Hampshire Escape to the Country


Hampshire

Alistair Appleton helps a recently retired couple find a country home with a large garage and a challenging garden project, for under £550,000 in Hampshire.


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Transcript


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I'm in a county that was once home to some of the most powerful ancient Britons,

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where, 2,000 years ago, they had a ritual that has recently been re-established.

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What am I doing inside this towering fellow?

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Find out in a moment on Escape to the Country.

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Put those matches down!

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'Today I'll be helping a couple find their perfect home in the country.

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'We'll be opening the door into a whole new man's world.'

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Welcome to Tony's land.

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'Does it seal the deal?'

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-So when do we move?

-THEY LAUGH

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And I'll be trying to enchant them with our mystery house.

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Today we're in Hampshire which was once home to one of

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the most powerful and influential Celtic tribes, the Atrebates.

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But today is home to this fantastic wicker man who is

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going to be burned to celebrate the ancient pagan festival of Beltane.

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Originally this was a fertility ritual to guarantee the new crops,

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but it's been recently revived by neopagans and archaeologists.

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But it's not the only thing about this amazing county to spark your interest.

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Hampshire is a solid bet for seeking out unspoilt countryside,

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with the likes of Dorset and Wiltshire amongst its neighbours

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and around a third of the county encompassed by two of Britain's

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newest National Parks - the New Forest and the South Downs.

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With its border also spanning the Solent coastline, it harbours

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an historic link to the sea, stretching back before Nelson's Trafalgar victory.

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The walls of the Roman fort, Portchester Castle, are some of the best preserved in Europe.

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Hampshire also made up part of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex,

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with King Alfred making the county town of Winchester his royal seat.

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Indeed, Hampshire is home to some majestic properties,

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from fine Georgian detached houses to beautiful thatched cottages,

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providing a rich mix of rural retreats to choose from.

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Hampshire has the wilderness of the New Forest and a coastline studded

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with marinas, but it also has excellent links up to London

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which probably explains why a detached house here

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costs 20% more than the national average.

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However, there are little pockets of price difference.

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For example, the M3 corridor in the east of the county,

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a detached house there is about £79,000 more expensive

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than those on the west with the borders of Dorset.

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However, wherever you are and whatever price, the properties are beautiful.

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If you have £1.5 million at your disposal, you could

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splash out on this handsome four-bedroomed property in Ringwood,

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with spacious, comfortable reception rooms

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and a sleek kitchen/diner extension.

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The one-acre grounds house a pool and it's exclusively located within the New Forest National Park.

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If you fancy some colour in your life, how about this pretty pink

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Georgian house in the wonderfully named village of Over Wallop?

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For £650,000, you'll get three reception rooms,

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country kitchen, four bedrooms and a low maintenance garden to relax in.

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On the market at £350,000, this two-bedroomed lodge in North Wanborough takes on a surprising

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form for a new new-build, with its octagonal glass-roofed living room,

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and it has a light airy feel throughout the second reception room and contemporary kitchen.

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Hampshire has enough properties to fire up the enthusiasm

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of any buyer, and our couple this week certainly know all about fires.

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Recently retired fireman, Tony, and his wife Rosemary

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moved to their three-bedroomed house in Pinner, Middlesex

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from the country 14 years ago, which was all part of their long-term vision.

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The plan always was to move into London, let me finish

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my Fire Service career and then move out of London.

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Since I retired fully in June last year, that's really the catalyst for it.

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Our main reason for moving to the country is we both absolutely adore walking.

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Whenever we go anywhere, we always take our walking boots and our walking poles, and we just

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disappear somewhere, anywhere for the day with our backpacks on our back and just take in the environment,

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everything that's going on, the peace, the quiet.

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And to have a view, to have open skies, to be able to see the stars at night, and breathe fresh air...

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-It would be lovely.

-Yeah.

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Now they're free from work ties, where do they see themselves living?

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The area we'd like to move to is Hampshire.

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It's a very beautiful county and to be able to live down there would be lovely.

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Also to be close to our sons.

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-One son is in Dorset.

-Also we'd be closer to my family in Devon and Cornwall

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and still fairly close to your family in Newbury, Berkshire area.

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And so we'll be able to visit them and hopefully they'll all be able to come and visit us.

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What kind of country property is going to light their fire?

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-We definitely want a warm, airy house.

-A lovely kitchen.

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If I could have a double range, that would be my absolute dream.

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When people come to stay, it would be really useful to have more space.

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I definitely want three bedrooms.

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And they both need room for their own pursuits.

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This is the room that I do my sewing in.

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In our next property I would love a much bigger room.

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A purpose room for my sewing would be fantastic.

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This is my workshop at the moment. Not much space.

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I can do a little bit of sanding and drilling, but that's about it. I really need a bigger workshop.

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They currently have a generous garden, divided into two sections,

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-but it's not enough for Rosemary's ambition.

-With our next property, I'd love a big productive garden.

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I'm desperate to grow far more vegetables than I do at the moment.

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It seems like an achievable wish list, but what will start the alarm bells ringing?

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The biggest no-no for me, although they're very pretty.

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is a thatched property.

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I'm not over-keen on beams or very low ceilings, and anything that you feel heavy and dark.

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They're thinking about putting their house on the market, so we've asked

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a local estate agent to come and value their property.

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This is an excellent residential location with good local schooling nearby.

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In my opinion this property is worth £500,000.

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So with that in mind, how much do they have to spend?

