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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-I'm standing in a place that lays claim
to having one of the longest echoes of any building in Britain.
Where am I? Find out in a few moments' time.
'On today's show, I'll be helping a couple get back to their rural Scottish routes
'and it's a real step back in time at one of our properties.'
-How about that for an Iron Age fort?
-On your doorstep!
-That's fairly impressive.
'And the surprises just keep coming.'
I thought the first one yesterday was a fabulous size.
But this is better still.
Today I'm in Lanarkshire
and this imposing structure is the Hamilton Mausoleum,
built in 1858 as a final resting place
for the 10th Duke of Hamilton and his family.
Mirroring the classical design of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome,
the dimensions inside this huge 36-metre-high dome and crypt
mean that if I should slam shut those wooden doors behind me,
it would take at least 18 seconds for the sound to die down.
Because of this record-breaking reverberation,
would-be buyers have tried to purchase this building
and take it overseas.
But that would alter its unique acoustics for ever
and happily, its resting place remains here in Scotland.
Covering over 850 square miles,
land-locked Lanarkshire lies in southern Scotland
and is one of the country's smaller counties.
But despite this, it's actually the most-densely populated
as it includes the busy city of Glasgow
which is situated towards its northern border.
However, beyond the bustling conurbation,
Lanarkshire unfolds to reveal an array of tranquil villages,
such as the attractive historic market town of Strathaven,
which was granted a royal charter back in 1450
and still retains much of its ancient medieval character.
The county also boasts many wild and beautiful backdrops.
Particularly rousing are Lanarkshire's stunning waterfalls
which take pride of place in the River Clyde valley
at the very heart of the Scottish lowlands.
When it comes to the housing market,
the average price for a detached property in Lanarkshire
is just over £233,000.
That's £5,000 more than Scotland's national average figure.
South Lanarkshire's mix of countryside and good access routes to Glasgow and Edinburgh
does keep prices up.
This is the case in sought-after towns such as Hamilton and Strathaven.
Now, happily, in north Lanarkshire,
properties around Motherwell and Kilsyth are far cheaper,
typically 15% below the more expensive areas in the south of the county.
But wherever you're looking, one thing's for certain.
This expansive county offers up a vast array of eye-catching property styles.
I hope we can find the perfect country home for our buyers. So let's meet them.
Graham, a tax inspector, and his partner, Clare, who works in HR,
found love at the office three years ago.
And when they're not travelling a round trip of 116 miles to work each day,
they call this three-bedroomed house in Hampshire home.
At the moment, we both work in London,
which means that we have about a five-hour commute every day,
which takes so much of our spare time, really.
-As you can probably tell, I originate from East Kilbride in Scotland
but I haven't been in Scotland for almost 30 years now.
But my work is now moving me from London to Glasgow
so really, we're looking for something that would enable us to have the benefits of the countryside
but enable us also to get to Glasgow, because we'll both be working in central Glasgow.
They've chosen Lanarkshire for its beautiful countryside
and great transport links into the city of Glasgow.
And when the working day is done,
they aren't short of ideas of how they'd like to spend their new-found freedom.
We both enjoy walking,
so we'd like to be somewhere where we can have easy access to walks.
We also like historical houses and gardens,
so being able to go and visit those would be good as well.
Overall, I think we're looking to have a complete change of lifestyle.
Not just in what we do, but also we'd like to be part of a community.
With a long commute, you don't tend to feel that.
So they're after some rural harmony in which to practise their...harmonies!
At the moment, we're both in Rock Choir,
which is one of our main hobbies.
And we hope to be able to carry that on in Scotland.
And when it comes to their new house,
they certainly seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet!
What we're looking for in the new property is somewhere that's got some character.
I think we'd both prefer an older property.
One of my main interests is military history.
I have a lot of books, probably around 1,500.
It's very important that we have space in the house
where I can store these and use them properly.
We don't particularly like barn conversions
and neither of us really like open plan.
Our buyers plan to rent out Clare's house in Southampton
so, with no property to sell
and alternative finances available,
they're ready and raring to get started
on their Scottish relocation.
Our budget for the move is around £400,000.
We might be able to go a little bit above that,
but that gives a good feel for where we're looking.
Accessibility to Glasgow for work is essential for Graham and Clare.
But they also want to be within easy reach of family and friends
back in England.
So we'll be concentrating our house search on the beautiful rural villages of southern Lanarkshire,
all with good links for the motorway.
