Wiltshire Escape to the Country


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Wiltshire

Buyers are helped to find their dream homes. Denise Nurse goes property hunting with a young professional couple who are looking for a country house in Wiltshire.


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24 of these magnificent white horses

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lie scattered across Britain's hillsides.

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And the county I'm in today lays claim to 13 of them,

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the highest concentration in England.

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So, where am I? We'll find out in just a moment.

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On today's show, I'll be helping a young married couple

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buy their very first home together.

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We get off to a good start.

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I really like it.

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Then things just get better.

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Oh, wow! I like that very much.

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And from better, it goes to absolute best.

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This is absolutely what we would want.

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Today I'm in Wiltshire, a county renowned for the iconic white horses

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etched into its chalky slopes.

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It's thought the very first of these hillside figures date back to Celtic times

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and are an ancient symbol of worship.

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But these Wiltshire white horses are thought to have been made

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up to around 300 years ago

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and they were mainly to commemorate events such as battles or coronations.

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And the tradition is still alive and kicking,

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with the Devizes white horse being created to mark the millennium.

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But these striking landmarks

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are not the only things this fantastic county has going for it.

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Lying in the south of England,

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the large, land-locked county of Wiltshire

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is bordered by six other counties,

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including Hampshire and Somerset

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in a prime spot at the gateway to the West Country.

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Wiltshire is a particularly attractive, mostly rural, portion of the country,

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nearly half of which has been designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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The north-western pocket lies within the Cotswolds

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on the edge of which is the stately market town of Bradford on Avon

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which grew in the 18th and 19th centuries

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on the back of its prosperous wool trade.

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Many fine examples of historic architecture line the town's streets,

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notably the Church of St Lawrence,

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dating back to the eighth century.

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Moving further back in time,

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Wiltshire's landscape reveals much about ancient civilisations

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who have left their long-lasting mark here.

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Most famous, perhaps, are the Neolithic stone circles at Avebury

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and, of course, Stonehenge,

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which proudly stands on the undulating chalk downs of Salisbury Plain.

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Flowing serenely through the county,

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the 87-mile-long Kennet and Avon canal

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was built at the turn of the 19th century.

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This inland waterway weaves its way past Wiltshire's most spectacular sights

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via the Caen Hill flight of 29 locks

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that raise the canal over 200 feet in just under two miles.

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The route is also popular with walkers and cyclists

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who come here to experience this county's wonderful tranquil scenery.

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You certainly pay a premium for all this beauty here in Wiltshire.

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The average price of a detached property currently stands at £289,000.

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That's 38,000 or 14% more than the national figure.

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What's more, around hotspots like Marlborough

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or the southern Cotswolds villages like here in Castle Combe,

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you can expect to pay a premium of 15 to 20%.

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However, your money will go a little further

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if you head towards the towns of Melksham or somewhere like Trowbridge

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in the south of the county.

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But wherever you're looking, you can rest assured

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that this historic county is home to a rich mix of period property styles.

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The dramatic variations in geology across Wiltshire

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account for the huge variety of building materials used here.

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Distinctive honey-coloured limestone from the Cotswold belt

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has been used to construct many properties to the north-west of the county.

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Castle Combe must be one of the loveliest villages in the region

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that showcases 15th and 16th-century limestone homes at their finest.

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This detached four-bedroomed thatched cottage

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is a prime example of the local vernacular

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and is currently on the market for a premium price tag of £850,000.

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The mellow Cotswold stone gives way to red brick towards the east of the county.

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The main street in the market town of Marlborough

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retains many Tudor houses and Georgian colonnaded shops.

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Just outside the centre, this four bedroomed semi-detached Edwardian family home

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continues that period theme

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and comes with a price tag of £490,000.

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What a fantastic array of architectural styles there.

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But will we find anything to impress this week's couple?

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Let's meet them.

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Today's urban escapees are husband and wife duo Andrew and Rebecca,

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who have been married for two years and share this contemporary two-bed flat in south-west London.

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I bought the flat about six or seven years ago.

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When I bought it, I was a young, single man living on his own in London.

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-Miserable!

-I was very happy!

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And then Becky came along and I was even happier!

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For me, it's a bit masculine and soulless.

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It does have a soul. It's just a very ice cool soul!

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Not only has the temperature dipped in Andrew's flat,

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but they've also got cold feet about the city, too.

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We've outgrown the flat and we've outgrown London.

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Neither are suitable for what we want moving forward.

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We want the space and the elbow room to have a family, to have dogs.

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So it's a new home, a new area and a new business.

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For the last seven years I've been what's called an associate dentist

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in a practice here in London.

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I feel that I've learned all I can there and I'm ready to apply everything I've learned

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in a practice of my own, to realise my own vision if I can.

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And whilst Andrew is perfecting the smiles of his neighbours,

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Becky will be commuting back into London, where she works as a project manager.

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Although she does also have a few entrepreneurial ideas up her sleeve.

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I like to make my own cards and little interior things round the house.

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Crafty picture frames or the odd cushion cover.

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All a bit wonky and a bit quirky,

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but I don't mind that. I like that.

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It's no surprise, then, that when it comes to the house

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it's a battle of clinical versus creative.

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I really like minimalism.

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But I much prefer lots of rooms

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and character and features.

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But I'm quite easy. As long as there's a garden and a garage, I'm pretty easy.

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This is the first time they've bought a house together,

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so it could be an interesting journey.

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Wiltshire provides the ideal middle ground between Andrew's old uni friends in Wales

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and Rebecca's family in Leicestershire.

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And they're excited about getting to know the region better.

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I'm looking forward to exploring the local area.

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The high streets, the points of interest, bits of history.

