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Welcome to Escape To The Country. The wonderful house here was the birthplace of a very important man.
Amongst other things, he was a poet, a soldier, an adventurer and a courtier
and he introduced us to the spud. But who was he and where am I? Follow me and I'll show you.
'Today we're helping a retired couple swap Surrey's commuter belt for Green Belt in the West Country.
'We've got some thrilling rural properties.'
-Have you seen her get this excited?
-Not for a few years!
'And we also find the perfect retirement panorama.'
I'm totally gobsmacked by the views and the easy lifestyle I can see that is coming my way.
Today I'm in Devon and back in 1554 none other than Sir Walter Raleigh was born here at Hayes Barton.
He's famous for introducing us to the potato and tobacco,
but he was also one of Elizabeth I's most favourite courtiers
and famously threw his cloak down over a muddy puddle so she wouldn't get her feet wet. The good old days.
The third-largest county in the country, Devon lies in the south-west of England,
between Somerset and Dorset to the east and Cornwall to the west.
For many, Devon is synonymous with childhood holidays and memories of time spent by the seaside.
Travel further inland into the heart of the county
and the wild and intriguing beauty of Dartmoor National Park has inspired writers and artists.
The beautiful landscape has made it a favourite with home buyers.
The untouched villages are scattered with period houses and pretty thatched cottages,
which absolutely typify the English country dream.
Well, we all love to be beside the seaside
or so, of course, the song tells us,
but in Devon house prices certainly reflect that.
10 years ago they were pretty much on a par with the rest of England and Wales, but times have changed.
They're now a whopping 17% above the national average,
thanks in part to a low crime rate, but also this glorious climate.
So if you can find the money, this is definitely the place to be.
There's more to Devon's housing stock than quintessential cottages
as this five-bedroom property in West Alvington demonstrates.
Centred round an indoor pool, the mix of glass and stainless steel is a serious statement
of contemporary living with a serious price tag.
This will set you back £1.25 million.
In stark contrast, this five-bed family home in Dipperton epitomises country chic at its finest.
On the market just shy of £700,000, it has three grand reception rooms
and a fantastic kitchen/breakfast room.
Lastly, this traditional three-bed cottage in South Molton is bursting with period charm,
priced at £275,000. It comes complete with a newly-fitted Shaker-style kitchen/diner
and the house is set amid luscious countryside in rural Devon.
As ever with this fantastic county, there are plenty of properties to tempt you to move here.
Me? I just love the weather, as do today's buyers.
Husband and wife duo David and Dorothy live with dog Gunner in this five-bed chalet bungalow
a few miles from Woking in Surrey.
But the time has come to take their foot off the accelerator and swap fast-paced commuter belt living
for something more leisurely in Devon.
We're both retired, the children have now grown up.
David's worked in London for most of his working life.
The area that we live in is a very busy area.
We just feel it would be so much nicer to be in a slower, more private area
with a lot more countryside to view.
Dave has wanted to pursue his countryside dream for years, but after six decades in Surrey
Dot is more reluctant to leave.
Dorothy has always been a little bit worried about leaving Woking because she's lived here all her life.
-So it's up to you now.
-Yes, of course.
I have been the one who is a little bit more, "I'm not sure about this."
It's now time for us to enjoy our time together
and to be as one, cos Dot is my soulmate and deserves my time and attention.
With more time on their hands, they're after a cosier house.
We feel that the amount of rooms we have now is not necessary.
-So downsizing is a very good idea.
-And in the past we've had two or three Golden Retrievers.
We've even downsized to a smaller dog to make our lifestyle even easier.
So what type of place would suit them and their four-legged friend?
-We'd prefer a cottage, beams if possible, not too low a ceiling,
-lovely warm, cosy inglenook fireplace.
-A nice mature garden
with lots to maintain and maybe even a vegetable patch.
Three bedrooms, one preferably en suite.
A separate lounge and study, because of our choices of television sometimes,
-could be a very good idea.
-You mean you don't want to watch my football and sport?
The kitchen, to me, is the hub of the house.
The dining area is separate from here and I feel it would be so nice
to have a larger country kitchen where people can gather and we can enjoy each other's company
while I'm cooking.
