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If you enjoy a slice of rural life, what better way to get a taste of what your chosen region has to offer
than a trip to the local country show? So where are we today? Join me in a few minutes and I'll show you.
'In today's show, I'll be helping a couple quit the London suburbs
'to earn what they hope will be a substantial crust in the country. Time to launch our charm offensive.'
-Oh, this is nice.
-It's happening. Definitely happening.
'And the business opportunities with our mystery house force them to do some blue-sky thinking.'
Well, today we're in Dorset in the heart of the West Country.
And this noisy, bustly place is the Melplash Country Show.
It's a wonderful example of local colour and culture, produce and, of course, people.
A great place to catch up on all the local gossip.
The West Country is a rather informal term
to describe the counties of south-west England
with Devon and Dorset resolutely at its heart.
It's easy to dwell on the spectacular 95-mile Jurassic coastline,
England's first World Heritage Site,
charting 185 million years of the Earth's history.
But the region's rural backdrop is equally as impressive,
rooted in a strong farming tradition and the spoils of two National Parks in Devon alone.
The region offers up a varied mix of properties with those quintessential thatched cottages
always an enticing sight for aspiring escapees.
Now, currently, the national average house price
is around about £258,000.
Here in the West Country, though,
you could expect to spend around 17% on top of that.
And even if you did, unfortunately it won't get you this gorgeous pile behind me, Brympton D'Evercy.
But the rise does go on and we think it's down to demographics.
It's a very popular area for people to retire to.
It could be the first part of the UK where a quarter of the population are pensioners.
So if you want a slice of the action, you could have to move pretty quickly.
But whatever your age or budget, there is plenty on offer.
£250,000 could buy you this two-bedroom cottage in Mamhead,
recently renovated throughout, making the most of quality wooden features
from the fireplace to the bespoke oak kitchen fittings.
A cosy thatch could be yours for £399,000
in the form of this listed four-bedroom cottage in Cheriton Bishop.
Its period features have been lovingly restored
with the beams adding a rustic feel to the kitchen/diner.
Or for £700,000, how about this Grade 2 listed thatched property in Otterton
which oozes character with fireplaces and exposed beams running throughout its living areas?
And the somewhat lavishly furnished master is one of four bedrooms on offer.
The property market down here has plenty to tempt anybody away
from suburban streets to a bit of pastoral perfection,
exactly the kind of lifestyle that today's buyers are trying to find.
'Paul, a civil engineer, and Diane, a school administrator,
'have lived together in their three-bedroom house in Pinner for the past decade.
'But they feel it's now time to break away from the London suburbs
'and put some big business plans into action.'
For me, having worked and lived in London for all my life,
an hour and a half's commute each end of the day, definitely had enough.
There's got to be more to life. What we would like to do ideally
would be to have maybe four or five high-quality, four to five-star holiday lets
which would attract an affluent customer.
We're throwing ourselves into this wholeheartedly and it's a bit of a dream, you know.
It's just going to be fabulous. I know it's going to work. We're going to put our heart and souls into it.
'And family are obviously close to their hearts too.'
One of the big reasons we're doing this is for my father.
He currently lives by himself
and he's getting less capable of tending to his own needs.
We need to bring him in to live with us, so we can give him the care and attention that he deserves.
'And their chosen location has got to be good for business.'
Our criteria is that we want to be a maximum of three and a half hours from north-west London.
That's a reasonable time for friends and relatives and paying guests
to travel on a Friday night or a Saturday morning.
It needs to be within walking distance of maybe a pub or a shop
or somewhere where people can buy milk, emergency rations.
But yeah... It is essential that we have the tranquillity and the peace and the views.
So I think on the very outskirts of a village would be lovely, or a hamlet.
'So what's the vision for their perfect property?'
That photogenic, um... chocolate box image is high priority for me, a high one.
We want a three-bed property.
Reasonably large rooms downstairs, nice big kitchen.
Secondly, we need an annexe for my father.
