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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Welcome to a truly international episode
of Escape To The Country, because today we're in Japan.
Now, this might look like a cute little English pub.
It is, but it was taken down brick by brick
and then transported thousands of miles across the ocean
so that local samurai warlord Yoshi Hirohito
could enjoy a good old-fashioned pint of English beer.
Now, if you believe all that, you'll think I was well placed
to enter a very famous local competition in these parts.
So am I in Japan or aren't I? Join me in a few moments
and I'll tell you.
Today's house-hunters are looking for a country retreat
to create a classy bed-and-breakfast,
so a period property with character is definitely on the menu.
-I love it.
-I'm so impressed.
The right location is key to the move.
It's just the view, isn't it? It's just amazing.
But will we find the perfect balance between business and pleasure?
Three businesses in one. It's a good option.
Well, today we're not, of course, in Japan.
We're actually in the Lake District in the heart of Cumbria,
and this pub is the setting for the World's Biggest Liar Competition.
Every year hundreds gather here from all over the world
to regale each other with their porkies,
and, of course, they've all caught fish this big.
It all started around about 100 years ago,
when local landlord Will Ritson would tell stories around the bar.
One of his best was that local turnips here grew so big,
you could hollow them out and use them as cowsheds.
It's just another example of the local colour
that makes this part of the world so appealing.
Looking out over the Irish Sea in the northwest of the country,
Cumbria is the third-largest English county.
Mostly rural, the landscape is dominated
by the magnificent Lake District National Park,
and its beauty has inspired some of Britain's most famous poets.
Wordsworth and Coleridge waxed lyrical about these crystal-clear lakes,
far-reaching mountains and panoramic vistas.
As one of Britain's least inhabited areas,
it's certainly a place where you can wander lonely as a cloud,
with only 47 residents per square mile,
making it the perfect retreat for those wanting peace and quiet.
But it's not just natural wonders that attract sightseers.
It's also the picture-postcard villages
with packhorse bridges, attractive cottages
and Lakeland-stone farmhouses
which make the Lake District somewhere to write home about.
To be honest, I think house prices here in Cumbria are pretty fair.
Your average detached will set you back
somewhere in the region of £253,000.
That's 2.5 percent below the national average.
But if you move into the National Park,
want something with a view or lakeside,
you really are going to pile on the pounds.
But don't be put off. As you can see, there is something for everyone.
For £250,000, you could own a piece of history.
This cottage forms part of a Grade II listed folly near Greystoke.
The open-plan ground floor uses the space efficiently.
The two bedrooms boast exposed beams,
and the views are everything you'd expect
from the glorious Cumbrian countryside.
Further up the property ladder,
this period cottage in Askham is on the market for £375,000.
Located in the higher reaches of the village,
the property takes in views of the Pennines and Askham Fell.
Inside, there's a contemporary kitchen, a spacious living area,
and three good-size bedrooms.
And last but not least, this 18th-century farmhouse
near Endmoor is on the market for £675,000.
The living area boasts a delightful feature fireplace.
The kitchen is stunning, and there are five spacious bedrooms,
all set within an attractive garden.
So if that tasty selection has whetted your appetite
and you fancy swapping your brogues for your walking boots,
you're in good company, because that's exactly what today's buyers want to do, too.
Ex-military man Moe and wife Julia, a literacy teacher,
are ready to relocate from their Darlington semi-detached
in County Durham.
Over the nine years they've been a couple,
Moe's been away serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,
so this move is all about quality time.
We want to move to the country because, um,
we've come to a point in our lives
where we want to move on together and do something together.
They're heading to the Lake District to pursue an outdoor lifestyle,
and the plan is to combine business with pleasure.
I think our preference would be for a B&B/guesthouse,
something that's of good quality that would appeal to us to go to,
and something that, when people come there,
will feel that it's more than what they have at home.
They're keen for something off the beaten track,
with access to walking trails in the National Park.
But how do they visualise their new home?
