Lake District Escape to the Country


Lake District

Jules Hudson is in the Lake District with a couple looking for a rural retreat to create a classy bed and breakfast, with a healthy budget of 1.15 million pounds.


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Transcript


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Welcome to a truly international episode

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of Escape To The Country, because today we're in Japan.

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Now, this might look like a cute little English pub.

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It is, but it was taken down brick by brick

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and then transported thousands of miles across the ocean

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so that local samurai warlord Yoshi Hirohito

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could enjoy a good old-fashioned pint of English beer.

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Now, if you believe all that, you'll think I was well placed

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to enter a very famous local competition in these parts.

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So am I in Japan or aren't I? Join me in a few moments

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and I'll tell you.

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Today's house-hunters are looking for a country retreat

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to create a classy bed-and-breakfast,

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so a period property with character is definitely on the menu.

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-I love it.

-You're smiling!

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THEY LAUGH

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-I'm so impressed.

-Ah, good!

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The right location is key to the move.

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It's just the view, isn't it? It's just amazing.

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But will we find the perfect balance between business and pleasure?

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Three businesses in one. It's a good option.

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Well, today we're not, of course, in Japan.

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We're actually in the Lake District in the heart of Cumbria,

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and this pub is the setting for the World's Biggest Liar Competition.

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Every year hundreds gather here from all over the world

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to regale each other with their porkies,

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and, of course, they've all caught fish this big.

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It all started around about 100 years ago,

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when local landlord Will Ritson would tell stories around the bar.

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One of his best was that local turnips here grew so big,

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you could hollow them out and use them as cowsheds.

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It's just another example of the local colour

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that makes this part of the world so appealing.

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Looking out over the Irish Sea in the northwest of the country,

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Cumbria is the third-largest English county.

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Mostly rural, the landscape is dominated

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by the magnificent Lake District National Park,

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and its beauty has inspired some of Britain's most famous poets.

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Wordsworth and Coleridge waxed lyrical about these crystal-clear lakes,

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far-reaching mountains and panoramic vistas.

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As one of Britain's least inhabited areas,

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it's certainly a place where you can wander lonely as a cloud,

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with only 47 residents per square mile,

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making it the perfect retreat for those wanting peace and quiet.

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But it's not just natural wonders that attract sightseers.

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It's also the picture-postcard villages

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with packhorse bridges, attractive cottages

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and Lakeland-stone farmhouses

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which make the Lake District somewhere to write home about.

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To be honest, I think house prices here in Cumbria are pretty fair.

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Your average detached will set you back

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somewhere in the region of £253,000.

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That's 2.5 percent below the national average.

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But if you move into the National Park,

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want something with a view or lakeside,

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you really are going to pile on the pounds.

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But don't be put off. As you can see, there is something for everyone.

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For £250,000, you could own a piece of history.

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This cottage forms part of a Grade II listed folly near Greystoke.

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The open-plan ground floor uses the space efficiently.

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The two bedrooms boast exposed beams,

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and the views are everything you'd expect

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from the glorious Cumbrian countryside.

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Further up the property ladder,

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this period cottage in Askham is on the market for £375,000.

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Located in the higher reaches of the village,

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the property takes in views of the Pennines and Askham Fell.

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Inside, there's a contemporary kitchen, a spacious living area,

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and three good-size bedrooms.

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And last but not least, this 18th-century farmhouse

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near Endmoor is on the market for £675,000.

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The living area boasts a delightful feature fireplace.

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The kitchen is stunning, and there are five spacious bedrooms,

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all set within an attractive garden.

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So if that tasty selection has whetted your appetite

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and you fancy swapping your brogues for your walking boots,

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you're in good company, because that's exactly what today's buyers want to do, too.

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Ex-military man Moe and wife Julia, a literacy teacher,

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are ready to relocate from their Darlington semi-detached

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in County Durham.

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Over the nine years they've been a couple,

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Moe's been away serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,

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so this move is all about quality time.

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We want to move to the country because, um,

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we've come to a point in our lives

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where we want to move on together and do something together.

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They're heading to the Lake District to pursue an outdoor lifestyle,

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and the plan is to combine business with pleasure.

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I think our preference would be for a B&B/guesthouse,

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something that's of good quality that would appeal to us to go to,

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and something that, when people come there,

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will feel that it's more than what they have at home.

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They're keen for something off the beaten track,

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with access to walking trails in the National Park.

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But how do they visualise their new home?

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My ideal country property would be something that was detached,

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had a little bit of land round it,

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and gave us scope

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to either go in and develop,

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or to move in and set about our business straight away.

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Although their six children are nearly all grown up,

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Moe and Julia still want space for visiting family and holidaymakers.

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So let's get into the details.

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We need a minimum of three private bedrooms,

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and ideally one with en suite, and a family bathroom.

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We would want minimum of three letting rooms,

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reasonable size,

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also with bathrooms already established.

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If there is something outside in terms of barns or outhouses

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that can be developed, we would definitely consider those.

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They'd like a property with character,

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and, if Moe finds a project, he's not afraid of grabbing some tools

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and donning the developer's hard hat.

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I've got reasonably good skills at doing DIY,

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particularly from my father, who's passed on some of those skills.

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Moe and Julia own two houses, collectively worth £500,000.

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Both will be sold to fund the move, so how much have we got to play with?

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I think the upper limit for our budget is about a million pounds.

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If we really wanted to stretch ourselves,

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perhaps 1.1 million.

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There's no doubt that Moe and Julia are taking on quite a lot

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in this move to the Lakes. They've got to combine a home with a successful business.

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They do want somewhere that's tranquil and quiet,

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with stunning views. As you can see, there's no shortage of those,

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but, in looking for a B&B, there is something of a dilemma.

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Many of them are near to busy settlements and main tourist routes.

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It's obviously very good for trade, but, at a stroke,

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that does cross off several potential properties from our list.

