Norfolk Escape to the Country


Norfolk

Buyers are helped to find their dream homes. Alistair Appleton heads to Norfolk to help an outdoors-loving couple find their country home and visits a goat farmer.


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Transcript


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There are 3,000 of these beautiful,

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ornate village signposts across England.

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But which county do they originate in, and when?

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Find out in just a moment.

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On today's show, I'll be helping a very diplomatic couple who want

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to head east in search of the good life

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and the great outdoors.

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But it's the bathing facilities in one property which leave them

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less than impressed.

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Is it the only bathroom?

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-It is the only bathroom.

-Ohhh!

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And then the mystery house has them struggling for words.

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-Ooh!

-Ooh!

-Ooh!

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Oh!

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Today we are in Norfolk, and it was here that these beautiful

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wooden, and sometimes cast iron village signs were born.

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And not hundreds of years ago, but actually in the early 20th century.

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It was King Edward VII, a keen motoring enthusiast,

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who thought it would be jolly nice to have these painted signs

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in the villages on his Sandringham estate,

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to lure in passing tourists in their new-fangled cars.

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Nowadays, there are more than 500 in the county,

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but it's not the only thing

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worth looking at in Norfolk.

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The most easterly county in the British Isles, Norfolk is

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bordered by Suffolk to the south, Lincolnshire to the North,

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and Cambridgeshire to the west.

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The fourth largest county in England, Norfolk is extremely flat,

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with huge swathes of the region given over to

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some of the country's biggest arable farms.

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It's perhaps surprising that the city of Norwich is in fact

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one of the hilliest in the country.

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And it is also one of the best preserved,

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with over 1,500 listed buildings,

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many dating back to the medieval period.

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The Norfolk Broads have been a popular boating destination

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since the 1880s when entrepreneurial boat builder, John Loynes,

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started the first yacht-hire business from the village of Wroxham.

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And today, over 2 million tourists visit the Broads'

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120 miles of waterways each year.

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Let's talk Norfolk property prices.

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Just to give you a rough idea,

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the average price for a detached house in the county is £212,000,

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which is £40,000 less than the national average.

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That's great news, considering that house buyers are putting

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in offers 5% under the asking price and still getting it.

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However, if you want to live out by the coast, the news is not so good.

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Around the very fashionable Burnham Market,

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and Wells, you could pay double the national average.

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Norfolk offers a wide range of architectural housing styles.

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Brick and flint-built cottages are a feature of the villages

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on the North Norfolk coastline.

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Originally used to house local farmworkers,

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a two-bedroom property typically

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costs around the £250,000 mark, but

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highly sought after four-bedroom homes

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can be in excess of £800,000.

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Moving inland you'll find an array of medieval thatched cottages,

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made with Norfolk reed, which has been used as a roofing

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material in this region since before Roman times.

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Owning a piece of this wonderful Norfolk history will set you back

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around £400,000 for a three-bedroom house.

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And many of the county's towns and villages also have fine

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examples of stunning, symmetrical, Georgian architecture.

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These can range in price from around £200,000 for a two-bedroom cottage,

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to a grand house in the million pound bracket.

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There are some beautiful properties in Norfolk, not to mention

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some interesting architectural styles, but are any of them going

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to be to the taste of our couple today?

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Let's meet them and find out.

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Globetrotting couple, Richard and Ceinwen have lived all over

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the world, having worked for the Foreign Office.

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Their most recent move was six years ago

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from London to their four-bedroom

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house in Milton Keynes.

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Now it seems, they have fallen out of love with the place.

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Milton Keynes is evolving, and where we used to walk in open fields

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there are now housing estates.

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-It's a car city. We have to use the car the whole time.

-Yeah.

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This well-travelled twosome met in the line of duty and have been

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married for eight years,

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but they are both very different characters.

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Richard eats meat, he is a real carnivore,

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whereas I tend to like more vegetarian food,

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and also Richard likes spicy food

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and I like Mediterranean,

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so Richard has got his cupboard with his spices

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and I've got my cupboard with my Mediterranean spices.

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Which some people might find rather strange, because we're both

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cooking at the same time, but they're completely different meals.

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So he cooks on the left-hand side,

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and I cook on the right hand side.

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So it seems a good-sized kitchen is definitely on the wish list

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for their new home, and there is plenty more on the cards.

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The property we are looking for

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needs to have at least three bedrooms.

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We'll want to invite people to stay so we need a spare room.

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I want some outside space

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so I can increase the size of my vegetable patch.

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Richard needs storage for his bicycles.

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Yes, I need secure storage for the bikes.

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So it is a garage.

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And it is East Anglia where they hope to find just the property

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they are looking for.

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We're looking to move to Norfolk.

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It has got some fantastic properties,

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some fantastic opportunities there,

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but I don't think by moving there we would have to slow our life down.

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I still think we'll find we can pursue the hobbies

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we have here, but without so much

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of the feel of a commuter city.

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Richard and Ceinwen love to keep fit, and enjoy exploration.

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They manage to combine both passions through their choice of hobbies.

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Cycling is a passion of mine. I have been cycling for a couple of years.

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This is my Bianchi, we've taken her over the Pyrenees.

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I've taken up Nordic walking

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since I've been here.

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That's because of a neighbour

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who introduced me to it,

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and it's fantastic here,

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going out on the redways and the paths

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and down by the river.

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Absolutely lovely, I go out at weekends,

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and I don't care about the funny looks,

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and people shouting,

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"You've lost your skis!"

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And it seems this pair are always ready to live life to the full.

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We dress up.

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We go to things like the Whitby Goth Festival,

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which a lot of people would say,

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"Oh, gosh, that's got to be weird,"

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but it's not, there are to 5,000 people dressed up,

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from children to 80-year-olds,

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all wearing Victorian costume.

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Well, we may even be able to find this fun-loving couple

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a Victorian property to match,

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but that all depends on how much they have to spend.

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The budget for our move

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is up to £285,000 for the right property.

