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
lie scattered across Britain's hillsides.
And the county I'm in today lays claim to 13 of them,
the highest concentration in England.
So, where am I? We'll find out in just a moment.
On today's show, I'll be helping a young married couple
buy their very first home together.
We get off to a good start.
I really like it.
Then things just get better.
Oh, wow! I like that very much.
And from better, it goes to absolute best.
This is absolutely what we would want.
Today I'm in Wiltshire, a county renowned for the iconic white horses
etched into its chalky slopes.
It's thought the very first of these hillside figures date back to Celtic times
and are an ancient symbol of worship.
But these Wiltshire white horses are thought to have been made
up to around 300 years ago
and they were mainly to commemorate events such as battles or coronations.
And the tradition is still alive and kicking,
with the Devizes white horse being created to mark the millennium.
But these striking landmarks
are not the only things this fantastic county has going for it.
Lying in the south of England,
the large, land-locked county of Wiltshire
is bordered by six other counties,
including Hampshire and Somerset
in a prime spot at the gateway to the West Country.
Wiltshire is a particularly attractive, mostly rural, portion of the country,
nearly half of which has been designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The north-western pocket lies within the Cotswolds
on the edge of which is the stately market town of Bradford on Avon
which grew in the 18th and 19th centuries
on the back of its prosperous wool trade.
Many fine examples of historic architecture line the town's streets,
notably the Church of St Lawrence,
dating back to the eighth century.
Moving further back in time,
Wiltshire's landscape reveals much about ancient civilisations
who have left their long-lasting mark here.
Most famous, perhaps, are the Neolithic stone circles at Avebury
and, of course, Stonehenge,
which proudly stands on the undulating chalk downs of Salisbury Plain.
Flowing serenely through the county,
the 87-mile-long Kennet and Avon canal
was built at the turn of the 19th century.
This inland waterway weaves its way past Wiltshire's most spectacular sights
via the Caen Hill flight of 29 locks
that raise the canal over 200 feet in just under two miles.
The route is also popular with walkers and cyclists
who come here to experience this county's wonderful tranquil scenery.
You certainly pay a premium for all this beauty here in Wiltshire.
The average price of a detached property currently stands at £289,000.
That's 38,000 or 14% more than the national figure.
What's more, around hotspots like Marlborough
or the southern Cotswolds villages like here in Castle Combe,
you can expect to pay a premium of 15 to 20%.
However, your money will go a little further
if you head towards the towns of Melksham or somewhere like Trowbridge
in the south of the county.
But wherever you're looking, you can rest assured
that this historic county is home to a rich mix of period property styles.
The dramatic variations in geology across Wiltshire
account for the huge variety of building materials used here.
Distinctive honey-coloured limestone from the Cotswold belt
has been used to construct many properties to the north-west of the county.
Castle Combe must be one of the loveliest villages in the region
that showcases 15th and 16th-century limestone homes at their finest.
This detached four-bedroomed thatched cottage
is a prime example of the local vernacular
and is currently on the market for a premium price tag of £850,000.
The mellow Cotswold stone gives way to red brick towards the east of the county.
The main street in the market town of Marlborough
retains many Tudor houses and Georgian colonnaded shops.
Just outside the centre, this four bedroomed semi-detached Edwardian family home
continues that period theme
and comes with a price tag of £490,000.
What a fantastic array of architectural styles there.
But will we find anything to impress this week's couple?
Let's meet them.
Today's urban escapees are husband and wife duo Andrew and Rebecca,
who have been married for two years and share this contemporary two-bed flat in south-west London.
I bought the flat about six or seven years ago.
When I bought it, I was a young, single man living on his own in London.
-I was very happy!
And then Becky came along and I was even happier!
For me, it's a bit masculine and soulless.
It does have a soul. It's just a very ice cool soul!
Not only has the temperature dipped in Andrew's flat,
but they've also got cold feet about the city, too.
We've outgrown the flat and we've outgrown London.
Neither are suitable for what we want moving forward.
We want the space and the elbow room to have a family, to have dogs.
So it's a new home, a new area and a new business.
For the last seven years I've been what's called an associate dentist
in a practice here in London.
I feel that I've learned all I can there and I'm ready to apply everything I've learned
in a practice of my own, to realise my own vision if I can.
And whilst Andrew is perfecting the smiles of his neighbours,
Becky will be commuting back into London, where she works as a project manager.