My ideal country property would be something that was detached,
had a little bit of land round it,
and gave us scope
to either go in and develop,
or to move in and set about our business straight away.
Although their six children are nearly all grown up,
Moe and Julia still want space for visiting family and holidaymakers.
So let's get into the details.
We need a minimum of three private bedrooms,
and ideally one with en suite, and a family bathroom.
We would want minimum of three letting rooms,
also with bathrooms already established.
If there is something outside in terms of barns or outhouses
that can be developed, we would definitely consider those.
They'd like a property with character,
and, if Moe finds a project, he's not afraid of grabbing some tools
and donning the developer's hard hat.
I've got reasonably good skills at doing DIY,
particularly from my father, who's passed on some of those skills.
Moe and Julia own two houses, collectively worth £500,000.
Both will be sold to fund the move, so how much have we got to play with?
I think the upper limit for our budget is about a million pounds.
If we really wanted to stretch ourselves,
perhaps 1.1 million.
There's no doubt that Moe and Julia are taking on quite a lot
in this move to the Lakes. They've got to combine a home with a successful business.
They do want somewhere that's tranquil and quiet,
with stunning views. As you can see, there's no shortage of those,
but, in looking for a B&B, there is something of a dilemma.
Many of them are near to busy settlements and main tourist routes.
It's obviously very good for trade, but, at a stroke,
that does cross off several potential properties from our list.
They also want to be within the National Park. That will be good for business,
but is going to come at a premium. So, on the face of it,
it sounds straightforward, but it is going to be a bit tricky.
But, with their fantastic budget, it's by no means going to be impossible.
Moe and Julia are flexible on location,
although they would like something in the National Park,
so we've concentrated the search just north of Keswick.
We'll view three prime properties, but we won't tell them the price
until the end of each tour.
And then, of course, there's the mystery house,
a building that may need reinventing to match their country dream.
-Hi, guys! Nice to see you.
Welcome back to the Lakes. This is an old haunt for you.
-I don't blame you. On a day like this,
-where else would you want to live?
Absolutely stunning. You know, it's one thing coming on holiday here,
but being committed to a B&B, the building and your guests,
is very different.
Yeah, I think we've given it a lot of thought,
and lots of research...
I get the sense that nothing has been left to chance.
With true military planning, you've gone through this with a fine-tooth comb.
If we're going to do it, we should do it seriously,
so we've looked at a number of properties already. We know it's going to be hard work.
The important thing is that we provide a service
that people would expect. We've been to a lot of places,
both here in the Lakes and also elsewhere and abroad,
so we want to provide a service that we would like.
So this is going to be high-end B&B.
It'll be open to everybody price-wise,
but in terms of quality, it will be top of the range.
We're going to need something big, but we have got a big budget.
-Just remind us of the figures.
-Well, the budget -
we can stretch to, probably, £1,150,000.
Well, we've got a great budget, obviously,
and a beautiful day, as you can see, so let's see what we can find you.
So, with a top budget of £1.15 million,
Moe and Julia want a bespoke B&B inside the National Park.
They'd like a period property with a minimum of six bedrooms,
and some outbuildings.
This is the first time, I suppose,
you're going to be able to live together properly.
In essence, yeah. This will be the best opportunity we've had
for some time, if we can get the business sorted.
I think, once you get me up here, that's it!
THEY LAUGH You won't get me away.
I look forward to coming back in a year and having a cup of tea.
-We'd love to have you.
Just a mile from the picturesque village of Bassenthwaite,
our first property is a short stroll from the lake of the same name -
a perfect place to enjoy that cuppa.
And Moe and Julia can wander the nearby fells,
and the local sailing club offers access onto the lake if they ever tire of walking.
After a day's activities, there are many local pubs on tap.
It's an idyllic location for our keen ramblers,
and anyone that comes to stay.
Right! Come on in.
What do you reckon?
-Different from the front.
I can't figure it out at all.