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Our last two houses have really been what

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I've articulated we should have,

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so it is really her turn to say,

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"This is the house for us."

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Richard and Ceinwen would like us

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to concentrate our search

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in the North of Norfolk, within

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reasonable distance of Norwich,

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but not too far from the coast.

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I met up with them on local soil to discover more about what

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they are looking for in their new property.

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Welcome, you two, to Norfolk.

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So, what are your top three qualities for this property?

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It's a big move, for you, isn't it?

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Yes, it is.

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Yes, I mean, we moved to Milton Keynes initially,

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because it was a quieter place than London, where we previously lived.

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But it's getting busier, and so you find Norfolk,

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because it's out of the way,

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it is that quietness that we are seeking.

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I would like to be on the edge of a village, I think,

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and I would like the community of a village.

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I'd quite like a house with some character this time,

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we love our modern house that we have in Milton Keynes,

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but it would be nice to have something with character.

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And in terms of budget, how much have you got to spend?

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Well, about £285,000.

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We might be able to push it a little bit

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for the right property.

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OK. Fine, great.

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Let's go and find you a house.

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For their budget of £285,000,

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Richard and Ceinwen have a small

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but definite list of demands.

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They'd like a kitchen/diner

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they can cook in at the same time,

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three bedrooms,

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a large enough garden

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for growing vegetables,

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and a secure garage

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for Richard's road bikes.

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We found three fantastic properties for them

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to have a look at,

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but I won't reveal the price of each

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until they've had a guess, first.

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The last house is, as ever, the mystery house,

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which will offer them the quietest of neighbours.

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Time to get this property hunt on the road.

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So you are quite keen to be in a community, not to be too remote.

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Yeah, we don't want to be too remote,

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we'd like a village hall

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and a local pub with local beers,

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the community shop.

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A real community spirit is something that I grew up with,

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so it would be quite nice to get back to that.

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Our first property is in North Elmham,

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a village which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times,

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and is set in a conservation area,

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20 miles from the Norfolk coast.

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You'll find every amenity here,

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from a doctor's surgery and a pub with a carvery for that

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Sunday lunch, to a post office

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and a local store for shopping.

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House number one is a traditional flint

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and brick cottage which I think will surprise our buyers.

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How old do you think it is?

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I think it's quite modern,

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it's not an old traditional one.

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It's actually only seven years old.

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The lovely story is, that it was bought,

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there was an old cottage there, and the owner redid all the foundations

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and then built-up, using the same materials, a new property.

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That's clever.

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So all the flint is recycled.

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That looks really good.

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-And it's inviting.

-Yeah.

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The house combines period detail with modern elements

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of their current home as they will discover

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when we go inside. Come in.

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To a possible Norfolk nest for you both.

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Ooh!

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So lovely oak floors throughout.

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Let me take you straight through into the sitting-room.

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Oh, what a lovely staircase.

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Oh, that's a nice size.

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This is nice.

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It's a very simple layout, this house.

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It's basically sitting room, kitchen/diner.

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But nice big rooms,

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lovely oak beams.

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Oh, wow.

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-You won't bang your head on that.

-No, you won't.

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Tell me what you think, come on. Unpack your thoughts.

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Well, I have to say I'm not a fan of wood burners.

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-I'd rather have an open fire.

-Right.

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I don't really get those.

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But, I love the fireplace.

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-And it's the way, they have also made it uneven.

-Yeah.

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And a chimney breast,

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somewhere to put your books,

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we could put bookshelves in there.

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You can paint it jazzy orange.

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Jazzy orange?

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Are you going to paint something jazzy orange?

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So, they are painting this place already, always a good sign.

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And I've got a good feeling the kitchen/diner could be just

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what Richard and Ceinwen are looking for.

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Oh, I'm in love.

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Really? I like that.

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Why do you say that?

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Well, when we were asked what sort of kitchen we wanted, I think there was

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an idea that we wanted a big kitchen because we both cook,

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but what we need is a practical kitchen

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where there is for both of us to be moving around.

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Our current kitchen has an island in the middle,

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and it's just a bit of a nuisance.

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This is just so lovely and open.

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You are very contrary.

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You say, "I don't like log burners."

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Everyone on this show says, "I really want a log burner."

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-Everyone on this show says, "I want an island." And you don't!

-No.

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We'll stop off in the little kitchen, here,

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because it has some features.

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It's fantastic, it's absolutely brilliant.

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We're getting all sorts of good vibes off the two of you.

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Absolutely!

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Any drawbacks, so far?

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There's no cat-flap, but we can sort that out.

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If that's your only problem, we're doing all right.

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Let's peek upstairs.

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You've got three bedrooms,

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two doubles which you can have a peek at, there.

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They're being used as kids' rooms.

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Then you've got a very nice family bathroom,

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nicely lit.

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That's quirky, I like that.

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And then this would be your room.

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This is the master. Oh, with an en-suite, oh well...

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Dual aspect and lots of storage.

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It's quite a deceptive house.

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I think I was expecting the main bedroom

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to be smaller than this.

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It's a really good size, and again you've got

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the detailing in the ceiling,

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it's not just all flat and straight.

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But it's the way it runs through the house, it's very clever.

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With the interior of this property going down a storm,

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the pressure is on for the outside space.

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And while there is a lawn, a patio with seating,

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and a storage area which might just be suitable for Richard's bikes,

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there's not a great deal of room for the desired vegetable plot.

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That is quite a major drawback, that is quite disappointing.

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But, in the village, there are allotments.

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I thought you might say that.

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There's one free at the moment.

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Ah!

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With a very, very cheap rent every year, so that might be

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an option, obviously, that's not ideal.

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I think, whilst I can see that bikes are kept in the shed here,

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I think keeping my road bikes out

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in somewhere like that,

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certainly as insecure as that would be a bit of a concern for me.

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Yeah.

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So you really want a secure lock-up garage?

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Yeah, I think so.