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And basically, lots of exploring in the countryside.

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I'm really looking forward to getting back out on my bike again

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and being closer to the coast so I can go surfing

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and exploring the local pubs and that kind of thing!

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-Plus some good food.

-Obviously.

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The London flat is on the market

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and they have a clear idea of what they're willing to spend on their new Wiltshire home.

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The budget for the move is £450,000.

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Proximity to road and rail links

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is vital to Andrew and Becky for their work commutes.

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So our house search will concentrate

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on the villages around Marlborough towards the north of the county,

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all with easy access to the motorway.

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Time for us all to step into Wiltshire

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to nail the specifics of what they're looking for.

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-Hello, Becky and Andrew.

-Hi.

-Hi.

-Thank you for bringing me to Wiltshire.

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A gorgeous county, isn't it?

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-Really beautiful.

-Very different to London.

-Very different, yeah.

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We live in a flat in London. There's a lot of people around us.

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So we love the idea of having a house that's not attached to any other houses

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that has maybe some sort of a garden around it.

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I love the idea of a garage or something like that,

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but Becky has a better idea of what she'd like.

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Very relaxed, Andrew. "Yeah, maybe a garden. Oh, a bit of a garage"!

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-It'll be fine.

-Becky, details!

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Yes, definitely a garden. Definitely a garage.

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Time for a couple more bedrooms.

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A place where we can entertain and relax.

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I grew up in Ireland and we had about an acre of land around us.

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I remember as a kid running around the house and playing in the garden.

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So I love the idea of having a bit of space around us.

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That's the most important thing for me.

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I'm sure you can imagine this is a very popular beautiful part of the world.

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So it can be a bit challenging to get everything that you want.

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-Yes.

-Are you prepared for that?

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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You might have to work with her a bit on that!

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-I might cry.

-You might.

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Or you might smile. I hope you find the house you love.

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We have got three stunning properties to show you.

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-Are you ready?

-Ready.

-Yeah.

-Come on. Let's go.

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As for the property style,

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the jury's out on whether it should be characterful and cosy

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or cool and contemporary.

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We've got a selection of stunning properties

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which we hope will appeal to our buyers' differing tastes.

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But, as ever, I won't be revealing the price of each

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until they've had a guess first.

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Then the finale will be the mystery property.

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But could it be too close for comfort?

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We have some spectacular countryside to serve up with our first property,

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which is in the small hamlet of Honeystreet,

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but just a ten-minute drive from Pewsey

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that has a direct train into London which takes just over an hour.

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Honeystreet is set in a quiet rural area

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but benefits from a 200-year-old local pub

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which sits on the banks of the Kennet and Avon canal.

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And our first property is a 300-year-old cottage

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framed by a box hedge and wooden gate

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that looks as sweet as the village name would suggest.

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Right, my favourite part. Property number one.

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Now, Becky, you love history.

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-Yes.

-This house has bags of it.

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-1680.

-You're kidding!

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-Wow.

-No, Grade II listed.

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-Ooh.

-Wow!

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Oh, it says that on the chimney.

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Oh, my goodness.

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Proper old!

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It's beautiful.

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And it's detached.

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Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

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-Are you ready to start our Magical Mystery Tour?

-Absolutely.

-Let's head inside.

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'They seem awe-struck by the exterior of our 17th-century property.

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'And as they'll see, that historic charm continues inside.'

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Right. Come on in.

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Silence!

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What do you think?

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I really like it!

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Yeah? No, brilliant.

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Very interesting. Very interesting.

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It's interesting and quirky. The first bit I want to show you is the kitchen, through here.

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Becky, what do you think of this as a kitchen?

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It's not as big as I would have hoped.

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It's not really the family-gathering entertaining space.

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I quite like it. I do quite like it.

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Yeah, it is a little bit small,

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but small and perfectly proportioned, I would have thought.

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I really like it.

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If it's woodwork that you like, you'll love looking at these other rooms.

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Come this way.

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You've got this great space here

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which leads through to the main living room.

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Yeah.

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Oh, wow. Oh, wow!

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-Oh.

-I like that very much.

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That is lovely.

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-That's amazing.

-Gorgeous, isn't it?

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That is the sort of fireplace I'd sort of hoped for.

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It's beautiful.

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-It's very cosy.

-I really like it.

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-Andrew, you're surprising me.

-I'm surprising myself!

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I wasn't sure how you'd feel about this, given you love clean lines and open spaces. Not too many bits.

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I do really like it.

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Well, Andrew's reaction is a real revelation.

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Although this cottage is a complete contrast to the modern open-plan living he's used to,

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he seems to be warming to it.

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The layout here in this property

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is slightly unconventional,

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being that the family bathroom is down on the ground floor,

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just off the hallway, alongside a separate WC.

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There are also a further two reception areas

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at the back of the property, which could be used as a dining room and study,

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but are both currently set up as bedrooms.

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This could be handy when Becky and Andrew's family grows

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or for visiting friends and family.

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Upstairs on the first floor

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are the two remaining bedrooms.

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Right. Through here.

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-Pretty good sized master bedroom, I think, for a cottage.

-Yeah.

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I would... Wow, yeah. No, I would agree.

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That is a good size.

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I've got to let you know, though, no en-suite, as you can see.

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It still feels quite spacious, even though it does feel cosy.

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It seems to be working quite well, so far.

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Let's see if you like the garden just as much.

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And see if you like the price, too.

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After you, guys.

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'So far, so good for this delightful property.

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'And the garden continues in a similar vein

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'with hidden pockets that include a vegetable patch,

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'a patio area and a single garage for Andrew.

