Nicki Chapman is in Nottinghamshire, house hunting with a couple seeking their 14th and final home. She also takes lessons from a master bowyer in Sherwood Forest.
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This ancient and magnificent oak is thought to be around 1,000 years old.
It's the biggest in Britain and stands in one of the most famous forests in the world.
Where am I? Find out in just a merry moment.
'On today's show, we'll be trying to unite a pair of rolling stones
'with different idea of what they want from their dream rural home.'
-I'm quite open to open-plan.
-I'm closed to open-plan.
'Though we do find some common ground.'
-She's like Imelda Marcos with shoes.
Today, I'm in Nottinghamshire, in the heart of Sherwood Forest.
Once a royal hunting ground, it was also home to the legendary outlaw Robin Hood.
There are 900 veteran trees on this 450-acre site,
including this one, the famous Major Oak.
The story goes, in the 12th century, Robin and his merry men
hid in a hollowed out trunk of an oak tree here in the forest.
But it couldn't have been this one, because back then,
this tree would only have been a mere 200 years old.
'Lying in the East Midlands, covering just under 850 square miles,
'Nottinghamshire is divided by the River Trent,
'the third largest river in England.
'Of course, Nottinghamshire is internationally renowned
'as home to the infamous heroic outlaw Robin Hood
'who is said to have lived in the leafy depths of Sherwood Forest.
'The southern walls and eastern regions
'managed to avoid the heavy-duty industrialisation in the north
'and remain largely rural and agricultural.
'One unique example of farming practice can be seen in Laxton,
'a small village dating back to the 11th century Norman conquest.
'The arable land here is cultivated according to a traditional medieval system
'with a three-year crop rotation and is the last surviving open-field village in the country.'
Despite everything Nottinghamshire has to offer,
you may be surprised to learn that house prices here
are 26 percent below the national average for a detached property.
So, if you want your pounds and pence to stretch a country mile,
this could be the place for you.
Let's take a look at what's currently on the market.
'This novel four-bed converted windmill in the Vale of Belvoir
'comes with a price tag of £290,000.
'Though it's a rather extraordinary property,
'it has all the hallmarks of a typical family home,
'albeit with unusually curved walls.
'Or £395,000 could buy this grand four-bedroom country lodge in Coddington.
'The oak wood hallway leads to generous living and dining areas
'with beamed ceilings and feature fireplaces.
'Finally, parts of this outstanding listed five-bedroom residence
'in Westborough date all the way back to the 1400s.
'Priced at £665,000,
'its historic features are impressive,
'from the incredible vaulted ceilings to the former dovecote,
'which is now an impressive snooker room.'
There you go. Some great properties here in Nottinghamshire with three more coming up.
But we need a couple to show them to, so let's meet today's buyers.
'Our escapees today are serial house-buyers Anthony,
'who runs his own company, and his wife Linda, a medical secretary.
'Their present home is a three-bedroom villa in Bath
'and, due to Tony's career, it's the 13th house they've lived in
'during their 36 years of marriage.
'But now work commitments have changed, so they're finally
'free to find somewhere in the countryside to put down some roots.'
We've lived in some great parts of the country.
But a lot of those decisions were forced.
Reorganisation. They were dictated by work. We had no choice.
And now we've no children at home, everyone's gone through education,
so we now feel it's our time to go back home,
which is what we've always wanted to do, go back to Nottingham.
'So, the 14th move will take them back to their home county.
'Where exactly in Nottinghamshire do they want to be?'
-I wouldn't like to be too remote.
-But we're flexible, anywhere out towards Southwell, Newark,
anywhere in that eastern quarter.
'With so much house-buying experience,
'this couple must have a clear idea about the type of house they're after.'
I'd like a house with character.
I'm not too bothered about too much character.
I'm quite open to anything, really.
I will know the house when I walk in it, whether it's the right one or not.
A detached property with three double bedrooms, preferably.
Decent-size reception room, dining/kitchen.
