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In this part of the country, property is so sought after
that one American wanted to buy this row of cottages,
dismantle them brick by brick and take them back to the States.
I'm just hoping that today's buyers aren't quite so ambitious
with their dreams of an Escape To The Country.
On today's show, we're helping a pair of long-distance love birds
buy their very first home together.
There'll be plenty of passion.
-It's the best kitchen I've ever stood in.
Unless it was in a previous life but I can't remember.
And it might get sentimental.
I reminds me of my Gran. It throws back all these great memories.
But which of our houses will they have the hots for?
Gorgeous, gorgeous place. I am completely sold.
Today, I'm in the Cotswolds
and it was Henry Ford, the father of the motor car,
who wanted to take these cottages back to Michigan in the 1930s
to rebuild them brick by brick in his very own theme park.
Well, the local residents weren't happy and put up such a protest
that he was forced to abandon his plans
and fortunately for us,
that means that these cottages are still here today.
Undeniably scenic and quintessentially English,
the gentle hills and picture postcard villages make
the Cotswolds one of the country's most popular spots.
Taking in seven county districts and stretching for 790 square miles,
it's the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales
and you don't get much more rural than this.
80% of it is farmland.
Farming has always been big business here.
Most of the golden, honey-hued limestone towns and villages,
so beloved by locals and tourists,
were built on the proceeds of fleeces
during the booming medieval wool trade.
With over 3,000 miles of footpaths to explore,
including the 100-mile Cotswold Way,
which stretches from Chipping Camden in the north to Bath in the south,
it's easy to escape out into the country.
And you'd be following in some pretty famous footsteps,
as A-list celebs can't get enough of the place.
William Morris, the leader of the Arts and Crafts movement, was a fan of the Cotswolds
and it's not hard to see why.
But as you can imagine, in a region renowned for its aesthetics,
property doesn't come cheap.
The average detached house here comes in at about 40% more
than the national average.
But if you can afford it,
there are some luxurious properties on offer in the Cotswolds.
Big spenders should check out this stunning barn conversion
in the hamlet of West End, south Gloucestershire.
A mix of authentic rustic features and modern living spaces,
it comes with five bedrooms and a self-contained three-bedroom cottage.
You get a lot of bricks for your buck at £1.375 million.
If you want a barn for nearly half that price,
£750,000 will buy this lovely conversion near Naunton.
You won't be scrimping on space, with three reception rooms
and three bedrooms
and you really can't put a price on those views.
If it's a typical Cotswolds cottage you're after,
how about this cosy little number next to the duck pond
in sought-after Chippenham?
It's crammed with character and comes with two bedrooms.
On the market at £425,000, you won't need to be quackers to buy it.
When a house is built from beautiful Cotswold stone,
it's hard not to be seduced by it.
So who are today's couple who are looking for their very own slice of chocolate-box heaven?
Let's meet them.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder
but for our buyers, 500 miles is becoming too much to bear.
Scottish entrepreneur Neil is based just outside Aberdeen,
whilst telecom manager Rachel is all the way down south
in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
One year into their relationship,
they've decided it's time to bridge the gap.
We discussed it at length
and we decided the only way forward for us to be together
was to find somewhere we mutually agreed would be right
and in area that we both feel that we would enjoy.
This house here is not for me any more
and it's time move on.
I want to be with Rachel and enjoy our lives together
and, yeah, Cotswolds, hopefully, here we come.
Neil's lived in this large five-bedroom house for six years
and he shares it with two glamorous females,
Brooke and Lily, his bloodhounds.
Rachel bought her three-bed semi in Didcot in 1996,
and she lives with her cat.
They'll all be making the big move but why the Cotswolds?
When Neil came down to see in Oxford, I took him to the Cotswolds
and he fell in love with the place, he thought it was beautiful.
I was very surprised but he's happy to move all this way down to the Cotswolds
rather than stay up here.
But that's why we want to move, to be together.
What a romantic! Sacrificing his Scottish roots for love.
However, as his own boss,
it is easier for Neil to relocate than Rachel,
who will still need to commute to her job in Swindon.
So what exactly are they looking for in their very first house together?
