallest university town in the UK.
'The original university building is Grade II listed
'and opened its doors back in 1822 as St David's College.
'Another seat of learning
'is the recently restored late 19th-century town hall,
'housing a gallery and workshops to celebrate the importance
'of the regional art form of Welsh quilt-making.
'During the house-hunting week,
'we sent quilt enthusiast June along with Claire
'to find out more from quilt restoration expert Janet Bridge.
'Decorative quilts came into fashion in the late 18th century.
'Quilt-making was one of the few ways a woman could earn a respectable living.
'The fact that Welsh quilting was a profession rather than a social activity
'accounts for their distinctive style and high quality.'
The majority of Welsh quilts were wholecloth, like the one behind us.
That actually shows up the quilting patterns.
-When you say whole cloth, that's just one piece of cloth?
-It means it's not a piece. It's generally three widths.
Machined down the centre.
Sometimes hand-sewn but mostly machined down.
-That one's beautiful.
-That is lovely, isn't it?
The fabric was hand-blocked in India in 1800,
and the fabric was made into the quilt,
with absolutely beautiful traditional quilting patterns,
in Pembrokeshire in 1810.
-So is that one of the oldest pieces in the gallery?
Of course, they go back through millennia really,
because if people wanted to keep warm, they'd put on lots of petticoats,
or even wear them as protection under armour - quilted garments, quilted bonnets.
'Traditional Welsh quilts are identified by the intricate patterns used for the quilting.
'They are made with three layers.
'The top and bottom layers sandwich the insulation in the middle.
'Templates are then arranged in patterns
'and stitched through all three layers to keep the insulation in place.
'It's the stitching that gives the quilts their unique texture.'
I just wanted to show you this. These are old pieces of quilt.
I just wanted to show you what was inside.
This is a re-covered quilt.
-And here, look, there's pieces of dress pattern.
And this one is even more interesting
-because it's got someone's...
-Crochet chore or something.
That's how poor people managed to keep warm a lot of the time.
-So they never threw away any pieces of material but clapped it all together.
'Post-war independence gave women more opportunities to have careers outside the home.
'As a result, sewing fell out of favour.
'So, by the 1940s, the Welsh quilt-making enterprise had died out.
'But there are still devotees keeping the craft alive today.
'And, with new-found Welsh quilting skills to add to June's repertoire,
'we need to find a cosy Welsh home where she can indulge her hobby.
'So it's back to the house hunt.
'And we're on the road, travelling north to the county border,
'where our destination is the market town of Newcastle Emlyn.
'With a small population of just over 1,000,
'Newcastle Emlyn lies on the River Tivy.
'Built around its own 13th-century castle,
'the town is steeped in history.
'Today locals are well catered for,
'with a great selection of amenities to choose from.
'The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside,
'and about a mile away lies our second property.
'It started life as a bungalow about 200 years ago
'but has since been heavily extended both outwards and upwards.
'As a result, it has an unusual layout
'which could be ideal for our buyers' unique living requirements.'
-What do you think of that one?
-Yes, I like it.
-It looks bigger.
It's also got a garage, which is quite useful.
There's a lot going on behind it,
which we'll explore once we go through.
Similar to our earlier property, it's also got a vegetable patch,
located over the little road here up there to my left,
which you can perhaps have a look at a bit later.
-Right. Let's get in and have a look.
-All right. Come on.
THEY ALL LAUGH
'That's the enthusiasm we like!
'So let's head inside, where I've got quite a few ideas
'about how they could divvy up the property,
'starting with the large reception hall.'
Right! Come on in.
-There we are, June, Claire.
-A lot more room.
-A lot more room.
-You've got a multi-fuel burner set within a slate surround.
-But I think there's a lot of scope to put your own mark on it.
-So far so good?
Come this way, then.
Through here into another extension on this property is this reception room.
So effectively you've kind of got two,
with the entry hall and the fire and so forth.
But I think this is the cosier.
-This is nice.
-Mm. I like the floor.
-I like this.
It's also got the addition of that quite big conservatory.
What I think this property offers you that our previous one didn't
is two very separate zones for children and grown-ups.
-And you could apportion these either way.
'That also solves the problem of what to do with two sets of sofas.
'Similar to our first house, there's a ground-floor guest suite
'comprising of a shower room and double bedroom.'
You can fight over whoever is going to get this one.
-What do you think?
-I like this one, definitely.
-I like it. It's nice.
-You like it, too?
But we won't fight over it.
I think this would work a treat.
Very nice. And if that living room across the hallway there
becomes the adult end of it,
again, we're thinking about all the kids at the other end,
-and it would be nice and quiet for you.
-It would. Very much so.
'This house has four bedrooms in total.
