Yorkshire Dales Escape to the Country


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Yorkshire Dales

Alistair Appleton helps some house hunters desperate to downsize to the Yorkshire Dales with a budget of £350,000.


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Does this market town of 400 inhabitants look familiar to you?

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You may know it better by its fictional name of Darrowby.

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If that doesn't ring any bells, stay tuned. All will be revealed on today's Escape To The Country.

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'On today's show, I'll be helping an intrepid couple put their best foot forward

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'to start a new life in the country and it looks like we're on the right track.'

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-That's perfect.

-Perfect.

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-Was that a tear you were wiping away?

-Yes.

-Really? Do you really like it that much?

-It's lovely.

-Aw!

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-Oh, I love it when... That's wonderful.

-Oh, don't!

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'But will the mystery house have them running for the hills?'

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Today, we're in North Yorkshire and this is Askrigg, made famous by the televised James Herriot novels,

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written by James Alfred Wight, Yorkshire's most famous vet.

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But in these parts, being a vet is not just a fictional business.

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In some parts of Yorkshire, in the rural uplands, 50% of the workforce are agricultural

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and that means the vet is a vital link for these rural communities.

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Spanning some 3,000 square miles, North Yorkshire is the largest county in England,

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40% of which is covered by its two national parks -

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the rugged North York Moors and the lush, green valleys of the Yorkshire Dales

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which, although predominantly a working landscape, attracts over eight million visitors a year.

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The county is home to wonderful architecture from the Ribblehead Viaduct,

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a triumph of Victorian engineering,

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to the medieval twin towers of Skipton Castle.

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And its robust Yorkstone buildings stand proud throughout its towns and villages

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with places like Skipton holding on to their strong sense of identity.

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So, whether you're seeking out rural solitude or want to be in the hub of a community,

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this magnificent county has it all.

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Take a look at that. Not a house to be seen for miles!

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In fact, 1,762 square miles of North Yorkshire is national park.

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As you can imagine, planning restrictions are pretty stringent - not too many new builds round here.

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And that brings us back to the old economic law of supply and demand.

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Everybody wants a beautiful, idyllic house framed by this countryside,

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but not many come up for sale and when they do, they're expensive.

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The average detached house here costs 7% above the national average,

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but when they do hit the market, wow, they're beautiful!

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For top-notch grandeur,

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this five-bedroom barn conversion in Mayfield Valley

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could be yours for £1.35 million.

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Its reception rooms offer up original features and light, contemporary spaces.

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Outside, the five acres of fields give way to beautiful countryside views.

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On the market at £700,000, this six-bedroom Georgian farmhouse in Roche Abbey

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has a raft of quirky reception areas to relax in from a below ground, vaulted cinema room

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to a beautiful conservatory which overlooks the extensive lawned gardens.

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If a rustic barn conversion is more your style,

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£450,000 gets you this three-bedroom property near Hood Green

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with an exposed stone wall offsetting the living room

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and a slate-tiled country kitchen with original beams, all set in three-quarters of an acre of garden.

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You see, when God's Own County comes up with property, it comes up trumps

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and we have a couple who, wisely, are hotfooting it up north to buy.

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Alan and Linda have lived in their four-bedroom, detached family home in Taunton, Somerset, for 27 years.

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Their grown-up children have flown the nest, so they want to downsize

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and head north to the Yorkshire Dales.

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We're both energetic, active people. We may be retired from our work, but we're still young

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and I hope we could get a good 10 to 15 years of good, active involvement

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in an area that we really love and feel passionate about.

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Here we are walking around a very large house which is really a family home

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and I think we'd both like something a bit more cosy and a little bit more rural than we have at the moment.

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They already know the Dales will allow them to indulge their passion for the outdoors.

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We fell in love with the Yorkshire Dales the first time we went there.

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It's the only place that we've had a holiday three years running.

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One of our favourite pastimes is walking, just enjoying the views and the countryside.

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We would like to be able to look out of the window

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and to be able to walk from home almost, but not be too remote.

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But also high on their agenda is contributing to community life.

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If we move to an area near a national park, for example,

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I know there are all sorts of opportunities for volunteering.

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It would be great to support a local community, so we don't want to be in the middle of nowhere.

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We want to be able to be part of that community.

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They've got a clear idea what their Yorkshire home must give them.

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I think the three must-haves for a new property in the country would be a large, square lounge,

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a large kitchen with a dining area

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and three bedrooms

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and my shower cubicle, please. That would be great.

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I love gardening and enjoy pruning the shrubs and landscaping it,

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but I don't really want a large garden in a new property. I don't want to be a slave to the garden.

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With the property search about to begin, Alan and Linda are keen to put their house on the market,

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so we've asked a local estate agent to value their current property.

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This house is in an ideal family location a mile from the town centre.

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Excellent condition from top to bottom

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and I would value the house for around £335,000.

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So how much have they set aside for the move?