It's what is your classic Lakeland B&B, in some respects.
You can see the sign there, B&B and caravans,
so they're also scoring on that market, as well.
-The building itself is about 1880.
Classic local barn. As you can see, great big barn doors there.
Converted about six years ago.
-And, believe you me, they have packed an awful lot in.
-Yeah? Come on, then. Let's have a look.
'Moe and Julia wanted character,
'and this barn conversion certainly has it in spades.'
Great. You can grab the door, Moe.
come on in.
Yeah! I like the stone wall and I love the old beams.
-Looks like there's great views...
-Looks exceptional, yeah.
-..which are what it's all about.
That's what it's all about. It's an interesting one.
There is always more than one way to convert a barn,
because, if anything, you've got a great big box.
They've done it in such a way that you've got this central living area,
and then, as you can see, we've got some galleries round about,
along with the grandfather clock to keep the guests happy.
Keep them on time for breakfast! That's the most important thing.
OK. Now, off of the main living area,
we've got what they're using as their guests' dining room,
and also would double up as a family dining area.
Yeah. It feels cosy.
-Yeah. The obvious point here is that you are sharing your space.
How does that feel?
-Ideally we'd probably want it separate.
But depends what else it brings with it.
-As we go round, start thinking about how you'd reapportion space.
-This wall, I think...
-Could come down.
-It's not listed.
-That's an advantage, isn't it?
Gives you options, doesn't it?
It does, because you'd end up with the great big kitchen you're after.
That wall, if it could go,
would be instrumental in transforming this half of the house.
-It'll open it up quite well, then.
This is the business end of any B&B, in some respects,
so you are going to want plenty of space.
'Adjacent to the kitchen is the utility room.
'On the other side of the living area, the B&B accommodation
'consists of three double bedrooms, all with en suite.
'But we're going to explore the rather quirky configuration upstairs.'
-You see what I mean?
It's dominated by this sort of bridge,
which overlooks the main living area where we started.
We've got these two little galleried areas
which cut across that,
and then effectively two rooms which mirror each other
on either side, and a little study area down there.
-I like that.
-Yeah. It's different, isn't it?
-It's very different!
-It's a character.
Oh, it's got lots of character. Come and have a look through here.
It reminds me of a ski chalet.
So, what's on offer is a dressing area down there,
One leads to the seating area there,
and then this one down into, obviously,
-an area for the bed.
-I like it.
-The whole thing is dominated by that beam...
..which is the quirky bit. I don't know what you make of it.
Oh, it's a nice feature, I think.
Most people living in a town or city would never see anything like this.
You can make a feature of it, as you say.
But we haven't even got to the holiday lets yet.
-Oh, I was forgetting about those.
-We've got three of those on offer.
It may be that you think, "Actually, all we need are three holiday lets,"
and then the whole barn becomes home.
-Keep it as private accommodation.
'With visiting family more of a definite than a possibility,
'I think Moe and Julia should consider using the house
'as private accommodation, because the three holiday lets
'can provide the income they require,
'and two of them are positioned right below the main residence.'
-These are huge.
-Gosh, it's much bigger than I expected!
-Come in, Moe. What do you reckon?
-Yeah. Excellent space.
And you've also got this area here, which is quite nice -
very simple little kitchenette.
Nicely appointed. It's all pretty new.
So these are going out for anything up to 500 a week
-in the peak of the season.
-That's very good.
-Yeah, it's really good.
-And you've got three of them.
And if you do get really busy,
-you can always spill over into the B&B if you really want to.
-You've got the scope to do that.
This let has two good-size double bedrooms
and a family bathroom to the rear.
Next door there's a self-contained three-bed let,
and across the courtyard, a converted stable offers another two-bed holiday annexe.
Outside, there's an outbuilding and an area for caravans.
Come on through. I'll shut the gate because of the chickens.
-But you also get these two barns.
-Useful bit of storage again.
That's very useful.
And this is the extent of the landholding that you get,
-defined by the mown area and the wire fence.