'But since it was originally built as a bungalow,
'another of the bedrooms is on the ground floor
'and currently used as a study.
'There's a bathroom next door which could be knocked through to create an en suite.
'The kitchen is our last stop on the ground floor.'
There you go. Big enough for you?
-I love the breakfast bar.
-Isn't that fun?
And you've got views out to the garden.
-I love it.
Yes. And the white units.
-You said in the previous house that you liked the white units.
So it's all working, isn't it?
It is quite big, this. It's not square but it's big.
You've got plenty of room for all the goods.
You've got a generous utility room there with washer, dryer, etc.
It's similar to a galley kitchen in that it's not square.
-But it is quite broad.
-There's bags of space in here.
-Loads of worktop space.
'Upstairs are two double bedrooms, both served by a shower room.
'One of the rooms is currently a well kitted-out office.
'But who will get the last remaining bedroom?'
OK, Claire. Could you fit in here?
-Bit of storage in there for you.
-No, she couldn't fit in here.
-YOU want to fit in here.
-I want to fit in here. HE LAUGHS
'I'm not convinced that their plan for living together
'will go as smoothly as they'd hoped.
'Do I sense some potential conflict ahead?
'But there's plenty of space in the garden for all of them with just under an acre of land.
'At the back is a well-manicured private garden
'with a pond and summerhouse.
'There's also an orchard area with mature trees packed with fruit.
'Several outbuildings include a large workshop,
'the perfect hideaway for DIY enthusiast Claire.'
So here we are at the bottom of the garden, almost.
There's a bit more down there.
But I like this position. It gives you a real sense of the auditorium, almost,
that this little complex creates.
What do you reckon?
It looks nice from here.
You get a nice all-round view. I like it.
Claire, off you go. How much is this one going to set you back?
I would go about...£260,000.
I would say £250,000.
You would be right, madam.
-Well, dear! THEY LAUGH
-How about that?
Yes, this is absolutely on the market for £250,000.
-How does that make you feel? Is it interesting?
Yes, it's interesting. Yes.
Go and see if you can sort your arrangements out, June.
-Off you go.
'Slap-bang on the budget at £250,000,
'this detached country home presents versatile living areas
'which could work very well to unite both our buyers.
'There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms,
'three reception rooms, a conservatory
'and delightful mature gardens that sit in just under an acre.'
-Well, I like this room.
-So do I. I love the wooden floors.
I like this end of the house altogether.
It's that and the kitchen.
-It's a nice place.
-But it does seriously need thinking with the layout upstairs for the children.
But it's worth considering.
I was impressed with the size,
the conservatory is nice.
It's a nice size, and I've always wanted a conservatory.
But I do love this kitchen, and I know Claire likes it as well.
The house itself I thought was really lovely.
I could see us living here.
I don't know how it would work yet. I need to think about it.
After you, June.
There you go, Claire.
I think that was well worth you looking at.
-So do I.
-Definitely on the list?
How are you feeling at the end of our first day?
It's a good sign, trust me.
Come on, let's go and get a drink, shall we?
'With the last glimmer of the sun setting on the Carmarthenshire horizon,
'the first day of our house quest draws to a close.
'Claire and her mother June have decided to partner up
'and trade in Plymouth's urban sprawl for a whole new life in South West Wales.
'So far they've seen two fine country homes.
'Still to come, we'll reveal the mystery property which gets them all territorial.'
You're going to tell me you want this one now, aren't you?
Wouldn't dare. THEY LAUGH
'And I'll be horsing around as usual.'
One more day and one more property to see.
It is, of course, mystery house time for June and Claire.
Yesterday went well. They applied themselves to both of the properties we showed them.
But I still think they remain to be convinced which one - if either - is for them.
So the mystery house has got everything to play for.
'So let the games begin.
'We're heading to our most rural location so far -
'in Maesllyn, right across the county border into Ceredigion.
'The tranquil hamlet of Maesllyn
'is surrounded by outstanding countryside,
'and the mystery property enjoys incredible views across the valley.
'When we started this house hunt, mother and daughter wanted to live together.
'but a few issues have arisen about sharing.
'They didn't ask for a separate annexe, but perhaps that's the answer for June and Claire.
'So it's exactly what we're proposing to show them.'
So there you go. That's our mystery house.
More like a surprise! HE LAUGHS
-Hopefully not too much of a surprise.
-No, it's wonderful!
I'm quite shocked. I did expect something a bit weird.
It's not weird. It's absolutely conventional in most respects.
It's nice. I like the look of it.
Good. Right, let's get inside and we'll give you a little treat.
'First impressions are encouraging.
'And it's no surprise because this is an imposing detached property.
'Let's see what they make of the inside.'
Come on in, June.
Grab the door, Claire.
Just a nice size.
-Cosy, isn't it?