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Actually, there are garages next door which belong to the owner of

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this one, I don't know if he's planning to sell it,

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you could negotiate.

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Yeah, he might be prepared to rent one to us.

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I suppose you need to think whether the garden is a deal-breaker,

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and also whether you can afford it.

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How much do you think it costs?

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Well, I think it's a lovely house,

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and I've fallen for it so I think it's probably top of the budget.

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Good psychology. OK.

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Ever the optimist,

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I'm going to say...

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-275.

-275.

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Well, if you split the difference you'd be on the money cos

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it's just £500 short of 280.

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Really?

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Has that made it more difficult for you now?

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That it's still in budget.

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Yeah, it does, because the garden space does let it down but it's

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so homely,

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it feels like a home, already.

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Have a look around, inside and out, and see what you think.

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OK, thank you.

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This character meets modern home is

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on the market at just under £280,000.

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It offers a great deal of what they want,

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it has a spacious kitchen/ diner

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with room for them both cook at once,

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three bedrooms,

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storage space for Richard's bikes

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and a small garden, but there is potential

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to rent an allotment just down the road

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so they can grow their veg.

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It's a beautiful house, I really love it,

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I feel really at home.

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Good size rooms, I love the kitchen.

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I think the only issue that we have, and we both agree on this,

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is that the garden is just little bit too small.

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Ceinwen does like doing her gardening.

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I think it is a brilliant location and it is in exactly the area

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we'd have been looking,

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up towards the Norfolk coast,

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but not too close.

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So, yes, an absolutely brilliant start,

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I'm very impressed.

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As well as its famously flat landscape

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and expansive skyline,

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Norfolk's coast is beautifully unspoilt

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and dotted with historic towns

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with a rich maritime history,

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such as Wells-next-the-Sea.

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This town has been a port for around 700 years,

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and over that time not only has it been

0:16:460:16:48

a thriving centre for shipping,

0:16:480:16:50

it has also been a haven for 18th-century smugglers.

0:16:500:16:53

Known locally just as Wells,

0:16:530:16:56

the town provides access to Holkham beach, a half-hour walk away

0:16:560:16:59

which is one of the largest nature reserves in the country.

0:16:590:17:03

It forms part of the North Norfolk Coast Path

0:17:030:17:07

which covers 93 miles,

0:17:070:17:09

and would certainly provide great walking

0:17:090:17:11

and cycling territory for our buyers.

0:17:110:17:13

Close by is the spectacular Palladian style mansion,

0:17:130:17:16

Holkham Hall,

0:17:160:17:17

which has been home to the Cook family

0:17:170:17:19

for almost 400 years.

0:17:190:17:22

As keen history lovers,

0:17:220:17:23

earlier in the week we arranged for Richard and Ceinwen to

0:17:230:17:26

meet up with the estate's director,

0:17:260:17:29

David Horton-Fawkes, for a tour.

0:17:290:17:31

The estate you see today was really

0:17:310:17:34

developed and built by Thomas William Cook,

0:17:340:17:36

who is perhaps best known to your children and mine

0:17:360:17:40

through something called the four course rotation.

0:17:400:17:42

Holkham was at the centre

0:17:420:17:46

of the agricultural revolution.

0:17:460:17:48

Oh, yes.

0:17:480:17:49

So the four course rotation refers to a particular way of cropping,

0:17:490:17:53

and he worked out that the way you could get the highest

0:17:530:17:56

yields from the land was to rotate your crops, so the four course

0:17:560:17:59

rotation really enabled the country to feed itself.

0:17:590:18:01

And it's one of the reasons why we are particularly proud to

0:18:010:18:04

work at Holkham,

0:18:040:18:05

because it was an estate that was founded on such a noble principle.

0:18:050:18:09

Completed in 1764, the hall is built from buff-coloured brick,

0:18:090:18:14

which was produced by the estate's own brickworks.

0:18:140:18:17

It is referred to it by many as the

0:18:170:18:19

finest example of a Palladian house in England.

0:18:190:18:23

What is Palladian?

0:18:230:18:24

Palladian is named after an Italian architect, Palladio,

0:18:240:18:27

and it refers to the particular style which

0:18:270:18:30

I think is dominated

0:18:300:18:32

by those pillars.

0:18:320:18:33

And the current family live here, don't they?

0:18:350:18:37

Yes, the family live in about a quarter of what is a massive house,

0:18:370:18:41

and the rest of it is open to the public.

0:18:410:18:44

Doesn't the estate own the beach.

0:18:440:18:46

The estate owns the beach, it's the best-known part of Holkham.

0:18:460:18:49

It has been the location for many famous films,

0:18:490:18:52

including Shakespeare In Love,

0:18:520:18:54

and almost more famously for The Duchess,

0:18:540:18:57

which was filmed inside the Marble Hall.

0:18:570:19:00

The Marble Hall, with its lofty vaulted space rising the full height

0:19:000:19:03

of the house, was once described by an 18th-century visitor

0:19:030:19:07

as the grandest thing of the sort in England.

0:19:070:19:10

The European-inspired columns that run around it are all

0:19:100:19:13

made from pink Derbyshire alabaster.

0:19:130:19:16

They are not solid,

0:19:160:19:17

that have load-bearing wooden cores

0:19:170:19:19

under the outer alabaster sheath.

0:19:190:19:21

Holkham is very much the product

0:19:210:19:23

of something called the Grand Tour

0:19:230:19:24

which Thomas William Cook undertook

0:19:240:19:28

when he was a young man.

0:19:280:19:30

Therefore, the statuary, the style

0:19:300:19:33

was all built to look after

0:19:330:19:35

this amazing collection that he

0:19:350:19:37

accumulated on his Grand Tour.

0:19:370:19:39

The vast old kitchen was refurbished in the 1850s

0:19:390:19:43

when the massive range was installed

0:19:430:19:45

and it continued in operation right up to the outbreak

0:19:450:19:48

of the Second World War.