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'What's more, it's neighboured by cattle from the local dairy farm

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'and set against the backdrop of the Alton Barnes white horse.'

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Woo. OK.

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Your garden. Manageable?

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Very, yes. Yeah, very much.

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It's a good size. Not too obvious. Not too tailored.

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-Fantastic.

-And surrounded by history. Gorgeous characterful house.

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-Charming.

-Charming. Interesting. Fun. Quirky.

-Made Andrew smile.

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-Yeah.

-Will the price make you smile? How much do you think you'd have to pay for this to be yours?

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I'd say it's probably on the market for about...410.

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-OK.

-I think this is more the top end of our budget.

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I'd probably place it at £430,000.

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It comes in at £399,000.

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-That definitely makes it worth considering.

-It does, doesn't it?

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-Why don't you go think about it?

-A nice little surprise.

-Have another look around

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-with that new information with you.

-OK.

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-I'll come and see you later on.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

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'A healthy £51,000 under budget,

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'our first property is a charming, detached, Grade II listed cottage.

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'The layout currently lends itself

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'to two reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room

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'and four bedrooms.

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'Outside, the pretty cottage garden has Andrew's all-important garage.

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'The location is in a quiet hamlet surrounded by pasture land.'

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I did think that the layout of the house

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was going to be small, boxy rooms.

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The downstairs I actually was pleasantly surprised with.

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The rooms were bigger. The nooks worked very well. Not too boxy.

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The overall feeling from the cottage is that I like it very much.

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But I like more what could be done with it.

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Hey, there.

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It's tipping it down now.

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But you're still smiling, which is lovely.

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Come on.

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Wiltshire's dramatic landscape is home to some of Britain's most ancient architecture.

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It includes the Neolithic sarsens of Stonehenge

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and even older still,

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the Megalithic stones at Avebury,

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the village that marks the starting point of the Neolithic marathon.

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This event was created to raise funds for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

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and it's now become one of the sporting highlights in the county's cultural calendar.

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We arranged for our fitness-loving couple

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to experience the first leg of this scenic and energetic trail

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with Trust volunteer, Derek Guard.

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-Hello. Welcome to Avebury.

-Hi.

-Great to see you. You'll enjoy this.

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It's 26 miles from the historical centre of Avebury here

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with these lovely sarsen stones all around us

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going all the way to Stonehenge.

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How far will we be going today?

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About six miles. Just take in this mystical place

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cos there's energy here from all these stones.

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Just touch the stone and feel it.

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-I need all the help I can get!

-Are you ready?

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-I'm energised.

-Come on, then.

-Let's go.

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'The unique cross country trail links the two World Heritage sites

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'at Stonehenge and Avebury through some of the region's most glorious countryside,

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'be it on foot or by bike.'

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This is a good place to stop.

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We can see in the distance Silbury Hill.

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Silbury Hill is the largest man-made monument in Europe.

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It's the same size as one of the smaller pyramids in Egypt.

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Nobody really knows why it was built.

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-It's about 2,400 years old.

-Wow.

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-OK. Shall we carry on?

-Yeah.

-Let's go.

-Feeling good.

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'Sponsorship money raised by competitors

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'plays a vital role in helping protect Wiltshire's native wildlife

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as well as improving and maintaining their natural habitat.

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So what kind of prizes are there for the event?

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We don't give any prizes away, but when you've finished the 26 miles,

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we give you a gold medal.

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When I say gold, it's gold-plated!

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And you get free entry to Stonehenge.

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-And we give you some food, because after 26 miles, you deserve something to eat!

-Brilliant.

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'The finish line for Andrew and Becky is the summit of Tan Hill,

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'one of the highest points in the county

0:18:580:19:00

'and which offers a rewarding panoramic view across to the Cotswolds and Mendips.'

0:19:000:19:05

Brilliant.

0:19:070:19:08

Fantastic. That is amazing.

0:19:080:19:11

-Isn't that fantastic?

-That is absolutely beautiful.

0:19:110:19:14

Our buyers have a year to get fit for the next marathon between these iconic sites.

0:19:170:19:21

But we have just a couple of days to find them a winning property.

0:19:210:19:25

So with one house down, let's keep the momentum going.

0:19:250:19:28

Our next destination is situated further north of the county

0:19:360:19:40

in the village of Bradenstoke,

0:19:400:19:42

conveniently located for easy access to the M4

0:19:420:19:45

and just over ten miles from a mainline railway station into central London.

0:19:450:19:49

Bradenstoke is another attractive location

0:19:500:19:53

and offers a few more amenities than our first property,

0:19:530:19:56

including a pub and a village store.

0:19:560:19:59

Right in the heart of the village lies our second proposition,

0:20:000:20:04

which will hopefully offer them the upsize they're after.

0:20:040:20:06

Right. Property number two.

0:20:070:20:10

Very different, I would say.

0:20:110:20:13

Yeah, definitely. It looks a lot bigger.

0:20:130:20:15

-A lot bigger.

-And I'd say a lot newer.

0:20:150:20:18

You're right. It's a lot bigger looking.

0:20:180:20:21

Newer, yes,

0:20:210:20:23

-but still dates back to the 1800s.

-Really?

0:20:230:20:26

This used to be a farmhouse.

0:20:260:20:28

So it does have some history still.

0:20:280:20:30

-Brilliant.

-Nice.

0:20:300:20:32

It looks very impressive.

0:20:320:20:33

It looks really big compared to the last one we saw.

0:20:330:20:36

And yeah, fantastic.

0:20:360:20:38

It still looks like it has character.

0:20:380:20:41

-Shall I show you some character? Would you like to "wow"?

-Yes.

-Yes.