This is an area for five caravan pitches.
The nice thing with the caravans, they are pretty much self-contained,
so whilst some sites have shower blocks, there isn't one here, and it's not necessary.
It's just the view, isn't it? It's just amazing.
-And then Skiddaw over here.
-Yeah. That is stunning.
-Let's have a think about how this stacks up
against your £1.15 million, though.
I think 750, 850 mark, something like that.
-I think he's optimistic.
Three businesses? No, it's got to be nearer the million mark,
definitely, I think.
-Well, you are not far off, madam.
-Oh, wasn't I?
This could be yours for £950,000.
-So it's 200 grand under your maximum spend.
Obviously you could use that to reconfigure things
-and spec it up as you would want.
-Lots to think about!
And lots more to see. Go and have a good old nose around.
Figure out the geography, because it's quite a plan to figure out,
-and I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
-OK. Thank you!
-I'll have a chat with the chickens. Why not?
A pretty good reaction to our first offering,
and well under budget at £950,000.
With a total of five bedrooms in the main house
and three holiday lets, there's no shortage of space.
Outside there are two acres, and room for caravans,
offering another revenue stream.
The location is simply spectacular,
but what do our aspiring B&B owners think?
Three businesses in one... It's a good option.
-A very good option. The versatility of it is really appealing.
I think it's workable. I think we could use both the space here,
the upstairs bedrooms and the bedrooms currently being used
as B&B. I think that's all workable.
It's quite a lot of money,
but I do feel we could run with it the way it is.
-Right, then! Come on! Out you come.
There's lots more to show you, but this was a good one to start with.
-Very good. Lots of potential,
-lots of things to think about.
-And you hadn't thought of it before?
No. Actually, I can't believe we hadn't!
The Lake District's first official foray into tourism
dates back to the 18th century, when sightseeing was a completely different affair than it is today.
The Georgian approach was a highly structured scene-setting extravaganza.
A specific walking route had to be taken
to conceal any sight of the subject until reaching the lookout.
These locations became so popular that shelters were built,
and Claife viewing station on the west side of Lake Windermere
is the most complete example remaining today.
Victorian landscape artists were regular visitors
to these viewing stations, so we sent Moe and Julia
to meet up with National Trust expert Paul Farrington
to find out more.
They would come to these viewing stations,
they would observe these stunning views,
and they would often use a thing called a Claude glass or mirror,
and they'd stand with their back to the classic view, like this,
to sort of frame the view and miniaturise it,
and then they would use that image to sketch.
If you weren't an artist, you would just come there,
and it would just be a way of locking that classic view
in your memory, which sounds a little bit odd,
but it's only the same as photography
that we do today, really, capturing that memory and that image.
But it was during the 19th century that an artist,
social reformer and prominent Victorian by the name of John Ruskin
fell in love with the area, moving to Brantwood in 1872,
to live in an elegant home overlooking Coniston Water.
General manager of the Brantwood Trust, Rachel Litten,
is giving Moe and Julia an insight into the man
and the property that he purchased sight unseen.
He was interested in social issues, wasn't he?
Yes, he was, and many of his ideas we see evidence of today.
He was very concerned about the conditions people were working in
in Victorian industrial towns and cities,
and he actually formed the Guild of St George,
because he wanted to be sure that people could get education,
have access to public libraries, have access to books,
have access to art.
Being a man for all seasons, he also designed everything,
from wallpaper to musical instruments,
many of which are on show inside Brantwood.
There's quite interesting pieces in here,
especially the musical instrument.
This is a ziffern that Ruskin designed and had made,
but there's other evidence of Ruskin's interest in music.
This was his upright piano here.
-And did he collect paintings...
-..on his travels?
Yes. He had the paintings of his favourite artists
on the walls here at Brantwood,
so although he designed the wallpaper,
he probably wouldn't have seen a lot of it,
because it would have been crammed with paintings in his collection.
