Nottinghamshire Escape to the Country


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Nottinghamshire

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.

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It's the biggest in Britain and stands in one of the most famous forests in the world.

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Where am I? Find out in just a merry moment.

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'On today's show, we'll be trying to unite a pair of rolling stones

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'with different idea of what they want from their dream rural home.'

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-I'm quite open to open-plan.

-I'm closed to open-plan.

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'Though we do find some common ground.'

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-She's like Imelda Marcos with shoes.

-Fabulous.

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Today, I'm in Nottinghamshire, in the heart of Sherwood Forest.

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Once a royal hunting ground, it was also home to the legendary outlaw Robin Hood.

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There are 900 veteran trees on this 450-acre site,

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including this one, the famous Major Oak.

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The story goes, in the 12th century, Robin and his merry men

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hid in a hollowed out trunk of an oak tree here in the forest.

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But it couldn't have been this one, because back then,

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this tree would only have been a mere 200 years old.

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'Lying in the East Midlands, covering just under 850 square miles,

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'Nottinghamshire is divided by the River Trent,

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'the third largest river in England.

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'Of course, Nottinghamshire is internationally renowned

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'as home to the infamous heroic outlaw Robin Hood

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'who is said to have lived in the leafy depths of Sherwood Forest.

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'The southern walls and eastern regions

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'managed to avoid the heavy-duty industrialisation in the north

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'and remain largely rural and agricultural.

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'One unique example of farming practice can be seen in Laxton,

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'a small village dating back to the 11th century Norman conquest.

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'The arable land here is cultivated according to a traditional medieval system

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'with a three-year crop rotation and is the last surviving open-field village in the country.'

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Despite everything Nottinghamshire has to offer,

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you may be surprised to learn that house prices here

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are 26 percent below the national average for a detached property.

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So, if you want your pounds and pence to stretch a country mile,

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this could be the place for you.

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Let's take a look at what's currently on the market.

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'This novel four-bed converted windmill in the Vale of Belvoir

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'comes with a price tag of £290,000.

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'Though it's a rather extraordinary property,

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'it has all the hallmarks of a typical family home,

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'albeit with unusually curved walls.

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'Or £395,000 could buy this grand four-bedroom country lodge in Coddington.

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'The oak wood hallway leads to generous living and dining areas

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'with beamed ceilings and feature fireplaces.

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'Finally, parts of this outstanding listed five-bedroom residence

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'in Westborough date all the way back to the 1400s.

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'Priced at £665,000,

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'its historic features are impressive,

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'from the incredible vaulted ceilings to the former dovecote,

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'which is now an impressive snooker room.'

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There you go. Some great properties here in Nottinghamshire with three more coming up.

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But we need a couple to show them to, so let's meet today's buyers.

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'Our escapees today are serial house-buyers Anthony,

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'who runs his own company, and his wife Linda, a medical secretary.

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'Their present home is a three-bedroom villa in Bath

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'and, due to Tony's career, it's the 13th house they've lived in

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'during their 36 years of marriage.

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'But now work commitments have changed, so they're finally

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'free to find somewhere in the countryside to put down some roots.'

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We've lived in some great parts of the country.

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But a lot of those decisions were forced.

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Reorganisation. They were dictated by work. We had no choice.

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And now we've no children at home, everyone's gone through education,

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so we now feel it's our time to go back home,

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which is what we've always wanted to do, go back to Nottingham.

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'So, the 14th move will take them back to their home county.

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'Where exactly in Nottinghamshire do they want to be?'

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-I wouldn't like to be too remote.

-But we're flexible, anywhere out towards Southwell, Newark,

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anywhere in that eastern quarter.

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'With so much house-buying experience,

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'this couple must have a clear idea about the type of house they're after.'

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I'd like a house with character.

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I'm not too bothered about too much character.

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I'm quite open to anything, really.

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I will know the house when I walk in it, whether it's the right one or not.

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A detached property with three double bedrooms, preferably.

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Decent-size reception room, dining/kitchen.

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-Linda definitely wants a conservatory if we can manage one.

-Please.

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-And a good garden, a nice garden.

-Garage.

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Oh, gosh, yeah, we've got to have a garage.

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In fact, we've got to have a double garage

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because my motorbike can't stay outside.

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But we won't compromise on the location, that's a definite.

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-We don't want to live on a main road.

-No main road.

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And my personal preference is nothing open-plan.

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-I'm quite open to open-plan.

-Well, I'm closed to open-plan.

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'So, it looks like there could be a conflict of tastes here,

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'though Tony's hoping for the final say when it comes to his work environment.'

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It's not ideal, working from a dining room table.

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I mean, I've got 400 or 500 research books in the office

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that I'd like to have a home for.

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So a decent home study would be fantastic.

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'And, when the working day is done, how else will they be spending their time?'

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This move would enable me to retire and then I could do some voluntary work in the local hospice.

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I'd like to play more golf and get out on my motorbike in the countryside.

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I'm just going to be as free as a bird.

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'They bought their Bath property back in 2003 for £360,000.

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'But to find out its current market value, we've invited a local estate agent around.'

