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This remarkable site is legacy to Britain's dramatic Ice Age.
Around 10,000 years ago,
a massive glacier ripped the top soil off this outcrop,
exposing the limestone beneath.
Open to the elements, the limestone has gradually worn away
to form what looks like stepping stones on a giant pavement.
So, where am I? Find out in just a moment.
In today's show, I'll be helping a couple
escape the encroaching development near their home
for the peace and tranquillity of the Yorkshire Dales.
They're certainly surprised at how much is on offer.
Gosh, that's massive!
And then our Mystery House makes them go all a-quiver.
-That's impressive, isn't it?
Welcome to the Yorkshire Dales.
I'm standing on the renowned limestone pavement
above spectacular Malham Cove.
With a vertical face of 260 foot,
this cove is a huge limestone amphitheatre-shaped cliff
and is one of Yorkshire's most popular tourist attractions.
And it's this limestone, which much of the Dales sits on,
that gives it that distinctive look,
typified by lush green valleys, or dales,
and interspersed with barns and mile upon mile of drystone walls,
which have been built using this stunning white stone.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park in the north of England covers 680 square miles,
with its most westerly part spilling over into neighbouring Cumbria.
The twisting, turning lanes, traditional villages
and spectacular scenery
attract up to eight million visitors at the height of the tourist season.
Around 20,000 people live and work within the Dales National Park.
Historically, the area's been home to sheep farming,
and almost 5,500 miles of drystone walls,
built to keep the sheep in,
crisscross the hillsides.
This is picture-postcard countryside,
with tiny villages and towns built from the local stone
hidden in dramatic valleys.
It's one of the most tranquil and unspoilt areas of Britain.
Meet Andrew, a computer manager, and Sue, who works for the NHS.
They're keen to swap their home in Wendover, Buckinghamshire,
for the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.
We're wanting to move away from this area
because we feel that the continuing development is changing it
and the pace of change is growing ever faster.
As Sue is retiring and Andrew works from home, the world is their oyster.
But this pair have very set ideas on where's best to live.
Yorkshire is where we would like to move to.
I was born in Sheffield,
so for the first time in a long time,
I could contemplate returning to my roots.
Returning to Andrew's roots will mean saying goodbye to their new-build detached cottage
and creating a fresh wish-list for the future.
One reception, a large kitchen, three bedrooms minimum,
an open fire or a wood burner, some sort of natural fire.
And a view.
But with houses in the Yorkshire Dales National Park going for a premium,
their budget is all important.
Our budget for the move is a maximum of £420,000.
Well, it seems Andy and Sue are desperate to escape
increasingly overcrowded Wendover,
so plumping for the remoteness of the Yorkshire Dales
has to be a good bet.
My only worry is, will it be too remote for them?
As for their wish list, they are after a property with bags of character,
three bedrooms, a really large kitchen, an open fire
and what else?
Ah, yes, the views!
I don't think we need to worry about that too much, as long as the rain holds off.
Andy and Sue want to get involved in every aspect of country life
when they make their move to the Yorkshire Dales
and finding an area with strong community ties is essential.
We're focusing our search on the villages of Hawkswick and Buckden.
We've picked three fantastic houses that should whet their appetite,
but I won't tell them what they're on the market for until they've had a guess first.
And there's our Mystery House,
ready to test their property resolve.
-Sue and Andy, welcome to a rather blustery day in the Yorkshire Dales.
-It is a bit!
Why do you want to move to this particular part of Yorkshire?
We live in quite a nice part of southern England, but it's getting busier
and we just want somewhere with a bit more of a view, less concrete, quieter.
And you were born in Yorkshire?
In Sheffield, more years ago than I care to remember
and it would be nice to come back and live in the county I was born in.
Sue, if you move here, what sort of hobbies are you going to take up or continue?
I want to have more time to spend actually getting into the countryside and seeing the wildlife.
I've also been quite involved with am-dram and singing.
The Dales will be alive with the sound of music!
So, the budget...
Very important. Remind us what we're looking at.
We've got a maximum budget of £420,000.
-Great. We've got three lovely properties lined up in and around the Yorkshire Dales.
-I hope the rain keeps away. Shall we get started?
-I think we should.
-Come on, then.
Andy and Sue have a budget of £420,000
to find their rural paradise in the Dales.
They want a character property with:
Our first house is situated in Hawkswick,
in the southwest of the Dales.
This hamlet is tucked at the foot of Wharfedale, one of the Dales' longest valleys.
It's a peaceful spot, which is off the beaten track for tourists.
