Wiltshire Escape to the Country


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Wiltshire

Property series. Jonnie Irwin goes property hunting with a couple of new grandparents who have a budget of £800k to buy a rural home in Wiltshire, close to their family.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Wiltshire. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

A small building on this ancient bridge behind me

0:00:020:00:04

was once used as the local jail.

0:00:040:00:06

And I must say, when it comes to enviable river views, well...

0:00:060:00:10

it's not the worst place in the world to be banged up, is it?

0:00:100:00:13

So where am I?

0:00:130:00:15

I'll be confessing all in just a moment.

0:00:150:00:17

Today, a dynamic house-hunting duo

0:00:330:00:36

has a promising start in their search

0:00:360:00:38

for a country home close to family.

0:00:380:00:39

Jonnie, I think you might be on a winner here.

0:00:390:00:42

Later, those positive reactions ramp up.

0:00:420:00:45

Oh, wow. That looks fantastic.

0:00:450:00:48

That has wow factor.

0:00:480:00:49

Today, I'm in Wiltshire,

0:00:530:00:54

and this is the attractive market town of Bradford on Avon.

0:00:540:00:58

There's been a settlement here by this river for over 2,000 years.

0:00:580:01:03

In fact, the town gets its name from the term "broad ford".

0:01:030:01:07

Now, it's just this river itself

0:01:070:01:09

that's key to the whole area's prosperity,

0:01:090:01:12

with attractive architecture spanning Saxon, Georgian,

0:01:120:01:16

right the way through the Industrial Revolution periods.

0:01:160:01:20

But, as you are about to see, this is just one snapshot of many

0:01:200:01:24

that this fascinating county has to offer.

0:01:240:01:27

Known as the gateway to the West Country,

0:01:270:01:30

landlocked Wiltshire is bordered by several counties,

0:01:300:01:32

including Somerset, Berkshire and Hampshire.

0:01:320:01:35

It's a region of contrasts, from its ancient sites such as Stonehenge,

0:01:350:01:39

said to have taken 30 million man-hours to construct,

0:01:390:01:43

to the famous white horses etched into its hillsides.

0:01:430:01:46

It's thought the oldest at Westbury

0:01:460:01:48

was first carved into the steep, chalky slopes in the late 1700s.

0:01:480:01:52

And it's certainly a great vantage point

0:01:520:01:55

for views across the stunning countryside.

0:01:550:01:57

Wiltshire's expansive plains give way

0:01:570:02:00

to an eye-catching carpet of rich, green fields in the Vale of Pewsey,

0:02:000:02:04

an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

0:02:040:02:07

The county's architecture is as historic as its landscape,

0:02:070:02:11

ranging from attractive white timber-framed cottages

0:02:110:02:14

and thatched roofs

0:02:140:02:15

and Georgian-style redbrick townhouses

0:02:150:02:18

to rather more decorative facades with feature windows.

0:02:180:02:21

With its prehistoric monuments, beautiful rural terrain

0:02:210:02:25

and traditional architecture,

0:02:250:02:26

Wiltshire offers the complete country package

0:02:260:02:29

for aspiring escapees.

0:02:290:02:31

But as you might expect,

0:02:340:02:35

the prettiness of Wiltshire does come at a cost.

0:02:350:02:38

The average price of a detached house here in the county

0:02:380:02:42

currently stands at just under £320,000,

0:02:420:02:46

which is around 12% above the national average.

0:02:460:02:49

But don't despair quite just yet.

0:02:490:02:51

There are variations within the county,

0:02:510:02:54

and if you want your budget to stretch that bit further,

0:02:540:02:56

you're better off heading towards the west of Wiltshire

0:02:560:02:59

and the Somerset border. So, who are today's buyers,

0:02:590:03:02

and why have they been tempted by the wilds of Wiltshire?

0:03:020:03:05

Let's meet them and find out.

0:03:050:03:07

Former dental nurse Elspeth and her retired dentist husband, Robert,

0:03:070:03:11

from Warlingham in Surrey,

0:03:110:03:13

were in rather a compromising position

0:03:130:03:15

during their first encounter over four decades ago.

0:03:150:03:18

We met over a patient when I was a dental student at Guy's Hospital.

0:03:180:03:21

And she was 19.

0:03:210:03:23

She was tall, slim, beautiful, with long, brown hair,

0:03:230:03:27

and so I spotted her immediately.

0:03:270:03:30

We started going out January 1973.

0:03:300:03:33

They were married five years later and now have two grown-up children.

0:03:330:03:38

We've got a gorgeous son, who's called Matt,

0:03:380:03:41

and we've got a gorgeous daughter called Heather.

0:03:410:03:43

And the magic bit about the two kids

0:03:430:03:46

is the fact that they both had children

0:03:460:03:48

within six weeks of each other.

0:03:480:03:49

So we've gone from not being grandparents at all

0:03:490:03:52

to having two of the most beautiful little grandchildren.

0:03:520:03:55

We're very proud of them. Proud grandparents.