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It's rare to find a detached period house this close to the centre.

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It's in a great road, it's a wonderful house

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and on that basis, I'd value the house at £500,000.

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'By selling, they hope to free up some equity and reduce their mortgage.

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'So, with that in mind, what's the final figure for the Nottinghamshire property?'

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The budget for the move, you may hear two views on this,

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is £300,000.

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No, it's £350,000.

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The budget for the move is up to a maximum of £350,000.

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So, Tony and Linda have decided that this, their 14th move, is going to be their last.

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And, in their own words, they've decided to come home to Nottinghamshire

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because of its rural peace and quiet.

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Now, they know what they need from a property and location,

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but what Linda and Tony aren't so clear on is the type of property they're after.

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They've said they'll know it when they see it.

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Well, let's hope "it" is one of the properties we've chosen to show them.

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'Location is key to our buyers,

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'so our house-hunt will take us to Nottinghamshire's picturesque villages surrounding Southwell,

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'close to where Tony was brought up and within reasonable travelling distance

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'to Nottingham City where Linda's relatives live.'

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'We've lined up some stunning family homes

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'but I won't be revealing the price of any of our properties until they've each had a guess.

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'And, of course, we'll end our house tour at the mystery property,

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'where we'll be taking our buyers right out of their comfort zone.'

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-Tony, Linda, welcome to Nottinghamshire. Actually, I should say welcome home.

-You should.

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-And you're desperate to come back.

-We are.

-We'd like to come back.

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We're coming home. Nottinghamshire's our home. It's the right time for us to do it.

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-Isn't it?

-It is.

-That's what we decided.

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-You have a time in life where you want to do things and...

-This is it.

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-This is it.

-Cease the moment.

-Cease the moment.

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-The children have grown up now and left home, so...

-It's our time now.

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So, if we find your ideal property, out of the two of you, who's going to make the final decision?

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I'd like to say I'll have an influence, but Linda will make the decision.

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-So polite.

-Jointly.

-Jointly.

-Joint decision.

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Well, we've got some fantastic houses lines up and, of course, we have the mystery property.

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-Are we ready to get started?

-I think so.

-Come on, then.

-OK.

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'For a maximum budget of £350,000,

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'Tony and Linda want a detached character property with three double bedrooms,

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'a kitchen/diner, two reception rooms,

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'a study with enough room for a few hundred books

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'and a conservatory.

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'Outside, they're after a decent-size garden for their dog

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'and Tony wants a double garage for his beloved motorbike.

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'The house needs to be located on the edge of a village,

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'not too remote, and away from main roads.

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'So, with all that to consider, let's get this house-hunt underway.'

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Having bought and sold so many homes,

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you guys must be the experts. You should be telling me what to do.

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It's been great fun moving but, yeah, you learn by your experience,

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you make a few mistakes as you go along.

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-You learn that you can fix most things.

-Yeah.

-You can't fix the location, though.

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'Well, it's our aim to take Linda and Tony to some inspiring locations in this house quest.

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'Starting with our first property, which is in the village of Oxton, five miles west of Southwell.

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'Oxton is an attractive village surrounded by a green belt of fields and meadows.

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'The open countryside makes ideal dog-walking territory

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'and there are plenty of footpaths.

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'Oxton also has two pubs, a post office and a farm shop.'

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-And this is your first property.

-Very nice.

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-Yeah?

-Very nice.

-A good first impression?

-Very good.

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-What do you think, Tony?

-I think it's got nice kerb-side appeal. It does look lovely.

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-Good.

-A nice, pretty cottage.

-It is a pretty cottage. Ready to take a look inside?

-Yes, please.

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'This pleasant double-fronted cottage was built around 1860

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'and even though it's right in the centre of the village, it's a peaceful and quiet location.'

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Come straight through.

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Into the first of the two reception rooms.

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-OK.

-So you can see, this is the original part of the house.

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-You've got the original beams, even though they've been painted over.

-Nice size.

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-Nice and bright.

-Very comfortable.

-It is.

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-It's got what we want.

-It has.

-First one, first room, let's see the rest.

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-But...

-It's good. Good start.

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OK. Let's continue to the second reception room, through here.

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This is currently being used as a dining room.

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Very nice. Nice size.

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-You could get some great book shelves on that wall.

-Yeah, it's got room.

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-A working fireplace, a second one.

-It's got a lot of character.

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Yeah, it's got an authenticity about it, you know?

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You feel that it's not been taken away from where it was

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but it's modern enough to live in.

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-It's really nice. I like it.

-There's a very important room I'm going to show you next, the kitchen/diner.

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-Come on in.

-This is nice. I like this.

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It's spacious, airy, bright.

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I like the blue tiles. It's a nice size.

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You've got storage behind me and into the side, there's a utility room with access to the garden,

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which I think is always so handy and practical, especially in the country.

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-And then you've got a shower room at the end which has only recently been refurbished.

-Very good.

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We want to be happy, comfortable, relaxed

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and I'm getting good vibes so far.

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'A very positive start on the ground floor.

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'So let's see what the vibes are giving off upstairs where we find the largest bedroom.'