Andy and Sue's desire for a community can be met in the nearby village of Kettlewell,
which is under five miles away
and has pubs, a good post office and village store.
Our first property is a traditional stone-built barn,
which was converted to a house in the 1908s.
So, your first property
is right in the centre of the Dales National Park.
Here it is. What are your first impressions?
It's a really pretty property. Lovely stone-built.
Obviously, it's had some work done to it.
-It's been well looked after. It's a nice-looking place.
-We'd better start, then, hadn't we?
-I think so.
'So good first impressions. This property has many of the features our buyers are after,
'so I'm confident the interior will get a similar reaction.'
So standard practice in the country, we come in the back door.
Leads us straight into the dining area and also the kitchen.
-Bigger than it looks from the outside.
-It's deceiving, isn't it?
-Lovely big window.
-That originally would've been the barn doors.
Did you want a dining room to be part of the kitchen? Does that work for you?
We spend most of our time in the kitchen. We use it as a sitting room, so the bigger the better.
-The kitchen itself, shall we take a closer look?
'Let's see if the kitchen has the space Sue's wanting.'
There's a fair amount of space here. I mean, they have segregated it.
-But you could open it right out because you haven't any walls to worry about.
Can you imagine yourself in here? I was going to ask you, Sue, but I'm going to ask Andy,
with your award-winning rock cakes!
I could certainly make some in this kitchen.
OK, let's keep going.
So through this dining area, this leads to your sitting room.
-Oh, what a lovely fireplace.
-It's got a cosy feel.
I don't know that I'm necessarily a beams kind of person, but these are really nice.
You wanted your wood burner. You've got an inglenook there.
You could sit here in the winter and shut everything out.
-You can imagine yourselves retiring into this room?
Excellent. One more room to show you on this floor.
If I can squeeze past, it's just next door.
'Off the hallway, there's a generous study
'with a built-in mezzanine sleeping area.'
The barn has three bedrooms in total,
but as you can see, this was a bedroom but it's now used as a study.
Because I work from home, this would be ideal.
Good. Andy, I'm going to ask you to lead the way this time.
-Back through the dining room, I'm going to take you upstairs.
'I can't wait to see what they think of the stunning galleried landing.'
-You've got a very generous landing.
-Gosh, it's huge.
It's quite deceiving. I thought it was going to be poky and it's the opposite.
I thought this would be a dark area to the bedrooms, but no, they've done a really good job.
And you've got the exposed stone, which I think is lovely.
Guest bedroom through there.
But this end, this is for you.
The master bedroom. How does this compare to what you've got at home?
It's a bit bigger.
It doesn't have an ensuite, but the bathroom is next door.
As it's just the two of you most of the time...
-no fighting for the bathroom.
-No fighting for the bathroom.
That's just the inside. I haven't shown you outside and those stunning views!
We'll head back downstairs.
'Andy and Sue are after views
'and they won't be in short supply
'with their own patio outside which looks over the garden.'
Here is your rather cute south-facing garden.
It's surrounded by stunning views. I don't have to sell it to you two.
-Views all around.
-So, enough space for you?
But does this beauty come at a price?
Do you know where this is leading? I think you do! It is "guess the price".
I'm going to start with Sue.
Go on. How much do you think this barn is worth?
I'm absolutely rubbish at prices.
Well, I'll give you a hopeful... 400.
400. OK. Andy?
I think it's fairly close to our max. I'll say 410.
OK. Well, for someone who says she's useless at guessing prices,
-you're practically spot on!
You'd have £500 change.
-There's quite a lot of property for the price.
-Do you want to take another look around?
-Off you go.
Priced at just shy of £400,000,
this traditional stone barn is in a perfect Dales spot.
It's got three bedrooms, a kitchen/diner,
which could be a great space for Andy to make those award-winning rock cakes,
and of course, the stunning views they were both after.
The only thing that I would really want to change
is the small kitchen and very large dining room, but that's doable.
I really like it. There's nothing about it I really dislike.
If you told me we were coming to a barn conversion,
I'd have thought, "It'll be dark" but this is really nice.
It's time to dangle our second property carrot in front of Andy and Sue.
We're heading for the village of Buckden, which is in the heart of the Dales National Park.
In the past, Buckden was a staging post for travellers
as they ventured north to Bishopdale and Wensleydale.
Surrounded by glorious countryside,
it's an excellent spot for walking.
I'm taking them to see a rather unusual house right on the edge of the village,
which I think might surprise them.
Now, on Escape To The Country,
we get asked for a house on the edge of a village all the time,
and guess what, this house is right on the edge of a village.
Property number two, right in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales.
-What do you think?
-Very unlike the previous one.