0:03:550:03:58

Elspeth and Rob have lived in their four-bedroom Surrey bungalow

0:03:580:04:01

for 20 years, but are more than ready for a change.

0:04:010:04:05

I think our house has got to the stage where...

0:04:050:04:07

It's a little bit big for us.

0:04:070:04:09

Because, when we moved in, there were four of us,

0:04:090:04:11

whereas now, we rattle around a bit, don't we?

0:04:110:04:13

And it's family ties pulling them towards the west.

0:04:130:04:16

We're looking to move near the Bradford on Avon area

0:04:160:04:19

-to be close to our daughter, Heather.

-And my mum.

0:04:190:04:22

And your mum.

0:04:220:04:24

No, it's a beautiful area, and it's just time for a change.

0:04:240:04:27

I'd love to live down there,

0:04:270:04:29

and then I can be a proper granny and help out.

0:04:290:04:31

-Yeah.

-Which will be super. And you can be a proper grandad.

-Yeah.

0:04:310:04:35

Our son lives in West London, so, sort of being out in that corridor,

0:04:350:04:39

on the M4 corridor, would really be brilliant,

0:04:390:04:41

because it would take maybe an hour and a half to get up to west London.

0:04:410:04:46

Perfect. Then we can do the grannying on the other child.

0:04:460:04:50

SHE LAUGHS

0:04:500:04:51

This sporty pair are also looking forward to enjoying hobbies,

0:04:510:04:54

like rowing, closer to home.

0:04:540:04:56

I've racked up about 120,000 miles in one car

0:04:580:05:00

just going to the boat club and back.

0:05:000:05:02

I'd love to jump on a bike and cycle to the boat club.

0:05:020:05:05

That would be my dream.

0:05:050:05:07

Elspeth has a love of horses and is an accomplished rider,

0:05:070:05:11

but nowadays shares in Rob's sporting passion.

0:05:110:05:14

I joined Robert in learning how to row about 15 years ago,

0:05:140:05:18

and fell in love with that too.

0:05:180:05:20

But that's not all.

0:05:200:05:21

Elspeth's got plans to get green fingered,

0:05:210:05:24

and they're both looking forward to making the most

0:05:240:05:27

of their new country surroundings with their dog, Skye.

0:05:270:05:30

What's more, Rob's pride and joy, his classic sports car,

0:05:300:05:33

will also need a new shelter with this move.

0:05:330:05:36

So, with their house on the market and a zest for life,

0:05:360:05:39

they can't wait to be closer to family, an area they love

0:05:390:05:42

and a future of possibilities.

0:05:420:05:45

We've really enjoyed being here. Loved every minute of it.

0:05:450:05:49

But we're going to love new adventures

0:05:490:05:51

and doing different stuff.

0:05:510:05:52

That's what we want.

0:05:520:05:54

It's because we don't want to miss our grandchildren growing up,

0:05:540:05:57

and they're only young once.

0:05:570:05:59

And WE'RE only young once.

0:05:590:06:01

Our grandson is the love of my life,

0:06:010:06:04

and so to be able to just pop in and give him a cuddle

0:06:040:06:07

and say goodnight to him

0:06:070:06:08

and then just zoom home again easily would be a joy.

0:06:080:06:12

Although being closer to family is a draw for Elspeth and Rob

0:06:140:06:17

to move closer to Bradford on Avon,

0:06:170:06:19

they're looking to settle in the peaceful surrounding countryside.

0:06:190:06:23

Before we start our search,

0:06:230:06:24

I'm catching up with them here to find out more

0:06:240:06:27

about their property aspirations.

0:06:270:06:29

So, family are bringing you here,

0:06:300:06:33

but what is it about this part of the world

0:06:330:06:35

that's capturing your imagination, then, Rob?

0:06:350:06:37

It's halfway to the West Country, where we like going down to.

0:06:370:06:39

There's a particularly good rowing club here.

0:06:390:06:42

Talk me through the kind of village you would like to live in from now.

0:06:420:06:46

Quite sort of smallish.

0:06:460:06:48

Perhaps a good pub.

0:06:480:06:50

-Yeah.

-A little post office, perhaps.

0:06:500:06:52

Convenience store, maybe, even.

0:06:520:06:54

I think somewhere where people know...you know, know us.

0:06:540:06:58

It's community you're after, then?

0:06:580:07:00

You want to be part of that, of course.

0:07:000:07:02

Now, then, let's talk about the house itself.

0:07:020:07:04

What does it look like?

0:07:040:07:05

I mean, this county has just amazing architecture.

0:07:050:07:09

Do you want a piece of that old... old feel?

0:07:090:07:12

Trouble is that if it's too old, he's too tall.

0:07:120:07:15

-Yeah.

-OK.

-I think we're very anxious that we have a property

0:07:150:07:19

that doesn't require a huge amount of maintenance.

0:07:190:07:21

-OK.

-And it would be nice to have a good view.