I'm meeting up with our buyers in the glorious countryside
to find out more about their prospective move.
Graham and Clare, lovely to meet you both.
Here we are in beautiful Lanarkshire, Scotland,
looking for a property for you.
You've got to make this move up here fairly quickly, haven't you?
Yes, we're moving up from Southampton to Glasgow
and I start work here next month.
So what, ideally, are you after?
An older house.
Something with some character.
I'd like a nice big kitchen and Graham would like somewhere for all his books.
So a good sized property, but doesn't sound like you want anything too big?
No. Big enough for family and friends to come and stay,
so three bedrooms would be nice.
-But no, other than that, not too picky.
Lovely, music to my ears!
-You hear that now, but...
-Yes, wait till the end of the three properties and we'll reconvene!
-So I'm feeling very confident. Shall we get going?
-Great. Thank you.
-Come on, then.
'With a budget of £400,000,
Graham and Clare want a detached three-bedroomed character home.
Clare has her heart set on a large kitchen for cooking and entertaining.
While Graham wants a room for his military history library
of some 1,500 books.
Finally, work-wise, the property needs to have good transport links
Socially, they'd like an area with a strong community.
We've got some superb country homes to tempt our buyers,
although I'll be keeping my lips sealed as to the price tag
until the end of each house tour.
As ever, our final choice is the mystery property.
But will our buyers fancy a shot at being king and queen of the castle?
Seeing as time really is of the essence,
let's get straight to our first property
which is in an area called Sandilands.
It's in the rural outskirts of Lanark
but just 20 minutes from the motorway.
The historic medieval town of Biggar is the nearest place for basic essentials
and it's where we're taking a quick pit-stop.
So, en-route, I wanted to stop off here at Biggar
which is a really good town with plenty of independent shops.
Sweet shops, fish and chip shops, plenty of pubs.
You want to be in the country, but you also want a community not that far away.
-I can't promise you a rock choir,
but there's plenty going on in this town.
-That's exactly what we're looking for.
-We haven't got too far to go to our house, so shall we keep going?
'Our first property is just 20 minutes' drive away
'in the beautiful Clyde Valley countryside.'
So, here is our first property in Lanarkshire.
It's 150 years old, a former blacksmith's.
What do you think?
-Very nice indeed.
It's easy access to the motorway, the M74.
So you're looking at a 40-minute commute to Glasgow.
-Because commuting is such a big part of your lives at the moment,
we tried to keep it as close to Glasgow as possible
but also giving you those stunning views.
Shall we step inside? It's a little bit nippy, isn't it?
A little bit!
'This deceptively large character property is made from local sandstone.
'It originally started life as a farmhouse.
'However, as they'll soon see,
'it's been considerably extended and modernised throughout.'
Come straight through
into this magnificent kitchen.
-So as you walk into the property,
you notice there's a dining room, literally as you walk in.
There's three or four doors you can use with this house,
but that's the one the owners currently use.
You've also got a utility room and a downstairs cloakroom.
-That's good. What we wanted.
-But I wanted to bring you straight into this kitchen.
-It's very nice.
-It is lovely.
-And it is open plan. However,
-there are other rooms which I'll show you in a while.
It doesn't feel too open, because this part - it could have been a bigger open room.
And then, taking our attention away from the kitchen,
you've got a living space there.
Again, if you had friends and just wanted to have a drink,
-that would be perfect.
Let me take you through to the next room. That's a bit more cosy.
So here, you have another good size reception room.
Yeah, this is nice. Very nice.
-Is the fire a real fire?
-Yes, it's a real fire. Real fire.
-The open fire is a big point.
-A big plus for us.
-A big draw.
-Yes, it is.
And therefore I think the open plan aspect there I can cope with more easily
-knowing there is something a bit snugger and cosier here.
Now, you might be thinking, "Where do my books go?"
-"Where's my study, where's my library?"
We have a few options with this property.
-So let's continue through here.
So, in this part of the property,
and I've been clever because I've stood myself beside the multi-fuel burner,
pumping out plenty of heat,
you've got two bedrooms.
You've got a large single and a very large double with an en-suite shower room.
Because we have more bedrooms upstairs, which I'll show you shortly,
you could convert one or both of those rooms into a study/library.
Yes. It would be nice to have a downstairs room.
Graham will be relieved to know that this is a spacious house
with no less than five bedrooms,
so plenty of room for any overspill from his library.