Before we start looking for their new home, we need to find out how much money they have to spend,
so we invited a local agent round.
The property is well-presented and has been tastefully extended.
I would currently estimate the value at £575,000.
So what's the final budget for their rural relocation to Devon?
If it ticks all the right boxes, our maximum would be £500,000.
You certainly can't blame Dave and Dot for wanting to retire here. It's absolutely gorgeous.
As for their list of requirements, I think they're all doable - a cottage, a garden to potter in
and for the dog to play in. My big concern, however, is Dot.
She's giving up 60 years of life in one place.
Wanting to find your dream home is all well and good, but you have got to be 100% committed to finding it.
The thing is, is she?
Dave and Dot both dream about casual walks along the sea front with Gunner,
so they'd like to be no more than 10-15 miles from the coast.
So our house quest will take us to villages surrounding Honiton and Axminster to the east of Devon.
I'll be taking them to see a variety of beautiful country homes, but the price will be a guessing game.
And the finale will be the mystery house, which will quite literally
turn the tide on their ideal rural retreat.
-Hi, guys. Nice to see you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Now this was your idea.
-It certainly is. I'm blackmailing Dot to come to the West Country!
What are your reservations, Dot? I know you're not entirely convinced.
I'm not 100%, I'm afraid. Not 100%.
Isolation, really, from being used to living
in a very, very busy Surrey area with, you know, lots going on
to suddenly come down to the country where it's quieter
and not a lot happens compared to what I'm used to.
-But you've been in Woking for how long?
-And you've never strayed?
So this is quite a number, Dave.
-You must have dreamt of this on all of your many hours spent commuting into London.
And many hours on the internet and trying to convince Dot.
-So why now, then?
-Because we're getting older, we're retired now.
And we enjoy the countryside, David loves the sea.
So here we are, having a look round
-Are you open to be persuaded?
-I'm very open to whatever comes along
and it will be interesting.
We have got something of an uphill battle, Dave, to convince your wife
that this is where you should spend the rest of your lives. It's a gorgeous part of the world.
Devon is a well-worn path for people for people escaping to the country.
For a top budget of £500,000, Dot and Dave are looking to downsize into a cosy Devonshire cottage
that's packed full of character features. They need three bedrooms,
one ideally with an en suite bathroom, two separate reception rooms and spacious country kitchen.
Location is key - not too isolated and no more than a 20-minute drive from a quick dip in the ocean,
at least for the dog, Gunner.
With all that in mind, it's time to kick off today's property search
and first we're heading to the village of Membury, about 10 miles from the coast.
Membury sits in the unspoilt region of the Blackdown Hills.
The village has a local shop with a Post Office and the lanes are lined with picturesque cottages.
Our first house is a mixture of cob and stone, over 100 years old.
Set on a hill, it takes prime position to make the most of the glorious scenery.
-There we are.
-What do you think?
-Very, very cottagey, as we requested.
And, yes, this is in keeping with what I would think the country should offer us.
-Dave, you've been dreaming of this for years. What's your view?
-Lots of windows to paint!
-Yeah, lots of windows!
-But the stonework is magnificent.
The current owners are in the process of moving out, so it's a blank canvas.
Come on, let's have a look.
There. Come on in.
-Quite deceptive, isn't it?
-You don't expect to see all this.
-In terms of size, this is the main living room. How would it work?
-That's what we want.
-Smaller rooms, cosy rooms.
Cosy is what we're looking for. We don't want too vast.
So a pretty good size, actually, for what we're thinking of.
'Off the lounge is the second reception room, the perfect hideaway for Dave's beloved sport.
'Next up, somewhere for Dot.' OK, Dot...
-How about this?
-Actually, it's bigger than I thought it would be.
-It's quite surprising
as to how much space they've incorporated. It's definitely got the farmhouse look.
But we've also got the utility through here. Anywhere else, we'd say it's the utility,
-but this is a kitchen. In any other cottage, this would be good enough. What do you think?
-That's a fair size.
'Well, that's the end of the tour on the ground floor. I think they've been impressed so far,
'but the staircase takes us up to the first floor.
