Cornwall Escape to the Country


Cornwall

Property series. Jonnie Irwin travels to Cornwall to help a horse-loving mother find rural respite with a £465k budget. He also meets a Cornish boat builder.


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Transcript


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Back in the Victorian era, these giant rock stacks

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inspired locals to come up with a tall story

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to help lure tourists here.

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So which county lays claim to this dramatic coastline?

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Find out in just a moment.

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Today's buyer has already sold her house

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and has brought along her friend

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to help her find the perfect country property for the whole family.

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It's a huge living space.

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-Very family-orientated.

-Yes.

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And as we get closer to what she's after,

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it's clear there's a lot resting on this move.

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Wow, I love it.

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Oh, don't. Don't, don't, don't.

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Today I'm in Cornwall.

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And these stacks of rocks are the Bedruthan Steps,

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located just near Newquay on the northern shore of the county.

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These have been a popular tourist destination

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ever since Victorian times,

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when, in order to increase popularity of the area,

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they told stories of a Cornish giant named Bedruthan,

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who built these steps in order to get across the bay.

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Now, of course, shipwrecks are also part of

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this treacherous coastline's history.

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And in 1846

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a cargo ship was wrecked against one of these stacks,

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leaving the enterprising locals to benefit

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by salvaging some of the cargo of luxury fabrics.

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So, whether fact or fiction,

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it's this wonderful shoreline that provides the kind of natural drama

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you can find right across this stunning county.

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Cornwall is Britain's most southerly county.

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Surrounded predominantly by the sea,

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it shares its only land border with Devon.

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With a coastline stretching over 400 miles,

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it's the longest of any county,

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with spectacular scenery including

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the glistening expanse of sandy beach just outside Bude.

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Peppered along the shoreline

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are picture-postcard villages such as Mevagissey,

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with its unspoiled harbour,

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which was once the centre of Cornwall's pilchard-fishing industry

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and is still home to a number of working boats.

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Inland, Cornwall bears the scars of the heavy industry that once thrived

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here in the 19th century, when tin and copper mining was at its peak.

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One of the county's most famous landmarks is St Michael's Mount,

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a rocky island capped by a castle and medieval church

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dating back to the 12th century.

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And at the heart of the region lies the wild terrain of Bodmin Moor.

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Archaeologists have found evidence of human activity here

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stretching back some 4,000 years.

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It's this rich variety of landscape that makes Cornwall such a popular

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destination for those seeking a quieter, rural way of life.

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Bearing in mind such beauty and history,

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the Cornish property market still delivers pretty good value.

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The average price of a detached house here

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comes in at around £269,000.

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That's around £13,000 below the national figure.

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But, perhaps unsurprisingly,

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the closer you get to its stunning coastline,

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the more expensive the property gets,

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particularly in towns like Padstow and right here in Fowey.

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But travel inland, and in particular to the west,

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then your budget will stretch further.

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And by that, try out the historic mining towns of Camborne and Redruth.

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So what's attracting today's buyer to this beautiful county?

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Let's meet her and find out.

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Today's property shopper is Sharon,

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who has asked her best friend, Jill,

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along for moral support during the house search.

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For the last 18 years,

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Sharon has lived in Banbury in Oxfordshire,

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and the two ladies first met when they were neighbours.

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We have children roughly the same age.

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So when they started going to school, and we were kind of, "Ah."

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About one o'clock, I'd be like... "Mmm...I'll just go and see Jill."

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And it's just carried on from there.

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And Jill has horses, and I have horses,

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and we both love animals, and it's just kind of snowballed,

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and now she's my bestie.

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Home is currently a five-bedroom property on the edge of town.

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But since moving to Banbury nearly two decades ago

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with her former husband, Sharon has noticed a change.

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When we first moved here, Banbury was quite a small market town.

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Unfortunately, as time's gone on,

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Banbury has probably expanded to double its size.

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So, you kind of lose a little bit of that small-town,

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"everybody knows everybody" feel.

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And that was what attracted me to live here in the first place.

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Sharon has four children between the ages of 10 and 23.

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She has a busy time juggling night work at a supermarket with

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looking after the kids. They'll all be joining her on the move,

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and she's aware it's a big step for the whole family.

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When I moved here with my then husband,

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and we made the decision together,

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but now this move is me, this is my decision.

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And it's quite hard to make sure that I'm making the right decision

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for me and the children. The pressure's on.

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Fortunately, friend Jill is on hand to help Sharon make the right call.

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If there's something that I really think is not going to work for her

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but she's looking at it through rose-tinted glasses,

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then I am quite brutally honest and I will give her the truth

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and try and steer her in a different direction.

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But this move isn't a total leap of faith,

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as Sharon has chosen a region very close to her heart.

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We've looked at Cornwall because I have many memories

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of holidaying there with my grandparents.

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And my daughter Megan is at university down there at the moment.

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And she's already said that's where she wants to make her home,

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so it's just trying to have a re-evaluation of family,

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how to spend more time together as time goes on.

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And as well as spending more time with her children,

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animal lover Sharon hopes the move will help her bond with her horses.

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I have two horses. I have Burt and Nico.

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They're a huge part of the move.

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Because we've had them at livery yards, we've rented fields,

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the move is partly so that we can have them much closer to home,

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so we have more time to do things with them.

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After 18 years in Banbury, Sharon will be leaving many friends behind,

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not least long-standing buddy Jill.

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I'm gutted, because she is my best friend.

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But I can completely see why she needs to move

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and why she wants to go somewhere else. But...

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I haven't told her I'm taking her in my suitcase yet!

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-I'll be there. I'll be coming to visit.

-She's coming with me. She's coming with me all the way.

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Sharon wants a house within a reasonable distance

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of major urban centres such as Truro and Plymouth in Devon

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so her children can find work and socialise with friends.

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I'm meeting up with the two ladies in Cornwall

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to run over Sharon's property wish list.

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So here we are in this beautiful county

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that lots of people come on holiday to.

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-You want to make that a full-time move.

-Yes.

-OK.

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If I don't do it now, I'm never going to do it.

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I hear that quite a lot. Why do you say that, then?

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Due to a relationship break-up I have to sell my house now.

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So now is the time to do it. Either I stay where I am

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or I make a completely different chapter in my life,

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move forward, new challenges, new adventures.

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You're very brave, striking out on your own,

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coming hundreds of miles from where you currently live to a new place.