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Our budget for the next property is up to £550,000.

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So our couple are looking for a bright and airy property here in Hampshire.

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Rosemary wants a great big, challenging garden project

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and Tony would be happy with a great big workshop.

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They've got £550,000 to spend which is a healthy budget,

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even here in Hampshire, but what really excites me about this

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is helping this couple who have lived in suburbia for 14 years escape BACK to the country.

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As Tony and Rosemary have family in the south-west, it makes sense

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to base our property search in rural spots around West Hampshire.

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I'll be showing them a real assortment of houses

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and they will have to guess the price before I reveal it to them.

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And I'll be going on a charm offensive with our mystery property.

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-Welcome to Hampshire.

-Thank you.

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-Thank you.

-Welcome back to the countryside because it was 14 years ago you left the country?

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Yes, it was, we moved into London for my career and left

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Berkshire. We were living on the outskirts of Reading.

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You've decided to sell your house, is that right?

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Yes, our house went on the market last week so we've started the ball rolling.

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Does that mean we have a little bit more money to play with?

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Yes, we said originally 550.

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We'd now like to extend that to £600,000, but that's the top end.

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-£600,000?

-Yup.

-And that's got to be perfect.

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-Perfect.

-Perfect, yes.

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-The pressure's on then.

-I know!

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Now, in terms of the house, you're a massively keen gardener, I know.

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-Very keen.

-But land is expensive in Hampshire.

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You haven't chosen the cheapest county although it is very beautiful, as you can see.

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How big are we talking - acres?

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An acre would be manageable without being too much.

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-And you want a workshop?

-I do, yes.

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So somewhere either in the garden or the garage or something like that.

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-That's important.

-Well, the house is not going to find itself

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-so we should hit the Hampshire road.

-Lovely. Look forward to it.

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With a top budget of £600,000,

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Tony and Rosemary want their dream house in the country to include...

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What do you remember most about when you lived in the countryside?

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-What is it that you've missed all these years in London?

-Big skies.

-Big skies.

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I've really missed my big garden.

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It was very quiet, very rural and you could hear the birds singing.

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So yeah, I think that's probably what I've missed more than anything.

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We're starting our house search in the village of North Boarhunt, a quiet rural location,

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but only a couple of miles away from the pretty market town of Wickham,

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with an array of independent shops and lovely Georgian buildings gracing its streets.

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And we're making a grand entrance with our first house.

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-So step on into the drive.

-Gosh.

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This is pretty.

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I think it looks lovely.

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-I love the front door.

-It is wide.

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It was originally two little cottages. This right-hand two-thirds is the original building

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and this is an 80s extension, although you would never guess.

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-That's fitted in very well, hasn't it?

-Shall we look inside?

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-Love to.

-Yes.

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From its humble late 19th century origins, this property has been

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transformed into a very large house, which I think will surprise them.

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Come on in.

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Let's go straight in here actually. This is the front sitting room.

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-This is nice.

-Oh, a real fire.

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-That's lovely.

-So this is actually in the newer part of the house.

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It's quite a nice size.

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Possibly a bit smaller than what we've got, but that doesn't mean to say that it's not big enough.

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-Is it your style?

-No.

-No. But you can see

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it's a very easy room to change the way you would want it.

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You might spend more of your time through here.

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Down the hallway brings us to the L-shaped kitchen/diner.

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That's a nice room. It's nice and long, isn't it?

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What do you think? Can you imagine yourself using this space?

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-I can see...

-It's a useful space.

-Entertaining. Dining.

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-But you want to see the kitchen, don't you?

-Yes, please.

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That's a nice space. Nice and light.

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It really works, this L-shaped space.

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-And is that a double range?

-A double range.

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So it's oil central heating here, as it often is in the country.

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That's a gas bottle that fires the range.

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So this is the main room downstairs. What do you think?

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It's more open-plan than I think we're used to.

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But it looks lovely. It looks very nice.

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If it's separate rooms they're after, this house has them too.

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You've also got this.

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-A big sizable room which is being used as a study at the moment.

-Definitely.

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-You would love this as a study. Look at all those book shelves.

-I could fill those quite easily.

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-You'd be in your element, wouldn't you?

-A sewing room?

-Yes.

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-It is quite light for that.

-It is a lovely, light room.

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You've got this space here which takes you outside, where we'll go in a minute, but you've got a big

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utility room and a downstairs loo in this extension, so that's where all your washing and everything is done.

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-Fantastic.

-It's actually quite a big property.

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'So far, this house seems to be delivering.

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'Let's see if the upstairs space measures up.'

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The Tardis-like qualities of this house continue upstairs because there are five bedrooms.

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Three of the rooms are doubles. Two large enough to have a desk in, so their two sons

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won't have to fight over where they're sleeping when they stay.

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There is also a single, currently used as a dressing room,

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and a separate family bathroom.

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Not that Rosemary and Tony would use it,

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as they have a suite all to themselves.

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This is the master.

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That's a nice room, isn't it?

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-A nice size.

-It is a nice size.

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Lovely deep window sill that you can sit and look at the amazing view.

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It's certainly a lovely view out the front.

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And it's got a spectacular en-suite.

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-A double shower.

-All right.

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The shower's nice.

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It's a lovely bathroom. It's perfect to have next to the bedroom.

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I love the fact that there's the shower here.

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-It's a very big en-suite.

-Yes.

