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During World War II, this picturesque and serene village
was the base of sabotage and subversion.
Unbeknown to the locals,
it was the home of a finishing school for secret agents.
So where am I? All will be revealed in a minute.
'Today I'm helping a couple park up their caravan for good
'and get back under a proper tiled roof.
'In one kitchen, emotions run high...'
Got to get my tissue out now.
-Oh, we've moved you to tears!
'..and our Mystery House is like nothing they've ever seen before.'
Oh, my goodness.
-It's certainly different!
Today I'm in Hampshire, in the village of Beaulieu,
where, in 1941, the British Government set up
a covert finishing school of secret agents and officials
of the Special Operations Executive.
Kept in complete secrecy from the local community,
men and women were trained here in all aspects of spy craft,
including communication, coding, forgery
and the skill of silent killing.
Most became special agents who infiltrated occupied Europe
as part of the resistance against Germany.
Today a plaque in the cloisters of Beaulieu
commemorates their efforts and bravery
and this fascinating tale is just part of Hampshire's rich heritage.
'Situated on the south coast,
'Hampshire is bordered by five counties,
'including Berkshire to the north and West Sussex to the east.
'The county town is Winchester,
'home to one of the largest cathedrals in England,
'which also boasts the longest nave of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe.
'As the crow flies, there's 34 miles of coast in the county
'and on a clear day, the Isle of Wight can be seen
'across the Solent from the costal town of Lymington.
'A stone's throw from the coast is the New Forest,
'originally created as a royal hunting ground
'for William the Conqueror back in 1079.
'It's the largest remaining area of pasture land, forest and heathland
'in the southeast of England
'and it's home to around 2,000 wild ponies.'
So it looks like Hampshire has plenty to offer.
Let's find out what today's buyers are after.
'Retired mobile home park managers Tony and Denise
'have been married for 21 years, but for the past year or so,
'after giving up the home that came with their job,
'they've been travelling around Britain in a caravan,
'a decision that was made when Tony had a health scare when on holiday.'
Basically, I came back to the UK.
While in the hospital, I decided to retire
and this is how the caravan's come about.
When Tony came up with the idea of doing this,
I'd never caravanned and I thought,
"Hmm, not sure if this is going to be me",
but I wanted to see lots of England.
I hadn't been further than London.
'Now they've done their grand tour of the country,
'the time has come to swap the wheels for four walls and a roof
'in their preferred location of Hampshire.'
One of the reasons for going back to bricks and mortar is I love cooking.
As you can see from this area,
my cooking is very restricted
and I just can't wait to get back to proper cooking.
'So apart from a big kitchen,
'there's plenty more on their shopping list for the new home.'
I miss the gardens and I miss doing my hanging baskets,
so providing he gives me four greenhouses,
I can recreate all this.
You'd like a workshop. I'd like you to have a workshop.
We'd like half an acre of land?
Between a quarter and a half.
Couple of reception rooms. Doesn't have to be a separate dining room,
as long as it's got the three bedrooms,
two bathrooms and a nice kitchen.
'And when they find their rural bolt hole,
'they've got big plans to keep them occupied.'
When we go back in the country, I'm hoping to have a bit more space.
You take up again your rebuilding of either tractors or...
I think there's lots of things out there that I want to do.
We originate from the country and it's our roots
and we want to go back.
It can only change our lives for the better.
'Using the proceeds from a house that's been left to them,
'Tony and Denise can move quickly
'and they've got a clear idea on the finances.'
Budget is £575,000,
but with a bit of a squeeze,
we might be able to put it up to £600,000.
To leave the caravan will be strange,
but I am going to be so pleased to be having my home.
But she's going to come with us.
'Tony and Denise are particularly fond of the New Forest area
'of Hampshire, which encompasses the towns of Lyndhurst and Lymington.
'We've got some really exciting properties for them to see,
'but I won't be telling them the price of each
'until they've had a guess first,
'and, of course, there's our Mystery House, which could really prove
'the saying that an Englishman's home is his castle.'
Well, Denise and Tony, welcome to the New Forest.
-You excited about this house search?
How well do you know this area?
We've been coming here now for 20-odd years.