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They also want to be within the National Park. That will be good for business,

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but is going to come at a premium. So, on the face of it,

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it sounds straightforward, but it is going to be a bit tricky.

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But, with their fantastic budget, it's by no means going to be impossible.

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Moe and Julia are flexible on location,

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although they would like something in the National Park,

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so we've concentrated the search just north of Keswick.

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We'll view three prime properties, but we won't tell them the price

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until the end of each tour.

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And then, of course, there's the mystery house,

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a building that may need reinventing to match their country dream.

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-Hi, guys! Nice to see you.

-Hi, Jules.

-Hi, Jules.

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Welcome back to the Lakes. This is an old haunt for you.

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-Yes.

-I don't blame you. On a day like this,

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-where else would you want to live?

-It's fantastic.

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Absolutely stunning. You know, it's one thing coming on holiday here,

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but being committed to a B&B, the building and your guests,

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is very different.

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Yeah, I think we've given it a lot of thought,

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and lots of research...

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I get the sense that nothing has been left to chance.

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With true military planning, you've gone through this with a fine-tooth comb.

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If we're going to do it, we should do it seriously,

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so we've looked at a number of properties already. We know it's going to be hard work.

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The important thing is that we provide a service

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that people would expect. We've been to a lot of places,

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both here in the Lakes and also elsewhere and abroad,

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so we want to provide a service that we would like.

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So this is going to be high-end B&B.

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It'll be open to everybody price-wise,

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but in terms of quality, it will be top of the range.

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We're going to need something big, but we have got a big budget.

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-Just remind us of the figures.

-Well, the budget -

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we can stretch to, probably, £1,150,000.

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-1.15 million?

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

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Well, we've got a great budget, obviously,

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and a beautiful day, as you can see, so let's see what we can find you.

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-Follow me.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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So, with a top budget of £1.15 million,

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Moe and Julia want a bespoke B&B inside the National Park.

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They'd like a period property with a minimum of six bedrooms,

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and some outbuildings.

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This is the first time, I suppose,

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you're going to be able to live together properly.

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In essence, yeah. This will be the best opportunity we've had

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for some time, if we can get the business sorted.

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I think, once you get me up here, that's it!

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THEY LAUGH You won't get me away.

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I look forward to coming back in a year and having a cup of tea.

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-We'd love to have you.

-THEY LAUGH

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Just a mile from the picturesque village of Bassenthwaite,

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our first property is a short stroll from the lake of the same name -

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a perfect place to enjoy that cuppa.

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And Moe and Julia can wander the nearby fells,

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and the local sailing club offers access onto the lake if they ever tire of walking.

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After a day's activities, there are many local pubs on tap.

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It's an idyllic location for our keen ramblers,

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and anyone that comes to stay.

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Right! Come on in.

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What do you reckon?

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-Yeah. Interesting.

-Different from the front.

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I can't figure it out at all.

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It's what is your classic Lakeland B&B, in some respects.

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You can see the sign there, B&B and caravans,

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so they're also scoring on that market, as well.

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-Interesting, yes.

-The building itself is about 1880.

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Classic local barn. As you can see, great big barn doors there.

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Converted about six years ago.

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-Right.

-And, believe you me, they have packed an awful lot in.

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-Oh, great.

-Yeah? Come on, then. Let's have a look.

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'Moe and Julia wanted character,

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'and this barn conversion certainly has it in spades.'

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Great. You can grab the door, Moe.

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Now,

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come on in.

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-Interesting!

-Yeah?

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Yeah! I like the stone wall and I love the old beams.

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-Looks like there's great views...

-Looks exceptional, yeah.

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-..which are what it's all about.

-Exactly!

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That's what it's all about. It's an interesting one.

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There is always more than one way to convert a barn,

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because, if anything, you've got a great big box.

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They've done it in such a way that you've got this central living area,

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and then, as you can see, we've got some galleries round about,

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along with the grandfather clock to keep the guests happy.

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Keep them on time for breakfast! That's the most important thing.

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-Let's continue.

-Yeah, great!

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OK. Now, off of the main living area,

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we've got what they're using as their guests' dining room,

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and also would double up as a family dining area.

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Yeah. It feels cosy.

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-Yeah. The obvious point here is that you are sharing your space.

-Yes.

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How does that feel?

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-Ideally we'd probably want it separate.

-Yes.

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But depends what else it brings with it.

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-As we go round, start thinking about how you'd reapportion space.

-Yes.

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-This wall, I think...

-Could come down.

-..would go.

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-It's not listed.

-Right.

-That's an advantage, isn't it?

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Gives you options, doesn't it?

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It does, because you'd end up with the great big kitchen you're after.

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That wall, if it could go,

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would be instrumental in transforming this half of the house.

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-It'll open it up quite well, then.

-Yeah.

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This is the business end of any B&B, in some respects,

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so you are going to want plenty of space.

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'Adjacent to the kitchen is the utility room.

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'On the other side of the living area, the B&B accommodation

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'consists of three double bedrooms, all with en suite.

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'But we're going to explore the rather quirky configuration upstairs.'

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-You see what I mean?

-Fantastic!

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-Yeah.

-It's, er...

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It's dominated by this sort of bridge,

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which overlooks the main living area where we started.

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We've got these two little galleried areas

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which cut across that,

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and then effectively two rooms which mirror each other

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on either side, and a little study area down there.

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-I like that.

-Yeah?

-Yeah. It's different, isn't it?

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-It's very different!

-It's a character.

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Oh, it's got lots of character. Come and have a look through here.

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It reminds me of a ski chalet.

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So, what's on offer is a dressing area down there,

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-three staircases...

-Yeah.

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One leads to the seating area there,

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and then this one down into, obviously,

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-an area for the bed.

-I like it.

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-The whole thing is dominated by that beam...

-Yeah.

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..which is the quirky bit. I don't know what you make of it.

