Cotswolds Escape to the Country


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Cotswolds

Jonnie Irwin is helping a couple of golf fanatics to find a slice of rural heaven in the Cotswolds. With a budget of £500,000 they are ready to leave the bustle of London.


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This grand edifice behind me could be mistaken for one of our country's

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magnificent cathedrals. But it's actually a parish church, which in

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the 15th century served a town of just 400 people.

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Find out why it's so big,

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and indeed where I am in just a few moments.

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On today's show we're helping two golf fanatics

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find a slice of rural heaven.

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But will any of our properties be up to par?

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At one house we land in the rough.

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Not a huge bedroom, admittedly.

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No. Bit small, isn't it?

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But then we get back on the fairway.

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Wow.

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It's a lovely room, isn't it?

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Today I'm in the town of Northleach in the Cotswolds,

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and this is the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

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It's one of a series of impressive wool churches,

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so called as they were built on the proceeds of the wool trade.

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Now, back in the 15th century, the golden fleece was big business.

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And wealthy wool merchants would plough their profits

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back into local communities,

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bequeathing huge amounts of money to their local churches.

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And it's the legacy of this medieval wool trade that today gives

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the whole of the Cotswolds its unique charm and character.

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The Cotswolds refer to a range of hills

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which lie between Bristol and Oxford.

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Covering six counties, around 80% is agricultural land

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with sheep and arable farming the main activities.

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The area sits on a bedrock of Jurassic limestone,

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producing a rare grassland habitat which is quarried

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for the famous honey-coloured Cotswold stone.

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Many of the wonderfully preserved towns and villages developed

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when the wool trade was at its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries,

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and have changed little in the last 300 years.

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Now as you may expect, prices vary greatly across the region,

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but generally speaking,

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your budget will stretch further the further west or south you go,

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especially if you can look for houses

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just south of the M4 corridor.

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What's attracting today's buyers to this expensive

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if not very beautiful part of the world?

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Let's meet them and find out.

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Married couple David and Jane met at university nearly 40 years ago and

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they've lived in the London suburb of Mill Hill since graduating.

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Home is currently this four-bedroom detached property

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that they own outright.

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But having both recently retired, they're now seeking a change.

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It's a good time to move now because I've retired last July

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and it's taken us six months to sort out what retirement is like

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and now we've decided that London is too busy and time to go

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and find somewhere a bit quieter, bit of a more laid back lifestyle.

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Jane ran her own successful IT business

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and David was a history teacher at a nearby school for many years.

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As well as being closer to David's home country of Wales and Jane's

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mother in Somerset, the Cotswolds offer them the best of both worlds.

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We want to move to the Cotswolds because it's beautiful.

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We love the valleys, we love the undulations, we love the fact that

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it's very, very countryside

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and it's convenient for everything in England and Wales.

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Although they've now retired,

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they don't plan to put their feet up just yet.

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For a long time I was a rugby player

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and I coached a lot of rugby, up till about five years ago.

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In the meantime I took up golf and then Jane did too.

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She took it up and got a lot better than I did.

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But we play a lot of golf,

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we go on golf holidays and moving to the country, hopefully we'll

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find a golf course nearby that we can continue doing that.

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Over the years they've built up many friends in Mill Hill

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and their biggest fear is starting all over again.

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It would be very easy to stay around here

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and just carry on but we want to do something new, something different,

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something enjoyable, which we think it will be.

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David and Jane would like us to concentrate our property search

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in the central belt of the Cotswolds

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close to the Gloucestershire market town of Stroud.

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I'm meeting them in the county to learn more

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about their proposed rural move.

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So welcome, both of you, to the beautiful Cotswolds.

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This is a very different life you're setting yourself up for,

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isn't it, Jane?

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Very different, and we can't wait to get going on it, really.

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Now, anybody moving up to the Cotswolds, most people have

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the desire to live in a house

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built out of this beautiful Cotswold stone.

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I imagine you're no different.

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-Absolutely.

-Yeah.

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So, character house?

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Yes, but all the nooks and crannies, we don't go for that.

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We don't want the low cottage feel.

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We want the... Space is important. It's got to be light and airy.

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Let's talk about the house itself. How many bedrooms?

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Three.

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-Three minimum?

-Minimum, yes.

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But the space downstairs is more important to us than upstairs.

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That makes sense.

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I would like a garden to sit out in.

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Be able to have the sunshine, but we don't want much work in the garden.

