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.
Browse content similar to Cornwall. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Back in the Victorian era, these giant rock stacks
inspired locals to come up with a tall story
to help lure tourists here.
So which county lays claim to this dramatic coastline?
Find out in just a moment.
Today's buyer has already sold her house
and has brought along her friend
to help her find the perfect country property for the whole family.
It's a huge living space.
And as we get closer to what she's after,
it's clear there's a lot resting on this move.
Wow, I love it.
Oh, don't. Don't, don't, don't.
Today I'm in Cornwall.
And these stacks of rocks are the Bedruthan Steps,
located just near Newquay on the northern shore of the county.
These have been a popular tourist destination
ever since Victorian times,
when, in order to increase popularity of the area,
they told stories of a Cornish giant named Bedruthan,
who built these steps in order to get across the bay.
Now, of course, shipwrecks are also part of
this treacherous coastline's history.
And in 1846
a cargo ship was wrecked against one of these stacks,
leaving the enterprising locals to benefit
by salvaging some of the cargo of luxury fabrics.
So, whether fact or fiction,
it's this wonderful shoreline that provides the kind of natural drama
you can find right across this stunning county.
Cornwall is Britain's most southerly county.
Surrounded predominantly by the sea,
it shares its only land border with Devon.
With a coastline stretching over 400 miles,
it's the longest of any county,
with spectacular scenery including
the glistening expanse of sandy beach just outside Bude.
Peppered along the shoreline
are picture-postcard villages such as Mevagissey,
with its unspoiled harbour,
which was once the centre of Cornwall's pilchard-fishing industry
and is still home to a number of working boats.
Inland, Cornwall bears the scars of the heavy industry that once thrived
here in the 19th century, when tin and copper mining was at its peak.
One of the county's most famous landmarks is St Michael's Mount,
a rocky island capped by a castle and medieval church
dating back to the 12th century.
And at the heart of the region lies the wild terrain of Bodmin Moor.
Archaeologists have found evidence of human activity here
stretching back some 4,000 years.
It's this rich variety of landscape that makes Cornwall such a popular
destination for those seeking a quieter, rural way of life.
Bearing in mind such beauty and history,
the Cornish property market still delivers pretty good value.
The average price of a detached house here
comes in at around £269,000.
That's around £13,000 below the national figure.
But, perhaps unsurprisingly,
the closer you get to its stunning coastline,
the more expensive the property gets,
particularly in towns like Padstow and right here in Fowey.
But travel inland, and in particular to the west,
then your budget will stretch further.
And by that, try out the historic mining towns of Camborne and Redruth.
So what's attracting today's buyer to this beautiful county?
Let's meet her and find out.
Today's property shopper is Sharon,
who has asked her best friend, Jill,
along for moral support during the house search.
For the last 18 years,
Sharon has lived in Banbury in Oxfordshire,
and the two ladies first met when they were neighbours.
We have children roughly the same age.
So when they started going to school, and we were kind of, "Ah."
About one o'clock, I'd be like... "Mmm...I'll just go and see Jill."
And it's just carried on from there.
And Jill has horses, and I have horses,
and we both love animals, and it's just kind of snowballed,
and now she's my bestie.
Home is currently a five-bedroom property on the edge of town.
But since moving to Banbury nearly two decades ago
with her former husband, Sharon has noticed a change.
When we first moved here, Banbury was quite a small market town.
Unfortunately, as time's gone on,
Banbury has probably expanded to double its size.
So, you kind of lose a little bit of that small-town,
"everybody knows everybody" feel.
And that was what attracted me to live here in the first place.
Sharon has four children between the ages of 10 and 23.
She has a busy time juggling night work at a supermarket with
looking after the kids. They'll all be joining her on the move,
and she's aware it's a big step for the whole family.
When I moved here with my then husband,
and we made the decision together,
but now this move is me, this is my decision.
And it's quite hard to make sure that I'm making the right decision
for me and the children. The pressure's on.
Fortunately, friend Jill is on hand to help Sharon make the right call.
If there's something that I really think is not going to work for her
but she's looking at it through rose-tinted glasses,
then I am quite brutally honest and I will give her the truth
and try and steer her in a different direction.
But this move isn't a total leap of faith,
as Sharon has chosen a region very close to her heart.