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-Are you filled with anticipation? Are you nervous?

-I'm very nervous.

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This is...

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-This is my life.

-It's a big decision for you.

-Huge decision.

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Let's talk about the house itself.

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How many bedrooms are we looking for?

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-Ideally four.

-Right.

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Kitchen/diner. Small garden. You know, doesn't need to be massive.

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Not fussed about year of the house.

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I've lived in everything from an 1880s cottage

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through to a 1960s house.

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Now, Jill, as best mate,

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you tell me, what do you think

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Sharon really wants in her new house here?

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Plenty of space and light.

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-Right.

-And nice, light and airy rooms.

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If you put her in somewhere where it's dark, she'll hate it.

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What would be something you saw in a house that makes you think, "Cor,

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"this is for me, I absolutely love this"?

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-Location more than anything.

-Really?

-Yeah.

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You're going to have, obviously, your children living at home.

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Do you want to be close to a big town,

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or within striking distance of a small town or village?

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-What's the most important thing to you?

-Ideally, for me...

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-Yeah?

-Middle of nowhere.

-Ha, yeah.

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Ideally for children,

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they need to be somewhere near a much bigger community

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so they can have lives, so they can go out,

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so they can meet friends, get jobs.

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OK. Let's talk budget.

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As a cash buyer, 425,000.

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-Right.

-Um, probably go a little bit more with a small mortgage.

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You can maybe push that budget to what?

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-Comfortably?

-450?

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Well, as cash buyers you should be in a decent position

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to negotiate at the very least. Let's go.

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-Come with me.

-Lovely. OK.

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Ideally, Sharon would like to spend £425,000,

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but for the right property

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could, with a small mortgage, go up to £450,000.

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For that, she'd like a four-bedroom property for her family.

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Although she's not fussed about age or style,

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she'd like it to have space and light,

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and a kitchen/diner would be desirable.

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The garden doesn't need to be too big, but she'd like at least

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three acres of accessible land for her two horses.

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And she'd like to be close

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to a town for schools.

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We've got three wonderful Cornish homes lined up

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to captivate Sharon and Jill.

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At each one they'll have to guess the price at the end of the tour.

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With our final choice, the mystery property,

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it's less about what's inside than out.

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We're kicking off our property search in the hamlet of Draynes,

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around a 50-minute drive from Truro and Plymouth.

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The closest village for amenities is St Neot,

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around two and a half miles away.

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Situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor,

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the village is named after a ninth-century monk and has a vibrant

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community spirit with a social club serving as a venue for local bands,

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a post office which doubles up as a shop, as well as a pub and a church.

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There's also a primary school for Sharon's youngest son.

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Many of the pretty cottages dotted around the village are built from

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locally quarried granite stone.

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Back in the hamlet of Draynes,

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house number one is a semidetached cottage,

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located on a quiet country lane.

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Now then, ladies, house number one.

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-Okey-cokey.

-What's the first thing you think when you see this?

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The trees are quite close to the house, aren't they?

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They are, actually, and they don't help with the house's light.

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So that might be something you want to think about in the future.

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Parts of it date back,

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local historians reckon, to the 16th century.

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-This bit...

-Yeah.

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That was added around 1995.

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-Right, OK.

-So, Jill, come on, you're best mate,

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what's going through your mind?

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I don't think she'll like the fact that it's semidetached.

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Right. You didn't express the need or desire for a detached house.

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-Not specifically.

-But...

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But...I have a detached house at the moment.

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Right, OK. So what I'll say is let's approach this with fresh eyes.

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-Come at this house with an open mind. All right?

-Yeah, OK.

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Please. Come on.

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A somewhat measured response to the outside of what was once

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a former farmhouse, built of local granite but now partially rendered.

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Inside for starters,

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there's a dining room with double doors out onto the back garden.

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But since Sharon expressly asked for an eat-in kitchen,

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we're heading straight there.

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Now then, typical farmhouse kitchen.

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-I quite like it, actually.

-Good.

-Yes.

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I like the low ceilings.

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-What about the fittings here? I mean, this is...

-Units are lovely.

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It's bespoke. Made by a local joiner.

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They're very much in keeping with the period of the house.

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-Yeah.

-Country feel.

-So far...? Come on.

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Pleasantly surprised with the inside of the house, I would say.

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Let's hope you keep that way next-door. Come on.

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You'll notice you get a bit more ceiling height in here.

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-I like the fireplace.

-Very snug. If that wood burner was on...

-Yep.

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..this would be a really, really warm, cosy, very intimate space.

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I think this house gets better as you keep looking through it.

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-Let's take you to the bedrooms and see what you think.

-OK.

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In addition to the farmhouse kitchen and sitting room,

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in the extended part of the house there's a further reception room,

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a cosy snug or study.

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The ground floor also includes a utility room located in an outhouse

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which is accessed from the front driveway.

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Upstairs, there are four bedrooms.

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These include a sizeable double with an en-suite shower room,

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a single which overlooks the front of the house,

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and another spacious double,

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large enough for a four-poster bed

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as well as a fully tiled family bathroom.

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With Sharon's eldest daughter at university,

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there should be enough sleeping options

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for her three other children.

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Now, you'll be pleased to hear you get four bedrooms on this level.

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But this is easily my favourite.

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I like this. It's quite a large room.

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-Mm-hm.

-Double-aspect windows.

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It has an en suite as well.

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I have a much smaller en suite.

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So that's a bonus.

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Space-wise, there possibly is enough room in the bedrooms.

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Probably more than I was expecting.

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-All right.

-On this house.

-Is there a "but" here, or...? You don't...

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No, there's not a "but". It's just...

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-I have to get my head around how things...can work.

-Mm-hm.

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And how it all fits in with my family.

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Let's go outside. Let's take a look at the garden and the land, yeah?

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-OK.

-Come with me.

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Sharon seems to be warming to this deceptively large property.

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But let's not forget she also wanted land for her two horses.

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The garden extends to the back and, as well as a generous stone patio,

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is largely laid to lawn

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and sheltered by mature trees and shrubs.

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The land extends to five acres

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and is divided into fruit and vegetable plots,

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a chicken run,

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a sloping paddock,

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as well as a more-level orchard with its own access,

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a potential home for Sharon's horses.

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This land has been laid fallow for a couple of years now.

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But you can see it's got some pretty good keep for horses.