-Linda definitely wants a conservatory if we can manage one.
-And a good garden, a nice garden.
Oh, gosh, yeah, we've got to have a garage.
In fact, we've got to have a double garage
because my motorbike can't stay outside.
But we won't compromise on the location, that's a definite.
-We don't want to live on a main road.
-No main road.
And my personal preference is nothing open-plan.
-I'm quite open to open-plan.
-Well, I'm closed to open-plan.
'So, it looks like there could be a conflict of tastes here,
'though Tony's hoping for the final say when it comes to his work environment.'
It's not ideal, working from a dining room table.
I mean, I've got 400 or 500 research books in the office
that I'd like to have a home for.
So a decent home study would be fantastic.
'And, when the working day is done, how else will they be spending their time?'
This move would enable me to retire and then I could do some voluntary work in the local hospice.
I'd like to play more golf and get out on my motorbike in the countryside.
I'm just going to be as free as a bird.
'They bought their Bath property back in 2003 for £360,000.
'But to find out its current market value, we've invited a local estate agent around.'
It's rare to find a detached period house this close to the centre.
It's in a great road, it's a wonderful house
and on that basis, I'd value the house at £500,000.
'By selling, they hope to free up some equity and reduce their mortgage.
'So, with that in mind, what's the final figure for the Nottinghamshire property?'
The budget for the move, you may hear two views on this,
No, it's £350,000.
The budget for the move is up to a maximum of £350,000.
So, Tony and Linda have decided that this, their 14th move, is going to be their last.
And, in their own words, they've decided to come home to Nottinghamshire
because of its rural peace and quiet.
Now, they know what they need from a property and location,
but what Linda and Tony aren't so clear on is the type of property they're after.
They've said they'll know it when they see it.
Well, let's hope "it" is one of the properties we've chosen to show them.
'Location is key to our buyers,
'so our house-hunt will take us to Nottinghamshire's picturesque villages surrounding Southwell,
'close to where Tony was brought up and within reasonable travelling distance
'to Nottingham City where Linda's relatives live.'
'We've lined up some stunning family homes
'but I won't be revealing the price of any of our properties until they've each had a guess.
'And, of course, we'll end our house tour at the mystery property,
'where we'll be taking our buyers right out of their comfort zone.'
-Tony, Linda, welcome to Nottinghamshire. Actually, I should say welcome home.
-And you're desperate to come back.
-We'd like to come back.
We're coming home. Nottinghamshire's our home. It's the right time for us to do it.
-That's what we decided.
-You have a time in life where you want to do things and...
-This is it.
-This is it.
-Cease the moment.
-Cease the moment.
-The children have grown up now and left home, so...
-It's our time now.
So, if we find your ideal property, out of the two of you, who's going to make the final decision?
I'd like to say I'll have an influence, but Linda will make the decision.
Well, we've got some fantastic houses lines up and, of course, we have the mystery property.
-Are we ready to get started?
-I think so.
-Come on, then.
'For a maximum budget of £350,000,
'Tony and Linda want a detached character property with three double bedrooms,
'a kitchen/diner, two reception rooms,
'a study with enough room for a few hundred books
'and a conservatory.
'Outside, they're after a decent-size garden for their dog
'and Tony wants a double garage for his beloved motorbike.
'The house needs to be located on the edge of a village,
'not too remote, and away from main roads.
'So, with all that to consider, let's get this house-hunt underway.'
Having bought and sold so many homes,
you guys must be the experts. You should be telling me what to do.
It's been great fun moving but, yeah, you learn by your experience,
you make a few mistakes as you go along.
-You learn that you can fix most things.
-You can't fix the location, though.
'Well, it's our aim to take Linda and Tony to some inspiring locations in this house quest.
'Starting with our first property, which is in the village of Oxton, five miles west of Southwell.
'Oxton is an attractive village surrounded by a green belt of fields and meadows.
'The open countryside makes ideal dog-walking territory
'and there are plenty of footpaths.