0:19:480:19:50

The Hall's most famous visitor was Queen Victoria,

0:19:500:19:54

who stayed here in 1835 as a 16-year-old princess,

0:19:540:19:57

Sleeping in this very grand bed,

0:19:570:20:00

in the Green State Bedroom.

0:20:000:20:02

But for now, it's time to return to our hunt to find somewhere very

0:20:020:20:06

special for Richard and Ceinwen to lay their heads.

0:20:060:20:10

We have travelled nearly 28 miles north-west of Norwich

0:20:180:20:21

to Whissonsett, an ancient village which appears in the Domesday book.

0:20:210:20:24

It has a wealth of attractive brick properties,

0:20:240:20:29

a very grand Norman church,

0:20:290:20:30

a local butcher,

0:20:300:20:31

a post office,

0:20:310:20:32

and a village hall for community entertainment.

0:20:320:20:35

Our second property is a very different

0:20:350:20:38

proposition from our first house,

0:20:380:20:40

as here you get three mid-19th

0:20:400:20:42

century agricultural workers cottages all for the price of one.

0:20:420:20:46

Is it all of it?

0:20:470:20:48

All of it.

0:20:480:20:49

-Oh!

-Is it?

0:20:490:20:50

You can see with the three doors

0:20:500:20:52

that it was originally three properties.

0:20:520:20:54

So it might be quite quirky inside?

0:20:540:20:56

Quirky, is that a good thing,

0:20:560:20:58

I have to check if that's a good or a bad thing with you,

0:20:580:21:00

because you're topsy-turvy with what you like and don't like.

0:21:000:21:02

I like interesting, yeah...

0:21:020:21:05

So it's a fine line between quirky and interesting.

0:21:050:21:08

The other one you can move straight in, but you didn't get the garden.

0:21:080:21:11

Here, I think you'd probably want to do a bit work inside.

0:21:110:21:14

OK.

0:21:140:21:16

How do you feel about projects?

0:21:160:21:18

Erm...

0:21:180:21:19

You both took early retirement.

0:21:190:21:21

Well, we know a man who could probably do it for us.

0:21:210:21:24

Yeah, we'll get somebody in to do it.

0:21:240:21:26

-That sort of project.

-Yes, that.

0:21:260:21:28

Let's have a look, let's see what you think.

0:21:280:21:30

Well, a project may not be what they are after,

0:21:320:21:35

but let's see if the interior can win them over.

0:21:350:21:38

Come on in.

0:21:400:21:41

The thing about this house as we go round is that

0:21:430:21:47

I think you'll probably want to think about the flow of it all,

0:21:470:21:50

because it is three cottages, one after another.

0:21:500:21:52

Let's start in the kitchen.

0:21:520:21:54

Into the kitchen.

0:21:580:22:01

-Hmmm.

-Right.

0:22:010:22:02

It's got the island, we've already got an island.

0:22:020:22:06

This is not an island, actually, I checked.

0:22:060:22:08

When I came in, I checked.

0:22:080:22:10

It moves. They will take that with them.

0:22:100:22:11

-OK.

-Right, yeah.

0:22:110:22:13

So it will just be a kitchen.

0:22:130:22:16

Those sinks which I know are so trendy.

0:22:160:22:19

You don't like those, either?

0:22:190:22:20

I grew up in an old Victorian house.

0:22:200:22:21

You are so perverse,

0:22:210:22:23

all the things that all the people on this show adore.

0:22:230:22:26

If you drop a plate it just smashes.

0:22:260:22:29

So you want a rubber sink.

0:22:300:22:32

-No island.

-Or bouncy plates.

0:22:320:22:35

No log burners. No traditional ranges.

0:22:350:22:37

I'm so awkward, aren't I?

0:22:370:22:38

So far this property's bringing back bad memories for Ceinwen.

0:22:380:22:41

Here's hoping our next room is more to her taste.

0:22:410:22:45

This is the extension, so this was added on in the 90s.

0:22:450:22:48

OK.

0:22:480:22:49

So you've got more headroom.

0:22:490:22:50

Much more headroom, yes.

0:22:500:22:52

That's great, I love the wood up there, and the window.

0:22:520:22:55

Yeah, but it is quite narrow,

0:22:550:22:57

it feels quite tight.

0:22:570:22:59

It is definitely, a house,

0:22:590:23:01

where you have to strip all the furniture out

0:23:010:23:03

and think about actually what you've got.

0:23:030:23:06

You don't look at all convinced.

0:23:070:23:10

Oh well, you can't win them all.

0:23:100:23:13

Fingers crossed the next room

0:23:130:23:14

wont prove a further disadvantage.

0:23:140:23:17

Now I am hoping that this is not going to

0:23:170:23:19

swing it to you too far the other way,

0:23:190:23:22

but there is a downstairs bathroom.

0:23:220:23:24

Right, is it the only bathroom?

0:23:240:23:26

-It is the only bathroom.

-Eek!

0:23:260:23:28

So a downstairs bathroom is not Ceinwen's cup of tea, either.

0:23:280:23:32

Can the living room save us?

0:23:320:23:34

OK.

0:23:340:23:36

It is a nice big fireplace.

0:23:360:23:37

Actually, I quite like that wood burner.

0:23:380:23:42

Because you see the flames.

0:23:420:23:43

You can see the flames, yeah.

0:23:430:23:45

What do you think about the room?

0:23:450:23:46

Erm, I'm not sure.

0:23:460:23:47

I am finding it difficult to see past

0:23:470:23:50

the amount of furniture, I think.

0:23:500:23:53

I think the other thing for us is

0:23:530:23:54

that we'd have to go

0:23:540:23:56

and have a look at our furniture all over again.

0:23:560:23:58

-So, our corner sofa might just get in here.

-Yeah.

0:23:580:24:00

But have got a big step cabinet

0:24:000:24:02

and there isn't a big enough wall to put that against.

0:24:020:24:05

So we would have to think where all of that would go.

0:24:050:24:08

Upstairs, there's a quirky double room, with painted,

0:24:080:24:11

exposed timbers and floorboards.