Our must-haves in our new property would be a large dining kitchen
with a range.
Three bedrooms minimum.
A good-sized garden.
Erm, obviously character features, beams, etc.
Inglenook fireplace, of course.
Utility area, somewhere for the dogs to come in and out of the garden.
A village location or about a mile away from a village,
so it's walking distance to a pub and a shop.
But mostly, the character of the property, really.
Good-sized garden, minimum half acre to an acre.
-If we get those things, we'll be happy.
-More than delighted.
Well, that's a sizeable list, so I'm almost scared to ask
is there anything from their current homes they'd like to copy in the country?
This is my garage, which is important to me
because I've a few cars and one or two bikes.
So something this size would be ideal.
Larger, yes, that would be even better
but smaller, no way.
This is Neil's kitchen and I really do love this kitchen
but in the new house, I'd like it to be a bit bigger
but keeping the features like the range and the Belfast sink.
I do love this kitchen but more space and character, that's what I'd like.
That's the dream house but what do they want from their new locale?
It would be good to get involved in local activities.
We'd keep the local pub going, wouldn't we?
'Hopefully feel like we're part of the community, really.'
The whole idea of moving to these communities is to be involved
and help, support and work with, you know?
It puts value in your life, it puts value in your property.
You know, great to get involved. You have to get involved. You don't have a choice.
Both Neil and Rachel will be selling up,
so to give them an idea of how much they'll have to spend,
a local agent valued Neil's house.
'This is a four to five-bedroomed detached property in Stonehaven.'
It's in a good area, it's a good size, finished to a high standard.
Current value, £450,000.
On top of that, they'll have the proceeds from the sale of Rachel's house,
so what's the final figure for the Cotswolds?
Our budget for the new property would be between 650,000
to a maximum of 700,000.
So today, we're looking for a detached property
that's a commutable distance from Swindon.
We need a garage to keep Neil happy with his cars
and a splendid kitchen for Rachel
and all of that has to be wrapped up in some Cotswold charm.
To stick to Rachel's ideal 40-minute drive to work,
we'll be focusing the search in the south of the region, around Cirencester.
We've lined up some gorgeous Cotswolds properties to view
but, as always, I'll be staying tight-lipped on their prices
until the end of the tours.
And then, just to mix things up, we'll take them to a mystery house
but will it be the room with a view for them?
Welcome to the very charming Cotswolds. Great choice.
Round the corner for you but 500 miles!
It's a fair distance but, yeah, it's worth it.
It's a stunning area.
And it's not just this beautiful area that's brought you down here.
We're engaged now and the sooner we find something, the quicker we can get married.
-We'd like to do that this year.
-With a bit of luck.
It all seems to be going well so far
-but have you ever bought a house together before?
-No, we haven't.
We've lived separately, 500 miles apart, since we've known each other.
This is the first time we've tried to find a house together.
It's not a bad budget. How much have we got?
-700 maximum, yeah.
And that's a decent amount of money.
I don't think your expectations are too wild.
We want to get you something beautiful, the weather's picking up
and I think that means it's time to start looking for your dream house.
With a wedding now on the agenda,
we need to find that dream home and fast.
£700,000 should be enough for what they're after,
a detached character property
with a minimum of three bedrooms, a country kitchen for Rachel
and a massive garage for Neil's cars.
They'd love to be in a typical Cotswold village
with a pub and local store
but don't mind being up to a mile away.
Finding half an acre on that budget could be tricky,
so let's hope the dogs are open to compromise.
The dogs are going to keep you busy. What else is going to keep you busy?
I'd like to set up a tea rooms or something.
I've always dreamed of doing that in the countryside
or in a nice little village
where people can stop and have a nice cake and a cup of tea
and have a chat.
If I could do that in the Cotswolds, that would be gorgeous.
Well, maybe our first property will be just their cup of tea.
We're heading into Gloucestershire, to the village of King's Stanley,
which is 30 miles from Rachel's job in Swindon, about a 45-minute drive.
It's pushing her commute time just a tad
but I do think the location will more than make up for it.
A stone's throw from the Cotswold Way, great dog-walking territory,
old barns and golden stone houses abound.
For its small size, King's Stanley also has a long list of amenities.