0:07:210:07:23

Now, views. Views are important to both of you, aren't they?

0:07:230:07:26

Yeah. And somewhere quiet.

0:07:260:07:28

-Right, OK.

-So we don't want to be on a main road or a cut-through.

0:07:280:07:32

OK, that's fair enough.

0:07:320:07:34

-That's quite important.

-Now, size of property.

0:07:340:07:37

You've got your son up in West London,

0:07:370:07:39

-who'll be coming down to visit.

-Yeah.

-With grandchildren.

0:07:390:07:41

-How many bedrooms?

-Minimum three-bed.

0:07:410:07:44

OK.

0:07:440:07:45

It would be lovely to have a big entertaining space,

0:07:450:07:48

-cos we're quite big people.

-Mm-hm.

0:07:480:07:51

-Nice kitchen.

-Do you like open plan?

0:07:510:07:53

-That would be great.

-You've not really tied me down

0:07:530:07:55

-as to exactly what style of property you're after.

-Light.

-Light.

0:07:550:07:59

-You want light inside, then, obviously.

-Yes.

0:07:590:08:01

-OK.

-We need somewhere to park cars, and perhaps have a double garage.

0:08:010:08:05

How essential is this garage to you?

0:08:050:08:07

Quite essential, cos my car rusts like mad,

0:08:070:08:10

so it would be quite handy to have one.

0:08:100:08:12

We could get away with a single garage.

0:08:120:08:15

Yeah, we could.

0:08:150:08:16

Finally, what's the budget?

0:08:160:08:19

800.

0:08:190:08:20

-£800,000?

-Yeah, about 800.

-Which is a very healthy budget...

0:08:200:08:24

..in a pretty expensive part of the world.

0:08:250:08:27

But I think we can get there, or thereabouts.

0:08:270:08:29

-Yeah.

-Shall we go?

-Yeah, smashing.

-This way.

-OK.

0:08:290:08:32

Elspeth and Rob's budget of £800,000 is extremely healthy

0:08:330:08:37

for this neck of the woods.

0:08:370:08:39

So I'm feeling pretty confident as we get our search underway.

0:08:390:08:42

They want a manageable house and garden,

0:08:420:08:45

but, being a sociable couple, it must be geared up for entertaining,

0:08:450:08:48

with a large, light kitchen.

0:08:480:08:50

They're flexible on style but need three bedrooms,

0:08:500:08:53

a large garage for Rob's classic car,

0:08:530:08:55

and a quiet location with fabulous views.

0:08:550:08:59

We've assembled a fantastic mix of properties

0:08:590:09:01

to tempt Elspeth and Rob with,

0:09:010:09:03

but the all-important price will only be revealed

0:09:030:09:05

after they've explored each house.

0:09:050:09:08

The final visit to the mystery property

0:09:080:09:10

will offer this gregarious pair a grandiose option

0:09:100:09:13

in which to accommodate their visiting family and friends.

0:09:130:09:17

We're kicking off our trip round Wiltshire in the village of Corsley,

0:09:210:09:24

which is half an hour away from Elspeth and Rob's family

0:09:240:09:27

in Bradford on Avon.

0:09:270:09:28

The nearest towns are Warminster to the east,

0:09:280:09:30

and Frome to the west.

0:09:300:09:33

The countryside surrounding Corsley is rich and green,

0:09:330:09:36

with the village's quiet, narrow lanes bordered by hedges,

0:09:360:09:40

behind which are many attractive properties.

0:09:400:09:42

There are plenty of great spots for dog walks,

0:09:420:09:45

and there's a local pub nearby.

0:09:450:09:47

Just over a five-minute walk from the pub

0:09:470:09:49

and we're at this rather imposing property,

0:09:490:09:52

quite different to anything else in the area.

0:09:520:09:54

Now, then...

0:09:550:09:57

you're after a property of size.

0:09:570:09:59

I think this could do the job.

0:09:590:10:03

Yes. I think I like that.

0:10:030:10:05

-It's got an Alpine style to it.

-Yeah, it has.

0:10:050:10:07

I can imagine it in a ski resort in Austria.

0:10:070:10:10

Yeah. It's almost got that chalet style, hasn't it?

0:10:100:10:13

-OK, good. Let's go inside.

-OK.

0:10:130:10:15

This property is of an exceptionally high standard.

0:10:150:10:20

The current owners designed and built it 16 years ago

0:10:200:10:23

and chose everything down to the materials.

0:10:230:10:26

Right, then. Now, for Rob, you'll be pleased to hear,

0:10:280:10:31

behind that door is a boot room and a double garage.

0:10:310:10:36

Downstairs loo.

0:10:360:10:38

I think this is your most impressive room in the house.

0:10:380:10:42

What a lovely, big room.

0:10:420:10:44

Wow, this is fantastic.

0:10:440:10:45

Yes, I like this.

0:10:450:10:47

-It's a really, really good space.

-Let me walk you through,

0:10:470:10:50

-because the flow is really good in this house.

-OK.

