Lanarkshire Escape to the Country


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Lanarkshire

Buyers are helped to find their dream homes. Nicki Chapman goes the distance to help a couple move from Southampton to Lanarkshire seeking a better work-life balance.


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-ECHOEY VOICE:

-I'm standing in a place that lays claim

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to having one of the longest echoes of any building in Britain.

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ECHOES

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Where am I? Find out in a few moments' time.

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'On today's show, I'll be helping a couple get back to their rural Scottish routes

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'and it's a real step back in time at one of our properties.'

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-How about that for an Iron Age fort?

-Wow!

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-On your doorstep!

-That's fairly impressive.

-It is.

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'And the surprises just keep coming.'

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I thought the first one yesterday was a fabulous size.

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But this is better still.

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Today I'm in Lanarkshire

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and this imposing structure is the Hamilton Mausoleum,

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built in 1858 as a final resting place

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for the 10th Duke of Hamilton and his family.

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Mirroring the classical design of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome,

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the dimensions inside this huge 36-metre-high dome and crypt

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mean that if I should slam shut those wooden doors behind me,

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it would take at least 18 seconds for the sound to die down.

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Because of this record-breaking reverberation,

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would-be buyers have tried to purchase this building

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and take it overseas.

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But that would alter its unique acoustics for ever

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and happily, its resting place remains here in Scotland.

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Covering over 850 square miles,

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land-locked Lanarkshire lies in southern Scotland

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and is one of the country's smaller counties.

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But despite this, it's actually the most-densely populated

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as it includes the busy city of Glasgow

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which is situated towards its northern border.

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However, beyond the bustling conurbation,

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Lanarkshire unfolds to reveal an array of tranquil villages,

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such as the attractive historic market town of Strathaven,

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which was granted a royal charter back in 1450

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and still retains much of its ancient medieval character.

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The county also boasts many wild and beautiful backdrops.

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Particularly rousing are Lanarkshire's stunning waterfalls

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which take pride of place in the River Clyde valley

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at the very heart of the Scottish lowlands.

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When it comes to the housing market,

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the average price for a detached property in Lanarkshire

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is just over £233,000.

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That's £5,000 more than Scotland's national average figure.

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South Lanarkshire's mix of countryside and good access routes to Glasgow and Edinburgh

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does keep prices up.

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This is the case in sought-after towns such as Hamilton and Strathaven.

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Now, happily, in north Lanarkshire,

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properties around Motherwell and Kilsyth are far cheaper,

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typically 15% below the more expensive areas in the south of the county.

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But wherever you're looking, one thing's for certain.

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This expansive county offers up a vast array of eye-catching property styles.

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I hope we can find the perfect country home for our buyers. So let's meet them.

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Graham, a tax inspector, and his partner, Clare, who works in HR,

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found love at the office three years ago.

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And when they're not travelling a round trip of 116 miles to work each day,

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they call this three-bedroomed house in Hampshire home.

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At the moment, we both work in London,

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which means that we have about a five-hour commute every day,

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which takes so much of our spare time, really.

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-SCOTTISH ACCENT:

-As you can probably tell, I originate from East Kilbride in Scotland

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but I haven't been in Scotland for almost 30 years now.

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But my work is now moving me from London to Glasgow

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so really, we're looking for something that would enable us to have the benefits of the countryside

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but enable us also to get to Glasgow, because we'll both be working in central Glasgow.

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They've chosen Lanarkshire for its beautiful countryside

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and great transport links into the city of Glasgow.

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And when the working day is done,

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they aren't short of ideas of how they'd like to spend their new-found freedom.

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We both enjoy walking,

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so we'd like to be somewhere where we can have easy access to walks.

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We also like historical houses and gardens,

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so being able to go and visit those would be good as well.

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Overall, I think we're looking to have a complete change of lifestyle.

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Not just in what we do, but also we'd like to be part of a community.

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With a long commute, you don't tend to feel that.

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So they're after some rural harmony in which to practise their...harmonies!

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At the moment, we're both in Rock Choir,

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which is one of our main hobbies.

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And we hope to be able to carry that on in Scotland.

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And when it comes to their new house,

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they certainly seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet!

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What we're looking for in the new property is somewhere that's got some character.

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I think we'd both prefer an older property.

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One of my main interests is military history.

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I have a lot of books, probably around 1,500.

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It's very important that we have space in the house

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where I can store these and use them properly.

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We don't particularly like barn conversions

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and neither of us really like open plan.

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Our buyers plan to rent out Clare's house in Southampton

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so, with no property to sell

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and alternative finances available,

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they're ready and raring to get started

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on their Scottish relocation.

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Our budget for the move is around £400,000.

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We might be able to go a little bit above that,

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but that gives a good feel for where we're looking.

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Accessibility to Glasgow for work is essential for Graham and Clare.

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But they also want to be within easy reach of family and friends

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back in England.

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So we'll be concentrating our house search on the beautiful rural villages of southern Lanarkshire,

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all with good links for the motorway.

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I'm meeting up with our buyers in the glorious countryside

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to find out more about their prospective move.

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Graham and Clare, lovely to meet you both.

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Here we are in beautiful Lanarkshire, Scotland,

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looking for a property for you.

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You've got to make this move up here fairly quickly, haven't you?

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Yes, we're moving up from Southampton to Glasgow

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and I start work here next month.

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So what, ideally, are you after?

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An older house.

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Something with some character.

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I'd like a nice big kitchen and Graham would like somewhere for all his books.

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So a good sized property, but doesn't sound like you want anything too big?

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No. Big enough for family and friends to come and stay,

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so three bedrooms would be nice.

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-But no, other than that, not too picky.

-Good!