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-No.

-No, we don't want that at all.

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-Now, golf plays a big part in both your lives.

-Yes.

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So I imagine proximity to a golf club is at the top of the list,

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especially for you, Jane.

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Yes, absolutely.

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At the moment we're only five minutes away from our club

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and that's great.

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It's really convenient.

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So we don't want to be commuting 40, 45 minutes into a golf club.

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Let's talk budget. What are we looking at?

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We're looking at about £500,000.

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We've only got three chances

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-but I think we've got three crackers to show you, so let's start.

-Let's go.

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For a maximum budget of £500,000, David and Jane are after

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a character property with a minimum of three bedrooms.

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However the downstairs space is more important to them and they'd

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like three reception rooms as well as a south-facing garden.

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Finally, they'd like to be close to a golf club,

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not too far from amenities.

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We've lined up three characterful Cotswold properties

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to show our buyers, but they'll have to wait

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until the end of each tour before I reveal the price.

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Our third house, the mystery property,

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could leave our buyers brewing with excitement.

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Our first property is found in a hamlet named The Vatch, two miles

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north of Stroud and a 20-minute drive from the nearest golf club.

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The neighbouring village of Slad is famous for being the home

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and final resting place of author Laurie Lee.

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He wrote the novel Cider With Rosie in the 1950s

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in his house in the village.

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The first property is often a bit of a learning curve for us all.

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Well, me, normally. Here it is. What do we think?

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It looks quite small. Is it two or one?

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It's semi-detached. We're looking at the right-hand side.

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What's going through your mind? Jane?

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Nice to look out over fields. Great aspect.

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It does look quite small but obviously it goes up into the roof.

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-Yeah, that's one of your guest bedroom, if you like.

-Oh, right.

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-So, let's see if you like it.

-Good.

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David and Jane seem a little reticent

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and were perhaps expecting something bigger for their budget.

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But I'm confident the interior of this deceptively large,

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period Cotswold stone cottage will lift their spirits.

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In we come. Let's have a quick pause here.

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Now, kitchen.

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-Perfect size for you.

-Absolutely.

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The person who lives here moved out of London, bought this house

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in the countryside and has done it up over the last three years.

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So what you see is new flooring, new electrics, new pretty much

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everything but it doesn't feel necessarily brand-new.

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It's lovely.

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Now, behind you, that oak-panel wall is a utility room with a

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wash-hand basin and all the white goods. Let's keep looking round.

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-It's really good.

-OK.

-Just mind your head here.

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Talking to Jane, not you.

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Now, you said you wanted to have a house where you could

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sit in the living room maybe and look out at views, nice and sunny.

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Is this the sort of place you had in mind?

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It's very light in here, isn't it?

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I thought it would be darker back here.

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It is bigger than it looks outside as well.

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I think the owners have made it just a lot more user friendly, if you like.

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They've raised the fireplace there which gives the fire a better draw,

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but also, you get to see the features of the house a lot more,

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-straightaway, when you walk in, don't you?

-Yeah, very much.

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You get the whole two rooms in one. It's very nice.

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Better reactions to the ground-floor living space.

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Upstairs there are three bedrooms spread over two floors.

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The first floor features two doubles, one of which

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overlooks the front of the house and has a small study area.

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There's a third bedroom up in the eaves of the house with a cosy

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space for a bed overlooking the hills behind.

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But we're staying on the first floor

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and what would probably be David and Jane's bedroom.

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So, not a huge bedroom, admittedly.

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-No. Bit small, isn't it?

-Nice view to wake up to, though.

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Yeah.

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But it's a bit too small for what I'd like for a main bedroom.

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I mean, downstairs has been knocked about a bit.

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Upstairs, it does have more cottagey dimensions

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-or proportions, doesn't it?

-Yeah, absolutely.

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-OK, let's go out to the garden and talk about price.

-OK.

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The south-facing gardens are mainly to the front and side

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of the property and offer a variety of lawn areas

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and a sheltered terrace.

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-So, back outside. Now, you did say you don't want a big garden.

-Yeah.

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You also said you didn't want a big upstairs but that's probably

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a bit too small so what do you think of this garden? Is it too small

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or is this what you had in mind?

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This I the size I had in mind, this is fine.

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-Good.

-Yeah.

-OK.

-Absolutely.

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So after our brief look around this house,

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

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I think, semi-detached, I would say 350.

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399.

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Right.