Although she does also have a few entrepreneurial ideas up her sleeve.
I like to make my own cards and little interior things round the house.
Crafty picture frames or the odd cushion cover.
All a bit wonky and a bit quirky,
but I don't mind that. I like that.
It's no surprise, then, that when it comes to the house
it's a battle of clinical versus creative.
I really like minimalism.
But I much prefer lots of rooms
and character and features.
But I'm quite easy. As long as there's a garden and a garage, I'm pretty easy.
This is the first time they've bought a house together,
so it could be an interesting journey.
Wiltshire provides the ideal middle ground between Andrew's old uni friends in Wales
and Rebecca's family in Leicestershire.
And they're excited about getting to know the region better.
I'm looking forward to exploring the local area.
The high streets, the points of interest, bits of history.
And basically, lots of exploring in the countryside.
I'm really looking forward to getting back out on my bike again
and being closer to the coast so I can go surfing
and exploring the local pubs and that kind of thing!
-Plus some good food.
The London flat is on the market
and they have a clear idea of what they're willing to spend on their new Wiltshire home.
The budget for the move is £450,000.
Proximity to road and rail links
is vital to Andrew and Becky for their work commutes.
So our house search will concentrate
on the villages around Marlborough towards the north of the county,
all with easy access to the motorway.
Time for us all to step into Wiltshire
to nail the specifics of what they're looking for.
-Hello, Becky and Andrew.
-Thank you for bringing me to Wiltshire.
A gorgeous county, isn't it?
-Very different to London.
-Very different, yeah.
We live in a flat in London. There's a lot of people around us.
So we love the idea of having a house that's not attached to any other houses
that has maybe some sort of a garden around it.
I love the idea of a garage or something like that,
but Becky has a better idea of what she'd like.
Very relaxed, Andrew. "Yeah, maybe a garden. Oh, a bit of a garage"!
-It'll be fine.
Yes, definitely a garden. Definitely a garage.
Time for a couple more bedrooms.
A place where we can entertain and relax.
I grew up in Ireland and we had about an acre of land around us.
I remember as a kid running around the house and playing in the garden.
So I love the idea of having a bit of space around us.
That's the most important thing for me.
I'm sure you can imagine this is a very popular beautiful part of the world.
So it can be a bit challenging to get everything that you want.
-Are you prepared for that?
You might have to work with her a bit on that!
-I might cry.
Or you might smile. I hope you find the house you love.
We have got three stunning properties to show you.
-Are you ready?
-Come on. Let's go.
As for the property style,
the jury's out on whether it should be characterful and cosy
or cool and contemporary.
We've got a selection of stunning properties
which we hope will appeal to our buyers' differing tastes.
But, as ever, I won't be revealing the price of each
until they've had a guess first.
Then the finale will be the mystery property.
But could it be too close for comfort?
We have some spectacular countryside to serve up with our first property,
which is in the small hamlet of Honeystreet,
but just a ten-minute drive from Pewsey
that has a direct train into London which takes just over an hour.
Honeystreet is set in a quiet rural area
but benefits from a 200-year-old local pub
which sits on the banks of the Kennet and Avon canal.
And our first property is a 300-year-old cottage
framed by a box hedge and wooden gate
that looks as sweet as the village name would suggest.
Right, my favourite part. Property number one.
Now, Becky, you love history.
-This house has bags of it.
-No, Grade II listed.
Oh, it says that on the chimney.
Oh, my goodness.
And it's detached.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
-Are you ready to start our Magical Mystery Tour?
-Let's head inside.
'They seem awe-struck by the exterior of our 17th-century property.
'And as they'll see, that historic charm continues inside.'
Right. Come on in.
What do you think?
I really like it!
Yeah? No, brilliant.
Very interesting. Very interesting.
It's interesting and quirky. The first bit I want to show you is the kitchen, through here.
Becky, what do you think of this as a kitchen?
It's not as big as I would have hoped.
It's not really the family-gathering entertaining space.
I quite like it. I do quite like it.
Yeah, it is a little bit small,
but small and perfectly proportioned, I would have thought.
I really like it.
If it's woodwork that you like, you'll love looking at these other rooms.
Come this way.
You've got this great space here
which leads through to the main living room.
Oh, wow. Oh, wow!
-I like that very much.