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Lovely, music to my ears!

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-You hear that now, but...

-Yes, wait till the end of the three properties and we'll reconvene!

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-So I'm feeling very confident. Shall we get going?

-Great. Thank you.

-Come on, then.

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'With a budget of £400,000,

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Graham and Clare want a detached three-bedroomed character home.

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Clare has her heart set on a large kitchen for cooking and entertaining.

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While Graham wants a room for his military history library

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of some 1,500 books.

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Finally, work-wise, the property needs to have good transport links

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for commuting.

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Socially, they'd like an area with a strong community.

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We've got some superb country homes to tempt our buyers,

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although I'll be keeping my lips sealed as to the price tag

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until the end of each house tour.

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As ever, our final choice is the mystery property.

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But will our buyers fancy a shot at being king and queen of the castle?

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Seeing as time really is of the essence,

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let's get straight to our first property

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which is in an area called Sandilands.

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It's in the rural outskirts of Lanark

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but just 20 minutes from the motorway.

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The historic medieval town of Biggar is the nearest place for basic essentials

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and it's where we're taking a quick pit-stop.

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So, en-route, I wanted to stop off here at Biggar

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which is a really good town with plenty of independent shops.

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Sweet shops, fish and chip shops, plenty of pubs.

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You want to be in the country, but you also want a community not that far away.

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-Yes.

-I can't promise you a rock choir,

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but there's plenty going on in this town.

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-That's exactly what we're looking for.

-Good.

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-We haven't got too far to go to our house, so shall we keep going?

-Yes, great.

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'Our first property is just 20 minutes' drive away

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'in the beautiful Clyde Valley countryside.'

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So, here is our first property in Lanarkshire.

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It's 150 years old, a former blacksmith's.

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What do you think?

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-It's beautiful.

-Very nice indeed.

-Lovely.

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It's easy access to the motorway, the M74.

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So you're looking at a 40-minute commute to Glasgow.

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-Good.

-That's good.

-Because commuting is such a big part of your lives at the moment,

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we tried to keep it as close to Glasgow as possible

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but also giving you those stunning views.

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Shall we step inside? It's a little bit nippy, isn't it?

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A little bit!

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'This deceptively large character property is made from local sandstone.

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'It originally started life as a farmhouse.

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'However, as they'll soon see,

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'it's been considerably extended and modernised throughout.'

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Come straight through

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into this magnificent kitchen.

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-Mm.

-So as you walk into the property,

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you notice there's a dining room, literally as you walk in.

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There's three or four doors you can use with this house,

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but that's the one the owners currently use.

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You've also got a utility room and a downstairs cloakroom.

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-That's good. What we wanted.

-But I wanted to bring you straight into this kitchen.

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-Mm.

-It's very nice.

-Lovely.

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-It is lovely.

-And it is open plan. However,

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-there are other rooms which I'll show you in a while.

-OK.

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It doesn't feel too open, because this part - it could have been a bigger open room.

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And then, taking our attention away from the kitchen,

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you've got a living space there.

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Again, if you had friends and just wanted to have a drink,

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-that would be perfect.

-Yes.

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Let me take you through to the next room. That's a bit more cosy.

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-Great.

-Right.

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So here, you have another good size reception room.

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Yeah, this is nice. Very nice.

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-Is the fire a real fire?

-Yes, it's a real fire. Real fire.

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-The open fire is a big point.

-A big plus for us.

-A big draw.

-Yes, it is.

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And therefore I think the open plan aspect there I can cope with more easily

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-knowing there is something a bit snugger and cosier here.

-Yes.

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Now, you might be thinking, "Where do my books go?"

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-Yes.

-"Where's my study, where's my library?"

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We have a few options with this property.

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-So let's continue through here.

-Great.

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So, in this part of the property,

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and I've been clever because I've stood myself beside the multi-fuel burner,

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pumping out plenty of heat,

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you've got two bedrooms.

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You've got a large single and a very large double with an en-suite shower room.

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Because we have more bedrooms upstairs, which I'll show you shortly,

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you could convert one or both of those rooms into a study/library.

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Yes. It would be nice to have a downstairs room.

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Graham will be relieved to know that this is a spacious house

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with no less than five bedrooms,

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so plenty of room for any overspill from his library.

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The other three bedrooms are upstairs

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and they all have an en-suite.

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There's also a useful study.

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But we'll take a peek at the room which could be theirs.

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So here is the master bedroom.

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-This is very nice.

-Very impressed.

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Fitted wardrobes, got its own en-suite.

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And being five bedrooms,

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-we can certainly devote one to being a library and study.

-Yes.

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-It's very light. And you've got three aspects to it, really.

-Yeah.

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-I think it's beautiful views out. All in all, it's a really nice room.

-It's beautiful.

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'I think it's safe to say that Graham and Clare are in a pretty upbeat mood about this property.

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'And it's no surprise, as this is a beautifully maintained home.

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'I'm just hoping the background noise of the nearby road

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'doesn't put them off.'

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The front of the property, you've got a garden laid to lawn.

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It's got flowers and shrubs and everything.

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The back, as you see, you've got a huge driveway.

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A little bit of lawn behind us.

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Your closest neighbours are a farm, just across the way!

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Total plot is about an acre.

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-Right.

-But the more formal garden is at the front.

-Yes.

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All of the work, inside and outside, has been done really well.

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-So it's a really, really attractive property.

-It is.

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'OK, time to step into the warmth

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'and hazard a guess as to what this lovely character home with a modern twist is worth.'

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So this is where it gets serious.

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Most people take this bit seriously. I like that.

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How much do you think this house, this former blacksmith's, is on the market for?

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I think it's probably just a bit above our budget.