'Oxton also has two pubs, a post office and a farm shop.'
-And this is your first property.
-A good first impression?
-What do you think, Tony?
-I think it's got nice kerb-side appeal. It does look lovely.
-A nice, pretty cottage.
-It is a pretty cottage. Ready to take a look inside?
'This pleasant double-fronted cottage was built around 1860
'and even though it's right in the centre of the village, it's a peaceful and quiet location.'
Come straight through.
Into the first of the two reception rooms.
-So you can see, this is the original part of the house.
-You've got the original beams, even though they've been painted over.
-Nice and bright.
-It's got what we want.
-First one, first room, let's see the rest.
-It's good. Good start.
OK. Let's continue to the second reception room, through here.
This is currently being used as a dining room.
Very nice. Nice size.
-You could get some great book shelves on that wall.
-Yeah, it's got room.
-A working fireplace, a second one.
-It's got a lot of character.
Yeah, it's got an authenticity about it, you know?
You feel that it's not been taken away from where it was
but it's modern enough to live in.
-It's really nice. I like it.
-There's a very important room I'm going to show you next, the kitchen/diner.
-Come on in.
-This is nice. I like this.
It's spacious, airy, bright.
I like the blue tiles. It's a nice size.
You've got storage behind me and into the side, there's a utility room with access to the garden,
which I think is always so handy and practical, especially in the country.
-And then you've got a shower room at the end which has only recently been refurbished.
We want to be happy, comfortable, relaxed
and I'm getting good vibes so far.
'A very positive start on the ground floor.
'So let's see what the vibes are giving off upstairs where we find the largest bedroom.'
So, here's your master bedroom.
-That's a good size.
-Yes, it's not far off what we've got now, is it?
Maybe a bit smaller. As long as we can get wardrobes in and a double bed, everything is fine.
They have large pieces of furniture in this cottage. It really can take it.
And next door, there's another bedroom which is exactly the same size
and it's got wall-to-wall storage, which is very handy.
-I don't know about you, but I need lots of wardrobe space.
-So do I.
-She's like Imelda Marcos with shoes.
We're talking the same talk.
-You've got your books!
So let's take a look at the third bedroom, which is at the back of the property.
-It might have the answer to your problem, Tony.
So, here's the third double.
Because of the aspect, looking out onto the garden, I think it would make a beautiful bedroom,
but it could also make a fantastic office-cum-library for you
with enough room for a sofa bed, as well.
-I like it.
-A sofa bed's fine, as long as we've got the facility for a bedroom.
-Yeah, it'd be nice to work in here.
-Look at that view of your garden.
-Nice and quiet.
'There's also a family bathroom up on this floor,
'which concludes the tour of the house.
'Time to go back downstairs and out into the garden.
'Immediately to the rear of the house is a paved patio
'and beyond that, a raised lawn.'
So here's your garden. It's a mature garden. Plenty of shrubs and trees.
Is this the sort of size that you had in mind?
The size is fine, yeah. We've got to have room for the dog to run, which this is.
-You did want a double garage.
-There's a single garage there. Quite a generous size.
Hopefully enough room to put the bike in there for you.
-There is scope.
So, I know you do really want to stick to your budget.
-The top of it is £350,000.
-So I'm told.
-By the good lady!
The question is, how much is this cottage currently on the market for?
-I would say around £340,000.
I'm going to go slightly lower, 329.
-Linda, you're closest.
This house, well, you'd get £5 change from your top budget of £350,000.
-Are you surprised?
No, I'm not surprised. It's a very quality-finished house in a really nice location.
-So, would you like another look around?
-Yeah, that'd be great.
-Cos you're quite taken with it.
-Take as long as you like and I'll catch up with you later on.
'our first offering is a charming character cottage in a quiet location,
'but in the heart of the village.
'It has two reception rooms, a large kitchen/diner with separate utility
'and three double bedrooms with plenty of scope for a study.