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What we would like to actually spend in terms of our budget on a new property is around £350,000.

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Even though they're downsizing, I'm hoping that Alan and Linda can keep flexible

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because house prices in North Yorkshire are 5% higher than back home in Somerset for them,

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so I'm hoping that their £350,000 is going to get them what they need.

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Those houses aren't going to find themselves, so I've got my map, I've got my walking boots... Let's go.

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As Alan and Linda want to walk from their front door, we've got to get the geography right,

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so we'll focus our house search in the heart of Dales territory with Skipton to the south.

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I'll show them some prime properties in the area, but I won't reveal the price until they've had a guess.

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And let's hope our mystery house makes them feel on top of the world.

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-Oh, I found you!

-Hello.

-Hi.

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-Good morning.

-Good morning.

-Look at this - North Yorkshire laid out for your delectation.

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-Fantastic view.

-Absolutely stunning this morning.

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-You're both big hikers, aren't you?

-We do a lot of walking. That's our main hobby.

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-We love walking.

-It's a big move from Somerset up to Yorkshire.

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-How long did it take you to drive up?

-Five hours.

-You've got family still there.

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Yes, my parents live five minutes from where we live at the moment, so I'm reluctant to leave them.

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We've got a daughter in Taunton, but she's pushing us this way

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because she's looking forward to some nice holidays in this beautiful area.

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-Talk about budget because North Yorkshire is not cheap.

-No.

-Especially near the national park.

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What is your budget? You mentioned 350. Can you up that at all?

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-Slightly.

-350 would be ideal, but we could go up to £375,000.

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I'll take £375,000. We love a little bit more to play with.

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-All this natural beauty comes at a price, even if you are downsizing.

-It can make a difference.

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Rather unusually, but good for us because you're hikers and I've got my walking boots on,

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-we can walk to the first property.

-Brilliant.

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We've got a footpath that takes us right to our first house. Let's go.

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'We're setting off with their wish list firmly in mind.

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'For £375,000, Alan and Linda want to downsize

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'to a country home that will give them...'

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You say you do a lot of walking. How often do you go walking?

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When the weather's good, we'll try and go out two or three times a week.

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-So it's not just holiday walking?

-No, no.

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It's very much our favourite pastime.

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'We're gambolling across the open fields to our first house in Hardraw in Upper Wensleydale.

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'Sitting on the Pennine Way and with a good pint on tap at the local pub,

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'the village is renowned for its awesome waterfall - Hardraw Force,

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'which, cascading over 100 feet, is England's longest unbroken waterfall.

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'Back in the village, this cottage could be a great option for entry level downsizing.'

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This is the property I want to show you, this one in front of us.

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-It's a nice...

-Yeah, looks like a typical...

-Stone Dales cottage.

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-It was built in the '70s. '79, it was finished.

-Really?

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It makes such a difference when they build in local Yorkshire stone. It is compact.

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-OK.

-It's not a sprawling house, but you wanted to downsize.

-We wanted cosy.

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And as you say, it's deceptively old-looking.

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-I can't believe it's '70s.

-No.

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-It looks more modern inside. Shall we look?

-Yeah, OK.

-Lovely.

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'Our traditional stone cottage gets a warm reception which I hope continues inside.'

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Now, you wanted a cosy house, so it's not huge.

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-This is lovely.

-This is a good sized room.

-Yeah.

-Great. That's what I wanted to hear.

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Our worst nightmare would be a really narrow lounge where you can't do anything with the room.

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-It's got a lovely focal point as well.

-And the window and the view. Look at that. It's incredible.

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-Everything is about sitting down and going, "Oh!"

-Yeah.

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It's in two halves. You've got the downstairs sitting room, then...

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And the kitchen/dining area is here.

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This is nice. Lovely, modern kitchen in a nice sort of square format.

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-It's very nice.

-How much space do you need to create culinary delights?

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-I don't think we need a huge area.

-I think the kitchen area will be fine.

-Yeah.

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-If I look towards the dining room area, I'd probably say on the small side.

-Yes.

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OK for the two of us, but if we do have people staying, then it starts to get a little cramped.

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With a full house, how many people have you got?

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When the grandchildren come over from Mexico and other members of the family, it could be 10, 14.

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-If everyone came to stay.

-You'd be pushing your luck if I was going to show you a dining room that sat 14.

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-It's a house for two people.

-It is, yeah.

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I'm not saying we want a huge kitchen/diner, but something a bit bigger than that would be ideal.

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-Yeah. Let's take a look upstairs cos that's also quite snug.

-OK.

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'I'm pleased Alan and Linda are embracing its light, airy feel,

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'but they're mulling over the considerable downsize they'd be making with this cottage.

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'Let's see if the three bedrooms upstairs can help them cement their thoughts.'

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-Let's take a look at this. This is the largest bedroom.

-The largest, right.

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-There's no wardrobes in here.

-That'd be the first thing I would notice.

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-There's a really nice feel about the room.