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So I'm going to go for 410.

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OK.

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I think that, perhaps because of the proximity to the road,

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I would put it just a bit under that at 395.

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Current asking price is below both of you.

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-Oh.

-Right.

-Offers over £375,000.

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-Right.

-That's surprising.

-Yes.

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-That's...

-Pleasing!

-Yes!

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-So do you want to have another wander around?

-That would be nice.

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Start off with the property, then have a walk around outside.

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-I'll catch up with you when you're ready.

-OK, great.

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-Yes.

-Be my guest.

-Thank you.

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So, a pleasant surprise on the asking price

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because it is a fantastic house. It's absolutely huge.

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That main road has slightly put them off.

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But at that price, could they live with it? We'll have to wait and see.

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On the market for offers over £375,000,

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our first house is well within budget

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and gives them many of the elements on their wish list.

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My first thoughts, when I saw the outside of the property, it was really attractive.

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I liked the windows. There were nice long windows at the top.

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I like the colour of the stone. I like the kitchen. Nice and open and bright.

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Although it's open plan, I didn't mind that because it's in three separate sections.

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So yes, very nice, very modern, well done and lots of space.

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Overall, it was a really nice house.

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It looks nice. It's traditional outside, modern inside.

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My only concern is around the road noise. Apart from that, there's an awful lot of pluses.

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How are we doing, guys? Have you seen enough of our first property?

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-Yes, thank you.

-Yes.

-Very nice.

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-A good start?

-Very good start, I think. Very nice.

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Come on. Let's go.

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When Graham and Clare make the move up to Lanarkshire,

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they are keen to explore the county's architectural treasures.

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So, during the week, we couldn't pass up the chance

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to send them to the beautifully restored 18th-century cotton mill village of New Lanark,

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which has been awarded World Heritage Status.

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With four mills powered by the mighty Clyde Falls,

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New Lanark was once the largest cotton manufacturing area in the country.

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But it was under the management of a Welshman, called Robert Owen

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that the village was to become a pioneering model

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for both economic and social success.

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Our buyers met up with tour guide Christine Bonner

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to learn more about Owen's revolutionary vision.

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The mills were originally built by David Dale,

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in 1784.

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They were taken over by his son-in-law in 1800

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and that was Robert Owen.

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So why, exactly, is it a World Heritage Site?

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First of all, it's because of Robert Owen's ideas.

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He was going to put into practice educating the poor

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and improving the conditions for the workers.

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When Robert Owen came to New Lanark,

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he inherited around 2,000 employees including 500 children,

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all living and working in squalid and hazardous conditions.

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But Owen believed that better welfare and education

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could lead to a more motivated workforce.

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So he set about improving the conditions for his workers,

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even establishing a free school.

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The children were here up to the age of ten.

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But previous to that,

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if they were up to five, they were in the creche.

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He said they weren't to be annoyed with books till they were five years of age.

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What sort of subjects would they have been taught?

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Right. They actually did the basics - English, writing and arithmetic.

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But they also had history, geography.

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They had music and dancing.

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Nature study.

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So the children were encouraged - if they'd done so much in the classroom,

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they could go out on a nature walk.

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During his lifetime, Owen's system of childcare and education

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attracted much opposition and celebration.

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But it wasn't until some 70 years later

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that compulsory schooling was finally introduced into Britain.

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In other places, most children would be working from the age of two.

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Whereas here, they only started work at the age of ten,

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once Robert Owen took over.

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So life was much better here.

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Outside of the classroom,

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villagers were provided with decent homes, free healthcare

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and affordable food.

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And inside the mills, child labour and corporal punishment were abolished.

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The working day was reduced to ten-and-a-half hours,

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proving that commercial success could be achieved

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without exploitation.

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What were the conditions like, working here?

0:18:500:18:53

They were very loud, very noisy.

0:18:530:18:56

Because all the machines were here.

0:18:560:18:58

The whole floor space would be covered with spinning machines.

0:18:580:19:02

Obviously, the people learned to communicate either through signing or through lip-reading.

0:19:020:19:10

Cotton was manufactured at New Lanark up until 1968.

0:19:100:19:14

Today, business is still thriving,

0:19:140:19:16

with the introduction of wool spinning.

0:19:160:19:19

But for now, it's time to see what's "looming" on the horizon

0:19:190:19:22

as we head off to our second property.

0:19:220:19:25

'For our next stop of the day,

0:19:280:19:30

'we're travelling slightly further south

0:19:300:19:33

'into the quiet countryside of Roberton,

0:19:330:19:35

'which is still only a 45-minute drive to Glasgow.

0:19:350:19:38

'Roberton is a picturesque rural hamlet

0:19:380:19:41

'full of charming stone-built cottages and farmhouses.

0:19:410:19:45

'The River Clyde runs gently past the village,

0:19:450:19:48

'cutting through the surrounding fields and moorland.

0:19:480:19:51

'And our second house is perfectly placed to take advantage

0:19:510:19:55

'of the glorious views.'

0:19:550:19:57

Now, you like, Graham, don't you, military manoeuvres?

0:19:570:20:01

-Yes.

-History.

-Yes.

0:20:010:20:03

-How about that for an Iron Age fort?

-Wow!

-On your doorstep.

0:20:030:20:07

-That's fairly impressive.

-It is.

0:20:070:20:09

So let's go back to our property.

0:20:090:20:11

We can't neglect the house, can we?

0:20:110:20:13

Is that the sort of property you had in mind when you thought about making the move?

0:20:130:20:17

-It is, yeah.

-Very much so.

-Absolutely.

0:20:170:20:19

And it's just full of character.

0:20:190:20:21

It dates back to the late 1800s.