0:10:500:10:54

Now, if you want to get your guests out of the way,

0:10:540:10:57

I think this is the perfect room to do it in,

0:10:570:10:59

while still being connected.

0:10:590:11:00

Again, spilling out into a really nice terraced area there.

0:11:000:11:03

It is, isn't it?

0:11:030:11:04

-But if you want to be cosy, this is the room to do it.

-OK.

0:11:040:11:08

The owners call this their best room.

0:11:080:11:11

-What do you think of it?

-Yes, I think it's a nice room.

0:11:110:11:15

Space is the most important thing, isn't it?

0:11:150:11:17

-And you've got plenty of that upstairs, so come with me.

-Yeah, OK.

0:11:170:11:20

Up a winding stairway, leading to a galleried landing,

0:11:210:11:24

there's a family bathroom with a skylight and four double bedrooms -

0:11:240:11:28

one currently in use as a study,

0:11:280:11:30

another that's dual aspect,

0:11:300:11:33

then there's a cosy double.

0:11:330:11:35

We're heading for the largest of the four,

0:11:350:11:37

which takes in some fabulous views.

0:11:370:11:40

Now, the master bedroom, as you could expect, is en suite,

0:11:400:11:43

with a big wardrobe just through those double doors as well.

0:11:430:11:47

Oh, great. Lots of storage.

0:11:470:11:48

-That's good.

-Yeah. Excellent size.

0:11:480:11:51

I was hoping this would be plenty of room for you.

0:11:510:11:53

-Yeah.

-Excellent.

-This is plenty big enough.

0:11:530:11:56

OK, well, look, these have been pretty good reactions so far.

0:11:560:11:59

-Yeah, excellent.

-I'll let you have a scoot around the house later on.

0:11:590:12:02

-Let's go out to the front of the house, OK?

-Right.

0:12:020:12:05

And we'll start talking about price.

0:12:050:12:07

It's at the front where the majority of the slightly sloping,

0:12:110:12:14

manicured garden is found,

0:12:140:12:15

with a lawn also wrapping round the side of the house.

0:12:150:12:18

What's more, there are decked areas

0:12:180:12:20

which, on a bright day, are real sun traps.

0:12:200:12:24

And at the rear of the property is the double garage

0:12:240:12:27

and also the fantastic views.

0:12:270:12:30

So, as you can see, this house has been designed with socialising

0:12:320:12:35

and a bit of outdoor living in mind,

0:12:350:12:37

but also being able to escape from the weather under various shelters.

0:12:370:12:41

-That's a good idea.

-Excellent idea.

0:12:410:12:43

So, after a brief look around this house,

0:12:430:12:47

let's guess the price. Who wants to go first?

0:12:470:12:50

-Elspeth first.

-Good man!

0:12:500:12:52

I would say 785.

0:12:520:12:56

OK.

0:12:560:12:57

I'm going to go lower.

0:12:570:12:59

750.

0:12:590:13:01

Well...

0:13:010:13:02

..Rob, you're closest, but you'll both be pleasantly surprised,

0:13:030:13:07

because the asking price for this place is offers around £675,000.

0:13:070:13:12

Wow! We're way out.

0:13:120:13:13

-Way out.

-Gosh.

-That's a lot of house for your money.

0:13:130:13:16

Go back inside the house and give it a good go.

0:13:160:13:19

Have that chat amongst yourselves.

0:13:190:13:22

Could you imagine yourselves in this house, long-term?

0:13:220:13:24

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

-OK. Smashing.

-Good luck.

-OK.

0:13:240:13:28

This bespoke-designed chalet-style stone house

0:13:300:13:33

has a price tag that's a jaw-dropping

0:13:330:13:36

£125,000 below Rob and Elspeth's budget,

0:13:360:13:39

and delivers them all the space and light they're looking for.

0:13:390:13:42

There's a great entertaining kitchen

0:13:420:13:44

and one more bedroom than they asked for.

0:13:440:13:46

Rob gets his essential double garage here,

0:13:460:13:49

and there are also those sought-after countryside views.

0:13:490:13:53

What's more, the village location

0:13:530:13:55

is perfect for community life.

0:13:550:13:57

This sort of property, although it's modern, it would suit us very well.

0:13:570:14:02

We're very flexible on which style of property we have.

0:14:020:14:06

Yes, I quite like this property.

0:14:060:14:07

Immediately we came down the drive, I thought, "Wow.

0:14:070:14:10

"It looks like an Austrian sort of house in a ski resort."

0:14:100:14:13

But, when we went inside,

0:14:130:14:14

I was quite impressed with the amount of space, initially.

0:14:140:14:18

I think Elspeth and I both have the same sort of taste

0:14:180:14:21

when it comes to houses, and usually she's always right.

0:14:210:14:24

So lots of rooms to look around and decorate, maybe configure.

0:14:270:14:32

Absolutely. And maybe make use of the view out the back.

0:14:320:14:35

It does seem a bit wasted, doesn't it?