We've looked at Cornwall because I have many memories
of holidaying there with my grandparents.
And my daughter Megan is at university down there at the moment.
And she's already said that's where she wants to make her home,
so it's just trying to have a re-evaluation of family,
how to spend more time together as time goes on.
And as well as spending more time with her children,
animal lover Sharon hopes the move will help her bond with her horses.
I have two horses. I have Burt and Nico.
They're a huge part of the move.
Because we've had them at livery yards, we've rented fields,
the move is partly so that we can have them much closer to home,
so we have more time to do things with them.
After 18 years in Banbury, Sharon will be leaving many friends behind,
not least long-standing buddy Jill.
I'm gutted, because she is my best friend.
But I can completely see why she needs to move
and why she wants to go somewhere else. But...
I haven't told her I'm taking her in my suitcase yet!
-I'll be there. I'll be coming to visit.
-She's coming with me. She's coming with me all the way.
Sharon wants a house within a reasonable distance
of major urban centres such as Truro and Plymouth in Devon
so her children can find work and socialise with friends.
I'm meeting up with the two ladies in Cornwall
to run over Sharon's property wish list.
So here we are in this beautiful county
that lots of people come on holiday to.
-You want to make that a full-time move.
If I don't do it now, I'm never going to do it.
I hear that quite a lot. Why do you say that, then?
Due to a relationship break-up I have to sell my house now.
So now is the time to do it. Either I stay where I am
or I make a completely different chapter in my life,
move forward, new challenges, new adventures.
You're very brave, striking out on your own,
coming hundreds of miles from where you currently live to a new place.
-Are you filled with anticipation? Are you nervous?
-I'm very nervous.
-This is my life.
-It's a big decision for you.
Let's talk about the house itself.
How many bedrooms are we looking for?
Kitchen/diner. Small garden. You know, doesn't need to be massive.
Not fussed about year of the house.
I've lived in everything from an 1880s cottage
through to a 1960s house.
Now, Jill, as best mate,
you tell me, what do you think
Sharon really wants in her new house here?
Plenty of space and light.
-And nice, light and airy rooms.
If you put her in somewhere where it's dark, she'll hate it.
What would be something you saw in a house that makes you think, "Cor,
"this is for me, I absolutely love this"?
-Location more than anything.
You're going to have, obviously, your children living at home.
Do you want to be close to a big town,
or within striking distance of a small town or village?
-What's the most important thing to you?
-Ideally, for me...
-Middle of nowhere.
Ideally for children,
they need to be somewhere near a much bigger community
so they can have lives, so they can go out,
so they can meet friends, get jobs.
OK. Let's talk budget.
As a cash buyer, 425,000.
-Um, probably go a little bit more with a small mortgage.
You can maybe push that budget to what?
Well, as cash buyers you should be in a decent position
to negotiate at the very least. Let's go.
-Come with me.
Ideally, Sharon would like to spend £425,000,
but for the right property
could, with a small mortgage, go up to £450,000.
For that, she'd like a four-bedroom property for her family.
Although she's not fussed about age or style,
she'd like it to have space and light,
and a kitchen/diner would be desirable.
The garden doesn't need to be too big, but she'd like at least
three acres of accessible land for her two horses.
And she'd like to be close
to a town for schools.
We've got three wonderful Cornish homes lined up
to captivate Sharon and Jill.
At each one they'll have to guess the price at the end of the tour.
With our final choice, the mystery property,
it's less about what's inside than out.
We're kicking off our property search in the hamlet of Draynes,
around a 50-minute drive from Truro and Plymouth.
The closest village for amenities is St Neot,
around two and a half miles away.
Situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor,
the village is named after a ninth-century monk and has a vibrant
community spirit with a social club serving as a venue for local bands,
a post office which doubles up as a shop, as well as a pub and a church.
There's also a primary school for Sharon's youngest son.
Many of the pretty cottages dotted around the village are built from
locally quarried granite stone.
Back in the hamlet of Draynes,
house number one is a semidetached cottage,
located on a quiet country lane.
Now then, ladies, house number one.
-What's the first thing you think when you see this?
The trees are quite close to the house, aren't they?
They are, actually, and they don't help with the house's light.