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'And the rooms keep on unfolding up in the attic space

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'which could be a perfect fit for Rosemary's sewing room.

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'The beauty of this house is its considerable size

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'and the fact they can tailor these flexible living spaces to suit their own requirements.

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'And there's yet another room to explore outside which I hope will thrill Tony.'

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Ta-da!

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-The workshop.

-Ah!

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-The workshop.

-Ready and waiting.

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-Is it big enough?

-I have to try and visualise an empty room.

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Compared to what we have at the moment, it is wider.

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Compared to what I've got, it's lovely. 100% improvement.

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'Outside, the garden is a descent size with more than

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'enough room for veggies, but will it be enough for Rosemary?'

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At the moment, I can't see it,

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but maybe that's something you actually have to live with and grow,

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and grow...and grow your vegetables.

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The thing about this garden is that it's clearly not,

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you know, it's not a gardener's garden,

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but you've got a huge patio area here which you could landscape.

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You've got all this which is not touched at all.

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You've got very pretty views over a paddock.

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-The views are beautiful.

-The horses.

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-That's lovely.

-Two potting sheds, one here and one here.

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This would be something that you could put your mark on.

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-The thing about Hampshire is there is a premium on land.

-Right, yes.

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It will be a bit of an issue. When it comes down to finances, how much do you think this property costs?

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About £535,000.

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Said with great conviction.

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I tend to go a bit more than that. I reckon 550.

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So this might be a bit of a shock,

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-but this is on the market for 595.

-Right.

-Crikey!

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It's been on the market for 12 days and it's already had eight viewings.

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It is a very desirable property.

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Lots of people are interested so that's something to bear in mind.

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-Right.

-You have a walk round and think about that.

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When you're done, we'll recollect ourselves out the front and then push on.

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-Lovely.

-Thank you.

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It's always heartbreaking when you show them something that is much more expensive,

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but unfortunately Hampshire is an expensive county and if you want

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that huge vegetable garden then something's got to give.

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Maybe the house has to be a little bit smaller.

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The property is under budget at £595,000 and it offers them

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The rooms, I think, they've got potential.

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With regard to the workshop space, certainly compared to

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what I've got now, it's you know a considerable an improvement.

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The patio area's nice. I can see you doing some of your brickwork.

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-Yes.

-Changing the walls there.

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And nice and sunny. It will obviously get a good lot of the sun throughout the day.

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The price of the property did hit me like a tonne of bricks.

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I was quite surprised. There was a lot of room.

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There was a lot of space and possibly I just hadn't appreciated how much the prices in Hampshire are.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-You're smiling, that's good.

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-Yes.

-Not too disheartened.

-No.

-Definitely not.

-Let's go.

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Along with stunning rural landscape, Hampshire's heritage also looks to the sea.

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Its strong naval connections and fishing trade brought prosperity

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to many of its coastal towns, of which Emsworth is a prime example.

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Earlier in the week, Tony and Rosemary met John Tweddell, vice-chairman

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of the Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust, to find out more.

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So Emsworth was very much a town of two parts.

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You had the working town where the fishermen lived, and that's in South Street, and you had the posh part.

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Now the Royal Navy at Portsmouth is not far away, about seven miles, and so often admirals,

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when they retired, came out of Portsmouth and got to the first nice place and settled down.

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From the 18th century, Emsworth's economy flourished because of milling,

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providing the navy with flour and biscuits during the Napoleonic wars.

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And from this time another local delicacy was being harvested from its waters.

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So here we are in the heart of Emsworth, the town quay, and this is really where Emsworth grew up.

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The fishing and oyster dredging industries.

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In 1788 about £1,500 worth of oysters were brought ashore.

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In modern day money, about £150,000. But by the middle of the 19th Century,

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nine million oysters a year were coming out of Emsworth.

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By 1878, Emsworth's oyster fishing fleet was made up of some 50 vessels

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and this restored boat, named Terror,

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is a living reminder of how trade boomed under the Victorians.

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However, the industry sank suddenly at the turn of the century

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and Emsworth's oysters were struck off the menu.

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Alas, on a fateful day in 1902, at a mayoral banquet in Winchester,

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a number of people were taken ill with typhoid.

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Three of them died, including the Dean of Winchester.

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Straightaway, being an important man, there was an inquiry.

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The blame was put on Emsworth oysters and the industry was closed down.

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So overnight half of the population of Emsworth, that's the people in the boat building yards,

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the oyster fleet itself, lost their jobs

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and suddenly the whole oyster fleet was left to rot in the mud.

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The tide may have turned against the fortunes of Emsworth,

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but today it remains a wonderful example of a fishing port

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that cultivated a grand reputation far beyond its modest size.

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We continue our property search in the attractive village of Hawkley,

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with its own pub and a mock Norman church built in Victorian times.

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There is a range of period properties scattered about

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and on the outskirts of the village is where we find this house.

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Originally a stone barn with definite green finger potential for Rosemary.

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Wow.

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-Come on in.

-This looks pretty.

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Oh, this looks interesting.

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-Oh.

-Rosemary?

-Yes.

-You see what the theme of this one might be.

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-The garden looks beautiful.

-I think this has got lots to offer you.

0:19:410:19:45

What do you think from the outside?

0:19:450:19:47

-I think it looks lovely.

-I like the brick. I do like the brick.

0:19:470:19:50

-Shall we go in?

-Oh, yes, definitely.