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I think this is a decent gradient.

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You could have horses here, couldn't you?

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-It's a bit flatter down there, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-It's not quite as steep.

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You've got five acres here. You've got another field just

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the other side of these brambles, these...overgrown hedge, really.

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The whole land needs pulling into shape again.

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-It does.

-Especially for horses.

-It does need some work.

-Yeah.

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So let's have a go at guessing the price.

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For the amount of land, four bedrooms...

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taking into account it needs some work,

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erm, I'd still say...415?

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-Jill?

-I'd say 395.

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Good guess. The asking price for this property is actually £399,950.

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-Little bit more tempting now.

-OK, good.

-It's under 400.

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And remember, it is only an asking price.

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Why don't you go back into the house,

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get a feel for this place now, OK?

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-And then I'll meet you whenever you're done.

-OK.

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-See you in a mo, ladies.

-All right, thank you.

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Priced at just under £400,000,

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our first house is a semidetached

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extended stone cottage,

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benefiting from

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some fine period details.

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It offers Sharon

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the eat-in kitchen she asked for,

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four bedrooms as well as a potential

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extra one in the downstairs snug.

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In addition to the secluded garden,

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there's enough land

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for her two horses,

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which can be made fit for purpose

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with the money she has left over.

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The house is a bit of a TARDIS on the inside.

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It's much larger than it appears from the outside.

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You have some really family-friendly spaces.

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You can imagine it being warm and snug during winter.

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The land needs quite a lot of work to get it friendly for the horses,

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in terms of chopping down trees and fencing.

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Sharon, I think, is quite nervous about the move anyway,

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because, obviously, she has to make sure she makes the right decision.

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So therefore it's very important for her

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to make sure she has the right house.

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So I think there's a bit of trepidation

0:16:180:16:21

and a little bit of anxiety

0:16:210:16:22

going on in her head at the moment.

0:16:220:16:25

-All done?

-All done.

-How do you feel now, about the house?

0:16:280:16:31

Much better than first impressions.

0:16:310:16:33

Good. Sometimes these things take time, don't they,

0:16:330:16:35

-to get to know a property, certainly?

-Yeah.

0:16:350:16:37

Well, that's only one down. Two more to go. Come with me.

0:16:370:16:41

In the south of the county, around St Austell,

0:16:470:16:49

the towering peaks known as the Cornish Alps are a visual reminder

0:16:490:16:53

of the region's association with china clay.

0:16:530:16:56

250 years ago,

0:16:560:16:58

a local apothecary discovered an element found in granite

0:16:580:17:01

could be used in the porcelain-making process,

0:17:010:17:04

and the china-clay industry was born.

0:17:040:17:07

By the 19th century,

0:17:070:17:08

the St Austell deposits were the largest in the world,

0:17:080:17:11

and china clay was exported from

0:17:110:17:13

thriving maritime ports such as Charlestown.

0:17:130:17:16

The discovery of china clay inspired generations of artists

0:17:160:17:20

to turn their hand to making porcelain pottery.

0:17:200:17:22

One such potter is Chris Prindl,

0:17:220:17:24

who's been working with ceramics for 27 years.

0:17:240:17:28

Since Sharon is keen to learn more about the region's history,

0:17:280:17:31

we sent her and Jill to find out more about this remarkable

0:17:310:17:34

naturally occurring material.

0:17:340:17:36

Chris, do you specialise in your use of a particular material in your pottery?

0:17:360:17:40

I've worked in lots of different ways,

0:17:400:17:42

but more and more I'm working in porcelain, made out of china clay.

0:17:420:17:45

It's the most wonderful, pure, white, translucent substance.

0:17:450:17:49

I've got a little pot I made here, so you can see.

0:17:490:17:51

And what's amazing about it is if I hold that up to the sun,

0:17:510:17:54

you can just see light shining through it.

0:17:540:17:57

And it's just... It's a very beautiful, white,

0:17:570:18:00

very pure substance.

0:18:000:18:01

You can make pots much finer than in any other material.

0:18:010:18:05

I can actually make pots in clay as fine as this,

0:18:050:18:08

but they don't feel right.

0:18:080:18:09

They feel too thin.

0:18:090:18:11

Whereas this, getting to eggshell thinness, it just feels lovely.

0:18:110:18:14

The china clay used in Chris's porcelain

0:18:160:18:18

comes from within a five-mile radius of his workshop.

0:18:180:18:21

The raw material is a very fine powder.

0:18:210:18:24

So, if you feel that...

0:18:240:18:26

That's very, very fine.

0:18:260:18:28

-It feels...

-Like flour, almost, but finer.

-Yeah. It's amazingly light.

0:18:280:18:33

You take kaolin, or china clay, like this and there's different recipes,

0:18:330:18:37

but most porcelains are about 50% china clay.

0:18:370:18:41

And then we add other things like quartz or flint or feldspar,

0:18:410:18:45

to make up the body that you can actually use

0:18:450:18:47

that we can fire properly and make the pots with.

0:18:470:18:50

And this is the porcelain.

0:18:500:18:52

So if you feel that, you're going to feel it's quite different.

0:18:520:18:55

That's very, very heavy. Very dense and...

0:18:550:18:58

Very cold.

0:18:580:19:00

Turning the powder into a dense porcelain takes a lot of work.

0:19:000:19:03

So Chris buys his porcelain ready-mixed.

0:19:030:19:06

He's going to show them how to make a small bowl.

0:19:060:19:08

The first step is to throw the clay.

0:19:080:19:11

It's called throwing

0:19:110:19:13

because the first thing you do is you get your lump of clay

0:19:130:19:17

and you...you can throw it if you want to,

0:19:170:19:19

but you bang it in the middle of the wheel head.

0:19:190:19:23

The first thing we're going to do is try to get control of the porcelain.

0:19:270:19:31

My right hand's on top, my left hand tucked in here.

0:19:310:19:34

So can you see that's wobbling around like...

0:19:340:19:36

not crazy, but wobbling around?

0:19:360:19:38

I'm going to try and stop it wobbling.

0:19:380:19:40

This is called centring. I'm going to show you what I mean.

0:19:400:19:43

Come round the front here, and the amount of pressure you want...

0:19:430:19:49

-Ooh, whoops, it came off.

-LAUGHTER

0:19:490:19:51

Stop the wheel. That's fine. That happens quite often.

0:19:510:19:54

You didn't bang it down hard enough.