So that might be something you want to think about in the future.
Parts of it date back,
local historians reckon, to the 16th century.
That was added around 1995.
-So, Jill, come on, you're best mate,
what's going through your mind?
I don't think she'll like the fact that it's semidetached.
Right. You didn't express the need or desire for a detached house.
But...I have a detached house at the moment.
Right, OK. So what I'll say is let's approach this with fresh eyes.
-Come at this house with an open mind. All right?
Please. Come on.
A somewhat measured response to the outside of what was once
a former farmhouse, built of local granite but now partially rendered.
Inside for starters,
there's a dining room with double doors out onto the back garden.
But since Sharon expressly asked for an eat-in kitchen,
we're heading straight there.
Now then, typical farmhouse kitchen.
-I quite like it, actually.
I like the low ceilings.
-What about the fittings here? I mean, this is...
-Units are lovely.
It's bespoke. Made by a local joiner.
They're very much in keeping with the period of the house.
-So far...? Come on.
Pleasantly surprised with the inside of the house, I would say.
Let's hope you keep that way next-door. Come on.
You'll notice you get a bit more ceiling height in here.
-I like the fireplace.
-Very snug. If that wood burner was on...
..this would be a really, really warm, cosy, very intimate space.
I think this house gets better as you keep looking through it.
-Let's take you to the bedrooms and see what you think.
In addition to the farmhouse kitchen and sitting room,
in the extended part of the house there's a further reception room,
a cosy snug or study.
The ground floor also includes a utility room located in an outhouse
which is accessed from the front driveway.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms.
These include a sizeable double with an en-suite shower room,
a single which overlooks the front of the house,
and another spacious double,
large enough for a four-poster bed
as well as a fully tiled family bathroom.
With Sharon's eldest daughter at university,
there should be enough sleeping options
for her three other children.
Now, you'll be pleased to hear you get four bedrooms on this level.
But this is easily my favourite.
I like this. It's quite a large room.
It has an en suite as well.
I have a much smaller en suite.
So that's a bonus.
Space-wise, there possibly is enough room in the bedrooms.
Probably more than I was expecting.
-On this house.
-Is there a "but" here, or...? You don't...
No, there's not a "but". It's just...
-I have to get my head around how things...can work.
And how it all fits in with my family.
Let's go outside. Let's take a look at the garden and the land, yeah?
-Come with me.
Sharon seems to be warming to this deceptively large property.
But let's not forget she also wanted land for her two horses.
The garden extends to the back and, as well as a generous stone patio,
is largely laid to lawn
and sheltered by mature trees and shrubs.
The land extends to five acres
and is divided into fruit and vegetable plots,
a chicken run,
a sloping paddock,
as well as a more-level orchard with its own access,
a potential home for Sharon's horses.
This land has been laid fallow for a couple of years now.
But you can see it's got some pretty good keep for horses.
I think this is a decent gradient.
You could have horses here, couldn't you?
-It's a bit flatter down there, isn't it?
-It's not quite as steep.
You've got five acres here. You've got another field just
the other side of these brambles, these...overgrown hedge, really.
The whole land needs pulling into shape again.
-Especially for horses.
-It does need some work.
So let's have a go at guessing the price.
For the amount of land, four bedrooms...
taking into account it needs some work,
erm, I'd still say...415?
-I'd say 395.
Good guess. The asking price for this property is actually £399,950.
-Little bit more tempting now.
-It's under 400.
And remember, it is only an asking price.
Why don't you go back into the house,
get a feel for this place now, OK?
-And then I'll meet you whenever you're done.
-See you in a mo, ladies.
-All right, thank you.
Priced at just under £400,000,
our first house is a semidetached
extended stone cottage,
some fine period details.
It offers Sharon
the eat-in kitchen she asked for,
four bedrooms as well as a potential
extra one in the downstairs snug.
In addition to the secluded garden,
there's enough land
for her two horses,
which can be made fit for purpose
with the money she has left over.
The house is a bit of a TARDIS on the inside.
It's much larger than it appears from the outside.
You have some really family-friendly spaces.
You can imagine it being warm and snug during winter.
The land needs quite a lot of work to get it friendly for the horses,
in terms of chopping down trees and fencing.