The special features that I'd like to see in our house
are things like inglenook fireplaces, bread ovens,
beams, flagstone floors.
Well, what I really would like is a big farmhouse kitchen,
so that I have the space to do the cooking that I like to do.
It would be lovely just to be able to spread out.
'To finance the move, they have their house on the market
'To add to the pot, they've got some savings, the funds from selling Paul's father's house
'and a business loan, so taking all that into account, how much do they have to spend?'
Our maximum budget is £1.25 million.
There's no denying the fact that Paul and Diane have a fantastic budget.
But they also have a pretty extensive wish-list to go with it.
Not only are we looking for a gorgeous country house, we also need a business.
And we need somewhere for Peter, Paul's dad, so he can make his own escape to the country.
Now, they are all London born and bred.
Moving to the West Country will represent a huge change of lifestyle,
which I suspect will involve a lot more than just money.
Being three and a half hours from London is key to this move.
But with such a formidable wish-list, we'll cast our net wide,
spanning the Devon borders and even nudging into Somerset.
I'll be showing Paul and Diane three different properties.
But I won't be revealing the price of each until they've had a guess first.
And our mystery house will challenge how close to home they want their business to be.
Well, guys, welcome to what promises to be a pretty wet West Country.
Thank you, Jules.
So you're rolling the family finances into one
to get this fantastic figure of what, 1.25 million?
Yeah. That's the theory. I mean, with a good business plan
for a holiday let business, hopefully we can achieve that budget and the property that we want.
Now how much money does this business need to make?
-I'm estimating that we need a turnover of approximately 80,000 to maintain the family.
-So you can chuck in the city life completely...
-Absolutely. Not a problem.
Not a problem. Can't wait!
-Right. Let's go for a little wander.
-All right. Lovely.
For a maximum budget of £1.25 million,
Paul and Diane are looking for a detached character property
with original features that give them a large kitchen/diner,
at least three bedrooms, an annexe for Paul's father to make his own,
along with the potential for a holiday let business
that will generate £80,000 a year.
And no more than three and a half hours from London.
Well, having trawled the internet, how does it now feel
to finally have the chance to get in some of these wonderful buildings?
It's very exciting. I'm really looking forward to doing this.
'We're kicking off our property search within Somerset's borders,
'close to the village of Sparkford.
'Their urban clientele can make a quick getaway from London
'with a direct train to Castle Cary,
'so rural peace and a Friday night pint at the local pub is within their reach.
'Besides its listed church, there are some lovely historic properties dotted about,
'such as this Grade 2 listed farmhouse, built in 1853 for a dual purpose.'
-Right, what do you think of that? It was built as the local doctor's surgery.
-It's a handsome building.
But it looks as if there is a little bit of external decorative work to be done.
Yes. There's a good reason for that. There are plans for an extension.
It would come off to the right-hand side there.
-It could go all the way up or it could be a single storey.
-That sounds good.
-Shall we get out of the rain?
-Let's do it.
-Let's do that.
'This Victorian property has good, solid bones
'and the potential they're looking for to make their mark.'
Right. Come on in, Diane.
-Wow, look at this!
-Come in, Paul. What do you reckon?
-This is really nice.
It's a fabulous space.
-This is great.
-I think this is a building that offers all kinds of possibilities for you.
The space in here is terrific. It's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect in, effectively, a farmhouse.
Decoratively, we can tweak it. That isn't a problem.
-The space and the feel is very comfortable.
-It's very good.
Good. Right, follow me through here.
-This would all have been sort of scullery/parlour, you know,
going back to the Victorian day.
-Um... This doorway is original. And this we think would've been the consulting room.
Although now it's a reception room.
OK. Another gorgeous fireplace, actually.
-Oh, that's pretty special.
-It is currently the main reception room.
-And I know, ideally, you want another one.
-The extension is proposed, the bulk of it, to go there.
So effectively this window would become a doorway. And you would have quite a generous garden room there.