0:19:540:19:56

After a couple of minutes, Sharon gets the hang of centring.

0:19:560:19:59

-So you've got that feeling that it's not wobbling around too much?

-Yeah.

0:19:590:20:02

If you watch me again, I'm going to put my hands either side,

0:20:020:20:06

and I'm going to go straight down the middle.

0:20:060:20:09

Every time you touch it, you want to come off gently.

0:20:090:20:12

Having done that,

0:20:120:20:13

you're going to go to the bottom of the hole that you've made

0:20:130:20:17

and you're going to gently widen it, pulling towards you.

0:20:170:20:21

That's it.

0:20:210:20:22

The final stage is to open out the cylinder into the form of a bowl.

0:20:220:20:27

Coming up.

0:20:270:20:28

As you get to the top, you think, "Oh, what's going to happen?"

0:20:280:20:31

And then I come off.

0:20:310:20:33

With a little help from Chris, both of their bowls begin to take shape.

0:20:330:20:37

Come off really gently.

0:20:370:20:38

Good.

0:20:380:20:40

The final step is to use a plastic rib

0:20:400:20:42

to finesse the shape of the final piece.

0:20:420:20:45

That's lovely. I think that's very good.

0:20:450:20:48

The bowls will then be left to dry for a day or two before being fired

0:20:480:20:51

twice in the kiln at around 1,000 degrees Celsius.

0:20:510:20:54

Well, today has been absolutely amazing.

0:20:540:20:57

-I've really enjoyed this.

-Good.

-It's been great fun.

0:20:570:20:59

-So have I. Thank you very much.

-It's been very nice to meet you.

0:20:590:21:02

-And best of luck with your house search.

-Thank you.

0:21:020:21:05

For our second offering, we're heading around 40 miles south-west

0:21:110:21:15

to the hamlet of Crofthandy.

0:21:150:21:17

The nearest settlement for services is the village of St Day,

0:21:170:21:20

which was the thriving centre for the copper-mining industry

0:21:200:21:23

from the 16th century right up until the 1830s.

0:21:230:21:26

In the 19th century,

0:21:260:21:28

cheaper copper deposits were discovered in South America,

0:21:280:21:30

and the Cornish mines could no longer compete.

0:21:300:21:34

Today, the village and surrounding former mining area is protected

0:21:340:21:37

as a World Heritage Site.

0:21:370:21:39

And landmarks include a clock tower,

0:21:390:21:40

built in 1832 and recently restored by the local community.

0:21:400:21:45

House number two is situated just outside St Day

0:21:460:21:49

in the hamlet of Crofthandy,

0:21:490:21:51

in a secluded rural setting with views across the valley.

0:21:510:21:55

So, we're detached.

0:21:550:21:57

-It is.

-What's your thought?

0:21:570:21:59

-Looks big.

-Looks very big.

0:21:590:22:00

It is a lot bigger than the last place.

0:22:000:22:03

And in my opinion it's probably a lot more user-friendly

0:22:030:22:06

for you and your horses.

0:22:060:22:08

-OK.

-You look like you've got a reasonable view.

0:22:080:22:10

Amazing, isn't it? That's a World Heritage Site now.

0:22:100:22:12

Is it an old tin mine?

0:22:120:22:14

Yeah. This used to be the richest square mile in the world,

0:22:140:22:17

apparently, when this was all operational.

0:22:170:22:20

And this property was the counting house for the mine.

0:22:200:22:23

-Brilliant.

-Happy?

-Happy.

-Yes.

-Come with me.

0:22:230:22:26

This handsome half-slate-hung property

0:22:280:22:30

is set within four acres of land with up-and-running

0:22:300:22:33

equestrian facilities, which we'll explore later.

0:22:330:22:36

The house itself has a quirky upside-down layout

0:22:360:22:39

with the bedrooms on the ground floor

0:22:390:22:41

and the living accommodation upstairs.

0:22:410:22:43

We're starting on the ground floor with the bedrooms.

0:22:430:22:47

-OK.

-This is your master. I mean, it's an upside-down house.

0:22:470:22:50

-Some people feel a bit weird.

-I wasn't expecting an upside-down...

0:22:500:22:53

-No.

-..house.

0:22:530:22:55

-I was expecting to walk this way and go, "Oh, it's a living room."

-No.

0:22:550:22:58

But it makes sense, because of the views, doesn't it?

0:22:580:23:00

-Yeah. Big, isn't it?

-It is big.

0:23:000:23:02

-(Wow.)

-With a big en suite. Did I see a "wow" being mouthed?

0:23:020:23:05

Yes. It's very large.

0:23:050:23:07

-Double windows again.

-Yeah.

0:23:070:23:09

I like the floor. Yeah, this bedroom is a good size.

0:23:090:23:11

There's a reason why the living accommodation is upstairs,

0:23:110:23:14

and I think they've done a really good job. Let me show you.

0:23:140:23:17

There are four other bedrooms on the ground floor,

0:23:190:23:21

one for each of Sharon's children.

0:23:210:23:24

Two of those, both doubles, overlook the front of the house.

0:23:240:23:28

And there are two at the rear, one of which is dual-aspect.

0:23:280:23:32

All four bedrooms are served by a family bathroom.

0:23:320:23:35

Now then, you'll see things get... a lot more open-plan up here.

0:23:380:23:42

What's going through your mind?

0:23:420:23:44

-Do you like it?

-Yes.

-It's a huge living space.

0:23:440:23:47

Very family-orientated.

0:23:470:23:49

Yes, exactly that.

0:23:490:23:50

-It is.

-This would be the hub of the home, wouldn't it?

0:23:500:23:52

-Absolutely, yes.

-And the views, look at the views.

0:23:520:23:56

Now, one thing you said, Jill,

0:23:560:23:58

that you thought Sharon would want was light, airy rooms.

0:23:580:24:01

Yes.

0:24:010:24:03

-It is a nice, big, light, airy room.

-Going well, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:24:030:24:06

Kitchen next. I can see you peering round. Might as well show you.

0:24:060:24:10

It's...a nice square size.

0:24:100:24:12

Obviously, you don't need a dining space

0:24:120:24:15

-because it just flows naturally in.

-This is just for preparing.

0:24:150:24:18

Everything's just being used. It's a very good use of space.

0:24:180:24:20

I'm just interested in seeing more.

