Yorkshire Dales Escape to the Country


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Yorkshire Dales

Property show. Nicki Chapman searches for a rural home in the Yorkshire Dales for a budget of 420,000 pounds. Nicki also meets one of the region's beekeepers.


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This remarkable site is legacy to Britain's dramatic Ice Age.

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Around 10,000 years ago,

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a massive glacier ripped the top soil off this outcrop,

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exposing the limestone beneath.

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Open to the elements, the limestone has gradually worn away

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to form what looks like stepping stones on a giant pavement.

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So, where am I? Find out in just a moment.

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In today's show, I'll be helping a couple

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escape the encroaching development near their home

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for the peace and tranquillity of the Yorkshire Dales.

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They're certainly surprised at how much is on offer.

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Gosh, that's massive!

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And then our Mystery House makes them go all a-quiver.

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-That's impressive, isn't it?

-It is.

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Welcome to the Yorkshire Dales.

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I'm standing on the renowned limestone pavement

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above spectacular Malham Cove.

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With a vertical face of 260 foot,

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this cove is a huge limestone amphitheatre-shaped cliff

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and is one of Yorkshire's most popular tourist attractions.

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And it's this limestone, which much of the Dales sits on,

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that gives it that distinctive look,

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typified by lush green valleys, or dales,

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and interspersed with barns and mile upon mile of drystone walls,

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which have been built using this stunning white stone.

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The Yorkshire Dales National Park in the north of England covers 680 square miles,

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with its most westerly part spilling over into neighbouring Cumbria.

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The twisting, turning lanes, traditional villages

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and spectacular scenery

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attract up to eight million visitors at the height of the tourist season.

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Around 20,000 people live and work within the Dales National Park.

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Historically, the area's been home to sheep farming,

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and almost 5,500 miles of drystone walls,

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built to keep the sheep in,

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crisscross the hillsides.

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This is picture-postcard countryside,

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with tiny villages and towns built from the local stone

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hidden in dramatic valleys.

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It's one of the most tranquil and unspoilt areas of Britain.

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Meet Andrew, a computer manager, and Sue, who works for the NHS.

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They're keen to swap their home in Wendover, Buckinghamshire,

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for the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.

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We're wanting to move away from this area

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because we feel that the continuing development is changing it

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and the pace of change is growing ever faster.

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As Sue is retiring and Andrew works from home, the world is their oyster.

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But this pair have very set ideas on where's best to live.

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Yorkshire is where we would like to move to.

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I was born in Sheffield,

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so for the first time in a long time,

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I could contemplate returning to my roots.

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Returning to Andrew's roots will mean saying goodbye to their new-build detached cottage

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and creating a fresh wish-list for the future.

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One reception, a large kitchen, three bedrooms minimum,

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an open fire or a wood burner, some sort of natural fire.

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And a view.

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But with houses in the Yorkshire Dales National Park going for a premium,

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their budget is all important.

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Our budget for the move is a maximum of £420,000.

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Well, it seems Andy and Sue are desperate to escape

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increasingly overcrowded Wendover,

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so plumping for the remoteness of the Yorkshire Dales

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has to be a good bet.

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My only worry is, will it be too remote for them?

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As for their wish list, they are after a property with bags of character,

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three bedrooms, a really large kitchen, an open fire

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and what else?

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Ah, yes, the views!

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I don't think we need to worry about that too much, as long as the rain holds off.

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Andy and Sue want to get involved in every aspect of country life

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when they make their move to the Yorkshire Dales

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and finding an area with strong community ties is essential.

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We're focusing our search on the villages of Hawkswick and Buckden.

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We've picked three fantastic houses that should whet their appetite,

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but I won't tell them what they're on the market for until they've had a guess first.

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And there's our Mystery House,

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ready to test their property resolve.

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-Sue and Andy, welcome to a rather blustery day in the Yorkshire Dales.

-It is a bit!

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Why do you want to move to this particular part of Yorkshire?

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We live in quite a nice part of southern England, but it's getting busier

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and we just want somewhere with a bit more of a view, less concrete, quieter.

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And you were born in Yorkshire?

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In Sheffield, more years ago than I care to remember

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and it would be nice to come back and live in the county I was born in.

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Sue, if you move here, what sort of hobbies are you going to take up or continue?