'They seem impressed by the generous proportions of the downstairs rooms.
'And leading off the dining area is a useful cloakroom with a distinctly Victorian feel.
'But now let's see if the space on offer in the five bedrooms spread over two floors measures up.'
-So this is one of the three on this floor.
-Yeah. It's a very good size, actually. Very good size.
-That's a big bed and it sits easily in here.
'Opposite the master is a single room, currently decked out with bunk beds
'with a second dual-aspect double further down the landing and a family bathroom opposite.
'But let's head up into the roof space.'
I mean, you really do get the idea that you are approaching the top of this house...
-It's so steep!
-Once you tackle the stairs, they are really steep!
-Um... Great space, though.
-It is. It is. I'm liking the exposed structure here.
-The roof structure is lovely.
-It's very nice.
'And next door, the fifth bedroom is a mirror image, accessed by a separate flight of stairs.
'This farmhouse certainly serves up ample space for them to live in.
'And outside are stables and outbuildings with lapsed planning permission for residential use,
'so there's the option of converting them into an annexe for Paul's father.
'What's more, there's a finished blueprint round the corner,
'where three former stables are currently being let out on rolling six-month leases,
'generating £20,000 a year.'
-Come in the dry.
-Oh, this is nice.
-My word! Beams!
-What do you think?
-We have some beams.
I mean, this is very cosy, I think.
-This one also has two double rooms with it. I mean, just going back to Dad...
-Incorporating him in this move.
-Would he settle into this, say,
if you introduced this to him straight away?
I think, provided something like this had disabled facilities,
especially in the bathroom, this would be absolutely ideal with this sort of thing.
-Because that's the other joy - it's all on one level.
-That's very important for him, no steps.
So, let's go outside, check out a little bit more, finish the tour. And then we'll talk about the money.
'There's a potential money-spinner outside as part of the ten-acre site is given over to paddocks
'and equestrian facilities which they could rent out.'
Well, Diane, how much do you think this little lot is worth?
-The rain's for free, by the way. You get that chucked in.
Um... I think I'm going to go with...
-Very optimistic. Yeah. OK.
-I'm going to go for 915.
-Well, this was on the market for 1.25 million.
But it is now on the market for just under a million - 999.999.
-So we have automatically saved you a quarter of a million pounds, Paul.
-I like that thought.
-Well, go and get your calculator out.
-Have a wander round. I'll catch up with you later. Off you go.
'At just shy of a million pounds,
'this Grade 2 listed farmhouse is a great opening gambit
'and meets the demands on their wish-list,
'offering them two reception rooms
'with planning in place for a third.
'A huge kitchen/diner,
'five bedrooms and three holiday lets all ready to go
'with another stable block ripe for conversion,
'all wrapped up in ten acres.'
The immediate reaction to the kitchen as we walked in was lovely.
I loved that whole...flagstone floors. It was a big space.
There's work to do. So I can see us spending the rest of our budget
fitting the place up to what we need it to be.
It doesn't quite have some of the features that I would like
in terms of a more cottagey feel. That's really where my heart lies,
in more of the oak beams, big inglenook fireplaces.
-Come on. Nice for ducks, isn't it?
-If I was a duck, I'd be really happy today.
That was a really interesting property for you to look at
because as well as focusing in on what kind of building you're after,
it's also stirring up interesting ideas as to how you're going to finance this.
-And how far you really need to stretch yourself.
-It's been very interesting indeed.
-OK, one down, two to go.
-A good start. Excellent.
Along with the spectacular rural hinterland,
the south-west coast forms an important bedrock for British tourism.
Devon and Dorset combined pull in over £3.5 billion a year.
Its Jurassic stretch is dotted with historic seaside towns and ports
of which Weymouth is a prime example.
Today, visitors spend well over £140 million here every year.
And as far back as 1789, this seaside resort met with royal approval.
Earlier in the week, Paul and Diane met town guide Jackie Gibson to find out more.