0:24:200:24:22

When you like a house, you want to race through it and see everything.

0:24:220:24:25

-Yeah.

-And then go back and visit it.

0:24:250:24:26

Let's stick with that. Let me show you outside. Come with me.

0:24:260:24:29

There's a lot to take in at this vast property.

0:24:300:24:33

A small hallway at the top of the staircase

0:24:330:24:36

leads to two further rooms,

0:24:360:24:37

a large games room that could possibly make a sixth bedroom

0:24:370:24:41

for when Jill comes to stay, and a smaller office space.

0:24:410:24:44

The kitchen benefits from a separate utility room,

0:24:440:24:47

allowing storage for the white goods, and beyond that

0:24:470:24:50

there's also a shower room.

0:24:500:24:52

Outside, the feeling of space continues.

0:24:520:24:55

Immediately to the rear of the kitchen, there's a raised decking,

0:24:550:24:58

ideal for entertaining in the summer.

0:24:580:25:00

To the side of the house there's a large area of flat lawn

0:25:000:25:03

and a static caravan, included in the sale.

0:25:030:25:07

And at the back, a raised terrace laid to grass

0:25:070:25:09

with a timber climbing frame for the kids.

0:25:090:25:12

For the horses, there's an established stable block and

0:25:120:25:15

a gently sloping enclosed paddock with views across the valley.

0:25:150:25:18

Now then, this land is all included.

0:25:220:25:27

-How much land is there?

-About four acres.

-OK.

0:25:270:25:30

I think this bit is a bit steep.

0:25:300:25:32

I know we've got a flat piece there.

0:25:320:25:33

But if you're bringing them in, that is quite steep.

0:25:330:25:36

This is a horse paddock. There's loads of flat areas there and there.

0:25:360:25:39

-Come on, it's being used as a horse paddock.

-Yeah.

0:25:390:25:41

-It is, yeah.

-OK, now you've seen the house and the land,

0:25:410:25:44

have a go at guessing the price.

0:25:440:25:45

I'm going to go in with 435.

0:25:450:25:49

OK.

0:25:490:25:50

-Jill?

-I'm going to say 420.

0:25:500:25:52

This place is on the market for offers around £445,000.

0:25:530:25:58

And I've spoken to the owner directly

0:25:580:26:00

and he's hoping to get as close to that as humanly possible.

0:26:000:26:03

Yeah. I can see why.

0:26:030:26:04

So, what's your thoughts now you know the price, Sharon?

0:26:040:26:07

-I'd like to go and have another look at the house.

-OK. Do just that.

0:26:070:26:11

I'll catch you later. See you in a bit.

0:26:110:26:13

Priced at £5,000

0:26:160:26:17

under Sharon's maximum budget,

0:26:170:26:20

the second property offers her

0:26:200:26:21

the choice of a vast house

0:26:210:26:23

with an up-and-running facility

0:26:230:26:24

for the horses.

0:26:240:26:26

A former counting house

0:26:260:26:27

for the local mine,

0:26:270:26:28

its upside-down configuration offers

0:26:280:26:30

up five bedrooms on the ground floor

0:26:300:26:32

and a spacious open-plan

0:26:320:26:34

layout upstairs.

0:26:340:26:36

The four acres of land

0:26:360:26:37

has been divided into a garden

0:26:370:26:39

and a paddock for two horses

0:26:390:26:41

with stabling options.

0:26:410:26:42

The house was very large inside, very airy.

0:26:420:26:46

The family accommodation upstairs has a good

0:26:460:26:49

sitting room, dining room, kitchen flow through it,

0:26:490:26:52

so you could have the children doing their homework,

0:26:520:26:54

could be watching TV, entertaining, anything you want,

0:26:540:26:57

and everyone wouldn't be treading on everyone's toes.

0:26:570:27:00

It has got a lot going for it. It's got a huge amount of space.

0:27:000:27:03

My real concern, I think,

0:27:030:27:04

is there is quite a steep slope for the first paddock.

0:27:040:27:07

I'm thinking about the winter months, when it's snowing and icy,

0:27:070:27:10

and you have to bring your horses in.

0:27:100:27:12

That might be a little bit tricky, I think.

0:27:120:27:15

Now then, ladies, is it something

0:27:150:27:16

worth consideration over dinner tonight?

0:27:160:27:18

-Definitely.

-Good.

-Have a talk about it later.

0:27:180:27:21

Perfect. Let's go.

0:27:210:27:22

It's the second day of our property search in Cornwall,

0:27:300:27:32

with Sharon and her friend Jill from Banbury.

0:27:320:27:35

Armed with a maximum budget of £450,000,

0:27:350:27:39

Sharon wants a home for her family and enough land for two horses.

0:27:390:27:42

Coming up, at the mystery property,

0:27:420:27:45

it's less about the house and more about the horse.

0:27:450:27:48

This is the sort of thing that you move mountains for.

0:27:480:27:51

And I ride the waves on one of Cornwall's classic sailing crafts.

0:27:510:27:55

-How's about?

-This is brilliant, Martin. Absolutely amazing.

0:27:550:27:58

Whilst I think we looked at two decent property options yesterday,

0:28:020:28:06

I don't think Sharon was particularly taken with the land at either.

0:28:060:28:11

So today at the Mystery House we're going to focus on just that.

0:28:110:28:15

The mystery property offers up,

0:28:150:28:17

well, in my opinion, the equestrian dream.

0:28:170:28:19

But being the Mystery House,

0:28:190:28:21

of course it comes with a couple of compromises.

0:28:210:28:23

And those will be in the house itself.

0:28:230:28:27

Let's see how we get on.

0:28:270:28:29

Now you've seen two houses down here...

0:28:300:28:32

-Yeah.

-..how do you feel about what your budget can get you?

0:28:320:28:35

I still feel like my budget can get me something reasonable.

0:28:360:28:40

-Still positive about the move?

-Still positive.

0:28:400:28:42

Yeah? You sound like you're saying the words, you don't sound like you mean them particularly.

0:28:420:28:46

No, I am still positive about it.

0:28:460:28:48

It's just...I am realising that in five weeks

0:28:480:28:52

the place that I now call home is no longer going to be mine.

0:28:520:28:55

It's going to be somebody else's home.

0:28:550:28:56

Yeah, this is bringing it all to the fore, isn't it?

0:28:560:28:59

-This is the real pressure, the real crunch time.