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Oh, it's a nice feature, I think.

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Most people living in a town or city would never see anything like this.

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You can make a feature of it, as you say.

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But we haven't even got to the holiday lets yet.

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-Oh, I was forgetting about those.

-We've got three of those on offer.

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It may be that you think, "Actually, all we need are three holiday lets,"

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and then the whole barn becomes home.

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-Yeah.

-Keep it as private accommodation.

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'With visiting family more of a definite than a possibility,

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'I think Moe and Julia should consider using the house

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'as private accommodation, because the three holiday lets

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'can provide the income they require,

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'and two of them are positioned right below the main residence.'

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-These are huge.

-Gosh, it's much bigger than I expected!

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-Come in, Moe. What do you reckon?

-Yeah. Excellent space.

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And you've also got this area here, which is quite nice -

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very simple little kitchenette.

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Nicely appointed. It's all pretty new.

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So these are going out for anything up to 500 a week

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-in the peak of the season.

-Right!

-That's very good.

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-Yeah, it's really good.

-And you've got three of them.

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And if you do get really busy,

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-you can always spill over into the B&B if you really want to.

-Yes.

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-You've got the scope to do that.

-Exactly.

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This let has two good-size double bedrooms

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and a family bathroom to the rear.

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Next door there's a self-contained three-bed let,

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and across the courtyard, a converted stable offers another two-bed holiday annexe.

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Outside, there's an outbuilding and an area for caravans.

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Come on through. I'll shut the gate because of the chickens.

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THEY LAUGH

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-But you also get these two barns.

-Yeah.

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-Useful bit of storage again.

-Yeah.

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That's very useful.

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And this is the extent of the landholding that you get,

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-defined by the mown area and the wire fence.

-Yeah.

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This is an area for five caravan pitches.

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The nice thing with the caravans, they are pretty much self-contained,

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so whilst some sites have shower blocks, there isn't one here, and it's not necessary.

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It's just the view, isn't it? It's just amazing.

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-And then Skiddaw over here.

-Yeah. That is stunning.

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-It's fabulous.

-Let's have a think about how this stacks up

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against your £1.15 million, though.

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I think 750, 850 mark, something like that.

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-Optimistic!

-Yeah.

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-Possibly. Julia?

-I think he's optimistic.

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Three businesses? No, it's got to be nearer the million mark,

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definitely, I think.

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-Well, you are not far off, madam.

-Oh, wasn't I?

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This could be yours for £950,000.

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-Oh, interesting!

-So it's 200 grand under your maximum spend.

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Obviously you could use that to reconfigure things

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-and spec it up as you would want.

-Yeah.

-OK.

-Lots to think about!

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And lots more to see. Go and have a good old nose around.

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Figure out the geography, because it's quite a plan to figure out,

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-and I'll catch up with you later.

-OK.

-Off you go.

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-OK. Thank you!

-I'll have a chat with the chickens. Why not?

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THEY LAUGH

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A pretty good reaction to our first offering,

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and well under budget at £950,000.

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With a total of five bedrooms in the main house

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and three holiday lets, there's no shortage of space.

0:17:320:17:35

Outside there are two acres, and room for caravans,

0:17:350:17:38

offering another revenue stream.

0:17:380:17:41

The location is simply spectacular,

0:17:410:17:44

but what do our aspiring B&B owners think?

0:17:440:17:46

Three businesses in one... It's a good option.

0:17:460:17:49

-A very good option. The versatility of it is really appealing.

-It is.

0:17:490:17:54

I think it's workable. I think we could use both the space here,

0:17:540:17:59

the upstairs bedrooms and the bedrooms currently being used

0:17:590:18:02

as B&B. I think that's all workable.

0:18:020:18:05

It's quite a lot of money,

0:18:050:18:07

but I do feel we could run with it the way it is.

0:18:070:18:10

-Right, then! Come on! Out you come.

-OK.

0:18:100:18:14

There's lots more to show you, but this was a good one to start with.

0:18:140:18:17

-It's great.

-Very good. Lots of potential,

0:18:170:18:20

-lots of things to think about.

-And you hadn't thought of it before?

0:18:200:18:23

No. Actually, I can't believe we hadn't!

0:18:230:18:26

Yeah.

0:18:260:18:27

The Lake District's first official foray into tourism

0:18:290:18:33

dates back to the 18th century, when sightseeing was a completely different affair than it is today.

0:18:330:18:38

The Georgian approach was a highly structured scene-setting extravaganza.

0:18:380:18:44

A specific walking route had to be taken

0:18:440:18:46

to conceal any sight of the subject until reaching the lookout.

0:18:460:18:51

These locations became so popular that shelters were built,

0:18:510:18:55

and Claife viewing station on the west side of Lake Windermere

0:18:550:18:58

is the most complete example remaining today.

0:18:580:19:00

Victorian landscape artists were regular visitors

0:19:000:19:03

to these viewing stations, so we sent Moe and Julia

0:19:030:19:07

to meet up with National Trust expert Paul Farrington

0:19:070:19:10

to find out more.

0:19:100:19:12

They would come to these viewing stations,

0:19:120:19:14

they would observe these stunning views,

0:19:140:19:17

and they would often use a thing called a Claude glass or mirror,

0:19:170:19:22

and they'd stand with their back to the classic view, like this,

0:19:220:19:26

to sort of frame the view and miniaturise it,

0:19:260:19:30

and then they would use that image to sketch.

0:19:300:19:34

If you weren't an artist, you would just come there,

0:19:340:19:36

and it would just be a way of locking that classic view

0:19:360:19:41

in your memory, which sounds a little bit odd,

0:19:410:19:43

but it's only the same as photography

0:19:430:19:47

that we do today, really, capturing that memory and that image.

0:19:470:19:51

But it was during the 19th century that an artist,

0:19:520:19:55

social reformer and prominent Victorian by the name of John Ruskin

0:19:550:19:59

fell in love with the area, moving to Brantwood in 1872,

0:19:590:20:02

to live in an elegant home overlooking Coniston Water.