Ruskin was enchanted by life, and famously said,
"It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends."
With so many contributions to modern society,
Ruskin clearly lived by this motto.
But he wasn't the only Lake District local to make contributions to the arts.
Celebrated poet William Wordsworth
was born just two miles from our second property
in the market town of Cockermouth. Historically significant buildings
such as the old brewery, the Old Court House and Wordsworth House
have been beautifully maintained, and the charming terraced homes
of the workers, built during the Industrial Revolution, are still in good order today.
The town is situated on the River Cocker,
and in the past it has suffered flooding,
but this hasn't stopped the preservation of Cockermouth's unique character.
Just inside the National Park, our second property has plenty to offer Moe and Julia.
Come down here. This is where the whole thing comes together.
It's amazing. So pretty.
The good news is that you don't have to live in that building, either.
-You've got your own accommodation.
-What, a tent?
It's better than a tent. Come and look at this.
OK. So, this is the back of what we've just looked at.
This is the back of the old farmhouse,
and we're going to explore everything that this has to offer
in all of its glory later, but this is for you.
Oh, my goodness!
'One of the considerations with our first property
'was how to separate the bedrooms into private and business.
'But with this one, the options are obvious.'
OK. Come on in.
Oh, my goodness! JULES LAUGHS
-Come on in, Moe.
-Now I'm impressed.
Oh, you're not going to get me away from here.
Moe's just said, "Now I'm impressed."
Well, that's good going, because he's not always impressed.
-The colonel's happy. That's good.
-That's very good.
The nice thing about this is that this is just for you.
You don't have to cook your B&B breakfasts in here
because you've got another kitchen next door.
Through there you've got a generous boot room, utility, downstairs loo,
and so forth, and just over my shoulder, through that door,
a nicely appointed study,
or could be a snug, if you want a second reception room.
-I'm so impressed!
Let's have a think about where you might relax after a hard day
looking after your guests. Just through here.
'An excellent response so far, and it just gets better from here.'
Now, could you switch off in here?
-This is, again, very good.
-Well, this is all new.
Obviously the shell was here, but this whole arrangement
of the chimney breast, the wood burner,
the whole thing has been redesigned to provide a fantastic family space.
Upstairs we've got you three bedrooms
-for you and your guests.
And, as you would expect, they're quite nice, really.
I bet they are! THEY LAUGH
'The downstairs has clearly impressed,
'and upstairs there's plenty of space for the children when they come to stay,
'and an impressive master suite for Moe and Julia.'
OK, so this would be for you two.
-And the finish, as you can see,
is just as good as downstairs, very, very cosy.
That's a little en suite in here. Well, I say "little" -
-it's quite nice.
-Yeah. Very nice.
-Very good standard.
And in here, this is every girl's dream.
You'd better have a look, then.
Oh, yeah. All mine?
Well, you can argue over who gets how much of that.
You have got plenty of room to play with. You'll be all right.
-But I think the main event for you two
is across the courtyard. Ten more bedrooms to look at.
I can't imagine what it's like! This is the way it is.
-The business end.
-Come and have a look.
The other two double bedrooms are both finished to a high standard,
and share a large family bathroom. But we're testing
Moe and Julia's daily commute - not bad, at about ten seconds.
This is where the hard work is...
Yeah. THEY LAUGH
..for you two, although great fun for your guests.
You're greeted with this extraordinary old bread oven. Again, lovely feature to have,
-and something your guests are going to remember.
Oh, my goodness! This is great space!
Oh, the beams!
It feels cosy.
'So that's where the guests relax.
'But now for Moe's mess hall.'
How about this kind of refectory look?
-Yes, it is, isn't it?
You can separate people, if they want to sit on their own,
but it's quite a busy focus for everything,
and even though all the bedrooms are beautifully appointed,
next door you've got somewhere to drift into.
If you've made friends over dinner or met them on the mountain,
-you can carry it on through there.
-Socialise if you want to.