-The whole house so far.

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I just think a fundamental of a bedroom is to have some wardrobe space and there isn't any in here.

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Yeah, space is an issue because it's a small house.

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-There is quite a lot of loft space for storage.

-Yeah.

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-But it's definitely snug.

-Mm-hm.

-Yeah.

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-Let's take a look at the bedroom with the view.

-OK.

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Wow, look at that view!

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This one has the view, so you might want to make this your main bedroom.

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-This also has storage.

-Oh, right, yes.

-It goes quite deep. It's double depth.

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It's small, but I think I'd rather sleep in here than the front room.

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-To see that every morning would be lovely.

-Yeah.

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-This is really why you're buying the house.

-Yes.

-To get to see that.

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-It's beautiful.

-It's glorious. It's what you've always wanted, isn't it?

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I just think to wake up and look at a view like that,

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-then to be able to walk out the house and just walk on to the Dales from here...

-The footpaths.

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-..is heaven, really.

-Hmm.

-Hmm.

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-Wherever you go, you've got a view, even from the bathroom.

-Right.

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'Opposite is the third bedroom, a small double with built-in storage

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'and next door, a small bathroom, which has no separate shower,

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'but offers beautiful views to soak up from the bath.

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'They seem to have given a thumbs-up to the ambience of this house,

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'but how much space do they need to accommodate visiting family?

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'Let's step into the sunshine and see if the garden and views can sway them.'

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Throw open the patio doors and this is what you get to see.

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-It's a fantastic view.

-It's lovely.

-This is where the view fell on the other side of the Dale.

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Is this part of the property, this garden here?

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-This is where it gets complicated. Step down and I'll show you.

-OK.

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-So, essentially, this is your garden.

-Right.

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-That is your neighbour's garden.

-Oh.

-Right.

-Hmm.

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-So it's very low maintenance, but also...

-I've got no problem with the size of the garden.

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-I may have an issue with somebody else being behind you.

-Yeah. Yes.

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-It's quite unusual.

-It is unusual.

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-OK, so what do you think it costs cos we haven't talked about budget?

-Oh, heavens...

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It's in a lovely, popular village.

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-It's got amazing views.

-It's very difficult.

-I'd say £345,000.

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-Right up at the top. What do you think, Linda?

-Well, 320 maybe?

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Well, the property is on the market for just a shade under 300,000.

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-Right.

-Right.

-And it's been on for about eight months, so they've just reduced it to that price.

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That is a good price for the type of property we want.

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Have a look round inside and collect your private thoughts, then we'll meet outside and press on.

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-OK.

-Thank you.

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Priced at just under £300,000,

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this stone-built cottage leaves them £75,000 for their retirement pot

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and would be a perfect, low-maintenance bolthole for an intrepid walking couple.

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It has the spoils of Wensleydale right on their doorstep.

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But is it a downsize too far?

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This property ticks a lot of the boxes that we had, really.

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It's beautiful outside.

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And the stone finish gives the appearance of being an older house.

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I never expected a newer house to look so good.

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I have some concerns about the upstairs being a little bit small.

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The garden is a big concern.

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You really do want this part to be part of your garden.

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It's such a shame to be sitting here,

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then having somebody else gardening in front of you before you actually look at the view as well.

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I really love this house. It feels so cosy.

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This room is lovely and light and airy.

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The kitchen is lovely.

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The dining room, I feel happy with it.

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Obviously, it would be a squeeze with friends and family staying,

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but I think overall, most of the time we'd be on our own and we always wanted this cosy cottage.

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It just feels really right.

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The location of the property is in a smaller village than I probably hoped for.

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I think, ideally, I would like to be able to walk to the local shops.

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-All done?

-Thank you.

-Brilliant.

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-I'm still looking at the view.

-Yes.

-Let's press on.

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Over the centuries, sheep farming has shaped the distinctive Dales landscape

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and been supported by important trading centres such as Masham in Lower Wensleydale

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which dates back to medieval times.

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Masham's prosperity is echoed in its architecture with over 60 Grade 2 listed buildings in the town,

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many of which lie in the market square, the largest in Yorkshire.

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Alan and Linda are meeting town guide Susan Cunliffe-Lister to find out more about its past.

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We're really lucky. We've got this lovely, big square which has never been developed over the years.

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We've still got the old houses. It's not turned into shop fronts.

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And Masham really owes its size to sheep.

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Every year in September, we still have a sheep fair in the town.

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All this square gets filled up with sheep and we have a great time.

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It dates back to the old days when they'd bring all the sheep down from the hills.

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They had up to 80,000 sheep in the square and up and down the streets.

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The farmers made a lot of money out of the sheep. The wool was very valuable, as well as the lambs.

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The farmers had to pay a tithe to the church, which was a tenth of the money they made on their farms,

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so Masham became a very rich church as well.