There's the all-important pub and village shop
and there's even a sports club.
Now, for this location we've brought you up near the Cotswold Way,
so we're into the quintessential Cotswolds,
although this isn't your typical cottage, is it?
-No, it's a very nice-looking house.
-That is a nice-looking property.
-There's no doubt about that.
-It looks great from the outside, let's have a look inside.
Believed to date back to the late 16th century,
this grade II listed property was formerly the borough court house.
It's definitely guilty of character charm
but knowing the kitchen is all-important to Rachel,
that's where I'm going to start this cross-examination.
-In we come. You're going to love this.
-Oh, my word. I do.
This is so lovely.
-It's absolutely beautiful.
-It's been done fantastically well.
-It's the best kitchen I've ever stood in.
Unless in a previous life I've done it but I can't remember.
You're definitely having a reaction to this room. How is it making you feel?
It's making me feel like I want to live in this house.
Not that I need to sell it any more to you
but there's a utility room behind there as well
and a downstairs cloakroom.
Phew! And that's just the kitchen.
-I'll calm myself down.
-OK, let's check out the next room.
I think it's a unanimous verdict but before signing on the dotted line,
we'd better check out the rest of the house.
-Ah! The aroma as you walk in this room.
-Yeah, it's beautiful.
-It's wonderful, isn't it?
-I'm not disappointed at all.
I'm kind of gobsmacked. I don't know what to say.
We've come from a beautiful kitchen and we've come into this.
This is like wow, again.
Gorgeous, gorgeous place. I am completely sold.
'It looks like we've got a case of cheque books at the ready.'
-I think it's going to continue to charm you, this property.
Round here is the front door.
Through here, you get another living space.
Look at that fireplace. Oh, my word.
It is absolutely gorgeous.
Well, I can really picture this room as your tea shop.
I can imagine you greeting lots of guests coming in off the Cotswold Way through the courtyard.
You're conjuring up things in my head now.
'So this could serve up a long-held dream.
'Let's hope the rest doesn't disappoint.
'It shouldn't, as there are six bedrooms in all,
'so plenty of scope for offices or snugs.
'On the first floor are two doubles, a family bathroom
'and what's listed as the master en suite,
'although it is currently used as a family room.'
-And there is plenty of space.
-This is absolutely lovely.
-Another great room.
Yeah, another great room and look at the view out of the window.
It's absolutely beautiful.
'But we haven't finished yet,
'as on the next floor are three more bedrooms,
'so plenty of space for visitors.'
Up on the final level.
This could equally be your master bedroom.
This is a lovely room as well. I love the high ceilings.
So high up you can see the views out of the village.
Even better views, the higher up you are, yeah.
It's a good-sized room. I love a vaulted ceiling. It adds so much character.
-A good, solid-feeling room.
-With a lot of charm.
Yeah, loads of it, yeah.
Again, another impressive room in a very impressive house.
'Well, clearly the interior has passed judgement.
'Now to the outside space.
'There's by no means half an acre. However, it's a decent plot.
'But will it be enough for those big bloodhounds?'
Now, out here for you, Neil, there's a little vegetable patch
and a double garage,
and, of course, down here, your garden.
What do you think about this size garden?
It's manageable. It's nice, you know?
-..give me a number.
Oh, I just think it's so gorgeous and so lovely
that it can't be cheap.
It's got to be at the top of the budget, if not over budget,
-so I would say 710.
I'll go slightly under. I'll go 670.
You made the better guess, Rachel. You're spot on.
This is on the market at £710,000,
-so a little bit over your budget.
-A seriously nice property that deserves some serious consideration.
-I would say so.
-So go and have a think about it.
-I'll catch you later on.
With a price tag of £710,000, this 10,000 over budget
but it's been on the market for a few months,
so there should be a little room for negotiation.
And it's a massive amount of property,
with two reception rooms and a high-spec kitchen,
there's plenty of space to realise the tea shop dream.
Plus there are six bedrooms
and Neil gets his must-have double garage.
Well, that's the evidence - how will they pass sentence?
It's just a beautiful room. We'd dream of these things when we were kids.
Do you think this house could be too big for us?