0:20:210:20:24

-It's not listed.

-Right.

0:20:240:20:26

-Shall we step inside and take a look around?

-Yes.

-Yes.

0:20:260:20:30

'Well, the exterior character and the views have gone down well with our buyers.

0:20:310:20:36

'And this 19th-century farmhouse really delivers on original features.

0:20:360:20:40

'Something that was high on Graham and Clare's list of priorities.'

0:20:400:20:44

-So, here we have a proper farmhouse kitchen.

-Wow.

0:20:440:20:49

Some of the units are fitted, some are free-standing.

0:20:490:20:52

Smaller, certainly, than this morning's kitchen.

0:20:520:20:57

-But what a lot of character to it.

-Yes. I like it.

0:20:570:21:00

I like the brickwork being exposed as well.

0:21:000:21:03

Yes. And a beautiful view.

0:21:030:21:05

-Yes.

-Yeah.

-Perfect.

-It's a lovely room.

0:21:050:21:08

-It feels like... It feels like a homely kitchen.

-It does.

0:21:080:21:13

Yes, it does.

0:21:130:21:14

Let's keep going through here.

0:21:140:21:16

I want to show you next door.

0:21:160:21:19

-So, across the hallway from the kitchen...

-An open fire.

0:21:210:21:24

-An open fire.

-Yes.

-And a rather lovely sitting room.

-It is.

0:21:240:21:29

Beautiful views. You can imagine on a cold winter's evening,

0:21:290:21:33

being very cosy in here with a fire going

0:21:330:21:36

-and being able to look out at the hills.

-Yes.

-Fantastic.

-Lovely room.

0:21:360:21:41

'The style of his house has clearly struck a chord with our buyers so far.

0:21:410:21:45

'The eclectic finish continues upstairs.'

0:21:450:21:48

Here is your master bedroom.

0:21:490:21:51

Now, it doesn't have an en-suite.

0:21:510:21:54

-But the family bathroom is literally just next door.

-Right.

0:21:540:21:58

And you tell me. What about the size of this room?

0:21:580:22:02

It's definitely smaller than the previous one.

0:22:020:22:05

I think, bearing in mind wardrobe space, et cetera,

0:22:050:22:08

-it may be more of an issue here than it was in the previous property.

-Right.

-Yeah.

0:22:080:22:12

-Well, you do have a single bedroom next door.

-Right.

0:22:120:22:16

And at the end of the corridor there's a large double.

0:22:160:22:19

So you've got three bedrooms in total and they all share the family bathroom.

0:22:190:22:24

-Right.

-Right.

-So you could potentially sacrifice the small room

0:22:240:22:28

-and have that as a dressing room, perhaps.

-Yes.

0:22:280:22:30

How do you feel about this property?

0:22:300:22:32

I think I preferred the size of the last one.

0:22:320:22:35

It wasn't necessarily what we asked for, but having seen it, I can see the attractions.

0:22:350:22:40

But I love the character in this one.

0:22:400:22:42

We like to give you a balance. Is it fair to say you feel slightly short-changed here?

0:22:420:22:47

Well, I suppose I expected it to be bigger when we saw the outside, I suppose.

0:22:480:22:53

-That would be true.

-We keep getting a glimpse of something else.

0:22:530:22:57

You'd both be right!

0:22:570:22:59

Follow me back down these stairs!

0:22:590:23:01

-This house keeps giving!

-Good!

0:23:010:23:03

'Well, I can't keep it secret any more,

0:23:050:23:08

'as it's time to reveal this house actually has two halves.

0:23:080:23:12

'Sitting at the back of the property is a two-storey extension

0:23:120:23:16

'which practically doubles the footprint of the whole building.

0:23:160:23:19

'This extended wing is accessed back down on the ground floor

0:23:190:23:23

'through the kitchen

0:23:230:23:25

'and is linked to the original farmhouse by a large utility room

0:23:250:23:28

'which leads straight into a formal dining area.'

0:23:280:23:31

So I was rather cruel!

0:23:310:23:33

This probably was an out-building/barn

0:23:350:23:38

and about 100 years ago, it was converted.

0:23:380:23:41

So you've got a huge modern family bathroom,

0:23:410:23:43

you can see there's a staircase there.

0:23:430:23:45

And that's an overspill bedroom.

0:23:450:23:47

-But it could make a fantastic study/library.

-Right.

0:23:470:23:52

So you've got a good space here. Through the doorway

0:23:520:23:55

you've got another sitting room

0:23:550:23:58

and then there's another staircase

0:23:580:24:00

taking you to your fifth bedroom

0:24:000:24:03

if you include that as a bedroom as well.

0:24:030:24:05

-Right?

-Right!

0:24:050:24:06

-So there's a little bit more to it than...

-Lots more to it!

0:24:060:24:10

You've got the exposed timbers, the exposed stone wall.

0:24:100:24:13

Does this lend itself to your type of lifestyles?

0:24:130:24:16

-Yes.

-Yeah. Yes, it does.

0:24:160:24:19

'And that lifestyle could be further enhanced

0:24:190:24:21

'by the pretty cottage garden

0:24:210:24:23

'which is conveniently divided into patios and lawns

0:24:230:24:26

'and has plenty of mature trees and shrubs.'

0:24:260:24:29

-Clare, you love your gardening, don't you?

-I do.

0:24:300:24:33

I don't have a lot of time to do it at the moment, and I don't want a large garden. This is lovely.

0:24:330:24:38

So how much is this stunning farmhouse with this amazing view behind us?

0:24:380:24:44

How much is it on the market for?

0:24:440:24:46

-You first, this time.

-I have to go first. Right. Um...