0:20:410:20:44

-Let's go.

-OK.

0:20:440:20:46

'First impressions are drawing our buyers in,

0:20:460:20:49

'so let's see if we can up-scale those reactions inside,

0:20:490:20:52

'as in true farmhouse tradition, we enter using the back door.'

0:20:520:20:56

Right.

0:20:560:20:57

-I think this is a bit bigger!

-Whoa!

0:20:570:21:00

That's much bigger. Wow. That's brilliant.

0:21:020:21:05

-Oh, my goodness!

-If you step forward a bit,

0:21:050:21:08

you can really get a feel of how much space you have.

0:21:080:21:11

You don't just have the kitchen, there's a seating area round there.

0:21:110:21:15

Oh, blimey!

0:21:150:21:17

This is a lovely size.

0:21:180:21:20

It's a really sociable kitchen, isn't it?

0:21:200:21:23

And, with all this space, you have yet more.

0:21:230:21:25

Through there is a good-sized utility room as well.

0:21:250:21:28

I didn't think we'd be able to find anything this big for a kitchen.

0:21:280:21:33

This house is big.

0:21:330:21:36

-Lots more to see. Come on.

-OK.

0:21:360:21:38

'I think that's top marks for the kitchen.

0:21:390:21:42

'So let's hope the next room makes the grade.'

0:21:420:21:44

This is the second reception room.

0:21:460:21:49

There's another one on the other side of the stairwell.

0:21:490:21:53

-Yeah.

-Wow.

-Two reception rooms. That's nice.

0:21:530:21:57

-It got a wow!

-Yeah.

-That fireplace is fantastic.

0:21:570:22:00

I feel...

0:22:000:22:01

like I can see our things here.

0:22:010:22:04

This is absolutely what I would want.

0:22:040:22:08

So it's got two reception rooms. If it had a third, how would you feel about that?

0:22:080:22:13

-That would be absolutely no problem at all.

-Amazing.

-Good.

0:22:140:22:16

Cos it has. It's this way.

0:22:160:22:19

It's a good size, as well.

0:22:220:22:23

Oh, blimey!

0:22:230:22:25

Brilliant.

0:22:250:22:26

Definitely suggests man cave. This would obviously be my room!

0:22:260:22:29

-I was about to ask, what would you do with this space?

-Make it my room.

0:22:290:22:33

-Definitely.

-You and the future dog can sit in here.

-Fine! Absolutely fine.

0:22:330:22:38

'Upstairs, the space is just as impressive

0:22:380:22:41

'and provides five bedrooms in total,

0:22:410:22:43

'four of which make use of a modern family bathroom.

0:22:430:22:47

'They include two large double bedrooms,

0:22:470:22:49

'one with attractive sash windows,

0:22:490:22:51

'and lying between them is a cosier double.

0:22:510:22:54

'The smallest room is currently being used as a study

0:22:550:22:58

'and that just leaves the room for Andrew and Becky.'

0:22:580:23:01

Right, you've got a bathroom there,

0:23:030:23:05

which really only serves this room, which is the master bedroom.

0:23:050:23:09

Wow!

0:23:110:23:12

Yes, this is big again. Really big.

0:23:120:23:14

I'm just seeing this fireplace behind you.

0:23:140:23:17

Yes, and some hidden charm as well.

0:23:170:23:19

-This is a working fireplace, so cosy nights in for the two of you?

-Absolutely brilliant.

0:23:190:23:24

-That is a nice touch.

-Loving it?

-Yeah.

-I really am.

0:23:240:23:27

Let's go see the garden, then. That's the only bit left to see.

0:23:270:23:31

Let's go.

0:23:310:23:32

'Moving outside, there's a garage that no doubt Andrew will find useful.

0:23:340:23:39

'And the compact garden has been divided into a lawned area

0:23:390:23:42

'with a large decked terrace.'

0:23:420:23:44

Here we go.

0:23:470:23:48

From over here, you get another view of the house.

0:23:480:23:52

Yes. You can see how big it is from out here, can't you?

0:23:520:23:55

OK, you like it. It's big.

0:23:550:23:58

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

0:23:580:24:01

I'd be surprised if it was on for 475.

0:24:020:24:05

I'd really be interested. But I'd say it's more like 500.

0:24:050:24:08

OK.

0:24:080:24:09

I think it would be more than our budget.

0:24:100:24:14

Maybe £465,000.

0:24:140:24:17

OK.

0:24:170:24:18

Well, what if it were on for 450?

0:24:180:24:21

Oh!

0:24:230:24:25

-That's really...

-That's a lot of house for the money.

0:24:250:24:29

-That is good news.

-That's really good news, yes.

0:24:290:24:32

That's... I... We really need to have a think about this.

0:24:320:24:34

There are a lot of rooms in there.

0:24:340:24:37

-Yep.

-Go and explore them a little

0:24:370:24:39

-and have a think about it.

-OK.

0:24:390:24:41

-I will find you somewhere in the big mansion.

-OK.

0:24:410:24:45

Coming in exactly on budget

0:24:460:24:48

at £450,000,

0:24:480:24:50

the second property is an impressive detached former farmhouse

0:24:500:24:54

with a price tag that's music to our buyers' ears.

0:24:540:24:57

From the outside, the house looks really big.

0:25:120:25:14

And when you come inside, if anything it feels even bigger.

0:25:140:25:17

I couldn't believe how large the kitchen was

0:25:170:25:20

and that there was initially we thought two reception rooms

0:25:200:25:24

and then there was the third. It kept going on and on.

0:25:240:25:26

So yes, absolutely brilliant.