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I want to have more time to spend actually getting into the countryside and seeing the wildlife.

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I've also been quite involved with am-dram and singing.

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The Dales will be alive with the sound of music!

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So, the budget...

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Very important. Remind us what we're looking at.

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We've got a maximum budget of £420,000.

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-Great. We've got three lovely properties lined up in and around the Yorkshire Dales.

-Fantastic.

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-I hope the rain keeps away. Shall we get started?

-Yes.

-I think we should.

-Come on, then.

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Andy and Sue have a budget of £420,000

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to find their rural paradise in the Dales.

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They want a character property with:

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Our first house is situated in Hawkswick,

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in the southwest of the Dales.

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This hamlet is tucked at the foot of Wharfedale, one of the Dales' longest valleys.

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It's a peaceful spot, which is off the beaten track for tourists.

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Andy and Sue's desire for a community can be met in the nearby village of Kettlewell,

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which is under five miles away

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and has pubs, a good post office and village store.

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Our first property is a traditional stone-built barn,

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which was converted to a house in the 1908s.

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So, your first property

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is right in the centre of the Dales National Park.

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Here it is. What are your first impressions?

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It's a really pretty property. Lovely stone-built.

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Obviously, it's had some work done to it.

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-It's been well looked after. It's a nice-looking place.

-Good.

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-We'd better start, then, hadn't we?

-I think so.

-Come on.

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'So good first impressions. This property has many of the features our buyers are after,

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'so I'm confident the interior will get a similar reaction.'

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So standard practice in the country, we come in the back door.

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Leads us straight into the dining area and also the kitchen.

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-Bigger than it looks from the outside.

-It's deceiving, isn't it?

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-Lovely big window.

-That originally would've been the barn doors.

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Did you want a dining room to be part of the kitchen? Does that work for you?

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We spend most of our time in the kitchen. We use it as a sitting room, so the bigger the better.

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-The kitchen itself, shall we take a closer look?

-BOTH: Yes.

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'Let's see if the kitchen has the space Sue's wanting.'

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There's a fair amount of space here. I mean, they have segregated it.

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-But you could open it right out because you haven't any walls to worry about.

-No.

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Can you imagine yourself in here? I was going to ask you, Sue, but I'm going to ask Andy,

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with your award-winning rock cakes!

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I could certainly make some in this kitchen.

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OK, let's keep going.

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So through this dining area, this leads to your sitting room.

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-Oh, what a lovely fireplace.

-It's got a cosy feel.

-Yes.

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I don't know that I'm necessarily a beams kind of person, but these are really nice.

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You wanted your wood burner. You've got an inglenook there.

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You could sit here in the winter and shut everything out.

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-You can imagine yourselves retiring into this room?

-BOTH: Yes.

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Excellent. One more room to show you on this floor.

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If I can squeeze past, it's just next door.

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'Off the hallway, there's a generous study

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'with a built-in mezzanine sleeping area.'

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The barn has three bedrooms in total,

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but as you can see, this was a bedroom but it's now used as a study.

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Because I work from home, this would be ideal.

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Good. Andy, I'm going to ask you to lead the way this time.

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-Back through the dining room, I'm going to take you upstairs.

-OK.

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'I can't wait to see what they think of the stunning galleried landing.'

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-You've got a very generous landing.

-Gosh, it's huge.

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It's quite deceiving. I thought it was going to be poky and it's the opposite.

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I thought this would be a dark area to the bedrooms, but no, they've done a really good job.

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And you've got the exposed stone, which I think is lovely.

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Guest bedroom through there.

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But this end, this is for you.

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The master bedroom. How does this compare to what you've got at home?

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It's a bit bigger.

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It doesn't have an ensuite, but the bathroom is next door.

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As it's just the two of you most of the time...

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-no fighting for the bathroom.

-No fighting for the bathroom.

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That's just the inside. I haven't shown you outside and those stunning views!

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We'll head back downstairs.

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'Andy and Sue are after views

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'and they won't be in short supply

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'with their own patio outside which looks over the garden.'

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Here is your rather cute south-facing garden.

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It's surrounded by stunning views. I don't have to sell it to you two.

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-BOTH:

-No.

-Views all around.

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-So, enough space for you?

-Ample.

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But does this beauty come at a price?