The other three bedrooms are upstairs
and they all have an en-suite.
There's also a useful study.
But we'll take a peek at the room which could be theirs.
So here is the master bedroom.
-This is very nice.
Fitted wardrobes, got its own en-suite.
And being five bedrooms,
-we can certainly devote one to being a library and study.
-It's very light. And you've got three aspects to it, really.
-I think it's beautiful views out. All in all, it's a really nice room.
'I think it's safe to say that Graham and Clare are in a pretty upbeat mood about this property.
'And it's no surprise, as this is a beautifully maintained home.
'I'm just hoping the background noise of the nearby road
'doesn't put them off.'
The front of the property, you've got a garden laid to lawn.
It's got flowers and shrubs and everything.
The back, as you see, you've got a huge driveway.
A little bit of lawn behind us.
Your closest neighbours are a farm, just across the way!
Total plot is about an acre.
-But the more formal garden is at the front.
All of the work, inside and outside, has been done really well.
-So it's a really, really attractive property.
'OK, time to step into the warmth
'and hazard a guess as to what this lovely character home with a modern twist is worth.'
So this is where it gets serious.
Most people take this bit seriously. I like that.
How much do you think this house, this former blacksmith's, is on the market for?
I think it's probably just a bit above our budget.
So I'm going to go for 410.
I think that, perhaps because of the proximity to the road,
I would put it just a bit under that at 395.
Current asking price is below both of you.
-Offers over £375,000.
-So do you want to have another wander around?
-That would be nice.
Start off with the property, then have a walk around outside.
-I'll catch up with you when you're ready.
-Be my guest.
So, a pleasant surprise on the asking price
because it is a fantastic house. It's absolutely huge.
That main road has slightly put them off.
But at that price, could they live with it? We'll have to wait and see.
On the market for offers over £375,000,
our first house is well within budget
and gives them many of the elements on their wish list.
My first thoughts, when I saw the outside of the property, it was really attractive.
I liked the windows. There were nice long windows at the top.
I like the colour of the stone. I like the kitchen. Nice and open and bright.
Although it's open plan, I didn't mind that because it's in three separate sections.
So yes, very nice, very modern, well done and lots of space.
Overall, it was a really nice house.
It looks nice. It's traditional outside, modern inside.
My only concern is around the road noise. Apart from that, there's an awful lot of pluses.
How are we doing, guys? Have you seen enough of our first property?
-Yes, thank you.
-A good start?
-Very good start, I think. Very nice.
Come on. Let's go.
When Graham and Clare make the move up to Lanarkshire,
they are keen to explore the county's architectural treasures.
So, during the week, we couldn't pass up the chance
to send them to the beautifully restored 18th-century cotton mill village of New Lanark,
which has been awarded World Heritage Status.
With four mills powered by the mighty Clyde Falls,
New Lanark was once the largest cotton manufacturing area in the country.
But it was under the management of a Welshman, called Robert Owen
that the village was to become a pioneering model
for both economic and social success.
Our buyers met up with tour guide Christine Bonner
to learn more about Owen's revolutionary vision.
The mills were originally built by David Dale,
They were taken over by his son-in-law in 1800
and that was Robert Owen.
So why, exactly, is it a World Heritage Site?
First of all, it's because of Robert Owen's ideas.
He was going to put into practice educating the poor
and improving the conditions for the workers.
When Robert Owen came to New Lanark,
he inherited around 2,000 employees including 500 children,
all living and working in squalid and hazardous conditions.
But Owen believed that better welfare and education
could lead to a more motivated workforce.
So he set about improving the conditions for his workers,
even establishing a free school.
The children were here up to the age of ten.
But previous to that,
if they were up to five, they were in the creche.
He said they weren't to be annoyed with books till they were five years of age.
What sort of subjects would they have been taught?
Right. They actually did the basics - English, writing and arithmetic.
But they also had history, geography.
They had music and dancing.
So the children were encouraged - if they'd done so much in the classroom,
they could go out on a nature walk.
During his lifetime, Owen's system of childcare and education
attracted much opposition and celebration.
But it wasn't until some 70 years later
that compulsory schooling was finally introduced into Britain.
In other places, most children would be working from the age of two.
Whereas here, they only started work at the age of ten,
once Robert Owen took over.
So life was much better here.
Outside of the classroom,
villagers were provided with decent homes, free healthcare
and affordable food.
And inside the mills, child labour and corporal punishment were abolished.