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So, here's your master bedroom.

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-That's a good size.

-Yes, it's not far off what we've got now, is it?

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Maybe a bit smaller. As long as we can get wardrobes in and a double bed, everything is fine.

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They have large pieces of furniture in this cottage. It really can take it.

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And next door, there's another bedroom which is exactly the same size

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and it's got wall-to-wall storage, which is very handy.

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-I don't know about you, but I need lots of wardrobe space.

-So do I.

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-She's like Imelda Marcos with shoes.

-Fabulous.

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We're talking the same talk.

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-You've got your books!

-THEY LAUGH

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So let's take a look at the third bedroom, which is at the back of the property.

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-It might have the answer to your problem, Tony.

-OK.

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So, here's the third double.

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Because of the aspect, looking out onto the garden, I think it would make a beautiful bedroom,

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but it could also make a fantastic office-cum-library for you

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with enough room for a sofa bed, as well.

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-I like it.

-Yeah.

-A sofa bed's fine, as long as we've got the facility for a bedroom.

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-Yeah, it'd be nice to work in here.

-Look at that view of your garden.

-Nice and quiet.

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'There's also a family bathroom up on this floor,

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'which concludes the tour of the house.

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'Time to go back downstairs and out into the garden.

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'Immediately to the rear of the house is a paved patio

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'and beyond that, a raised lawn.'

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So here's your garden. It's a mature garden. Plenty of shrubs and trees.

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Is this the sort of size that you had in mind?

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The size is fine, yeah. We've got to have room for the dog to run, which this is.

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-You did want a double garage.

-Mm.

-There's a single garage there. Quite a generous size.

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Hopefully enough room to put the bike in there for you.

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-There's scope.

-There is scope.

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So, I know you do really want to stick to your budget.

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-The top of it is £350,000.

-So I'm told.

-By the good lady!

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The question is, how much is this cottage currently on the market for?

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-Erm...

-Ladies first.

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-I would say around £340,000.

-OK.

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I'm going to go slightly lower, 329.

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£329,000.

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-Linda, you're closest.

-Right.

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This house, well, you'd get £5 change from your top budget of £350,000.

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-Right.

-Are you surprised?

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No, I'm not surprised. It's a very quality-finished house in a really nice location.

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-So, would you like another look around?

-Yeah, that'd be great.

-Cos you're quite taken with it.

-Yes.

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-Take as long as you like and I'll catch up with you later on.

-Thank you.

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'For £349,995,

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'our first offering is a charming character cottage in a quiet location,

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'but in the heart of the village.

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'It has two reception rooms, a large kitchen/diner with separate utility

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'and three double bedrooms with plenty of scope for a study.

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'Outside, it has a pretty, manageable garden and a single garage.

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'All in all, our buyers get a lot of what they're looking for with this property

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'and within budget, albeit by just a fiver.'

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I just got the impression that I could be comfortable here.

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I like the fact that it's in a village. I like the fact that it's got character.

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There's things you can do with it, but it's not going to take all my time.

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-Is this the kitchen that you wanted?

-I think so. It's a decent size. It's nice. I like the style.

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It's big enough. It's got the dining space, which is what we wanted.

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And I thought it was a really nice-looking property.

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Very well maintained. Nice style.

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Nice garden. Very nice house.

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Right, guys, that's the first property. Have you seen enough?

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-Yes.

-You think so? Tony, you close the door.

-OK.

-And we'll make tracks.

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'Both Tony and Linda were born and raised in Nottinghamshire, but left in 1974 when they got married,

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'so they're keen to spend quality time getting reacquainted with the county,

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'exploring its beautiful countryside and towns.

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'During the week, they paid a visit to Southwell, the desirable and affluent market town

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'known as Nottinghamshire's millionaire capital.

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'The town is dominated by its magnificent cathedral with imposing pepper-pot towers.

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'Local historian Roger Dobson was on hand to show our house-buyers around.'

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What is so unique about Southwell is you've got here

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a mightily impressive big church

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and yet you've got a very, very small population.

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It was originally built in the early 12th century,

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the Norman period, and it was then a minster church.

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In 1884, it was recognised finally as a cathedral,

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so it is the seat for the area of Nottinghamshire.

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-So is it a city or a town?

-Depends who you talk to.

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It's a little bit like "South-well" and "Suth-el".

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Is it a village, is it a town, it is a city?

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And different people, different organisations, will have different interpretations.

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-It's still Southwell Minster, anyway.

-It is.

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'With its impressive facade, the late 13th century chapter house is a real architectural feat,

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'as it has the only octagon stone vaulted ceiling in England without a central support pillar.

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'The interior is renowned for its fascinating freely-carved depictions

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'that include a multitude of stone leaves.

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'But that's not Southwell's only horticultural sensation.

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'The town is also birthplace of the Bramley apple.

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'The story goes that in the early 1800s,

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'a young girl planted pips from an apple at the bottom of her garden.

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'By the time it matured and bore fruit,

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'the garden belonged to Matthew Bramley

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'and, in 1856, a cutting from the tree was propagated with enormous success.