Sharon, I think, is quite nervous about the move anyway,
because, obviously, she has to make sure she makes the right decision.
So therefore it's very important for her
to make sure she has the right house.
So I think there's a bit of trepidation
and a little bit of anxiety
going on in her head at the moment.
-How do you feel now, about the house?
Much better than first impressions.
Good. Sometimes these things take time, don't they,
-to get to know a property, certainly?
Well, that's only one down. Two more to go. Come with me.
In the south of the county, around St Austell,
the towering peaks known as the Cornish Alps are a visual reminder
of the region's association with china clay.
250 years ago,
a local apothecary discovered an element found in granite
could be used in the porcelain-making process,
and the china-clay industry was born.
By the 19th century,
the St Austell deposits were the largest in the world,
and china clay was exported from
thriving maritime ports such as Charlestown.
The discovery of china clay inspired generations of artists
to turn their hand to making porcelain pottery.
One such potter is Chris Prindl,
who's been working with ceramics for 27 years.
Since Sharon is keen to learn more about the region's history,
we sent her and Jill to find out more about this remarkable
naturally occurring material.
Chris, do you specialise in your use of a particular material in your pottery?
I've worked in lots of different ways,
but more and more I'm working in porcelain, made out of china clay.
It's the most wonderful, pure, white, translucent substance.
I've got a little pot I made here, so you can see.
And what's amazing about it is if I hold that up to the sun,
you can just see light shining through it.
And it's just... It's a very beautiful, white,
very pure substance.
You can make pots much finer than in any other material.
I can actually make pots in clay as fine as this,
but they don't feel right.
They feel too thin.
Whereas this, getting to eggshell thinness, it just feels lovely.
The china clay used in Chris's porcelain
comes from within a five-mile radius of his workshop.
The raw material is a very fine powder.
So, if you feel that...
That's very, very fine.
-Like flour, almost, but finer.
-Yeah. It's amazingly light.
You take kaolin, or china clay, like this and there's different recipes,
but most porcelains are about 50% china clay.
And then we add other things like quartz or flint or feldspar,
to make up the body that you can actually use
that we can fire properly and make the pots with.
And this is the porcelain.
So if you feel that, you're going to feel it's quite different.
That's very, very heavy. Very dense and...
Turning the powder into a dense porcelain takes a lot of work.
So Chris buys his porcelain ready-mixed.
He's going to show them how to make a small bowl.
The first step is to throw the clay.
It's called throwing
because the first thing you do is you get your lump of clay
and you...you can throw it if you want to,
but you bang it in the middle of the wheel head.
The first thing we're going to do is try to get control of the porcelain.
My right hand's on top, my left hand tucked in here.
So can you see that's wobbling around like...
not crazy, but wobbling around?
I'm going to try and stop it wobbling.
This is called centring. I'm going to show you what I mean.
Come round the front here, and the amount of pressure you want...
-Ooh, whoops, it came off.
Stop the wheel. That's fine. That happens quite often.
You didn't bang it down hard enough.
After a couple of minutes, Sharon gets the hang of centring.
-So you've got that feeling that it's not wobbling around too much?
If you watch me again, I'm going to put my hands either side,
and I'm going to go straight down the middle.
Every time you touch it, you want to come off gently.
Having done that,
you're going to go to the bottom of the hole that you've made
and you're going to gently widen it, pulling towards you.
The final stage is to open out the cylinder into the form of a bowl.
As you get to the top, you think, "Oh, what's going to happen?"
And then I come off.
With a little help from Chris, both of their bowls begin to take shape.
Come off really gently.
The final step is to use a plastic rib
to finesse the shape of the final piece.
That's lovely. I think that's very good.
The bowls will then be left to dry for a day or two before being fired
twice in the kiln at around 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Well, today has been absolutely amazing.
-I've really enjoyed this.
-It's been great fun.
-So have I. Thank you very much.
-It's been very nice to meet you.
-And best of luck with your house search.
For our second offering, we're heading around 40 miles south-west
to the hamlet of Crofthandy.
The nearest settlement for services is the village of St Day,
which was the thriving centre for the copper-mining industry
from the 16th century right up until the 1830s.
In the 19th century,
cheaper copper deposits were discovered in South America,
and the Cornish mines could no longer compete.