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This is on the market

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-for offers around £450,000.

-Ah.

-Right.

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-But you're paying for the proximity to Stroud.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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And the rural position which some people will absolutely love.

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And this is close to Slad and it's Laurie Lee and that sort of...

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-You've got it.

-..area. Yep.

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-So, something to get your head around.

-Mm, definitely.

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The price of our first property comes as a bit of a shock

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to David and Jane, even though it's £50,000 under budget.

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Situated in a sought-after location,

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the period cottage offers our buyers the downstairs space they're after,

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three bedrooms, and it's 20 minutes from the nearest golf club.

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-All done?

-All done.

-How'd you find it?

-OK.

-OK?

-Yes.

-Bit small.

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-Something a bit bigger next? Yes, please.

-OK. Let's go and find it.

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The hard limestone slopes of the Cotswolds make up the largest

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Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country, at 800 square miles.

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In the 1930s, nearly half the region was covered

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in flower-rich grassland.

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Today, much of this precious habitat has gone.

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Flatter grassland has been converted

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to more commercially viable arable land.

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The little that's left is

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so rare it's being restored with the help of a herd of cows.

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I've come to one of these cattle-managed sites at

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Crickley Hill Country Park to chew the cud with

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National Trust ranger Matt Stanway.

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Well, Matt, I've got to say what an amazing part of the world this

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is to be working, and farming.

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How untouched is some of this land, then?

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Because it's such steep slopes, what's left here -

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-we're right on the Cotswold escarpment...

-Yeah.

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It's high up and it drops away down to the Severn Vale

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and we can see that arable land down there.

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This is the type of land which has never really been

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touched by the plough. For centuries it's been

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left untouched as grassland,

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and it's been grazed, traditionally, by the cattle or sheep.

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-Traditionally, the Cotswolds was always sheep farming...

-Yep.

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..but for this type of land, the cattle are equally as good,

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if not better, because the cattle are less selective,

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so we've got short turf and long turf.

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Matt's taking me to a site with no munching cattle,

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and the difference is immediately clear to see.

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So, Matt, this hasn't been grazed on for how long?

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Decades.

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There's pictures of here in the 1930s, this bit of land,

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and it was grazed as tight as anything.

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-The grass looked like a lawn mower had gone over it.

-Really?

-Yeah.

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But then you've got trees here. That's a silver birch, isn't it?

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That's grown up, what, in the last 50 years or so?

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Yeah, all the natural environment wants to do is to convert

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back from grassland to woodland.

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-Right.

-It's a natural process,

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and what we're involved in is trying to halt that succession.

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So what's wrong with just letting nature take its course

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-and having woodland?

-There's nothing wrong in woodland,

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but the problem is here is that what's left of this grassland

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is so precious, there's so little of it left, that it's that which

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we need to preserve. That's the priority.

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Rather than introduce local cattle to the Cotswold grassland sites,

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Matt is using a breed more suited to the slopes of Scotland.

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I don't think I've ever seen cattle with those colours before.

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Where are they from?

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They're called Belted Galloways, they're a breed that

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originate from Dumfries and Galloway in south-west Scotland.

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-So why did you choose this breed, then?

-Several reasons.

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One, because they're an upland hill breed,

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they're tough and hardy, they can live outside all winter.

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They have got short legs,

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-so they can cope with these steep slopes...

-Yeah, quite.

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..of which we're on one of them. And also their distinctiveness.

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Obviously you noticed their belt, their big white belt.

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-Fantastic colouring.

-They stand out, they really do.

-Yeah.

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I see you've got some recent additions. How old are those calves?

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They're just a week old.

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So we've got 20 cows calving each year.

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I wish you the best of luck with all the calving you're going to have

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over the next couple of days. And I'll pop by next time I'm down.

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-Great stuff.

-Thanks very much.

-Thanks.

-See you again.

-Bye-bye, now.

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Some of the cows are sold for beef, which helps finance

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the grazing project.

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It's a fascinating, self-sufficient model of land management

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in the heart of the Cotswold hills.

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For our second property,

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we're travelling 27 miles to the southern tip of the Cotswolds

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and the hamlet of Nettleton Shrub in the county of Wiltshire.

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It's a five minute drive from the heritage village of Castle Combe,

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which is often ranked as one of the prettiest in Britain.

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It's also where you'll find the nearest golf club.

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So, property number two is a bigger affair.

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-That's good news.

-What do we think?