I've got my drum kit, I've got the kids coming to stay,
that takes up another two rooms.
So, you know, we've got things to think about.
It is such a stunning property, we would be daft not to consider this,
I absolutely love this house.
It's everything I think I could possibly want.
If we didn't see any more, I'd be happy after seeing this one.
It's just so lovely.
We'd have to think about how we'd use these rooms,
if we can use them.
That's the only downside to this property.
But it's something we should discuss because it is a beautiful house.
I wonder what the judgement is?
Made your minds up? The jury's probably still out, I reckon.
-Well, we've got plenty more to see, so don't make your minds up yet.
When it comes to chocolate-box villages,
the Cotswolds is unarguably the UK's reigning champ.
From Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water,
there's one around every corner.
Earlier in the week, Neil and Rachel stopped off
at the absurdly pretty medieval village of Broadway,
where they met up with local resident Dottie Friedli
for a whistle-stop tour.
-Neil, Rachel, welcome to Broadway.
'Once a busy stagecoach stop on the road from London to Worcester,
'for centuries, Broadway was a wealthy commercial centre.
'However, the advent of rail in the late 1800s
'meant the village fell back into quiet rural obscurity.
'But left in its wake was an abundance of fine Tudor and Georgian buildings.'
Now, this is the Lygon Arms,
very, very famous as an inn since 1532.
During the civil war, Charles I stayed here
and funnily enough, Oliver Cromwell as well -
I hasten to add, not at the same time!
'And they were not the only visitors.
'From Elgar to JM Barrie, Rossetti to William Morris,
'many creatives have been inspired by Broadway.
'In the 1880s, Farnham House on the village green
'and later Russell House
'became the hub for a bohemian group of American artists,
'including Frank Millet and John Singer Sarjent,
'who very much needed his own escape to the country.'
The reason he came to Broadway
is because he was in a bit of a scandal.
He was embarrassed.
He painted a rather sensuous lady, Madam X, I can't remember what her real name was,
but she was known as Madam X,
-and it was a bit over the top for that period.
-For its time.
So he was disgraced
and he left Paris and he lived here in this house
and in fact Broadway this year has an arts festival
commemorating John Singer Sarjent's work.
We have got permission from the Tate Gallery
to have his picture, his famous picture, and it will be here, in an exhibition in the village.
-So that's really quite exciting.
'A frequent house guest was US author Henry James,
'who was inspired to write, "Broadway and much of the land about it
'"are, in short, the perfection of the old English rural tradition."
'100 years on and that still rings true today,
'which makes it a firm favourite on the Cotswold tourist trail.
'However, it's not all tea shops and antiques.'
I mean, one of the nicest things about the village
is although it's steeped in history, it's not preserved in aspic
like a lot of villages of this ilk are.
-It's living, it's thriving.
-There's so much going on.
There's clubs. It's got everything here that you could possibly want.
Doctors, dentists, banks, post office, butcher.
It has an enormous lot of things going on.
You name it. You want amateur dramatics or to sing in a choir,
if you have an interest in wine, there's a wine club.
Wine would be good, yeah.
As the sun sets over the beautiful Cotswolds,
I think our first day of property hunting
has been a success.
Coming up, love is in the air.
-This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
And will the mystery house be an affair to remember
or a brief encounter?
I like it but I'm not leaping up and down.
Not that I've done that already but I was inside.
Well, the sun's come out, so things are looking brighter.
I think we got off to a pretty good start yesterday.
They liked what we showed them
but today, we're getting back to something a little bit more classic Cotswolds.
We're starting today's property search
near the Gloucestershire-Oxfordshire border, in the village of Kencot.
The 16 miles to Swindon is a shorter commute for Rachel
and although it doesn't fall into the official Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
it's still a picture-perfect country escape.
With just 100 people living here, it's peace and quiet personified
and it's a regular winner of Oxfordshire's best-kept village.
For amenities, they can walk the dogs to neighbouring Filkins,
'just one mile away,
'which is stocked with must-have pub, post office, church
'and a thriving community-run shop.
'Our first house was supersized, so we're downsizing with this viewing,
'as we're looking at this 19th century cottage.'