Weymouth first became a tourism hotspot when King George III made a number of holidays here
to take in the health-giving properties of the water.
So on a daily basis, the King would go into a bathing machine.
He would be pulled by a shire horse into the water
where he would be dipped into the water. And at the same time, the band would go in
and strike up God Save The King every time he went in.
-Some described him as The Mad King.
I think he was perfectly sensible coming here for his holidays!
'With its waters also considered to be some of the best for sailing in northern Europe,
'Weymouth's harbour will play host to the 2012 Olympic sailing events.
'Still graced by its handsome Georgian buildings, it's a vibrant marine hub these days.
'But back in the 14th century, these waters were troubled by local feuding.'
So here we are in Weymouth harbour. This very much was two separate communities
with Weymouth on our right-hand side now and Melcombe Regis to our left.
The two areas used to continually fight over the use of the water.
'But with the onset of the Hundred Years' War, they joined forces
'and in 1347, provided 15 ships and 263 mariners for the Siege of Calais
'where the English sealed an early victory.'
The two towns put all their history behind them.
And rather than having a rowing boat with a piece of rope as a ferry
to get from one side of the harbour to the other,
they built a bridge. And now rather than Weymouth and Melcombe Regis,
we're just known as the town of Weymouth.
'The town currently draws in well over a million visitors a year.
'And with the Olympics on the horizon,
'the region is sure to build on its reputation as a tourist hotspot.
'Great news for Paul and Diane's venture.
'Our house hunt continues over the border into Devon,
'in the village of Tedburn St Mary,
'just a couple of miles from the Dartmoor National Park,
'so well located for their holiday guests with charming local pubs
'and its church dating back to the 13th century.
'Among the traditional thatched properties tucked way along its pretty lanes
'is this impressive one.'
-What about this one? That's beautiful.
-Now, how old do you think it is?
-I mean, it's designed as a 200-year-old cottage,
but it looks almost brand-new.
-So if I told you that actually at its core it's a 12th-century mill...
-You're kidding me.
-I can't see the core from here.
-It's a 12th-century mill, hence the proximity to the brook.
But you are absolutely right in that effectively it's a new house.
The whole thing has been redone.
-Sounds good to me.
-You didn't want a project, did you?
-You persuaded me.
-Yeah, I know. Come on. Have a look.
'That's the reaction I was hoping for. And as they'll see, the interior is just as charming.'
Come on in to here.
-Oh, look at the lovely fire!
-That's fantastic. And the beam - that's nice.
-It's one hell of a beam. I'm loving the wonky walls as well.
-Oh, yeah. It's not a straight house, Paul.
-Well, it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be.
-Quite right too.
In our last property you were concerned that it didn't have that cottagey feel.
-But I get the sense with this one you've lit up.
-Have a look at this room.
'Next door is a generous dual-aspect dining room with a useful cloakroom by the entrance.
'But I want to see what they think of their third reception room.'
There we go. Come on in.
-Oh, my goodness! Look at that fireplace.
-Yeah. Now we're talking!
-Have you seen the ceiling?
-You wanted beams, Paul.
OK. Well, you know, lots of space here.
Lots more to come because the kitchen is through that door there.
That's what I'm keen to see now.
'Brace yourself, guys, because it just gets better.'
-Wow! This is fabulous.
-Isn't it just? This place was a real wreck when the current owners bought it.
They've re-built the whole thing. Because the really clever bit is that this building isn't listed.
-I don't believe that.
-No. It's not listed.
So they had a free hand to really turn this into as modern a home as you can imagine.
-It's absolutely brilliant. I love the kitchen.
-Wouldn't change a thing at all.
-No? And the rest of it so far?
-Let's see what happens upstairs...
'So far they seem utterly smitten by the downstairs of our mill house.
'So we'll head upstairs and see if the potential master, one of three bedrooms up here, measures up.'
-Start in here, shall we?