'There's a large and bright family bathroom and four bedrooms.
'The single has lovely views and could be used as a study.
'Then the smallest of the three doubles is a very comfortable size, but will this one suit them?'
This is, I suppose, the master. It's not the biggest, but it's got all this fitted stuff going on
and it also has a little shower room and en suite here.
-It's the only room that has that.
So it could be for you or it could be for your guests, but if you want the biggest room,
-it's through here.
There we are. We'll finish in here.
-This is the biggest room.
-That's a nice size.
-Doesn't have the en suite, but quite a nice view.
-I'm pleasantly pleased.
I think, for me, I could put my own stamp on this.
That's what I like. The rooms are ready. They just need that extra loving care and it could be ours.
'That all depends on the price. Let's meet outside and finish off.
'To the front of the property, there's a paved patio area.
'To the rear, a sloping lawned garden.'
Let's have a think about the price. Half a million to spend.
-I see the wheels are turning, Dot.
-The cogs are really churning.
445. Yeah? Dave?
I'm going to come in as a conservative Cockney with 425.
-With fingers crossed.
-Well, it begins with a 4 and it ends with a 5,
but this is on the market for 465.
-465. So I'm the nearest.
The only trouble is my sit-on mower wouldn't like that slope!
You'd be at the bottom very quickly!
-Go and have an explore. Check out the house again. I'll catch up with you later.
For £465,000, our first property comes with a price tag that is £35,000 under budget.
Set in the heart of a village with glorious countryside views, the cottage is 150 years old
and, as you would expect, it's full of period character.
But it's also tastefully modernised and offers two separate receptions, a stylish kitchen/breakfast room
with an impressive utility room to match. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, one with an en suite.
But outside, will Dave and Dot find the gardens an uphill struggle?
The house I was pleasantly surprised when I got here.
It's not too spacious, but looking around you can see that it would be very cosy.
-So did you enjoy that, then?
-Very much. Very educational.
-Ah! That's what we hope to do. Can we inspire you to buy?
-A good one to start with.
-Yeah, Brownie points.
-How about lunch?
In 2009, a leading lifestyle magazine
voted Devon one of the most desirable counties to live in.
Along with the enticing coastlines, it's full of unspoilt villages, of which Otterton
is one not to miss. During the house hunting week, we sent Dot and Dave to visit it.
It's a peaceful location today but was more macabre in the 16th century.
In 1580, the Sheriff of Devon committed a witch to execution
and erected a pillar at the crossroads as a warning to others.
The village itself is the stuff of picture postcards whatever the weather.
Despite its relatively small size, Otterton was once the largest settlement in Devon.
On the River Otter is Otterton Mill, where Dot and Dave get a guided tour
by head miller Simon Spiller.
The mill has been here for over 1,000 years. In fact, there were some Roman ruins on this site,
some Neolithic flint and the mill is mentioned in the Domesday Book, 1068.
So we've got a fantastic history of milling.
It was one of the biggest mills in Devon. There were over 70 at the time of the Domesday Book.
The mill was closed in 1959, then it fell into disrepair,
but was restored and reopened in 1977 and now produces flour that is milled every other week.
Otterton's status as having one of the largest and most productive mills in Devon
is due to the force of the water from the River Otter, which powers three sets of mill stones.
So here we are at the mill, milling, as you see behind you.
The cogs are turning a couple of mill stones. These are French burr mill stones.
They were brought to the mill from France in the late 19th century by a famous local miller,
You can see on the stone just there an inscription. It says, "This stone worked the first time 'tis true
"May 1st, 1862."
It's a great example of the tradition and history here.
It's the call of the sea that's driving Dave's desire to relocate.
Not only does Otterton give a real insight into Devon's rich heritage,
but it's just down the road from the serene Ladram Bay. It's the perfect place to end their tour.
So it's clear that Dot and Dave have got plenty to keep them busy,
but we still have to find a house.
What's your view on the classic thatched, chocolate box cottage, Dot? Does that sort of thing appeal?
That's my idea, but in reality I probably won't find it.
-Devon's full of them. There's half a chance we'll find one!