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Still dominating the town today, Masham's Norman church fell on hard times during the Reformation

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when Henry VIII seized the revenues from Masham Church

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to finance his building of Trinity College, Cambridge, whose legacy resides in the name - College Lane.

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Just over a mile's walk from Masham, Alan and Linda can put their walking boots to use in Hackfall Woods,

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which, as well as being mentioned in William Wordsworth's tourist guide,

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was an inspiration for Turner who sketched and painted here.

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Now it's a Grade 1 listed garden.

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If you live in Masham, you can walk along the River Ure. The river runs through the bottom there.

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You can walk down here, then walk around the gardens, then walk back up to Masham.

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Along with beautiful landscapes, Alan and Linda's move will mean

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that they have thriving Dales towns like Masham right on their doorstep.

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And they could find themselves living in the heart of one

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if they go for our second property in the market town of Settle on the border of the Dales National Park.

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It's already familiar holiday territory for them

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and has tremendous appeal with its 17th century market square and listed buildings.

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Upper Settle has a quieter, more villagey feel

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and just a short walk from the green is where we find our next property.

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There are several houses for sale around the village green. Which one am I going to show you?

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-It's this one.

-This looks nice.

-That looks lovely.

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-I like the colour of the stone.

-It's a really interesting property.

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Unlike the one that I showed you which looked old, but was actually from the '70s, this is old.

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The main body of the building is from the 1840s. Do you like the house?

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From the outside, it looks really nice. It's in a lovely position.

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-It's a solid-looking building.

-It won't fall down any time soon.

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-I think you'll love the inside.

-OK.

-Let's hope so.

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'Confident words indeed, but as we go inside, let's see if I'm right.'

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Come on in.

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-Oh, wow!

-What do you think about this?

-It's a fantastic kitchen. I absolutely love it.

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-And the dining area...

-Yeah.

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-It's a nice size.

-It's so light.

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-It's a much more upmarket version of what we saw this morning.

-Right.

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There's a lot more space. It's finished to a much higher quality. You've got lovely kitchen units.

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-Yes.

-And it's light and bright and been beautifully done up.

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-I love it.

-Really nice.

-You're speechless, Linda.

-I am.

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-And... Was that a tear you were wiping away?

-Yes.

-Really?

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-Do you really like it that much?

-It's lovely.

-Aw! Aw!

0:21:050:21:09

-Oh, I love it when... That's wonderful.

-Oh, don't!

0:21:090:21:13

'Great. Linda looks like she's smitten already.

0:21:130:21:17

'Just off the kitchen, there's a utility room to store those white goods and walking boots.

0:21:170:21:22

'On the other side of the kitchen is a very inviting living room.'

0:21:220:21:27

-This is the older half of the house.

-Cosy.

-Mm-hm.

-Cosy feel.

0:21:270:21:30

This was the external wall of the old part and it goes out into the newer, Victorian part.

0:21:300:21:36

-What do you think?

-Very nice.

0:21:360:21:38

-It's a lovely cosy feel.

-A nice size room for two.

0:21:380:21:42

-This is the totality of your downstairs space.

-I could live with that.

-Yeah.

0:21:420:21:48

-Not crying in this room.

-No, no. I'll contain myself.

0:21:480:21:52

-The combination of the two rooms is ideal.

-What we wanted.

0:21:520:21:56

A light and airy modern space and a cosy, older style feel in the lounge.

0:21:560:22:02

-Upstairs?

-Yeah.

-Looking forward to it.

0:22:020:22:06

'All smiles so far, and a few tears,

0:22:060:22:09

'so hopefully the three bedrooms and bathroom will measure up.'

0:22:090:22:14

-Just take a little stop off at the bathroom.

-This is lovely.

0:22:140:22:19

-You've got your...

-Shower cubicle!

-..shower cubicle.

-Wow.

0:22:190:22:23

-This is a really good use of space.

-It is. It's lovely.

0:22:230:22:27

-Brilliant.

-That's perfect.

-Perfect.

0:22:270:22:30

We've had perfect, we've had tear. It's very good.

0:22:300:22:34

-This is the master bedroom.

-We've got the wardrobes as well.

0:22:380:22:44

-It's really made a good use of the space.

-And the view.

0:22:440:22:48

The beginning of the Dales.

0:22:480:22:51

-It's lovely.

-A really nice size. We don't want a massive bedroom.

0:22:510:22:56

-You want room for a bed and some wardrobes.

-Yeah. It's got everything we'd want.

0:22:560:23:02

'Next door is another bright double bedroom.

0:23:020:23:06

'And then a single bedroom with light streaming in, but I want to see what they make of the garden.'

0:23:060:23:13

Come on in.

0:23:130:23:15

-So it's not massive.

-No.

-No.

-It's not massive at all.

0:23:180:23:22

-But look at this open aspect.

-And it is all yours.

0:23:240:23:29

-That's a bargain for this bit!

-You don't have to negotiate.

-It's not a private garden.

0:23:290:23:36

-But it is in a way because this open view seems like part of the garden to me.