0:24:460:24:49

I would say 410.

0:24:490:24:51

I'm going to go 395.

0:24:510:24:54

The asking price for this old farmhouse...

0:24:540:24:57

£295,000!

0:24:580:25:01

Offers over £295,000.

0:25:010:25:04

Right. Hmm.

0:25:050:25:07

Well, so much for my guesswork!

0:25:070:25:09

So, now I've told you that bombshell of a price, do you fancy having another wander round?

0:25:090:25:14

-Yes.

-Desperately.

-Go on, then.

0:25:140:25:16

Please take your time. Have a good look. There's a lot to explore with this property.

0:25:160:25:20

-I'll catch up with you when you're ready.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:25:200:25:23

Well, what an amazing reaction. But it is a fantastic price

0:25:240:25:28

for this slice of the most beautiful countryside.

0:25:280:25:31

Hugely under-budget,

0:25:330:25:35

this property is on the market for offers over £295,000.

0:25:350:25:40

It has a lot of flexibility and character.

0:25:400:25:43

It's all set in a beautiful rural location,

0:25:490:25:52

still less than an hour away from the city.

0:25:520:25:55

The house is quirky. It's an unusual shape, a sort of L-shape.

0:25:550:25:59

But both Clare and I quite like that.

0:25:590:26:01

We're not keen on square box-like houses.

0:26:010:26:04

So this one, it's an advantage to have it slightly unusual.

0:26:040:26:09

But the price was amazingly good.

0:26:090:26:12

For what is actually on offer here

0:26:120:26:15

it gives us the scope to do any work that we wanted to do

0:26:150:26:18

to make it exactly the sort of house we're looking for.

0:26:180:26:21

Looking round the downstairs rooms to start with,

0:26:210:26:24

I thought they were small and there were only the two, the kitchen and the front reception room.

0:26:240:26:30

So I was a bit concerned!

0:26:300:26:31

Obviously a very nice surprise when we came through to see the other rooms.

0:26:310:26:35

So more than enough space for what we want.

0:26:350:26:37

I like the house very much from the outside.

0:26:370:26:39

It looked like just the sort of house that we wanted.

0:26:390:26:43

But probably most struck by the surroundings

0:26:430:26:46

and the countryside.

0:26:460:26:48

-Right, you two. Happy?

-Yes, thank you.

-Very much so.

0:26:480:26:51

Fabulous property.

0:26:510:26:53

It is the most amazing setting. But it's time now to drag you away.

0:26:530:26:58

If you must!

0:26:580:26:59

As the sun sets over the beautiful Scottish countryside,

0:27:140:27:18

the first day of our property hunt draws to a close.

0:27:180:27:21

'With an imminent job relocation to Glasgow on the cards,

0:27:280:27:31

Graham and Clare are looking for a Scottish country retreat

0:27:310:27:35

to escape the hectic working day of the city.

0:27:350:27:38

So far, we've shown them two great homes

0:27:380:27:41

which have certainly provided much more than they bargained for.

0:27:410:27:44

But, coming up, they'll need real vision in the mystery property.

0:27:440:27:49

We'll have to use our imagination to work out how we'd want to have it.

0:27:490:27:53

And I'll be brushing up on my Scottish grooming skills.

0:27:530:27:57

Moving from Southampton to Lanarkshire is hard enough.

0:28:000:28:04

But for Graham and Clare, add to the mix

0:28:040:28:07

that Graham starts a new job here in Glasgow in just over a month's time

0:28:070:28:10

and they still haven't found anywhere to live.

0:28:100:28:13

The pressure is certainly on.

0:28:130:28:15

Yesterday, we showed them two period properties.

0:28:150:28:18

The second one certainly caught their imagination,

0:28:180:28:21

especially at that price.

0:28:210:28:23

They say a man's home is his castle.

0:28:230:28:25

So how close can we get today with our mystery property?

0:28:250:28:29

So we're on our way to the mystery property.

0:28:320:28:34

Any thoughts of where we might be taking you?

0:28:340:28:36

I would like to think it might be somewhere very old.

0:28:360:28:39

But equally I think it could be a conversion.

0:28:390:28:42

-A school, or a chapel, something like that.

-Mm.

0:28:420:28:45

But it's definitely a mystery!

0:28:450:28:47

'For our third and final stop,

0:28:490:28:51

'we're heading towards the north of Lanarkshire,

0:28:510:28:53

'close to the large town of Motherwell,

0:28:530:28:55

'which is some 20 minutes from Glasgow city centre.

0:28:550:28:59

'However, despite such proximity to the city,

0:28:590:29:02

'our mystery destination is, in fact,

0:29:020:29:04

'a historic landscaped park.

0:29:040:29:06

'And within this peaceful enchanted forest

0:29:060:29:10

'is our mystery property.'

0:29:100:29:11

-It's like walking into a fairytale, isn't it?

-It is.

0:29:120:29:15

Because this is your mystery property!

0:29:150:29:18

It's amazing!

0:29:180:29:20

You do have a good budget for this part of the world.

0:29:200:29:23

Not enough to buy your own castle,

0:29:230:29:25

-but a slice, perhaps, of it.

-Yes.

0:29:250:29:27

You've got the main house to our left.

0:29:270:29:30

That was built around 1430 by the Dalyell family.

0:29:300:29:33

Later passed into the Hamiltons'.

0:29:330:29:35

They had it about 500 years.

0:29:350:29:38

In the '80s, after being empty for a little while,

0:29:380:29:41

it was converted into 18 separate apartments.

0:29:410:29:43

Each one is different. Every single one.

0:29:430:29:46

Any idea which one yours might be?

0:29:460:29:49

I've no idea. I wouldn't mind being attached to the clock tower, though!