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Do you know where this is leading? I think you do! It is "guess the price".

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I'm going to start with Sue.

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Go on. How much do you think this barn is worth?

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I'm absolutely rubbish at prices.

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Well, I'll give you a hopeful... 400.

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400. OK. Andy?

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I think it's fairly close to our max. I'll say 410.

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OK. Well, for someone who says she's useless at guessing prices,

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-you're practically spot on!

-Oh, wow.

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You'd have £500 change.

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-It's £399,500.

-Oh, right!

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-There's quite a lot of property for the price.

-There is.

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-Do you want to take another look around?

-BOTH: Yes.

-Off you go.

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Priced at just shy of £400,000,

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this traditional stone barn is in a perfect Dales spot.

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It's got three bedrooms, a kitchen/diner,

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which could be a great space for Andy to make those award-winning rock cakes,

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and of course, the stunning views they were both after.

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The only thing that I would really want to change

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is the small kitchen and very large dining room, but that's doable.

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I really like it. There's nothing about it I really dislike.

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If you told me we were coming to a barn conversion,

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I'd have thought, "It'll be dark" but this is really nice.

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It's time to dangle our second property carrot in front of Andy and Sue.

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We're heading for the village of Buckden, which is in the heart of the Dales National Park.

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In the past, Buckden was a staging post for travellers

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as they ventured north to Bishopdale and Wensleydale.

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Surrounded by glorious countryside,

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it's an excellent spot for walking.

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I'm taking them to see a rather unusual house right on the edge of the village,

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which I think might surprise them.

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Now, on Escape To The Country,

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we get asked for a house on the edge of a village all the time,

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and guess what, this house is right on the edge of a village.

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Property number two, right in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales.

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-What do you think?

-Very unlike the previous one.

-So unlike the first property, yes.

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Surrounded by birdsong, as well. Fabulous location.

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-We're selling it, guys!

-BOTH: You are!

-Let's go in!

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I'm excited to take them inside,

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as there's much more to this house than meets the eye.

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-So, very different from the previous property.

-BOTH: Yes.

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But what this property does have is, all it needs is cosmetic.

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-If you wanted to do it, really easy to do. Everything else has been taken care of.

-Yes.

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-What do you think?

-This is a very cosy room.

-Nice space.

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More to show you through here.

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It does have a separate dining area.

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But this house doesn't want for space. There is plenty of it.

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-It's a good space and a good shape.

-Yes.

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-Ideally, you'd like a generous office to work from home.

-Yes, that would be good.

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See what you think of next door.

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'Off here is another room, which I think might work for Andy.'

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Anyone working from home needs not only to have a good-size room,

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but spectacular views for when work gets too much.

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Yes! This is a nice office space.

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-I could easily work in this.

-Could you?

-Oh, yes.

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-Fabulous.

-A real self-contained office.

-Exactly!

-Excellent.

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Good. I'm going to continue, back through here.

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'Leading back through the dining room

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'is a large farmhouse-style kitchen and breakfast room.'

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Isn't this the most important room in the house?

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Yes, it is. It's nice and big.

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I was going to be mean and say, "It's very small!" but I thought, "No, I can't!"

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Nice view from the kitchen window.

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Yes, into your garden when all those flowers are out, it looks beautiful.

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-Conclusion on the kitchen? All good?

-Very good, yes.

-Yes.

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-I love the size of it, it's fantastic.

-Excellent. OK.

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Let's have a look at the master bedroom.

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'Every room in this house is of a generous size

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'and the main bedroom doesn't disappoint.'

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Last but not least, the master bedroom.

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-THEY MUMBLE Mm.

-Yes. Bigger than I was expecting.

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-It's practical.

-It is. Loads of storage.

-Absolutely.

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Again, you do get the views all around.

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-It just looks so nice. Yes, this is good.

-Very nice.

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If you just close that door and poke your head through the other door...

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There is your ensuite. Have a little look.

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Gosh, that's massive! THEY LAUGH

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-Blimey!

-That is massive.

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-So, can you see the potential?

-Oh, yes!

-Yes.

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I mean, it doesn't need a lot doing at all. It's all cosmetic.

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But it's a really big space.

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Never judge a book by its cover!

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We haven't even stepped outside to see the views!

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This house has another generous double bedroom with its own ensuite shower.