-Yes, it's lovely.
-A wood burner.
-Nice surround, too, with the natural stone.
-And beams. Look.
-It's a nice size.
-Yes, I think it's nice. I love it.
-It's a family room.
-It's a very good family room.
-Yeah. It's a great family house.
'It's also a perfect house for a family who needs separate zones.
'Next door, the dining room could be great as a kids' den
'because, coming up in the kitchen, there's stacks of room to sit down and eat.'
Oh, yes. CLAIRE GASPS It's mine.
As you can see, huge space here.
Oh, yes. My big table and eight chairs would go lovely there.
Which would free up the dining room for the kids.
Now, we have spoken a lot about this sense of space.
This little bit is for you,
and it's right through that door.
Come and have a look.
Now, June, come on in to what I'm going to describe as your wing.
What's on offer here are five rooms.
This one is something of a sort of a sitting area
and it leads on into an enormous conservatory,
-which you probably saw from the outside.
That's all self-contained.
In here, a self-contained kitchenette.
Again, very much for you to do your own thing if you want to.
This is the bedroom.
This is perhaps a little small at the moment.
This wall, with a bit of imagination, could move potentially.
But I don't know. You tell me.
I might have to change my bed, but we can think about that one.
Yeah. The other nice thing is that in here...
-Your own corner bath.
-Lovely. I like corner baths.
And shower, of course.
-Good. Love it.
-What do you reckon, Claire?
-Bowled over, she is.
-You're very quiet. Is this a good sign?
I... You know. I'd move in now, I think.
'With June well catered for on the ground floor,
'it's time to see what's on offer for Claire and the children upstairs.
'The landing splits into two wings.
'On one side lie two good-size double bedrooms
'and on the other is the family bathroom and main bedroom.'
Now then, Claire, come on in.
This would be your room.
-This is well big enough.
-This is beautiful.
-Isn't it lovely?
-And you get those two gorgeous windows with the view.
-Little dressing table area there. I think this is lovely.
You're going to tell me you want this room now, aren't you?
Wouldn't dare. THEY LAUGH
-Listen, you've got your own wing!
Wouldn't dare tell her that!
'The mystery house seems to be working its magic.
'So let's see what the garden has to offer.'
Crunch over the gravel
to this little green area here.
Now, obviously the bulk of the formal lawn is going down the slope
surrounded by its mature shrubs.
You've got lots of outside storage, as you can see,
and up there, Claire, quite a useful little workshop for you.
Garden tools and so forth in the other one.
And there's a little patio area up there
with the washing line and all that sort of stuff.
-And, of course, you get the greenhouse.
-Right. Sounds good.
-Would this be enough?
-This is well big enough.
-Good. So outside space is all right.
Inside space in the house I think is quite exciting.
Let's see if we can get excited about the price.
It's our final time of asking.
June, you go first.
I think this one might be a little bit over my price.
I think I would say...
£265,000 to £269,000.
So £265,000 to £269,000 says your mum, Claire.
What do you reckon?
Well, even though I've gone over on both my guesses so far,
I still think it's more than Mum.
I would say £275,000.
This is on the market for £250,000.
Well, that's good.
-We'll certainly... SHE LAUGHS
-..seriously think of this one.
-Thought you might!
Go and gather your thoughts, have a good look around.
I think this really works for you. See if you can make it work in the long term.
I'll catch up with you later. Off you go. Brilliant.
There we go. Once again, the mystery house has done it.
'Right on the money at £250,000,
'the mystery house package has come up trumps
'in terms of matching both our buyers' aspirations
'under the same roof.
'Sitting in delightful gardens, it's a well-presented property
'featuring three bedrooms, two reception rooms,
'and a large kitchen/diner.
'An added benefit must be the five-roomed guest suite.
'I guess you could call that two for the price of one.'
-It's my kitchen.
-The colour scheme's perfect.
-Everybody must stay out. It's mine.
It's a very pretty house, and it was an ideal house.
It was something that I didn't expect.
The garden is ideal.
I thought, once I step inside it,
it perhaps won't be as nice as it looks outside.
But I was very surprised.
I'm thinking I would like to buy this house
and I would like to live in this house.
This is very close to perfect.
Right. I had to tear you away from that one.
-You rather liked the mystery house.
Now, I suspect that you are still a bit confused
because we have given you, I think, three very viable options.
-All for very different reasons.
-Reasons which you must now unpick in your own minds.
Let's get you somewhere where you can have a good old think about it.
'Of the hundreds of pony breeds throughout the world,
'nine are indigenous to the UK,
'one of which is native to Wales - the famous Welsh Cob.
'The Welsh Cob evolved from the cross-breeding of ancient Welsh mountain ponies
'with Arabian horses introduced by the Romans.