Today, the village and surrounding former mining area is protected
as a World Heritage Site.
And landmarks include a clock tower,
built in 1832 and recently restored by the local community.
House number two is situated just outside St Day
in the hamlet of Crofthandy,
in a secluded rural setting with views across the valley.
So, we're detached.
-What's your thought?
-Looks very big.
It is a lot bigger than the last place.
And in my opinion it's probably a lot more user-friendly
for you and your horses.
-You look like you've got a reasonable view.
Amazing, isn't it? That's a World Heritage Site now.
Is it an old tin mine?
Yeah. This used to be the richest square mile in the world,
apparently, when this was all operational.
And this property was the counting house for the mine.
-Come with me.
This handsome half-slate-hung property
is set within four acres of land with up-and-running
equestrian facilities, which we'll explore later.
The house itself has a quirky upside-down layout
with the bedrooms on the ground floor
and the living accommodation upstairs.
We're starting on the ground floor with the bedrooms.
-This is your master. I mean, it's an upside-down house.
-Some people feel a bit weird.
-I wasn't expecting an upside-down...
-I was expecting to walk this way and go, "Oh, it's a living room."
But it makes sense, because of the views, doesn't it?
-Yeah. Big, isn't it?
-It is big.
-With a big en suite. Did I see a "wow" being mouthed?
Yes. It's very large.
-Double windows again.
I like the floor. Yeah, this bedroom is a good size.
There's a reason why the living accommodation is upstairs,
and I think they've done a really good job. Let me show you.
There are four other bedrooms on the ground floor,
one for each of Sharon's children.
Two of those, both doubles, overlook the front of the house.
And there are two at the rear, one of which is dual-aspect.
All four bedrooms are served by a family bathroom.
Now then, you'll see things get... a lot more open-plan up here.
What's going through your mind?
-Do you like it?
-It's a huge living space.
Yes, exactly that.
-This would be the hub of the home, wouldn't it?
-And the views, look at the views.
Now, one thing you said, Jill,
that you thought Sharon would want was light, airy rooms.
-It is a nice, big, light, airy room.
-Going well, isn't it?
Kitchen next. I can see you peering round. Might as well show you.
It's...a nice square size.
Obviously, you don't need a dining space
-because it just flows naturally in.
-This is just for preparing.
Everything's just being used. It's a very good use of space.
I'm just interested in seeing more.
When you like a house, you want to race through it and see everything.
-And then go back and visit it.
Let's stick with that. Let me show you outside. Come with me.
There's a lot to take in at this vast property.
A small hallway at the top of the staircase
leads to two further rooms,
a large games room that could possibly make a sixth bedroom
for when Jill comes to stay, and a smaller office space.
The kitchen benefits from a separate utility room,
allowing storage for the white goods, and beyond that
there's also a shower room.
Outside, the feeling of space continues.
Immediately to the rear of the kitchen, there's a raised decking,
ideal for entertaining in the summer.
To the side of the house there's a large area of flat lawn
and a static caravan, included in the sale.
And at the back, a raised terrace laid to grass
with a timber climbing frame for the kids.
For the horses, there's an established stable block and
a gently sloping enclosed paddock with views across the valley.
Now then, this land is all included.
-How much land is there?
-About four acres.
I think this bit is a bit steep.
I know we've got a flat piece there.
But if you're bringing them in, that is quite steep.
This is a horse paddock. There's loads of flat areas there and there.
-Come on, it's being used as a horse paddock.
-It is, yeah.
-OK, now you've seen the house and the land,
have a go at guessing the price.
I'm going to go in with 435.
-I'm going to say 420.
This place is on the market for offers around £445,000.
And I've spoken to the owner directly
and he's hoping to get as close to that as humanly possible.
Yeah. I can see why.
So, what's your thoughts now you know the price, Sharon?
-I'd like to go and have another look at the house.
-OK. Do just that.
I'll catch you later. See you in a bit.
Priced at £5,000
under Sharon's maximum budget,
the second property offers her
the choice of a vast house
with an up-and-running facility
for the horses.
A former counting house
for the local mine,
its upside-down configuration offers
up five bedrooms on the ground floor
and a spacious open-plan
The four acres of land
has been divided into a garden
and a paddock for two horses
with stabling options.