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-Really nice.

-It looks really nice.

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-Now, do you know where you are?

-Yes.

-Good.

-Castle Combe.

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Exactly, so you're just over the motorway, which makes property

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-a little bit more affordable yet we are still within the Cotswolds.

-Yep.

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I think it's great. And quite close to the village.

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-We came through a nice village.

-Good news. Let's go inside.

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A more upbeat reaction to our second property, a stone cottage

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which the current owners have completely remodelled inside.

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So just as you come in there's a downstairs cloakroom.

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-Kitchen-wise, very different to the first place, isn't it?

-Very.

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A lot more cupboards, a lot more work space. Nice size.

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-Room for a table.

-I really like it.

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This is the old part of the building.

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It would've been a worker's cottage for someone that

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-worked on the Castle Combe estate.

-OK.

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Your entertainment's going to take place through here.

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Just mind the step.

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-Wow.

-Light-filled rooms, you said you wanted.

-Yes.

-Perfect.

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I think this is a bit of a winter room.

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You'll have the sun room there which would be beautiful.

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Absolutely, yeah.

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-Yes, very light and airy.

-Very nicely done, isn't it?

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-So is this the old house?

-The very old part is there.

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The extension that was completed back in 2004 starts at that wall

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and it's a green extension.

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You can see those lovely timber joints there.

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So, good reactions so far.

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There's some interesting bits and bobs

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just through there which we'll look at later on.

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Let me first show you the master bedroom just up here.

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There are three bedrooms in the original part of the house.

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Two of those are doubles and overlook the back of the property.

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There's also a fully tiled family bathroom.

0:16:250:16:28

The largest bedroom is dual-aspect with views over the front.

0:16:280:16:32

This is your master.

0:16:320:16:33

Room to move about in this one.

0:16:340:16:36

-Is it big enough?

-Yes, definitely.

-Yes.

0:16:360:16:39

Let me show you the other end of the house which I think gives

0:16:390:16:42

this place a pretty different kind of option.

0:16:420:16:45

As well as the bedrooms in the older wing of the house,

0:16:470:16:50

there's a further room upstairs in the modern extension, which is

0:16:500:16:53

accessed via the garden room.

0:16:530:16:55

So this is an added extra, I think.

0:16:570:17:00

-Yes, yep.

-Ooh.

0:17:000:17:02

You could have it as a guest room

0:17:030:17:05

because it's great to have separation.

0:17:050:17:07

-That's an en-suite shower room.

-Oh, right.

-But...

0:17:070:17:10

-What a lovely library, or...

-Study.

-Study, yeah.

0:17:100:17:14

And south-facing, with that lovely glass gable.

0:17:140:17:17

Is this the sort of place you think you'd go for, so far?

0:17:170:17:20

Oh, definitely, yes. It's got the three bedrooms. This is extra.

0:17:200:17:24

-And the living space. Yeah.

-Mm.

-It's got it all.

0:17:240:17:26

Below the office there's a garage

0:17:290:17:31

with plenty of space to store the golf clubs.

0:17:310:17:33

Outside, the garden is compact

0:17:330:17:35

and low-maintenance with views over open countryside.

0:17:350:17:39

On the surface David and Jane appear to like our second property

0:17:390:17:42

but I have a feeling something is holding them back.

0:17:420:17:45

The price guess is often a true reflection

0:17:450:17:47

of how people really feel.

0:17:470:17:49

So, how much do you think this house is on the market for?

0:17:510:17:55

-I'll go first, then.

-OK, you go first.

-425.

0:17:550:17:59

-OK.

-Right.

-I'll go 400. I'll go below you again.

0:18:010:18:04

You're getting worse at this game.

0:18:040:18:06

-This place is on the market for offers around £495,000.

-OK.

0:18:060:18:11

We're still within the Cotswolds.

0:18:110:18:13

-It's a three to four bedroom detached house...

-Yeah, true.

0:18:130:18:17

..with a proper village nearby with a shop and a pub.

0:18:170:18:21

-OK.

-It's all right. It's a good price.

0:18:210:18:24

I think that's a fair price for it.

0:18:240:18:25

Just £5,000 under budget, our second property,

0:18:250:18:28

an extended stone cottage, offers up three bedrooms,

0:18:280:18:31

a large reception area and it's just five minutes' drive

0:18:310:18:34

from the golf club and the busy village.

0:18:340:18:37

Now then, have you come to a solution,

0:18:390:18:42

or fought over who uses that first floor sun room?