-Yeah, of course it is.

0:28:590:29:02

For our mystery property,

0:29:040:29:06

we're staying within the Cornish mining World Heritage Site and

0:29:060:29:09

travelling to the hamlet of North Carnmarth,

0:29:090:29:12

just outside the town of Redruth.

0:29:120:29:14

At one time a small market town,

0:29:140:29:15

in the 19th century it became the urban centre

0:29:150:29:18

of the richest metal-mining area in the country.

0:29:180:29:21

And there are remnants of its industrial past all around you,

0:29:210:29:25

from imposing hillside relics

0:29:250:29:27

to the grand architecture lining its streets.

0:29:270:29:29

Notable buildings include the Mining Exchange,

0:29:290:29:32

where copper and tin auctions took place.

0:29:320:29:35

Redruth has both primary and secondary schools,

0:29:350:29:38

and the train station runs regular services

0:29:380:29:40

directly into London Paddington.

0:29:400:29:43

Our mystery option is located in a rural position,

0:29:430:29:45

just outside the town,

0:29:450:29:47

with fantastic views across the North Cornish coast.

0:29:470:29:50

It's an idyllic location,

0:29:500:29:52

but Sharon may have to compromise on the actual house

0:29:520:29:55

to get the land she wants for her horses.

0:29:550:29:57

So, the Mystery House.

0:29:590:30:01

We've certainly gone on your request for a bit of peace and quiet.

0:30:010:30:05

-What do we think?

-I love it.

-Wow. View's amazing.

0:30:070:30:10

I kind of want to talk about the house,

0:30:100:30:12

-but you can't ignore this, can you?

-No.

0:30:120:30:14

-Stunning, isn't it?

-It is.

-It's beautiful.

0:30:140:30:17

Let's talk about the house.

0:30:170:30:18

Well maintained, looks bright, looks airy.

0:30:180:30:21

-Could you make this your home, Sharon? This sort of location?

-Yes.

0:30:210:30:25

-Is this what you had in mind?

-Yeah.

-I just want to have a look now.

0:30:250:30:27

-Let's go inside.

-Yeah.

0:30:270:30:29

Set within a five-acre plot,

0:30:310:30:33

the farmhouse retains a wealth of character

0:30:330:30:35

and views from its many windows.

0:30:350:30:37

To the side of the sweeping driveway is a detached garage block,

0:30:370:30:41

which also includes a shower room at the back.

0:30:410:30:44

To get our tour under way we're heading straight into the kitchen.

0:30:440:30:47

Right then, ladies, first impressions.

0:30:490:30:51

Good or bad, let me know.

0:30:510:30:53

Stunning views from this window.

0:30:530:30:55

Not a huge kitchen, but it's...nice.

0:30:550:30:57

It's very light, it's very airy with double aspect.

0:30:570:31:00

This is a kitchen that you could... live with,

0:31:000:31:03

and then, if you wanted to change a style or a design,

0:31:030:31:06

as time went on, then you would do it then.

0:31:060:31:08

But it's perfect. You could come in now and use it straight as it is.

0:31:080:31:11

Stick with it, then. Come with me.

0:31:110:31:13

Just off the kitchen there's a long, double-aspect dining room,

0:31:150:31:18

with exposed original beams.

0:31:180:31:20

And that leads into the living room.

0:31:200:31:22

So as you can see, one of two reception areas.

0:31:230:31:26

-What say you?

-I think that's a good size.

0:31:260:31:28

Very, very light.

0:31:280:31:29

Very bright. Stunning views over our shoulder.

0:31:290:31:32

Look out that window. Brilliant.

0:31:320:31:34

It just has a warmth to it that makes it feel like a family home.

0:31:340:31:37

Yeah. Now, outside, you look at it, you think, "Oh, it's a bungalow."

0:31:370:31:42

But actually you've got three bedrooms upstairs.

0:31:420:31:44

-Right.

-One of the bedrooms is downstairs,

0:31:440:31:46

but I think you've got room here. Let me show you.

0:31:460:31:49

The downstairs bedroom is a good-size double

0:31:520:31:54

and is served by a family bathroom.

0:31:540:31:56

But this is the only bathroom in the property,

0:31:560:31:59

and that's one of the compromises Sharon and her family

0:31:590:32:02

will have to make, as there are no washing facilities upstairs.

0:32:020:32:05

Of the three first-floor bedrooms, there's a small double

0:32:050:32:09

and a single with a dormer window overlooking the driveway,

0:32:090:32:12

which just leaves Sharon's potential master.

0:32:120:32:15

-Right then.

-It's a very bright little room.

0:32:180:32:21

You weren't expecting it to be as big?

0:32:210:32:23

I wasn't expecting it to be this big, no.

0:32:230:32:25

I like the low ceilings.

0:32:250:32:27

-You LIKE the low ceilings?

-I do like the low ceilings. It's cosy.

0:32:270:32:30

Three bedrooms up here, one bedroom downstairs.

0:32:300:32:32

-There's your four bedrooms.

-Yeah.

0:32:320:32:34

-So you're happy with the size of this house?

-Yeah.

0:32:340:32:37

Well, in that case, any compromises I thought you might have

0:32:370:32:40

have been competently nullified, because outside it just gets better.

0:32:400:32:44

-Come with me.

-Outstanding.

0:32:440:32:46

By far the best reactions we've had so far to a property,

0:32:470:32:50

and it's the smallest one we've shown Sharon and Jill.

0:32:500:32:53

Outside, though, there's no shortage of space.

0:32:530:32:57

The well-maintained formal garden

0:32:570:32:58

wraps itself around the farmhouse, with views towards the coast.

0:32:580:33:02

And there's both a patio area for entertaining

0:33:020:33:05

and a separate vegetable patch.

0:33:050:33:07

The outbuildings include a spacious barn measuring 90 square metres,

0:33:070:33:11

and a summerhouse with power and plumbing inside.

0:33:110:33:14

But Sharon's two horses will be truly spoiled here,

0:33:160:33:19

because not only is there a sand school for exercising the horses,

0:33:190:33:22

but there's also a generous block of five stables

0:33:220:33:25

and three separate paddocks.

0:33:250:33:27

Now, land-wise,

0:33:300:33:32

you've got a flat paddock there - see it?

0:33:320:33:35

Yeah.

0:33:350:33:36

A paddock the other side of that barn we've just walked past

0:33:360:33:40

and those stables.