'During the week I went to meet champion breeder Geraint Davies,
'his son and daughter and his prize-winning Cob, Princess Royal.
'In 2010 she was champion
'of Wales' biggest agricultural show, the Royal Welsh.'
What is it about the breed that makes it so versatile?
It's the best ride and drive animal in the world.
I imagine other breeds can do the ridden and driven job,
but not as good as the Welsh Cobs.
They say ride and drive, but what does that mean?
Years ago, they were used primarily in Cardiganshire
as the "do everything" horse
because they would do a bit of farm work - plough, bring the hay in -
and also they would take the family to church on the weekends.
'Because the Cob is so versatile,
'it's made some outstanding historic contributions both in war and peace.
'The Tudors captured the English throne mounted on the backs of Welsh Cobs.
'The British military used these horses right up until World War II
'to pull heavy artillery.
'Despite its prowess as a work horse,
'the Welsh Cob is an elegant beast
'with a loyal and gentle temperament,
'which makes it highly prized and particularly popular in the show ring.'
What is it about this animal that sets her apart?
She conforms well to the breed type.
She's got a beautiful head and eye, lovely round feet, a real good foot.
She moves really well.
'Cobs are so adaptable, they can be entered into various show classes,
'including harness, under saddle and in hand.
'Five-year-old Princess Royal is trained by Geraint's son, Rhys.
'She's shown in hand and has won first-place prizes every year
'since she was a yearling.'
When you are showing, you're not riding her, obviously.
You're alongside her, in hand - to use the technical term.
-That's presumably so the judge can see absolutely everything.
If they're being driven, they're being covered by the harness,
or, if they're being ridden, they're covered by the saddle,
so in hand they can see all the horse.
What's astonishing about Princess Royal here is she looks incredibly fit, muscly and well-toned.
How do you get that kind of look if you're not riding her?
It's a lot of hard work.
We exercise her a bit by walking her and trotting her.
Leading up to a big show,
-we usually take her out every two or three nights.
'It takes a long time to master ring craft,
'but, under the watchful eye of Rhys, it's time to give it a go myself.'
'With four legs to my two, I'll need to be on my toes to keep up
'using all the stamina I can muster.
'There's no question this will definitely be a one-horse race.'
It's now decision time for June and for Claire.
You might think the outcome of this house search is fairly obvious,
but you know what?
I'm not so sure.
-Hello there. How are you?
Enjoying the view over Llandeilo?
Of course. Look at it.
Has it helped clear your thoughts?
-Yes, a little.
You're looking a bit confused.
Yes, because each of the properties we've seen
has offered wonderful opportunities but for totally different reasons.
Let's think about where we went. Then we'll talk about what it's clarified.
The first property, with 1.5 acres, which was a real surprise to you,
what are your final thoughts on that one, Claire?
Me, I loved it.
The outside space.
And, although very small, the age and character of the older property
I felt very comfortable in.
-Go on then, Mum, what did you reckon to it?
-I liked it.
-But I can't see myself living there because of the space.
I did like the outside space,
but I didn't want to give up quite so much space in the house.
-But I liked the property.
Then we went in search of something that offered you
more size and space in terms of its footprint,
our second property of the day, up towards Newcastle Emlyn.
-It was a lot bigger, June.
-It was, yes.
I liked that one, too,
but the main thing I liked that one for was the kitchen and the garden.
I went against it because of the doubt about the sleeping quarters.
I think it would have had to be one adult and one child downstairs
and one adult and child upstairs,
and I don't think that arrangement would have lasted very long.
-What did you think of it, Claire?
-I liked the sprawling nature of it,
the fact that you went upstairs, downstairs...
-The character of the house was lovely.
-It had a nice geography.
It did. Very nice.
The kitchen was wonderful.
The view was outstanding.
So space and getting these detailed arrangements right
was what we were hoping for in our final property,
the mystery house.
I loved that house.
I loved the house. It gave us loads of space.
One little change in the annexe would have made it perfect.
So my sense is that you'll probably go back and have a second look at the mystery house.
-We'd like to before we leave, yes.
-That's a foregone conclusion.
It has been a lot of fun.
-Go and have another look and, as ever, let us know.
-Best of luck.
For many people, escaping to the country is an idyllic dream.
But in reality it can present quite a number of challenges.
I think some of those challenges are dawning on June and Claire.
We may not quite have found them their ideal house,
but we have made them fall in love with Wales.
And when faced with views like the one behind me,
you can't blame them for that.
If you would like to escape to the country
in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland or England
and would like our help, please apply online at:
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Jules Hudson is in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, with a mother and daughter looking for a family home together on a budget of £250,000. But quite how they will divide the living space is a hotly debated topic. And Jules horses around with the county's Welsh Cobs.