This is what we bring you today.
-This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
You had your dream. Was this it?
-I think so, yes.
-I think it's just about there.
All right, it looks great from the outside.
Let me set the scene a little bit for you.
This is the original building that dates back to the 1800s.
It was extended in the '70s and that's given it a lot more space.
But it's got the cottage dimensions. Is that something you can live with?
-We can go with that.
-That's what we want.
-Only one way to find out. Let's have a look inside.
Hopefully, the inside will live up to the dream.
Decoratively, it might not be to their style
but that just means they can really put their own stamp on the place.
Right, in we come.
Into your entrance hallway. We've stepped into the extension.
-It's very nice.
-It's a typical cottage. It's brilliant.
Let's see what you think when you look at the old part of the property.
You do step down.
There's a sunken floor, so you've got some extra height.
Very nice. Comfy cosy, as we'd say. Yeah, lovely.
Very pretty. Very pretty.
I like the low ceiling and the nice window out onto the very beautiful garden.
And, of course, a lovely fireplace is always a nice thing to have.
-It's a nice feature to have.
What are you feeling about this overall cottage feel?
It's very different to the other property.
It reminds me of my gran so much, which was a brilliant place to go and visit,
which I just adored to do.
There's a wee lump in your throat because of all the great memories.
Yeah, it's beautiful.
-And something you could see yourself living in?
'It's a thumbs-up so far and next door is an equally cosy dining room.
'However, the kitchen might not be quite what they had in mind.'
Now, Rachel, I want your thoughts on this kitchen.
Well, it's got everything in it.
It's a good size.
I'd probably want to change it, yeah, to something that's more my taste
but it's certainly a nice room
and it's a beautiful view out onto the garden
and there's lots of light.
You've also got a utility space through there,
so it is that little bit bigger
and you're in the extension here, so this is newer part,
so you've scope even to extend, I guess, if you wanted to.
The size is perfect. It's great to work with.
We could do so much with this.
-OK, well, the downstairs is a winner. Let's have a look upstairs.
'Too many bedrooms won't be a problem with this house,
'as it has just three in all.
'On the first floor is the family bathroom,
'a guest room and the master.'
-It's a good size.
-It's a nice room.
I like all the three windows. Lots of light again,
looking out to beautiful gardens again.
You're going to get sun first thing in the morning, afternoon,
-last thing at night.
-There you go.
You've got lumps and bumps in the ceiling and the walls are uneven,
-which is typical of this type of property.
-Adds to the character.
That's great, yeah. Potential's here.
'Good. And the final bedroom is upstairs in the attic.'
So up here you've got the third bedroom.
I really like this room because there's some beams!
-Yes, yes, I like a beam.
It's a nice shape. It's a quirky shape, isn't it?
-If other rooms had this sort of thing in it...
It just changes the whole appearance of a room, I think,
to have a bit of wood and beams.
-It just makes a room look more country style.
I can see you've been taken by this room.
You're a bit more animated about it.
I'm just picturing this elsewhere in the house. It would change it.
'Well, I think our little cottage is a big hit
'and there's a lot more to see outside.
'In fact, it's almost two properties for the price of one,
'as above the all-important garage is a self-contained guest suite,
'so plenty of space when Neil's children visit.'
So this wall goes down to the workshop
but here we've got a good-sized bathroom.
-Cute little kitchen.
-Yeah, a dinky kitchen.
-And then a double bedroom.
-Oh, right, yes. It is a big bedroom.
It's a bit like a Tardis, isn't it? A definite bonus.
'Last but not least, let's check out the garden.
'Sadly, I haven't managed to conjure up half an acre
'but it is very pretty and surrounds the house,
'so will it suffice?'
I love this back garden as well.
-You've got a good space at the front and at the back.
-Enough space for the dogs?
-I think so.
-I think it's enough for them to ruin.
-I mean, run about in.
How much do you think it will cost
to live in one of the best-kept villages in the Cotswolds?
Well, when you put it like that, I think it's not going to be cheap.
I think it's probably about 699,000.
-Right at the top of your budget.
Erm, I'm going to say less because the house needs a bit of work.
I think 675.
675, a little bit lower but still near the top of your budget.