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'Remarkably, the original Bramley tree is still standing and produces fruit

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'and takes pride of place in the private garden of 90-year-old Nancy Harrison,

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'who has kindly invited Tony, Linda and Roger for a closer look.'

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It's just a wonderful tree. As you see, it's laden with fruit this year

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and it's not been a good year for fruit.

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-It needs some rain on it now.

-Mm, certainly.

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-Do they make nice apple pies?

-Yes, I think they are the best cooking apples

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and they're usually very large, very bright green, lovely apples.

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And they keep, with care, right through the winter.

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They're as good in March as they are when they're fresh-looking.

0:20:080:20:12

'The fruits from those few pips planted some 200 years ago

0:20:120:20:17

'are responsible for a Bramley apple industry that is worth £50 million a year.

0:20:170:20:21

'They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree,

0:20:210:20:25

'and it's certainly true of our buyers, who dream of returning to their home county.

0:20:250:20:30

'But first, we've got to find them a house, so it's back to the hunt.

0:20:300:20:34

'We got off to a very positive start with our first property

0:20:380:20:42

'and for our second location, we're staying within five miles of Southwell,

0:20:420:20:46

'but this time, heading north to Eakring.

0:20:460:20:48

'Set in a conservation area, Eakring is an idyllic village with a pub and a church.

0:20:480:20:54

'And it's a great base from which keen walkers Tony and Linda

0:20:540:20:58

'can explore the surrounding countryside.'

0:20:580:21:01

And here is your second property.

0:21:030:21:06

All of that? All of that.

0:21:060:21:09

-Wow.

-This house was built around 1953

0:21:090:21:12

and it's been extended three times since then.

0:21:120:21:16

-OK.

-You look quite reserved.

-I'm reserved at the moment.

-Reserved, OK.

0:21:160:21:20

-Well, let me show you around. Come on.

-OK.

-OK.

0:21:200:21:23

'This is certainly a very different property to the first one.

0:21:250:21:29

'Built in the 1950s, it's a much later build. But what it may lack in traditional period character

0:21:290:21:36

'it more than makes up for in size.'

0:21:360:21:39

Come on through. We were thinking this would make a very good study-cum-library.

0:21:390:21:46

-Yes, it's certainly got the room.

-Plenty of storage space.

0:21:460:21:50

I like it.

0:21:500:21:52

-Good.

-A slight difference of opinion. Cos you liked the outside, as well.

0:21:520:21:56

I did quite like the outside, yeah.

0:21:560:21:59

I'm distinctly unimpressed.

0:21:590:22:01

'Linda seems won over, but I think we're yet to convince Tony, despite all the room for his books.

0:22:010:22:08

'Let's see what they think of the kitchen.'

0:22:080:22:11

I think one of the most important rooms in the house, the kitchen.

0:22:110:22:16

Not as big as I was expecting. It's got everything, though.

0:22:160:22:19

It's got everything with the added bonus of having a large utility room next door.

0:22:190:22:26

Right next door, so nice and easy to get to.

0:22:260:22:28

That's a nice added bonus. And I can see that there is another bonus.

0:22:280:22:33

-Shall we take a look?

-Yes, please.

0:22:330:22:36

This is a conservatory.

0:22:380:22:40

-Is this large enough for you?

-This is a really nice aspect.

0:22:400:22:45

Beautiful onto the garden. And also, close proximity to the kitchen.

0:22:450:22:50

-I think you'd overflow naturally into here.

-You could.

0:22:500:22:53

You could make more use of this than just a dining area, as well.

0:22:530:22:56

-Yeah. You could easily have sofas.

-You could.

0:22:560:22:59

'As well as the huge eating area in the conservatory, there's also a separate dining room.

0:22:590:23:04

'And the ground floor doesn't end there.

0:23:040:23:07

'More reception space can be found in the second sitting room.'

0:23:070:23:11

Well, I quite like the space aspect, having been to the first house.

0:23:120:23:17

That was a real cottage, this is giving me another feel now, a different feel.

0:23:170:23:22

But this is giving me that space that I like.

0:23:220:23:25

I'm beginning to feel that I'm a bit agoraphobic

0:23:250:23:28

-cos there's too much space.

-THEY LAUGH

0:23:280:23:31

-Yin and Yang.

-Yes.

0:23:310:23:34

'I think we're going to have a tough job on our hands

0:23:350:23:38

'trying to please both Linda and Tony, as they each have such different ideas of what they want.

0:23:380:23:44

'Let's head upstairs and see if we can get a harmonious balance in the sleeping quarters.'

0:23:440:23:50

This is the master.

0:23:500:23:52

-It's a nice size.

-Loads of storage.

-Yeah. It's a bedroom.

0:23:520:23:56

-Yeah. You're not going to get that excited either way, are you?

-No.

0:23:560:23:59

But can I excite Linda with an en suite bathroom?

0:23:590:24:03

-Probably.

-Yes. So this is workable for you, big enough?

0:24:030:24:08

-It's certainly big enough.

-Definitely.

-Linda, he's coming round.

0:24:080:24:13

-Hopefully.

-Hopefully.

-I'm saying the right things.