0:33:400:33:41

And then here, look,

0:33:410:33:43

all in all, five acres of flat pasture land.

0:33:430:33:47

-That's more like it.

-Wow, I love it.

0:33:470:33:50

Oh, don't. Don't, don't, don't.

0:33:510:33:54

I do, I love it.

0:33:560:33:58

You've got lots here to make this brilliant for ever for you guys.

0:33:580:34:03

This is the sort of thing that you move mountains for.

0:34:030:34:06

So, time to guess the price.

0:34:060:34:08

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

0:34:080:34:11

I think this is over my budget.

0:34:110:34:13

I'm going to go 460.

0:34:130:34:14

Jill, you're folding your arms. That doesn't bode well.

0:34:140:34:17

I'm going to say 455.

0:34:170:34:19

Not bad guesses.

0:34:190:34:20

This place is on the market for offers around 449,950.

0:34:200:34:25

It's great. It's fantastic.

0:34:250:34:28

-Happy, happy.

-Happy, happy.

0:34:280:34:29

Good. You didn't seem happy in the car this morning.

0:34:290:34:32

These are two different ladies.

0:34:320:34:34

Anticipation, I think.

0:34:340:34:36

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-Well, look, fill your boots.

0:34:360:34:38

Have a good look at it. All right? See you later on.

0:34:380:34:41

Well, I've got to say,

0:34:440:34:45

it's a relief as much as anything else.

0:34:450:34:47

I know just how important this big move down here to Cornwall

0:34:470:34:50

is for Sharon, and...

0:34:500:34:53

with a following wind,

0:34:530:34:54

I think we might have found just the place for her.

0:34:540:34:57

Coming in a whisker under Sharon's maximum budget,

0:35:000:35:03

our Mystery House

0:35:030:35:04

is a detached Cornish farmhouse

0:35:040:35:06

packed with character.

0:35:060:35:08

Although compact inside,

0:35:080:35:10

a generous amount of windows

0:35:100:35:11

allows for a light living space.

0:35:110:35:13

And there are four bedrooms,

0:35:130:35:15

three of which are upstairs.

0:35:150:35:17

Set in five acres of land,

0:35:170:35:18

with stabling and paddocks for Sharon's horses,

0:35:180:35:21

the whole plot takes in the stunning vista of the North Cornish coast.

0:35:210:35:25

The Mystery House is just amazing.

0:35:250:35:29

It's light, it's bright, it's very family-orientated.

0:35:290:35:33

There's enough space in the house,

0:35:330:35:35

but the outside space is just fantastic.

0:35:350:35:37

This is a top contender.

0:35:370:35:38

This is everything I was looking for in coming to Cornwall.

0:35:380:35:41

'It was really good seeing her reaction to this property.'

0:35:410:35:44

The more she saw, the happier and the bubblier she got.

0:35:440:35:48

She loves it.

0:35:480:35:49

So, are we happy?

0:35:540:35:56

-Happy.

-Yeah?

-Very happy.

0:35:560:35:58

Very happy. Good. Well, look, I think we are ending on a high.

0:35:580:36:01

Things seem to have got better as we've got on.

0:36:010:36:04

But let's find you somewhere to have a bit of a sit-down

0:36:040:36:07

and talk everything through. It's a big decision for you, isn't it?

0:36:070:36:10

-Huge decision.

-We'll catch up later on.

0:36:100:36:12

Come on, then.

0:36:120:36:13

Along with Cornwall's rich industrial heritage,

0:36:220:36:24

the county has a strong tradition of sailing,

0:36:240:36:27

with over 400 miles of magnificent coastline

0:36:270:36:30

from sheltered fishing harbours

0:36:300:36:32

to spectacular beaches.

0:36:320:36:34

Historically, each seaside town had its own unique sailing boat,

0:36:340:36:39

specifically designed for the local environment and conditions.

0:36:390:36:43

I've come to the seaport of Fowey, on Cornwall's south coast.

0:36:430:36:46

A natural harbour,

0:36:460:36:47

the town stretches a mile along the west bank of the Fowey Estuary.

0:36:470:36:51

I'm meeting boat-builder Marcus Lewis

0:36:510:36:54

to learn more about the town's home-grown sailing yacht,

0:36:540:36:57

the Troy class.

0:36:570:36:58

What makes these boats unique?

0:37:000:37:03

Well, when the boat-builder designed them,

0:37:030:37:06

he obviously had in mind the fact of the steep-sided valley

0:37:060:37:09

that we've got here in Fowey

0:37:090:37:11

and so you tend to get more wind higher up.

0:37:110:37:13

So, it's got a very tall mast.

0:37:130:37:15

It's 31 feet tall from the deck of the boat.

0:37:150:37:18

She's only 18 foot long.

0:37:180:37:20

If that was a dinghy,

0:37:200:37:22

you'd need six or eight people sitting on the side

0:37:220:37:24

to keep it upright, and then they wouldn't manage it.

0:37:240:37:27

-OK.

-Because it's a keelboat,

0:37:270:37:30

it's got a draught of four foot.

0:37:300:37:32

-Right.

-And the lower foot of that is 16 hundredweight of lead,

0:37:320:37:36

which is nearly 700 kilos, I think.

0:37:360:37:39

Goodness me.

0:37:390:37:40

Only 28 Troy class were built in the decades following 1928,

0:37:410:37:45

when local boat-builder Archie Watty first came up with his novel design.

0:37:450:37:50

25 survive in sailing condition,

0:37:500:37:53

but the class has experienced a recent rise in popularity,

0:37:530:37:56

and Marcus is a currently working on a new boat in his workshop.

0:37:560:38:00

So this is the skeletal form of a Troy.

0:38:000:38:04

Similar to what we've just seen, then?

0:38:040:38:06

That's right.

0:38:060:38:07

There are strict rules governing Troy-class boat-building.

0:38:070:38:11

Each one must be built by hand using wood

0:38:110:38:13

and within the Fowey Estuary itself.

0:38:130:38:15

That is the backbone of the boat.

0:38:150:38:17

That's all oak. All shaped and bolted together.

0:38:170:38:21

When we looked up at the Troy,

0:38:210:38:23

there was a huge... a really tall mast.

0:38:230:38:25

You mentioned a lead weight on the bottom.

0:38:250:38:27

That's right. That's the lead keel down there.