0:24:110:24:14

And they've used the same effect with a bolder colour

0:24:140:24:16

scheme in this single bedroom.

0:24:160:24:20

Also, up here, is a third bedroom with space for a double bed.

0:24:200:24:23

But we're heading for where Richard and Ceinwen might sleep.

0:24:230:24:27

Come on in, this is, well, they are using this as the master bedroom.

0:24:270:24:30

This is a nice room.

0:24:300:24:33

And you have got ceiling height in here.

0:24:330:24:35

Again there are some lovely features, but it is...

0:24:350:24:37

Big furniture.

0:24:390:24:41

It is very much,

0:24:410:24:44

as well, a country cottage.

0:24:440:24:46

Is it a bit too historical?

0:24:460:24:47

I think I would enjoy coming here for a holiday,

0:24:470:24:51

or visiting friends here,

0:24:510:24:54

and I would find it quite fascinating.

0:24:540:24:56

But I think I would find it difficult to live in

0:24:560:24:58

something that is as interesting as this.

0:24:580:25:02

With the interesting interior proving a bit of a challenge,

0:25:020:25:06

can the garden be a game changer in this property?

0:25:060:25:09

Well, there is a spacious lawn with seating,

0:25:090:25:12

which offers plenty of room for vegetable plots and pottering.

0:25:120:25:15

And the big plus is a secure garage for Richard's bikes.

0:25:150:25:19

In terms of garden space, is this what you're looking for?

0:25:190:25:22

Is this enough space?

0:25:220:25:23

Yeah, it is.

0:25:230:25:25

It's more than we've got at the moment.

0:25:250:25:27

It's bigger than we've got and more adaptable,

0:25:270:25:29

I think, for doing different things in.

0:25:290:25:31

Yes, a lot of potential.

0:25:310:25:32

I can see you have some question marks about the property inside.

0:25:320:25:35

What do you think it is worth,

0:25:350:25:37

what do you think the price of this whole package is?

0:25:370:25:41

It is really hard,

0:25:410:25:42

I am just a bit torn about

0:25:430:25:45

whether it would be more than the last property or less.

0:25:450:25:48

But I am going to go for 269.

0:25:500:25:52

So less.

0:25:520:25:53

269?

0:25:550:25:56

I am going to go on budget at 285.

0:25:560:25:59

-285?

-Yeah, because of the amount of land.

0:25:590:26:02

-It is actually on at 280. So it is still on budget.

-Oh?

-Right.

0:26:020:26:05

But why don't you look inside, because we did rush around

0:26:050:26:08

and it's a confusing layout.

0:26:080:26:09

Look upstairs to see if there's anything

0:26:090:26:11

you could modify to make it work for you,

0:26:110:26:13

and I'll see you out front.

0:26:130:26:14

OK. Thanks.

0:26:140:26:15

So, much better response to the garden, a tick for the garden.

0:26:190:26:24

A big question mark about the house.

0:26:240:26:25

Kind of the reverse of this morning, where we had a big tick

0:26:250:26:28

for the house, question mark about the garden.

0:26:280:26:31

House-buying! It is so frustrating.

0:26:310:26:33

This unique and charming cottage is under budget at £280,000.

0:26:360:26:40

It gives them a great deal of what they are after.

0:26:400:26:44

It has a large kitchen with room for two chefs,

0:26:440:26:47

four bedrooms,

0:26:470:26:49

loads of growing space in the garden for their vegetable plot

0:26:490:26:52

and a secure garage for Richard's bikes.

0:26:520:26:56

When we first walked up, it is very different from the first

0:26:560:26:59

property in its age.

0:26:590:27:02

I always thought that I would be after a house that was a little

0:27:020:27:06

more in the country style, but I think it has helped me

0:27:060:27:10

galvanise my views on quite what we are looking for in that

0:27:100:27:14

three cottages into one

0:27:140:27:17

isn't really working for us.

0:27:170:27:19

Nice size garden, absolutely great,

0:27:190:27:21

that would work really well for the

0:27:210:27:23

vegetable growing and an ornamental garden, absolutely perfect,

0:27:230:27:27

but unfortunately the house wouldn't work for us.

0:27:270:27:31

This cottage literally has roses around the door.

0:27:330:27:35

-Hello.

-Hello.

0:27:370:27:38

-Are you all done?

-Yes, thank you.

0:27:380:27:41

So, two properties down.

0:27:410:27:43

Yup. Time for a rest.

0:27:430:27:46

As dusk falls over the Norfolk countryside, it marks the end

0:27:540:27:57

of a day with a few highs,

0:27:570:28:00

and a few lows in our property search.

0:28:000:28:02

Today's globetrotting couple, Richard and Ceinwen,

0:28:090:28:11

want to bid farewell to their home in Milton Keynes

0:28:110:28:15

and head for an active, but quieter life in Norfolk.

0:28:150:28:18

So far, they have fallen in love with some flint and brick,

0:28:190:28:22

but have been underwhelmed by a traditional cottage.

0:28:220:28:25

However, coming up, there is all the peace

0:28:250:28:27

they could ask for in our mystery house.

0:28:270:28:29

Oh, it's going to be nice and quite next door, isn't it!

0:28:290:28:31

Dead quiet.

0:28:310:28:33

And I visit a goat farm to meet one of their latest arrivals.

0:28:330:28:37

Hello, little sunshine.

0:28:370:28:39

It's a lovely misty morning in Norfolk and day two

0:28:420:28:44

of our property search, and I think we have decided,

0:28:440:28:46

after the last property, that Richard and Ceinwen

0:28:460:28:50

don't really want a historical, higgledy-piggledy home.

0:28:500:28:54

So, in that slightly contrary mystery house way that we have

0:28:540:28:58

we're going to show them a Grade 2 listed,

0:28:580:29:00

attached, very rural cottage.

0:29:000:29:03

None of which was on their wish list but you know what,

0:29:030:29:06

I think they might love it.

