Alistair Appleton dons a kilt as he goes property-hunting in the Scottish Borders for a couple of lottery winners who are seeking a family home.
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No prizes for guessing which country I'm in today!
But if not for the Scot who lived in this house behind me,
the wearing of tartan may have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
Find out which Scottish county I'm in and what a Scotsman wears under his kilt in just a moment!
Our couple today have won the lottery, but it's not a castle they're looking for.
This move is all about keeping it real.
I wouldn't change a thing out here.
They certainly find out how the other half live!
Where's my tea, Susan?
But will they plump for a comfortable family home
or a grand country manor?
-It's what dreams are made of. It's lovely.
-It doesn't show this on the internet.
Today I'm in the Scottish Borders and this is Abbotsford, home to Sir Walter Scott,
poet, novelist and nationalist.
And it was Scott who saved the tartan.
It had been outlawed to keep the unruly Highlanders at bay in the 1700s.
In 1822, when George IV visited Edinburgh,
Sir Walter persuaded the king to put on a kilt,
thereby allowing the Scottish people to dig out their tartan and make it their national dress again.
And as for what a Scottish man wears under his kilt...
well, I'm English, so you'll never know!
Covering nearly 2,000 square miles in the south of Scotland,
the Scottish borders is an area of sweeping landscapes and dramatic history.
Castle ruins and majestic abbeys
punctuate distant horizons
harking back to the Borders' tumultuous past.
In between market towns such as Jedburgh with its sturdy stone-built cottages,
the countryside is famously home to nearly 100 miles
of the mighty River Tweed,
"the most romantic, if not the most beautiful place in Scotland"
was how Sir Walter Scott described the area that he made his home.
Overall in Scotland, property prices are quite reasonable
although of the country's 32 regional authorities,
the Scottish Borders here is in the top ten most expensive.
For example, it's 18% more expensive to buy a house here
than in neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway.
The reason for that is the Borders has good commutable links
into the Scottish capital in Edinburgh.
So, if you fancy a property north of the border, take a look at what's on offer.
Starting near Berwick-upon-Tweed,
this barn conversion is on the market for £260,000.
The kitchen has plenty of storage, there's an inviting living room,
and three well-proportioned bedrooms.
For £335,000, this converted farm in Swinton Mill is all about space.
The modern kitchen/diner leads through to a charming living room.
There are three double bedrooms and a good-sized garden.
At the top of the property ladder,
this impressive stone-built family home in Gattonside
is on the market for £570,000.
The spacious kitchen/diner and the living room
take in the stunning views across the Borders.
There are four well-appointed bedrooms in all.
The people who call the verdant Scottish Borders their home consider themselves lucky.
Our couple today are no strangers to Lady Luck! Let's meet them.
Yorkshire couple Michael and Susan have been married for 16 years
and live in their semi-detached home with their two sons.
However, two years ago, they had an unexpected but very welcome dramatic change of fortune.
Me and my dad used to play the Lottery. Unfortunately, my dad died
and I took his lottery numbers on.
But on the anniversary of my dad's death, we actually won the Lottery on his numbers.
So for us, we're living his dream as well, aren't we?
-And he's making our dream come true.
Unchanged by their million-pound windfall, they're about to renew their wedding vows.
It's not just their lives that are about to be transformed.
Susan's three siblings, Joanne, David and Beverley,
are making the move too.
I care for my two sisters and brother.
Two have got learning difficulties
and my sister is severely handicapped
which restricts her in a lot of ways.
So this family of seven is going to need one sizeable Scottish roof over their heads.
Susan's disabled sister will need a ground-floor bedroom.
So, what else is on the list?
The house we want has to be five to six bedrooms.
-An internal garage so we can convert that into a bedroom and a wet room for Joanne.
That would be ideal.
-A nice big kitchen.
-A nice big kitchen.
A couple of rooms downstairs for a bit of privacy for us all.
A lovely big garden, if possible.
Michael fell in love with the area around Jedburgh while working there a few years ago.
So they decided on the Scottish Borders as a location.
But what style of house will lure them out of suburbia and into the countryside?
We like the thought of an old farmhouse or a barn,
so long as inside it was done quite modern.
-I'm hoping for a lovely bigger garden so that we can all sit out and spend family time.
-But you love your wildlife.