The working day was reduced to ten-and-a-half hours,
proving that commercial success could be achieved
What were the conditions like, working here?
They were very loud, very noisy.
Because all the machines were here.
The whole floor space would be covered with spinning machines.
Obviously, the people learned to communicate either through signing or through lip-reading.
Cotton was manufactured at New Lanark up until 1968.
Today, business is still thriving,
with the introduction of wool spinning.
But for now, it's time to see what's "looming" on the horizon
as we head off to our second property.
'For our next stop of the day,
'we're travelling slightly further south
'into the quiet countryside of Roberton,
'which is still only a 45-minute drive to Glasgow.
'Roberton is a picturesque rural hamlet
'full of charming stone-built cottages and farmhouses.
'The River Clyde runs gently past the village,
'cutting through the surrounding fields and moorland.
'And our second house is perfectly placed to take advantage
'of the glorious views.'
Now, you like, Graham, don't you, military manoeuvres?
-How about that for an Iron Age fort?
-On your doorstep.
-That's fairly impressive.
So let's go back to our property.
We can't neglect the house, can we?
Is that the sort of property you had in mind when you thought about making the move?
-It is, yeah.
-Very much so.
And it's just full of character.
It dates back to the late 1800s.
-It's not listed.
-Shall we step inside and take a look around?
'Well, the exterior character and the views have gone down well with our buyers.
'And this 19th-century farmhouse really delivers on original features.
'Something that was high on Graham and Clare's list of priorities.'
-So, here we have a proper farmhouse kitchen.
Some of the units are fitted, some are free-standing.
Smaller, certainly, than this morning's kitchen.
-But what a lot of character to it.
-Yes. I like it.
I like the brickwork being exposed as well.
Yes. And a beautiful view.
-It's a lovely room.
-It feels like... It feels like a homely kitchen.
Yes, it does.
Let's keep going through here.
I want to show you next door.
-So, across the hallway from the kitchen...
-An open fire.
-An open fire.
-And a rather lovely sitting room.
Beautiful views. You can imagine on a cold winter's evening,
being very cosy in here with a fire going
-and being able to look out at the hills.
'The style of his house has clearly struck a chord with our buyers so far.
'The eclectic finish continues upstairs.'
Here is your master bedroom.
Now, it doesn't have an en-suite.
-But the family bathroom is literally just next door.
And you tell me. What about the size of this room?
It's definitely smaller than the previous one.
I think, bearing in mind wardrobe space, et cetera,
-it may be more of an issue here than it was in the previous property.
-Well, you do have a single bedroom next door.
And at the end of the corridor there's a large double.
So you've got three bedrooms in total and they all share the family bathroom.
-So you could potentially sacrifice the small room
-and have that as a dressing room, perhaps.
How do you feel about this property?
I think I preferred the size of the last one.
It wasn't necessarily what we asked for, but having seen it, I can see the attractions.
But I love the character in this one.
We like to give you a balance. Is it fair to say you feel slightly short-changed here?
Well, I suppose I expected it to be bigger when we saw the outside, I suppose.
-That would be true.
-We keep getting a glimpse of something else.
You'd both be right!
Follow me back down these stairs!
-This house keeps giving!
'Well, I can't keep it secret any more,
'as it's time to reveal this house actually has two halves.
'Sitting at the back of the property is a two-storey extension
'which practically doubles the footprint of the whole building.
'This extended wing is accessed back down on the ground floor
'through the kitchen
'and is linked to the original farmhouse by a large utility room
'which leads straight into a formal dining area.'
So I was rather cruel!
This probably was an out-building/barn
and about 100 years ago, it was converted.
So you've got a huge modern family bathroom,
you can see there's a staircase there.
And that's an overspill bedroom.
-But it could make a fantastic study/library.
So you've got a good space here. Through the doorway
you've got another sitting room
and then there's another staircase
taking you to your fifth bedroom
if you include that as a bedroom as well.
-So there's a little bit more to it than...
-Lots more to it!
You've got the exposed timbers, the exposed stone wall.
Does this lend itself to your type of lifestyles?
-Yeah. Yes, it does.
'And that lifestyle could be further enhanced
'by the pretty cottage garden
'which is conveniently divided into patios and lawns
'and has plenty of mature trees and shrubs.'
-Clare, you love your gardening, don't you?
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.
So how much is this stunning farmhouse with this amazing view behind us?