'Outside, it has a pretty, manageable garden and a single garage.
'All in all, our buyers get a lot of what they're looking for with this property
'and within budget, albeit by just a fiver.'
I just got the impression that I could be comfortable here.
I like the fact that it's in a village. I like the fact that it's got character.
There's things you can do with it, but it's not going to take all my time.
-Is this the kitchen that you wanted?
-I think so. It's a decent size. It's nice. I like the style.
It's big enough. It's got the dining space, which is what we wanted.
And I thought it was a really nice-looking property.
Very well maintained. Nice style.
Nice garden. Very nice house.
Right, guys, that's the first property. Have you seen enough?
-You think so? Tony, you close the door.
-And we'll make tracks.
'Both Tony and Linda were born and raised in Nottinghamshire, but left in 1974 when they got married,
'so they're keen to spend quality time getting reacquainted with the county,
'exploring its beautiful countryside and towns.
'During the week, they paid a visit to Southwell, the desirable and affluent market town
'known as Nottinghamshire's millionaire capital.
'The town is dominated by its magnificent cathedral with imposing pepper-pot towers.
'Local historian Roger Dobson was on hand to show our house-buyers around.'
What is so unique about Southwell is you've got here
a mightily impressive big church
and yet you've got a very, very small population.
It was originally built in the early 12th century,
the Norman period, and it was then a minster church.
In 1884, it was recognised finally as a cathedral,
so it is the seat for the area of Nottinghamshire.
-So is it a city or a town?
-Depends who you talk to.
It's a little bit like "South-well" and "Suth-el".
Is it a village, is it a town, it is a city?
And different people, different organisations, will have different interpretations.
-It's still Southwell Minster, anyway.
'With its impressive facade, the late 13th century chapter house is a real architectural feat,
'as it has the only octagon stone vaulted ceiling in England without a central support pillar.
'The interior is renowned for its fascinating freely-carved depictions
'that include a multitude of stone leaves.
'But that's not Southwell's only horticultural sensation.
'The town is also birthplace of the Bramley apple.
'The story goes that in the early 1800s,
'a young girl planted pips from an apple at the bottom of her garden.
'By the time it matured and bore fruit,
'the garden belonged to Matthew Bramley
'and, in 1856, a cutting from the tree was propagated with enormous success.
'Remarkably, the original Bramley tree is still standing and produces fruit
'and takes pride of place in the private garden of 90-year-old Nancy Harrison,
'who has kindly invited Tony, Linda and Roger for a closer look.'
It's just a wonderful tree. As you see, it's laden with fruit this year
and it's not been a good year for fruit.
-It needs some rain on it now.
-Do they make nice apple pies?
-Yes, I think they are the best cooking apples
and they're usually very large, very bright green, lovely apples.
And they keep, with care, right through the winter.
They're as good in March as they are when they're fresh-looking.
'The fruits from those few pips planted some 200 years ago
'are responsible for a Bramley apple industry that is worth £50 million a year.
'They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree,
'and it's certainly true of our buyers, who dream of returning to their home county.
'But first, we've got to find them a house, so it's back to the hunt.
'We got off to a very positive start with our first property
'and for our second location, we're staying within five miles of Southwell,
'but this time, heading north to Eakring.
'Set in a conservation area, Eakring is an idyllic village with a pub and a church.
'And it's a great base from which keen walkers Tony and Linda
'can explore the surrounding countryside.'
And here is your second property.
All of that? All of that.
-This house was built around 1953
and it's been extended three times since then.
-You look quite reserved.
-I'm reserved at the moment.
-Well, let me show you around. Come on.
'This is certainly a very different property to the first one.
'Built in the 1950s, it's a much later build. But what it may lack in traditional period character
'it more than makes up for in size.'
Come on through. We were thinking this would make a very good study-cum-library.
-Yes, it's certainly got the room.
-Plenty of storage space.
I like it.
-A slight difference of opinion. Cos you liked the outside, as well.