The house was very large inside, very airy.
The family accommodation upstairs has a good
sitting room, dining room, kitchen flow through it,
so you could have the children doing their homework,
could be watching TV, entertaining, anything you want,
and everyone wouldn't be treading on everyone's toes.
It has got a lot going for it. It's got a huge amount of space.
My real concern, I think,
is there is quite a steep slope for the first paddock.
I'm thinking about the winter months, when it's snowing and icy,
and you have to bring your horses in.
That might be a little bit tricky, I think.
Now then, ladies, is it something
worth consideration over dinner tonight?
-Have a talk about it later.
Perfect. Let's go.
It's the second day of our property search in Cornwall,
with Sharon and her friend Jill from Banbury.
Armed with a maximum budget of £450,000,
Sharon wants a home for her family and enough land for two horses.
Coming up, at the mystery property,
it's less about the house and more about the horse.
This is the sort of thing that you move mountains for.
And I ride the waves on one of Cornwall's classic sailing crafts.
-This is brilliant, Martin. Absolutely amazing.
Whilst I think we looked at two decent property options yesterday,
I don't think Sharon was particularly taken with the land at either.
So today at the Mystery House we're going to focus on just that.
The mystery property offers up,
well, in my opinion, the equestrian dream.
But being the Mystery House,
of course it comes with a couple of compromises.
And those will be in the house itself.
Let's see how we get on.
Now you've seen two houses down here...
-..how do you feel about what your budget can get you?
I still feel like my budget can get me something reasonable.
-Still positive about the move?
Yeah? You sound like you're saying the words, you don't sound like you mean them particularly.
No, I am still positive about it.
It's just...I am realising that in five weeks
the place that I now call home is no longer going to be mine.
It's going to be somebody else's home.
Yeah, this is bringing it all to the fore, isn't it?
-This is the real pressure, the real crunch time.
-Yeah, of course it is.
For our mystery property,
we're staying within the Cornish mining World Heritage Site and
travelling to the hamlet of North Carnmarth,
just outside the town of Redruth.
At one time a small market town,
in the 19th century it became the urban centre
of the richest metal-mining area in the country.
And there are remnants of its industrial past all around you,
from imposing hillside relics
to the grand architecture lining its streets.
Notable buildings include the Mining Exchange,
where copper and tin auctions took place.
Redruth has both primary and secondary schools,
and the train station runs regular services
directly into London Paddington.
Our mystery option is located in a rural position,
just outside the town,
with fantastic views across the North Cornish coast.
It's an idyllic location,
but Sharon may have to compromise on the actual house
to get the land she wants for her horses.
So, the Mystery House.
We've certainly gone on your request for a bit of peace and quiet.
-What do we think?
-I love it.
-Wow. View's amazing.
I kind of want to talk about the house,
-but you can't ignore this, can you?
-Stunning, isn't it?
Let's talk about the house.
Well maintained, looks bright, looks airy.
-Could you make this your home, Sharon? This sort of location?
-Is this what you had in mind?
-I just want to have a look now.
-Let's go inside.
Set within a five-acre plot,
the farmhouse retains a wealth of character
and views from its many windows.
To the side of the sweeping driveway is a detached garage block,
which also includes a shower room at the back.
To get our tour under way we're heading straight into the kitchen.
Right then, ladies, first impressions.
Good or bad, let me know.
Stunning views from this window.
Not a huge kitchen, but it's...nice.
It's very light, it's very airy with double aspect.
This is a kitchen that you could... live with,
and then, if you wanted to change a style or a design,
as time went on, then you would do it then.
But it's perfect. You could come in now and use it straight as it is.
Stick with it, then. Come with me.
Just off the kitchen there's a long, double-aspect dining room,
with exposed original beams.
And that leads into the living room.
So as you can see, one of two reception areas.
-What say you?
-I think that's a good size.
Very, very light.
Very bright. Stunning views over our shoulder.
Look out that window. Brilliant.
It just has a warmth to it that makes it feel like a family home.
Yeah. Now, outside, you look at it, you think, "Oh, it's a bungalow."
But actually you've got three bedrooms upstairs.
-One of the bedrooms is downstairs,
but I think you've got room here. Let me show you.