-If you can, I'll convince Dot to move down here.
'Well, Dave, you could be destined for Devon sooner than you think
'as we may have found the perfect match. We're staying within the beautiful Blackdown Hills,
'travelling to the outskirts of Dalwood.
'A charming village, Dalwood is a real rural getaway at its very best.
'It's full of old stone cottages with a stream meandering through its heart.
'There's a pub with a thatched roof, a Post Office and convenience store.
'If Dave and Dot want to get out of Surrey's fast-lane lifestyle,
'this secluded country lane could be the perfect scenic route.'
Right. Look at this, Dot.
-Is that chocolate box enough?
That's our second property for you. You said you wanted a thatch.
I did. Wow. That really has got character.
-It's got loads of character.
-And the setting is gorgeous.
-The views, the peace, the quiet.
It's a property of two halves. The main thatched bit is about 1850.
-Then to the right - can you see? - that barn has been converted.
-That contains, amongst other things, the kitchen.
-So the geography is something we have to...
-It's slightly different.
-Your face is a picture! Come on. Let's have a look.
'I'm delighted to say that first impressions have left them virtually speechless.
'What, I wonder, will they make of the other historic gems
'that this beautiful period property is hiding within its whitewashed walls.'
Right. Now, then.
-Yeah? Come in, Dave.
-What do you reckon?
-Back in time!
With a wood burner, although this one has the original inglenook.
Really lovely. The attention to detail in here is beautiful.
-It's lovely. It's really lovely.
-You're excited, aren't you?
-Have you seen her get this excited about any other house?
-Not for a few years!
'The fact that this property started life as two separate buildings makes the layout highly unconventional.
'Leading off the lounge, this might make a good study or a snug.'
-Down here, this is the downstairs family bathroom. Have a look, Dot.
-The old bath.
-That's nice, innit?
-Not bad, eh?
-No, compact. All what we need.
As I said outside, this is a house of two halves, effectively.
We are in the old bit, the 1850 bit. It gets more complicated upstairs.
This is why I want you to really start to use your imagination.
'Upstairs, there are four bedrooms in this half of the property.
'Directly off this staircase is the smallest, currently an office.
'There's also a cosy single room up on the first floor and a bright double, too.
'Next door, I've got a grand plan for what could be their bedroom.'
-Now this is the master bedroom. All right?
-As it's currently set up.
-Just a little bit, yeah.
And it mirrors the room next door. If you knocked that wall down, which is just a stud wall,
-you'd double the size of this.
-So you'd end up with a great big room this way
-overlooking the front of the house.
-And the views which are terrific.
-That little room we saw upstairs could be the en suite to this.
-Lose that door.
-And enter down a step at the other end.
-Lead on, Dave. Let's go downstairs.
'So that's the tour of the cottage sorted. We just need to get to the adjacent barn,
'through the games room at the rear, back down on the ground floor.'
This is the link between the old cottage and the barn, which is through here.
-You step down into the kitchen.
-That's a size, innit?
-A nice-sized kitchen.
-Here you are cooking, here David is with his glass of wine, overseeing all the cooking.
-And any friends...
-And any friends, so you're still in the hub of the home.
-So this would work?
-Very much so.
-It's a good size.
'The utility room is also a very good size
'and the stable door opens onto the beautiful back garden,
'but before we get out there, there's yet more to sample inside up the staircase.'
It is quite steep, but it serves the job of getting us up here to this.
-Lovely little room.
-Oh, what a lovely room.
-It's full of stuff, obviously, but the best thing about it is the view.
-I noticed those.
-This, for your guests, would be terrific.
-Very much so.
'Visiting guests would also have the benefit of their own en suite shower room,
'but once they see the views, they might become permanent residents due to the incredible setting.
'Directly to the rear, the garden starts with a gravel patio, complete with ornamental pond.
'Beyond that, this place bursts open with magical unspoilt views as far as the eye can see.
'The property sits in just over two acres of land, with lawned gardens, green pastures,
'a sheltered woodland and even a babbling brook.
'If this doesn't persuade Dot to relocate, I'm not sure what will!