0:25:260:25:28

When I first saw the front of the house,

0:25:280:25:30

I thought it was obviously much bigger than the other one

0:25:300:25:35

and I was really quite impressed with the height

0:25:350:25:38

and stature of it.

0:25:380:25:40

I loved the red brick.

0:25:400:25:42

All the rooms were really functional and practical

0:25:420:25:45

as well as being picturesque and with lovely features.

0:25:450:25:50

So I have lots to think about

0:25:500:25:53

because I'm impressed and potentially excited.

0:25:530:25:56

-Coming down here. Seen everything?

-Yep.

0:25:560:26:00

-Yeah.

-Got a real feel for the place?

-Yeah.

-I think so.

0:26:000:26:03

-It's been a long day, hasn't it?

-A long day.

0:26:030:26:05

We've still got another house to look at, but that's tomorrow.

0:26:050:26:08

-Come on.

-OK.

0:26:080:26:10

With the day drawing to a close,

0:26:200:26:22

Andrew and Becky have time to reflect

0:26:220:26:24

on the two properties they've seen so far

0:26:240:26:26

as the first stage of our house hunt comes to an end.

0:26:260:26:30

On a budget of £450,000

0:26:370:26:40

London-based couple Andrew and Becky are desperate to quit the city

0:26:400:26:44

and move towards a new life together in the Wiltshire countryside

0:26:440:26:48

where they hope to extend the family, starting with a dog.

0:26:480:26:51

They've already viewed two outstanding properties,

0:26:510:26:54

either of which could make their idyllic country home.

0:26:540:26:57

But coming up, our mystery property leaves them flabbergasted.

0:26:570:27:01

I... This is stunning.

0:27:020:27:04

Absolutely beautiful.

0:27:040:27:06

Oh!

0:27:060:27:08

I really like this.

0:27:080:27:11

And I catch up with one of our previous Wiltshire house-buyers

0:27:110:27:14

who's very much at home here.

0:27:140:27:16

I'm really pleased with how yesterday went.

0:27:190:27:22

I think Andrew and Becky have really embraced this in a positive and enthusiastic way.

0:27:220:27:27

And it looks like the weather is brightening up as well.

0:27:270:27:29

But today it's the mystery house,

0:27:290:27:32

and, as ever, we're going to take them to something that they would have dismissed on paper.

0:27:320:27:36

But I have a feeling, if there's any house that's going to change their minds,

0:27:360:27:39

it'll be this one.

0:27:390:27:41

It's the mystery house today. Are you worried?

0:27:440:27:46

BOTH: No!

0:27:460:27:49

Courses not. And neighbours and community. How are you feeling about that?

0:27:490:27:52

As long as there was a little bit of room around us,

0:27:520:27:55

you know, I was quite happy.

0:27:550:27:58

-And...

-Go on.

0:27:580:28:00

Your tolerance for the proximity of people has lessened.

0:28:000:28:03

It's lessened with the impressiveness of the houses you've shown us!

0:28:030:28:06

'Well, that's very good to hear,

0:28:090:28:10

'as the mystery house will definitely test their neighbourly goodwill.

0:28:100:28:14

'And to get there, we're heading back to Bradenstoke,

0:28:140:28:17

'where our second property was located.

0:28:170:28:19

'Becky and Andrew can't wait to embrace village life

0:28:190:28:23

'and Bradenstoke is home to a vibrant community.

0:28:230:28:25

'So this time around, we're going to experience a little more of the area

0:28:250:28:30

'and in particular, the village's dog-walking field,

0:28:300:28:32

'where local resident Sue and her pet dog

0:28:320:28:35

'are out to stretch their legs.'

0:28:350:28:37

Is this your little one?

0:28:370:28:38

Yes, this is Skye.

0:28:380:28:40

She's a Jack Russell cross Maltese and she's almost two.

0:28:400:28:44

She likes coming up here, playing with all her friends.

0:28:440:28:49

We've got quite a few dogs in the village at the moment.

0:28:490:28:52

-Isn't it a wonderful facility?

-It's a really communal area, isn't it?

0:28:520:28:56

-Do you get to know people through coming here?

-You do.

0:28:560:28:58

In this village, most people own a dog.

0:28:580:29:01

If you don't own a dog, you own a horse.

0:29:010:29:04

Right. We'll get a dog, then!

0:29:040:29:07

Well, if we're going to get any chance of you doing any dog walking round here,

0:29:090:29:12

-we have to find a property first.

-Yes.

-Yes.

0:29:120:29:15

We'll have to leave you now, but thanks very much for your time.

0:29:150:29:17

-Thank you.

-Nice to meet you.

-Bye.

0:29:170:29:19

'Leaving the dogs to enjoy a run-around,

0:29:210:29:24

'let's unveil the mystery property.'

0:29:240:29:26

Right. Time for the mystery house.

0:29:270:29:30

The mystery property is attached.

0:29:300:29:33

-Right.

-Ah.

0:29:330:29:35

-And it's not that one!

-OK.

-OK.

0:29:350:29:38

-It's this one.

-OK.

0:29:380:29:40

Ah.

0:29:400:29:41

The good news is, it used to be a pub!

0:29:410:29:43

Fantastic!

0:29:430:29:45

It was divided up in the '90s and renovated completely.

0:29:450:29:50

But it's Grade II listed, 17th century,

0:29:500:29:52

so still lots of history.

0:29:520:29:54

I know it's a bit unfair, cos you can't see much of it.

0:29:540:29:57

-What are your first thoughts?

-Small!

0:29:570:29:59

Yes, but it's the end, isn't it?

0:29:590:30:03

It's still lovely.

0:30:030:30:05

Let me show you more of the property. It's really not that small!