-Are you ready for this?
-Hold onto each other.
This house is on the market, only two weeks, at 595,000.
-Blimey. Shock horror.
-That's a lot less than I thought.
There's a lot to take in but you'd have a lot of money to play with,
so head back in and start measuring up and working out what you'd do.
At just a snip under £600,000,
this cottage is a whopping £100,000 under budget,
so more than enough spare change to tackle any work.
The kitchen is a good size and could easily be changed
to suit Rachel's style.
There are two cosy reception rooms and three bedrooms
and there's the added bonus of the guest suite above the garage.
Neil's obviously taken with the place but is Rachel quite so enamoured?
I think this house is a lovely, lovely, house,
a very typically Cotswold property.
It's what we were looking for, if we tried to conjure up a picture in our heads.
The village is so beautiful and the gardens are so beautiful.
The one thing with this house is that it needs a lot doing to it,
so we need to make our mark on it, which would be the biggest issue.
But then with the price of it, I think it's possible.
Just looking around this place, around the village itself,
it's immaculate, it's stunning.
It would be a privilege to live here.
This really is a picture postcard village. Absolutely gorgeous.
-Nice place for you to live.
-If it's the one for you.
-But we've still got the mystery house to see. Let's keep moving.
Whichever Cotswold village Rachel and Neil end up relocating to,
they're super keen to get involved with the local community
and get to grips with some traditional rural activities.
Often one of the best places to start is the village pub,
so during the week, we headed to Cherington,
not for a pint, however, but to partake in a traditional game
that originated in the Cotswolds
and has been played here for centuries - Aunt Sally.
Landlord John Hitchman has been playing for 12 years
and he's going to show us how it's done.
What is the aim of this game?
The aim is to, with this, to knock the doll off the stay.
The players aim with six sticks and you have to knock six dolls off.
-As simple as that!
-Yes, yeah, as easy as that.
How far away do you have to be to do that?
-About 12 or 13 yards down there.
-OK. So it does require some skill?
Yes, lots of years of practice.
I've been playing for years and I can't seem to get it right.
In the civil war, the Royalists used to play the game to pass the time.
-It went on to fairgrounds and pubs and here we are today.
-And it's thriving, isn't it?
Oh, yeah. We've got three divisions in our league, a couple of teams in the pub. We enjoy it.
But why is it called Aunty Sally?
Well, originally, the doll was of a little old lady
and the old lady had a pipe in her mouth
and the aim was not to knock the doll off
but to knock the pipe out of her mouth.
Well, it sounds simple enough.
I mean, how hard can it be to throw a stick?
Right, just hold the stick at the end there.
And in one easy motion, just back and throw.
You make that look simple
but I warn you, I have no hand-eye coordination.
So watch out, everyone.
I nearly knocked out the umpire! Sorry.
'Well, I did warn them. 'Maybe Rachel will have better luck.'
Come on. This one.
'Mm, perhaps not. Let's see how the Scotsman does.'
Right, let's give it a go.
-Right on target.
'I think we have a sporting hero in our midst,
'a new Aunt Sally team member in the making.'
If they move to the Cotswolds, would you let him on the team?
On that evidence, I would say definitely.
-Thanks very much.
There you go. Something to get you involved in the community from the get go.
All we've got to do now is find you the right house.
-Cheerio. Thanks a lot.
A location like this is what the Cotswolds is all about
and our mystery house is situated right here.
"What makes it such a mystery?" I hear you ask?
Well, it's going to require Neil and Rachel to squeeze their dreams a little.
Let's see if they're up for it.
Anything you're particularly expecting or dreading?
I really, really have no idea what the mystery house could be.
You've shown us such a variety so far. I'm not dreading anything.
I'm looking forward to seeing it. I really don't know what we might see,
so it's exciting.
Yeah, I'm up for it, as well. Let's get there as soon as you can.
Patience is a virtue, Neil, and we don't have too far to go.
We're heading back into the heart of the Gloucestershire wolds,
to the hamlet of Eastington, a 40-minute drive from Swindon.