0:29:490:29:52

That's particularly attractive.

0:29:520:29:54

Well, you'd be in luck, because that is the mews cottage.

0:29:540:29:58

That is your mystery property.

0:29:580:30:00

-Well, no doubt it's...

-Amazing.

-Yes.

-Wonderful.

0:30:000:30:04

So shall we take a step inside?

0:30:040:30:06

-Yes.

-Please.

0:30:060:30:08

The mystery house forms part of one of the finest mansions in the Scottish lowlands.

0:30:110:30:16

This was originally a baronial castle,

0:30:160:30:18

retaining its external period styles

0:30:180:30:21

from the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries.

0:30:210:30:24

The mews cottage itself

0:30:240:30:26

reflects a thoroughly contemporary 21st century internal design.

0:30:260:30:30

But the twist is the outside space is shared with all the other residents.

0:30:300:30:35

We'll start the tour of the cottage in the kitchen.

0:30:370:30:41

Well, I thought the first one yesterday was a fabulous size.

0:30:430:30:48

But this is better still.

0:30:480:30:50

It's deceiving from the outside, as well.

0:30:500:30:52

You don't think the proportions are going to be this big.

0:30:520:30:55

-No.

-No, not at all.

-A huge eating area as well.

0:30:550:30:58

I could easily see you working out here. Cooking out here.

0:30:580:31:00

-Yes, that's working!

-I mean eating out here!

-Yeah.

0:31:000:31:04

-That's a great start!

-Fantastic start.

-We'll continue.

0:31:040:31:07

I feel like a tour guide!

0:31:070:31:09

So here is your sitting room, or drawing room.

0:31:110:31:15

Right.

0:31:150:31:17

It wasn't what I was expecting, really.

0:31:170:31:19

It's quite a modern, contemporary style that the current owners have.

0:31:190:31:23

That might not be what we were looking for,

0:31:230:31:25

but we'd have to use our imagination to work out how we would have it.

0:31:250:31:31

You've got to think of your colour schemes, your furnishings, how you would put your touch to it.

0:31:310:31:36

-Yes.

-Yes.

-Yeah.

0:31:360:31:38

It's a lovely big space. I like the big windows.

0:31:380:31:40

Lots of light coming in. It's a lovely courtyard.

0:31:400:31:43

That's a big plus.

0:31:430:31:45

The stairs from the sitting room lead up to the first floor,

0:31:450:31:48

where there's a family bathroom in-between two double bedrooms.

0:31:480:31:52

These could be ideal for visiting friends and family.

0:31:520:31:55

But in total there are four bedrooms

0:31:550:31:57

and back down on the ground floor

0:31:570:31:59

is the smallest, ideally placed to be used as a library.

0:31:590:32:03

And to the far end of the property

0:32:030:32:06

is the bedroom that could be theirs.

0:32:060:32:08

This, at the moment, is being used as the master

0:32:110:32:13

-because it's got an en-suite.

-Right.

0:32:130:32:16

-Yes.

-I don't know how you feel about potentially your bedroom being on the ground floor?

0:32:160:32:23

My first choice wouldn't be to have the bedroom downstairs.

0:32:230:32:26

But it's hardly - it's not something we've really thought of.

0:32:260:32:30

No. And there are only two of us.

0:32:300:32:33

-So we don't have to use it as a bedroom.

-Yes. True.

0:32:330:32:36

We could use it as a guest room.

0:32:360:32:38

-In fact, you could use this for your books.

-Hmm.

0:32:380:32:41

You've also got a dressing room next door.

0:32:410:32:43

But again, if you had personal or expensive books,

0:32:430:32:46

-something like that, that you wanted to keep away...

-More book space!

0:32:460:32:49

-They could go there.

-Don't encourage him!

-Additional space. I said the wrong thing, didn't I?

0:32:490:32:54

You can keep that as your dressing room!

0:32:540:32:57

Well, I'm not having to encourage either of them that much.

0:32:580:33:02

From the sitting room, our buyers could look through

0:33:020:33:05

the impressive arch picture windows

0:33:050:33:07

over a lovely cobbled courtyard

0:33:070:33:09

with an area for the mews cottage which is enclosed by raised beds.

0:33:090:33:13

And the entire property is set

0:33:130:33:15

in an idyllic mature woodland featuring beautiful formal topiary gardens.

0:33:150:33:20

The mystery property is surrounded by acres and acres of woodland and parkland.

0:33:220:33:28

It's a beautiful surrounding, isn't it?

0:33:280:33:30

-Amazing.

-All I can hear is birdsong and the waterfall.

-So...

0:33:300:33:34

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

0:33:340:33:37

It's me to go first, this time.

0:33:380:33:40

Um... 400,000.

0:33:400:33:42

-OK. Which is your budget.

-Which is our budget, yes.

0:33:420:33:45

I'm going to go... After my success last time, I'm wary,

0:33:450:33:51

I'm going to go slightly under that at 380.

0:33:510:33:54

380,000.

0:33:540:33:56

I think you're both going to be quite surprised with the asking price.

0:33:560:34:00

Right.

0:34:000:34:01

Like we were yesterday!

0:34:010:34:03

£310,000.

0:34:030:34:06

-Yes.

-Yes!

0:34:090:34:10

I think we haven't quite acclimatised in terms of price!

0:34:100:34:13

-We're still in Hampshire prices, really.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:34:130:34:16

What we have discovered, here in Lanarkshire,

0:34:160:34:18

-is you can get fantastic properties...

-Yes.

0:34:180:34:21

..within and below your budget.

0:34:210:34:23

-And that is one of them.

-You're giving us lots to think about.

-Yeah.