0:24:130:24:16

You are saying the right things! I'm quite liking what you're saying. I believe you.

0:24:160:24:21

'This house is really dividing our buyers and try as he might,

0:24:210:24:25

'Tony isn't yet convinced. But, with another three double rooms up here,

0:24:250:24:30

'they'll get one more bedroom than they asked for.

0:24:300:24:33

'And also, there's a family bathroom.

0:24:330:24:35

'Plus, we've got more to persuade Tony outside,

0:24:350:24:38

'including a double garage and a well-maintained garden.'

0:24:380:24:43

So, you've got to agree, a beautifully manicured lawn either side.

0:24:430:24:48

-It is, it's beautiful.

-It's a lovely garden. This is the type of garden I want.

0:24:480:24:52

It's big but it's easily maintained.

0:24:520:24:55

-Get the mower out. And it's just great.

-It is, it's lovely.

0:24:550:24:59

-You like the house, don't you?

-Yes.

-Does it give you that good, homely feel?

-It does, yeah.

0:24:590:25:05

Tony, you have been very complimentary about this house

0:25:050:25:08

and you've admitted it's got everything that you asked us to provide,

0:25:080:25:12

including the location.

0:25:120:25:14

But I get that sense of feeling it's not quite doing it for you.

0:25:140:25:18

I just feel, what's not to like about it?

0:25:180:25:21

But I can't find anything to love about it.

0:25:230:25:25

I'm going to ask you how much this house is currently on the market for.

0:25:250:25:29

I'd say it was at the top end of the budget, so I'd say 350.

0:25:290:25:32

-OK.

-Because it's nearer Mansfield, 339.

-Who was right last time?

-Linda was.

0:25:320:25:38

Guess what. Linda's on the nose. £350,000.

0:25:380:25:44

Top end of your budget.

0:25:440:25:47

But I want you both to have another look around. I think you should.

0:25:470:25:50

-I'll let you have a chat on your own and I'll catch up with you a little bit later.

-Thanks.

-Thank you.

0:25:500:25:56

'Smack-bang on budget at £350,000,

0:25:570:26:01

'the second property is an impressive detached house

0:26:010:26:04

'offering seriously spacious accommodation for the money.

0:26:040:26:08

'It pretty much ticks all the boxes our buyers requested and more,

0:26:080:26:12

'including four double bedrooms, three reception rooms,

0:26:120:26:16

'a kitchen/diner and a large conservatory.

0:26:160:26:20

'Outside, there's a low-maintenance garden and a double garage.

0:26:200:26:24

'Linda's enthusiasm for this house is evident.

0:26:240:26:27

'But will Anthony forgo his love of period character features

0:26:270:26:30

'to get a more extensive property?'

0:26:300:26:33

There's nothing to dislike about the house, but my heart wasn't singing.

0:26:330:26:37

Sometimes when you move, it's not just about the tick box,

0:26:370:26:43

it's the way you feel that you will feel about it in five years and ten years.

0:26:430:26:47

I really liked it. I just thought it was really homely, really immaculate, very nicely decorated

0:26:470:26:54

and I like it.

0:26:540:26:56

We've been able to get away with family houses

0:26:560:26:59

that we've liked cos they serve a purpose. I think this time it should be a little bit more special.

0:26:590:27:04

-You both ready to go?

-Yes.

-Yep.

0:27:060:27:09

Seen enough? Hasn't caused an argument, this house, has it?

0:27:090:27:12

-No, I wouldn't let a house do that.

-Just healthy discussion.

-Healthy discussion.

-Excellent.

0:27:120:27:16

'As the sun sets on what's very much been a day of two halves in Nottinghamshire,

0:27:260:27:31

'the first chapter of our house-hunting journey comes to an end.

0:27:310:27:35

'With a budget of £350,000,

0:27:370:27:40

'Bath-based Tony and Linda are looking at making their 14th move a more permanent one.

0:27:400:27:46

'And they've chosen their original home turf of Nottinghamshire in which to finally settle.

0:27:460:27:51

'So far, we've shown them two lovely rural homes.

0:27:510:27:54

'The real challenge is matching their mutually exclusive tastes.'

0:27:540:27:59

-Well, I quite like the space.

-And I'm beginning to feel a bit agoraphobic cos it's too much space.

0:27:590:28:06

'And still to come, we've got the mystery house. But will we hit the bull's-eye?'

0:28:060:28:11

I don't know about you, but I thought yesterday was really interesting.

0:28:120:28:18

Out of the two houses we showed them, Linda could've moved into either of them.

0:28:180:28:23

But for Tony, it was a different story.

0:28:230:28:26

I think what he discovered was he wanted location and character.

0:28:260:28:31

Today, it's mystery property time.

0:28:310:28:33

I wonder what they'll think of this house.

0:28:330:28:35

'And to get to the mystery house, we're moving away from our buyers' desired location and heading south.

0:28:360:28:43

'But we are staying in the eastern region of the county,

0:28:430:28:46

'about 12 miles west of Nottingham, to the village of Aslockton.

0:28:460:28:50

'Lying in the Vale of Beaver and surrounded by farmland,

0:28:500:28:54

'Aslockton is a small and peaceful rural village with a 19th century church.