-So unlike the first property, yes.
Surrounded by birdsong, as well. Fabulous location.
-We're selling it, guys!
-BOTH: You are!
-Let's go in!
I'm excited to take them inside,
as there's much more to this house than meets the eye.
-So, very different from the previous property.
But what this property does have is, all it needs is cosmetic.
-If you wanted to do it, really easy to do. Everything else has been taken care of.
-What do you think?
-This is a very cosy room.
More to show you through here.
It does have a separate dining area.
But this house doesn't want for space. There is plenty of it.
-It's a good space and a good shape.
-Ideally, you'd like a generous office to work from home.
-Yes, that would be good.
See what you think of next door.
'Off here is another room, which I think might work for Andy.'
Anyone working from home needs not only to have a good-size room,
but spectacular views for when work gets too much.
Yes! This is a nice office space.
-I could easily work in this.
-A real self-contained office.
Good. I'm going to continue, back through here.
'Leading back through the dining room
'is a large farmhouse-style kitchen and breakfast room.'
Isn't this the most important room in the house?
Yes, it is. It's nice and big.
I was going to be mean and say, "It's very small!" but I thought, "No, I can't!"
Nice view from the kitchen window.
Yes, into your garden when all those flowers are out, it looks beautiful.
-Conclusion on the kitchen? All good?
-Very good, yes.
-I love the size of it, it's fantastic.
Let's have a look at the master bedroom.
'Every room in this house is of a generous size
'and the main bedroom doesn't disappoint.'
Last but not least, the master bedroom.
-THEY MUMBLE Mm.
-Yes. Bigger than I was expecting.
-It is. Loads of storage.
Again, you do get the views all around.
-It just looks so nice. Yes, this is good.
If you just close that door and poke your head through the other door...
There is your ensuite. Have a little look.
Gosh, that's massive! THEY LAUGH
-That is massive.
-So, can you see the potential?
I mean, it doesn't need a lot doing at all. It's all cosmetic.
But it's a really big space.
Never judge a book by its cover!
We haven't even stepped outside to see the views!
This house has another generous double bedroom with its own ensuite shower.
And if that wasn't enough, there's a further two rooms off the kitchen,
one of which is this study-cum-bedroom
and the other is a useful utility room,
perfect for storing all those muddy boots in.
The lodge sits on an acre-and-a-half of beautifully mature garden
and has a stream running through it.
I hope Andy and Sue have enough cars to fill the triple garage at the bottom of the drive.
This place certainly has the views they're after,
and a path at the back of the house leads up to a lawned area
which looks out onto the glorious woodland behind.
So we've seen the inside and I've waxed lyrical about the potential,
but this is the finale.
-Look at this countryside.
-BOTH: It's beautiful, isn't it?
Right, come on, then. Who wants to go first?
-You must go first this time.
Er, I'd say...
OK. Sue, you were on the money practically the last one,
so the pressure's on you.
Well, it's got to be at least worth our limit, I think.
-And your limit is?
-This house is on the market...
-So £5,000 over budget.
It's worth it. It is. It's a fair price.
It's a remarkable property in a truly, I think, remarkable setting.
Have another wander around. Go on. Enjoy!
See what you could do to make it your own.
Practise your negotiation skills, if you've really fallen in love with it!
-I'll catch you at the front later on.
The Hunting Lodge is just over Andy and Sue's budget
But with four bedrooms,
that's one more than they bargained for.
It's got a large kitchen and there are stunning views from every window.
The house also offers the edge-of-village location they're after.
I love the view from the washing-up bowl!
THEY LAUGH It's beautiful.
When we came up the drive, I wasn't sure at all
because I thought, "Oh, a single-storey place"
and it looked so small.
But once you get in, the rooms are good,
there's plenty of garden, so a lot for your money, definitely.
As the day closes over the majestic beauty of the Dales,
our buyers have the leisure to consider the properties they've already seen
and anticipate what the Mystery House might have in store for them.
We're en route now to the Mystery House.
-I'm not going to give too much away.
-What do you think we might be taking you to see?
-I'm thinking maybe it's a renovation project.
How open-minded are you?
-Goodness me. I think we better say yes!
I think we can see potential.
Well, I hope Andy and Sue are open-minded,
as we pushed their brief with the Mystery House.
I'm taking them across the border to Sedbergh in Cumbria
where I found a very special property.
Sedbergh is a characterful market town
with a narrow main street.
It's overlooked by moorland hills, which can be seen from every angle in town.
Our Mystery House isn't detached,
which is what they originally asked for.
It's part of a development of properties, set within four acres of stunning parkland,
which should woo even the most doubting of buyers.