I did quite like the outside, yeah.
I'm distinctly unimpressed.
'Linda seems won over, but I think we're yet to convince Tony, despite all the room for his books.
'Let's see what they think of the kitchen.'
I think one of the most important rooms in the house, the kitchen.
Not as big as I was expecting. It's got everything, though.
It's got everything with the added bonus of having a large utility room next door.
Right next door, so nice and easy to get to.
That's a nice added bonus. And I can see that there is another bonus.
-Shall we take a look?
This is a conservatory.
-Is this large enough for you?
-This is a really nice aspect.
Beautiful onto the garden. And also, close proximity to the kitchen.
-I think you'd overflow naturally into here.
You could make more use of this than just a dining area, as well.
-Yeah. You could easily have sofas.
'As well as the huge eating area in the conservatory, there's also a separate dining room.
'And the ground floor doesn't end there.
'More reception space can be found in the second sitting room.'
Well, I quite like the space aspect, having been to the first house.
That was a real cottage, this is giving me another feel now, a different feel.
But this is giving me that space that I like.
I'm beginning to feel that I'm a bit agoraphobic
-cos there's too much space.
-Yin and Yang.
'I think we're going to have a tough job on our hands
'trying to please both Linda and Tony, as they each have such different ideas of what they want.
'Let's head upstairs and see if we can get a harmonious balance in the sleeping quarters.'
This is the master.
-It's a nice size.
-Loads of storage.
-Yeah. It's a bedroom.
-Yeah. You're not going to get that excited either way, are you?
But can I excite Linda with an en suite bathroom?
-Yes. So this is workable for you, big enough?
-It's certainly big enough.
-Linda, he's coming round.
-I'm saying the right things.
You are saying the right things! I'm quite liking what you're saying. I believe you.
'This house is really dividing our buyers and try as he might,
'Tony isn't yet convinced. But, with another three double rooms up here,
'they'll get one more bedroom than they asked for.
'And also, there's a family bathroom.
'Plus, we've got more to persuade Tony outside,
'including a double garage and a well-maintained garden.'
So, you've got to agree, a beautifully manicured lawn either side.
-It is, it's beautiful.
-It's a lovely garden. This is the type of garden I want.
It's big but it's easily maintained.
-Get the mower out. And it's just great.
-It is, it's lovely.
-You like the house, don't you?
-Does it give you that good, homely feel?
-It does, yeah.
Tony, you have been very complimentary about this house
and you've admitted it's got everything that you asked us to provide,
including the location.
But I get that sense of feeling it's not quite doing it for you.
I just feel, what's not to like about it?
But I can't find anything to love about it.
I'm going to ask you how much this house is currently on the market for.
I'd say it was at the top end of the budget, so I'd say 350.
-Because it's nearer Mansfield, 339.
-Who was right last time?
Guess what. Linda's on the nose. £350,000.
Top end of your budget.
But I want you both to have another look around. I think you should.
-I'll let you have a chat on your own and I'll catch up with you a little bit later.
'Smack-bang on budget at £350,000,
'the second property is an impressive detached house
'offering seriously spacious accommodation for the money.
'It pretty much ticks all the boxes our buyers requested and more,
'including four double bedrooms, three reception rooms,
'a kitchen/diner and a large conservatory.
'Outside, there's a low-maintenance garden and a double garage.
'Linda's enthusiasm for this house is evident.
'But will Anthony forgo his love of period character features
'to get a more extensive property?'
There's nothing to dislike about the house, but my heart wasn't singing.
Sometimes when you move, it's not just about the tick box,
it's the way you feel that you will feel about it in five years and ten years.
I really liked it. I just thought it was really homely, really immaculate, very nicely decorated
and I like it.
We've been able to get away with family houses
that we've liked cos they serve a purpose. I think this time it should be a little bit more special.
-You both ready to go?
Seen enough? Hasn't caused an argument, this house, has it?
-No, I wouldn't let a house do that.