0:28:540:28:59

'There are a few small businesses and amenities to hand,

0:28:590:29:02

'including a pub and a newsagent with a post office.

0:29:020:29:05

'As for the mystery package, we've lined up a unique property

0:29:050:29:09

'built on rather an unusual layout, which might just be the one place

0:29:090:29:14

'that will bring this couple together. But it's not detached.

0:29:140:29:17

'In fact, it's an end of terrace.'

0:29:170:29:21

This is your mystery property. As you can see, it was one huge building,

0:29:210:29:25

built around 1872 and converted into three separate dwellings in the late 70s.

0:29:250:29:31

-The one we're going to look at is the one on the end, so it is semi-detached.

-OK.

0:29:310:29:35

-But it has an added extension, which was done in the late 80s.

-Right.

0:29:350:29:40

-First impressions?

-From the outside, I quite like it, yes.

0:29:400:29:43

-You can't knock it for character.

-Full of character.

-Plenty of character!

0:29:430:29:47

-So it is a very unusual house. Shall we take a look inside?

-Yes, please.

0:29:470:29:53

'The mystery property is a conversion of a former malt house

0:29:560:30:00

'which is laid out on three levels, and it's clearly got the history and character that Tony wanted.

0:30:000:30:05

'But will the dimensions inside be suited to Linda?'

0:30:050:30:09

Come through.

0:30:100:30:12

Now, just stand here and look up.

0:30:120:30:16

-Oh, this is nice.

-Yeah, this has the wow factor.

-It does have the wow factor.

0:30:160:30:22

-It's not something everybody's going to have, is it?

-No.

-Certainly not.

0:30:220:30:26

-It seems so much bigger inside than what you're expecting.

-Yeah.

0:30:260:30:29

-This part of the property is quite open-plan.

-Yeah.

0:30:290:30:33

-Which you didn't want.

-Which I didn't want, but it's not sprawling open-plan.

0:30:330:30:40

It's different, isn't it? It's a different type of...

0:30:400:30:43

-It's like galleried landings.

-It is. It's open-plan with a difference

0:30:430:30:47

and the great thing about this home is it has plenty of options for you, and I'll explain as we go around.

0:30:470:30:54

'The large open-plan reception hall has magnificent triple-height ceilings

0:30:540:30:59

'featuring characterful exposed woodwork and a bespoke staircase.

0:30:590:31:03

'There's so much space here. It's also being used as a TV and dining area.

0:31:030:31:09

'But next, let's head to the kitchen.'

0:31:090:31:11

-I know, in an ideal world, you wanted a nice, big kitchen.

-I did.

0:31:110:31:15

You could actually take that wall out with an RSJ and extend it.

0:31:150:31:19

-OK.

-You might like to keep it as it is. It's a large kitchen.

-Quite large. I would leave it as it is.

0:31:190:31:25

Maybe, eventually, knock the wall down.

0:31:250:31:28

But the units and everything, I would just leave completely as they are.

0:31:280:31:32

-Gives me a good feel, this house.

-Excellent.

0:31:320:31:35

'Back through the reception hall and out through the extended wing,

0:31:360:31:39

'there are even more living areas, including a dining room.

0:31:390:31:43

'And next door to that, the main lounge, complete with a rustic wood-burning stove

0:31:430:31:48

'and some fabulous country views across open fields.'

0:31:480:31:52

So you've probably noticed by now, half the property is open-plan,

0:31:520:31:57

-but half of it isn't.

-Very traditional. Best of both worlds.

0:31:570:32:01

-I like everything so far.

-Do you? So you wouldn't really change anything.

-No.

0:32:010:32:06

-It's not often you can walk into a house and say that.

-Very rarely.

0:32:060:32:09

'Fantastic! We've happy customers all round on the ground floor.

0:32:090:32:14

'But there's another gem for Tony just up the staircase off the dining room.'

0:32:140:32:19

So this house actually has four bedrooms if you include this room,

0:32:200:32:25

which they're using as a bedroom-cum-office. Just round the corner, you can see it's being used.

0:32:250:32:31

Could be a perfect place for all your books.

0:32:310:32:33

-Perfect, isn't it?

-It is perfect.

-Office, library, gym?

0:32:330:32:38

Yeah, definitely. I'll never see you.

0:32:380:32:40

-THEY LAUGH

-Is that a wish list?

0:32:400:32:45

-And an overflow bedroom.

-Yeah. Perfect.

-Just perfect.

0:32:450:32:50

'Well, this place just keeps giving,

0:32:500:32:53

'and although our buyers aren't jumping up and down for joy,

0:32:530:32:56

'it's obvious they're quietly confident and really quite excited.

0:32:560:33:00

'Back down on the ground floor lie the main flight of stairs

0:33:000:33:04

'which lead to a huge galleried landing

0:33:040:33:06

'with even more storage for books and another office arrangement.

0:33:060:33:11

'And next up, we're going to take a look at what could be their master bedroom.'

0:33:110:33:15

-Well, that's a lot bigger than I was expecting.

-Yes.

0:33:180:33:21

It's like the TARDIS, this place. You don't expect it to be so big.

0:33:210:33:25

-And is that an en suite?

-That is.

-Gosh.

0:33:250:33:28

-Just everything fits.

-It's just so...perfect.

0:33:280:33:32

-Yeah.

-I don't often hear that. That's lovely. Perfect.

0:33:320:33:36

Yeah, the house is great.

0:33:370:33:39

'The remaining bedrooms are up on the second floor.

0:33:390:33:43

'There are two comfortably-sized double rooms,

0:33:430:33:45

one of which has a large dressing area presented as a study.

0:33:450:33:49

'And this top floor is also home to the main family bathroom.

0:33:490:33:53

'So now we've seen everything inside, it's time to get outside and check out the garden.'

0:33:530:33:59

So, here's the garden. It's a fair size, but it's pretty manageable.

0:33:590:34:04

It's my ideal type of garden.

0:34:040:34:06

You've got the shed behind you and you have the garage.

0:34:060:34:09

When we walked up to the property, there was three garages.

0:34:090:34:13

-The one closest to the house is yours.

-OK.

0:34:130:34:16

So, my question now is, how much is this house currently on the market?

0:34:160:34:22

-The mystery property.

-I think it's going to be over-budget.

0:34:220:34:25

So I would say about £385,000.

0:34:250:34:30

-OK. Tony?

-And I think you'll have kept us within budget,

0:34:300:34:34

so I'll say 350.

0:34:340:34:37

You would get £50 change.

0:34:390:34:42

-It's currently on the market for £349,950.

-Is it really?

0:34:420:34:48

-So, yep, just under your top budget.

-Wow.

0:34:480:34:52

-I'm really surprised, because I love it.

-Yeah?

0:34:520:34:55

It's nice that we can afford it and we get a lot for our money.

0:34:550:34:59

-I so want you to go and have another look around.

-I'm dying to get back inside.

-Go on, off you go.

0:34:590:35:04

-See you later.

-Bye.

0:35:040:35:06

Well, how fantastic. As soon as they saw this property, they were intrigued.

0:35:080:35:13

But coming through that front door and seeing that impressive hallway, it went from strength to strength.

0:35:130:35:20

'Yet again keeping within budget, this time at £349,950,

0:35:200:35:27

'the mystery house is a three-storey character conversion

0:35:270:35:31

'with an unusual and flexible layout

0:35:310:35:33

'that features four bedrooms and three receptions.

0:35:330:35:36

'And the property has a delightful garden in a tranquil rural setting.

0:35:360:35:41

'But most impressive of all must be the fact that this mystery package

0:35:410:35:45

'has managed to meet nearly all their criteria

0:35:450:35:48

'as well as their opposing styles.'

0:35:480:35:51

I really liked the mystery house from outside. It looked quirky and quaint.

0:35:510:35:56

It gave me a really good feeling when I came in the door and I could actually feel like I could live here.

0:35:560:36:01

The kitchen's not as big as I would've liked.

0:36:010:36:04

I'm surprised that that's something you haven't picked on.

0:36:040:36:08

But I don't mind. I'll compromise.

0:36:080:36:11

The mystery house grabs me really well. It ticks all the boxes.

0:36:110:36:15

It's great to walk into something that I can tell straight away that Linda likes.

0:36:150:36:19

-Have you seen enough?

-For now, yes, thank you.

0:36:210:36:23

I'm going to take you somewhere quiet, cos you've got some serious thinking to do now, haven't you?

0:36:230:36:28

-Yeah.

-We have.

-Decisions need to be made.

0:36:280:36:31

'Towards the north of Nottinghamshire lies the ancient woodland of Sherwood Forest.

0:36:390:36:44

'Over 900 trees in the forest are more than 600 years old,

0:36:440:36:48

'so would have provided shelter for medieval folklore hero Robin Hood,

0:36:480:36:53

'whose weapon of choice was the longbow.

0:36:530:36:56

'The English were formidable archers when it came to warfare.

0:36:560:36:59

'Their skill with a longbow decided a number of important medieval battles,

0:36:590:37:04

'namely the 1415 Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War,

0:37:040:37:09

'where they managed to defeat the French army three times as large.

0:37:090:37:13

'During the week, I headed to Sherwood Forest to meet Alan Rogers

0:37:130:37:16

'and learn about the art of creating traditional longbows

0:37:160:37:20

'and the skill needed to use them.'

0:37:200:37:22

-Hi, Alan.

-Hello.

-Good to meet you.

0:37:220:37:24

How far does the longbow actually go back in history?

0:37:240:37:28

We think around about 1250, that sort of thing, the longbow evolved.

0:37:280:37:34

The bow traditionally has been made out of English yew.

0:37:340:37:38

-This is the way the tree is growing, like that.

-Yes.

0:37:380:37:41

And this is the bark, and we use the sap wood, which is very good in expansive qualities,

0:37:410:37:48

and the hard wood, which is very good in compression qualities.

0:37:480:37:51

You can really see the difference in colour.

0:37:510:37:53

'Alan is one of only 25 master bowyers in the country

0:37:530:37:57

'who are preserving this ancient craft of bow-making.

0:37:570:38:01

'It takes three years of training to qualify as a member of the Guild of Traditional Bowyers and Fletchers,

0:38:010:38:07

'but many more years to become a master.'

0:38:070:38:10

How long would it take you to make a longbow from start to finish?

0:38:110:38:15

I usually say about 40 hours, to do it properly.

0:38:150:38:19

And it does take a while because it's the tillering that is difficult.

0:38:190:38:25

'Tillering is a centuries-old art of creating the bend in the bow.

0:38:250:38:29

'During the process of shaving back the timber,

0:38:290:38:32

'a simple grooved length of wood called the tiller is used to check the shape of the bend.'

0:38:320:38:37

And then, you can see, I can put it on the tiller, I can draw down, clip it in

0:38:370:38:42

and then stand back and examine it.

0:38:420:38:45

'In medieval times, linen, hemp and silk were used for the bow's strings

0:38:450:38:49

'and the arrows were made from ash, oak or birch

0:38:490:38:52

'with the steering provided by the fletchings, typically made of goose feathers.

0:38:520:38:57

'Longbows were in use up to the 16th century,

0:38:570:39:00

'when gunpowder became a more effective weapon.

0:39:000:39:03

'But today, they're still used in sport, and it's my turn to test out my aim.'

0:39:030:39:07

And the tale is one finger above, two below, pull it back and let it go.

0:39:070:39:12

'So, with a small crowd gathered around, all eyes are on me. No pressure, then!'

0:39:120:39:18

Pull it back a bit more. Keep going. Lower, lower, lower. Loose

0:39:180:39:22

-CHEERING

-Very well done.

0:39:220:39:27

Alan, that was brilliant. Thank you so much. I'm amazed I managed to hit the target.

0:39:280:39:33

In a way, so am I.

0:39:330:39:35

'Not a bad effort for my first attempt,

0:39:350:39:38

'though a skilled archer could release at least 12 arrows per minute,

0:39:380:39:42

'so I've got a lot of practice to get up to speed.

0:39:420:39:45

'For now, though, it's time to get back to our buyers

0:39:450:39:48

'to see if any of our three properties have hit the target.'

0:39:480:39:52

Well, it looks like there are two properties in the running.

0:39:550:39:59

Personally, I think the mystery house has worked its magic once again.

0:39:590:40:05

We've given Linda and Tony some time to mull things over

0:40:050:40:08

but now it's decision time. Let's hear what they've got to say.

0:40:080:40:12

Well, guys, we've had a great few days in Nottinghamshire.

0:40:150:40:18

Big question is, have you enjoyed yourselves and have you found what you're looking for?

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-It's been a really good experience.

-Let's start with the first property.

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The beautiful cottage that we saw in Oxton, that picturesque village.

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-It was a picturesque cottage.

-Tell me what you thought of that.

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-I liked it.

-We both liked it.

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The location was perfect.

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The kitchen was great, you liked it.

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Cosy sitting room, nice dining room, bedrooms were fine. I liked it. I was sold.

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The second property we saw was a little bit further out.

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Very different house from the cottage

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and straight away, Tony, I think it'd be fair for me to say that it just didn't quite do it for you.

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I didn't have my cheque book out as I walked up the path, no.

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No, it didn't do it for me. Some houses do, some don't.

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And that didn't do it for me.

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-And you were slightly different, Linda. You liked it.

-I liked it.

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I did. And I just loved the garden and the conservatory.

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It was a nice size and it was so immaculately done out.

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I could just move in and do nothing.

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And last but not least, we saw the mystery house.

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It was semi-detached, which I know wasn't something that you were initially looking for.

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And it was also semi-open-plan.

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Again, Tony, originally you had reservations about any property being open-plan.

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-But it didn't put either of you off, did it?

-Not at all.

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No. As soon as I walked in the door, I loved it.

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I loved the open-plan aspect of it and I loved being able to close the doors on other rooms,

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so it was the best of both worlds.

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You looked at it, walked in and went "wow"

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as you looked up to three floors of galleries and it was great.

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-So, what's the next step?

-I think what we'll do is take another look at Oxton.

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Which was the beautiful cottage.

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And also take another look at the mystery property.

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And then we'll go home and have a long talk.

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Do let us know how you get on, won't you? And we hope that 14th move is the very last one.

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Hopefully, cos it's got the be the right one, it's got to be perfect, but life isn't like that.

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-We'll keep our fingers crossed. Linda, Tony, thank you.

-Thank you.

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For Tony and Linda, this 14th move is so important

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because, hopefully, it is going to be their last.

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Out of the properties we showed them, they've liked two so much,

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they're going to go back for second viewings.

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And, fingers crossed, one of them will hit the mark.

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We wish them all the very best.

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Join us again next time.

0:43:020:43:05

'If you'd like to escape to the country in Northern Ireland, Wales,

0:43:060:43:10

'Scotland or England and need our help,

0:43:100:43:12

'please apply online at:

0:43:120:43:18

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:190:43:23

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:230:43:27

.

0:43:270:43:28

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.