-What do you reckon?
-Master bedroom, I take it?
-I'm going to suggest that it might be the master bedroom.
So again no straight lines. The floors are all a bit wonky. But it's just gorgeous.
Look at that view out the window as well.
-Waking up in here would be great.
-To your own bridge.
-Yeah. And your own brook!
'Well, if they like that, they're going to love soaking up the view from the next room.'
Now then... Come in here.
What a bathroom. That's fantastic!
Now, the view here when you're sat in the bath or laying in the bath...
-Oh, my goodness!
-Straight through the garden, through the gate to the woodland beyond. Yeah?
'The other two bedrooms consist of a lovely spacious double and another great-size guest room
'with a tasteful, modern en-suite.
'The character and finish of this house seem to have hit the right note.
'Outside is full of cottage garden charm too, with bridges over the brook and a vegetable garden
'with raised beds and a state-of-the-art greenhouse, complete with chicken run.
'But the real magic of this property starts here.'
And the more formal bit, I suppose. But this bridge here goes back over the brook
and I think really marks the transition between the formal garden
and what I can only describe as an enchanted garden.
You wanted woodland, mate. There's five acres of it over there.
'And that's just for starters.
'All told, they get over 19 acres with a pond, paddocks, and there's a host of outbuildings,
'including an animal shelter and hay barn.
'There's potential for Paul's father to have his own self-contained abode with access at ground level
'to this lovely light annexe, the downstairs of which serves as a double garage.
'With house and land covered, it's time to do some straight talking about the money.'
Now, the business plan... What, of course, we haven't got
are ready-made holiday cottages for you at the moment.
How about yurts? They're not permanent, so planners can look quite favourably on them.
A decent yurt will set you back about six grand.
But in the high season, people queue up to spend a weekend in one.
-That's certainly something to look into.
-It's certainly a lot cheaper than building a holiday cottage.
Because the key thing is, how much is this all going to cost you?
-Paul, you start this time.
-It's your turn.
-I'm thinking sort of 1.2 plus a little bit.
I think... I'm going to be optimistic again, Jules,
and go with 1.15.
Well, if it were on the market for £825,000...
You are joking!
-You might not need to worry about the mortgage, Paul.
-That is a shock.
-Go and explore the rest of the grounds,
the house. Get into it.
-Soak it all up. Think about Dad.
-And I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
'Very comfortably under budget at £825,000,
'our stunning mill house seems to offer them the full package.
'You've got three spacious reception rooms,
'a stunning kitchen/diner,
'three bedrooms and a separate annexe for Paul's father.
'And beautiful wooded ground,
'potentially great terrain for yurts,
'each of which could bring in
'up to £300 for a long weekend.'
We saw the thatch and immediately that blew us away. It just looked stunning with the cream walls.
A typical, you know, chocolate box cottage. It's a fantastic impression.
So do you think this will work as an annexe for your dad?
-If the property has a weak point, this is it.
It's quite small. And it's quite cut off from the main house by steps and slopes.
When we came outside and saw the land here,
it's just amazing. The woodland is so beautiful and so natural.
-Torn yourselves away then?
-That was a task.
-I knew it wouldn't be easy, guys. It's a very nice property, this.
-Have we rocked the boat then?
-Just a bit.
-You certainly have.
'So as the sun goes down over the West Country,
'it marks the end of our first day's property search.
'Armed with a one-and-a-quarter million pound budget,
'Paul and Diane want to quit their life of long commutes into London
'and find a property in the West Country where they can build a luxury holiday let business.
'We've shown them two rural sites with business potential.
'But our mystery house will push them to do a re-think.'
'And I go under canvas where competition is rife.'
You know, when we started out with Paul and Diane, I was a bit anxious.
They had said that they'd looked at a great many properties.
But none of them satisfied them. So it does beg the question - what is going to work?
The truth is that having looked at many online, they hadn't looked at many in the flesh.
So far they've seen two of ours. They've been quite interested in both of them.