0:14:350:14:37

I know it's south-facing, but that is a tremendous view.

0:14:370:14:39

It is. It's just such a shame not to maximise.

0:14:390:14:42

-And you know me and my view.

-I know. Well, I'm starting to learn.

0:14:420:14:45

Well, hopefully this has given you somebody think about.

0:14:450:14:48

-Onward and upward. Come with me.

-OK.

0:14:480:14:50

When they make their move to the Bradford on Avon area,

0:14:570:15:00

Elspeth and Rob are looking forward to making the most of the River Avon

0:15:000:15:03

and the Kennet and Avon Canal, which both wind through the town.

0:15:030:15:08

As keen rowers for years,

0:15:080:15:09

they've now got their sights set on kayaking,

0:15:090:15:11

and have come to meet expert kayaking coach Mike Purchas

0:15:110:15:15

at the Bradford on Avon rowing and canoeing club

0:15:150:15:18

to learn how to master one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK.

0:15:180:15:22

Our novice pair are confident swimmers,

0:15:220:15:24

but there are still safety measures to take.

0:15:240:15:28

What happens if we capsize?

0:15:280:15:31

If you capsize, leave the kayak upside down,

0:15:310:15:35

because that contains air inside,

0:15:350:15:37

and then swim to the end of the kayak,

0:15:370:15:40

and then try and bring it into the bank.

0:15:400:15:42

In this case, I'll be there to help you.

0:15:420:15:44

With the safety briefing over, it's time to learn how to hop on board.

0:15:440:15:48

Step into the centre of the kayak.

0:15:480:15:51

Yeah.

0:15:510:15:52

Still holding on firm. And then let yourself down.

0:15:520:15:57

-And then you're ready to go.

-Fine.

0:16:000:16:02

Well, Mike's made it look easy, and it's Elspeth who's up first.

0:16:020:16:07

-Try and get your left leg in, if you can. That's good.

-Oh...

0:16:070:16:11

Try and get your bum down quickly.

0:16:110:16:13

-One hand on the bank. Keep one hand on the bank.

-Ohh!

0:16:130:16:16

-I've landed.

-That's fine.

-Excellent.

0:16:160:16:18

SHE LAUGHS

0:16:180:16:20

Hold on to the cockpit.

0:16:200:16:22

One hand on to the bank.

0:16:220:16:24

-One hand...

-Yeah.

-..in there?

-Yeah.

0:16:240:16:27

Try and lower yourself down slowly.

0:16:270:16:29

That's it. That's good.

0:16:290:16:31

You OK? How does that feel?

0:16:310:16:33

Yeah, good.

0:16:330:16:35

Mike's got 55 years' kayaking under his belt

0:16:350:16:38

and loves sharing his passion for the sport.

0:16:380:16:41

Just relax, Robert.

0:16:450:16:47

Arms up a little bit.

0:16:470:16:48

That's good.

0:16:480:16:50

Excellent, excellent. How does that feel?

0:16:500:16:53

Yeah, I'm getting... I'm feeling a bit happier.

0:16:530:16:56

-OK. Robert?

-Not quite so wobbly.

-Yeah, OK now, actually.

0:16:560:16:59

Basic paddling stroke is into the side of the kayak...

0:16:590:17:05

-OK.

-In and then out.

0:17:050:17:07

Right, OK.

0:17:070:17:09

Another important stroke is knowing how to stop.

0:17:090:17:14

If you are paddling forward, you just

0:17:140:17:17

put all anchors on...

0:17:170:17:19

Like that, OK.

0:17:190:17:21

..and then back-paddle, OK?

0:17:210:17:23

Does that feel nice and steady in there?

0:17:240:17:27

-Yeah, it does, actually.

-Very good. Very good, Robert.

0:17:270:17:30

-Very good.

-She's good, isn't she?

0:17:300:17:31

ROB LAUGHS

0:17:310:17:32

This is great! It's fantastic.

0:17:320:17:35

-Yeah.

-I always want a new challenge.

0:17:350:17:38

This is definitely going to be one.

0:17:390:17:41

-What are your thoughts?

-It felt a bit scary to start with,

0:17:430:17:46

but you soon kind of get the feeling and get your balance a bit.

0:17:460:17:49

Yeah. You were going along like a train.

0:17:490:17:52

You were quite professional there. Really good.

0:17:520:17:55

It was really great.

0:17:550:17:57

It was good being on the water, and, yeah, couldn't have been nicer.

0:17:570:18:00

-It was great fun.

-You did really, really well.

0:18:000:18:02

Thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it.

0:18:020:18:05

-Thank you very much.

-Thanks a lot.

-Thank you.

-Excellent.

0:18:050:18:08

Our next stop is the village of Westwood,

0:18:150:18:19

around two miles from Bradford on Avon,

0:18:190:18:21

and just 15 minutes from Elspeth and Rob's daughter.