0:18:420:18:45

-No decision yet.

-No. Decision pending.

0:18:450:18:47

Well, it's good that it's still a decision, I suppose.

0:18:470:18:50

-Maybe something to talk about over dinner.

-Yes.

-Absolutely.

-Let's go.

0:18:500:18:53

On reflection I think yesterday's property number two,

0:19:030:19:06

we got everything pretty much spot on.

0:19:060:19:08

It's certainly what they asked for.

0:19:080:19:10

But I'm not convinced it's a house that David and Jane

0:19:100:19:13

want to move to and maybe that's because they're getting

0:19:130:19:16

cold feet about moving from London to a much more rural location.

0:19:160:19:20

So in order to remedy that, today's mystery house is slap bang

0:19:200:19:24

in the heart of a village.

0:19:240:19:26

But as you might expect, it does come with a couple of compromises.

0:19:260:19:30

Firstly, it's just outside their ideal search area,

0:19:300:19:34

and it's also close to a river and after recent events in this country,

0:19:340:19:38

that could well put some people off.

0:19:380:19:41

For our mystery house we're heading north back into Gloucestershire

0:19:430:19:47

and to Frampton-on-Severn, which as the name implies,

0:19:470:19:50

sits on the River Severn's eastern bank.

0:19:500:19:53

Welcome, both of you, to Frampton-on-Severn.

0:19:530:19:56

-Have you been here before?

-No, not at all.

0:19:560:19:59

-Do you know anything about it?

-Nothing at all.

0:19:590:20:02

Now, the village itself has your Post Office and store,

0:20:020:20:05

two pubs, coffee shop.

0:20:050:20:08

It's almost like London, isn't it?

0:20:080:20:10

-It's like being home.

-Yes. What's going through your minds? Tell me.

0:20:100:20:13

Concerns, or...?

0:20:130:20:15

Well, we thought when we came across the M5 that we're in an area

0:20:150:20:18

-we hadn't looked at at all.

-No.

0:20:180:20:20

But now we're here, it's really nice, there's a nice feel to it.

0:20:200:20:23

Now, this is a part of the world, it's Frampton-on-Severn.

0:20:230:20:27

-So might we need a boat?

-You don't need a boat.

0:20:270:20:31

-Are we on the flood plains?

-Well, it's a good point you make.

0:20:310:20:34

Areas around here have flooded in the past

0:20:340:20:37

but there is a canal in between this village

0:20:370:20:39

-and the Severn which actually serves as a flood defence.

-Right.

0:20:390:20:42

The mystery property,

0:20:420:20:44

the first thing it's pushing you on is location.

0:20:440:20:46

Definitely, yeah.

0:20:460:20:48

It's further away from London.

0:20:480:20:50

But it's closer to Wales.

0:20:500:20:52

-Come with me, let's see what you think of it.

-OK.

0:20:520:20:55

Well, the location hasn't put them off, even though

0:20:550:20:58

the nearest golf club is a 20-minute drive away.

0:20:580:21:00

The house itself is located just beyond the village green,

0:21:000:21:03

a stone's throw from the Gloucester and Sharpness canal,

0:21:030:21:06

and has an industrial heritage of its own.

0:21:060:21:09

-Right, then.

-Ah.

0:21:090:21:11

This is the mystery house, the mystery malt house.

0:21:130:21:16

-Malt house?

-Yeah.

-Right. Nice court out here, isn't it?

0:21:160:21:19

-This is your outside space.

-Oh, really?

-The only outside space.

0:21:190:21:23

-Oh, OK.

-South-facing.

0:21:230:21:25

Now, you don't get much less maintenance than this, do you?

0:21:250:21:27

-Absolutely not.

-Even we could do this.

-Yeah?

0:21:270:21:29

-Perfect.

-I love the fact you like it small. Now...

0:21:290:21:32

-Reports of this building date back as far as 1724.

-Right.

0:21:330:21:39

-It's good history then.

-Yeah, it is. I cannot wait to show you.

0:21:390:21:42

'As well as the lack of garden, this historical gem is

0:21:440:21:48

'Grade II listed, and has an unusual layout inside.

0:21:480:21:51

'I just hope that David and Jane don't mind upside-down living.'

0:21:510:21:55

Come on in.

0:21:550:21:56

Wow.

0:21:580:21:59

Ooh.

0:21:590:22:01

Oof. Oh.