0:29:060:29:08

What do you think the mystery house is going to be?

0:29:100:29:13

Probably a thatch with a wood burner,

0:29:130:29:17

a country range cooker

0:29:170:29:20

and a butler sink.

0:29:200:29:22

Yeah, and three islands.

0:29:220:29:26

And a downstairs bathroom.

0:29:260:29:27

We have travelled 12 miles north-west of Norwich,

0:29:290:29:32

close to the market town of Reepham.

0:29:320:29:35

It is full of pretty, characterful cottages and quaint road names.

0:29:350:29:39

Its past claim to fame is that up to the 16th century it had three

0:29:390:29:44

operating churches sharing the same graveyard.

0:29:440:29:47

These days, only two remain.

0:29:470:29:48

Our mystery house is located just a mile away,

0:29:490:29:52

and is set in the secluded and very rural village of Great Witchingham.

0:29:520:29:56

Three, two, one open your eyes.

0:29:560:29:58

-Ooh!

-Oh!

0:30:000:30:02

Ooh!

0:30:020:30:04

Oh, what is it?

0:30:040:30:05

Nameless grunting, that's the surprise.

0:30:060:30:09

That's excellent.

0:30:090:30:10

I want to get inside and have a look.

0:30:120:30:14

I just don't know what it is.

0:30:140:30:16

I think I like it.

0:30:160:30:17

I like the windows.

0:30:170:30:18

We brought you outside the back

0:30:180:30:20

because there is this to your right,

0:30:200:30:23

which we thought might fit in with your Gothic predilections.

0:30:230:30:27

-Absolutely.

-What a lovely tree.

0:30:270:30:29

It's going to be nice and quiet next-door, isn't it?

0:30:290:30:31

Dead quiet!

0:30:310:30:33

-And lots of garden.

-And lots of garden.

0:30:330:30:35

Any thoughts about the house, although we haven't been inside?

0:30:350:30:38

Erm, is it semi-detached?

0:30:380:30:42

It might be, just little bit.

0:30:420:30:44

Just along one wall.

0:30:450:30:47

Otherwise it would just be almost too perfect.

0:30:470:30:49

Well, it's rural, I have to say, it is rural.

0:30:510:30:54

And it is attached.

0:30:540:30:56

Right.

0:30:560:30:57

-And it is listed.

-Ah.

0:30:570:30:59

Oh, no, the L-word. Listed.

0:30:590:31:03

And it was all going so well.

0:31:030:31:05

But after the issue of too much furniture in the last property,

0:31:050:31:08

they may well appreciate the fact that this one is empty.

0:31:080:31:12

-Come on in, straight into the kitchen.

-Ooh!

0:31:120:31:16

-An island.

-And an island!

0:31:160:31:18

Well, it is brand-new. And empty.

0:31:200:31:24

It is brand-new,

0:31:240:31:25

and no furniture so you're going to have to use your imagination.

0:31:250:31:28

But as you can see, very modern,

0:31:280:31:30

walnut tops on all the surfaces

0:31:300:31:32

and you've got space here for an American-style fridge/freezer.

0:31:320:31:37

I like it when we can look around something without too much

0:31:370:31:40

stuff in it, so we can start

0:31:400:31:42

imagining where we would put our things

0:31:420:31:44

without too much effort, so it is nice to see a house like this.

0:31:440:31:47

Well, I am fascinated.

0:31:470:31:49

I can't wait to see the rest of it.

0:31:490:31:52

That is a great start.

0:31:520:31:53

I hope they like the rest of the house as much as the kitchen.

0:31:530:31:56

On the ground floor, there is also a snug,

0:31:560:31:58

or dining room and a sitting room with patio doors, into the garden.

0:31:580:32:03

Again, a very simple layout, like the first house.

0:32:030:32:06

It's the kitchen and the sitting-room.

0:32:060:32:08

It just feels a bit small.

0:32:080:32:10

Yeah, we talked about whether, when we look at the size of houses

0:32:100:32:14

whether we want to change all the furniture.

0:32:140:32:16

Is it something that we're prepared to do?

0:32:160:32:18

Are we prepared to dump everything we've got and start again?

0:32:180:32:21

As we know others have done.

0:32:210:32:23

We're not sure whether we're ready to do that just yet, so we

0:32:230:32:26

are looking for a place with an eye to getting our current furniture in.

0:32:260:32:29

-And it is quite large.

-Sure.

0:32:290:32:31

Well, this is the biggest room,

0:32:310:32:33

and very high ceilings for a period property.

0:32:330:32:35

The other room, is a bit more snug, hence the name.

0:32:350:32:38

Mind your head.

0:32:410:32:42

Actually, you might not have to mind your head,

0:32:420:32:44

only I have to mind my head.

0:32:440:32:46

No, even in my heels, I don't.

0:32:460:32:48

There is a log burner.

0:32:480:32:50

It is a log burner.

0:32:500:32:52

It's only you that doesn't like them,

0:32:520:32:54

every country house has to have one.

0:32:540:32:55

Oh, it is a great room, I love it.

0:32:550:32:57

It is charming, isn't it?

0:32:570:32:59

It is, yeah.

0:32:590:33:00

I think, sitting on a sofa,

0:33:000:33:02

lower down, you're looking up, you can see the trees, this kind of view.

0:33:020:33:05

-I like this. Yes.

-I like this.

0:33:050:33:10

So, the cosy snug appears to have warmed their hearts,

0:33:100:33:13

let's head upstairs and see what this house

0:33:130:33:15

has two offer on the first floor.

0:33:150:33:18

Each of the three bedrooms in this property has its own en-suite

0:33:180:33:21

bathroom, which is very unusual for a period building.

0:33:210:33:24

You could take your pick which one is the master,

0:33:250:33:27

but this has views of the church, and it's very sunny.

0:33:270:33:30

I think the windows are a great height if you are in bed

0:33:300:33:33

and looking out, but as you stand here,

0:33:330:33:37

your eye line is at the wall, and it's above the window,

0:33:370:33:40

so you find yourself...