0:18:210:18:24

Westwood really showcases that attractive Bath stone,

0:18:240:18:27

which includes its magnificent medieval church,

0:18:270:18:30

whose distinctive and beautifully carved stone tower

0:18:300:18:34

can be seen from miles around.

0:18:340:18:38

Back in Westwood, there's a great village pub

0:18:380:18:40

just over a five-minute walk from our next house,

0:18:400:18:43

which has a story to tell, along with fabulous panoramic views.

0:18:430:18:47

I think I wanted you to come inside

0:18:470:18:50

to get a real first impression of this place. It's an old school.

0:18:500:18:53

-OK.

-Mid-19th century. What's going through your minds?

0:18:530:18:57

-What do you think?

-Yeah, I like the look of it from the outside.

0:18:570:19:01

It looks unusual, a bit quirky.

0:19:010:19:03

-Quite plain.

-Quite plain.

0:19:030:19:05

I think the way it's been converted over the years is very sympathetic

0:19:050:19:10

-but it's almost been converted with you both in mind.

-Ooh!

0:19:100:19:14

What were your first impressions when you walked through that gate?

0:19:140:19:17

-"Where's the garage?"

-Well...

0:19:170:19:19

that could be a garage but that is now a fantastic office

0:19:190:19:22

with amazing views. The guy who lives here,

0:19:220:19:25

you can take over the rental of his garage in the village.

0:19:250:19:29

Excellent. Yeah, well, that sounds good.

0:19:290:19:31

My only slight reservation is parking for cars.

0:19:310:19:35

Where do guests park when they come and see you?

0:19:350:19:38

-Is this the only bit of garden?

-It is, yeah. You've got...

0:19:380:19:41

two car parking spaces there.

0:19:410:19:43

If you really wanted, you could put cars in here.

0:19:430:19:46

It depends how much garden you want.

0:19:460:19:47

-But there is a bit of outside space that goes around the house.

-OK.

0:19:470:19:51

-We didn't really want that much gardening to do.

-No.

0:19:510:19:54

It's good, actually. It's ideal -

0:19:540:19:56

just one step backwards, one step forwards with the lawnmower.

0:19:560:19:58

THEY LAUGH

0:19:580:20:00

-Let's go inside. Come with me.

-Fantastic.

0:20:000:20:03

The original part of this property was built in 1841 from local stone.

0:20:030:20:07

It was a primary school until 1976,

0:20:070:20:10

and became a family home ten years later.

0:20:100:20:13

We're going back to school through the door

0:20:130:20:15

which used to be the boys' entrance.

0:20:150:20:17

Well, you've got a really nice entrance hall with an office off it.

0:20:170:20:20

And then straight into your huge living room.

0:20:200:20:24

Oh, fantastic.

0:20:240:20:25

-I like this.

-Come in and get a good look at this view.

0:20:250:20:28

Yeah. Oh-ho-ho!

0:20:280:20:30

That's the business.

0:20:300:20:32

-This is super.

-And it's nice and quiet in here.

0:20:320:20:35

You can't really hear the road.

0:20:350:20:36

-The house is orientated away from that road.

-Yeah.

0:20:360:20:39

It's ticked a few of our boxes.

0:20:390:20:41

-So far, so good.

-Good. This way.

0:20:410:20:44

Next door serves up a huge, bright kitchen-diner,

0:20:470:20:49

which I am sure they'll like.

0:20:490:20:52

Okey dokey.

0:20:530:20:54

I like-y.

0:20:540:20:56

Lovely family area.

0:20:560:20:57

I like it a lot, actually.

0:20:590:21:01

And that's the old girls' entrance,

0:21:010:21:03

which they've turned into a utility room,

0:21:030:21:06

so all the gubbins is out of the way. Domestic bliss.

0:21:060:21:09

So far, Jonnie, I think you might be on a winner here.

0:21:090:21:12

Well, I hope so. What we'll do,

0:21:120:21:14

we'll walk out through this way and go upstairs to the bedrooms.

0:21:140:21:17

-Follow me.

-OK.

0:21:170:21:19

Also on the ground floor and keeping the old school memories alive

0:21:210:21:25

is a cloakroom, once the school secretary's office

0:21:250:21:28

and still furnished with the original quarry floor tiles.

0:21:280:21:31

Moving upstairs, there's a large family shower room

0:21:310:21:34

and four bedrooms - a decent-sized double,

0:21:340:21:38

along with a slightly more snug one with a skylight.

0:21:380:21:41

There's also a bright double with feature windows

0:21:410:21:44

that benefits from a light, bright en suite.

0:21:440:21:47

Finally, at the back of the house is an expansive double

0:21:470:21:50

with a row of windows that allows in lots of light

0:21:500:21:53

and those priceless countryside views.

0:21:530:21:55

Well, this bedroom is the one that certainly gets the views.

0:21:580:22:01

Oh, wow, that's fantastic.

0:22:020:22:05

I'd be quite inspired in here, I think.

0:22:050:22:08

I just want to jump on the bed and peer out there right now.