0:19:500:19:52

'That sounds like a positive first impression for the garden and the house,

0:19:520:19:58

'which was converted into a dwelling in the 1950s and extended in the 1980s,

0:19:580:20:02

'with a light interior that I hope they'll warm to.'

0:20:020:20:05

Let's go straight into the sitting room.

0:20:050:20:08

-Oh, not too many beams.

-This is lovely.

0:20:080:20:11

This is the oldest part. This was the original stone barn and everything else

0:20:110:20:14

is built around it so these are token nods towards the old barn.

0:20:140:20:18

Everything else has been beautifully updated. This house is not as big as the last house.

0:20:180:20:26

-OK.

-Let's have a look at the kitchen.

-Lovely.

0:20:260:20:30

This is your realm, Rosemary.

0:20:310:20:35

This is a lovely kitchen. Beautiful, country style kitchen.

0:20:360:20:40

I'm just thinking dining table.

0:20:400:20:43

Well, as you can see it goes through there into the conservatory

0:20:430:20:46

which we'll look in later, which would make a wonderful dining area.

0:20:460:20:50

But there is planning permission at the moment, for the next three years, to extend out here,

0:20:500:20:56

where that bit of the wall is, all the way back

0:20:560:21:01

to here to take out into a garden room to the side.

0:21:010:21:07

If you felt this was just too small, that, I think would make it a tremendous addition to the house.

0:21:070:21:13

I don't think it's too small.

0:21:130:21:15

It flows beautifully out into the conservatory.

0:21:150:21:20

Now, this, I think is a lovely

0:21:200:21:24

space that's not really utilised.

0:21:240:21:26

-The present owner has it as her sitting room.

-I bet it's a lovely sun trap.

0:21:260:21:31

-Yes, absolutely.

-This probably might be what we're looking for

0:21:310:21:35

-to extend the kitchen a little bit.

-Yes.

0:21:350:21:37

To be able to dine out here as well.

0:21:370:21:40

Ah-ha, Rosemary seems to be putting on her creative remodelling hat, which is a good sign.

0:21:400:21:45

This converted barn is all on one level with all three bedrooms leading off the long hallway.

0:21:450:21:51

One is currently set-up as a study with doors leading out to the garden.

0:21:510:21:55

There's a light, bright, twin room, so enough space for their sons to stay over.

0:21:550:22:00

Next door, there is an impressive family bathroom.

0:22:000:22:04

-This is magnificent.

-It is, isn't it?

0:22:040:22:06

-Look at that shower.

-I was just going to say what a fantastic shower.

-It's a Showerama.

0:22:060:22:11

Let's have a little peek in your master bedroom, which is right next door.

0:22:110:22:16

And here is the master bedroom.

0:22:170:22:20

-That's a nice size. I like the built-in cupboards.

-Lot of storage.

0:22:200:22:24

A nice view when you're lying in bed.

0:22:240:22:27

-That leads us nicely out into the garden.

-Oh!

0:22:270:22:31

Let's go and have a look at garden.

0:22:310:22:32

-You lead.

-Thank you.

0:22:320:22:35

'Although this house isn't huge, there is certainly enough space

0:22:350:22:38

'to accommodate the two of them and visiting guests very comfortably, with minimum upkeep.

0:22:380:22:44

'But it is the garden that will be make or break for Rosemary.'

0:22:440:22:47

Step out into the garden.

0:22:470:22:50

This might take a bit of a while to get your eyes

0:22:500:22:53

used to all this, because it is a quite complicated garden.

0:22:530:22:57

It is not your usual flat, long, suburban garden.

0:22:570:23:02

It certainly isn't. I'm just concerned about the steep drop there.

0:23:020:23:07

It is a quarry. It's the quarry from which the building was built.

0:23:070:23:11

-Oh, really.

-So your house is built from your garden.

0:23:110:23:14

Fascinating. I think I'm just thinking health and safety, being a bit paranoid, I suppose.

0:23:140:23:20

It is fenced all the way around.

0:23:200:23:22

It's quite... I imagine people have thought of that before.

0:23:220:23:25

Yes. But it is certainly a magnificent garden.

0:23:250:23:28

'This three-quarters of an acre terraced garden is unusual,

0:23:280:23:32

'but the quirky landscaped zones really enhance the setting of the house.

0:23:320:23:37

'But let's lift the lid on what could be Tony's secret world.'

0:23:370:23:40

OK. So, Tony, this is your land.

0:23:400:23:44

-Are you ready for this?

-I am.

0:23:440:23:46

-Oh, wow.

-You've got to buy the house now!

0:23:480:23:52

Welcome to Tony's Land!

0:23:520:23:55

-It gets better and better.

-Oh, yes.

-Oh, wow.

0:23:560:23:59

-Oh, yes.

-Oh, yes.

-Yes!

0:24:010:24:04

OK, so when do we move?

0:24:050:24:08

You may not like the garden, Rosemary, but unfortunately...

0:24:090:24:12

-The workshop is lovely.

-Oh, it is, yeah.

0:24:120:24:15

'The workshop is a dream come true for Tony, but can Rosemary see potential for the garden?

0:24:160:24:21

'Let's go up on to higher ground to survey all that could be theirs.'

0:24:210:24:26

So, up here, you get, you don't quite get a view of the whole garden from anywhere, because it

0:24:260:24:31

is all wrapped around the house, but you get different aspects.

0:24:310:24:34

Beautiful. The view is gorgeous.

0:24:340:24:36

What do you think this property is worth?