'I think this is the stuff Devonshire dreams are made of. But how much will it set them back?'
I think that's on our...upper limit. I think.
-So what are you saying?
-You want me to guess, do you?
I would say 495.
-Over the top. 525, if we're lucky.
525 if you're lucky? It should be about 525, I would think,
-but the good news is it's not.
-This could be yours for £499,950.
-So I'm pretty spot on.
-You're not bad. Pretty spot on.
-You're the one who's right.
-That's a happy surprise, Dave.
-Very good. We can move in there...
-Above the kitchen?
-Yeah, for now.
-And work our way through the house. We could just take our time. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Instead of me sitting reading a book and having a drink, I'll get my chisel out and go for it.
-I think you'd have a lot of fun.
-We've just got to look to our finances.
-Yeah, but little by little, easy.
-Has this convinced you then, Dot,
that country life in Devon could be all it was cracked up to be?
Well, I'm coming round to the fact that a chocolate box is possible
-and Devon could be quite a nice place.
-Yes, good. Well, look, hold that thought.
Dave, take your wife away and convince her this is the one.
-You can have a donkey in the paddock.
-There you go!
It's not often that houses come in such a pretty context as this one.
What really makes this place even better is that it's within budget, albeit just £50 below.
This delightful Grade 2-listed property is made up of an original thatched cottage
adjoining a converted barn. It has five bedrooms, a large kitchen/breakfast room
and two of the prettiest acres in Devon. But is all this enough to persuade Dot to make the move?
It's taken my breath away, definitely. Beautiful little cottage. Absolutely lovely.
Fantastic. If this doesn't get Dot to Devon, nothing will.
-Dave, have you persuaded Dot or not?
-I think so.
-We're getting there.
-So this is on the list?
-Very much so.
-It's taken my breath away.
-I can't say any more than that.
-Excellent. That's all I wanted to hear. Brilliant. Let's go.
So as the day draws to a close on a very inspirational time in Devon,
the first stage of our property journey ends on a real high.
With a top budget of £500,000, David, Dorothy and Gunner have ambitions
to enjoy a more relaxing retirement in Devon.
Our tour so far has featured two captivating properties.
-Loads of character.
Coming up with our mystery house, there has to be give and take.
-That word compromise.
-Yes, that's a good word.
One more day, one more house.
The mystery house is our final property in our house search.
Yesterday I think went pretty well. We've gone a long way to convincing Dot she may want to retire here.
So she's all right. What about him? I think the mystery house is all about Dave.
And what Dave really wants is access to the beach
so that's exactly what we're giving him with our mystery package.
To get there, we're nipping over the county border into Dorset and the village of Charmouth,
smack bang on the incredible coast.
On the shores of West Dorset, the large shingle beach and dramatic cliffs are rich with fossils
of animals that swam the seas millions of years ago.
Charmouth attracts thousands of holidaymakers each year with a good selection of shops and restaurants,
but of course it's the proximity to the beach that I think makes the mystery house so very special.
-What do you think of this, Dave?
-This is my favourite neck of the woods in Dorset.
Charmouth is the pinnacle.
-If you go for the mystery house, this would be on your doorstep.
-There are two good things about it. One, it's not one of those beach huts.
-I was getting worried!
And the second thing is that the house itself is positioned on a hill
taking full advantage of the views.
-There we are.
-Oh, that's ace.
It's very different to what we've looked at. No acres on offer.
What you see is the garden, pretty much, but it does have a spot for a vegetable patch.
-My thinking on this is we're trading off your own acres
-because you've got all of that on your doorstep.
-Who needs a garden when you've got that?
-I don't want to spend hours working in the garden.
-'Originally designed as a bungalow,
'the majority of the living space is on the ground floor.
-'The location suits Dave, but will the modern interior suit Dot?' Right. Start in here, Dot.
-That's quite a nice size, innit?
-It's not bad.
-They've opened up that wall
-to allow the view to come in.
-That gives you the space.
-There's so much light.
Landscape that way, sea that way.
You're a bit quiet. I'm a bit worried. You were very excited outside, now you're quiet.
-It's that word compromise.
-Yes, compromise. That's a good word.