-I love wildlife. I'd love it to be somewhere really rural
where the wildlife come into your garden and you can sit and watch them. It's amazing to see.
So it's the rural good life with a modern twist.
But what should we steer away from?
I'd never consider buying a really old house that needed everything doing to it
because I'm a full-time carer and we haven't got the time.
Susan and Michael don't have to sell their current home
so how much of the jackpot are they prepared to part with
to make this dream a reality?
The budget for our new property is £450,000.
-If they found a house that was a bit more money, maybe we could go up to £500,000.
Susan and Michael should win a prize for being the coolest Lottery winners!
They're not interested in the glitzy high life. They want a home where all the family can live as one.
How sweet is that!
But it's quite a big family, seven of them, so we need at least six bedrooms,
one of which will be on the ground floor with wheelchair access for Joanne.
They have a healthy budget for the Scottish Borders
so I hope we'll hit the property jackpot!
Michael and Susan don't know Scotland that well,
so it seems sensible to start with the one area Michael is familiar with,
the market town of Jedburgh.
We'll be viewing three homes
but I won't tell them the price until after the tours.
Then there's the mystery house that promises to put into question their idea of a dream country home.
-Welcome to the Scottish Borders.
-You've not been here before?
-I've never been to Scotland.
-What do you think so far?
-It's absolutely amazing.
The views are breathtaking.
-You have visited?
-Yes, about 20 years ago when I was working here.
I've always said I'd like to come and retire here.
So hopefully this is it!
Most people when they think of winning the lottery, they'd go and buy a castle.
-But you've not done that.
-No, we're being very careful.
We've invested the money, which has made us money.
So we know that even with the budget we've got, we've still got plenty
to look after us, it's a comfort blanket for us.
What is your final budget? The figure's moved around a bit.
-The final budget is up to 550. 550,000.
So a few adaptations for Joanne. But are you up for a big project?
We understand that we might have to do decorating and stuff,
but we don't want to have start rebuilding a whole house.
-A ruined castle?
-No, not that!
There are some lovely historical properties and lots of nice properties,
especially for your budget. Let's go see them!
It's two years now since you won. Has it all faded? Has it become normality for you?
-Oh, no. We still wake up in the morning...
-Still got that numb feeling.
Look into each other's eyes as if to say, "Wow! This is amazing!"
-I don't think we'll ever lose that feeling.
-I don't, either.
They're not taking their good fortune for granted.
I really hope that Susan and Michael find our houses just as amazing.
Our first offering is seven miles from the border town of Hawick.
Once humming to the sound of 50 mills
that lined the bank of the River Teviot,
Hawick flourished during the 19th-century textile boom.
Today it's at the start of the Borders' cashmere trail.
There's a thriving high street with a 19th-century church
and an impressive town hall built in 1884.
The oldest building in the town is the Black Tower of Drumlanrig,
once owned by the influential Buccleugh family,
one of the largest private land-holders in Europe.
And our first property was once home to the 9th Duke of Buccleugh's gamekeeper.
Here we go.
The first house on offer in the Borders.
Oh, it's great, isn't it?
-Not just the house. It's the garden with it.
You wanted views, Michael.
-The views have done it for me!
-What about the look of it?
-It's lovely. Really lovely.
-I want to see what you think of the inside.
-Let's crack on.
Michael wants rural views and wildlife on his doorstep.
So I'm not surprised he's won over by the aspect.
Let's hope the interior of this 19th-century lodge continues to impress.
Come on in.
-This is the sitting room, the main sitting room.
-Wow, that's lovely.
-Dead easy, we'd get sat down here no problem.
-It's right cosy.
Originally it would have been two rooms. See the beam there?
It would have been two rooms in the original cottage, but it's been knocked through and made bigger.
-Is it enough for all seven of you?
I'll show you the dining room, also a good size. And the hall's big.
-Nice big doorway to get a wheelchair in.
-It's a nice room.
-This is the dining room.
It's interesting the floor here and in the hallway was all reclaimed
from a former ballroom in a hotel in Hawick.
-People have come round for dinner and said, "Oh, I used to dance on that floor!"
-It's got a bit of local history.
-Oh, it's lovely.
-It goes through here. Again a wide door.
This is the kitchen.
-It's nice and quaint, isn't it?
I was wondering whether it's big enough for you.
I was just going to say that it is a bit small.