So, Andy and Sue, here we are at your mystery property.
Three steps forward and you can open your eyes. Are you ready?
One, two, three.
Here is your Mystery House.
Oh, my gosh! No!
No. That's not in the price bracket!
-It's a castle.
-It is. How do you fancy owning a tower?
I think I could be a queen!
-That's impressive, isn't it?
-Shall we take a step inside?
-Are you feeling regal?
-Come on, then.
So far, so good.
I hope I'm onto a winner with this one.
Welcome to your tower.
I thought I'd bring you straight into the kitchen.
It's very modern. I like that, yes.
And that gap is crying out to have some sort of little range in it.
-I really like this space. It really works.
-Let's continue through.
So downstairs flows... believe it or not, a circle!
-Oh, yes! It's the bottom of the tower.
-Even with the exposed stone, it feels warm.
-That's a wood burner, which I know is close to your heart.
You've got a brand-new cloakroom through there, beautifully tiled.
Can you imagine you've got neighbours close by or not?
No. No, it feels as though it's own its own from inside.
It's good. I like that.
-Shall we head upstairs?
'We've gone out on a limb with this house,
'but I think the response is positive.
'On the first floor, there's a room right for Andy.'
This is the first floor of the tower.
There's two bedrooms on this floor and a family bathroom.
So you could use one as your office/study.
-This one has its own shower room, an ensuite.
This could be your master. But let me take you further upstairs
because there's another bedroom to show you.
'This house keeps on rising, so it's up again to the next floor
'to have a look at another double bedroom, which is also an ensuite.'
This is the third bedroom, as we make our way up the turret.
-I think I prefer this than the one downstairs.
Yes, it's got more light in it.
And it's got its own shower room, an ensuite there.
So the bedrooms, although you've got three, one is upstairs,
-so if you wanted to make it into an office, you wouldn't mind coming up?
Our third bedroom at home is upstairs
and that's what I use for the office, so it's no different.
So on a beautiful day,
Andy's office could actually be somewhere else,
'The final level of this house is the jewel in the crown -
'the spectacular roof terrace.'
Andy, what about this for your office?
Well, yes, I could certainly sit up here and do no work!
-This is much bigger than I imagined it would be.
That's amazing. There's the other turret.
There's the turret. So if you wanted to play Rapunzel,
you can squeeze up and throw down your hair.
'Time to see if our last property,
'which is very different from what our buyers asked us to find, has hit the target.'
So, you've got a 16th-century manor house,
you've got all this beautiful landscape around you,
-but you don't have to do maintenance.
It's a really nice place.
So, if you were to buy the tower, the 16th-century tower,
how much do you think it's currently on the market for?
Er, I think it's above our budget. I think it's £426,000.
Yes, I also think it's above our budget that we set you.
I think it's 435.
I hope you're pleasantly surprised because it is under budget.
-BOTH: That is a surprise.
And that's going to make it even harder to decide!
-Do you fancy going and having another look?
Go and explore! See you later!
So for £415,000,
Andy and Sue could lord it over their neighbours in this tower house.
It's got three bedrooms, and from their own roof terrace in the ramparts,
they could survey the four acres of shared garden
that come with the property.
It's a strong contender.
I know that Andrew really likes it, so the pressure's on there.
There are some things which, cosmetically, I'd do differently.
As it's under budget, that would make it possible.
All in all, I think it's a really nice place in a really nice setting.
We've shown Andy and Sue three very different houses,
but they haven't had a negative word to say about any of them.
So, has one particular house really hit the spot?
Let's go and ask them.
Let's start off with the first property.
-We showed you a barn conversion.
-You seemed taken with that.
Yes, it was a beautiful building.
I think the barn would be my third choice. That's because the kitchen was very small.
The second property we saw was the Hunting Lodge.
The first impression was, they've made real good use of the space.
Again, the only sort of downside to it for us was the dining room.
Which leads us to our Mystery House!
-It was a beautiful property, wasn't it?
-I really loved it.
-When you're inside, it's like you're on your own.
And the surroundings were good.
So come on, then, I need to know, what do we do next?
Well, we're going to take a little while to mull it over
because we've made rash choices in the past.
You've shown us that there are really nice properties out there for our budget,
which we weren't sure there were.
-We wish you the very best of luck.
Well, that's it from the Yorkshire Dales.
I think, considering this is the first time
that Andy and Sue have looked in this county for a property,
they were pleasantly surprised that we managed to find them not one but two houses
that got seriously close to their dream home.
It's only going to be a matter of time before they make the move here.
See you again.
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