0:20:020:20:06

General manager of the Brantwood Trust, Rachel Litten,

0:20:060:20:09

is giving Moe and Julia an insight into the man

0:20:090:20:12

and the property that he purchased sight unseen.

0:20:120:20:15

He was interested in social issues, wasn't he?

0:20:150:20:18

Yes, he was, and many of his ideas we see evidence of today.

0:20:180:20:22

He was very concerned about the conditions people were working in

0:20:220:20:26

in Victorian industrial towns and cities,

0:20:260:20:30

and he actually formed the Guild of St George,

0:20:300:20:33

because he wanted to be sure that people could get education,

0:20:330:20:36

have access to public libraries, have access to books,

0:20:360:20:40

have access to art.

0:20:400:20:41

Being a man for all seasons, he also designed everything,

0:20:410:20:45

from wallpaper to musical instruments,

0:20:450:20:47

many of which are on show inside Brantwood.

0:20:470:20:50

There's quite interesting pieces in here,

0:20:500:20:52

especially the musical instrument.

0:20:520:20:55

This is a ziffern that Ruskin designed and had made,

0:20:550:20:59

but there's other evidence of Ruskin's interest in music.

0:20:590:21:04

This was his upright piano here.

0:21:040:21:06

-And did he collect paintings...

-Yes.

-..on his travels?

0:21:060:21:10

Yes. He had the paintings of his favourite artists

0:21:100:21:13

on the walls here at Brantwood,

0:21:130:21:15

so although he designed the wallpaper,

0:21:150:21:18

he probably wouldn't have seen a lot of it,

0:21:180:21:20

because it would have been crammed with paintings in his collection.

0:21:200:21:24

Ruskin was enchanted by life, and famously said,

0:21:240:21:27

"It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends."

0:21:270:21:32

With so many contributions to modern society,

0:21:320:21:34

Ruskin clearly lived by this motto.

0:21:340:21:37

But he wasn't the only Lake District local to make contributions to the arts.

0:21:370:21:41

Celebrated poet William Wordsworth

0:21:430:21:46

was born just two miles from our second property

0:21:460:21:48

in the market town of Cockermouth. Historically significant buildings

0:21:480:21:52

such as the old brewery, the Old Court House and Wordsworth House

0:21:520:21:56

have been beautifully maintained, and the charming terraced homes

0:21:560:21:59

of the workers, built during the Industrial Revolution, are still in good order today.

0:21:590:22:04

The town is situated on the River Cocker,

0:22:040:22:06

and in the past it has suffered flooding,

0:22:060:22:09

but this hasn't stopped the preservation of Cockermouth's unique character.

0:22:090:22:13

Just inside the National Park, our second property has plenty to offer Moe and Julia.

0:22:130:22:17

Come down here. This is where the whole thing comes together.

0:22:170:22:21

-Oh, wow!

-Yeah?

0:22:210:22:23

Definitely.

0:22:230:22:26

It's amazing. So pretty.

0:22:260:22:29

The good news is that you don't have to live in that building, either.

0:22:290:22:33

-What?

-Very good.

0:22:330:22:35

-You've got your own accommodation.

-What, a tent?

0:22:350:22:37

It's better than a tent. Come and look at this.

0:22:370:22:40

OK. So, this is the back of what we've just looked at.

0:22:430:22:48

This is the back of the old farmhouse,

0:22:480:22:50

and we're going to explore everything that this has to offer

0:22:500:22:53

in all of its glory later, but this is for you.

0:22:530:22:57

Oh, my goodness!

0:22:570:23:00

'One of the considerations with our first property

0:23:010:23:04

'was how to separate the bedrooms into private and business.

0:23:040:23:07

'But with this one, the options are obvious.'

0:23:070:23:09

OK. Come on in.

0:23:090:23:12

Oh, my goodness! JULES LAUGHS

0:23:120:23:14

-Come on in, Moe.

-Now I'm impressed.

0:23:140:23:16

Oh, you're not going to get me away from here.

0:23:160:23:20

Moe's just said, "Now I'm impressed."

0:23:200:23:23

Well, that's good going, because he's not always impressed.

0:23:230:23:26

-The colonel's happy. That's good.

-That's very good.

0:23:260:23:30

The nice thing about this is that this is just for you.

0:23:300:23:33

You don't have to cook your B&B breakfasts in here

0:23:330:23:36

because you've got another kitchen next door.

0:23:360:23:39

Through there you've got a generous boot room, utility, downstairs loo,

0:23:390:23:43

and so forth, and just over my shoulder, through that door,

0:23:430:23:46

a nicely appointed study,

0:23:460:23:48

or could be a snug, if you want a second reception room.

0:23:480:23:51

-I'm so impressed!

-Ah, good!

0:23:510:23:54

Let's have a think about where you might relax after a hard day

0:23:540:23:57

looking after your guests. Just through here.

0:23:570:24:01

'An excellent response so far, and it just gets better from here.'

0:24:010:24:06

Now, could you switch off in here?

0:24:060:24:08

Oh!

0:24:080:24:10

-Beautiful!

-This is, again, very good.

-Amazing.

0:24:110:24:14

-Yeah. Excellent.

-Well, this is all new.

0:24:140:24:16

Obviously the shell was here, but this whole arrangement

0:24:160:24:19

of the chimney breast, the wood burner,

0:24:190:24:22

the whole thing has been redesigned to provide a fantastic family space.

0:24:220:24:27

Upstairs we've got you three bedrooms

0:24:270:24:29

-for you and your guests.

-Yes.

0:24:290:24:32

And, as you would expect, they're quite nice, really.