Certainly thrilled by the second one. But it's mystery house time. It's our final day of house-hunting.
What will that throw up, I wonder?
'With a big holiday business in mind,
'we're off to the east Devon coast,
'to the seaside resort of Budleigh Salterton.
'Its three-mile stretch of red sandstone cliffs form part of the Jurassic Coast.
'The seafront, shops and cafes are within walking distance of our mystery house,
'where we're going all out for high-end income without a holiday let in sight.'
-There you go.
-Gosh! A mansion.
-The whole thing is absolutely gorgeous. 1920s or thereabouts.
-Now, of course, we have discussed holiday lets in some detail. We haven't really touched on B&B.
-But this is a five-star B&B.
-In its first year it turned over £80,000.
-This year they think they'll turn over nearly 100.
-Wow! That's incredible.
Right, let's go and see what you think.
'The figures seem to have impressed them. And I'm confident the house will too.'
-Come on in...to the mystery hall.
-Some foyer. It's fantastic!
-It just oozes class.
-There's an awful lot to explore here.
The foyer kind of is the interface, really, between the family side and guest side.
-So which side shall we start with first?
-It's got to be the family side, I think.
-Family side? OK.
Let's go through these doors here.
OK, now then... Not your average B&B kitchen.
No, absolutely. Look at that space!
-It's a nice space. Everything's all in, isn't it? It's a big room.
It's a huge family room, this,
-which I think is a real sanctuary, if you will...
..from guests over there. You're in here. Nice dining area.
-Seating area. Somewhere to relax, chill out.
-It's a really lovely social space, actually.
-So this is you.
-Guests. Let's see what they're going to enjoy. Through here.
'By the kitchen there's also a cloakroom and a useful laundry room.
'And they get a second rather grand living room all to themselves
'as their guests get their own impressive reception areas to relax in.'
So this is the other half of what's on offer, the guest half, if you will.
As you can see, guest dining and living room.
-This is handsome, isn't it?
-Very comfortable looking. Very luxurious.
Now, of course, it is a bed and breakfast, so let's go and check out the beds.
-They are as good, if not better...
'Upstairs, the five bedrooms offer up high-end accommodation throughout.'
OK, guys. Well, let's start with the kind of family end of it.
This would be your master bedroom.
-It's a fabulous size. Wall-to-wall wardrobes.
-Get all your clobber in there.
-All my clothes. Absolutely.
Again it goes to the heart of making sure that you as a couple, as a family,
-are as comfortable as your guests, if not more so.
'And that's certainly the case with the superb walk-in shower they get in their en-suite.
'Further along the landing is one of the two B&B rooms with the same luxury on offer.'
Now, slightly squeaky floorboards at this end. You'll know what's going on here.
-Lovely en-suite in there with bath, which is just lovely.
And then in here. You know, long weekend, a week...
-I'd be very happy for a week in here.
-If we're going to do B&B,
we'd love to do something high-end like this, so it's really interesting to see it.
We'd need to think about it a lot, I think. But it's giving us some good vibes at the moment.
'The other paying double guest bedroom is again beautifully decorated
'with the fourth double given over to family guests. The fifth room is used for laundry.
'The quality finish of our spacious mystery property seems to be making the B&B idea an appealing one.
'And outside across the driveway from the main house is a detached annexe
'with two self-contained bedrooms, one of which could suit Paul's dad down to the ground.'
-As you would expect, standard is really high.
Loads of space. Nice seating area here.
But this one is different to next door in that it has the addition of this little kitchenette area,
leading on to another beautifully appointed en-suite. But what about in terms of Dad?
It's looking good. I mean, there's the space he needs. There's the facilities he needs certainly.
-It's not too far from the house.
-I really like it.
'And they could still use the second bedroom and en-suite next door for paying guests.
'Outside, the attractive gardens amount to just under an acre
'and include a huge timber-frame greenhouse.