'Next to the dining area, the kitchen is modern and practical.
'In terms of sleeping quarters,
'there are five en-suite double bedrooms,
'including two with disability access on the ground floor,
'and a further five en-suite doubles upstairs.'
-This brick is lovely!
And the wear on the steps is lovely, too.
Come in here. Let's start with this one,
the Master's Room.
-There we go.
Mmm! HE LAUGHS
Yeah? Four-poster, something for the guests to relax in.
And, of course, as you'd expect, you know,
-nice little en suite in there.
-Oh, I love the shelves.
-It's deceiving. It's much bigger than you would expect.
Well, the whole thing, the scale of what's on offer
-is just extraordinary.
And outside, there are one and a half acres for the guests to enjoy.
But all this does come at a cost.
So, here we are, then, pretty much where we started.
There it is. Now you know what's inside...
I know. This is the bit I don't want to hear.
-I'll probably be left with a penny,
but I shall say 1.1.
-I'm a bit more reserved.
I think probably one million.
OK. Yeah, not bad.
This is going to set you back
-This is your budget.
-Yeah. Absolutely top.
-But you don't need to do anything to it.
-No, you don't.
Go and mull it over. Go and explore more bedrooms.
There's plenty more to see. I'll catch up with you later.
-All right. Come on.
-OK. Thank you.
For £1.15 million,
this stunning property offers a detached private home
for Moe and Julia, ten large bedrooms for the B&B,
and outside it has 1.5 acres of land
in an idyllic National Park location.
You can see why people would want to come back again and again.
People will think it's really special. It is! It's so special.
The price tag is on the limit for us,
and that is a consideration, but yeah, I like it a lot.
So, as the sun settles behind the lakes and fells of north Cumbria,
Moe and Julia have plenty to discuss
after their first day of house-hunting.
Today's buyers are looking for a B&B with character and style
inside the Lake District National Park.
Moe's just said, "Now I'm impressed."
But what will they make of the mystery house,
a property that's never been used as a B&B,
situated outside the National Park?
Oh, my goodness!
If you're familiar with the Lake District,
you'll also know the local adage that you can have four seasons in one day here.
But we're blessed with another glorious start
to our final day's house-hunting. Yesterday was particularly exciting,
but we've got one more property to come.
It is mystery-house time. That has an awful lot to beat,
but, do you know what? We might be all right.
Today's mystery house is just outside the National Park border
in the conservation village of Greystoke.
Situated on the Coast to Coast cycle route,
and having access to plenty of rural activities,
this village has much to offer the budding B&B hunter.
Just ten minutes from the M6,
holidaymakers would have no trouble getting to and from the property.
But Moe and Julia have their hearts set on a National Park location,
so it will be interesting to see if the pros outweigh the cons.
There you go. This is our mystery house for you.
Unlike all the other properties we've shown you,
-this is not currently a B&B.
It is still a private house,
but it's got a lot of room, a lot of rooms,
-and would very easily become a B&B.
It's early Georgian, so it's been here a long time.
Is this the sort of thing that you've looked at before?
-Um, not on this scale.
-Not on this scale!
This is the sort of property that would be,
yeah, as a business would be definitely attractive.
OK, right. Let's see what you make of the inside.
'This is undoubtedly the grandest of the three houses we've seen.
'So, if Moe and Julia want to be lord and lady of the manor,
'this is the property for them.'
So, this is the, um, the front door.
-Nice, isn't it?
I think your guests would be quite moved by this.
Come on in.
-Great first impression, yeah.
-It's what you'd expect, isn't it,
in a grand country house. And then through here, something of a study
or smaller reception room, but come through here.
Oh, yes! I like it. Love the high ceilings.
This has a greater instant impact on me
-than the other two.
-I can tell! You're smiling!
It's the history. It's the solidness of the building.
It's the quality of the work, despite some tarnishing
-that's perhaps gone on.
you know, you could use this room now,
-and just gradually do what you needed to do.