0:24:320:24:35

I bet they are! THEY LAUGH

0:24:350:24:37

'The downstairs has clearly impressed,

0:24:380:24:41

'and upstairs there's plenty of space for the children when they come to stay,

0:24:410:24:45

'and an impressive master suite for Moe and Julia.'

0:24:450:24:49

OK, so this would be for you two.

0:24:510:24:54

Oh, wow!

0:24:540:24:56

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:24:560:24:57

-Very good.

-And the finish, as you can see,

0:24:570:25:00

is just as good as downstairs, very, very cosy.

0:25:000:25:03

That's a little en suite in here. Well, I say "little" -

0:25:030:25:07

-it's quite nice.

-Yeah. Very nice.

-Very good standard.

0:25:070:25:10

And in here, this is every girl's dream.

0:25:100:25:13

You'd better have a look, then.

0:25:130:25:15

Oh, yeah. All mine?

0:25:150:25:18

Well, you can argue over who gets how much of that.

0:25:180:25:22

You have got plenty of room to play with. You'll be all right.

0:25:220:25:25

-Yeah.

-But I think the main event for you two

0:25:250:25:29

is across the courtyard. Ten more bedrooms to look at.

0:25:290:25:32

I can't imagine what it's like! This is the way it is.

0:25:320:25:36

-The business end.

-Come and have a look.

0:25:360:25:38

The other two double bedrooms are both finished to a high standard,

0:25:380:25:42

and share a large family bathroom. But we're testing

0:25:420:25:45

Moe and Julia's daily commute - not bad, at about ten seconds.

0:25:450:25:49

Right.

0:25:490:25:51

This is where the hard work is...

0:25:510:25:53

Yeah. THEY LAUGH

0:25:530:25:55

..for you two, although great fun for your guests.

0:25:550:25:58

You're greeted with this extraordinary old bread oven. Again, lovely feature to have,

0:25:580:26:02

-and something your guests are going to remember.

-Yeah.

0:26:020:26:06

Yeah, great.

0:26:060:26:08

Oh, my goodness! This is great space!

0:26:130:26:16

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:26:160:26:18

Oh, the beams!

0:26:180:26:20

It feels cosy.

0:26:200:26:22

'So that's where the guests relax.

0:26:220:26:25

'But now for Moe's mess hall.'

0:26:250:26:27

How about this kind of refectory look?

0:26:310:26:34

-Yes, it is, isn't it?

-Yeah?

-Mm-hm!

0:26:340:26:36

You can separate people, if they want to sit on their own,

0:26:360:26:39

but it's quite a busy focus for everything,

0:26:390:26:44

and even though all the bedrooms are beautifully appointed,

0:26:440:26:48

next door you've got somewhere to drift into.

0:26:480:26:50

If you've made friends over dinner or met them on the mountain,

0:26:500:26:54

-you can carry it on through there.

-Socialise if you want to.

-Precisely.

0:26:540:26:57

'Next to the dining area, the kitchen is modern and practical.

0:26:570:27:02

'In terms of sleeping quarters,

0:27:020:27:03

'there are five en-suite double bedrooms,

0:27:030:27:06

'including two with disability access on the ground floor,

0:27:060:27:09

'and a further five en-suite doubles upstairs.'

0:27:090:27:12

-This brick is lovely!

-Isn't it?

0:27:120:27:15

And the wear on the steps is lovely, too.

0:27:150:27:17

Come in here. Let's start with this one,

0:27:170:27:20

the Master's Room.

0:27:200:27:22

-There we go.

-Oh, wow!

0:27:240:27:26

Mmm! HE LAUGHS

0:27:260:27:28

Yeah? Four-poster, something for the guests to relax in.

0:27:280:27:34

-Good size.

-Yeah?

0:27:340:27:35

And, of course, as you'd expect, you know,

0:27:350:27:38

-nice little en suite in there.

-Oh, I love the shelves.

0:27:380:27:42

-Yeah.

-It's deceiving. It's much bigger than you would expect.

0:27:420:27:46

Well, the whole thing, the scale of what's on offer

0:27:460:27:49

-is just extraordinary.

-It's brilliant.

0:27:490:27:51

THEY LAUGH

0:27:510:27:52

And outside, there are one and a half acres for the guests to enjoy.

0:27:520:27:57

But all this does come at a cost.

0:27:570:27:59

So, here we are, then, pretty much where we started.

0:27:590:28:02

There it is. Now you know what's inside...

0:28:020:28:05

Yes!

0:28:050:28:06

THEY LAUGH

0:28:060:28:08

I know. This is the bit I don't want to hear.

0:28:080:28:11

-The money.

-The money.

0:28:110:28:13

-Madam?

-I'll probably be left with a penny,

0:28:130:28:15

but I shall say 1.1.

0:28:150:28:18

1.1. Yeah?

0:28:180:28:20

-Moe?

-I'm a bit more reserved.

0:28:200:28:23

I think probably one million.

0:28:230:28:25

OK. Yeah, not bad.

0:28:250:28:28

This is going to set you back

0:28:280:28:30

1.15.

0:28:300:28:33

Crikey!

0:28:330:28:35

-This is your budget.

-Yeah. Absolutely top.

0:28:350:28:38

-But you don't need to do anything to it.

-No, you don't.

0:28:380:28:41

Go and mull it over. Go and explore more bedrooms.

0:28:410:28:44

There's plenty more to see. I'll catch up with you later.

0:28:440:28:47

-All right. Come on.

-OK. Thank you.

-Bye!

0:28:470:28:50

THEY LAUGH

0:28:500:28:53

For £1.15 million,

0:28:550:28:58

this stunning property offers a detached private home

0:28:580:29:01

for Moe and Julia, ten large bedrooms for the B&B,

0:29:010:29:04

and outside it has 1.5 acres of land

0:29:040:29:07

in an idyllic National Park location.

0:29:070:29:10

You can see why people would want to come back again and again.

0:29:100:29:14

People will think it's really special. It is! It's so special.