Whilst Eastington is a beautiful snapshot of rolling wolds,
country lanes and cottages,
just one mile southeast is the popular medieval market town
It's home to the full run of traditional local stores
and a few unusual ones, too,
the all-important pub
and a medieval church, nicknamed the Cathedral of the Cotswolds
due to its impressive stature.
Time for the mystery house.
We've brought you to a lovely field full of lots of Cotswold sheep
and just here is the house.
-It's a house-looking house.
-It is a house-looking house.
-What do you mean by that?
It looks like a proper house. It looks solid and nicely done.
The property dates back to the 1840s
and the story goes that it used to be part of the Sherborne estate
but the Wills estate won this property and lots of the Sherborne land in a card game,
so it's got a bit of a story to it.
But that is not what makes this a mystery house.
Any ideas what does?
-No. I dread to think.
-I have no idea.
Dread? No need to dread. It'll be fine.
-Let me show you inside and it will all become clear.
'This detached Cotswold stone period home
'certainly looks vast from the outside
'and inside, it's been beautifully renovated
'but here's the twist.
'It's actually the smallest house we're viewing,
'so how will our downsize go down?'
Here we go.
In you come, into the hallway.
Any ideas why it's the mystery house yet?
That it's narrower than the other properties?
-Which means it's smaller.
-Smaller. That's the word. Smaller.
I think that you in particular, Rachel, are going to like the decor
-but let's find out.
So through here, we have the living room.
This is very nice. Nicely decorated, yes.
-My kind of style.
-I thought you'd like all of the wood.
-You've got these lovely doors.
-Stripped wood flooring.
-It's a great stone fireplace.
-It's not an inglenook.
-It's a fireplace, nevertheless.
That's a tick in the box.
-And the stone windows.
-Which you like.
The depth of that and then the views.
The view is unbelievable, yeah. Really, really pretty.
'Across the hallway is the second reception room.'
-Oh, it's nice. Quite nice, with the colours.
-This is a nice room.
And a good-sized dining room and it leads on into the kitchen.
-Could it do for you?
-I like it, definitely, but I'm not leaping up and down,
not that I've done that already but I was inside.
Well, let's tackle that, then. Let's go and see the kitchen and get your thoughts on it.
It is, I think, a beautiful kitchen.
It is a lovely kitchen. Very lovely.
-I like the work surface.
-I like the colour scheme.
It's lovely with the range, as well.
It is a very nice kitchen. It suits the house, it really does.
I would've liked it bigger but it's beautiful and it's got everything that I like in it,
-just on a bit of a smaller scale.
-Smaller scale in an ideal location.
-Yeah, a beautiful location.
Every window has got a beautiful view from it,
so that's a big plus, yes.
'Positive reactions all round. Let's hope that continues upstairs.'
There's still a lot of light up here.
There's only two bedrooms but it isn't particularly small.
-I think this is a good size.
-Yeah, this is a nice room.
I keep saying it's two bedrooms
but the fact is with this property, there were three bedrooms
and the current owners took the decision, brave, I think, as it is,
to get rid of one of those to create an en suite round there.
-Right, I see, yeah.
-So now you've got two bathrooms, two bedrooms.
This is a lovely room. Again, this is my style.
-This room is very nice.
I can't promise they'll keep the curtains
-but you can't get rid of the view, can you?
-That's a gorgeous view.
A Cotswold landscape, there. Waking up every morning to that.
-It would be lovely.
I think you're falling in love. Come and look at the en suite.
It's very stylish.
Oh, that's beautiful, yeah. Lovely.
I love all this, yeah. I love these tiles, that colour and type.
No, this is a cute, sweet, lovely en suite, this is.
-I like the bath. You're not a fan of roll-top baths.
I think that's lovely.
-What have you got against roll-top baths?
-I just don't like a bath.
Can't you smell?
'Well, Neil needn't worry.
'Along the hallway is the family shower room
'and the second bedroom, which is also a good size,
'but I think it's time to take a closer look at those amazing views
'from the garden.'
-It's such a gorgeous afternoon.
-It is beautiful.
Perfect for house viewing and perfect for enjoying the view
that you get from this property,
I mean, down here onto this open field.
-It is beautiful.
-So, so beautiful.
And of course it all comes if you buy this property
and just look at it from this point of view.