-Is that what you're doing?
-Compromise on the kitchen.
'Not too much compromising, unless it's the toast or the coast.
'There's a separate utility room and then the main reception room.'
-This is a room that really makes this place.
-Very light again.
-Couldn't get any lighter unless you took the roof off.
-What do you think?
Nice size. Good size.
Access to the terrace, which, Dave, you may sun yourself on later. The beach dream. What do you think?
I could just see myself out there all the time. In the winter, shut the curtains, put the fire on,
nice little snug room. Chill out, nothing to do. Watch the world go by.
'In the corner is a staircase. We'll explore that later.
'The second reception room has glorious coastal views, making the best of this elevated position.
'The ground floor is also home to the family bathroom.
'When it comes to the sleeping quarters, there are three rooms in total, including a double
'with a great en suite bathroom. There's lots of flexible space.
'We're going to have a look at what could be a second bedroom, currently another reception area.'
I'm thinking, Dave, this is you. You with your telly and football
-and the view.
-So you've got a choice.
-I'd be tempted to make this the lounge.
-Yeah? And the main living room? Make it a dining area?
More of a dining room. Lovely view to eat watching the sea.
-You remember that staircase?
Follow me through here. Let's look at that staircase.
Now this is what we're going to look at. This used to be the garage.
-But this is now, well, potentially a master bedroom.
-Or quite a stunning guest bedroom.
-Now what about this, Dot?
-Oh, that's a surprise.
-This is more of a master bedroom.
It could be and it currently is. The reason I've suggested it may be a guest room
-is because the staircase is quite a thing.
-Where is it?
-Through that door there.
Open that door. Tell me if you love that one.
-A wet room.
-The proper thing.
-Good. So I think, all in all, that completes the house tour as such.
I'm still totally gobsmacked by the views and the easy lifestyle I could see that's coming my way.
'And the relaxed lifestyle here will take more of an outdoor focus.
'There's a double garage outside and the grounds extend to a third of an acre, mainly lawn.
'The mystery property is a pared-back, low-maintenance option
'so how much will it cost to get onboard this lifestyle?'
Top end of our budget. I'm going to go 495.
-And, for me, 510.
-Well, Dave, you are not far off, mate.
-It is, I'm afraid, over budget.
-But it's £25,000 over.
-It's on the market for 525.
-I just think in the longer term
this is a very interesting proposition for you.
There is no maintenance to do here, the beach is on your doorstep.
-With those views, perhaps we could push ourselves just that little bit extra.
-Go and have an explore.
-I'll catch you later.
Coastal properties do come at a price and this one costs £525,000.
The mystery house is currently set up to provide three bedrooms,
two of which are en suite, two reception rooms and a kitchen/diner.
Outside it comes with a third of an acre and a ready-made veggie plot.
And the icing on the cake must be those superb views across the majestic Dorset coast,
but will Dot be willing to forego her picture postcard cottage for something more modern
which could realise her husband's dream beach-side location?
I think this could be a little bit of a think out.
-It's very tight, isn't it?
-It is, really.
This is not my type of property.
This is not what I want of the country, but it is, as I know, what David would love.
On a day like today, what can you say? Look at that view, look at the coastline.
-Five years ago, that was the first caravan park we stayed in when we started our search.
-Right, then, you two. That's it. Seen enough?
-We have indeed.
-Good. Right, let's get down to the beach, I think, and see what you'll do with the rest of your lives.
-Time for a swim.
-I'll treat you to an ice cream.
Devon is full of quirky properties and one that I am particularly fond of is A La Ronde,
created by two cousins in the late 1700s and taking pride of place in Exmouth's countryside.
During the house hunting week, I met up with Trevor Adams to find out more about this place.
-What a fantastic building!
-A fantastic house. 16-sided.
-It's been there just over 200 years.
-Who built it?
-Jane and Mary Parminter. They did the Grand Tour.
Men were travelling on the Grand Tour from 100 years earlier,
but women did not normally go.
-Now why is it 16-sided?
-The story in the family is
that they went into a cathedral in Italy, which is an octagon within an octagon,
and what they did when they came back was ask for an octagonal house.