0:30:050:30:08

OK.

0:30:080:30:09

'First appearances are definitely deceiving with this mystery house.

0:30:090:30:13

'Although we know they have strong feelings about being attached,

0:30:130:30:16

'I think they should reserve judgement,

0:30:160:30:19

'as there's so much more to this property inside than they would expect.'

0:30:190:30:22

Oh, crikey!

0:30:240:30:26

Ah, you're kidding us! This is stunning!

0:30:260:30:29

Absolutely beautiful!

0:30:290:30:31

I really like this.

0:30:340:30:36

-There's a pantry!

-There's a pantry

0:30:360:30:38

and there's a utility room/ laundry room.

0:30:380:30:41

A lovely central island. Nice and big.

0:30:410:30:43

I love the sink in the central island and the wooden work surfaces.

0:30:430:30:47

-Really, really nice.

-Good units. Lots of space.

0:30:470:30:51

Oh, I really like this!

0:30:510:30:52

-Then you'll love this bit, too. Let's go to the sitting room.

-OK.

0:30:520:30:56

-After you.

-Thank you.

0:30:560:30:57

So here you go.

0:31:000:31:02

-Oh, this is nice.

-Cosy living room.

0:31:020:31:05

Beautiful again.

0:31:050:31:06

Wood-burning stove. Great fireplace.

0:31:060:31:09

Yes, fireplace.

0:31:090:31:12

That is good.

0:31:120:31:13

This is a lovely room. Very warm.

0:31:130:31:15

Feels very comfortable, homely.

0:31:150:31:18

I can't wait to see upstairs now.

0:31:180:31:20

-This is feeling very good.

-Yeah, it is.

0:31:200:31:22

Let's go and check out the bedrooms.

0:31:220:31:24

'I think it's safe to say we're onto a winner with our mystery property.

0:31:270:31:30

'It's certainly getting very positive reactions from all parties.

0:31:300:31:34

'Let's hope the sleeping arrangements hit the mark as well.

0:31:340:31:37

'There's a shower room off the utility room downstairs

0:31:370:31:41

'and upstairs, the bathing options are really rather special.'

0:31:410:31:45

We're on the way to the master bedroom,

0:31:450:31:47

but I thought you might want to see the bathroom.

0:31:470:31:50

Ooh!

0:31:500:31:52

-Ooh!

-Oh, it's brilliant.

0:31:520:31:54

That is pretty "Let's not do anything to it" brilliant.

0:31:540:31:58

Do you remember the his and hers sinks that you said you'd really like some day?

0:31:580:32:02

-Come and look at the master bedroom.

-You go first.

0:32:020:32:04

Here we go.

0:32:070:32:09

This could be for the two of you.

0:32:100:32:12

Oh, this is lovely again.

0:32:120:32:14

It's big!

0:32:140:32:15

-Good size.

-So you like the size?

0:32:150:32:18

-Yep. Storage.

-And that's a big bed, isn't it?

0:32:180:32:21

Yeah, it's huge.

0:32:210:32:22

So it's a four-bedroomed property. This is definitely the biggest.

0:32:220:32:27

-OK?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:32:270:32:29

-You've gone a bit quiet.

-Yeah.

0:32:290:32:31

I... Yeah, I've run out of superlatives!

0:32:310:32:35

'The three remaining bedrooms include a double with exposed brickwork,

0:32:350:32:40

'and then there are two slightly smaller bedrooms.

0:32:400:32:43

'With the accommodation options covered,

0:32:430:32:46

'all that remains is to see if they're as blown away by the space outside.

0:32:460:32:50

'The house has been renovated to an exceptional standard

0:32:500:32:53

'and the garden certainly wasn't an after-thought.

0:32:530:32:56

'It features lovely lawned areas,

0:32:560:32:59

'a well-stocked pond and a double garage.'

0:32:590:33:01

-You've seen it all.

-Yeah, I really... I like...

0:33:030:33:05

I mean, I love the size of the garage

0:33:050:33:08

and I like this more functional bit and the garden is gorgeous.

0:33:080:33:13

I really like everything.

0:33:130:33:16

Ooh, so that makes the big question all the more important.

0:33:160:33:19

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

0:33:190:33:23

I'm gonna say maybe 475.

0:33:230:33:26

OK.

0:33:260:33:28

Yeah. I think it's gonna be over our budget.

0:33:280:33:32

So I would have said £460,000.

0:33:320:33:35

This house is on the market

0:33:350:33:37

at five pounds short of £450,000.

0:33:370:33:43

BECKY GIGGLES

0:33:430:33:45

Get your thinking caps on, because the next stage will be some decisions to be made.

0:33:460:33:50

-Yeah.

-Go on. I'll see you later on.

0:33:500:33:53

Go and look at that garden.

0:33:530:33:55

I have a warm feeling inside. It's so nice!

0:33:560:33:59

This is the first time they've house-hunted together.

0:33:590:34:01

And what I love about this property is that they walked in and they just had that feeling.

0:34:010:34:05

Could this be the one?

0:34:050:34:08

Coming in just under their £450,000 budget,

0:34:090:34:12

'our mystery property is a wonderful Grade II listed semi-detached cottage

0:34:120:34:18

with a wealth of character throughout.

0:34:180:34:20

It has a fantastic, spacious country kitchen/ diner,

0:34:200:34:23

and a sitting room complete with a wood-burning stove.

0:34:230:34:26

-This is great.

-That's brilliant.

0:34:370:34:39

-It's huge! I like all the storage here that they've built in.

-Yeah.

0:34:390:34:43

Brilliant.