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And if that wasn't enough, there's a further two rooms off the kitchen,

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one of which is this study-cum-bedroom

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and the other is a useful utility room,

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perfect for storing all those muddy boots in.

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The lodge sits on an acre-and-a-half of beautifully mature garden

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and has a stream running through it.

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I hope Andy and Sue have enough cars to fill the triple garage at the bottom of the drive.

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This place certainly has the views they're after,

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and a path at the back of the house leads up to a lawned area

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which looks out onto the glorious woodland behind.

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So we've seen the inside and I've waxed lyrical about the potential,

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but this is the finale.

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-Look at this countryside.

-BOTH: It's beautiful, isn't it?

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Right, come on, then. Who wants to go first?

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-You must go first this time.

-OK.

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Er, I'd say...

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£417,000.

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OK. Sue, you were on the money practically the last one,

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so the pressure's on you.

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Well, it's got to be at least worth our limit, I think.

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-And your limit is?

-£420,000.

-This house is on the market...

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for £425,000.

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-So £5,000 over budget.

-Mm-hm.

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It's worth it. It is. It's a fair price.

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It's a remarkable property in a truly, I think, remarkable setting.

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Have another wander around. Go on. Enjoy!

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See what you could do to make it your own.

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Practise your negotiation skills, if you've really fallen in love with it!

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-I'll catch you at the front later on.

-OK.

-Thank you.

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The Hunting Lodge is just over Andy and Sue's budget

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at £425,000.

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But with four bedrooms,

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that's one more than they bargained for.

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It's got a large kitchen and there are stunning views from every window.

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The house also offers the edge-of-village location they're after.

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I love the view from the washing-up bowl!

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THEY LAUGH It's beautiful.

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When we came up the drive, I wasn't sure at all

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because I thought, "Oh, a single-storey place"

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and it looked so small.

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But once you get in, the rooms are good,

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there's plenty of garden, so a lot for your money, definitely.

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As the day closes over the majestic beauty of the Dales,

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our buyers have the leisure to consider the properties they've already seen

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and anticipate what the Mystery House might have in store for them.

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We're en route now to the Mystery House.

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-I'm not going to give too much away.

-Shame!

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-What do you think we might be taking you to see?

-I'm thinking maybe it's a renovation project.

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How open-minded are you?

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-Goodness me. I think we better say yes!

-Fairly broad-minded.

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I think we can see potential.

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Well, I hope Andy and Sue are open-minded,

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as we pushed their brief with the Mystery House.

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I'm taking them across the border to Sedbergh in Cumbria

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where I found a very special property.

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Sedbergh is a characterful market town

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with a narrow main street.

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It's overlooked by moorland hills, which can be seen from every angle in town.

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Our Mystery House isn't detached,

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which is what they originally asked for.

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It's part of a development of properties, set within four acres of stunning parkland,

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which should woo even the most doubting of buyers.

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So, Andy and Sue, here we are at your mystery property.

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Three steps forward and you can open your eyes. Are you ready?

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One, two, three.

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Here is your Mystery House.

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Oh, my gosh! No!

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No. That's not in the price bracket!

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-It's a castle.

-It is. How do you fancy owning a tower?

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I think I could be a queen!

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-That's impressive, isn't it?

-It is.

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-Shall we take a step inside?

-Yes.

-Are you feeling regal?

-Oh, yes.

-Come on, then.

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So far, so good.

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I hope I'm onto a winner with this one.

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Welcome to your tower.

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I thought I'd bring you straight into the kitchen.

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It's very modern. I like that, yes.

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And that gap is crying out to have some sort of little range in it.

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-I really like this space. It really works.

-Yes.

-Great. OK.

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-Let's continue through.

-Let's...

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So downstairs flows... believe it or not, a circle!

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-Oh, yes! It's the bottom of the tower.

-It is.

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-Even with the exposed stone, it feels warm.

-Yes.

-It's nice.

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-That's a wood burner, which I know is close to your heart.

-Excellent!

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You've got a brand-new cloakroom through there, beautifully tiled.

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Can you imagine you've got neighbours close by or not?

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No. No, it feels as though it's own its own from inside.

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It's good. I like that.

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-Shall we head upstairs?

-Yes.

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'We've gone out on a limb with this house,

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'but I think the response is positive.