0:33:400:33:41

Drawn to the gravestones?

0:33:410:33:42

You're looking onto gravestones,

0:33:420:33:45

which is different.

0:33:450:33:46

-Erm...

-You are Goths.

0:33:460:33:49

At the weekend.

0:33:490:33:50

You dance around graves.

0:33:500:33:52

It is a nice room, I like the room

0:33:530:33:55

and seeing that it has a little en-suite,

0:33:550:33:58

I like that.

0:33:580:33:59

They have all got en-suites, all three rooms.

0:33:590:34:02

So it would be a great place

0:34:020:34:04

for having family to stay.

0:34:040:34:06

The upstairs has passed the test with flying colours,

0:34:060:34:09

now for the all-important grounds.

0:34:090:34:11

We have seen the garden, but we need to set Richard's

0:34:110:34:14

mind at rest about storage

0:34:140:34:15

for his road bikes.

0:34:150:34:19

This is a great building because this used to be the washhouse.

0:34:190:34:22

If you look inside, you can still see the original wash copper...

0:34:240:34:28

Oh, wow!

0:34:280:34:30

..and the fire.

0:34:300:34:31

And the perfect place for the bikes.

0:34:310:34:33

Is there space to do a bit of maintenance?

0:34:330:34:35

Yeah, absolutely.

0:34:350:34:36

I mean that is perfect.

0:34:360:34:37

How much do you think this is on the market for?

0:34:370:34:40

I think this one is going to be over budget,

0:34:400:34:41

because it is near perfect

0:34:410:34:46

for what we wanted.

0:34:460:34:49

I am going to go with 295.

0:34:490:34:53

Yeah, I agree with Ceinwen.

0:34:530:34:55

It's got everything, the size of the land

0:34:550:34:57

and the quality of the refurb, I would go for about 300,000.

0:34:570:35:00

In this case, Ceinwen was spot-on,

0:35:000:35:03

it is on the market at 295.

0:35:030:35:06

You know, with the leeway of sensible offers,

0:35:080:35:11

it has only been on the market for two months.

0:35:110:35:14

It draws you.

0:35:140:35:16

Well, let it draw you in and I will meet you at the front once

0:35:160:35:19

you have had a little look around.

0:35:190:35:21

OK, thanks

0:35:210:35:22

On the market at £295,000,

0:35:230:35:26

this house is £10,000 over their budget.

0:35:260:35:30

But, as properties are selling at around 5% lower,

0:35:300:35:34

it could fall within range.

0:35:340:35:36

And it has everything they asked us to find.

0:35:360:35:39

A beautifully fitted, spacious, kitchen/diner,

0:35:390:35:41

three good-sized bedrooms, all with en-suites,

0:35:410:35:44

a large garden with

0:35:440:35:46

potential for veg growing

0:35:460:35:48

and a brick outbuilding for bike storage.

0:35:480:35:51

I think it is fantastic. I think it is a lovely place. It is very quiet.

0:35:510:35:54

It is quite secluded, but I came to this area without having any

0:35:540:35:58

idea about what we were going to see,

0:35:580:36:00

and I was really pleasantly surprised by what you brought us to.

0:36:000:36:04

I love the garden,

0:36:040:36:06

and I am very impressed with how the house has been renovated.

0:36:060:36:11

It has a lovely feeling to it,

0:36:110:36:14

I can imagine being very at home here.

0:36:140:36:17

Unfortunately, it is just a bit too small.

0:36:170:36:21

Time to gather the troops.

0:36:210:36:22

Guys? Where are you?

0:36:220:36:25

Oh, in the snug. Very good. Are you all done?

0:36:250:36:27

So if you head down to the car,

0:36:270:36:30

time to gather our thoughts.

0:36:300:36:33

When you think of farming in Norfolk,

0:36:430:36:45

it's most likely the huge arable super farms which spring to mind.

0:36:450:36:50

And the vast majority of Norfolk farmers are indeed crop growers.

0:36:500:36:53

But, there is a new, emerging face of agriculture here.

0:36:530:36:56

And it is the only one of its kind in the county.

0:36:560:36:59

I got up at the crack of dawn to find out more.

0:36:590:37:02

Six o'clock in the morning on Escape, that usually means we're

0:37:020:37:05

going to see some cows being milked, but, look!

0:37:050:37:09

Baaah! They're goats.

0:37:100:37:13

Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species.

0:37:150:37:19

I am meeting Sam Steggles, who has been running his business

0:37:190:37:21

since 2009, producing goats' milk which he uses to make cheese,

0:37:210:37:24

and more recently, soap.

0:37:240:37:27

-Morning, Sam.

-Morning.

0:37:270:37:29

He now has a herd of over 100.

0:37:300:37:32

So, goats milk, what is the benefit of goats' milk?

0:37:320:37:37

People who have intolerances to cows' milk seem to get on quite well

0:37:370:37:41

with goats' milk.

0:37:410:37:43

The fat globules in goats' milk are more easily digestible

0:37:430:37:46

than that of cows' milk.

0:37:460:37:48

Basically, what we have to do,

0:37:480:37:51

is put the goats' teats in there.

0:37:510:37:53

Just go for it.

0:37:530:37:55

Oh, hello.

0:37:550:37:57

So, how often go they get milked a day?

0:37:580:38:01

Twice a day.

0:38:010:38:02

These ones have already kidded, so that's when we get the milk.

0:38:020:38:05

We are big into the local thing,

0:38:050:38:08

from where our goats are housed,

0:38:080:38:11

milked, and where the cheese is made it's only 20 metres,

0:38:110:38:15

so we're not traipsing milk half way across the country.

0:38:150:38:18

Sam sells his products through local farm shops,

0:38:180:38:21

and farmers markets,

0:38:210:38:23

as well as supplying delis and restaurants in the area.

0:38:230:38:25

On average, a good-quality dairy goat

0:38:250:38:28

will provide almost 3 litres of milk per day.