The downstairs bedroom is a good-size double
and is served by a family bathroom.
But this is the only bathroom in the property,
and that's one of the compromises Sharon and her family
will have to make, as there are no washing facilities upstairs.
Of the three first-floor bedrooms, there's a small double
and a single with a dormer window overlooking the driveway,
which just leaves Sharon's potential master.
-It's a very bright little room.
You weren't expecting it to be as big?
I wasn't expecting it to be this big, no.
I like the low ceilings.
-You LIKE the low ceilings?
-I do like the low ceilings. It's cosy.
Three bedrooms up here, one bedroom downstairs.
-There's your four bedrooms.
-So you're happy with the size of this house?
Well, in that case, any compromises I thought you might have
have been competently nullified, because outside it just gets better.
-Come with me.
By far the best reactions we've had so far to a property,
and it's the smallest one we've shown Sharon and Jill.
Outside, though, there's no shortage of space.
The well-maintained formal garden
wraps itself around the farmhouse, with views towards the coast.
And there's both a patio area for entertaining
and a separate vegetable patch.
The outbuildings include a spacious barn measuring 90 square metres,
and a summerhouse with power and plumbing inside.
But Sharon's two horses will be truly spoiled here,
because not only is there a sand school for exercising the horses,
but there's also a generous block of five stables
and three separate paddocks.
you've got a flat paddock there - see it?
A paddock the other side of that barn we've just walked past
and those stables.
And then here, look,
all in all, five acres of flat pasture land.
-That's more like it.
-Wow, I love it.
Oh, don't. Don't, don't, don't.
I do, I love it.
You've got lots here to make this brilliant for ever for you guys.
This is the sort of thing that you move mountains for.
So, time to guess the price.
How much do you think this mystery property is on the market for?
I think this is over my budget.
I'm going to go 460.
Jill, you're folding your arms. That doesn't bode well.
I'm going to say 455.
Not bad guesses.
This place is on the market for offers around 449,950.
It's great. It's fantastic.
Good. You didn't seem happy in the car this morning.
These are two different ladies.
Anticipation, I think.
-Well, look, fill your boots.
Have a good look at it. All right? See you later on.
Well, I've got to say,
it's a relief as much as anything else.
I know just how important this big move down here to Cornwall
is for Sharon, and...
with a following wind,
I think we might have found just the place for her.
Coming in a whisker under Sharon's maximum budget,
our Mystery House
is a detached Cornish farmhouse
packed with character.
Although compact inside,
a generous amount of windows
allows for a light living space.
And there are four bedrooms,
three of which are upstairs.
Set in five acres of land,
with stabling and paddocks for Sharon's horses,
the whole plot takes in the stunning vista of the North Cornish coast.
The Mystery House is just amazing.
It's light, it's bright, it's very family-orientated.
There's enough space in the house,
but the outside space is just fantastic.
This is a top contender.
This is everything I was looking for in coming to Cornwall.
'It was really good seeing her reaction to this property.'
The more she saw, the happier and the bubblier she got.
She loves it.
So, are we happy?
Very happy. Good. Well, look, I think we are ending on a high.
Things seem to have got better as we've got on.
But let's find you somewhere to have a bit of a sit-down
and talk everything through. It's a big decision for you, isn't it?
-We'll catch up later on.
Come on, then.
Along with Cornwall's rich industrial heritage,
the county has a strong tradition of sailing,
with over 400 miles of magnificent coastline
from sheltered fishing harbours
to spectacular beaches.
Historically, each seaside town had its own unique sailing boat,
specifically designed for the local environment and conditions.
I've come to the seaport of Fowey, on Cornwall's south coast.
A natural harbour,
the town stretches a mile along the west bank of the Fowey Estuary.
I'm meeting boat-builder Marcus Lewis
to learn more about the town's home-grown sailing yacht,
the Troy class.
What makes these boats unique?
Well, when the boat-builder designed them,
he obviously had in mind the fact of the steep-sided valley
that we've got here in Fowey
and so you tend to get more wind higher up.
So, it's got a very tall mast.
It's 31 feet tall from the deck of the boat.
She's only 18 foot long.
If that was a dinghy,
you'd need six or eight people sitting on the side
to keep it upright, and then they wouldn't manage it.