0:24:360:24:38

I'm going to go for £525,000.

0:24:380:24:42

I'm going to stick with 550.

0:24:420:24:45

Again, you are both being optimistic. This is on for 589.

0:24:450:24:48

-Oh, right.

-It is still quite high in your budget...

-Yep.

-It is.

0:24:480:24:53

..because of the location and the nature of the property.

0:24:530:24:58

-It is expensive.

-Yes!

0:24:580:25:01

Here we go again!

0:25:020:25:03

Have a wander around, because there is probably more to talk about and to explore the garden.

0:25:030:25:10

-You should head up there. Don't fall down into the quarry!

-No.

0:25:100:25:13

Gosh, I think that 525 was definitely a vote of no confidence in the garden,

0:25:150:25:19

because this is a beautiful property and this is a stunning garden,

0:25:190:25:23

but it is really interesting, because Rosemary has it in her head what she wants.

0:25:230:25:27

It doesn't matter how beautiful it looks, if it is not what she wants, she doesn't want it.

0:25:270:25:31

That could be a real bone of contention when you're looking at the market, as it is today.

0:25:310:25:37

'However, coming in £11,000 under budget, at £589,000,

0:25:370:25:43

'this converted barn features a bright kitchen diner,

0:25:430:25:46

'with planning consent to be extended,

0:25:460:25:48

'three bedrooms, a superb workshop hideaway for Tony

0:25:480:25:52

'and three-quarters of an acre of garden, in an idyllic rural setting.

0:25:520:25:57

'The workshop scores highly, but is the garden a challenge too far?

0:25:570:26:01

It has got a beautiful feel to it.

0:26:010:26:03

Although it is remote, it doesn't have a remote feeling, somehow.

0:26:030:26:07

The garden is gorgeous,

0:26:070:26:10

-but I just have this concern of this drop here.

-Yeah.

0:26:100:26:14

-And the practicalities of looking after it.

-That's right, yes.

0:26:140:26:18

In respect of the workshop, I fell in love with that straightaway.

0:26:180:26:22

I can see it being a fantastic workshop. Incredible, yeah, superb. I'm really pleased with that.

0:26:220:26:27

-Are you all done?

-Thank you, yes.

0:26:270:26:30

Lots to think about, eh?

0:26:300:26:31

-Oh, definitely. Definitely

-Let's go and rest and recuperate.

0:26:310:26:35

'As dusk draws in over the South Coast, it marks the end of the first day of our property search.

0:26:440:26:49

'Tony and Rosemary are poised to find a Hampshire country home

0:26:540:26:57

'with his dream workshop and her Garden of Eden.

0:26:570:27:01

'They have been very enthusiastic so far, but shocked by what

0:27:010:27:06

'they can get for their £600,000 budget.'

0:27:060:27:08

The price of the property did hit me like a tonne of bricks.

0:27:080:27:12

'Coming up, Tony is building a nest with a difference, in our mystery house.'

0:27:120:27:17

I can see boot room with a shower.

0:27:170:27:19

I can see all sorts of things happening.

0:27:190:27:21

You're taking this to another level. Boot room? Shower?

0:27:210:27:24

'I take a tour of a thatched cottage in the pre-historic style.'

0:27:240:27:28

This house hunting in Hampshire is proving slightly tricky, not least because it is an expensive county

0:27:320:27:38

and what Tony and Rosemary want is difficult to find.

0:27:380:27:42

Particularly the garden. Rosemary's vision of her garden is so personal,

0:27:420:27:46

that it doesn't really match up to anything that's on the market.

0:27:460:27:49

For the mystery house, we're going to take a shot in the dark and show them something

0:27:490:27:53

that's quintessentially Hampshire and hope that that gets their vote.

0:27:530:27:58

Day two - the mystery house. Which, as you know, is always bit of a curve ball.

0:28:020:28:06

What are you hoping it is not going to be?

0:28:060:28:09

A thatched cottage by a stream, right on a main road, next to an airport, you know, that...

0:28:090:28:16

Ah! There is a plane coming!

0:28:160:28:17

'Well, Tony, we can't come to Hampshire and not see thatch,

0:28:190:28:23

'so for our mystery house we're heading to Monkston,

0:28:230:28:25

'an idyllic country village,

0:28:250:28:27

'and if there's any place to convert them to thatch, it will be here.

0:28:270:28:32

'What's more, there is a charming local pub.

0:28:320:28:34

'In the heart of the village is our mystery property, but have no fear,

0:28:340:28:38

'fireman Tony, this roof has been treated with a fire retardant, so it won't be going up in smoke.'

0:28:380:28:43

So we don't have a stream, we don't have a main road but we do have a beautiful thatch.

0:28:430:28:48

It does look very pretty.

0:28:480:28:50

It does. Chocolate-box.

0:28:500:28:52

It wasn't on our wish-list.

0:28:520:28:54

I would be interested to know, have you ever put out a thatch, in your years as a fireman?

0:28:540:28:58

Yes, yes. They are hard work.

0:28:580:29:00

-Once they go up?

-Once they go up.

0:29:000:29:03

But it has a lot of historical and a lot of good press around it. It is extremely green.

0:29:030:29:09

It is extremely good insulation, it is self-ventilating, you don't need to ventilate the loft.

0:29:090:29:15

You have netting over the top, to stop birds getting in and weakening it.

0:29:150:29:18

Insurance-wise, this house has negotiated with their insurers that it is the same as any other house.