I expected... I think, in my head, I'm expecting a big kitchen.
-Like a big family kitchen.
Because you've got such a nice dining room in there,
this actually could be made more into a bigger kitchen round here
with more units cos you don't actually need that there.
-It would be simple.
Michael makes a good point. There's plenty of space in this property but it may take reconfiguring.
Next to the kitchen, light streams into another reception room.
And there's a downstairs bathroom.
Heading upstairs, there are three bedrooms to choose from.
This is the master bedroom.
Compared to our master bedroom at home, it is a bit small.
-But it's cosy.
-We've got a big bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.
-This one has an en-suite.
It's the sweetest en-suite I've seen in a long time!
A tiny space.
-A fold-out shower!
-I've never seen one like that before.
-She had it specially made.
A very clever use of space.
There are two more double bedrooms,
perfect for their teenage boys.
There's also a lovely family bathroom on this level.
Back downstairs to the rear of the property,
there's more space for the rest of the family.
So we've gone through a series of rooms, utility room, and we come into the annexe.
-This is almost like a separate house.
-It's nice that, isn't it?
-What's really good
is that you've got two big bedrooms here and a bathroom.
-And a big garage.
And if it's got a downstairs bathroom,
-we maybe could use that for my sister.
This is definitely an area where you two could put your heads together
and decide how to use it.
-Let's go and look in the garden.
Michael enjoys rural views and wildlife.
So the five acres surrounding the property should fit the bill nicely!
Come on through. Because this is all yours, too!
-It's gorgeous, isn't it?
-That is amazing.
Right down to the very bottom?
You have a three-acre paddock here, along where the hedge is.
Then this fence is actually your boundary.
There's a little burn here that takes you down to the River Teviot
which runs at the bottom there.
-All around is the Duke of Buccleugh's land.
-The other side of the river is his.
-God, that's massive!
That's not all of it. There's another two-acre paddock on the other side!
-What do you think about having five acres?
-I can't believe it.
Me, I'd be suited. I'd be absolutely suited, me.
-I wouldn't change a thing out here.
-Let's walk along the river
and see the back.
I was worried that this amount of land would be overwhelming.
But Michael in particular seems very happy.
Quite a result!
This brings us back into the very private back garden.
Definitely. It is private, is this.
-What are you feeling? You both look a bit shell-shocked!
-I am. Very.
-It is a shock.
You say, yeah, you hoped one day you'd find a property like this
and you look on the internet and do what you want,
-but actually coming to see it...
-It's what dreams are made of.
-It doesn't show you this on the internet.
-It just doesn't.
-The other thing you need to know is how much it costs.
-Can you make a guess at how much?
-I would say 550, me.
Top of your budget. What do you think, Michael?
-I'll go for 525, then.
This is on the market for offers around 475!
-So it's actually £75,000 under your budget.
-That's amazing, is that!
It is for the amount of land and the house that you get with it.
Why don't you go back through into the annexe,
have a think about what's happening in the annexe.
-Then I'll meet you at the front and we can motor on.
Well, it sounds like our first property has hit the mark.
It's well under budget at £475,000.
The integrated garage could be converted into a bedroom with an en-suite for Susan's sister.
Put a door there. It takes you into that guest room round there.
-It'll be perfect.
Couldn't ask for a better room.
To convert the garage, it's an absolute fantastic space.
We could make it into a lovely bedroom for my sister.
My first impression when I walked into the yard, it was absolutely amazing.
The garden, beautiful. The house is astonishing,
but me, personally, it's all about the garden and the land.
That's what I want up here.
-Are you sold on it? Do you like it?
-It's not the only one I'm showing you.
So hold your horses!
As the gateway between Scotland and England,
the Borders have been the setting for many a bloody conflict through the centuries.
Standing 12 miles from the English/Scottish border,
Jedburgh is the largest market town in the region.
It was on the front line when attacked by English raiding parties.
To find out more about Jedburgh and its rather grisly past,
we sent Susan and Michael to meet Joyce Crane at Jedburgh Abbey,
one of the four great abbeys in Scotland.
It was built in the 12th century by King David I of Scotland.
King David was a very pious man and he wanted to show his authority in Scotland
so he built four abbeys. Jedburgh is one of them.
We're very, very proud of our abbey.