0:22:010:22:02

THEY CHUCKLE

0:22:020:22:04

Quite some entrance hall, isn't it?

0:22:040:22:06

Oh, so what's behind the curtain, then?

0:22:060:22:08

Yeah, it does beg a question as soon as you walk in, doesn't it?

0:22:080:22:11

-Any ideas?

-A stage or something like that?

0:22:110:22:13

Pretty good guess.

0:22:130:22:15

I think I'll show you before I get myself into hot water. Come with me.

0:22:150:22:19

'Not a stage as such but the master bedroom.

0:22:190:22:21

-Right.

-Ooh.

0:22:240:22:26

-Oh, wow.

-I wasn't expecting that to be a bedroom.

-A bedroom.

0:22:260:22:31

-A big bedroom.

-Huge, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:22:310:22:34

Now, it's Grade II listed

0:22:340:22:35

but because it's an historic building,

0:22:350:22:38

it came with a few stipulations,

0:22:380:22:39

and one of those at the time, ten years ago,

0:22:390:22:41

when it was converted, was they couldn't put a partition

0:22:410:22:44

in between this room and the entrance hall, hence the curtain.

0:22:440:22:48

Right.

0:22:480:22:49

Now, I think it works absolutely fine, that curtain's so heavy.

0:22:490:22:53

-It's certainly different, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Something to get used to.

0:22:530:22:56

It's almost as thick as some walls anyway, isn't it?

0:22:560:22:59

As well as the master bedroom, the ground floor also features

0:22:590:23:03

an additional guest bedroom with en-suite.

0:23:030:23:05

And one of the most impressive family bathrooms I've ever seen.

0:23:060:23:10

This fabulous brick-vaulted room would've contained

0:23:110:23:13

the kiln for the malting.

0:23:130:23:15

Now I just want to pause here momentarily, minding my head.

0:23:180:23:21

Good idea.

0:23:210:23:22

Now, you mentioned you wanted different areas,

0:23:220:23:26

almost like break-out rooms.

0:23:260:23:28

Lovely little reading room, with that light coming in.

0:23:280:23:30

That's really good.

0:23:300:23:31

And just through there, you see the canal

0:23:310:23:33

and then the Severn beyond there as well.

0:23:330:23:35

Yep. Very nice.

0:23:350:23:37

David and Jane could also use this mezzanine floor as another

0:23:380:23:41

sleeping area for guests,

0:23:410:23:43

as there are only two bedrooms in this property as it stands.

0:23:430:23:46

There is one other bedroom option,

0:23:460:23:48

a TV room with a see-through viewing platform of the malting kiln below.

0:23:480:23:53

It's on the first floor, which is where we're heading now.

0:23:530:23:55

Now, what do you make of this?

0:23:570:24:00

-Very nice.

-Wow.

-My word.

0:24:000:24:02

That's a lovely room, isn't it?

0:24:020:24:04

Yes.

0:24:040:24:06

-Kitchen, dining, living, all in one but divided.

-Yeah.

0:24:060:24:11

It's very nice.

0:24:110:24:13

You've got no problem with it being open-plan?

0:24:130:24:15

No. The beams are lovely.

0:24:150:24:16

The skylight... Plenty of light in here, isn't there?

0:24:160:24:18

And then, this is true entertaining, people are sat down at the table...

0:24:180:24:22

That's a nice size, not too big,

0:24:220:24:23

but a lot of work spaces for you to prepare your food. It's really nice.

0:24:230:24:27

I think it's great and it's...

0:24:270:24:30

I love the house, it's whether I see myself living here day to day.

0:24:300:24:34

At the moment, there isn't a great deal of storage space in this house.

0:24:380:24:41

However, the current owners have sought planning permission to build

0:24:410:24:44

a garage on the gravel driveway, so that's something to bear in mind.

0:24:440:24:48

So...

0:24:490:24:50

Lovely house. Your reactions have been quite different.

0:24:510:24:53

I can see you falling in love with the place but then

0:24:530:24:56

the practicalities going through your mind especially, Jane.

0:24:560:24:58

-Yes.

-So how much do you think this house is on the market for?

0:24:580:25:01

-I'm going first today.

-OK.

0:25:010:25:04

530.

0:25:040:25:05

-OK.

-Yeah, I was thinking round that mark, I'll go down to 525.

0:25:060:25:09

This place is on the market for offers around

0:25:110:25:15

£499,950.