You've been travelling around the country in a caravan for,
what is it? One year?
Feels like three, but, yes, just a year.
-How much of the UK have you actually seen?
-Most of it.
That is impressive.
I thought most people that take a gap year out
at 18, 19 years of age.
You've done it slightly later in life, but worth it?
Yeah, but he still acts like he's 18.
Yeah, we started northern England last year,
southern England this year,
and we've found places we don't want to be
and we've lots of places we'd love to be.
-This is the county?
-Still gravitate back here.
Well, we've got three amazing properties to show you.
The sun's shining, the sky is blue -
-let's get going.
'So with a maximum budget of £600,000,
'Tony and Denise would like three bedrooms,
'a bathroom each,
'a big kitchen for Denise to cook up some real food again,
'a workshop for Tony to tinker in,
'a garden with space for a greenhouse
'and somewhere to park the caravan...permanently.
'We've travelled to the southernmost edge of the New Forest
'to the village of Pennington, which has just under 8,000 residents.
'Our first property is a red-brick detached cottage
'which dates back to the Victorian era.'
Here is your first property.
What are your first impressions when you have a look?
Neat. I like the setting.
-The setting's brilliant. The area's spot-on.
-Now, it dates back to 1893...
-..but it has been modernised.
-Quite extensively inside.
-So, shall we start the tour of our first property?
-Oh, yes, please.
'I know that a big kitchen is very high on Denise's shopping list
'and I think she'll be very impressed by what she finds inside.'
-So, from the hallway...
-I think we should start off in this room.
-Oh, for goodness' sake, look at this.
-Have a good look.
This is my sort of kitchen.
-Can I move in today?
Let me show you the conservatory.
This is a new addition as well, by the current owners.
Oh, lovely, isn't it? And the outlook.
-And it's south-facing.
And another place to eat as well.
I can have my lunch out there and you can have yours in there.
-Well, it'd be lovely after the caravan, wouldn't it?
So far, so good,
but this isn't the only reception room I've got to show them.
Here's the second one.
Very nice, I love the fire.
This would be lovely in the winter, cosy.
I can imagine, in the winter months, this is a lovely snug.
With a piece of cheese and a port.
-Yeah, winter's evening, curl up on the settee.
-Glass of wine.
-What more could you want?
-There you go.
-As I say, I can move in yesterday.
That's good, I'm loving this!
Additionally, you've got a downstairs cloakroom.
It's also got a shower there and some of the white goods as well,
so they sort of use it
as a downstairs cloakroom/utility room as well.
-Plus the fact, if you've had the wine,
you can't get up the stairs, can you?
'I'm hoping Tony will get over his dislike of stairs
'once he sees what's on the first floor.
'Up here, there's a study area
'which leads into one of the three bedrooms,
'all of which are pretty generous in size,
'along with a family bathroom,
'but we're taking a look at where they could sleep.'
So through here is the master bedroom.
It does have a lot of stuff in this room,
but what do you think about size?
-I'm not sure if it's big enough for us.
It's lovely, but I think you'd find it claustrophobic.
This bit is just not me, I'm afraid.
'Well, Tony's not sold on the upstairs,
'but he'll be pleased to hear there's a workshop
'with internet access outside
'and Denise should be delighted with the lovely garden.
'There's easily room to put her greenhouses here
-'and plenty of mature plants to keep her busy.'
-This is lovely.
I think it's beautifully done
and I could still put my own stamp on it as well.
-Big enough for you?
-As long as I could get a greenhouse in.
So we come to the messy bit now.
How much do you think this house is on the market for?
Five and a half.
You're both out, actually. Denise, you're out by quite a lot.
-£50,000, in fact.
-Current asking price is £575,000.
-Has that surprised you?
-It has a bit.
'this property is within their budget
'and offers a great deal of what they need.
'There's three bedrooms,
'a huge kitchen for Denise to bake her cakes,
'a workshop for Tony outside and a delightful garden.'
-I think we have.
-And that's only the first one.
'In the village of Eling, on the eastern edge of the New Forest,
'lies a very important part of our industrial heritage.
'Situated by Southampton Water and Grade II listed,
'Eling Mill is the last working tide mill in England
'and one of only a handful left in the world.