But how much will it cost to live somewhere like this?
I think because of the views, they put a lot of value on this house,
so I think you'd be looking at maybe 625, I think.
I would say, although the views are absolutely gorgeous,
I'd say, because it's smaller, I would probably say 565.
-Oh, quite a lot lower.
Well, actually, you're closer.
-This is on the market at £615,000.
And you can do something with this property.
It has got planning permission for an extension,
so you could extend out the back here from that second window
and come out and have a bigger kitchen and a couple of bedrooms upstairs
-and with 85,000 left over, so to speak...
-You could do it.
-You've certainly got a lot to think about now.
-Thanks very much.
-Enjoy the sunshine, have a wander round and start thinking
-and we'll talk later on.
-Thanks a lot.
On the market at £615,000,
this beautiful Cotswold stone period home is 85,000 under budget.
It's been recently renovated to a high spec
and includes two reception rooms, two bedrooms,
and a bespoke country kitchen, albeit not a huge one.
However, there is planning consent in place
to build a two-storey extension,
which would increase the floor print considerably
but that would obviously come at a cost.
The question is, is this idyllic location worth the work?
Well, I think the mystery house is lovely.
It's not ticking all the boxes for me
but I can't fault how beautiful the location is.
I think the location to me is ten out of ten
and the house is eight and a half out of ten.
Do you think that's big enough for us?
There's planning permission for a big extension, so you'd have to look at that.
As it is now it would be quite tight. We'd be struggling a bit.
The surroundings are fantastic
but I think the work we would need to do
to get this house up to the way we would want it,
in comparison to some of the properties we've seen,
because they've set the benchmark, you'd need to spend a few quid here.
This is why I love this show.
Getting to hang out at locations like this
and this could be where you live if you pick this house.
-Let's go sit down and talk about it.
It's decision time and for the first time in ages,
I'm finding it quite difficult to work out
which of the properties our couple like the most.
The thing is with Rachel and Neil, they seem to like everything
but do they love any of our houses as much as they love each other?
It's an exciting time for the two of you, isn't it?
You've got the impending marriage
and the big move from Scotland down to the Cotswolds.
-Thank you for letting us come on the journey.
-No, thank you.
Now we started with the old court house.
-What did you think of that?
-It was stunning.
It had so many great features. Yeah, it was lovely.
I thought it was gorgeous.
I was completely taken with it, especially with the kitchen.
I think that was the loveliest kitchen I've ever been in.
It's a shame that it's just too big, that's the long and the short of it.
-It's too big.
Having taken you to a fairly large house,
we took you to something much more traditional Cotswolds.
We wanted to set you in the heart of a village
and take you to a little cottage.
-I really liked it.
-It brought back memories for you, didn't it?
When we were kids, we went down to the Lake District to stay at Gran's. It had that feel about it.
It was needing updating but it was nothing structural.
I think that property had lots of potential
and could be updated and could be beautiful in that village.
Well, finally, the mystery house.
And with this one, it's probably one of the most perfect settings I've ever seen.
-Wonderful views and a great property, if not a little wee.
So what did you think?
I did think it was absolutely beautiful
and the setting couldn't be matched, definitely.
And the house was lovely, too. They'd done a good job.
But it was just a bit too small and a bit too much work.
We did show you a wide variety of houses
but have you made a decision?
Well, we've decided we'd like to go back to the cottage
and have a look around the location a bit more
and see how far the amenities are away.
Yeah. If things sort of stack up in its favour,
-we'll certainly take it further, we think.
So we may have found you a house.
-Now all we have to do is get you married.
I don't mean that. I'm looking forward to that, obviously.
I've really enjoyed showing you around the Cotswolds.
I can't wait to hear that you've got the keys and are moving in
and to get my invitation to the wedding.
The best of luck. Let us know how you get on
-and send us some photos of the wedding.
-Thank you for your help.
Yes, thank you.
What a brilliant result, although I didn't see that one coming.
I thought they couldn't make their minds up.
Turns out, they just needed some time to mull it over,
to realise that they were always going to fall in love
with the quintessential Cotswold cottage.
I'll see you next time on Escape To The Country.
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