0:22:080:22:11

THEY LAUGH

0:22:110:22:12

You'd struggle to get up in the morning.

0:22:120:22:14

-That's the thing, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:22:140:22:16

What's the feel, the vibe you're getting?

0:22:160:22:17

-Cos you haven't bought a house for 20-odd years.

-No.

0:22:170:22:20

Do you like the vibe the house gives?

0:22:200:22:21

I'm getting the same vibes that I got when we bought our last place.

0:22:210:22:24

-Oh, really?

-Yeah.

-Oh, fantastic.

0:22:240:22:26

Yeah, the views, and it's just there's a nice feel to the place.

0:22:260:22:29

-It feels sort of cosy.

-Could you imagine us living here?

0:22:290:22:31

-I certainly could.

-Oh, really?

-Yeah.

-Oh, brilliant.

0:22:310:22:34

Well, this sounds very encouraging.

0:22:340:22:37

Let's go back downstairs and just sort of soak up these views

0:22:370:22:41

but also start thinking about how much this house costs.

0:22:410:22:45

-Right.

-Uh-oh.

-After you.

-Thank you.

0:22:450:22:48

Outside, there's a terrace

0:22:500:22:51

surrounded by well-planted shrubs and flower beds,

0:22:510:22:54

with spectacular views as far as the eye can see.

0:22:540:22:58

Although this property may not have the largest garden,

0:22:590:23:02

it does have plenty of great little spots

0:23:020:23:04

from where to soak up the surrounding views, including a hot tub.

0:23:040:23:08

-Look at that view.

-That is stunning, and I wanted to commune with the sky

0:23:090:23:13

and you sure can here.

0:23:130:23:15

If you look over there, that's the Westbury Horse, look.

0:23:150:23:17

Oh, wow! And I used to have a white horse too!

0:23:170:23:20

Oh, it's an omen.

0:23:200:23:22

OK, so it's time to guess the price.

0:23:220:23:26

I would say 685.

0:23:260:23:28

OK. Elspeth, can you do any better?

0:23:280:23:30

I would say 725.

0:23:300:23:33

You're in for a bit of a shock, then.

0:23:330:23:36

This place is on the market for offers around £795,000.

0:23:360:23:40

-Oh-ho-ho!

-Quite a bit above your guess.

0:23:400:23:43

THEY LAUGH

0:23:430:23:44

Well, I was way out before and I'm way out again.

0:23:440:23:46

So at least I'm consistent.

0:23:460:23:47

Well, it's interesting. These are the best reactions you've had

0:23:470:23:51

-of a house.

-Yeah, definitely.

-And it's been your lowest guess.

0:23:510:23:54

ROB SIGHS

0:23:540:23:56

I think he was being ever hopeful.

0:23:560:23:57

Could this be the house for you at the right price?

0:23:570:24:00

-It could well be.

-Well, we'll find out later.

0:24:000:24:02

-Go back inside and I'll catch you in a minute.

-OK.

0:24:020:24:05

This converted school, built from Bath stone,

0:24:080:24:10

has nudged in at £5,000 under

0:24:100:24:12

Elspeth and Rob's top budget

0:24:120:24:15

and still manages to offer them

0:24:150:24:17

practically everything they're looking for

0:24:170:24:19

in a desirable spot close to their relatives.

0:24:190:24:22

The kitchen-diner and living room are both perfect for entertaining,

0:24:220:24:25

and upstairs, there's one more bedroom than they asked for.

0:24:250:24:29

The garden is a manageable size with wonderful views,

0:24:290:24:32

and although the garage has been transformed into an office,

0:24:320:24:35

there is the option of renting a nearby shelter for Rob's car,

0:24:350:24:38

and the village location is ideal.

0:24:380:24:41

When I walked through the front door, I just thought, "Wow."

0:24:420:24:45

It's got that wow factor of space.

0:24:450:24:47

It's so light, and the view is stunning.

0:24:470:24:51

But the house itself, the rooms are, as I say,

0:24:510:24:54

beautifully spacious, and I could really see all our things here.

0:24:540:24:57

So all done inside?

0:24:590:25:01

-Absolutely.

-Still beaming?

0:25:010:25:02

-Still beaming.

-Yes.

0:25:020:25:04

Good. Well, hopefully this is something to really consider.

0:25:040:25:07

-Time now for something different. Come with me.

-Right.

0:25:070:25:11

For our final visit, to the mystery house,

0:25:180:25:20

we're journeying to the village of Kington St Michael.

0:25:200:25:23

It's just over 11 miles from Elspeth and Rob's daughter

0:25:230:25:26

near Bradford on Avon,

0:25:260:25:27

and just over three miles to the market town of Chippenham.

0:25:270:25:30

Kington St Michael is a thriving village offering residents

0:25:300:25:34

a chance to really become part of the busy local community,

0:25:340:25:37

with a village club, its own hall, cafe, shop and a pub.