0:34:230:34:27

We like that. We like to make you work!

0:34:270:34:29

-Yeah.

-You know it's not a holiday and I've got to find you a home!

-I know.

0:34:290:34:33

-Not only find you a home, but the first home you've bought together.

-It is.

-Yes.

0:34:330:34:37

The question is, have we got close? Go and have a think about it again.

0:34:370:34:40

-OK.

-We'll have a talk in a little while.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:34:400:34:43

Well, the mystery house certainly has got them thinking.

0:34:460:34:49

And again, a fantastic price for what you get

0:34:490:34:52

in the most remarkable setting.

0:34:520:34:54

Unique.

0:34:540:34:55

Again under budget to the tune of some £90,000,

0:34:560:34:59

this mews house offers a very distinctive take on Scottish living,

0:34:590:35:04

set inside a beautiful historic castle.

0:35:040:35:06

A total of four bedrooms, two of which are on the ground floor,

0:35:100:35:13

providing Graham with excellent options for the library.

0:35:130:35:16

The whole package sits in a pocket of peaceful paradise

0:35:160:35:20

but with all the benefits of the city at hand.

0:35:200:35:22

And to top it off, this home offers the community they wanted

0:35:220:35:26

right on the doorstep.

0:35:260:35:28

When we first arrived,

0:35:280:35:30

I was really astonished by the building and the location.

0:35:300:35:32

Inside, I loved the kitchen.

0:35:340:35:36

It's definitely my favourite room.

0:35:360:35:38

It's nice and airy and large, just what I wanted.

0:35:380:35:41

I want to be part of the community and get to know people,

0:35:410:35:43

but I don't know if I want to be this close to other people.

0:35:430:35:48

In the long run, there are other features of it

0:35:480:35:52

in terms of not having any garden space

0:35:520:35:54

and I'm not a gardener, but it's nice having somewhere that's private that you can have.

0:35:540:36:00

And the absence of that is an issue.

0:36:000:36:03

But on the plus side, being only 20 minutes away from Glasgow would be a really big plus.

0:36:030:36:08

On a glorious day like today, this courtyard is a real sun-trap.

0:36:090:36:14

Let's see how they got on.

0:36:140:36:15

Have you seen enough of our mystery property?

0:36:150:36:18

-Yes, thank you.

-Yeah?

-Yeah, very interesting.

0:36:180:36:20

Very unlike anything we'd have looked at on our own account, so very interesting indeed.

0:36:200:36:25

Good. Well, you've seen all three properties now.

0:36:250:36:28

So you have some thinking to do.

0:36:280:36:30

Hopefully some good decisions to be made, as well.

0:36:300:36:33

Come on.

0:36:330:36:35

Scotland's vast and diverse countryside

0:36:430:36:46

provides a wonderful habitat for many native animals.

0:36:460:36:49

One characterful example is the Hebridean pony,

0:36:490:36:53

from the Isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides.

0:36:530:36:56

For many years, the remote location of the Outer Hebrides

0:36:560:37:00

helped ensure the Eriskay pony's pedigree bloodline.

0:37:000:37:03

But during the 19th century,

0:37:030:37:05

increased cross-breeding in other areas of Scotland

0:37:050:37:08

led to a decline in numbers

0:37:080:37:10

and by the 1970s,

0:37:100:37:12

the breed had become critically endangered.

0:37:120:37:14

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust has developed an active programme

0:37:140:37:19

to protect and increase the population.

0:37:190:37:21

I've come to a country park in north Lanarkshire

0:37:210:37:24

to meet Shelagh Mackintosh

0:37:240:37:26

to find out more about this precious breed.

0:37:260:37:28

Who do we have here? Who's this young lady?

0:37:280:37:31

This is Brea. In Gallic, "beautiful".

0:37:310:37:35

She is beautiful. How old is she?

0:37:350:37:37

Six years old.

0:37:370:37:39

The Eriskay ponies are obviously a very rare breed.

0:37:390:37:42

-One of Scotland's oldest breeds.

-Yes.

0:37:420:37:44

Why did their numbers dwindle? How bad did it get?

0:37:440:37:48

It got down on the island of Eriskay to 20.

0:37:480:37:51

How many do we have now in total?

0:37:510:37:53

Probably about 40, including the entire males.

0:37:530:37:57

-So in 30 years...

-We're getting foals bred all the time now.

0:37:570:38:00

-That's a real success story.

-Yes, it is.

0:38:000:38:02

What do you think it means? We talk about being Scotland's oldest breed.

0:38:020:38:07

What does it mean to keep it alive?

0:38:070:38:10

Any country should look after its heritage.

0:38:100:38:12

This is part of Scotland's heritage.

0:38:120:38:14

'Eriskay ponies are a compact breed,

0:38:140:38:18

'but immensely strong and hardy for their size.

0:38:180:38:20

'Before the onset of mechanisation,

0:38:200:38:23

'they were prized family possessions,

0:38:230:38:25

'used by crofters for agricultural work and transportation.

0:38:250:38:29

'Senior stockman Lucy Gillie is responsible for all the ponies

0:38:290:38:34

'and the other animals living in the park.'

0:38:340:38:36

Now, Lucy, who's this?

0:38:360:38:39

-This is Carl.

-Carl. And he's an Eriskay pony as well?

0:38:390:38:42

He's an Eriskay stallion.

0:38:420:38:43

Has he sired any ponies recently? Any foals?

0:38:430:38:46

We've got a foal due any day now to Brea, who you met before.

0:38:460:38:50

It's due any day and we're hopeful everything goes well with them.

0:38:500:38:54

-Fantastic! So Carl's going to be a daddy!

-Yeah!