OK. Well, let's keep exploring. There's so much of it.
Let's go next door and have a look in here.
Now, I think in this room you get a better sense of...
The fireplace is still there, which is rather nice.
A few other details, not least the floorboards...
-Brilliant. They're lovely.
-Very good condition.
It's so light. Great aspect.
-It's great. I love it.
-Good. Right. OK.
Let's have a look through here.
'The property is split into three parts.
'On the other side of the drawing room,
'there's a self-contained apartment boasting five bedrooms
'over two levels. But we're going to explore the kitchen for the main residence.'
Oh, this is great!
-Yeah. Love it.
This is the older bit of the property,
-now currently the family kitchen.
-But this is what we want.
OK. We're going to continue our whistle-stop tour of this one,
because it is so big. Let's go upstairs into the main part of the house,
and see what you think of that.
'This wing of the house has another self-contained three-bed flat,
'accessed from the courtyard, but Moe and Julia can explore that later.
'For now, I want them to experience where they could be sleeping.'
Now, we're calling this the master.
To be honest, they're all pretty interchangeable.
We often talk about things being a labyrinth. This place really is.
Because it's been chopped about over the years,
it's all in different chunks. There's a lot to take in
and make sense of. Let's go downstairs now,
and look at another chunk.
'The other three spacious bedrooms are of a similar size
'to the master, and there's a family bathroom.
'But Moe does fancy an outbuilding to develop,
'and I'm not the sort to let him down.'
Oh, my goodness!
I mean, we could sell this on its own.
It's a very pretty option, this.
-Yes, it is.
-Good space in front of it, isn't there?
You could have it completely separate.
It needs to be totally transformed. On the left we've got stables.
We've got the old coach house to the right, with the door.
And above it, the old groom's quarters.
-Great potential. Yeah.
-It could turn over some money.
-So...what do you think it's all worth?
-Oh, again, I think it's top end.
-One million, 25 thousand.
-One million 25. Yeah.
I think it's going to be...
just slightly under the million.
-Hm. I wish it were. I really wish it were.
All in all, your five acres, the coach house,
-an extraordinary building...
-We agree with that.
-Yeah. It is amazing.
-All of that will set you back
Look, there's a lot of it. Here is the ground plan.
-Pages of it. It's very, very complicated.
-Go and study that. Have a look around.
-I'll catch up with you later.
-Thank you so much.
There is plenty to consider for £1.1 million.
This period property offers a total of 12 bedrooms.
It's got nearly five acres of land,
and there's a coach house that's ripe for development.
Based on their reactions, I think Moe and Julia can really visualise themselves in this building.
First impact was amazing. It is such a fabulous building.
I love it.
On the whole, I think it offers so much,
both to us in terms of a project, but also to potential customers
if we were to go ahead and develop it.
-This makes sense of it now.
-It does. Better layout.
-Yeah, and potential over here.
-Especially with these buildings.
-Have you figured it out yet?
-We've sorted out the first floor,
-and that's about it.
-You've got several pages to go!
This is an amazing building. There is so much to it.
It's going to take a while for it all to sink in.
The key thing is to get you away from here,
somewhere quiet where you can think about everything we've shown you,
-and then I shall quiz you about what happens next.
From the fell-wandering guides of Alfred Wainwright
to the poetry of Wordsworth, the Lake District has inspired writers
for centuries, and in these parts, storytelling is considered no less of an art.
One of the local pubs in the Wasdale Valley has long been the stage
for many a tall tale.
Home to the World's Biggest Liar Competition,
I've come to the Santon Bridge inn to meet Howard Christie,
previous winner of this prestigious title.
Oh, very good. Hi, Howard. How are you?
-Nice to see you.
Cheers. Now, then, you are a past master at this lying game.
When did you first enter it?
I think 1997.
Certainly last century.
-And how many times have you won it?
-I've won it twice and come third once.