0:29:140:29:18

The price tag is on the limit for us,

0:29:180:29:21

and that is a consideration, but yeah, I like it a lot.

0:29:210:29:24

So, as the sun settles behind the lakes and fells of north Cumbria,

0:29:330:29:37

Moe and Julia have plenty to discuss

0:29:370:29:39

after their first day of house-hunting.

0:29:390:29:42

Today's buyers are looking for a B&B with character and style

0:29:440:29:49

inside the Lake District National Park.

0:29:490:29:52

Moe's just said, "Now I'm impressed."

0:29:520:29:55

But what will they make of the mystery house,

0:29:550:29:58

a property that's never been used as a B&B,

0:29:580:30:01

situated outside the National Park?

0:30:010:30:04

Oh, my goodness!

0:30:040:30:07

If you're familiar with the Lake District,

0:30:120:30:15

you'll also know the local adage that you can have four seasons in one day here.

0:30:150:30:19

But we're blessed with another glorious start

0:30:190:30:21

to our final day's house-hunting. Yesterday was particularly exciting,

0:30:210:30:25

but we've got one more property to come.

0:30:250:30:27

It is mystery-house time. That has an awful lot to beat,

0:30:270:30:31

but, do you know what? We might be all right.

0:30:310:30:34

Today's mystery house is just outside the National Park border

0:30:350:30:38

in the conservation village of Greystoke.

0:30:380:30:41

Situated on the Coast to Coast cycle route,

0:30:410:30:44

and having access to plenty of rural activities,

0:30:440:30:46

this village has much to offer the budding B&B hunter.

0:30:460:30:50

Just ten minutes from the M6,

0:30:500:30:52

holidaymakers would have no trouble getting to and from the property.

0:30:520:30:56

But Moe and Julia have their hearts set on a National Park location,

0:30:560:31:01

so it will be interesting to see if the pros outweigh the cons.

0:31:010:31:04

There you go. This is our mystery house for you.

0:31:060:31:09

Unlike all the other properties we've shown you,

0:31:090:31:12

-this is not currently a B&B.

-OK.

0:31:120:31:15

It is still a private house,

0:31:150:31:18

but it's got a lot of room, a lot of rooms,

0:31:180:31:22

-and would very easily become a B&B.

-Yeah.

0:31:220:31:26

It's early Georgian, so it's been here a long time.

0:31:260:31:29

Is this the sort of thing that you've looked at before?

0:31:290:31:32

-Um, not on this scale.

-Not on this scale!

0:31:320:31:35

This is the sort of property that would be,

0:31:350:31:38

yeah, as a business would be definitely attractive.

0:31:380:31:41

OK, right. Let's see what you make of the inside.

0:31:410:31:44

'This is undoubtedly the grandest of the three houses we've seen.

0:31:450:31:49

'So, if Moe and Julia want to be lord and lady of the manor,

0:31:490:31:52

'this is the property for them.'

0:31:520:31:54

So, this is the, um, the front door.

0:31:540:31:57

-Pretty impressive!

-Nice, isn't it?

0:31:570:31:59

I think your guests would be quite moved by this.

0:31:590:32:02

Come on in.

0:32:050:32:07

-Great first impression, yeah.

-It's what you'd expect, isn't it,

0:32:070:32:11

in a grand country house. And then through here, something of a study

0:32:110:32:15

or smaller reception room, but come through here.

0:32:150:32:18

Oh, yes! I like it. Love the high ceilings.

0:32:220:32:26

This has a greater instant impact on me

0:32:260:32:30

-than the other two.

-I can tell! You're smiling!

0:32:300:32:33

THEY LAUGH

0:32:330:32:34

It's the history. It's the solidness of the building.

0:32:340:32:37

It's the quality of the work, despite some tarnishing

0:32:370:32:40

-that's perhaps gone on.

-But...

0:32:400:32:44

you know, you could use this room now,

0:32:440:32:46

-and just gradually do what you needed to do.

-Yeah.

0:32:460:32:50

OK. Well, let's keep exploring. There's so much of it.

0:32:500:32:54

Let's go next door and have a look in here.

0:32:540:32:57

Now, I think in this room you get a better sense of...

0:32:570:33:01

-Yes.

-..bygone times.

0:33:010:33:03

The fireplace is still there, which is rather nice.

0:33:030:33:06

A few other details, not least the floorboards...

0:33:060:33:09

-Brilliant. They're lovely.

-Very good condition.

0:33:090:33:12

It's so light. Great aspect.

0:33:120:33:14

-Yeah.

-It's great. I love it.

0:33:140:33:16

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-Good. Right. OK.

0:33:160:33:19

Let's have a look through here.

0:33:190:33:21

'The property is split into three parts.

0:33:220:33:25

'On the other side of the drawing room,

0:33:250:33:27

'there's a self-contained apartment boasting five bedrooms

0:33:270:33:30

'over two levels. But we're going to explore the kitchen for the main residence.'

0:33:300:33:34

Oh, this is great!

0:33:340:33:37

-Yeah?

-Yeah. Love it.

0:33:370:33:40

This is the older bit of the property,

0:33:400:33:42

-now currently the family kitchen.

-But this is what we want.

-Good!

0:33:420:33:46

OK. We're going to continue our whistle-stop tour of this one,

0:33:460:33:50

because it is so big. Let's go upstairs into the main part of the house,

0:33:500:33:54

and see what you think of that.

0:33:540:33:56

'This wing of the house has another self-contained three-bed flat,

0:33:560:34:00

'accessed from the courtyard, but Moe and Julia can explore that later.

0:34:000:34:04

'For now, I want them to experience where they could be sleeping.'

0:34:040:34:08

Now, we're calling this the master.

0:34:080:34:10

To be honest, they're all pretty interchangeable.

0:34:100:34:13

We often talk about things being a labyrinth. This place really is.