During the centuries, it saw many battles and many skirmishes
right up until the Reformation in the middle of the 16th century.
Due to its size and grandeur, the abbey was a frequent target for English troops.
But if the soldiers were caught by the Scots,
they certainly didn't have much of a future.
One sporting tradition in Jedburgh made use of an English body part,
a game with gruesome origins that still exists today.
One of our traditions is Jedburgh handball,
which is a game that's played on the streets today.
It's a leather ball that's thrown up into the air and they catch it
and then smuggle it up and down the alleyways and get it over the boundaries.
In medieval times, tradition had it that it was the severed heads of Englishmen that we used
from our skirmishes in local battles that we had in this vicinity.
That's what represents the ball. They don't, thankfully, do that today!
It wasn't just the abbey that the English targeted.
Today an impressive Victorian jail house sits on the site originally occupied by Jedburgh Castle.
The castle was subject to so many attacks by the English
that it was eventually destroyed in 1409.
Curiously, it wasn't the English who finally razed it to the ground.
After many skirmishes and raiding parties from our English cousins,
the Jedburgh people decided to burn it down themselves.
You can understand why they built it here because it's an amazing view.
Exactly. That's one of the reasons why the original castle was in this position.
It was used as a look-out tower, basically.
It's amazing, isn't it? It's lovely.
Strongholds, castles and tower houses played an important role during war time.
But the mighty River Tweed has also been the setting for bloody battles,
such as Malcolm II's victory over the Northumbrians at Carham in 1018.
It was a battle that led to the river becoming the border of England and Scotland.
These days, the river is not a stage for war
but a sought-after holiday destination,
attracting £90 million-worth of tourism to the Scottish Borders every year.
The river boasts the longest fishing season in the country
and Bill Drube is one of the sport anglers that fish salmon here every year.
On the River Tweed on one bank, further south, is England. And on the north bank it's Scotland.
Up here in Scotland, the river is one of the premier salmon rivers in Europe.
About ten to 15,000 salmon caught on rod and line every year in this river.
People come from across the world.
Do the fish taste different from the Tweed than what you'd get in a supermarket?
Absolutely. The normal supermarket, the salmon you get almost always comes from a fish farm.
Wild salmon tastes completely different.
They look different from anything you buy in a supermarket.
It's truly organic. It's never seen a person - until you catch it!
It's illegal to keep or sell salmon caught on the Tweed
because conservation of wild stocks is of such importance.
A great spot for Michael and Susan to experience nature when they do finally hook their dream property.
Our second house is in the hillside village of Chirnside.
The village boasts a magnificent church that dates back to the 12th century,
surrounded by a host of stone-built terraces with views across the Tweed Valley.
The charming village also has a local shop and a pub,
so whether it's a pint of milk or real ale they're after, they'll be well serviced.
This is the property I wanted to show you.
This is a whole different kettle of fish.
-Because we're now in the middle of a village.
This was the grandest house in Chirnside. It's what they call the manse, or the vicarage.
It belonged to the church. It's Grade II listed, or Grade B, as they call it in Scotland.
-It dates back to about the 1750s, this part from 1757.
This bit is a Victorian extension. What do you think?
-It's big and it's grand.
I'm keen to show you inside.
Ready? It's quite grand.
The grandness continues on the inside. I know they wanted a modern interior,
so I hope they can see past the period furniture.
Come into this amazing hallway.
It's got really high ceilings.
-Yeah. All of this is the original stuff.
The original coving, original roses, original skirting boards, door frames.
What it is for us, although we want the beauty of the house,
and the features in it,
we need space.
So space is what it's about for us.
See if this is big enough.
Is this large enough? Spacious enough?
-Oh, yes, that's a massive room.
Great, isn't it? These old Georgian properties with such high ceilings.
-It's a nice space, isn't it?
-It's a very big room.
This is just one of two sitting rooms. This is the informal sitting room.
The formal sitting room is through here.
It's very formal!
-Nice big room.
It's nice, but obviously...
-The thing is, we've got really modern...
And it's just trying to figure out
whether the change from older to modern
would look right.
But these sort of spaces, none of this will be here if you bought it.
-Beautiful wooden floors, big walls, big high ceilings.
-On that sort of canvas, you can put anything and it would look great.
But it is a magnificent property. Let's check out the dining room.
So they've got this as the dining room.