'The competition is held in memory of Will Ritson,
'a 19th-century publican that insisted he'd mated his foxhound
'with an eagle, so the pups could jump over the Lake District's drystone walls.'
Give us a sense of the rules, as a past winner.
You get up, you stand up, and you speak your lie,
and the idea being that should be the start of a story
which has got maybe a little bit of truth in it,
and then it leads on into something that's a little bit more surreal
and a bit more fun.
'Under the tongue-in-cheek rules,
'politicians and lawyers are banned from taking part,
'as they are considered too practised in the art.'
What do you win? Is there a trophy, a ribbon, or...
There's a very large trophy.
It takes about three people to lift it.
There is a very large monetary prize,
and, of course, best of all, there is a tie.
The only thing I believe there is the tie.
-No, no. All three are true.
-So, how much money's involved?
Well, for these parts, it's huge. It's £25.
Oh, right. So it is a big prize. And how big is the cup?
-Is it like the fish? Does it get bigger every year?
It is big. It does require two or three sturdy lads to carry it.
-At no point am I going to get any truth out of you, am I?
Well, Howard, I wish you all the very best of luck, mate,
-in November. Here's to a third victory. Cheers.
Legend has it that a visiting bishop who stumbled across the contest
declared, "I've never told a lie in my life."
The judges promptly declared him that year's winner,
and if you believe that, I know of a bridge that's for sale.
Well, it is, of course, now decision time for Moe and for Julia.
When we first set out on this house search,
they said they wanted us to give them new perspectives,
different options on finding their ideal country retreat.
My concern is that we've left them a little bit spoilt for choice.
Well, let's go and ask them.
-Well, guys, how are we?
-Very good, thank you.
-A little bit confused, possibly?
Just a bit. THEY LAUGH
When we met originally, you said you wanted a different perspective
on your search. Have we given you that?
-Yeah, I think so. In all three properties,
-there's been something different to take in.
Let's think about the first one - an up-and-running B&B
with three holiday lets underneath it,
with the caravan site, as well.
What do you think about that one?
I liked the fact it was very homely.
-It was a fabulous location.
I liked the barn, the ability to do the three different things there,
the B&B, the lets and the caravan. It's a good thing.
I wouldn't want to dismiss it without thinking about it again.
Then we took you to our second property,
which, I have to say, I thought was extraordinary.
Yeah. It was beautiful. I love the location,
love the building. Everything was just beautiful.
It really was. I loved it, really, really loved it.
In particular, what was impressive was the private accommodation,
because all the things we've looked at so far,
it's been an issue with the private accommodation -
either you're in the basement, or there isn't enough space.
That gave us everything, and the standard, as well. Very impressive.
By the time we'd finished our second day,
and that wonderful building, I was thinking we'd done it all.
But we had one more to come, of course - the mystery house.
Come on, Moe. I thought you rather fell in love with that one.
I think it's a fantastic building.
Location-wise it gives us what we were after,
despite the fact that it's outside the National Park.
I think what it gave us was the country feel.
It's got plenty of space around it. But the building itself,
both the exterior and the interior, fantastic.
That's the sort of impression you want to create
-when you have paying guests.
For me, being outside the National Park,
it's going to have to take a little bit of adjustment,
but I think it has so many pluses for it.
So we have given you a really interesting range of possibilities.
What would be your choice, left to your own devices?
It would be between the second house and the mystery for me, definitely.
I would go for the mystery house straight away.
Brilliant. It's been a real treat showing you round.
You've been fantastic sports. Let us know how you get on,
-and, as ever, best of luck.
-Thank you so much.
It's been brilliant.
When the weather is like this, I defy anybody
not to fall in love with Cumbria,
which is exactly what Moe and Julia have done.
And the property market hasn't disappointed us either.
We've given them some fantastic options.
But I suspect the planning and the thinking will go on for some time.
When eventually they do create their gorgeous bespoke boutique B&B,
next time I come up here, I know where I'll be staying.
I'll see you next time.
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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?