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'On the first floor, there's a room right for Andy.'

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This is the first floor of the tower.

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There's two bedrooms on this floor and a family bathroom.

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So you could use one as your office/study.

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-This one has its own shower room, an ensuite.

-That's good.

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This could be your master. But let me take you further upstairs

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because there's another bedroom to show you.

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'This house keeps on rising, so it's up again to the next floor

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'to have a look at another double bedroom, which is also an ensuite.'

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This is the third bedroom, as we make our way up the turret.

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-Oh, wow.

-I think I prefer this than the one downstairs.

-I do.

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Yes, it's got more light in it.

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And it's got its own shower room, an ensuite there.

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So the bedrooms, although you've got three, one is upstairs,

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-so if you wanted to make it into an office, you wouldn't mind coming up?

-No.

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Our third bedroom at home is upstairs

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and that's what I use for the office, so it's no different.

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So on a beautiful day,

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Andy's office could actually be somewhere else,

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somewhere unique!

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'The final level of this house is the jewel in the crown -

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'the spectacular roof terrace.'

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Andy, what about this for your office?

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Well, yes, I could certainly sit up here and do no work!

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-This is much bigger than I imagined it would be.

-Yes.

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That's amazing. There's the other turret.

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There's the turret. So if you wanted to play Rapunzel,

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you can squeeze up and throw down your hair.

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'Time to see if our last property,

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'which is very different from what our buyers asked us to find, has hit the target.'

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So, you've got a 16th-century manor house,

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you've got all this beautiful landscape around you,

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-but you don't have to do maintenance.

-Thank goodness.

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It's a really nice place.

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So, if you were to buy the tower, the 16th-century tower,

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how much do you think it's currently on the market for?

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Er, I think it's above our budget. I think it's £426,000.

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Yes, I also think it's above our budget that we set you.

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I think it's 435.

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-435,000.

-Yes.

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I hope you're pleasantly surprised because it is under budget.

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-Oh!

-Really?

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-415,000.

-Gosh.

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-BOTH: That is a surprise.

-Yes.

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And that's going to make it even harder to decide!

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-Do you fancy going and having another look?

-Yes, please.

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Go and explore! See you later!

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So for £415,000,

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Andy and Sue could lord it over their neighbours in this tower house.

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It's got three bedrooms, and from their own roof terrace in the ramparts,

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they could survey the four acres of shared garden

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that come with the property.

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It's a strong contender.

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I know that Andrew really likes it, so the pressure's on there.

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There are some things which, cosmetically, I'd do differently.

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As it's under budget, that would make it possible.

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All in all, I think it's a really nice place in a really nice setting.

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We've shown Andy and Sue three very different houses,

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but they haven't had a negative word to say about any of them.

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So, has one particular house really hit the spot?

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Let's go and ask them.

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Let's start off with the first property.

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-We showed you a barn conversion.

-Yes.

-You seemed taken with that.

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Yes, it was a beautiful building.

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I think the barn would be my third choice. That's because the kitchen was very small.

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The second property we saw was the Hunting Lodge.

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The first impression was, they've made real good use of the space.

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Again, the only sort of downside to it for us was the dining room.

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Which leads us to our Mystery House!

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-It was a beautiful property, wasn't it?

-I really loved it.

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-When you're inside, it's like you're on your own.

-Yes.

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And the surroundings were good.

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So come on, then, I need to know, what do we do next?

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Well, we're going to take a little while to mull it over

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because we've made rash choices in the past.

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You've shown us that there are really nice properties out there for our budget,

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which we weren't sure there were.

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-We wish you the very best of luck.

-Thank you.

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Well, that's it from the Yorkshire Dales.

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I think, considering this is the first time

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that Andy and Sue have looked in this county for a property,

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they were pleasantly surprised that we managed to find them not one but two houses

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that got seriously close to their dream home.

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It's only going to be a matter of time before they make the move here.

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See you again.

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If you would like to escape to the country in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or England

0:28:200:28:25

and would like our help, apply online at:

0:28:250:28:28

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:320:28:36

Nicki Chapman joins in the search for a rural home in the Yorkshire Dales for a budget of 420,000 pounds. During her journey round the county, Nicki also meets one of the region's beekeepers to discover more about efforts to protect the local bumblebee population.