0:29:180:29:24

-Oh, right, that is interesting.

-And they have just had a bit repaired, so it does work.

0:29:240:29:29

That's my sermon about thatch over.

0:29:290:29:31

'This 18th-Century Grade II listed cottage has huge kerb appeal,

0:29:320:29:37

'but will Rosemary be impressed by what lies behind the garden gate?'

0:29:370:29:41

Now, after the avant-garde garden I showed you yesterday,

0:29:410:29:44

this is a much more conventional country cottage garden.

0:29:440:29:47

My question is, is it big enough for you?

0:29:470:29:50

It does look a bit small.

0:29:500:29:51

Although, I see the fruit trees that I'm after.

0:29:510:29:55

-There is, I can see, the potential for a lawn, veg plot.

-Yes.

0:29:550:30:01

I can see it would divide quite naturally into that sort of split.

0:30:010:30:05

We will come back here, but let's look inside.

0:30:050:30:07

'After a glimpse of the garden, let's hope the interior will charm the socks off them.'

0:30:080:30:13

Come straight into the kitchen.

0:30:150:30:17

-This is cute.

-We are into country cottage dimensions here, so it is not massive.

0:30:170:30:22

It is not your vision of a kitchen?

0:30:220:30:25

No, it's not. I have quite a distinct vision.

0:30:250:30:29

I do like a lot of work surfaces, although I like an island.

0:30:290:30:34

-But perhaps with a little more space around it?

-Yes.

0:30:340:30:37

I think that's probably what it is.

0:30:370:30:40

'Rosemary may have concerns about the size of the kitchen,

0:30:400:30:44

'but I think the room next door will really speak to them.'

0:30:440:30:47

-This is the first property that we've shown you that has a properly separate dining room.

-Oh, wow.

0:30:480:30:53

-This is a lovely room.

-It is, isn't it?

0:30:530:30:56

-I did say I didn't like beams, but that looks quite authentic.

-You said "beams". There's just one!

0:30:560:31:02

I can see this being used for a family or, you know,

0:31:020:31:08

a get-together. And I can hear the room.

0:31:080:31:11

-Chatter?

-Yes, yes.

0:31:110:31:13

'For a traditional cottage, it is unexpectedly light

0:31:130:31:17

'and will they get a warm glow in here?'

0:31:170:31:20

Mind the step. Come into the main room, the main sitting room.

0:31:200:31:24

-This is a nice, big room.

-A big room, yeah.

0:31:240:31:27

Again, I can feel, it is a warm room.

0:31:270:31:30

I can feel it is a room that you would relax in.

0:31:300:31:33

Even though this property is not big, it is much more traditional

0:31:330:31:37

in its distribution of rooms - there is the kitchen and dining room and a relatively big sitting room.

0:31:370:31:42

'And there is a useful room tucked away at the end of the hallway.'

0:31:420:31:47

A nice downstairs cloakroom there. I wanted to show you this little room.

0:31:470:31:51

It is not huge, but it has a separate entrance.

0:31:510:31:55

It takes you out into the back garden.

0:31:550:31:57

So I was thinking, if you had visitors this might be a nice

0:31:570:32:01

room they could stay in, without disturbing you.

0:32:010:32:04

Lots of potential. I can see study.

0:32:040:32:06

I can see boot room with a shower. I can see all sorts of things happening.

0:32:060:32:10

Wow, you are taking this to another level. Boot room? Shower?

0:32:100:32:13

Forget the guests.

0:32:130:32:15

-They can bunk down in the front room!

-That's a much better idea.

0:32:150:32:18

'Happily they don't have to, as there is space for guests upstairs.'

0:32:180:32:25

The house has got three bedrooms.

0:32:250:32:28

-Right.

-This is one.

0:32:280:32:30

It's, once again, a very sweet room.

0:32:300:32:34

-It's a bed and breakfast room.

-It is like a bed and breakfast room.

0:32:340:32:37

-It would work as a guest bedroom, wouldn't it?

-Wait until you see the master bedroom.

-Ah!

0:32:370:32:42

18 times the size of that!

0:32:420:32:43

'Opposite, there is also a useful smaller bedroom, with a family bathroom next door,

0:32:450:32:50

'but let's explore where they would sleep.'

0:32:500:32:53

This is the master bedroom.

0:32:530:32:55

This is very sweet.

0:32:550:32:58

-I keep saying "sweet". Lots of beams.

-Lots of beams.

0:32:580:33:01

It does have these windows pierced through, so you get a lot of light.

0:33:010:33:05

-It is a charming room.

-It is a charming room.

0:33:050:33:08

What is interesting is that through here, they have knocked through into another bedroom,

0:33:080:33:13

there was a fourth bedroom, they have turned it into a dressing area and a master en-suite.

0:33:130:33:18

Let's go and have a look.

0:33:180:33:19

-Look at this.

-Ah.

-I didn't expect this at all.

0:33:210:33:26

Well, that's a nice size.

0:33:260:33:28

So, what's in there?

0:33:280:33:30

Have a look.

0:33:300:33:32

-Intriguing.

-I'm all intrigued.

0:33:320:33:35

Ah!

0:33:350:33:37

Washing machine and tumble drier.

0:33:370:33:39

-That's a very clever arrangement.

-Yes. Yeah.

0:33:390:33:41

'Our mystery cottage, on paper, is everything they didn't ask for,

0:33:410:33:46

'but it seems to have wooed them with its charm and clever use of space.