0:34:130:34:17

Because it's been chopped about over the years,

0:34:170:34:19

it's all in different chunks. There's a lot to take in

0:34:190:34:22

and make sense of. Let's go downstairs now,

0:34:220:34:26

and look at another chunk.

0:34:260:34:29

THEY LAUGH

0:34:290:34:31

'The other three spacious bedrooms are of a similar size

0:34:310:34:35

'to the master, and there's a family bathroom.

0:34:350:34:37

'But Moe does fancy an outbuilding to develop,

0:34:370:34:40

'and I'm not the sort to let him down.'

0:34:400:34:42

Oh, my goodness!

0:34:420:34:44

I mean, we could sell this on its own.

0:34:440:34:47

It's a very pretty option, this.

0:34:470:34:50

-Yes, it is.

-Good space in front of it, isn't there?

0:34:500:34:53

You could have it completely separate.

0:34:530:34:55

It needs to be totally transformed. On the left we've got stables.

0:34:550:34:59

We've got the old coach house to the right, with the door.

0:34:590:35:02

And above it, the old groom's quarters.

0:35:020:35:05

-Great potential. Yeah.

-It could turn over some money.

0:35:050:35:09

-Yeah.

-So...what do you think it's all worth?

0:35:090:35:13

-Oh, again, I think it's top end.

-Mm-hm?

-Yeah.

0:35:130:35:17

-One million, 25 thousand.

-One million 25. Yeah.

0:35:170:35:21

I think it's going to be...

0:35:210:35:25

just slightly under the million.

0:35:250:35:29

-Hm. I wish it were. I really wish it were.

-Oh, no!

0:35:300:35:32

All in all, your five acres, the coach house,

0:35:320:35:35

-an extraordinary building...

-Yeah.

-We agree with that.

0:35:350:35:38

-Yeah. It is amazing.

-All of that will set you back

0:35:380:35:42

-1.1 million.

-1.1. Yeah.

-OK?

0:35:420:35:45

Look, there's a lot of it. Here is the ground plan.

0:35:450:35:48

-Oh, right!

-Pages of it. It's very, very complicated.

0:35:480:35:52

-Go and study that. Have a look around.

-We will.

0:35:520:35:55

-I'll catch up with you later.

-Thank you so much.

-Enjoy.

-Thank you.

0:35:550:36:00

There is plenty to consider for £1.1 million.

0:36:000:36:05

This period property offers a total of 12 bedrooms.

0:36:050:36:09

It's got nearly five acres of land,

0:36:090:36:11

and there's a coach house that's ripe for development.

0:36:110:36:14

Based on their reactions, I think Moe and Julia can really visualise themselves in this building.

0:36:140:36:19

First impact was amazing. It is such a fabulous building.

0:36:190:36:24

I love it.

0:36:240:36:26

On the whole, I think it offers so much,

0:36:260:36:29

both to us in terms of a project, but also to potential customers

0:36:290:36:34

if we were to go ahead and develop it.

0:36:340:36:36

-This makes sense of it now.

-It does. Better layout.

0:36:360:36:39

-Yeah, and potential over here.

-Especially with these buildings.

0:36:390:36:43

-Have you figured it out yet?

-We've sorted out the first floor,

0:36:430:36:46

-and that's about it.

-You've got several pages to go!

0:36:460:36:49

This is an amazing building. There is so much to it.

0:36:490:36:53

It's going to take a while for it all to sink in.

0:36:530:36:55

The key thing is to get you away from here,

0:36:550:36:57

somewhere quiet where you can think about everything we've shown you,

0:36:570:37:01

-and then I shall quiz you about what happens next.

-Oh, no!

0:37:010:37:04

-Come on.

-Thank you.

0:37:040:37:06

From the fell-wandering guides of Alfred Wainwright

0:37:100:37:14

to the poetry of Wordsworth, the Lake District has inspired writers

0:37:140:37:17

for centuries, and in these parts, storytelling is considered no less of an art.

0:37:170:37:22

One of the local pubs in the Wasdale Valley has long been the stage

0:37:220:37:26

for many a tall tale.

0:37:260:37:28

Home to the World's Biggest Liar Competition,

0:37:280:37:30

I've come to the Santon Bridge inn to meet Howard Christie,

0:37:300:37:33

previous winner of this prestigious title.

0:37:330:37:36

Oh, very good. Hi, Howard. How are you?

0:37:370:37:39

-Good.

-Nice to see you.

-And you.

0:37:390:37:41

Cheers. Now, then, you are a past master at this lying game.

0:37:410:37:45

When did you first enter it?

0:37:450:37:47

I think 1997.

0:37:470:37:50

Certainly last century.

0:37:500:37:52

-And how many times have you won it?

-I've won it twice and come third once.

0:37:520:37:56

'The competition is held in memory of Will Ritson,

0:37:560:38:00

'a 19th-century publican that insisted he'd mated his foxhound

0:38:000:38:04

'with an eagle, so the pups could jump over the Lake District's drystone walls.'

0:38:040:38:09

Give us a sense of the rules, as a past winner.

0:38:090:38:12

You get up, you stand up, and you speak your lie,

0:38:120:38:16

and the idea being that should be the start of a story

0:38:160:38:19

which has got maybe a little bit of truth in it,

0:38:190:38:22

and then it leads on into something that's a little bit more surreal

0:38:220:38:26

and a bit more fun.

0:38:260:38:29

'Under the tongue-in-cheek rules,

0:38:290:38:31

'politicians and lawyers are banned from taking part,

0:38:310:38:35

'as they are considered too practised in the art.'

0:38:350:38:37

What do you win? Is there a trophy, a ribbon, or...

0:38:370:38:41

There's a very large trophy.

0:38:410:38:43

It takes about three people to lift it.

0:38:430:38:46

There is a very large monetary prize,

0:38:460:38:49

and, of course, best of all, there is a tie.

0:38:490:38:52

The only thing I believe there is the tie.