0:38:540:38:57

-How old is Carl?

-Carl's 23 years old.

0:38:570:39:00

23?! And he's still producing foals.

0:39:000:39:04

Congratulations. Is he in good condition?

0:39:040:39:06

He is. He is in good condition.

0:39:060:39:08

'Eriskay foals are born black or bay

0:39:080:39:12

'and usually turn grey as they mature into adulthood.

0:39:120:39:14

'It's their dense waterproof coat which gives them their hardy reputation,

0:39:140:39:18

'enabling them to live out in the harshest conditions

0:39:180:39:22

'through all weathers.'

0:39:220:39:23

So how often do you have to groom them?

0:39:230:39:26

Not very often. But they still like a good groom every so often.

0:39:260:39:30

-Do they make good pets?

-They do make good pets.

0:39:300:39:33

A lot of people use them now for children to be able to ride them.

0:39:330:39:38

Could an adult, a small adult, ride one of these ponies?

0:39:380:39:41

Yes, a small adult would be able to go on one of these ponies.

0:39:410:39:44

-Have you been on her?

-Yes, I've been on her.

0:39:440:39:46

-Is she a good ride?

-Yes, she's good.

0:39:460:39:48

-She doesn't mind?

-No, not at all.

0:39:480:39:50

Lucy, thank you very much. I'll just give her a few more finishing touches

0:39:500:39:54

and she's ready to go back into the field.

0:39:540:39:56

'From these handsome ponies of the Highlands,

0:39:560:40:00

'it's high time we get back to our houses.'

0:40:000:40:02

What a great success story for that rare breed of pony.

0:40:070:40:10

Weren't they adorable?

0:40:100:40:12

We've shown Graham and Clare our three properties here in Lanarkshire.

0:40:120:40:16

But will one of them become their new home?

0:40:160:40:18

Let's find out.

0:40:180:40:20

Graham and Clare, we've had a great few days here in Scotland.

0:40:260:40:30

Starting off with the first property we showed you.

0:40:300:40:33

It was an old blacksmith's. 150 years old.

0:40:330:40:35

What did you think about that house?

0:40:350:40:38

My first reaction was very positive.

0:40:380:40:40

I liked it. It looked like an old property.

0:40:400:40:42

Clearly had been brought up to date,

0:40:420:40:45

but that was in keeping with the old nature of the stone property.

0:40:450:40:48

-Really liked it.

-Fell in love with that kitchen, didn't you, Clare?

0:40:480:40:51

-I did!

-The kitchen hit the spot.

0:40:510:40:54

-And the en-suite bathrooms, I have to say.

-Yes.

0:40:540:40:57

So we then took you to see our second home.

0:40:570:41:01

Before we talk about the home, we should talk about the amazing countryside that surrounded it

0:41:010:41:06

and the old Iron Age fort, just for you, Graham,

0:41:060:41:08

right on your doorstep.

0:41:080:41:10

Yes, I couldn't have asked for much more, could I?

0:41:100:41:13

The view of the hills and the fort were absolutely superb.

0:41:130:41:18

And a beautiful hamlet that the property's in, as well.

0:41:180:41:21

I guess the only drawback was the size of the kitchen. That was smaller than the other two.

0:41:210:41:27

But once we heard the price, that opened up the options for dealing with the kitchen.

0:41:270:41:33

So, yes, really liked that property.

0:41:330:41:35

So our third and final property was our mystery house.

0:41:350:41:38

Just outside Motherwell, but surrounded by beautiful countryside.

0:41:380:41:43

I'd said I wanted something old with a bit of history.

0:41:430:41:46

I couldn't have got anything more than you gave us on that.

0:41:460:41:49

-It was a superb location.

-It was.

0:41:490:41:52

Inside was very nice. For me, it was the best of the three kitchens.

0:41:520:41:56

I really liked that.

0:41:560:41:58

I think the one issue with that house is that it's part of a bigger community

0:41:580:42:03

and whilst we've said that's what we want,

0:42:030:42:06

I think being part of a community and living very close to a lot of people

0:42:060:42:11

are two very different things.

0:42:110:42:13

So that would probably stop us pursuing property three.

0:42:130:42:16

Looking at suitable properties for you in this area, in Lanarkshire,

0:42:160:42:20

because your wish list isn't that big,

0:42:200:42:22

there are houses out there that you can buy.

0:42:220:42:25

Question is, did we get close with any of our three?

0:42:250:42:28

We certainly would like to have another look at property two.

0:42:280:42:33

We'd like to give it some thought about the commuting distance.

0:42:330:42:37

We're going to go away and have a further think about that one.

0:42:370:42:39

I really hope it works out for you.

0:42:390:42:42

-Let's hope that second property is for you.

-Thank you.

-Keep in touch.

0:42:420:42:45

-It's helped a lot. Been really useful.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:450:42:49

Well, that all sounds very promising.

0:42:540:42:57

Graham and Clare are leaving behind the south coast of England

0:42:570:43:01

for a slice of Lanarkshire's countryside.

0:43:010:43:04

And hopefully, our home in the hamlet will be their new Scottish rural retreat.

0:43:040:43:09

We'll just have to wait and see.

0:43:090:43:11

Until next time, bye-bye!

0:43:110:43:13

If you'd like to escape to the country

0:43:150:43:17

in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England and need our help,

0:43:170:43:21

please apply online:

0:43:210:43:23

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:450:43:48

Nicki Chapman goes the distance to help a couple with £400,000 move from Southampton to Lanarkshire in a bid for a better work-life balance.

While there, she learns about the plight of the Eriskay pony, a critically endangered Scottish breed, and efforts by one charity to ensure its future survival in the Western Isles.