'It was abandoned in the 1940s, but reopened in 1983.
'I've come to meet senior mill assistant John Hurst
'to find out a little bit more
'about how this rare and ingenious machinery works.'
What happens is the toll bridge outside is also a dam.
At one end of the dam, you've got some one-way hatches.
As the tide comes in, it pushes the hatches open
and begins filling up our mill pond.
When the tide goes out, it'll close the hatches upon itself,
so the water on that side in the pond is trapped
and then we will basically wait for the tide to go out
as far as possible off our water wheel.
Then we'll lift the sluice gate up and it's that gate being raised
that releases the water from the pond to drive the machinery round.
'As the tide has now gone out,
'I'm going to help John with the running of the mill.'
Keep cranking, Nicki.
-We nearly there?
No, you've released enough water. The machinery's begun to turn.
Look how much water is gushing through!
You can hear it, can't you?
'With the huge water wheel turning at last,
'the grain is poured down a chute towards the millstones
'to be ground into flour.'
It's just being ground up into a dust, which is the flour,
and that's falling down a chute and being collected below.
'The mill produces around eight and a half tonnes
'of wholemeal flour a year,
'solely by harnessing the power of the sea.
'It's a great cottage industry
'and this could be just the place to inspire Denise in her baking,
'once she's found the Hampshire home of her dreams with Tony.
'But for now, it's back to the house hunt.
'We've travelled to the northwest of the New Forest,
'just outside the former market town of Fordingbridge,
'which is close to the Dorset border.
'Our second property is located in the nearby hamlet
'of Cripplestyle and dates back to Victorian times.'
And here is your second property.
Lovely. At the moment, lovely.
-This is us, isn't it?
-Yes, this is looking good.
-So you like the look of the outside. Are you ready to step inside?
-I'd look at this one inside.
'Well, a great start,
'and I don't think the interior will disappoint either.'
So do come on in.
Exactly how I imagined it. Exactly.
-This is us.
The current owners moved in about 2003
and they extended the property and they did an awful lot of work.
They've tried to keep it very much
-in keeping with the Victorian period.
So we've got two reception rooms either side.
-Let's start off with the sitting room.
So here's your sitting room.
-Look at this.
-Oh, I like this.
-We can use our own chandeliers.
-It's got our stamp on it, hasn't it?
-I just love it.
-Yes, I like this a lot.
But it's important that you have somewhere to dine,
so let's cross the hallway to the next reception room.
For your formal dining with your friends and family.
-And how we could dine in here!
-Yes, very well.
Your pizza would look lovely on that table.
It's as if I've lived in a house like this before.
-Ah, your mum and dad's house.
-Really? It reminds you?
That's why I like it.
-So your in-laws' property, was it Victorian?
Isn't it strange? We were meant to have this.
I think we will.
'I'm thrilled that they love this house so much
'and the kitchen diner that we're heading for now
'is bound to be another highlight for Denise.'
-Now, I hope this is big enough.
-Oh, this is beautiful!
-Come on in, Tony.
-Oh, I feel all emotional now, it's lovely.
This is good.
I want this more than I wanted the other one. Oh, I do feel emotional.
It's got the right range you want too.
I've got to get my tissue out now.
-Oh, we've moved you to tears, Denise!
-I know, it's lovely!
I don't care how much it is - we're having it.
I really don't... Oh, dear.
-Forget the budget.
-No, I like this a lot.
You've got access to the back garden through the doors there on the right
and to the left through that door is currently a doggie room
-and there's a downstairs cloakroom as well.
-That's a bonus, isn't it?
'Well, they both appear to be very taken by this property
'and the upstairs should seal the deal.
'The three spare bedrooms are spacious,
'light and very tastefully decorated,
'and the family bathroom is a good size too,
'but I'm taking them to see the second bathroom -
'the en-suite belonging to the master bedroom.'
-And here is
-your en-suite. This is nice. This is what I call a bathroom.
Tony, look at this.
-Oh, it is stunning.
-I'd be able to get in and out of that.
And this is your bathroom,
because the family bathroom is at the top of the stairs.