How much is it on the market for?
-You first, this time.
-I have to go first. Right. Um...
I would say 410.
I'm going to go 395.
The asking price for this old farmhouse...
Offers over £295,000.
Well, so much for my guesswork!
So, now I've told you that bombshell of a price, do you fancy having another wander round?
-Go on, then.
Please take your time. Have a good look. There's a lot to explore with this property.
-I'll catch up with you when you're ready.
Well, what an amazing reaction. But it is a fantastic price
for this slice of the most beautiful countryside.
this property is on the market for offers over £295,000.
It has a lot of flexibility and character.
It's all set in a beautiful rural location,
still less than an hour away from the city.
The house is quirky. It's an unusual shape, a sort of L-shape.
But both Clare and I quite like that.
We're not keen on square box-like houses.
So this one, it's an advantage to have it slightly unusual.
But the price was amazingly good.
For what is actually on offer here
it gives us the scope to do any work that we wanted to do
to make it exactly the sort of house we're looking for.
Looking round the downstairs rooms to start with,
I thought they were small and there were only the two, the kitchen and the front reception room.
So I was a bit concerned!
Obviously a very nice surprise when we came through to see the other rooms.
So more than enough space for what we want.
I like the house very much from the outside.
It looked like just the sort of house that we wanted.
But probably most struck by the surroundings
and the countryside.
-Right, you two. Happy?
-Yes, thank you.
-Very much so.
It is the most amazing setting. But it's time now to drag you away.
If you must!
As the sun sets over the beautiful Scottish countryside,
the first day of our property hunt draws to a close.
'With an imminent job relocation to Glasgow on the cards,
Graham and Clare are looking for a Scottish country retreat
to escape the hectic working day of the city.
So far, we've shown them two great homes
which have certainly provided much more than they bargained for.
But, coming up, they'll need real vision in the mystery property.
We'll have to use our imagination to work out how we'd want to have it.
And I'll be brushing up on my Scottish grooming skills.
Moving from Southampton to Lanarkshire is hard enough.
But for Graham and Clare, add to the mix
that Graham starts a new job here in Glasgow in just over a month's time
and they still haven't found anywhere to live.
The pressure is certainly on.
Yesterday, we showed them two period properties.
The second one certainly caught their imagination,
especially at that price.
They say a man's home is his castle.
So how close can we get today with our mystery property?
So we're on our way to the mystery property.
Any thoughts of where we might be taking you?
I would like to think it might be somewhere very old.
But equally I think it could be a conversion.
-A school, or a chapel, something like that.
But it's definitely a mystery!
'For our third and final stop,
'we're heading towards the north of Lanarkshire,
'close to the large town of Motherwell,
'which is some 20 minutes from Glasgow city centre.
'However, despite such proximity to the city,
'our mystery destination is, in fact,
'a historic landscaped park.
'And within this peaceful enchanted forest
'is our mystery property.'
-It's like walking into a fairytale, isn't it?
Because this is your mystery property!
You do have a good budget for this part of the world.
Not enough to buy your own castle,
-but a slice, perhaps, of it.
You've got the main house to our left.
That was built around 1430 by the Dalyell family.
Later passed into the Hamiltons'.
They had it about 500 years.
In the '80s, after being empty for a little while,
it was converted into 18 separate apartments.
Each one is different. Every single one.
Any idea which one yours might be?
I've no idea. I wouldn't mind being attached to the clock tower, though!
That's particularly attractive.
Well, you'd be in luck, because that is the mews cottage.
That is your mystery property.
-Well, no doubt it's...
So shall we take a step inside?
The mystery house forms part of one of the finest mansions in the Scottish lowlands.
This was originally a baronial castle,
retaining its external period styles
from the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries.
The mews cottage itself
reflects a thoroughly contemporary 21st century internal design.
But the twist is the outside space is shared with all the other residents.
We'll start the tour of the cottage in the kitchen.
Well, I thought the first one yesterday was a fabulous size.
But this is better still.
It's deceiving from the outside, as well.
You don't think the proportions are going to be this big.
-No, not at all.
-A huge eating area as well.
I could easily see you working out here. Cooking out here.
-Yes, that's working!
-I mean eating out here!
-That's a great start!
I feel like a tour guide!
So here is your sitting room, or drawing room.
It wasn't what I was expecting, really.
It's quite a modern, contemporary style that the current owners have.
That might not be what we were looking for,
but we'd have to use our imagination to work out how we would have it.