'The big question is - has our magnificent mystery property won them over enough
'to do a complete U-turn on their vision for the business? And, of course, at what cost?'
-Right, guys. Well, here we are.
So, how much is it worth to you?
I'm going to say, um... 1.05.
It's actually on the market for less than that.
-This could be yours for £950,000.
-So a cool 300 grand under your proposed maximum spend.
-It's something certainly to consider.
-Right. Go and consider.
-Go and make a list of all the pros and cons. I'll catch you later.
-All right then.
-Off you go. Brilliant.
'Under budget at £950,000,
'our immaculate mystery property
'throws their business plan completely up in the air.
'However, it is a tantalising package,
'offering them superb, yet separate reception areas
'for family and their holiday guests, five bedrooms,
'an annexe for Paul's father
'and they would inherit a healthy B&B business
'with a secure £80,000 a year turnover.
'And it's all set in a seaside tourist hotspot
'with direct train links
'from nearby Exeter to London,
'ideal for weekend escapees.'
For Dad, in terms of the annexe facilities,
I think this is possibly the best we've seen.
-If I could get my head around the whole idea of the B&B aspect, people in your house...
-..then maybe it would work.
-Yeah. I do love the great big space with the kitchen/diner and lounge.
But I was hoping to have more reception space.
Right, guys. Well, that's it, I'm afraid. We're going to close the door on the mystery house.
House tours are now done and dusted.
-How are we feeling?
-Um... The mind's going 19 to the dozen.
-The variety of what you've shown us is fantastic.
-So many different options to consider.
-That's what I wanted to do.
If that's where we're at, I'm delighted. The key thing now is have we come up with a solution
or just confused you? Come on.
'Agricultural shows have throughout history celebrated the best of what rural life has to offer.
'Dating back over 200 years, they grew out of a desire to encourage competition and improvement,
'much needed during the early 19th-century agricultural depression.
'Even today, of the 20,000 people who flock to the Melplash Show,
'around half come to compete, be it with their prize livestock or produce.'
Now, if you think that competing in the horticultural tent here at a country show
is all about producing suggestively shaped vegetables, well, think again.
The men and women that compete here every year are passionate about their produce.
'I'm meeting Cyril Whitlock, who besides being a part-time judge, is an avid competitor himself.'
Now, what are you exhibiting? What is your key exhibit here?
-Well, I've entered the dahlias here in this class.
It's a class for a mixed vase.
That's... They are stunning.
-But in terms of the competition, Cyril,
how are you going to do? I mean, how do the other exhibits sort of stack up against yours?
There is one exhibit that's very good and that's this one here.
The colour is stunning, isn't it?
And brilliant condition. They are really lovely.
-That's a prize exhibit.
-That, I think, will be hard to beat.
'But it's not only floral displays that fall under the horticultural umbrella.
'As you'd expect, local vegetables also take pride of place.'
I know you're exhibiting potatoes. Which ones are yours?
-That's the Balmoral. Very good variety.
Now, come on, anybody watching this is going to say, "Oh, it's just a potato, Cyril."
This has been grown in a peat base in a bag
-to get them like that.
-Not in soil?
-Not in the soil in the open ground.
-And what does that do? Does it give you that lovely smooth texture?
So when you dig them up or take them out, you wash them. Then you wrap them in paper.
-And then you put them...
-I love your face. You're so proud! They're like your babies, aren't they?
Well, I am proud of those, actually, yes.
-I think we are being hurried out of here because judging is about to begin.
-We must go.
-Come on then.
'Cyril would normally be judging in the horticultural section,
'but as there's clearly a conflict of interest,
'all he can do is sweat it out for a nail-biting two hours until judging is finally over.'
These to me look very nice.
My first impression of these is they are well-grown, well-spaced, nice colours.
No damage on this one.
-The quality of the dahlias...
-The dahlias, much better.
-..is very good.
-The foliage is very clean. It's an eye-opener. It's a much bigger exhibit than the others.