-Yes.

0:23:360:23:43

-It's a property with character.

-Certainly is.

-It is.

0:23:430:23:48

-It's got history, charm and been beautifully restored.

-Modernised. It's got everything.

0:23:480:23:53

-You don't feel you're in an enclosed dark cottage in there.

-No.

0:23:530:23:58

-But can you afford it?

-I hope so!

0:23:580:24:01

Yes.

0:24:010:24:02

I vastly overestimated the last property, which was in a nice location. This is a lovely location.

0:24:020:24:09

Perhaps if I pitch this one at the value I had the last one - £340,000.

0:24:090:24:14

-I'm inclined to say about 340 as well.

-You're both being very optimistic. It's on the market

0:24:140:24:22

-for £365,000.

-Mm.

-Right.

-But have a look round.

-Yeah, OK.

0:24:220:24:27

-Do you want a hankie?

-No, I'm all right now.

0:24:270:24:31

-I'll meet you out front.

-OK.

0:24:310:24:33

Judging from their overwhelming reaction, this Yorkshire stone house could be a real contender.

0:24:340:24:40

Under budget at £365,000, it would give them a cosy living room with character features,

0:24:400:24:46

a large, convivial kitchen/diner, three bedrooms

0:24:460:24:50

and a garden set in the quieter reaches of lively Settle

0:24:500:24:54

with a strong community and the Dales National Park on their doorstep.

0:24:540:24:59

We both love this house, don't we? It just feels right. This is what downsizing is about.

0:24:590:25:05

This is a really lovely property.

0:25:050:25:08

It's in a wonderful location. We do know Settle and this is the best bit of it,

0:25:080:25:14

on the upper village green.

0:25:140:25:16

The garden, I suppose, is unusual. It's almost like it's been stuck on and is part of the village green.

0:25:160:25:23

But I don't think it's a problem.

0:25:230:25:26

We've got the village green next to us, all the Dales next to us.

0:25:260:25:31

It's just an extension of the lovely environment in which we find ourselves.

0:25:310:25:36

I think this property is perfect for both of us. I feel so comfortable it's like it's home already.

0:25:360:25:44

The kitchen is beautiful, so modern and clean and airy.

0:25:440:25:49

And the views out of the windows are spectacular. And the bathroom was just perfect.

0:25:490:25:56

I've got my shower cubicle and a bath. It's just all we want.

0:25:560:26:00

I can smell an offer in the air!

0:26:000:26:03

So?

0:26:030:26:05

-This is fantastic.

-Really?

-Yeah, we've moved in.

-You look like it!

0:26:050:26:11

-You have to come this side. You haven't bought it yet.

-Lovely.

-You like it?

-It's perfect.

0:26:110:26:17

-Are you talking to the agents?

-I think we will be.

-I think so.

0:26:170:26:21

-Don't rush, though. We've still got the mystery house.

-OK.

0:26:210:26:25

-Everything could change. Let's go and relax.

-Right.

0:26:250:26:30

As the day draws to a close over the Yorkshire Dales,

0:26:330:26:37

it marks the end of the first day of our house search.

0:26:370:26:41

Alan and Linda want to shrug off life down south and make the Yorkshire Dales their new home.

0:26:480:26:56

They've been bowled over by one of the two properties.

0:26:560:27:00

-It's lovely.

-A bit emotional?

0:27:000:27:03

And our mystery house will certainly expand their horizons.

0:27:030:27:06

-It's quite remarkable.

-It is a remarkable mystery house.

0:27:060:27:11

I can really understand wanting to wake up to this every morning.

0:27:140:27:19

And it looks like the house yesterday really fit the bill.

0:27:190:27:24

They seemed completely in love. It's really hard to improve.

0:27:240:27:29

But one thing they might not like is being quite so overlooked, though they didn't seem to mind.

0:27:290:27:36

But the mystery house, one thing the mystery house is is not overlooked.

0:27:360:27:42

Our mystery property takes them into near solitude

0:27:420:27:46

as we head into the hills to the small hamlet of Chapel le Dale.

0:27:460:27:49

Close by, the Ribble Head Viaduct stretches across this glorious landscape

0:27:490:27:55

with the quiet pubs of Ingleton 7 miles away.

0:27:550:27:59

With no real community close by, the emphasis is on the fabulous entertaining space

0:27:590:28:05

for their visiting family.

0:28:050:28:07

This is the house. Not all of it. Just this front end, the big bit.

0:28:070:28:13

It's from about 1820.

0:28:130:28:16

It's a farmhouse. There are three dwellings. One of them could be yours.

0:28:160:28:21

-What do you think of the location? I know you weren't keen on being so isolated.

-It's very remote.

0:28:210:28:28

-Beautiful on a day like this. It actually feels quite warm.

-It's always like this here. Always.

0:28:280:28:34

-Every single day, 365 days a year.

-I can rely on you for that.