0:38:270:38:29

-It doesn't look much, does it?

-No.

0:38:290:38:31

It's quite a bit if you try and pick it up.

0:38:310:38:33

Yeah.

0:38:330:38:35

It takes Marcus around 1,000 man hours to build a Troy,

0:38:350:38:37

and they cost around £40,000 to commission.

0:38:370:38:40

-Martin.

-Hello, Jonnie.

0:38:400:38:42

Permission to come aboard, sir?

0:38:420:38:44

-Certainly.

-Thank you very much.

0:38:440:38:45

'Having seen what it looks like under construction,

0:38:450:38:48

'I'm keen to see how a Troy class takes to the water.

0:38:480:38:51

'So I'm joining experienced mariner Martin Croll,

0:38:510:38:54

'who's been racing the same boat for 30 years.'

0:38:540:38:57

As far as sailing boats go, are these easy to operate?

0:38:570:39:00

-Are they harder?

-They...

0:39:000:39:02

They can be a bit of a handful in certain conditions.

0:39:020:39:05

Just little small movements on the tiller will send the boat

0:39:050:39:08

whichever direction you want to go.

0:39:080:39:10

And it's not long before Martin shows me what she can do, as,

0:39:140:39:18

while working the jib, I sail a bit too close to the wind.

0:39:180:39:22

Speaking to Marcus, who builds these,

0:39:220:39:25

he was telling me about the amount of weight

0:39:250:39:28

at the bottom of this boat.

0:39:280:39:29

It fills me with a bit more confidence,

0:39:290:39:31

bearing in mind I feel like I'm going to go in.

0:39:310:39:34

HE LAUGHS

0:39:340:39:35

-You won't go in.

-It feels like I might.

0:39:350:39:37

You won't go in.

0:39:370:39:39

Now, I know this might come across as a bit cheeky,

0:39:420:39:44

but any chance I could have a go?

0:39:440:39:46

Certainly you can. Right, get yourself comfortable.

0:39:460:39:49

That's it.

0:39:490:39:50

This is the life, isn't it?

0:39:520:39:54

Now, what we'll do now is go right around.

0:39:540:39:57

So tiller right towards me.

0:39:570:39:59

Look at that.

0:39:590:40:01

Even more towards me.

0:40:070:40:10

Lets the sail off a bit.

0:40:100:40:11

And then you point down the river

0:40:120:40:14

and you have a little bit of a run now.

0:40:140:40:16

-This is fantastic.

-How's that?

0:40:190:40:21

This is brilliant, Martin. Absolutely amazing.

0:40:210:40:24

You really wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now, would you?

0:40:240:40:29

You know this town very well, don't you?

0:40:310:40:33

Pretty much.

0:40:330:40:34

So you probably know where a good pub is to sail up to, don't you?

0:40:340:40:37

I could mention a pub or two, yes.

0:40:370:40:39

-Shall we go there later?

-Yeah, why not?

0:40:390:40:41

That'll be brilliant.

0:40:410:40:42

Well, it's clear to see that the mystery property

0:40:500:40:53

is a firm favourite.

0:40:530:40:54

But this is a huge move for Sharon and her entire family.

0:40:540:40:58

So let's find out what she wants to do next.

0:40:580:41:00

Now, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to work out which of the

0:41:060:41:10

three properties is your favourite.

0:41:100:41:11

-The Mystery House.

-Definitely the Mystery House.

0:41:110:41:13

Now, when we were at the property, you got very emotional.

0:41:130:41:16

-Yeah.

-Jill, have you seen her like that in a good way in recent years?

0:41:160:41:20

She doesn't get emotional very often.

0:41:200:41:22

-Right.

-I think it was a bit of relief.

0:41:220:41:25

-Yeah.

-You know.

0:41:250:41:26

That there was somewhere

0:41:260:41:27

that actually she could see that she could call home.

0:41:270:41:30

Now, having seen the property and talked about the house amongst

0:41:300:41:33

yourselves, what are you feeling?

0:41:330:41:36

Much calmer. Much more reassured that I wasn't going barking mad,

0:41:360:41:42

that I am making a good, wise decision.

0:41:420:41:45

-Yeah.

-For our family. That we can move forward.

0:41:450:41:48

You can see what you can get.

0:41:480:41:49

What's next, then? You like the mystery property so much,

0:41:490:41:52

what are you going to do now?

0:41:520:41:53

-Interested in going and having a second look.

-You are?

0:41:530:41:56

Yeah. Make calls to home.

0:41:560:41:57

See if I can get the kids down this weekend.

0:41:570:41:59

Right. That's a good idea.

0:41:590:42:01

-Will they all come down, the whole tribe?

-Yeah.

0:42:010:42:03

Just go and collect them. Get them down here for the weekend.

0:42:030:42:06

Find out some more about the area.

0:42:060:42:07

Make a few phone calls to the schools.

0:42:070:42:09

After your second viewing,

0:42:090:42:10

after you've done a bit more recceing about the area,

0:42:100:42:12

let us know what you decide, won't you?

0:42:120:42:14

-Yeah. Will do.

-Good for you.

0:42:140:42:16

-Good luck.

-Thank you.

0:42:160:42:18

Let's face it, the mystery property wasn't without its compromises.

0:42:200:42:24

But it also offered Sharon and her family so much - well,

0:42:240:42:28

you saw it yourselves - it reduced her to tears.

0:42:280:42:31

So I'm buoyed to hear they are going back as a family to have a look at

0:42:310:42:35

that property once again.

0:42:350:42:37

And if that goes well and all of her research with the schools

0:42:370:42:41

go according to plan,

0:42:410:42:42

it wouldn't surprise me if Cornwall doesn't have a few new residents

0:42:420:42:45

sooner rather than later.

0:42:450:42:47

I wish them all the very best of luck.

0:42:470:42:49

Sharon returned to our Mystery House and, I'm delighted to say,

0:42:510:42:54

put in an offer that's been accepted.

0:42:540:42:57

So we wish her and the children well with their forthcoming move.

0:42:570:43:01

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

0:43:010:43:04

Northern Ireland or Scotland and need our help,

0:43:040:43:07

please apply online at...

0:43:070:43:09

Jonnie Irwin travels to Cornwall to help a horse-loving mother find rural respite with a £465,000 budget. Jonnie also takes to the waters when he meets a boat builder who specialises in traditional Cornish racing vessels.


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