0:33:460:33:49

'Outside is the bare bones of a workshop, where Tony could make his mark.'

0:33:490:33:55

The last house was a hard act to follow, in terms of the work space.

0:33:570:34:02

-Yes.

-So what you have is a single garage,

0:34:020:34:07

with all this space at the back, and it hasn't been developed.

0:34:070:34:11

I can see there would be space, if you took that bit down and did a bit to it.

0:34:110:34:18

So again, compared to what I've got now -

0:34:180:34:21

a much better improvement.

0:34:210:34:23

'Time to soak up the natural serenity of the garden and ponder on the price.'

0:34:240:34:28

It really is a charming garden.

0:34:290:34:31

Actually when you come down here, you really get the full charm of it, I think.

0:34:310:34:36

What do you think this property costs?

0:34:360:34:38

Because it is a very attractive thatched cottage in a very popular village and a nice garden.

0:34:380:34:44

I'm going to go for...580.

0:34:440:34:49

I'm going to go slightly lower.

0:34:500:34:53

-As always.

-575,000.

0:34:530:34:57

-Right. Again, rather shockingly, this is on the market for £599,000.

-Right, oh, crikey.

0:34:570:35:05

Have a walk around and I think maybe think a little bit about Hampshire and Hampshire prices.

0:35:050:35:11

Just draw some thoughts together and we'll meet out the front.

0:35:120:35:15

OK, thank you.

0:35:150:35:17

'Priced absolutely at the top of their budget, at £599,000,

0:35:170:35:23

'our chocolate-box mystery cottage would offer them

0:35:230:35:26

'a kitchen and separate dining room,

0:35:260:35:28

'three bedrooms, with a master en-suite,

0:35:280:35:31

'a workshop space, which Tony could develop,

0:35:310:35:33

'a cottage garden, with established fruit trees -

0:35:330:35:36

'all set in a desirable village location.

0:35:360:35:40

'I love their positive approach to our mystery property,

0:35:400:35:43

'but will the workshop and garden give them enough at that price?'

0:35:430:35:46

We have normally associated thatched property with dark, dingy small rooms.

0:35:460:35:51

I was very pleasantly surprised with this property, especially the dining room.

0:35:510:35:56

I could see us enjoying that room. I'm really pleased that they have shown us a thatched cottage.

0:35:560:36:01

Never viewed one before and I certainly wouldn't discount one in the future.

0:36:010:36:06

The rooms were very sweet and quaint and there were lots of beams everywhere.

0:36:060:36:10

-It may be small, but it is a very tranquil garden. Hello!

-Hello.

0:36:100:36:14

Are you all finished? The mystery house is over.

0:36:140:36:17

It is time to reflect.

0:36:170:36:18

Lovely.

0:36:180:36:20

'Hampshire's landscape still bears the hallmarks of its rich history, from William the Conqueror

0:36:270:36:32

'founding the first royal forest in the 11th century, to Winchester being named England's first capital.

0:36:320:36:38

'But on Hampshire's chalk slopes, this ambitious archaeological site

0:36:380:36:43

'has recreated the pre-historic life of Iron Age Britain.

0:36:430:36:47

'I'm meeting Maureen Page from Butser Ancient Farm

0:36:470:36:50

'who can shed some light on how our ancestors lived 2,000 years ago.'

0:36:500:36:56

Maureen, talk me through what exactly we are seeing here.

0:36:560:36:59

It looks very impressive, but, you know, I don't know Iron Age from my elbow.

0:36:590:37:03

This is an Iron Age reconstructed site and the site was set-up to test archaeological theories.

0:37:030:37:09

They are all copies of houses that people lived in.

0:37:090:37:11

Until you can practically try it out, then you have no real evidence that that was how they could have done it.

0:37:110:37:18

What we have done here is choose houses where there has been a considerable amount of evidence

0:37:180:37:23

from the archaeology. We used that to build the houses.

0:37:230:37:25

'Among the Iron Age roundhouses here is the reconstruction of one

0:37:250:37:29

'of the largest found in Britain, with a diameter of over 50 feet.'

0:37:290:37:33

Wow, it is really a roundhouse.

0:37:330:37:35

-It is definitely round.

-How do we know this is accurate?

0:37:350:37:39

From the archaeological evidence. So this house is a copy of a house that was excavated at

0:37:390:37:44

a place called Little Woodbury, on the outskirts of Salisbury.

0:37:440:37:47

That is interesting, because we have the fire going here and it is quite smoky. There is no chimney.

0:37:470:37:52

There is no hole. I hope you can't see any holes up there!

0:37:520:37:55

We don't believe there were any holes in the roof.

0:37:550:37:58

The smoke will gradually trickle out through the thatch. So it is really important.

0:37:580:38:02

Smoke is a preservative. It preserves the roof.

0:38:020:38:05

It preserve the thatch, but it stops any insects living in it.

0:38:050:38:08

If there aren't any insects living there, birds won't come

0:38:080:38:11

pull the thatch apart to eat the insects.

0:38:110:38:13

They know there won't be any insects.

0:38:130:38:15

'Life in Iron Age Britain was first documented by the Romans, who not only recorded what

0:38:150:38:21

'Britons' homes looked like and the farming communities they lived in,

0:38:210:38:24

'but also their religious rituals, including the pagan summer festival of Belltaine,

0:38:240:38:29

'with its notorious effigy, described by the most famous Roman of all.'