And they have asked Scottish Heritage, the people you talk to about altering things,
if they could put in a French door here. Take that window down to the floor.
They said that's fine.
-So that could be an extra entrance and exit for Joanne.
-If she wanted her own entrance.
-And make this into a bedroom?
Make it a bedroom. You haven't seen it all yet, though.
Hold your hat on.
The kitchen is bigger than the last one.
Yes, it is big, isn't it?
There's a larder through there, a pantry.
It is a nice cosy place.
This room is.
To say the rest of the house is right regal, this is right cottagey.
-Well, upstairs is regal again.
-Let's have a look at that.
Space is all-important for Susan and Michael.
Regal or not, the dimensions of this house are perfect for their needs.
Upstairs, the rooms don't disappoint.
-You complained about the last room being a bit small.
That's a nice big room!
-This is the master bedroom.
-This is double the size.
-This is nice. You've got a whole system of the original bells.
-It rings in the kitchen.
Where's my tea, Susan?
Tea and toast in the morning!
There are four more tastefully decorated bedrooms on this level.
The smallest is currently used as a library.
There's also a family bathroom
and on the other side of the kitchen is more space ripe for development.
-Come through into the Victorian wing!
This is historically the more modern wing, but it's in a bit of disrepair.
-This would be a project.
Above here, you've got two good-sized bedrooms.
Let's go outside. I know that's important too.
This is the back door.
Apart from the grounds at the front of the property,
there's a secluded garden to the rear.
-So this is like the secret garden at the back.
-It's nice. It's big.
-It is nice, a nice space.
-I get the impression you're ambivalent about this property.
But to make a decision, you need to know the price. What do you think?
For me, because I see it as the lord of the manor house,
I would definitely say top of the range, so 550 definitely.
I wouldn't. I'd go about 530.
-Does that reflect the fact that you're not so keen on it?
Cos you're right. It's actually top of your budget at 550.
But have a walk around inside. See if it's at all workable.
-We'll see where we go from there.
But will the regal character of the property be a problem for Susan and Michael?
This room could be made into a nice big enough bedroom.
-If that were a French door, we could get her out onto the garden.
It isn't me, you know what I mean.
The house, it is nice, it's a lovely property.
I think this house is too grand for us.
We wouldn't feel right. I wouldn't want people to think that we were showing off.
Regal house, regal gates.
I love that!
You don't have to make any decisions. It's the end of our first day.
-Let's go home and reconsider what we've seen.
-We've always got the mystery house tomorrow.
As twilight plays upon the midges,
Susan and Michael have plenty to consider
after their first day of house-hunting.
So far, we've shown lottery winners Michael and Susan
two fantastic properties in the Scottish Borders.
-I wouldn't change a thing out here.
But next up, it's the mystery house
and for a couple not keen on a project, the results are rather surprising.
It's still enough of a big room to get my 60-inch TV in.
The mist is clearing over the Scottish Borders
on the second day of our property hunt for our lottery winners
but yesterday I realised that Michael and Susan are not looking for a big showy house
to reflect their wealth. They just want a home where the family can come together.
And the mystery house gives them the space of the second house
but with the views of the first.
But they're going to have to do some work on it. Will they rise to that particular challenge?
Today our mystery property lies east of Jedburgh
in the village of Ettrickbridge.
Originally named Kirkhope after the 16th-century tower house built by the marauder Walter Scott of Harden,
its current name is derived from the village bridge over Ettrick Water.
Today, this peaceful village sits like a picture under Kirkhope Hill.
Yesterday, Susan and Michael were thrown by the daunting decor in our second property.
Today, they won't have that problem.
Here we are.
This big chunk of Scottish property is the mystery house.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
It's massive. What do you think about the surroundings?
-The views are beautiful.
-Absolutely lovely. You couldn't ask for anything better.
-It's a classic 1880s stone farmhouse.
-Very solidly built.
-It is lovely.
What do you think the mystery is?
I've no idea.
The mystery begins with R.
Here we go.
Here we go, indeed!
Michael and Susan said they were open to anything but a project!
Come on in.
As you can see, it's empty.
But that's kind of good in the sense that you can the proportions.
-Yeah. You've not got somebody else's furniture distracting you.
-That was a stumbler yesterday.
-Hallway's big, isn't it?
-The front room.
-I absolutely love these windows.