-Because it's a keelboat,
it's got a draught of four foot.
-And the lower foot of that is 16 hundredweight of lead,
which is nearly 700 kilos, I think.
Only 28 Troy class were built in the decades following 1928,
when local boat-builder Archie Watty first came up with his novel design.
25 survive in sailing condition,
but the class has experienced a recent rise in popularity,
and Marcus is a currently working on a new boat in his workshop.
So this is the skeletal form of a Troy.
Similar to what we've just seen, then?
There are strict rules governing Troy-class boat-building.
Each one must be built by hand using wood
and within the Fowey Estuary itself.
That is the backbone of the boat.
That's all oak. All shaped and bolted together.
When we looked up at the Troy,
there was a huge... a really tall mast.
You mentioned a lead weight on the bottom.
That's right. That's the lead keel down there.
-It doesn't look much, does it?
It's quite a bit if you try and pick it up.
It takes Marcus around 1,000 man hours to build a Troy,
and they cost around £40,000 to commission.
Permission to come aboard, sir?
-Thank you very much.
'Having seen what it looks like under construction,
'I'm keen to see how a Troy class takes to the water.
'So I'm joining experienced mariner Martin Croll,
'who's been racing the same boat for 30 years.'
As far as sailing boats go, are these easy to operate?
-Are they harder?
They can be a bit of a handful in certain conditions.
Just little small movements on the tiller will send the boat
whichever direction you want to go.
And it's not long before Martin shows me what she can do, as,
while working the jib, I sail a bit too close to the wind.
Speaking to Marcus, who builds these,
he was telling me about the amount of weight
at the bottom of this boat.
It fills me with a bit more confidence,
bearing in mind I feel like I'm going to go in.
-You won't go in.
-It feels like I might.
You won't go in.
Now, I know this might come across as a bit cheeky,
but any chance I could have a go?
Certainly you can. Right, get yourself comfortable.
This is the life, isn't it?
Now, what we'll do now is go right around.
So tiller right towards me.
Look at that.
Even more towards me.
Lets the sail off a bit.
And then you point down the river
and you have a little bit of a run now.
-This is fantastic.
This is brilliant, Martin. Absolutely amazing.
You really wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now, would you?
You know this town very well, don't you?
So you probably know where a good pub is to sail up to, don't you?
I could mention a pub or two, yes.
-Shall we go there later?
-Yeah, why not?
That'll be brilliant.
Well, it's clear to see that the mystery property
is a firm favourite.
But this is a huge move for Sharon and her entire family.
So let's find out what she wants to do next.
Now, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to work out which of the
three properties is your favourite.
-The Mystery House.
-Definitely the Mystery House.
Now, when we were at the property, you got very emotional.
-Jill, have you seen her like that in a good way in recent years?
She doesn't get emotional very often.
-I think it was a bit of relief.
That there was somewhere
that actually she could see that she could call home.
Now, having seen the property and talked about the house amongst
yourselves, what are you feeling?
Much calmer. Much more reassured that I wasn't going barking mad,
that I am making a good, wise decision.
-For our family. That we can move forward.
You can see what you can get.
What's next, then? You like the mystery property so much,
what are you going to do now?
-Interested in going and having a second look.
Yeah. Make calls to home.
See if I can get the kids down this weekend.
Right. That's a good idea.
-Will they all come down, the whole tribe?
Just go and collect them. Get them down here for the weekend.
Find out some more about the area.
Make a few phone calls to the schools.
After your second viewing,
after you've done a bit more recceing about the area,
let us know what you decide, won't you?
-Yeah. Will do.
-Good for you.
Let's face it, the mystery property wasn't without its compromises.
But it also offered Sharon and her family so much - well,
you saw it yourselves - it reduced her to tears.
So I'm buoyed to hear they are going back as a family to have a look at
that property once again.
And if that goes well and all of her research with the schools
go according to plan,
it wouldn't surprise me if Cornwall doesn't have a few new residents
sooner rather than later.
I wish them all the very best of luck.
Sharon returned to our Mystery House and, I'm delighted to say,
put in an offer that's been accepted.
So we wish her and the children well with their forthcoming move.
If you'd like to escape to the country in England, Wales,
Northern Ireland or Scotland and need our help,
please apply online at...
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.