0:38:520:38:55

-No, no. All three are true.

-So, how much money's involved?

0:38:550:38:58

Well, for these parts, it's huge. It's £25.

0:38:580:39:01

Oh, right. So it is a big prize. And how big is the cup?

0:39:010:39:04

-Is it like the fish? Does it get bigger every year?

-It's huge.

0:39:040:39:07

It is big. It does require two or three sturdy lads to carry it.

0:39:070:39:12

HE LAUGHS

0:39:120:39:13

-At no point am I going to get any truth out of you, am I?

-Not really.

0:39:130:39:18

Well, Howard, I wish you all the very best of luck, mate,

0:39:180:39:21

-in November. Here's to a third victory. Cheers.

-Cheers.

0:39:210:39:24

Legend has it that a visiting bishop who stumbled across the contest

0:39:250:39:29

declared, "I've never told a lie in my life."

0:39:290:39:32

The judges promptly declared him that year's winner,

0:39:320:39:35

and if you believe that, I know of a bridge that's for sale.

0:39:350:39:38

Well, it is, of course, now decision time for Moe and for Julia.

0:39:400:39:45

When we first set out on this house search,

0:39:450:39:47

they said they wanted us to give them new perspectives,

0:39:470:39:50

different options on finding their ideal country retreat.

0:39:500:39:53

My concern is that we've left them a little bit spoilt for choice.

0:39:530:39:57

Well, let's go and ask them.

0:39:570:39:59

-Well, guys, how are we?

-Hi.

0:40:050:40:07

-Very good, thank you.

-A little bit confused, possibly?

0:40:070:40:11

Just a bit. THEY LAUGH

0:40:110:40:13

When we met originally, you said you wanted a different perspective

0:40:130:40:18

on your search. Have we given you that?

0:40:180:40:20

-Certainly.

-Yeah, I think so. In all three properties,

0:40:200:40:23

-there's been something different to take in.

-Good.

0:40:230:40:26

-So, yeah.

-OK.

0:40:260:40:28

Let's think about the first one - an up-and-running B&B

0:40:280:40:32

with three holiday lets underneath it,

0:40:320:40:35

with the caravan site, as well.

0:40:350:40:37

What do you think about that one?

0:40:370:40:40

I liked the fact it was very homely.

0:40:400:40:43

-It was a fabulous location.

-Yeah?

0:40:430:40:45

I liked the barn, the ability to do the three different things there,

0:40:450:40:50

the B&B, the lets and the caravan. It's a good thing.

0:40:500:40:53

I wouldn't want to dismiss it without thinking about it again.

0:40:530:40:57

Then we took you to our second property,

0:40:570:40:59

which, I have to say, I thought was extraordinary.

0:40:590:41:02

Yeah. It was beautiful. I love the location,

0:41:020:41:06

love the building. Everything was just beautiful.

0:41:060:41:09

It really was. I loved it, really, really loved it.

0:41:090:41:13

In particular, what was impressive was the private accommodation,

0:41:130:41:17

because all the things we've looked at so far,

0:41:170:41:19

it's been an issue with the private accommodation -

0:41:190:41:22

either you're in the basement, or there isn't enough space.

0:41:220:41:25

That gave us everything, and the standard, as well. Very impressive.

0:41:250:41:29

By the time we'd finished our second day,

0:41:290:41:31

and that wonderful building, I was thinking we'd done it all.

0:41:310:41:35

But we had one more to come, of course - the mystery house.

0:41:350:41:38

Come on, Moe. I thought you rather fell in love with that one.

0:41:380:41:41

I think it's a fantastic building.

0:41:410:41:44

Location-wise it gives us what we were after,

0:41:440:41:46

despite the fact that it's outside the National Park.

0:41:460:41:49

I think what it gave us was the country feel.

0:41:490:41:51

It's got plenty of space around it. But the building itself,

0:41:510:41:55

both the exterior and the interior, fantastic.

0:41:550:41:57

That's the sort of impression you want to create

0:41:570:42:00

-when you have paying guests.

-Yeah. Julia?

0:42:000:42:04

For me, being outside the National Park,

0:42:040:42:07

it's going to have to take a little bit of adjustment,

0:42:070:42:09

but I think it has so many pluses for it.

0:42:090:42:15

So we have given you a really interesting range of possibilities.

0:42:150:42:19

What would be your choice, left to your own devices?

0:42:190:42:22

It would be between the second house and the mystery for me, definitely.

0:42:220:42:25

And Moe?

0:42:250:42:27

I would go for the mystery house straight away.

0:42:270:42:30

Brilliant. It's been a real treat showing you round.

0:42:300:42:33

You've been fantastic sports. Let us know how you get on,

0:42:330:42:36

-and, as ever, best of luck.

-Thank you so much.

0:42:360:42:39

It's been brilliant.

0:42:390:42:41

When the weather is like this, I defy anybody

0:42:450:42:48

not to fall in love with Cumbria,

0:42:480:42:50

which is exactly what Moe and Julia have done.

0:42:500:42:53

And the property market hasn't disappointed us either.

0:42:530:42:56

We've given them some fantastic options.

0:42:560:42:58

But I suspect the planning and the thinking will go on for some time.

0:42:580:43:02

When eventually they do create their gorgeous bespoke boutique B&B,

0:43:020:43:06

next time I come up here, I know where I'll be staying.

0:43:060:43:09

I'll see you next time.

0:43:090:43:11

If you'd like to escape to the country

0:43:110:43:14

in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England,

0:43:140:43:16

and would like our help, then, please apply online.

0:43:160:43:19

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:230:43:27

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:270:43:31

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0:43:310:43:32

Jules Hudson is in the Lake District with a couple looking for a rural retreat to create a classy bed and breakfast, so a period property with character is on the menu. With a healthy budget of 1.15 million pounds, could a three bed private house and an impressive ten bed high end guest annexe be just the job?


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