Hold up, I've got to think about this.
-I suppose, yes, this is going to be your bathroom.
-Too right, yeah.
-You're down the corridor.
-You're down the other end.
You've got the family bathroom.
Let's show you where you're going to sleep, though.
Got the thumbs up from the bathroom.
-But how's this for your bedroom?
-This is nice.
-Restful, isn't it?
-Yes, I like this.
-Yeah, I think we could live here.
-I can't explain it.
-It just feels right, doesn't it?
It's like, yeah, you walk into a place
and it feels right, and this does.
So, with the house really feeling like home for Tony and Denise,
there's just the garden left to see,
and I think they're both going to love it.
Oh, my goodness me!
There's a lovely expanse of lawn, with mature shrubs
and plenty of room to put up a greenhouse, or three.
-I think it's a spectacular garden.
-Put my greenhouses in.
They won't intrude, take away this space. It's just beautiful.
Got a huge double garage there,
with access at the side of the property,
so perhaps one for you and one for your workshop.
-That would be brilliant.
-It's ticked all the boxes.
-Yeah. Everything's coming together too easy.
-I don't like it.
-You don't look too happy!
-I don't like this!
You know what's coming next!
-He knows it's going to cost him money.
-How much is all that worth?
I think this is going to be about six and a half.
And I... I, again, like Tony, think it's going to be over,
and I think, what, 630.
If I said to you it's within budget, just - 599.
-It has come down in price recently.
Don't look at me! Oh.
Now, you wanted us to find you your dream property.
Yeah, but not as nice as this!
Just within budget at £599,000,
this house handsomely delivers everything on their wish list.
It has four bedrooms. Two bathrooms.
A huge kitchen for Denise, A workshop area for Tony.
A garden that will keep them both busy,
Denise with the shrubs and Tony building those greenhouses!
-What a success, eh?
-I think so, yes.
As the evening falls on a very promising house hunt so far,
it marks the end of our first day in Hampshire.
Now, at the start of this search, Tony and Denise asked us
to concentrate in the New Forest region.
Well, I'm only taking them two miles down the road.
But what they don't know yet
is that we've got to cross the Solent to get there.
For our Mystery House, we've travelled beyond Hampshire,
over the Solent to the Isle of Wight,
just a ferry ride outside their search area.
We're heading for the resort town of Yarmouth
on the northwest coast of the island.
So, guys, what do you think?
Well, if that's the Mystery House over there, that's brilliant!
-We're just going to have to wait and see.
The mystery property is a unique development
of a historic Victorian fortress,
which has 360-degree views across the landscape.
Built in 1863, it was one of 19 forts on the island
to be built under Prime Minister Lord Palmerston
as defence against a perceived attack from across the Channel.
With the support of English Heritage,
it has now been converted into 18 two-storey homes.
So, here is your Mystery House.
Welcome to Golden Hill Fort.
Is it the whole of it?!
-How much would you like?
-Because that's a lot of hoovering!
-It's a lot of houses, actually.
-It's only one part. It's 1/18th.
-Oh, right. Certainly different.
-So, do you fancy owning a little bit of British history?
I can guarantee that they won't have seen anything
quite like this before.
While the exterior is very imposing,
I think they'll be surprised how modern and bright it is inside.
-So...do step inside the fort.
Your eyes, they're just drawn to the ceiling.
We're going to go upstairs in a little while.
-It is an inverted house.
-So, the bedrooms are downstairs.
That will please you, because you don't like stairs.
-No, not very much.
-So, let's start the grand tour.
Got a utility room and a storage cupboard through there.
This property has three surprisingly light
and spacious bedrooms on the ground floor,
and all of them come with an en-suite,
so Tony and Denise can pick one each.
I'm starting our tour by showing them the master bedroom.
-That's rather nice, isn't it?
-It's a bit like the TARDIS, isn't it?
So, although it's very old, completely contemporary inside.
-Well-designed. By the... So far.
-Let's look at the bathroom.
Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness. Oh, it's like coming into a cave.
-Come in. It's like a vault.
-Oh, look at that shower.
-Oh, that's a proper shower.
-That's quite amazing, isn't it?
-It is, isn't it?