That is lovely.
-Gorgeous, isn't it?
That is the sort of fireplace I'd sort of hoped for.
-It's very cosy.
-I really like it.
-Andrew, you're surprising me.
-I'm surprising myself!
I wasn't sure how you'd feel about this, given you love clean lines and open spaces. Not too many bits.
I do really like it.
Well, Andrew's reaction is a real revelation.
Although this cottage is a complete contrast to the modern open-plan living he's used to,
he seems to be warming to it.
The layout here in this property
is slightly unconventional,
being that the family bathroom is down on the ground floor,
just off the hallway, alongside a separate WC.
There are also a further two reception areas
at the back of the property, which could be used as a dining room and study,
but are both currently set up as bedrooms.
This could be handy when Becky and Andrew's family grows
or for visiting friends and family.
Upstairs on the first floor
are the two remaining bedrooms.
Right. Through here.
-Pretty good sized master bedroom, I think, for a cottage.
I would... Wow, yeah. No, I would agree.
That is a good size.
I've got to let you know, though, no en-suite, as you can see.
It still feels quite spacious, even though it does feel cosy.
It seems to be working quite well, so far.
Let's see if you like the garden just as much.
And see if you like the price, too.
After you, guys.
'So far, so good for this delightful property.
'And the garden continues in a similar vein
'with hidden pockets that include a vegetable patch,
'a patio area and a single garage for Andrew.
'What's more, it's neighboured by cattle from the local dairy farm
'and set against the backdrop of the Alton Barnes white horse.'
Your garden. Manageable?
Very, yes. Yeah, very much.
It's a good size. Not too obvious. Not too tailored.
-And surrounded by history. Gorgeous characterful house.
-Charming. Interesting. Fun. Quirky.
-Made Andrew smile.
-Will the price make you smile? How much do you think you'd have to pay for this to be yours?
I'd say it's probably on the market for about...410.
-I think this is more the top end of our budget.
I'd probably place it at £430,000.
It comes in at £399,000.
-That definitely makes it worth considering.
-It does, doesn't it?
-Why don't you go think about it?
-A nice little surprise.
-Have another look around
-with that new information with you.
-I'll come and see you later on.
-Thank you very much.
'A healthy £51,000 under budget,
'our first property is a charming, detached, Grade II listed cottage.
'The layout currently lends itself
'to two reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room
'and four bedrooms.
'Outside, the pretty cottage garden has Andrew's all-important garage.
'The location is in a quiet hamlet surrounded by pasture land.'
I did think that the layout of the house
was going to be small, boxy rooms.
The downstairs I actually was pleasantly surprised with.
The rooms were bigger. The nooks worked very well. Not too boxy.
The overall feeling from the cottage is that I like it very much.
But I like more what could be done with it.
It's tipping it down now.
But you're still smiling, which is lovely.
Wiltshire's dramatic landscape is home to some of Britain's most ancient architecture.
It includes the Neolithic sarsens of Stonehenge
and even older still,
the Megalithic stones at Avebury,
the village that marks the starting point of the Neolithic marathon.
This event was created to raise funds for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
and it's now become one of the sporting highlights in the county's cultural calendar.
We arranged for our fitness-loving couple
to experience the first leg of this scenic and energetic trail
with Trust volunteer, Derek Guard.
-Hello. Welcome to Avebury.
-Great to see you. You'll enjoy this.
It's 26 miles from the historical centre of Avebury here
with these lovely sarsen stones all around us
going all the way to Stonehenge.
How far will we be going today?
About six miles. Just take in this mystical place
cos there's energy here from all these stones.
Just touch the stone and feel it.
-I need all the help I can get!
-Are you ready?
-Come on, then.
'The unique cross country trail links the two World Heritage sites
'at Stonehenge and Avebury through some of the region's most glorious countryside,
'be it on foot or by bike.'
This is a good place to stop.
We can see in the distance Silbury Hill.
Silbury Hill is the largest man-made monument in Europe.
It's the same size as one of the smaller pyramids in Egypt.
Nobody really knows why it was built.
-It's about 2,400 years old.
-OK. Shall we carry on?
'Sponsorship money raised by competitors
'plays a vital role in helping protect Wiltshire's native wildlife
as well as improving and maintaining their natural habitat.
So what kind of prizes are there for the event?
We don't give any prizes away, but when you've finished the 26 miles,
we give you a gold medal.
When I say gold, it's gold-plated!
And you get free entry to Stonehenge.
-And we give you some food, because after 26 miles, you deserve something to eat!
'The finish line for Andrew and Becky is the summit of Tan Hill,
'one of the highest points in the county
'and which offers a rewarding panoramic view across to the Cotswolds and Mendips.'
Fantastic. That is amazing.
-Isn't that fantastic?
-That is absolutely beautiful.
Our buyers have a year to get fit for the next marathon between these iconic sites.
But we have just a couple of days to find them a winning property.
So with one house down, let's keep the momentum going.
Our next destination is situated further north of the county
in the village of Bradenstoke,
conveniently located for easy access to the M4
and just over ten miles from a mainline railway station into central London.
Bradenstoke is another attractive location
and offers a few more amenities than our first property,
including a pub and a village store.
Right in the heart of the village lies our second proposition,
which will hopefully offer them the upsize they're after.
Right. Property number two.
Very different, I would say.
Yeah, definitely. It looks a lot bigger.
-A lot bigger.
-And I'd say a lot newer.
You're right. It's a lot bigger looking.
-but still dates back to the 1800s.
This used to be a farmhouse.
So it does have some history still.
It looks very impressive.
It looks really big compared to the last one we saw.
And yeah, fantastic.
It still looks like it has character.
-Shall I show you some character? Would you like to "wow"?
'First impressions are drawing our buyers in,
'so let's see if we can up-scale those reactions inside,
'as in true farmhouse tradition, we enter using the back door.'
-I think this is a bit bigger!
That's much bigger. Wow. That's brilliant.
-Oh, my goodness!
-If you step forward a bit,
you can really get a feel of how much space you have.
You don't just have the kitchen, there's a seating area round there.
This is a lovely size.
It's a really sociable kitchen, isn't it?
And, with all this space, you have yet more.
Through there is a good-sized utility room as well.
I didn't think we'd be able to find anything this big for a kitchen.
This house is big.
-Lots more to see. Come on.
'I think that's top marks for the kitchen.
'So let's hope the next room makes the grade.'
This is the second reception room.
There's another one on the other side of the stairwell.
-Two reception rooms. That's nice.
-It got a wow!
-That fireplace is fantastic.
like I can see our things here.
This is absolutely what I would want.
So it's got two reception rooms. If it had a third, how would you feel about that?
-That would be absolutely no problem at all.
Cos it has. It's this way.
It's a good size, as well.
Definitely suggests man cave. This would obviously be my room!
-I was about to ask, what would you do with this space?
-Make it my room.
-You and the future dog can sit in here.
-Fine! Absolutely fine.
'Upstairs, the space is just as impressive
'and provides five bedrooms in total,
'four of which make use of a modern family bathroom.
'They include two large double bedrooms,
'one with attractive sash windows,
'and lying between them is a cosier double.
'The smallest room is currently being used as a study
'and that just leaves the room for Andrew and Becky.'
Right, you've got a bathroom there,
which really only serves this room, which is the master bedroom.
Yes, this is big again. Really big.
I'm just seeing this fireplace behind you.
Yes, and some hidden charm as well.
-This is a working fireplace, so cosy nights in for the two of you?
-That is a nice touch.
-I really am.
Let's go see the garden, then. That's the only bit left to see.
'Moving outside, there's a garage that no doubt Andrew will find useful.
'And the compact garden has been divided into a lawned area
'with a large decked terrace.'
Here we go.
From over here, you get another view of the house.
Yes. You can see how big it is from out here, can't you?
OK, you like it. It's big.
But how much do you think it's on the market for?
I'd be surprised if it was on for 475.
I'd really be interested. But I'd say it's more like 500.
I think it would be more than our budget.
Well, what if it were on for 450?
-That's a lot of house for the money.
-That is good news.
-That's really good news, yes.
That's... I... We really need to have a think about this.
There are a lot of rooms in there.
-Go and explore them a little
-and have a think about it.
-I will find you somewhere in the big mansion.
Coming in exactly on budget
the second property is an impressive detached former farmhouse
with a price tag that's music to our buyers' ears.
From the outside, the house looks really big.
And when you come inside, if anything it feels even bigger.
I couldn't believe how large the kitchen was
and that there was initially we thought two reception rooms
and then there was the third. It kept going on and on.
So yes, absolutely brilliant.
When I first saw the front of the house,
I thought it was obviously much bigger than the other one
and I was really quite impressed with the height
and stature of it.
I loved the red brick.
All the rooms were really functional and practical
as well as being picturesque and with lovely features.
So I have lots to think about
because I'm impressed and potentially excited.
-Coming down here. Seen everything?
-Got a real feel for the place?
-I think so.
-It's been a long day, hasn't it?
-A long day.
We've still got another house to look at, but that's tomorrow.
With the day drawing to a close,
Andrew and Becky have time to reflect
on the two properties they've seen so far
as the first stage of our house hunt comes to an end.
On a budget of £450,000
London-based couple Andrew and Becky are desperate to quit the city
and move towards a new life together in the Wiltshire countryside
where they hope to extend the family, starting with a dog.
They've already viewed two outstanding properties,
either of which could make their idyllic country home.
But coming up, our mystery property leaves them flabbergasted.
I... This is stunning.
I really like this.
And I catch up with one of our previous Wiltshire house-buyers
who's very much at home here.
I'm really pleased with how yesterday went.
I think Andrew and Becky have really embraced this in a positive and enthusiastic way.
And it looks like the weather is brightening up as well.
But today it's the mystery house,
and, as ever, we're going to take them to something that they would have dismissed on paper.
But I have a feeling, if there's any house that's going to change their minds,
it'll be this one.
It's the mystery house today. Are you worried?
Courses not. And neighbours and community. How are you feeling about that?
As long as there was a little bit of room around us,
you know, I was quite happy.
Your tolerance for the proximity of people has lessened.
It's lessened with the impressiveness of the houses you've shown us!
'Well, that's very good to hear,
'as the mystery house will definitely test their neighbourly goodwill.
'And to get there, we're heading back to Bradenstoke,
'where our second property was located.
'Becky and Andrew can't wait to embrace village life
'and Bradenstoke is home to a vibrant community.
'So this time around, we're going to experience a little more of the area
'and in particular, the village's dog-walking field,
'where local resident Sue and her pet dog
'are out to stretch their legs.'
Is this your little one?
Yes, this is Skye.
She's a Jack Russell cross Maltese and she's almost two.
She likes coming up here, playing with all her friends.
We've got quite a few dogs in the village at the moment.
-Isn't it a wonderful facility?
-It's a really communal area, isn't it?
-Do you get to know people through coming here?
In this village, most people own a dog.
If you don't own a dog, you own a horse.
Right. We'll get a dog, then!
Well, if we're going to get any chance of you doing any dog walking round here,
-we have to find a property first.
We'll have to leave you now, but thanks very much for your time.
-Nice to meet you.
'Leaving the dogs to enjoy a run-around,
'let's unveil the mystery property.'
Right. Time for the mystery house.
The mystery property is attached.
-And it's not that one!
-It's this one.
The good news is, it used to be a pub!
It was divided up in the '90s and renovated completely.
But it's Grade II listed, 17th century,
so still lots of history.
I know it's a bit unfair, cos you can't see much of it.
-What are your first thoughts?
Yes, but it's the end, isn't it?
It's still lovely.
Let me show you more of the property. It's really not that small!
'First appearances are definitely deceiving with this mystery house.
'Although we know they have strong feelings about being attached,
'I think they should reserve judgement,
'as there's so much more to this property inside than they would expect.'
Ah, you're kidding us! This is stunning!
I really like this.
-There's a pantry!
-There's a pantry
and there's a utility room/ laundry room.
A lovely central island. Nice and big.
I love the sink in the central island and the wooden work surfaces.
-Really, really nice.
-Good units. Lots of space.
Oh, I really like this!
-Then you'll love this bit, too. Let's go to the sitting room.
So here you go.
-Oh, this is nice.
-Cosy living room.
Wood-burning stove. Great fireplace.
That is good.
This is a lovely room. Very warm.
Feels very comfortable, homely.
I can't wait to see upstairs now.
-This is feeling very good.
-Yeah, it is.
Let's go and check out the bedrooms.
'I think it's safe to say we're onto a winner with our mystery property.
'It's certainly getting very positive reactions from all parties.
'Let's hope the sleeping arrangements hit the mark as well.
'There's a shower room off the utility room downstairs
'and upstairs, the bathing options are really rather special.'
We're on the way to the master bedroom,
but I thought you might want to see the bathroom.
-Oh, it's brilliant.
That is pretty "Let's not do anything to it" brilliant.
Do you remember the his and hers sinks that you said you'd really like some day?
-Come and look at the master bedroom.
-You go first.
Here we go.
This could be for the two of you.
Oh, this is lovely again.
-So you like the size?
-And that's a big bed, isn't it?
Yeah, it's huge.
So it's a four-bedroomed property. This is definitely the biggest.
-You've gone a bit quiet.
I... Yeah, I've run out of superlatives!
'The three remaining bedrooms include a double with exposed brickwork,
'and then there are two slightly smaller bedrooms.
'With the accommodation options covered,
'all that remains is to see if they're as blown away by the space outside.
'The house has been renovated to an exceptional standard
'and the garden certainly wasn't an after-thought.
'It features lovely lawned areas,
'a well-stocked pond and a double garage.'
-You've seen it all.
-Yeah, I really... I like...
I mean, I love the size of the garage
and I like this more functional bit and the garden is gorgeous.
I really like everything.
Ooh, so that makes the big question all the more important.
How much do you think this house is on the market for?
I'm gonna say maybe 475.
Yeah. I think it's gonna be over our budget.
So I would have said £460,000.
This house is on the market
at five pounds short of £450,000.
Get your thinking caps on, because the next stage will be some decisions to be made.
-Go on. I'll see you later on.
Go and look at that garden.
I have a warm feeling inside. It's so nice!
This is the first time they've house-hunted together.
And what I love about this property is that they walked in and they just had that feeling.
Could this be the one?
Coming in just under their £450,000 budget,
'our mystery property is a wonderful Grade II listed semi-detached cottage
with a wealth of character throughout.
It has a fantastic, spacious country kitchen/ diner,
and a sitting room complete with a wood-burning stove.
-This is great.
-It's huge! I like all the storage here that they've built in.
As I came round the corner,
and I started to see the face of the house,
it was obviously much larger. It was really pretty.
It's absolutely lovely. Exactly the sort of thing I would look for.
The first house we saw had that whole magical, mystical feel about it,
which appealed to Becky.
The second house had the more modern practical feel to it, which appealed to me.
This house combines both. It's bang on the money.
We're both really impressed by it.
It's as close to perfect as could be found, I think.
I love these details!
-Hello! You haven't moved in yet!
-I've come to turf you out.
-Did you enjoy that?
-It's been a great couple of days, hasn't it?
-Really enjoyed it.
-Really good fun.
-Time to find somewhere to sit down and mull it over.
On Escape to the Country, we're often asked
what happens to our buyers once they've made the move
and how their lives have changed.
Since we're in Wiltshire, we've come to this pretty village near Salisbury
to meet a lady who should be able to answer some of those questions.
A year ago, we came to the aid of Linda
who was being helped by her friend, Liz,
to make her first-ever move from her childhood home in London,
as it was being demolished by developers within six weeks.
Fortunately, she was offered a very healthy sum of money for the plot,
enabling Linda to retire from her work as a PA
and follow her dream by moving to Wiltshire.
Her property hunt with Jules Hudson got off to a very positive start.
OK, ladies, here we are.
Oh, that looks lovely!
It's very, very promising. Just the sort of style I was looking for.
On her wish list was the desire for four bedrooms
to accommodate visiting friends
as well as a spacious kitchen.
This is it.
Oh, that's lovely. Yes.
-An island unit. Plenty of cupboard space. Yes.
'And the price was on the money, too.
'Linda fell in love with this beautiful period house
'and in the end, the other two properties we showed her
'just couldn't compete.
'So she took the plunge, bought her first-ever house
'and moved in some six months ago.
'I've come to meet Linda to find out how she's enjoying her new life.'
-Hello, Linda. Denise.
-Hi, Denise. Lovely to meet you.
-Do come in.
-Linda, this kitchen is gorgeous!
-It's lovely, isn't it? I'm very pleased with it.
Having the help of Escape to the Country was absolutely invaluable.
This was the very first house Jules showed you.
It wasn't just the first house I saw on Escape to the Country,
it was the first house I saw at all.
I fell in love with it absolutely immediately.
I was a real townie. I've never lived in the country before.
It's been a whole new experience.
When I've been in the village store, people say, "Are you the lady that was on TV?"
and we've got chatting.
-So that's broken the ice a few times.
-I'm glad we helped not only find you a home,
-but find you friends, as well!
-Oh, you have!
'The house has certainly lived up to expectations.
'And the peaceful garden has been a revelation, too.'
-It is stunning!
-It's lovely, isn't it?
Another unexpected bonus is the number of birds that I get here.
You do look so relaxed and happy.
I think relaxed is definitely the phrase I'd use.
People said that when they used to see me before I moved,
I was all tense and my shoulders were hunched up.
And now it's noticeable how much more relaxed I am.
And happy. I'm so happy, I can't believe it.
-And it's not just this house, is it?
-You've really embraced the community and they've embraced you, too.
-Very much so.
I feel so welcome.
'And where better to meet Linda's new-found friends
'than at the local pub?
'It's only a short walk away from Linda's home.'
Denise, welcome to The Fountain.
This is home from home, is it?
It certainly is, yes. I spend many a happy hour here!
ALL GREET EACH OTHER
This is my friend, Annie, who's responsible for my downfall!
Linda moved here in December, and I moved here in October.
Exactly the same as Linda, I've made so many friends.
-Real friends here. Just struck lucky.
-No, it's been brilliant.
I'm sure it has a lot to do with all of you.
Not just luck, the way you've approached it all.
The way you welcome everyone in.
I'm feeling very cosy and welcome! I could happily sit here!
Oh, well, do!
I have to get back to work. There's another lovely couple hoping to make Wiltshire their home.
I recommend it. Tell them to go for it!
I will. I hope they choose one of our properties.
-So I wish you luck!
'There's no doubt that moving to the Wiltshire countryside
'has transformed Linda's life for the better.
'And now it's time to see if the county has worked its magic
'on Becky and Andrew, too.'
-We've had a fun couple of days, haven't we?
First time house-hunting together. Growing-up time!
You liked all of our houses, I think.
Let's go through all of them.
We started with something very old. What did you think of the first house?
I was completely in love with the outside of it when I saw it.
It was magical.
As we moved round, it was apparent that it didn't have the space we wanted.
It was such a special little house.
But our overriding opinion
was what will we have to do to make this right for us?
What you probably learnt from that first property
is the compromises that come with something quite so old
with all the higgledy-piggledy and nooks and crannies you're looking for.
So it was really nice to then take you to something very different.
The second property was huge in comparison.
The first thing that hits you when you look at that property is the size.
Five bedrooms, three reception rooms, huge kitchen.
We were already very excited about what we could do with it.
But it would almost be having rooms for rooms' sake downstairs.
Especially while there is just the two of us at the moment.
And then we had the mystery house.
I love the mystery property because if there's one thing you said you definitely did not want,
it was a house that wasn't detached.
What were your first thoughts as we walked up?
As we walked up, we were both a bit confused as to what we were looking at.
Initially I was quite disappointed. I thought, "It's quite small and it's attached. This is not for me."
I was really impressed when we came round the corner.
The first thing that struck me is it's much bigger than I thought.
The original part that was the old pub,
the exposed woodwork, the two open fires,
one in the living area, one in the kitchen,
which I thought was really nice.
And then the kitchen itself, with the central island.
It was quite a modern, functional kitchen but with the range and the farmhouse feel.
So, I think it was a great journey. Three houses that you seemed to like each one more and more.
But the big question is, of course, what's next? Will you go for any of them?
I think we're going to have a really hard think about it.
-There's no doubt that the final house was...
-Would fit the bill.
Was as close to perfect as I think we could find.
We would seriously consider putting an offer in.
Oh, that's music to my ears! I love it!
And what I want to know is, you put an offer in
and you've moved in, I'll come back for a barbie!
-We'll let you know.
Best of luck. Let us know how you get on.
Andrew and Becky have certainly chosen a beautiful part of the country to move to.
I think that the energy and fun with which they've undertaken this property search
has really served them well,
especially when it came to our mystery house
which I think could be the one for them.
But it does just go to show
that sometimes when you focus on the things you don't want
you could miss out on something that's just for you.
I'll see you next time on Escape to the Country.
I'm absolutely delighted that Becky and Andrew
did actually put in an offer on the mystery house that's been accepted.
They have their hearts set on getting two spaniels as soon as they move.
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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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.