0:34:430:34:44

As I came round the corner,

0:34:440:34:46

and I started to see the face of the house,

0:34:460:34:49

it was obviously much larger. It was really pretty.

0:34:490:34:53

It's absolutely lovely. Exactly the sort of thing I would look for.

0:34:530:34:57

The first house we saw had that whole magical, mystical feel about it,

0:34:570:35:01

which appealed to Becky.

0:35:010:35:03

The second house had the more modern practical feel to it, which appealed to me.

0:35:030:35:08

This house combines both. It's bang on the money.

0:35:080:35:12

We're both really impressed by it.

0:35:120:35:15

It's as close to perfect as could be found, I think.

0:35:150:35:17

I love these details!

0:35:200:35:22

-Hello?

-Hello! You haven't moved in yet!

0:35:230:35:26

-Nearly!

-I've come to turf you out.

0:35:260:35:28

Thank you.

0:35:280:35:30

-Did you enjoy that?

-Really did.

-Yeah.

-It's beautiful.

0:35:300:35:33

-It's been a great couple of days, hasn't it?

-Really enjoyed it.

-Really good fun.

0:35:330:35:37

-Time to find somewhere to sit down and mull it over.

-Yes.

-OK.

0:35:370:35:40

On Escape to the Country, we're often asked

0:35:520:35:54

what happens to our buyers once they've made the move

0:35:540:35:56

and how their lives have changed.

0:35:560:35:58

Since we're in Wiltshire, we've come to this pretty village near Salisbury

0:35:580:36:02

to meet a lady who should be able to answer some of those questions.

0:36:020:36:06

A year ago, we came to the aid of Linda

0:36:070:36:10

who was being helped by her friend, Liz,

0:36:100:36:12

to make her first-ever move from her childhood home in London,

0:36:120:36:15

as it was being demolished by developers within six weeks.

0:36:150:36:19

Fortunately, she was offered a very healthy sum of money for the plot,

0:36:190:36:22

enabling Linda to retire from her work as a PA

0:36:220:36:26

and follow her dream by moving to Wiltshire.

0:36:260:36:28

Her property hunt with Jules Hudson got off to a very positive start.

0:36:280:36:33

OK, ladies, here we are.

0:36:330:36:35

Oh, that looks lovely!

0:36:350:36:37

It's very, very promising. Just the sort of style I was looking for.

0:36:370:36:41

On her wish list was the desire for four bedrooms

0:36:410:36:44

to accommodate visiting friends

0:36:440:36:45

as well as a spacious kitchen.

0:36:450:36:47

This is it.

0:36:470:36:50

Oh, that's lovely. Yes.

0:36:500:36:51

-An island unit. Plenty of cupboard space. Yes.

-Granite tops.

-Yes.

0:36:510:36:56

'And the price was on the money, too.

0:36:560:36:58

'Linda fell in love with this beautiful period house

0:36:580:37:02

'and in the end, the other two properties we showed her

0:37:020:37:04

'just couldn't compete.

0:37:040:37:06

'So she took the plunge, bought her first-ever house

0:37:060:37:09

'and moved in some six months ago.

0:37:090:37:11

'I've come to meet Linda to find out how she's enjoying her new life.'

0:37:110:37:16

-Hello, Linda. Denise.

-Hi, Denise. Lovely to meet you.

0:37:190:37:23

-Do come in.

-Thank you.

0:37:230:37:24

-Linda, this kitchen is gorgeous!

-It's lovely, isn't it? I'm very pleased with it.

0:37:310:37:36

Having the help of Escape to the Country was absolutely invaluable.

0:37:360:37:39

This was the very first house Jules showed you.

0:37:390:37:42

It wasn't just the first house I saw on Escape to the Country,

0:37:420:37:45

it was the first house I saw at all.

0:37:450:37:46

I fell in love with it absolutely immediately.

0:37:460:37:50

I was a real townie. I've never lived in the country before.

0:37:500:37:53

It's been a whole new experience.

0:37:530:37:54

When I've been in the village store, people say, "Are you the lady that was on TV?"

0:37:540:37:59

and we've got chatting.

0:37:590:38:00

-So that's broken the ice a few times.

-I'm glad we helped not only find you a home,

0:38:000:38:05

-but find you friends, as well!

-Oh, you have!

0:38:050:38:07

'The house has certainly lived up to expectations.

0:38:070:38:10

'And the peaceful garden has been a revelation, too.'

0:38:100:38:13

-It is stunning!

-It's lovely, isn't it?

0:38:130:38:17

Another unexpected bonus is the number of birds that I get here.

0:38:170:38:20

You do look so relaxed and happy.

0:38:200:38:23

I think relaxed is definitely the phrase I'd use.

0:38:230:38:25

People said that when they used to see me before I moved,

0:38:250:38:28

I was all tense and my shoulders were hunched up.

0:38:280:38:31

And now it's noticeable how much more relaxed I am.

0:38:310:38:34

And happy. I'm so happy, I can't believe it.

0:38:340:38:37

-It's incredible.

-And it's not just this house, is it?

0:38:370:38:39

-You've really embraced the community and they've embraced you, too.

-Very much so.

0:38:390:38:43

I feel so welcome.

0:38:430:38:45

'And where better to meet Linda's new-found friends

0:38:450:38:48

'than at the local pub?

0:38:480:38:49

'It's only a short walk away from Linda's home.'

0:38:490:38:52

Denise, welcome to The Fountain.

0:38:550:38:57

A-ha!

0:38:570:38:59

This is home from home, is it?

0:38:590:39:00

It certainly is, yes. I spend many a happy hour here!

0:39:000:39:03

Hello!

0:39:030:39:04

ALL GREET EACH OTHER

0:39:040:39:07

This is my friend, Annie, who's responsible for my downfall!