-Just healthy discussion.
'As the sun sets on what's very much been a day of two halves in Nottinghamshire,
'the first chapter of our house-hunting journey comes to an end.
'With a budget of £350,000,
'Bath-based Tony and Linda are looking at making their 14th move a more permanent one.
'And they've chosen their original home turf of Nottinghamshire in which to finally settle.
'So far, we've shown them two lovely rural homes.
'The real challenge is matching their mutually exclusive tastes.'
-Well, I quite like the space.
-And I'm beginning to feel a bit agoraphobic cos it's too much space.
'And still to come, we've got the mystery house. But will we hit the bull's-eye?'
I don't know about you, but I thought yesterday was really interesting.
Out of the two houses we showed them, Linda could've moved into either of them.
But for Tony, it was a different story.
I think what he discovered was he wanted location and character.
Today, it's mystery property time.
I wonder what they'll think of this house.
'And to get to the mystery house, we're moving away from our buyers' desired location and heading south.
'But we are staying in the eastern region of the county,
'about 12 miles west of Nottingham, to the village of Aslockton.
'Lying in the Vale of Beaver and surrounded by farmland,
'Aslockton is a small and peaceful rural village with a 19th century church.
'There are a few small businesses and amenities to hand,
'including a pub and a newsagent with a post office.
'As for the mystery package, we've lined up a unique property
'built on rather an unusual layout, which might just be the one place
'that will bring this couple together. But it's not detached.
'In fact, it's an end of terrace.'
This is your mystery property. As you can see, it was one huge building,
built around 1872 and converted into three separate dwellings in the late 70s.
-The one we're going to look at is the one on the end, so it is semi-detached.
-But it has an added extension, which was done in the late 80s.
-From the outside, I quite like it, yes.
-You can't knock it for character.
-Full of character.
-Plenty of character!
-So it is a very unusual house. Shall we take a look inside?
'The mystery property is a conversion of a former malt house
'which is laid out on three levels, and it's clearly got the history and character that Tony wanted.
'But will the dimensions inside be suited to Linda?'
Now, just stand here and look up.
-Oh, this is nice.
-Yeah, this has the wow factor.
-It does have the wow factor.
-It's not something everybody's going to have, is it?
-It seems so much bigger inside than what you're expecting.
-This part of the property is quite open-plan.
-Which you didn't want.
-Which I didn't want, but it's not sprawling open-plan.
It's different, isn't it? It's a different type of...
-It's like galleried landings.
-It is. It's open-plan with a difference
and the great thing about this home is it has plenty of options for you, and I'll explain as we go around.
'The large open-plan reception hall has magnificent triple-height ceilings
'featuring characterful exposed woodwork and a bespoke staircase.
'There's so much space here. It's also being used as a TV and dining area.
'But next, let's head to the kitchen.'
-I know, in an ideal world, you wanted a nice, big kitchen.
You could actually take that wall out with an RSJ and extend it.
-You might like to keep it as it is. It's a large kitchen.
-Quite large. I would leave it as it is.
Maybe, eventually, knock the wall down.
But the units and everything, I would just leave completely as they are.
-Gives me a good feel, this house.
'Back through the reception hall and out through the extended wing,
'there are even more living areas, including a dining room.
'And next door to that, the main lounge, complete with a rustic wood-burning stove
'and some fabulous country views across open fields.'
So you've probably noticed by now, half the property is open-plan,
-but half of it isn't.
-Very traditional. Best of both worlds.
-I like everything so far.
-Do you? So you wouldn't really change anything.
-It's not often you can walk into a house and say that.
'Fantastic! We've happy customers all round on the ground floor.
'But there's another gem for Tony just up the staircase off the dining room.'
So this house actually has four bedrooms if you include this room,
which they're using as a bedroom-cum-office. Just round the corner, you can see it's being used.
Could be a perfect place for all your books.
-Perfect, isn't it?
-It is perfect.
-Office, library, gym?