-We'll hold you to that!

0:28:340:28:40

-If you hear anything that contradicts that, don't believe it. Let's have a look inside.

-Lovely.

0:28:400:28:47

'We're taking them out of their comfort zone,

0:28:470:28:51

'but as we'll see, it's the largest of the houses we're showing them.'

0:28:510:28:56

-Here's your living room.

-Wow. Look at that cosy fire.

-This is the old part.

0:29:000:29:06

It's the 1820s part. Incredibly thick walls.

0:29:060:29:10

-You can see they're a foot thick with window seats.

-Lovely.

0:29:100:29:14

-And the hallway is the back wall of the house. The original stone.

-Beautiful.

0:29:140:29:20

-It's got real character, hasn't it?

-Yeah.

-And yet it feels reasonably modern.

-Lovely flooring.

0:29:200:29:26

-it's very nice.

-Nice room.

0:29:260:29:29

Let's look at the kitchen. I think you'll really like that.

0:29:290:29:33

Oh, wow. Look at this.

0:29:380:29:41

A nice area for the table. And a fantastic view.

0:29:410:29:45

-Perfect size, isn't it?

-It is. It's a really good size.

0:29:450:29:50

-Of all the kitchen/diners, this is the most generous.

-Yes!

0:29:500:29:55

-And it's got these amazingly beautiful Victorian floorboards. It's nice and bright and sunny.

-Yes.

0:29:550:30:01

-You're not shedding a tear.

-I'm not, but I'm really surprised

0:30:010:30:06

-at how lovely it is.

-So this is your downstairs.

0:30:060:30:10

There is a fantastic cellar so there's a lot of storage.

0:30:100:30:14

With an entrance in and out through the garden

0:30:140:30:19

-so you can put bikes in.

-That's useful.

-Upstairs we have not one, two, three, but four bedrooms.

0:30:190:30:26

-Four, wow!

-On two levels.

-OK.

0:30:260:30:30

'They seem quite surprised by the space the farmhouse offers,

0:30:300:30:35

'but upstairs things get curiouser and curiouser.'

0:30:350:30:39

So coming up here is a little bit Alice In Wonderland.

0:30:390:30:43

Oh! the ceilings are quite low!

0:30:440:30:48

-Did you manage?

-Yes, I can just about fit under there.

-I can just about graze my head.

0:30:480:30:54

-So this is one of the three bedrooms on this floor.

-Quite a fantastic view.

0:30:540:31:01

-Yeah, it's all about this view.

-For an old property, again, it's very light.

0:31:010:31:07

We've got three good-size bedrooms on this floor and a bathroom.

0:31:070:31:11

-Here they did something clever. They took out the attic space to give you some headroom.

-Wow.

0:31:160:31:22

-It's a fantastic bathroom.

-You'd spend all your time in the bath!

-Exactly.

-To get the view.

0:31:220:31:28

-It's beautiful, isn't it?

-It's all you could want for a bathroom.

0:31:280:31:33

It hasn't got a separate shower, but it's integrated.

0:31:330:31:36

No separate shower, but... maybe somewhere else does have one?

0:31:360:31:41

'Of the other two bedrooms, one is large enough to be a a double

0:31:430:31:47

'and the other is currently a study, complete with window seat.

0:31:470:31:52

'But let's go up again and seek out Linda's shower.'

0:31:520:31:56

From the very small...

0:31:560:31:58

Ah, look at this.

0:32:000:32:02

Not a bedroom as such.

0:32:020:32:05

Wow!

0:32:050:32:07

-See? It goes from the very small to the very big.

-That's amazing.

0:32:070:32:12

It's an amazing house. Very light and airy, isn't it?

0:32:120:32:18

-This would be the place to sleep.

-Oh, yes.

-And...

0:32:180:32:22

-Ta-ra!

-A shower!

-Your shower.

0:32:240:32:27

-Oh, look.

-An en-suite.

0:32:270:32:29

-That would definitely make this our room.

-Our space, yes. The bedroom with en-suite shower.

0:32:290:32:35

-A real good use of space.

-It is. Lovely.

0:32:350:32:38

You were talking about your grandchildren coming from Mexico for a week or two.

0:32:380:32:45

I thought that second floor, which is low-ceilinged, could be the children's floor

0:32:450:32:51

-and you could retreat...

-Up here. They've done a really good job.

0:32:510:32:56

For an old house, it has a really nice feel about it.

0:32:560:33:01

-It's quite remarkable.

-It is a remarkable mystery house.

0:33:010:33:06

-And the views are best from the garden.

-Right.

-That's been a sticking point on some properties.

0:33:060:33:12

'The mystery house does seem to have impressed them.

0:33:120:33:16

'The garden seating areas are well-placed to soak up the scenery,

0:33:160:33:21

'but despite the generous size, would they contemplate such splendid isolation?'

0:33:210:33:27

I think in terms of garden, we've come up trumps here.