You've got to think of your colour schemes, your furnishings, how you would put your touch to it.
It's a lovely big space. I like the big windows.
Lots of light coming in. It's a lovely courtyard.
That's a big plus.
The stairs from the sitting room lead up to the first floor,
where there's a family bathroom in-between two double bedrooms.
These could be ideal for visiting friends and family.
But in total there are four bedrooms
and back down on the ground floor
is the smallest, ideally placed to be used as a library.
And to the far end of the property
is the bedroom that could be theirs.
This, at the moment, is being used as the master
-because it's got an en-suite.
-I don't know how you feel about potentially your bedroom being on the ground floor?
My first choice wouldn't be to have the bedroom downstairs.
But it's hardly - it's not something we've really thought of.
No. And there are only two of us.
-So we don't have to use it as a bedroom.
We could use it as a guest room.
-In fact, you could use this for your books.
You've also got a dressing room next door.
But again, if you had personal or expensive books,
-something like that, that you wanted to keep away...
-More book space!
-They could go there.
-Don't encourage him!
-Additional space. I said the wrong thing, didn't I?
You can keep that as your dressing room!
Well, I'm not having to encourage either of them that much.
From the sitting room, our buyers could look through
the impressive arch picture windows
over a lovely cobbled courtyard
with an area for the mews cottage which is enclosed by raised beds.
And the entire property is set
in an idyllic mature woodland featuring beautiful formal topiary gardens.
The mystery property is surrounded by acres and acres of woodland and parkland.
It's a beautiful surrounding, isn't it?
-All I can hear is birdsong and the waterfall.
how much do you think it's on the market for?
It's me to go first, this time.
-OK. Which is your budget.
-Which is our budget, yes.
I'm going to go... After my success last time, I'm wary,
I'm going to go slightly under that at 380.
I think you're both going to be quite surprised with the asking price.
Like we were yesterday!
I think we haven't quite acclimatised in terms of price!
-We're still in Hampshire prices, really.
What we have discovered, here in Lanarkshire,
-is you can get fantastic properties...
..within and below your budget.
-And that is one of them.
-You're giving us lots to think about.
We like that. We like to make you work!
-You know it's not a holiday and I've got to find you a home!
-Not only find you a home, but the first home you've bought together.
The question is, have we got close? Go and have a think about it again.
-We'll have a talk in a little while.
Well, the mystery house certainly has got them thinking.
And again, a fantastic price for what you get
in the most remarkable setting.
Again under budget to the tune of some £90,000,
this mews house offers a very distinctive take on Scottish living,
set inside a beautiful historic castle.
A total of four bedrooms, two of which are on the ground floor,
providing Graham with excellent options for the library.
The whole package sits in a pocket of peaceful paradise
but with all the benefits of the city at hand.
And to top it off, this home offers the community they wanted
right on the doorstep.
When we first arrived,
I was really astonished by the building and the location.
Inside, I loved the kitchen.
It's definitely my favourite room.
It's nice and airy and large, just what I wanted.
I want to be part of the community and get to know people,
but I don't know if I want to be this close to other people.
In the long run, there are other features of it
in terms of not having any garden space
and I'm not a gardener, but it's nice having somewhere that's private that you can have.
And the absence of that is an issue.
But on the plus side, being only 20 minutes away from Glasgow would be a really big plus.
On a glorious day like today, this courtyard is a real sun-trap.
Let's see how they got on.
Have you seen enough of our mystery property?
-Yes, thank you.
-Yeah, very interesting.
Very unlike anything we'd have looked at on our own account, so very interesting indeed.
Good. Well, you've seen all three properties now.
So you have some thinking to do.
Hopefully some good decisions to be made, as well.
Scotland's vast and diverse countryside
provides a wonderful habitat for many native animals.
One characterful example is the Hebridean pony,
from the Isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides.
For many years, the remote location of the Outer Hebrides
helped ensure the Eriskay pony's pedigree bloodline.
But during the 19th century,
increased cross-breeding in other areas of Scotland
led to a decline in numbers
and by the 1970s,
the breed had become critically endangered.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust has developed an active programme
to protect and increase the population.
I've come to a country park in north Lanarkshire
to meet Shelagh Mackintosh
to find out more about this precious breed.
Who do we have here? Who's this young lady?
This is Brea. In Gallic, "beautiful".
She is beautiful. How old is she?
Six years old.