Yeah, definitely. I'll never see you.
-Is that a wish list?
-And an overflow bedroom.
'Well, this place just keeps giving,
'and although our buyers aren't jumping up and down for joy,
'it's obvious they're quietly confident and really quite excited.
'Back down on the ground floor lie the main flight of stairs
'which lead to a huge galleried landing
'with even more storage for books and another office arrangement.
'And next up, we're going to take a look at what could be their master bedroom.'
-Well, that's a lot bigger than I was expecting.
It's like the TARDIS, this place. You don't expect it to be so big.
-And is that an en suite?
-Just everything fits.
-It's just so...perfect.
-I don't often hear that. That's lovely. Perfect.
Yeah, the house is great.
'The remaining bedrooms are up on the second floor.
'There are two comfortably-sized double rooms,
one of which has a large dressing area presented as a study.
'And this top floor is also home to the main family bathroom.
'So now we've seen everything inside, it's time to get outside and check out the garden.'
So, here's the garden. It's a fair size, but it's pretty manageable.
It's my ideal type of garden.
You've got the shed behind you and you have the garage.
When we walked up to the property, there was three garages.
-The one closest to the house is yours.
So, my question now is, how much is this house currently on the market?
-The mystery property.
-I think it's going to be over-budget.
So I would say about £385,000.
-And I think you'll have kept us within budget,
so I'll say 350.
You would get £50 change.
-It's currently on the market for £349,950.
-Is it really?
-So, yep, just under your top budget.
-I'm really surprised, because I love it.
It's nice that we can afford it and we get a lot for our money.
-I so want you to go and have another look around.
-I'm dying to get back inside.
-Go on, off you go.
-See you later.
Well, how fantastic. As soon as they saw this property, they were intrigued.
But coming through that front door and seeing that impressive hallway, it went from strength to strength.
'Yet again keeping within budget, this time at £349,950,
'the mystery house is a three-storey character conversion
'with an unusual and flexible layout
'that features four bedrooms and three receptions.
'And the property has a delightful garden in a tranquil rural setting.
'But most impressive of all must be the fact that this mystery package
'has managed to meet nearly all their criteria
'as well as their opposing styles.'
I really liked the mystery house from outside. It looked quirky and quaint.
It gave me a really good feeling when I came in the door and I could actually feel like I could live here.
The kitchen's not as big as I would've liked.
I'm surprised that that's something you haven't picked on.
But I don't mind. I'll compromise.
The mystery house grabs me really well. It ticks all the boxes.
It's great to walk into something that I can tell straight away that Linda likes.
-Have you seen enough?
-For now, yes, thank you.
I'm going to take you somewhere quiet, cos you've got some serious thinking to do now, haven't you?
-Decisions need to be made.
'Towards the north of Nottinghamshire lies the ancient woodland of Sherwood Forest.
'Over 900 trees in the forest are more than 600 years old,
'so would have provided shelter for medieval folklore hero Robin Hood,
'whose weapon of choice was the longbow.
'The English were formidable archers when it came to warfare.
'Their skill with a longbow decided a number of important medieval battles,
'namely the 1415 Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War,
'where they managed to defeat the French army three times as large.
'During the week, I headed to Sherwood Forest to meet Alan Rogers
'and learn about the art of creating traditional longbows
'and the skill needed to use them.'
-Good to meet you.
How far does the longbow actually go back in history?
We think around about 1250, that sort of thing, the longbow evolved.
The bow traditionally has been made out of English yew.
-This is the way the tree is growing, like that.
And this is the bark, and we use the sap wood, which is very good in expansive qualities,
and the hard wood, which is very good in compression qualities.
You can really see the difference in colour.
'Alan is one of only 25 master bowyers in the country
'who are preserving this ancient craft of bow-making.
'It takes three years of training to qualify as a member of the Guild of Traditional Bowyers and Fletchers,
'but many more years to become a master.'
How long would it take you to make a longbow from start to finish?