0:38:280:38:31

As for baby goats,

0:38:310:38:33

a pregnant female's gestation period lasts for about 150 days.

0:38:330:38:36

The most common result being twins.

0:38:360:38:40

I think there is a kid coming.

0:38:400:38:42

There is a kid coming.

0:38:420:38:43

And as luck would have it,

0:38:460:38:47

I have got the chance to witness a live birth.

0:38:470:38:50

I'm coming in.

0:38:540:38:55

I'm going in. Live birth.

0:38:580:38:59

Ooh.

0:39:040:39:05

Oh, hello little sunshine.

0:39:050:39:07

Oh!

0:39:180:39:21

Hello!

0:39:240:39:25

Hello!

0:39:250:39:28

We'll let her clean it up and then she will have another one, I think.

0:39:290:39:33

That was so beautiful. Cute.

0:39:350:39:36

Welcome. Welcome to the world.

0:39:390:39:41

They stand up at such a little age.

0:39:490:39:52

Animals are amazing, they?

0:39:580:39:59

They get born, and it's barely a few minutes

0:39:590:40:03

and then she's taken a few steps.

0:40:030:40:05

Yes, absolutely.

0:40:050:40:06

This latest addition to Sam's farm is an Alpine goat.

0:40:070:40:11

However, most of the herd are British Saanen goats,

0:40:110:40:14

like this little fellow, as both breeds are known to be good milkers.

0:40:140:40:18

So this chap is only a few days old?

0:40:180:40:20

Yes, this one was born, today is Friday,

0:40:200:40:23

he was born yesterday morning.

0:40:230:40:26

Mmmm. Big and strong, big and strong,

0:40:270:40:29

you are going to be big and strong.

0:40:290:40:31

So, with these adorable new additions to the farm,

0:40:310:40:34

let's find out if Norfolk could soon be adding to its human

0:40:340:40:38

population in the form of Richard and Ceinwen.

0:40:380:40:40

This is the bit where you give me

0:40:430:40:45

your feedback on the houses you've seen.

0:40:450:40:47

The first one, was in a smallish village,

0:40:470:40:50

although probably the biggest of all

0:40:500:40:51

the villages we showed you,

0:40:510:40:53

what were your thoughts about that?

0:40:530:40:56

I liked the village, you could feel a sense of community.

0:40:560:40:58

And what about the property?

0:40:580:41:01

Yeah, the property was so right, in so many ways.

0:41:020:41:04

Yes, I like that house a lot.

0:41:040:41:07

The kitchen was great, absolutely spot on.

0:41:070:41:10

It would have given both of us

0:41:100:41:13

room to be in there together.

0:41:130:41:15

Just the garden was a deal-breaker?

0:41:150:41:17

It was a disappointment with the garden, yeah.

0:41:170:41:19

How about the second house?

0:41:190:41:20

Lots of different responses!

0:41:200:41:22

A different reaction, wasn't it!

0:41:220:41:25

Yeah, we're not ready for that.

0:41:250:41:26

It was a little too small on the room size,

0:41:260:41:30

and there would be some work we would have to do

0:41:300:41:33

and I don't really think well, well it's not for me.

0:41:330:41:36

But outside, perfect sized garden for everything that we'd want to do.

0:41:370:41:40

How about the mystery house?

0:41:400:41:43

It was probably rather more rural we had been thinking of.

0:41:430:41:46

But such a pretty house.

0:41:480:41:50

Lots of character retained within the house, but modernised.

0:41:500:41:56

And the garden, that garden was to die for.

0:41:560:41:59

Absolutely love that garden.

0:41:590:42:01

-It was a great location, but it was quite rural.

-Yeah.

0:42:010:42:03

I get the impression that you're probably not going to

0:42:030:42:06

proceed on any of those, or am I wrong?

0:42:060:42:09

We know this is the area we want to be in.

0:42:090:42:11

And what we have done over the last couple of days has confirmed that.

0:42:110:42:14

But I think we're going to need to continue the search.

0:42:140:42:18

But I think it has helped to clarify what

0:42:180:42:20

we are looking for in a huge way.

0:42:200:42:23

The cottage idea, and the mod cons, and the size,

0:42:230:42:25

the garden is important, all those are key.

0:42:250:42:28

Yes, but also what we can get for our money.

0:42:280:42:30

And I think we might go back to the first village

0:42:300:42:33

and have a look at what else was on offer.

0:42:330:42:35

I think we'll go back there, there were a few houses for sale.

0:42:350:42:38

I'm really glad that we've ignited your enthusiasm

0:42:380:42:40

for Norfolk and maybe it will happen,

0:42:400:42:43

-because it is a fairly new project for you to move out here.

-Yes.

0:42:430:42:46

-Well, I wish you all the best.

-Thank you.

0:42:460:42:49

Norfolk really came up trumps for us this week.

0:42:530:42:56

I think, for the budget we found Richard and Ceinwen

0:42:560:42:59

some really stunning properties.

0:42:590:43:01

And, the thing is they've only just started looking.

0:43:010:43:04

Their house hunt is pretty fresh.

0:43:040:43:06

So, I think even though we didn't quite get them what they want,

0:43:060:43:09

it went a long way to focusing their mind on the elements

0:43:090:43:12

of their house hunt that are most important to them.

0:43:120:43:15

So, I hope you have enjoyed it too,

0:43:150:43:17

and that you will join us

0:43:170:43:19

for more beautiful properties on Escape To The Country.

0:43:190:43:22

If you would like to escape to the country in Scotland,

0:43:220:43:25

Wales, Northern Ireland or England

0:43:250:43:27

and need our help, please apply online at:

0:43:270:43:30

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.

0:43:380:43:42

Alistair Appleton heads to Norfolk to help an outdoors-loving couple with a £285,000 budget find their country home. Away from the property search, Alistair visits one enterprising dairy goat farmer during kidding season and helps deliver some new arrivals.


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