-I'm glad you're saying wow!
I thought it could be an "eugh" house!
-No, actually, it's absolutely gorgeous.
Cos it's empty, you see more of it.
Our corner couches would go in here lovely. Absolutely lovely.
Both of you are so gung-ho! I love it.
-But it is gorgeous.
The other one's just as big.
I really like this room. The same proportions, but with a different feel.
Yeah. Same again with the big windows.
It's enough of a big room to get my 60-inch TV in!
Either that room or this room.
On the left of the stairs is a study that could be a third reception room.
This is where the renovations start to get a bit more obvious.
-Here's the kitchen.
-Yep. It is a big kitchen, though.
It is, yeah.
I actually think, once you get over the shock of it not being a fitted kitchen,
this could be a lovely, big, country, family kitchen.
-Massive wooden table.
-A big table in the middle.
Loads of work surface and cupboards.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a selection of rooms
that could be converted into a bedroom and wet room for Susan's disabled sister.
Upstairs, there are five bedrooms in this section of the house.
I love this bedroom cos you get the other views of the mountainside, or hillside in a different light.
-Nice windows again.
-You seem to be giving a thumbs up to this house.
-It feels a lot more homely.
cos house two yesterday, the ceilings were right up there. And these are down here.
-It makes you feel more at home.
-The lower ceilings.
-This feels cosy.
There's also a dual aspect double and three further bedrooms to sleep the rest of the family.
Other than that, there's a good-sized family bathroom on this side of the house.
Above the kitchen wing, there are two more bedrooms.
But we're heading outside, where the riverside garden opens up
to a total of seven acres of woodland and paddocks.
It's a handsome looking property.
You've also got all the land down here, to the lovely dry stone wall.
There's a courtyard garden at the back.
So there's plenty of land.
-Plenty of land.
What do you think it's worth? What do you think it's on the market for?
I'd still say 500,000.
Because of how the house is built, and the land.
I'd say about 570.
This property is on the market for offers around £450,000.
-That's good. That is very good.
-You would have £100,000 to do what you wanted to do.
Go and look round the grand house and see if it would work. I'll see you at the front.
I'm cautiously enthusiastic about their positive reaction to the mystery house.
It's well under budget at £450,000.
The question is, will the wildlife win out over the work that needs to be done?
Michael loves land.
And Michael loves wildlife and everything.
Which this has got because it leads down to the river.
-Nicest thing about this is, we can have actually three living rooms.
-The two big main rooms.
-This is a spare living room.
We're not all on top of each other then.
We did say we didn't want to renovate.
Obviously, we know there is a lot of work.
But I really seriously think
that Susan will like it and I honestly think she'll enjoy putting her finishing touches to it.
I'll have to drag you out of the mystery house!
-Just pull the door to, Michael.
OK. Seen all three houses.
Let's find somewhere to sit down and contemplate.
-See what happens next.
No trip to the Borders would be complete
without visiting the house of one of Scotland's favourite sons.
There are few literary names more closely aligned with Scotland than Sir Walter Scott
and his home, Abbotsford House, stands testament to this remarkable Scottish writer.
After spending his childhood in the Borders,
Scott came back in later life to build this house in 1824.
Much like his writing, the house blends the modern with the historic
and went on to influence the architecture of the time.
To tell me more, I'm meeting Janette McWhinney,
who came to work here for just two weeks
and stayed for 30 years!
It's a mish-mash of styles. Was this the style of building at that time?
Not really. As I say, a slightly fairytale castle, a conundrum castle, as it's called.
-Conundrum castle - is that its name?
But it's basically Scottish baronial style, some of it.
Scottish baronial is part of the Gothic revival movement of the 19th century.
Abbotsford House is widely cited as being one of the originals in this architectural style.
Inside, the walls are adorned with artefacts that represent influences in Scott's life.
This is Sir Walter's entrance hall
with his collection of weapons and armour.
And pieces from all over the world, basically.
Was this a genuine passion of his or was it more a fashion thing?
-It looks quite Gothic.
-No, it was a passion of his.
He wanted to be a soldier, but because of his illness
he wasn't able to partake in a military career.
After suffering childhood polio, he started writing
and became internationally renowned for the Waverley Novels, including Rob Roy and Ivanhoe.
But Scott was also a patriot.