-Well, I'm going to drag you away from your bathroom.
Going to go upstairs now.
If they were stunned by the bathroom,
I know they're going to be blown away by the living space upstairs,
a huge area encompassing lounge, kitchen and diner in one,
with that amazing feature brick ceiling arching above it.
Oh, my goodness!
-What do you think?
-It's fantastic, isn't it?
Got mood lighting everywhere, and it simulates natural light.
Again, it's so different to what we've seen in the last two houses.
I mean, it's still breathtaking,
-but so, so different, and ultra-modern.
And you have your own personal veranda overlooking the courtyard.
-So, in the evenings...
-Oh, I see.
..you can sit out there with your cocktails and enjoy.
-I've got one more thing I'm going to show you.
-It's somewhere to put your tractor!
OK, there's no traditional lawn,
but what they don't know is that the gardens for this unique property
are on the roof, giving them unparalleled views over the island,
which might make Tony forget all about his tractor.
This is fantastic. The scenery and everything around it is amazing.
Apparently, this is the only Grade I listed building
with a communal roof garden.
-I still need my garden.
Because after a year - although it feels like three -
in the caravan, I've got to have the garden.
So, how much do you think it's actually on the market for?
Well, I think this has got to be over the budget.
All right, I'm going to go under, at 595.
And you would both get change.
-Out of our budget?
-Out of your budget. Asking price...
-Oh, you surprise me. You do surprise me.
-It's just gone on the market.
Yeah. It won't stay on the market for long at that, will it?
Well within their budget at £550,000,
this amazing property offers them a complete change of lifestyle,
as well as meeting a large number of their demands.
It has three bedrooms, each with an en-suite.
A huge kitchen space for Denise.
An open-plan living area,
where she can keep an eye on Tony while she cooks.
And those fantastic communal gardens with great views.
-All finished. We're going to go back on the ferry.
That'll give you some time on your own
to have a think about the three properties, then we'll have a chat.
-That'll be good.
So, that's it.
Our house search here in Hampshire with our caravanning couple
is now officially over, but have we found them their dream home?
Let's ask them.
So, Denise and Tony, have we got you out of the caravan,
into your dream home here in Hampshire?
There is no question about that. I am out of that caravan.
-The very first property that we showed you...
-Tony, tell me about that kitchen.
-Well, the kitchen was amazing.
The kitchen and the sitting area,
and also the conservatory was all amazing.
But the garden, at the end of the day, was the no-no, I think.
-It was a downfall, wasn't it?
-That was the big downfall of it.
Our second house.
-Well, it had quite an impact on both of you.
-There was just...
There's no words to describe how we felt when we saw it.
It was just... neat, tidy, our sort of house.
-Yes, ticked every box.
-Yes, it was.
-It was just so lovely.
-It felt like home.
I've never been into a house before where I've walked in and thought,
"Yeah, this is spot-on."
-And it had the land that you wanted.
-Oh! The garden is just...
I've sorted out where the greenhouse is going to go.
We decided, for the Mystery House,
we were going to leave the New Forest
and take you to the Isle of Wight,
-and we went to that remarkable fortress.
-It wasn't for us...
-It wasn't for us.
-But it was...
-It was stunning.
-The quality there was amazing.
-Second to none.
-It would make a wonderful... holiday home.
my husband feels like it, we could have that for the summer months...
-Your husband's not feeling like it.
-Where do we go from here?
-Tomorrow morning, we're ringing the agent.
-Fantastic! Oh, you kept that quiet.
-I haven't told him yet either.
No, we made our mind up we were going to ring the agent...
-We're going to ring the agent.
-..to see what the situation is.
-And I think we can make them a reasonable offer for it.
I hope the offer's accepted.
And also, more importantly,
you will be out of that caravan very, very soon.
-Do you know, you're an angel!
What fantastic news!
According to Tony and Denise, it's a final farewell to the caravan
and a big hello to their new home in Hampshire.
I sincerely hope their offer is accepted. We wish them all the best.
Until next time, bye-bye.
The good news is that
Tony and Denise's offer on that second property has been accepted.
So, it shouldn't be too long before the caravan is parked up for good.