0:33:310:33:35

By far the largest of them all we have to show you.

0:33:350:33:39

-A definite boundary.

-THIS is a private garden.

-Not overlooked.

0:33:390:33:44

-Only by the sheep.

-So obviously the mystery is

0:33:460:33:50

would you buy a house that is this remote? To know that, you need to know how much it costs.

0:33:500:33:57

-Which is also a mystery.

-That's difficult.

0:33:570:34:00

We are inside the National Park.

0:34:000:34:03

Ah.

0:34:030:34:05

340?

0:34:050:34:08

I was going to say £350,000.

0:34:080:34:11

£350,000.

0:34:110:34:13

Again, you're slightly optimistic.

0:34:130:34:15

-It's at just under £370,000.

-Is it?

-Oh, wow.

-Right.

0:34:150:34:20

If nothing else, it might focus your mind on how much you like the one that's not in a remote location.

0:34:200:34:27

This house in another location would be an even higher price.

0:34:270:34:31

I suppose a lot of people will pay because of where it is.

0:34:310:34:35

-They want to be isolate.

-It's unique.

-Have a wander inside.

0:34:350:34:40

-OK.

-And share your private thoughts to one another and we'll meet at the front.

-Right.

0:34:400:34:47

Sneaking in under budget at just shy of £370,000,

0:34:480:34:52

our mystery farmhouse could be a wonderful rural retreat for large family gatherings,

0:34:520:34:58

offering a beautiful large living room, an enormous light-filled kitchen/diner,

0:34:580:35:03

four bedrooms with a master en-suite and a generous garden with panoramic views over the Dales.

0:35:030:35:10

I think this is my favourite room in this house.

0:35:100:35:14

-It's just what we wanted in terms of size.

-It is. A real square.

0:35:140:35:19

Lovely view. A central focal point with a fire. If you combine this lounge with the kitchen/diner,

0:35:190:35:26

-it exactly fits what we want.

-It is, yes.

0:35:260:35:30

This is a really imposing house. In terms of meeting what we wanted from a property,

0:35:300:35:36

it does tick a lot of the boxes.

0:35:360:35:39

And it's got a nice private garden, probably the best one we have seen.

0:35:390:35:44

You could do a little bit with it.

0:35:440:35:46

This house has been quite an eye-opener for me.

0:35:460:35:50

The location, it's very remote,

0:35:500:35:54

but on the other hand the actual house is very spacious inside and quite modern.

0:35:540:36:00

On we go.

0:36:000:36:02

The great majority of the farms here are cattle or sheep. Some are pretty remote here in the Dales.

0:36:160:36:22

One of the key figures in keeping them all together and up-to-date with what's going on in the world

0:36:220:36:28

is the local vet, so I'm going to meet one of these modern-day James Herriots.

0:36:280:36:34

'Neil Roberts has lived in this area his entire life and devotes most of his working day to giving farmers

0:36:380:36:44

'up-to-date advice on disease prevention and administering vaccines. I met him on a TB check.'

0:36:440:36:52

Fortunately, this part of the world is still relatively clear of TB.

0:36:520:36:56

That is a very big plus point.

0:36:560:36:59

-The farms are on routine four-yearly testing and we get very few breakdowns.

-Right.

0:36:590:37:06

The breakdowns we do have are invariably cattle brought from outside the area.

0:37:060:37:12

'But the life of a vet is never straightforward and, mid-job, a more urgent call comes in.

0:37:120:37:18

'Elsewhere on the farm, an injured pregnant cow is in distress.'

0:37:180:37:22

-How did you get to be a vet? Just because your dad was?

-That was a big factor.

0:37:220:37:28

My father was a vet and I would go round with him quite a lot.

0:37:280:37:32

This particular part of the countryside, the land is suitable for livestock farming.

0:37:320:37:39

It isn't suitable for arable.

0:37:390:37:41

So the land will hopefully always be farmed.

0:37:410:37:46

As long as the land is farmed, there will be a need for vets.

0:37:460:37:50

'Neil's practice looks after about 400 sheep farms and 100 dairy farms,

0:37:500:37:55

'which adds up to 100,000 ewes and over 10,000 dairy cows.

0:37:550:38:01

'This 11-year-old cow has a back injury, which for an animal of this age has serious implications.

0:38:010:38:07

'She may not make it.

0:38:070:38:09

'The problem has been compounded by the weight of her unborn calf,

0:38:090:38:13

'so Neil will have to carry out an emergency Caesarean.'

0:38:130:38:17

-Just keep going with the calf.

-Wow!

0:38:210:38:24

It's amazing. It just came out so fast.

0:38:300:38:34

A big burst of calf! Extraordinary.

0:38:370:38:40

That's pretty intense.

0:38:400:38:43

It's amazing. I've never seen an animal be born before.

0:38:430:38:47

'Unfortunately, even without the weight of the calf, Neil felt the mother wouldn't stand again

0:38:480:38:54

'and it was the kindest option to put her to sleep.