As such he was fundamental in preserving the Scottish pound,
rejuvenating the kilt
and rehabilitating interest in the traditions of Scottish Highland culture.
Even Waverley, Edinburgh's main train station
is named after one of his novels.
And it was in his study that many of his later works were penned.
This is Sir Walter Scott's study.
So this is where he wrote?
This is his writing desk here, yes.
-This is where all the hard work was done.
-He was a worker, wasn't he?
-Yes, he did.
He had to work very hard for the last six years of his life.
'When the printing company that he part-owned collapsed,
'he chose to write his way out of debt.
'As a workaholic, even into his twilight years, Scott did just that.
'The shelves in his study contain 2,000 books,
'but it's next door in his library that his passion for the written word becomes clear,
'with a further 7,000,
'said to be the largest private collection in Scotland.'
-It's an incredible selection of books.
All languages. English, French, Latin,
Italian, German, Spanish.
Sir Walter could read all of these languages and said he could speak a little of most of them.
Incredible. It's fascinating to me that he was such a literary figure in his time,
so famous around the world,
and yet now he's more of a national figure.
He's more to do with being Scottish than being a writer.
Yes, because he did so many other things for Scotland, other than his writing.
And his writing did make Scotland, basically. He was Mr Scotland for tourism.
It's been really fascinating. It's lovely to see the house because it sums him up beautifully.
-It's a great...
-It's a wonderful house. It's worth coming to visit the house to get the whole...
-It's a real treat.
It's difficult to stop anywhere in the Scottish borders without it looking so beautiful.
We're off to see whether Michael and Susan were swayed by the mystery house
or whether it's neck and neck with the first house. Let's see.
This is a big, big move for you
on all sorts of levels.
It's been wonderful showing you round. You had strong opinions about the first one and the second
and now the mystery house. Tell me what you felt about each one.
Let's talk about the first house. That seemed like a winner.
I absolutely loved the first house.
There's nothing about it that I do not like.
It was smallish. They were cottage rooms,
but we could have been happy in there even though the rooms were a bit small.
But I think we could have been happy.
The second house had less land, but it was much grander.
-It was grand, and it was too grand for me.
Can you put your finger on what made the grandness difficult to live with?
Even though they were huge, plenty of space, having such a big family,
-the ceilings were so high you just felt...
It just didn't feel like a room.
The mystery house was also big. They were big rooms.
Yeah, but back again to the ceilings, the ceilings were low.
So they made it feel comfortable
and made it feel homely.
And, like you say, the house is as big as the second house
-but I think it just looked more homely.
-Yeah, it does.
-It looks like a house.
-When I said it needed renovation, I thought you were going to punch me!
So I was wondering if you thought there was too much renovation?
Um, there is a lot of renovation to do,
but it's not knocking it down and rebuilding it.
I think putting our finishing touches to that house
it would be our house as a family then
and I seriously think we would enjoy it more.
It's down to us. We've done it.
So the mystery house has edged ahead?
-For me it has, and definitely...
-What about you?
My heart is telling me number one.
But my head is saying the mystery house.
Oh. So what happens next? How do you plan to proceed?
-I think we need to bring Jamie and Josh.
-Definitely bring the boys up.
-Obviously they're a big part in it.
-Just see what their take is on it
before we actually make a final decision.
I can't wait to hear your news.
You're going to get remarried, which is wonderful.
It's been a real joy showing you around because you're so positive
and there's so much good vibes around the two of you.
Wherever you live, it'll be a lovely home,
but I really hope sincerely that you find one of these will fit the bill.
-Thank you very much.
Oh, who isn't going to be cheering from the sidelines
as Michael and Susan renew their vows, then head back to the Scottish Borders with their extended family.
I can't think of two more deserving lottery winners.
If you'd like more heart-warming stories of rural relocation,
make sure you join us next time for more Escape to the Country.
Michael and Susan are happy to report
they've renewed their wedding vows
and are looking forward to taking the boys to view the first property.
If you'd like to escape to the country in Northern Ireland, Wales,
Scotland or England, and need our help,
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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Alistair Appleton dons a kilt as he goes property-hunting in the Scottish Borders for a couple of lottery winners who are seeking a family home with a budget of 550,000 pounds. But will the regal splendour of an 18th-century vicarage prove too much? Alistair also visits the home of one of Scotland's most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott.