Jules Hudson heads to north Wales in a bid to help a recently retired couple find a rural retreat, and revisits a couple who found their perfect home three years ago.
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As a keen archaeologist, I never take much persuading
to find myself in the ruins of a beautiful 13th-century castle.
But this wasn't built so much to keep invaders out
as to keep a population in.
But why and where?
Join me in just a few moments for what promises to be a very historic Escape to the Country
in more ways than one!
On today's show, I'm helping a couple find a peaceful new life in the countryside.
Outside, our houses certainly deliver on setting.
-I love the view.
-And the fact that all you can hear is birdsong.
'And inside, the rooms prompt some excitement, too.'
-That's a wowser moment.
-A wowser moment?
It is, actually.
Today, we're in North Wales,
and these are the beautiful remains of Conwy Castle.
It was one of five enormous castles built up here by Edward I
at the end of the 13th century following his successful conquest of Wales.
Edward's plan was simple.
Tired of continual dissent and rebellion,
he wanted to contain Wales, to create an iron ring.
And these certainly did the job.
As you can see, they are a striking reminder of medieval authority and power.
This one alone took four years to build at a cost then of some £20,000.
But if that seems cheap for a fortified coastal retreat, don't be fooled.
In today's money it's over 10 million.
No surprise, then, that Conwy, along with its sister castles at Beaumaris, Harlech and Caernarfon
have been designated as a World Heritage site.
As you can probably tell in this glorious part of the world,
there's a lot more to it than just striking architecture.
The landscape is stunning.
North Wales stretches from the Cheshire border in the east
to the west coast
and includes the Isle of Anglesey.
The region then extends southwards
to the borders of Ceredigion and Powys.
It's an area that offers impressive coastline
ranging from the rugged and unspoilt to the seaside resorts that became popular during the Victorian era
such as Llandudno, whose elegant period architecture
still lines its shores.
Head inland, and that atmosphere changes as the landscape gives way
to soaring mountains and green valleys.
Set here are charming villages such as Betws-y-Coed,
renowned for the cascades at Swallow Falls.
Betws-y-Coed itself sits within Snowdonia,
the largest national park in Wales,
which encompasses 100 lakes and some 90 mountain peaks,
including Mount Snowdon, which, at over 3,500 feet,
is the highest point in England and Wales.
Although the park spans over 800 square miles,
it's home to just under 26,000 people,
making it one of the most sparsely populated areas in Britain.
And it's this perceived remoteness
that makes it appealing to visitors and home-buyers alike.
Perhaps it is no great surprise to learn
that when it comes to house prices,
North Wales does offer particularly good value for money.
To put that in context,
when you consider that the price of an average detached property
in England and Wales is currently around £255,000,
well, here, you could comfortably knock about a third off that figure.
But as with anywhere, there are, of course, variations.
Step within the borders of the Snowdonia National Park, for example,
and you could find a premium of 15 to 20%,
particularly around hot spots such as Betws-y-Coed.
And the same is also true for coastal towns such as Conwy and Llandudno.
But for me, North Wales really is a win-win.
It mixes affordability in a beautiful landscape
with some stunning properties to match.
North Wales' rural character
is evident from the scattering of traditional cottages
found in its villages and throughout its farming landscape.
Until the Industrial Revolution,
large swathes of this countryside remained cut off from commercial activity,
hence the reliance of building with locally-sourced materials.
Quarried stone is particularly prevalent in this northern region.
A prime example being this five-bedroomed farmhouse in Denbighshire
which cost £550,000.
North Wales' slate-mining heritage has certainly made its indelible mark here.
The huge piles of loose scree that have built up alongside its mountains
are also a reminder of how it defined the local architecture
during the Victorian era.
This five-bedroomed detached house in Carow is priced at £335,000.
As you can see, North Wales really does have it all.
It's one of my favourite parts of the country in which to come house-hunting,
which is just as well, because this is where today's buyers want to call home.
Dave, who works in IT for Essex police,
and Kate, a police trainer for Norfolk Constabulary,
live with their two student daughters in a modern property in the town of Attleborough, Norfolk.
As Dave is set to retire and their children are approaching independence,
they feel this is the perfect time to start a new life
somewhere much quieter.
I want cosy character.
You sit in the garden and you can just hear the A11 behind you.
It's just a constant noise.
Their plan is to leave their town in Norfolk
and head to the opposite side of the country
in search of tranquillity in North Wales.
I like the area around Conwy particularly.
Either at the edge of a village
or a little distance out of the village.
But we don't want it too isolated.
Their children may be fully grown,
but Dave and Kate still have other dependants.
Six cats and two dogs.
They need to be factored into the wish list for their next property.
An absolute dream property would be a big enough kitchen.
It has to have a utility room with all the animals we've got.
I think a utility room is a must.
But it's not just the animals that will need their own room when they move!
What would be ideal for Dave
is either another bedroom
or an outbuilding that's big enough so he could have a train room.
It doesn't have to be a workshop per se,
just a space, really.
So whilst Dave needs space for his steam train,
Kate would like a larger garden in which to grow vegetables.
But that's just one of her pastimes.
I actually do quite a lot of cross-stitch.
But I also like to get involved with the community in some way.
So having given this move lots of thought,
they now have a clear idea of how much money they have to spend.
The maximum budget would be £330,000.
Dave and Kate's preferred location
is in the Conwy area
with easy access to Snowdonia.
However, they'd consider looking as far south as Betws-y-Coed.
I'm catching up with them at the start of our house hunt
to find our more about their plans for their new rural home.
Well, chaps, here we are, literally in the middle of North Wales.
Getting your house search underway.
-How does it feel?
-It's exciting. And it's beautiful.
For many people coming here, the classic image is of a stone building,
slate roof, all that sort of thing, nestled in the landscape.
Give us an idea of what you are dreaming of.
Ideal is character.
A cottage but with high ceilings, because obviously...
-Dave's a bit tall!
-Dave's a bit tall!
-It's got to have an open fire or a log burner.
That is an absolute must.
Something with character, high ceilings.
It's got to have three bedrooms. Has to have a bedroom for the girls.
-Everybody wants a nice kitchen.
-Kitchen diner, yes, standard thing.
-And you would ideally like a study.
-Or a workshop for the engine.
-For your locomotive.
How do you see this building sitting in the landscape?
On the outskirts of a village.
Further out, where you haven't got anybody around you for half a mile
would be lovely.
We've got three to show you, including of course, our mystery house.
-The weather here in North Wales is notoriously changeable.
It's all right at the moment but I suggest we don't delay.
-Let's get on.
-OK. Thank you.
With their £330,000 budget,
Dave and Kate would like a Welsh cottage-style property
that provides them with high ceilings
and an open fire or log burner.
A large kitchen with separate utility room for their pets.
A minimum of three bedrooms for when their daughters visit,
a space for Dave's train
and finally, they'd like to be in the heart of the countryside.
I'll be showing them three wonderful Welsh properties,
but I won't give away the price until they've had a guess first.
The last of these is, of course, our mystery house,
which will challenge them to review at least one of their key priorities.
We're getting our house hunt underway 28 miles from Conwy
in the village of Saron.
It offers them the peaceful location they're after
with some spectacular scenery on their doorstep
as it overlooks open countryside including the Clwydian hills.
The property is situated on the outskirts of Saron
and provides a pretty and secluded home dating back to the 1800s.
So here we are, then. Property number one.
We talked about the classic image of a stone-built cottage
with a slate roof.
-What do you think?
It looks interesting. I love the view.
-And the fact that all you can hear is birdsong. It's beautiful.
-You're soaking up the peace and quiet.
-No A11 here!
-No A11. Just birdsong.
-Let's get inside and see what you think.
'The setting of this single-storey property
'certainly seems to have scored highly.
'Inside has been sympathetically refurbished
'and retains many of its original features,
'as our buyers will discover.'
Now, how cosy is this?
-That's got character.
Is this the sort of thing you were kind of imagining?
-I think so.
-As a cosy Welsh retreat?
Yes. I think I knew more of what I didn't imagine
than what I did imagine, if that makes sense.
And this is lovely.
Let's continue through here.
You wanted a woodburner, Kate. There you are.
-That's lovely. Yes.
-And again these lovely windows.
I love the window seat and I love the panelling they've put in.
Something slightly Georgian about it, actually.
-Yes, it is.
-But everything's geared up to make the best of that.
Absolutely. You can imagine sitting there,
just watching the seasons go by.
Let's explore the rest of it. See if they like this.
This corridor gives you access to everything else.
All the accommodation. A little box room in there.
Family bathroom there. Again, lovely oak doors.
A really nice and quite generous guest double in here.
And then this bit is yours.
So in here, you get your own kind of wing, really,
with a really generous en-suite.
Whirlpool bath. All mod cons.
And then a master bedroom which really does make the best of these views.
-Yes, does it just.
-Isn't it light!
-Lying in bed, waiting for my cup of tea!
Just looking out over the...
Is she going to have to wait long?
This addition, which is the most recent addition, obviously,
this kind of wing to the property
is what really makes it work, I think.
I just can't stop looking that way.
The views are pretty captivating.
-Shall we go outside and indulge ourselves with them?
-That would be nice.
Come on, then.
'The generous grounds comprise two separate areas.
'There's a landscaped garden to the front, featuring a pond,
'but we're heading to the adjoining parcel of land to discuss their options.'
It is lovely when a house is surrounded by such glorious views
-that in a way you're completely distracted, aren't you?
You just can't take your eyes off of the view and watch what's going on.
In terms of outside space,
we saw the more manicured garden as we came in.
This area we're standing on now would also be yours.
The great thing about it, Dave, is that it's flat.
It really lends itself to all sorts of things.
-A poly-tunnel, perhaps, vegetable beds, raised beds...
-Chicken coop. And the engine shed.
So, let's have a think about the price
and see if we've started well there.
OK. I'm thinking this is all your idea, so I'm going to get you to go first.
-You've got £330,000 to spend.
-I think 299,950.
-I was thinking 295.
I'm going to make this easy for both of you.
-You are both saying just under 300,000, more or less.
-This will set you back £330,000.
-Now you know how much it's worth.
Go and explore to your heart's content.
-Take your time. Make the best of our time that is still available.
-I'll catch up with you a bit later.
Right on budget at 330,000,
this traditional renovated cottage
provides Dave and Kate with many of the elements they've asked for.
When I first saw this house, I thought it was well-presented,
nice aspect to it, and in a superb location.
If I'm honest, one or two of the rooms are a bit smaller than we'd hoped for.
I'd hoped for a utility,
but you can't have everything!
The first impression of the house was positive.
The bedrooms are the one thing that concern me.
I want to make sure that the girls have got somewhere they can come,
a bolt-hole should they ever need it, that there's room for them.
I think that was a really encouraging start.
Lovely property, lovely views.
I'm concerned we've set the bar too high!
It's going to be challenging.
In a bid to give them as much space as we can for their budget,
our second house takes us further away from Conwy,
deep into the countryside.
The nearest village is Cerrigydrudion
where there's a church, a local shop and a pub.
But four miles away, set in rural seclusion,
is this converted barn and coach house.
OK. Here we are, then.
Our final offering of day one,
property number two.
What do you think?
-It looks interesting.
I think it's really interesting.
It's pretty, it's in a lovely setting,
but just looking at it, I'm kind of excited about it.
I got the feeling, reading between the lines on the last one,
that it did feel a bit of a holiday home.
The whole idea of a family home is still really important even though they're off flying the nest.
-It's still important to have that space.
-This does that.
-Because it's also got four bedrooms.
-Yes. Happy, Dave?
-Can we go in?
Cos your wife says she's really excited.
-In that case, I must be happy!
-You must be excited! Come on, then.
'The solid rustic bones and period feel here
'are very different to those in our first house
'as they'll see immediately on the inside.'
Let's start with this one.
What do you think?
-It's a dining room.
-It is. It's a kind of dining hall, really.
-We don't normally loiter in hallways much on this show,
but this is worth considering.
Definitely. There's a downstairs cloakroom off of it over there.
-Again, sort of sets the scene.
-But space we are not short of.
Lots of space. But this doesn't have to be the dining room.
-There are other options.
But have a look at this. This is really nice. You'll like this, Kate.
Well, I think you will.
You wanted a fireplace, a woodburner,
stone, beams, cosy.
High beams. It's lovely.
There's also a conservatory through there.
-Milking all those views, which we'll have a closer look at later.
A comfortable family house.
It's very promising. Good.
It's not as light and bright and airy as the previous property.
But it's different.
And it's got that character.
-You're doing very well.
Let's see if we continue doing well. Follow me down here.
Across from the dining/entrance hall,
is this second reception room.
-This is good.
-Could be a snug.
-This is useful.
-Somewhere to put the kids out the way.
Snug? It's right next to the kitchen.
One of the things I really love about this house
is its geography.
We've got this low level, which, of course, is the kitchen.
I think you would spend a lot of your time here quite happily.
-I think so.
-You could even incorporate a sofa,
do all sorts of other things with this as a kitchen diner.
But you've got so much space up there.
-The other reception room, the main living room.
-There already, is it?
That's always been my dream to have a kitchen big enough to have a sofa in it.
We teased you outside with the four bedrooms that are on offer.
There's a lot to see. Come and have a look.
'Upstairs, two of the four bedrooms are good-sized doubles,
'both light with sloping ceilings
'and could be perfect for when their daughters come to stay.
There's one other bedroom located at the bottom of a flight of stairs
which could serve as Dave's den.
But we're heading to the opposite end of the landing
to the main event.
At the other end of the house, up here, is your bit.
-It is, isn't it?
-He's a bit taken aback!
-I think he is.
No, it's lovely.
-It is big.
-Bags of storage.
-And the balcony.
-You can see the balcony out there.
-You've spotted it.
Not much gets past me!
-It's the policewoman in you!
It's also got this, which is nice.
An en-suite shower room.
-So how much is it going to cost you?
Oh. Don't go there!
-I know you're going to go there.
but first we'll all go into the garden and then talk about money.
'The property sits in a substantial plot
'and has the most fantastic outlook.'
So, there's the view.
-Not bad, is it?
As views go, North Wales never really disappoints.
The plot is mirrored by the garden you can see in front of us.
The same sort of thing the other side.
So all in all, I guess it's half an acre or so.
-It's plenty big enough.
But you've got everything you want. Veggie patch, plenty of room for chickens.
So we like this one.
I was thinking 340.
340. Interesting, yep.
I was going to go five more than you and say 345.
-Yep. You're both wrong, I'm afraid.
-Of course we are!
Of course we are.
This will cost you...
-We'd be happy with 335.
-You should be. I think it's worth it.
-I think so.
We've got a bit of time left. Make the best of it.
-I'll come and find you later.
-Off you go.
A touch over their budget at £335,000,
this conversion would give them an extremely generous family home.
..including a huge master.
The garden amounts to half an acre
and has the countryside views they were looking for.
First impressions when I got here - good size.
Pretty, a lot of character.
A reasonable amount of land. I was quite impressed.
The space that is available is perfect. It really is.
The kitchen is superb.
The size of the kitchen. I never thought I'd have a kitchen big enough for my sofa.
Here you are, at long last.
-Have you seen enough?
-For the moment.
For the moment. There's obviously some thoughts going on
-which is a good sign.
I think this marks a very good end to a very busy day.
So as it's sort of getting dark,
let's go and find a pint and a bite to eat, shall we?
-Come on, then.
So as dusk falls, it marks the end of an extremely positive first day of house-hunting.
Welcome to our final day of property hunting.
When you consider that Dave and Kate are moving from Norfolk,
which, arguably, is one of the driest parts of the UK,
and they want to come to Wales, which, as you see, is one of the wettest,
it begs the question as to why.
But to come to Wales and moan about the weather is to miss the point.
It's the rain and the rivers that it fills
that have scoured this landscape over thousands of years,
that make it the dramatic backdrop that it now is.
Yesterday, we had two, I thought, very thought-provoking properties,
both quite similar with gorgeous views.
So for our mystery house, as ever, we're going to try something different.
And with that in mind, our final property
is in the village of Llanrhaeadr.
Our mystery house is just down the road.
-We've shown you two very rural properties so far.
So on this occasion we're going to try something a bit different.
-We're going to go for a heart of village location.
And this particular village, Llanrhaeadr,
has a really vibrant community and it's a very old village.
Hopefully, this will give you something else to put into the mix.
'Set in the Vale of Clwyd,
'the village's well-preserved 16th-century church
'is a source of great local pride.
'It's where we're meeting Enid Brown,
the president of the village's Women's Institute.
Is it quite an active village?
Yes, it is a very active village.
We do have, we are fortunate,
that we have a shop and a post office.
And we have a garage and a restaurant.
-We have a school and a pottery
and the church.
That's an extraordinary list, actually.
-So with my pidgin Welsh, I'm going to say...
I said, "Thank you very much." Enid said, "Welcome".
And welcome you will be, I am sure.
Thank you very much indeed. Let's go house-hunting. Come on.
Time to reveal our mystery house.
A stone property built in the 1870s
which offers Dave and Kate plenty of space and character.
However, they do have neighbours
and it is right in the heart of the village.
Here we are, as promised, a stone's throw from the church,
our mystery house. There you go.
Impressive-looking, isn't it?
-Very symmetrical. Classic late Victorian.
-It's thought it was built with leftovers from the school.
I think it's well worth you considering this.
-It does round off the options we've been able to offer you.
-Good. Come on, let's have a look.
'Thankfully, the village setting doesn't have our buyers heading for the hills.
'I think they'll be really drawn to what it offers inside.'
Let's start in here, in the kitchen.
Come on in, guys.
What do you think?
That's a wowser moment!
Yeah? A wowser moment?
-It is, actually.
-Is that a stable door?
-This is a stable door
that goes out to a generous utility room.
Dogs, boots, muddy shoes.
-Don't be like that!
-Poor old Dave! I'm on your side, mate!
I've got something for you upstairs, so you can get your own back.
-Poor old Dave.
-We're liking it, aren't we?
-We are, actually.
Follow me. Let's continue our tour through here.
'With warm reactions to the kitchen,
'let's make our way to the front of the property
'and explore the main reception areas.'
How about this for somewhere to relax in?
Yes. They've got the open fire. It's not a huge room.
But there's enough room. You've got your woodburner.
Also got an open fire next door in a really lovely room.
-So the whole thing sort of flows around.
-OK. Let's continue upstairs. Come this way.
'The character feel of our mystery house seems to be holding their interest.
'It's laid out over three levels
'with three bedrooms up on the first floor.
'One is currently used as a sitting room
'and leads onto a decked terrace.
'The other two doubles here have huge bay windows
'which make these rooms wonderfully light.
'There's also a large family bathroom
'and a separate WC.
'But we're heading up to the top floor
'to what could be the master.'
As you can see, there's a range of options on the middle floor.
But this is currently the master on the top floor.
-It's quite baffling, because there are so many different options...
..that you could use them for.
-Take your pick.
It concerns me that what you've given here, the choices you've given us here
are we can't afford it.
I know that's coming later, but it's concerning me.
-So long as you're liking it. That's the main thing.
-We like it.
-I think you need a kind of model room.
-I need a man room, don't I?
A man room. Somewhere for a little model railway, perhaps.
It's up here. Next door.
Could be next to your bedroom. How about that? Come and look at this.
Now, you can see what I was thinking about.
Come on in.
-Isn't this just a proper kind of attic?
-Yes. Very much so.
-I love it.
-I can just see you in here.
Let's finish off outside
and talk about the money.
-Nothing to worry about. It's only money! It's only money!
'Dave seems delighted with his den.
'But Kate's got misgivings that the mystery house will be beyond their reach.
'So time to pause for breath in the gardens.'
The garden, as you see, is slightly terraced, cos we're on a hill.
-It also includes quite a big area of woodland behind us.
And you also have access to that walled garden.
-You can see the walls there.
It's open to you to use.
Vegetable plots, et cetera, should you want to.
All part of the deeds. You know what's coming now.
-You've been agonising over this, haven't you?
Worrying about the price, the money?
I've been getting more and more depressed as we walked round.
-OK. That means you like it.
-I like it and I don't think we can afford it.
Let's have a go. See if you can afford it.
Make me an offer.
-It's got to be about 365.
I was thinking 360-ish.
360-ish. Well, it'll cost you £339,000.
-Which I think puts it within range of your budget of £330,000.
Yes. It's nice. It's lovely.
-Off you go.
Indulge. Take your time.
I'm absolutely delighted. Once again,
our mystery house would seem to have done it.
We almost had a sale right here, right now.
There's still a lot to consider,
but it's a gorgeous house in a gorgeous village
with a vibrant community to match.
Although our mystery house nudges over their budget at £339,000,
they could see where a lower offer would get them.
Although it challenges them to reconsider whether to opt for living in a village,
the property itself does meet their demands.
My initial thoughts when we walked up the street to be shown that this was the mystery house
that it was right in the middle of the village.
And did we want right in the middle of the village with cars going past?
My feeling to the house changed immediately I walked through the front door.
They've kept all the original features.
And that all lends itself towards the character.
It's an unusual place.
It's full of options, full of character.
I like it. I would fit in this house and this house would fit around me.
-That was quite revealing, wasn't it?
-Wasn't it just?
-A bit of a surprise?
-Very much so.
-That's what the mystery house is all about.
I think, all in all, we have given you some interesting, viable options this week.
-I think so.
-Lots to think about.
Let's go and settle you down somewhere where you can mull it all over.
-I'll catch up with you later on.
Over the years, we're often asked what happens to the buyers who appear on Escape to the Country.
Three years ago, I was in just this part of North Wales
giving another couple a sense of what a new life in the country might look like.
We uncovered a dream property
that went on to become their new rural home.
I'm delighted to say they've invited me back to show me how they're getting on.
Hope they're in!
That would be typical, wouldn't it?
-Hiya! How are you doing?
-I'm very well, mate. Good to see you. Hello, Carol!
-How are you?
-Good to see you. Look at you both!
-You haven't changed much!
-How are you two?
-You look very well.
-Coffee's made. Are you coming in?
-Come on, then, Carol!
You did promise me a coffee many years ago!
'When I first met Bernard and Carol Hudson,
'they wanted to move from Leyland in Lancashire to North Wales.
'Originally, they thought they were looking for a traditional Welsh cottage.
'But when I showed them this modern refurbishment of a property built in 1900,
What do you think of that?
-Yes. I like it as well.
That's the main thing. Good start.
'And it was the kitchen that really sold it to them.'
In you come.
-This is definitely what I had in mind. Definitely.
I do remember your reaction in this kitchen, particularly.
I liked the house soon as I walked in.
But as soon as I saw the kitchen, I was thinking,
"I've got to have this house."
How have you found the local community and your neighbours?
Very good, yes. We have a good bartering system going on,
where we give them vegetables
and we get cakes. That's why we've got these Welsh cakes and bara brith.
-I was going to ask if you made them, but you've swapped them for vegetables?
What about all the pickles and the rest? Is that you?
I made them, yes. I can't bear waste,
so everything we grow, I try and make something with.
'Most of that fruit and veg has been grown in their garden.
'Bernard was especially keen to have land
'in order to become somewhat self-sufficient.
'He wanted a vegetable plot, pigs and chickens.'
-You're a little bit choked.
Is this going to be your new dream home?
-I think it is.
'And after three years' hard work,
'that's exactly what they've got.'
What a difference a few years makes!
-Some transformation, isn't it?
-Isn't it just.
Do you know what? I had my doubts.
It wasn't the most promising bit of land, to be fair,
but look what you've done with it.
When I started, I had my doubts, too.
But happily, a local farmer ploughed it for us initially
and that was a huge help.
The pigs look gorgeous. You've got the hens here, as well.
A little hen house.
Well, this gate is a bit famous, isn't it?
-The blubbering gate!
-The blubbering gate!
But it was here that the penny finally dropped, wasn't it?
-Are you going to cry again, Bernard?
Once is enough!
'This has clearly been a genuine labour of love for Bernard and Carol,
'to turn the paddock into exactly what they wanted.'
It's really inspiring, actually.
-Thank you very much.
-I might have a little blub myself!
We've never been happier, have we?
-One of the best decisions we've made.
Well, when it comes to house calls, take it from me.
They don't get much more rewarding than that one.
The chance to see Bernard and Carol clearly enjoying life to the full
and making the very best of their time here in Wales,
well, I, for one, am absolutely delighted.
That's one set of happy customers.
The question is, have we got some more?
Time to catch up with Dave and Kate.
Well, chaps. Here we are. At the end of our little house tour.
Three very interesting properties which we're all agreed upon.
Let's remind ourselves of them.
We started with that really interesting white long house
overlooking the Clwydian range.
-I particularly liked the master bedroom within that property.
You could lie in bed and just have that stunning view in front of you
with patio doors opening out onto the outside.
-That was absolutely stunning.
-Very good indeed. Yeah.
But the box room, third bedroom, box room, office, whatever,
that wasn't quite enough room in that house.
Bearing all that in mind, we then took you to property two.
But we had the benefit of another floor.
-With that one, and four bedrooms to play with.
From a logical point of view, using your head,
you had everything you're looking for and it was also a bit quirky.
Yes. The kitchen was lovely.
It really was. I liked the stepping down into the kitchen.
Upstairs, four brilliant sized bedrooms.
But it didn't touch my heart.
It's the imponderable, isn't it? It's very difficult to put your finger on
-this magical thing that happens when a property feels right.
Then we finally took you to our mystery house in the lovely village of Llanrhaeadr.
A very different proposition, very different style of building.
What happened to your heart there?
Yes, you see this has done the opposite.
My head says, "You shouldn't like it."
It's in a village, hasn't got that stunning view.
-It's on a road.
-It's on a road.
This is wrong.
-My heart fell in love the moment we walked through the door.
Oh, the kitchen. The dining room with the open fire...
-And, come on, Dave.
-It's got a man room!
-You've got a man room at the top, yes!
-The railway room.
It would be a perfect office, computer room,
railway room, model room, you name it. It's a man room.
So I might just hazard a guess
that the mystery house is your favoured property of the lot.
It is, actually, yes.
-Yes, it is.
-So what happens next?
-First thing, get the girls to come and have a look.
It's still going to be a family home. We want it to be a family home.
It's important to us that they like it.
-So, yes. First thing.
What can I say? Best of luck.
-Fingers crossed. Let's hope you do it.
-Thanks for your help.
At the beginning of this episode,
I promised you an historic Escape to the Country
and so it has turned out.
We started amidst the beautiful surroundings of Conwy Castle.
We then had three wonderful period properties to look at,
and I had the chance to catch up with lovely Bernard and Carol.
Now, with any luck, Dave and Kate are going to follow in their footsteps.
A life in Wales. Take it from one who knows - you can't knock it.
See you next time.
Dave and Kate are still interested in pursuing the mystery house
when they find a buyer for their current property.
Let's hope all goes well and they settle in the Welsh countryside soon.
If you'd like to escape to the country
in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England,
and would like our help, please apply online:
Jules Hudson heads to north Wales in a bid to help a recently retired couple with £400,000 find a rural retreat. While in the region, Jules revisits a couple who found their perfect property three years ago, which has enabled them to lead the self-sufficient lifestyle they dreamt of.