0:38:290:38:34

Julius Caesar talks about it.

0:38:340:38:36

Yes, in his writings he wrote that Iron Age Britons built big men like this out of sticks and filled them

0:38:360:38:44

with people and animals and burned them alive as a sacrifice to their gods to ensure a good harvest.

0:38:440:38:49

-Wow, so proper Wicker Man stuff.

-Yes, we don't do the burning people alive.

0:38:490:38:53

But it is built in the big hoolie.

0:38:530:38:55

For us here, it is. Just because the weather is so lovely

0:38:550:38:58

and this offers us an opportunity to attract lots of people to the site, so they can see what were doing.

0:38:580:39:03

-And burn a big man!

-And burn a big man.

0:39:030:39:05

'The site has fired my imagination of what it would have been like

0:39:050:39:08

'to live in this very early era of British civilisation.

0:39:080:39:12

'Now that Tony and Rosemary's property search is at an end,

0:39:180:39:21

'they have a moment to reflect on what we've shown them.'

0:39:210:39:24

It will be interesting to see whether our thatched mystery house experiment paid dividends.

0:39:260:39:31

Let's go and find out.

0:39:310:39:32

Now, so it has been a couple of powerful days in Hampshire, so if

0:39:390:39:44

you can spin back your mind to the very first property we looked at.

0:39:440:39:47

-What are your thoughts about that now?

-Very, very pretty.

0:39:470:39:51

-Inside there was a lot of space.

-Quite versatile, as well.

0:39:510:39:54

Very versatile.

0:39:540:39:55

The garden for me was a little bit small and although you quite liked

0:39:550:40:00

the workshop, it probably wasn't as big as you would have liked.

0:40:000:40:04

-The second house had a much bigger garden and a lovely workshop.

-Yes.

0:40:040:40:10

Let's talk about that one.

0:40:100:40:12

I was taken with the location. I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

0:40:120:40:17

There probably wasn't enough room for us.

0:40:170:40:19

I would have preferred a bigger kitchen.

0:40:190:40:23

The garden, for me, I think would have challenged my muscles.

0:40:230:40:26

-It would have been fine for you, I think.

-It was.

0:40:260:40:29

It was a very interesting garden.

0:40:290:40:31

I was surprised I liked it as much as I did and the workshop

0:40:310:40:36

just sold it. I mean, you know, if that's what I was buying, then...

0:40:360:40:40

You loved it, didn't you? He really loved it.

0:40:400:40:42

It has really shown me what I know I want.

0:40:420:40:46

I know now that I want something that sort of size.

0:40:460:40:49

What about the mystery house, because this was, sort of, a curve ball?

0:40:490:40:54

We have never visited a thatched property before.

0:40:540:40:56

We have always discounted them. If it is thatch, we're not going to go and look at it.

0:40:560:41:01

I think now having done that once, we won't discount a property just because it is thatch.

0:41:010:41:05

The fact that you wanted a much bigger workshop

0:41:050:41:09

and the garden, for me, it was just a little bit too small, although very pretty.

0:41:090:41:15

It wasn't quite what I had in mind.

0:41:150:41:18

One of the things I've noticed is you have had, all the way through, this incredibly specific idea

0:41:180:41:23

of what you want your garden and, I have to say, your kitchen, to look like.

0:41:230:41:27

Do you think that might get in the way of actually finding the property that you want?

0:41:270:41:32

I think I'm going to have to be a little bit more open

0:41:320:41:35

on the garden, but I still would prefer a level garden.

0:41:350:41:39

I'm just thinking of the next ten years.

0:41:390:41:41

The prices haven't driven you away from Hampshire?

0:41:410:41:44

They haven't driven us away, but it has just highlighted that it is more expensive than we anticipated.

0:41:440:41:51

And if this is where we want to move, we've just got to bite the bullet and go for it.

0:41:510:41:56

Looking into all three properties, is there anyone that stands out as a favourite?

0:41:560:42:02

For me, obviously, the quarry house.

0:42:020:42:03

For me, also, the quarry house.

0:42:030:42:06

-What happens next? It was your favourite, but will you put an offer on?

-No.

0:42:060:42:12

I don't think we will. I think the accommodation for us probably wasn't what we're looking for.

0:42:120:42:18

No. I would see it very difficult to extend sufficiently

0:42:180:42:23

the property to provide us with what we would need.

0:42:230:42:28

So what does happen next?

0:42:280:42:30

Well, I think lots more trips away to look at properties.

0:42:300:42:33

I hope we've given you not too bumpy a start in the Hampshire

0:42:330:42:37

house market and wherever you end up buying, I wish you all the best and enjoy your garden.

0:42:370:42:41

-Enjoy your workshop.

-Thank you.

0:42:410:42:43

It is not the first time that a couple have come a cropper on Hampshire property prices,

0:42:500:42:55

but I am convinced that, with their clear vision of what exactly they want,

0:42:550:42:59

they will find their dream property soon enough.

0:42:590:43:02

If you want to find out what's happening in rural counties elsewhere

0:43:020:43:06

then join us next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:43:060:43:09

If you would like to Escape To The Country

0:43:090:43:11

in Scotland, Wales,

0:43:110:43:12

Northern Ireland or England and need our help,

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please apply online at...

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:400:43:43

Alistair Appleton helps a recently retired 'young at heart' couple find a country home in Hampshire. With a budget of £550,000, their priorities are a large garage and a challenging garden project.


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