The Eriskay ponies are obviously a very rare breed.
-One of Scotland's oldest breeds.
Why did their numbers dwindle? How bad did it get?
It got down on the island of Eriskay to 20.
How many do we have now in total?
Probably about 40, including the entire males.
-So in 30 years...
-We're getting foals bred all the time now.
-That's a real success story.
-Yes, it is.
What do you think it means? We talk about being Scotland's oldest breed.
What does it mean to keep it alive?
Any country should look after its heritage.
This is part of Scotland's heritage.
'Eriskay ponies are a compact breed,
'but immensely strong and hardy for their size.
'Before the onset of mechanisation,
'they were prized family possessions,
'used by crofters for agricultural work and transportation.
'Senior stockman Lucy Gillie is responsible for all the ponies
'and the other animals living in the park.'
Now, Lucy, who's this?
-This is Carl.
-Carl. And he's an Eriskay pony as well?
He's an Eriskay stallion.
Has he sired any ponies recently? Any foals?
We've got a foal due any day now to Brea, who you met before.
It's due any day and we're hopeful everything goes well with them.
-Fantastic! So Carl's going to be a daddy!
-How old is Carl?
-Carl's 23 years old.
23?! And he's still producing foals.
Congratulations. Is he in good condition?
He is. He is in good condition.
'Eriskay foals are born black or bay
'and usually turn grey as they mature into adulthood.
'It's their dense waterproof coat which gives them their hardy reputation,
'enabling them to live out in the harshest conditions
'through all weathers.'
So how often do you have to groom them?
Not very often. But they still like a good groom every so often.
-Do they make good pets?
-They do make good pets.
A lot of people use them now for children to be able to ride them.
Could an adult, a small adult, ride one of these ponies?
Yes, a small adult would be able to go on one of these ponies.
-Have you been on her?
-Yes, I've been on her.
-Is she a good ride?
-Yes, she's good.
-She doesn't mind?
-No, not at all.
Lucy, thank you very much. I'll just give her a few more finishing touches
and she's ready to go back into the field.
'From these handsome ponies of the Highlands,
'it's high time we get back to our houses.'
What a great success story for that rare breed of pony.
Weren't they adorable?
We've shown Graham and Clare our three properties here in Lanarkshire.
But will one of them become their new home?
Let's find out.
Graham and Clare, we've had a great few days here in Scotland.
Starting off with the first property we showed you.
It was an old blacksmith's. 150 years old.
What did you think about that house?
My first reaction was very positive.
I liked it. It looked like an old property.
Clearly had been brought up to date,
but that was in keeping with the old nature of the stone property.
-Really liked it.
-Fell in love with that kitchen, didn't you, Clare?
-The kitchen hit the spot.
-And the en-suite bathrooms, I have to say.
So we then took you to see our second home.
Before we talk about the home, we should talk about the amazing countryside that surrounded it
and the old Iron Age fort, just for you, Graham,
right on your doorstep.
Yes, I couldn't have asked for much more, could I?
The view of the hills and the fort were absolutely superb.
And a beautiful hamlet that the property's in, as well.
I guess the only drawback was the size of the kitchen. That was smaller than the other two.
But once we heard the price, that opened up the options for dealing with the kitchen.
So, yes, really liked that property.
So our third and final property was our mystery house.
Just outside Motherwell, but surrounded by beautiful countryside.
I'd said I wanted something old with a bit of history.
I couldn't have got anything more than you gave us on that.
-It was a superb location.
Inside was very nice. For me, it was the best of the three kitchens.
I really liked that.
I think the one issue with that house is that it's part of a bigger community
and whilst we've said that's what we want,
I think being part of a community and living very close to a lot of people
are two very different things.
So that would probably stop us pursuing property three.
Looking at suitable properties for you in this area, in Lanarkshire,
because your wish list isn't that big,
there are houses out there that you can buy.
Question is, did we get close with any of our three?
We certainly would like to have another look at property two.
We'd like to give it some thought about the commuting distance.
We're going to go away and have a further think about that one.
I really hope it works out for you.
-Let's hope that second property is for you.
-Keep in touch.
-It's helped a lot. Been really useful.
-Thank you very much.
Well, that all sounds very promising.
Graham and Clare are leaving behind the south coast of England
for a slice of Lanarkshire's countryside.
And hopefully, our home in the hamlet will be their new Scottish rural retreat.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Until next time, bye-bye!
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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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.