0:25:150:25:18

-OK.

-Yes, well, there we are.

0:25:180:25:20

-You guessed over, which is good.

-Yeah.

0:25:200:25:23

Just under budget, our mystery property is

0:25:230:25:25

an 18th century malt house.

0:25:250:25:27

While the layout is unconventional,

0:25:270:25:29

it does give David and Jane

0:25:290:25:30

the huge reception area they wanted.

0:25:300:25:32

But only two bedrooms.

0:25:320:25:34

It's located in the centre

0:25:340:25:35

of a thriving village

0:25:350:25:36

although the golf club is

0:25:360:25:38

a 20-minute drive away.

0:25:380:25:40

-Still smiling.

-Still smiling.

-Very much so.

0:25:420:25:44

-I was worried this house would get you falling out.

-Not quite.

0:25:440:25:47

-It has split the camp though, hasn't it?

-It definitely has, yes.

-Yes.

0:25:470:25:50

Well, I think now's a good time to find somewhere for you guys

0:25:500:25:52

to have a chat and then we'll meet up and talk everything through.

0:25:520:25:55

-Yeah.

-Let's go.

0:25:550:25:56

So, an interesting couple of days. Three houses. What's your favourite?

0:26:010:26:06

I think the second house we saw is our favourite,

0:26:060:26:09

although the third one was very attractive and very lovely.

0:26:090:26:12

I think, on reflection, Jane was right that the difficulties

0:26:120:26:16

and the practicalities of it would make it difficult to live in.

0:26:160:26:20

-But the second one was lovely.

-You've talked him down, have you, Jane?

0:26:200:26:23

-Head over heart...

-Yeah.

-..has made the decision.

0:26:230:26:26

I think that that really isn't a house that you

0:26:260:26:28

can live in on a day-to-day basis, day in, day out, year in, year out.

0:26:280:26:33

You're moving out of London.

0:26:330:26:34

We've shown you three rural properties.

0:26:340:26:37

The last one, the mystery house, was in a village,

0:26:370:26:39

but the second house is rural, still.

0:26:390:26:41

It's in a scattering of houses within a village, if you like.

0:26:410:26:44

Big leap for you. How do you feel about it now?

0:26:440:26:47

It's made us realise that we are social animals

0:26:470:26:50

and we need to be closer to activities and so on.

0:26:500:26:55

So whilst the second property is your favourite,

0:26:550:26:58

it doesn't sound like you're going to pursue it.

0:26:580:27:02

No, I'd say that's probably true.

0:27:020:27:04

Maybe because of what you don't need,

0:27:040:27:06

you don't need a big sprawling house,

0:27:060:27:08

you certainly don't need or want the outside space,

0:27:080:27:11

that lends itself, in my opinion, to maybe a lovely country town,

0:27:110:27:15

a market town, perhaps.

0:27:150:27:17

Yes, I think that's definitely brought that into focus for us.

0:27:170:27:20

Well, it's going to be a very active retirement for you, isn't it?

0:27:200:27:22

-Yes.

-And that fully starts once you've found a house,

0:27:220:27:25

-so I wish you both the very best of luck.

-BOTH: Thank you.

0:27:250:27:28

Well, let's face it. An escape to the country in its truest form

0:27:300:27:33

isn't always for everyone.

0:27:330:27:35

And it certainly seems like the big city of London

0:27:350:27:38

has its claws in David and Jane,

0:27:380:27:40

but I think these past couple of days has been

0:27:400:27:42

a bit of a journey for both of them.

0:27:420:27:44

I think they've come to realise that whilst a truly rural

0:27:440:27:47

environment isn't for them,

0:27:470:27:48

maybe a smaller step to perhaps a market town

0:27:480:27:52

somewhere in the Cotswolds would be the ideal move,

0:27:520:27:54

and let's face it, this beautiful region certainly has

0:27:540:27:57

plenty of these beautiful towns to choose from.

0:27:570:28:00

See you next time.

0:28:000:28:02

If you'd like to escape to the country in England,

0:28:030:28:05

Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland and need our help,

0:28:050:28:08

you can apply online at...

0:28:080:28:10

Jonnie Irwin is helping a couple of golf fanatics to find a slice of rural heaven in the Cotswolds. With a budget of £500,000 they are ready to leave the urban bustle of London.

Away from the house hunt, Jonnie meets the bovine lawnmowers restoring a precious Cotswold habitat.