Balmoral. I can't say I've grown this one.
But that's a nice, uniform set.
-Not bad. Nice and clean.
-A little small?
-We'll give those first then.
-And they're second.
It can't be that far off, can it?
-Come on. Let's have a look.
-Let's have a look.
-Right, Cyril. How's it looking? Oh, what do the colours tell you?
-No. I knew.
-What did I tell you?
-You got second.
-I got second.
-But I think that would've... I told you that would've won.
-You thought this was the competition?
-It was exceptionally good, wasn't it?
-There you go. But what about those stud spuds? Let's see how they got on.
-It's another second, Cyril!
-And these were the competition?
-Yes. And they're best in show.
-Second best in show.
-Second best in show.
-Well, that is what a prize-winning potato looks like.
-They are very, very good, yes.
'With our house search now at an end,
'I wonder if Paul and Diane will run with any of the business options our properties have served up?'
Well, guys, here we are.
-It's the end of the road, as it were.
Or indeed the beginning of a new one, if we've found your new property, I wonder?
We started with the old doctor's surgery, the equestrian property with ten acres, the stables
and the three holiday lets.
Now you've had time to really mull that one over, what do you think?
Well, it was a very spacious house. Lovely big kitchen there.
Needed a little bit of work doing. I think the extension that was mentioned,
we'd want that if we were to take that property for the extra reception area.
With the holiday lets, we'd have to spend a lot of money on them. We would have to strip out completely
and re-start to get to the level of accommodation that we want to provide.
But our second property was different all again.
It's just a gorgeous house in a gorgeous setting that we all fell in love with!
-Talk me through it.
-It was absolutely fantastic.
The house, you couldn't fault. It was the chocolate box image.
The thatched roof. Very modernised, but in a very, very tasteful and most acceptable way to me.
I think we had a bit of a dilemma with the annexe situation.
It was still a little bit awkward to get an access to the house. We're concerned about Paul's dad, Peter.
And I think as we walked round, we were wondering where the business aspect was coming from?
-Yes. It was a shock.
-We threw the idea of yurts into the mix.
And very easy to imagine
down by the brook there, those lovely gladed paddocks.
-An idyllic location for exactly that.
-Our little search wasn't over just yet because there was, of course, one final property to come.
The fabled mystery house.
-It was a little bit special.
-Yeah. I think it was very special!
-You know, with a very handsome income attached to it.
-It was a complete curve ball.
They've set it up perfectly. The rooms are exquisite.
And it's no wonder that they can easily turn over that kind of money out of just four rooms.
I think for me personally, the B&B prospect is still a bit of a stumbling block.
Getting up early in the morning to do other people's breakfasts...
-LAUGHTER It's not for you!
-It's not at this moment in time for me.
We've tempted you handsomely with all three.
If I were to give you the keys to any one of them, which one would it be?
-Have a guess, Jules.
-It's got to be number two.
-It's number two.
-Course it is!
Well, guys, I can see it's going to take a little while for all this to sink in
and for you to finally make your minds up and make the move,
to take this great leap of faith from Pinner to the West Country.
And bring your dad with you.
-But when you do, I think you are going to fit right in.
-Thank you very much.
-So it's been a real pleasure. And, as always, very best of luck. Cheers.
The pebbles here on the beach at Budleigh Salterton are unique.
They're not found anywhere else along the British coastline.
And when you look at patterns like that, it's believable.
And I suppose in some ways they're a nice analogy for house hunts.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, different people, different requirements.
You never quite know what you're going to get. But I think as Paul and Diane have found,
having a country dream is one thing. Figuring out what that's going to take in reality to make it happen
is something else, but like pebbles, if you look hard enough,
you may just find what you're looking for.
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Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011
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Jules Hudson is in the West Country helping a couple leave suburbia behind and earn a crust in the countryside. With a healthy budget of £1.25 million they are looking for a period character home with an annexe for dad and a high-end holiday let business.