'The Grand Tour was a fashionable rite of passage for the wealthy
'to learn about language, art and culture. It could last from several months to several years.
'Cousins Mary and Jane were two very independent and resourceful unmarried ladies
'in a time when such radical achievements weren't expected from women.
'Their ingenious construction was designed to capture maximum sunlight throughout the day
'and is based around a central octagonal room, 10 metres high from floor to ceiling.'
-This is extraordinary.
-We've got eight rooms on the ground floor leading off from this area.
The sun rises in that direction. They woke up to the sun and moved around during the day with the sun.
-And they finished up in the dining room.
-Sun setting behind them.
-What's up there?
-The shell gallery.
That was decorated by Jane and Mary themselves. It's real shells.
'Jane and Mary's lengthy travels had a profound influence.
'All the rooms pay homage to their expeditions, showcasing the souvenirs, curiosities and mementos
-'collected along the way.' This is the dining room.
-How did you guess?
-This is where they finished up at the end of the day.
-Surrounded by all these wonderful images.
-What happened to these two women?
-Mary, the younger of the two,
she was the second one to die. She left a very unusual will.
The will specified that the property was to go to the nearest unmarried kinswoman.
If the lady married, she lost everything. It all went to her husband. They wanted A La Ronde
to stay within the family. They were unique ladies with a unique house.
And what they contributed is out of this world.
'Some 30 years after their deaths, the house was passed on to single female relations as they intended.
'It stayed within extended family hands right up until 1991
'when it was bought by the National Trust. There's no doubt they left an extraordinary landmark,
'but now it's time to find out if any of our properties left a lasting impression with our buyers.'
I promised Dot and Dave some ice cream and they have promised us a decision.
-Here we are.
-I did! It nearly melted, though.
-There you go.
-Don't say we don't care.
Now then, let's have a think about all this.
How have you found it? We started with a sceptic, Dot.
-A complete negative sceptic!
-I can now see a bigger picture now.
Moving to the country could be a very good move.
-Dave, this is music to your ears.
-We're on the way!
-On the way.
Have we got to where you want to be? Have we found you a house? Let's think about the first one.
Yes, the actual cottage we could certainly mould that.
The garden was the disappointment. Not large enough and not closed in.
-Nothing that a fence wouldn't have sorted out.
-No, but too small.
OK. Remember when we were driving to our second property, I said,
"What would be ideal?" You said, "Whitewash, cottage, thatched roof."
-And hey, presto!
-That's what we got you.
-You found it.
-We did. I thought that was a really interesting...
-..building you could really put your stamp on.
-Took my breath away.
-Superb. Maybe a little bit too remote for Dot and I never consider myself a farmer.
Perhaps I could change my lifestyle!
Then we let you sleep on it, but then we woke you up to another glorious day
to take you to our mystery house, which was completely different.
No land, but an extraordinary view here on the Jurassic Coast overlooking the sea.
Cat among the pigeons! A very sweet house,
nice location and certainly David is smiling greatly for that property.
-This is where you've always dreamt of ending up!
-A five-year circle to back here.
-Neighbours for Dot.
-A nice-sized garden. Who wants any more?
-Well, you changed your tune!
-I've totally changed tack now. I don't need a garden.
I want that view and what we hear behind us - the sea.
Of the three, has any one of them really captured your imagination?
-I think number two. We'll go back for a look.
You are retired, but everybody's got to have something to do.
I can imagine the pair of you pottering around there. Great house.
I think we could do well there and sell our vegetables to the local market!
Ever the businessman! Eat your ice cream before it melts.
-Thanks for taking us round.
-It's been wonderful.
We begin every house search trying to find somebody their dream home.
This one has been a bit different. Dave would agree this has been as much about convincing Dot
that Devon or Dorset is where she wants to spend the rest of her life.
We have given them one very, very enticing option, but have we convinced her?
Well, I think we have. When blessed with weather like this and coastline like that,
how could we fail?
Dot and Dave went back to our second property for another viewing, but decided against making an offer.
But Dot is now fully committed to making the move. We hope they find their perfect house soon.
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Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011
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