0:39:090:39:13

Linda moved here in December, and I moved here in October.

0:39:130:39:15

Exactly the same as Linda, I've made so many friends.

0:39:150:39:18

-Real friends here. Just struck lucky.

-No, it's been brilliant.

0:39:180:39:22

I'm sure it has a lot to do with all of you.

0:39:220:39:25

Not just luck, the way you've approached it all.

0:39:250:39:27

The way you welcome everyone in.

0:39:270:39:29

I'm feeling very cosy and welcome! I could happily sit here!

0:39:290:39:32

Oh, well, do!

0:39:320:39:34

I have to get back to work. There's another lovely couple hoping to make Wiltshire their home.

0:39:340:39:37

I recommend it. Tell them to go for it!

0:39:370:39:39

I will. I hope they choose one of our properties.

0:39:390:39:41

-So I wish you luck!

-Thank you!

0:39:410:39:44

'There's no doubt that moving to the Wiltshire countryside

0:39:440:39:47

'has transformed Linda's life for the better.

0:39:470:39:49

'And now it's time to see if the county has worked its magic

0:39:490:39:52

'on Becky and Andrew, too.'

0:39:520:39:54

-We've had a fun couple of days, haven't we?

-Really have.

0:39:540:39:58

First time house-hunting together. Growing-up time!

0:39:580:40:01

Yes!

0:40:010:40:03

You liked all of our houses, I think.

0:40:030:40:04

Let's go through all of them.

0:40:040:40:06

We started with something very old. What did you think of the first house?

0:40:060:40:12

I was completely in love with the outside of it when I saw it.

0:40:120:40:18

It was magical.

0:40:180:40:20

As we moved round, it was apparent that it didn't have the space we wanted.

0:40:200:40:24

It was such a special little house.

0:40:240:40:26

But our overriding opinion

0:40:260:40:29

was what will we have to do to make this right for us?

0:40:290:40:32

What you probably learnt from that first property

0:40:320:40:35

is the compromises that come with something quite so old

0:40:350:40:39

with all the higgledy-piggledy and nooks and crannies you're looking for.

0:40:390:40:43

So it was really nice to then take you to something very different.

0:40:430:40:46

The second property was huge in comparison.

0:40:460:40:48

The first thing that hits you when you look at that property is the size.

0:40:480:40:54

Five bedrooms, three reception rooms, huge kitchen.

0:40:540:40:57

We were already very excited about what we could do with it.

0:40:570:41:01

But it would almost be having rooms for rooms' sake downstairs.

0:41:010:41:06

Especially while there is just the two of us at the moment.

0:41:060:41:08

And then we had the mystery house.

0:41:080:41:11

I love the mystery property because if there's one thing you said you definitely did not want,

0:41:110:41:16

it was a house that wasn't detached.

0:41:160:41:19

What were your first thoughts as we walked up?

0:41:190:41:21

As we walked up, we were both a bit confused as to what we were looking at.

0:41:210:41:24

Initially I was quite disappointed. I thought, "It's quite small and it's attached. This is not for me."

0:41:240:41:30

I was really impressed when we came round the corner.

0:41:300:41:32

The first thing that struck me is it's much bigger than I thought.

0:41:320:41:37

The original part that was the old pub,

0:41:370:41:41

the exposed woodwork, the two open fires,

0:41:410:41:45

one in the living area, one in the kitchen,

0:41:450:41:48

which I thought was really nice.

0:41:480:41:50

And then the kitchen itself, with the central island.

0:41:500:41:53

It was quite a modern, functional kitchen but with the range and the farmhouse feel.

0:41:530:41:59

So, I think it was a great journey. Three houses that you seemed to like each one more and more.

0:41:590:42:03

But the big question is, of course, what's next? Will you go for any of them?

0:42:030:42:08

I think we're going to have a really hard think about it.

0:42:080:42:12

-There's no doubt that the final house was...

-Would fit the bill.

0:42:120:42:16

Was as close to perfect as I think we could find.

0:42:160:42:20

We would seriously consider putting an offer in.

0:42:200:42:23

Oh, that's music to my ears! I love it!

0:42:230:42:25

And what I want to know is, you put an offer in

0:42:250:42:29

and you've moved in, I'll come back for a barbie!

0:42:290:42:32

-Sounds good.

-We'll let you know.

0:42:320:42:34

Best of luck. Let us know how you get on.

0:42:340:42:36

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:360:42:37

Andrew and Becky have certainly chosen a beautiful part of the country to move to.

0:42:420:42:47

I think that the energy and fun with which they've undertaken this property search

0:42:470:42:51

has really served them well,

0:42:510:42:53

especially when it came to our mystery house

0:42:530:42:56

which I think could be the one for them.

0:42:560:42:58

But it does just go to show

0:42:580:43:00

that sometimes when you focus on the things you don't want

0:43:000:43:02

you could miss out on something that's just for you.

0:43:020:43:06

I'll see you next time on Escape to the Country.

0:43:060:43:08

I'm absolutely delighted that Becky and Andrew

0:43:090:43:12

did actually put in an offer on the mystery house that's been accepted.

0:43:120:43:16

They have their hearts set on getting two spaniels as soon as they move.

0:43:160:43:21

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

0:43:210:43:26

and need our help, please apply online at:

0:43:260:43:31

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:510:43:54

Denise Nurse goes property hunting with a young professional couple who have £450,000 to spend on a country home in Wiltshire. But will their positive energy result in a house purchase?

Away from their search, Denise also catches up with a previous buyer who bought an Escape to the Country house, to see how life has changed since she moved into her Wiltshire home.