I usually say about 40 hours, to do it properly.
And it does take a while because it's the tillering that is difficult.
'Tillering is a centuries-old art of creating the bend in the bow.
'During the process of shaving back the timber,
'a simple grooved length of wood called the tiller is used to check the shape of the bend.'
And then, you can see, I can put it on the tiller, I can draw down, clip it in
and then stand back and examine it.
'In medieval times, linen, hemp and silk were used for the bow's strings
'and the arrows were made from ash, oak or birch
'with the steering provided by the fletchings, typically made of goose feathers.
'Longbows were in use up to the 16th century,
'when gunpowder became a more effective weapon.
'But today, they're still used in sport, and it's my turn to test out my aim.'
And the tale is one finger above, two below, pull it back and let it go.
'So, with a small crowd gathered around, all eyes are on me. No pressure, then!'
Pull it back a bit more. Keep going. Lower, lower, lower. Loose
-Very well done.
Alan, that was brilliant. Thank you so much. I'm amazed I managed to hit the target.
In a way, so am I.
'Not a bad effort for my first attempt,
'though a skilled archer could release at least 12 arrows per minute,
'so I've got a lot of practice to get up to speed.
'For now, though, it's time to get back to our buyers
'to see if any of our three properties have hit the target.'
Well, it looks like there are two properties in the running.
Personally, I think the mystery house has worked its magic once again.
We've given Linda and Tony some time to mull things over
but now it's decision time. Let's hear what they've got to say.
Well, guys, we've had a great few days in Nottinghamshire.
Big question is, have you enjoyed yourselves and have you found what you're looking for?
-It's been a really good experience.
-Let's start with the first property.
The beautiful cottage that we saw in Oxton, that picturesque village.
-It was a picturesque cottage.
-Tell me what you thought of that.
-I liked it.
-We both liked it.
The location was perfect.
The kitchen was great, you liked it.
Cosy sitting room, nice dining room, bedrooms were fine. I liked it. I was sold.
The second property we saw was a little bit further out.
Very different house from the cottage
and straight away, Tony, I think it'd be fair for me to say that it just didn't quite do it for you.
I didn't have my cheque book out as I walked up the path, no.
No, it didn't do it for me. Some houses do, some don't.
And that didn't do it for me.
-And you were slightly different, Linda. You liked it.
-I liked it.
I did. And I just loved the garden and the conservatory.
It was a nice size and it was so immaculately done out.
I could just move in and do nothing.
And last but not least, we saw the mystery house.
It was semi-detached, which I know wasn't something that you were initially looking for.
And it was also semi-open-plan.
Again, Tony, originally you had reservations about any property being open-plan.
-But it didn't put either of you off, did it?
-Not at all.
No. As soon as I walked in the door, I loved it.
I loved the open-plan aspect of it and I loved being able to close the doors on other rooms,
so it was the best of both worlds.
You looked at it, walked in and went "wow"
as you looked up to three floors of galleries and it was great.
-So, what's the next step?
-I think what we'll do is take another look at Oxton.
Which was the beautiful cottage.
And also take another look at the mystery property.
And then we'll go home and have a long talk.
Do let us know how you get on, won't you? And we hope that 14th move is the very last one.
Hopefully, cos it's got the be the right one, it's got to be perfect, but life isn't like that.
-We'll keep our fingers crossed. Linda, Tony, thank you.
For Tony and Linda, this 14th move is so important
because, hopefully, it is going to be their last.
Out of the properties we showed them, they've liked two so much,
they're going to go back for second viewings.
And, fingers crossed, one of them will hit the mark.
We wish them all the very best.
Join us again next time.
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'Scotland or England and need our help,
'please apply online at:
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Nicki Chapman is in Nottinghamshire, house hunting with a couple who are seeking their 14th and final home! With a £350,000 budget, our house buyers find it hard to agree on the style of rural property they want.
And Nicki takes lessons from a master bowyer in Sherwood Forest.