0:38:540:38:58

'But the calf has been saved and although he's a bit premature, Neil is pleased.'

0:38:580:39:04

It's an excellent sign for the calf to hold its own head up.

0:39:040:39:08

And if he blinks when you just touch onto the corner of the eye,

0:39:080:39:12

that is also a very good sign.

0:39:120:39:15

And some sort of suck reflex if you put the finger in the mouth is also a good thing.

0:39:150:39:21

-Has he got that?

-He has.

0:39:210:39:24

That shows it isn't brain-damaged and hasn't been starved of oxygen.

0:39:240:39:29

It's healthy.

0:39:290:39:31

It's trying to get up.

0:39:310:39:33

-All in a day's work for you.

-All in a day's work.

-Covered with blood. It's a proper job.

0:39:330:39:41

Well done!

0:39:410:39:43

'Farming life is fraught with harsh realities and although, sadly, the mother couldn't be saved,

0:39:450:39:51

'the calf will go on to be bottle-fed and soon become a fully-fledged member of the herd.'

0:39:510:39:57

Not sure our mystery house really persuaded Linda and Alan to the solitary life on a fell,

0:39:590:40:05

but as far as I was concerned it was all settled in Settle.

0:40:050:40:09

When Linda saw that kitchen and started crying, it was all sewn up,

0:40:090:40:13

although I have been wrong before. Let's find out what their final decision is.

0:40:130:40:19

Ah, good. Genning up on the details. And you've made me my cream tea.

0:40:190:40:25

-It's a home from home.

-Certainly is.

0:40:250:40:28

So spin back to the very first property we saw yesterday morning,

0:40:280:40:32

-which was the modern house.

-Yes, that was a real surprise.

0:40:320:40:37

-I'd never have believed it was modern.

-That first house made us realise we could downsize.

-Yeah.

0:40:370:40:45

We felt quite cosy. There were a few issues about storage,

0:40:450:40:49

and it might have been a little small in retrospect.

0:40:490:40:54

The biggest letdown... It had this wonderful view, then you took us out to the garden

0:40:540:41:00

and we realised it was a back garden inside somebody else's garden!

0:41:000:41:04

-How did the house on the green feel?

-Oh!

-Hot flash, hot flash!

-Yes.

0:41:040:41:08

It was just unbelievable. The position on the green was lovely.

0:41:080:41:13

When we walked inside, the downstairs...

0:41:130:41:17

-You saw Linda's reaction.

-It was perfect. I don't know how you managed to conjure it up.

0:41:170:41:24

-It was obviously waiting for you.

-It was.

-It had been really well renovated, hadn't it?

-Yes.

0:41:240:41:30

They'd made the best of the space, a nice mixture of old and new.

0:41:300:41:35

Let's talk about the mystery house. This was a wild card.

0:41:350:41:39

-A beautiful house, but in a very remote location.

-Quite a surprise!

0:41:390:41:45

-It's a really imposing building.

-It was lovely and so spacious.

0:41:450:41:49

-The most spacious out of the three.

-And for the third property running,

0:41:490:41:54

it showed that a cottage could be light.

0:41:540:41:59

It's a different style of cottage up here to the south west,

0:41:590:42:03

which tend to be much more small, cosy, but very dark. But the location was a step too far.

0:42:030:42:10

-A long way to the shops.

-Yeah.

0:42:100:42:15

-What happens next? Are you going to revisit the house on the green?

-Definitely.

-Definitely.

0:42:150:42:21

-And put an offer in?

-Definitely!

0:42:210:42:24

Ah! I like that. "Definitely".

0:42:240:42:26

It's been wonderful. You really knew what you wanted,

0:42:260:42:31

-you were very amenable to getting what you wanted, even though it is a massive change for you.

-It is.

0:42:310:42:37

-And you clearly love this area. Everything points to you moving soon.

-I hope you'll come and visit!

0:42:370:42:44

I certainly will. I'm sure we'll be here again. Now let's get down to tea.

0:42:440:42:50

I have a sneaking feeling that Alan and Linda will be firmly ensconced, or should I say settled,

0:42:530:43:01

in North Yorkshire very soon.

0:43:010:43:03

If you've enjoyed the show and would like to see more,

0:43:030:43:08

tune in next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:43:080:43:12

After going back to view the house in Settle for a second time, Alan and Linda's offer was accepted.

0:43:120:43:19

So they should be moving in very soon. If you'd like to escape to the country and need our help,

0:43:190:43:26

please apply online:

0:43:260:43:29

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010

0:43:430:43:47

Email [email protected]

0:43:480:43:50

After 27 years of urban living, some house hunters are desperate to downsize to the Yorkshire Dales with a budget of £350,000. Keen walkers, they are looking in the right location with over 4,000 km of national park to explore. Tears are also shed when Alistair Appleton shows them the ideal walkers' retreat, an 1840's former salt store in Upper Settle.