0:25:370:25:42

In the middle of the village, we find our mystery house,

0:25:430:25:46

which might be slightly further from family

0:25:460:25:48

than Elspeth and Rob would like,

0:25:480:25:49

but I'm hoping the space and style on offer here

0:25:490:25:52

makes this outstanding property worth the journey.

0:25:520:25:55

Now, I'm starting to get the impression that

0:25:560:25:59

coming to Wiltshire is almost to the manor born.

0:25:590:26:02

-LAUGHING:

-Yes, I think so!

0:26:020:26:03

And this is as close to the manor as I could get you,

0:26:030:26:06

cos the manor house is there,

0:26:060:26:07

and we're going to be looking around the old coach house.

0:26:070:26:10

Oh, wow, that looks fantastic.

0:26:100:26:13

That has wow factor.

0:26:130:26:14

She's a beauty, isn't she?

0:26:140:26:15

-Yeah, it's absolutely gorgeous.

-Absolutely magnificent.

0:26:150:26:18

-Good. Let's go inside.

-OK.

0:26:180:26:21

Although the mystery property

0:26:220:26:23

sits in the shadow of the neighbouring manor house,

0:26:230:26:26

it's by no means modest in size.

0:26:260:26:28

The oldest part of this old coach house dates back to the late 1700s,

0:26:280:26:32

with various later additions,

0:26:320:26:34

including the handsome Georgian facade.

0:26:340:26:37

Good grief. Look at this!

0:26:380:26:40

We're entering the single-storey part of the property,

0:26:400:26:43

turning left, heading straight to the kitchen

0:26:430:26:45

at the back of the main part of the house.

0:26:450:26:48

First of all, you think, "Well, this is it."

0:26:480:26:51

It's quite long and thin, almost galley-style, isn't it?

0:26:510:26:54

But it gets better as we walk through.

0:26:540:26:58

Now, pausing just here, I know you like flow and open plan...

0:26:580:27:02

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

0:27:020:27:04

Next door to the dining room is a sunny breakfast room

0:27:060:27:09

running from the front to the back of the house,

0:27:090:27:11

with French windows to the garden at one end

0:27:110:27:13

and a picture window at the other,

0:27:130:27:15

with a sweeping spiral stairway in the centre.

0:27:150:27:19

Now, look at this space here.

0:27:210:27:23

Well, I think I'd have this as the main kitchen.

0:27:250:27:27

-Yeah.

-Wouldn't you?

-It's crying out for it.

-Definitely.

0:27:270:27:29

-Through here - a living room. Come with me.

-OK.

0:27:290:27:32

The large living room adjoining the open-plan breakfast room

0:27:320:27:35

is also on a grand scale.

0:27:350:27:37

Our rather quirky mystery house has certainly come up trumps with space.

0:27:370:27:41

OK, so, I know you like big living rooms.

0:27:410:27:43

I know you like big everything, really, don't you?

0:27:430:27:46

Yes, well, I've gone for a big husband so...

0:27:460:27:49

-And he fits in here, doesn't he?

-I certainly do.

-He does.

0:27:490:27:52

I mean, yes, this is a big room. A little bit...

0:27:520:27:55

..I suppose "soulless" is the word that comes to mind for me.

0:27:560:27:59

Well, look, you asked for space and you've got it.

0:27:590:28:03

But this is a true mystery house. It's got you thinking.

0:28:030:28:06

-It's like a baronial hall, isn't it? It's magnificent.

-It is.

0:28:060:28:09

-Is it too big, then?

-No, no, it's lovely.

0:28:090:28:12

-I

-think it's too big.

0:28:120:28:14

-You do?

-I do.

-Oh, no. I love it.

0:28:140:28:17

The extensive living space here

0:28:170:28:19

is beginning to stray beyond Elspeth's comfort zone.

0:28:190:28:23

But there's even more to explore on this expansive floor.

0:28:230:28:26

There's a single-storey wing, comprising a games room

0:28:260:28:30

plus a double bedroom with en suite, along with a utility room.

0:28:300:28:33

Our mystery house has begun to divide their opinion,

0:28:330:28:37

but perhaps the upstairs will unite them once more.

0:28:370:28:40

There's the stylish family shower room and three bedrooms -

0:28:410:28:45

a double at the back,

0:28:450:28:47

a large double at one side of the house,

0:28:470:28:51

and on the other side of a galleried landing

0:28:510:28:53

is the master bedroom, with its own en suite.

0:28:530:28:56

Now, you get two equal-sized bedrooms either end of the upstairs,

0:28:580:29:03

but I think this has the nicer view of the manor house.

0:29:030:29:05

Oh, gosh, that's beautiful, isn't it?

0:29:050:29:08

Now, bedroom - size-wise?

0:29:090:29:11

-Fabulous.

-It's just the right size, perfect.

0:29:110:29:14

You seem quite happy here.

0:29:140:29:16

-Yeah, I love it.

-Is it just because it's massive?

0:29:160:29:18

I could see me here, I'd become lord of the manor!

0:29:180:29:21

-Well, you're pretty close to it!

-Yes.

0:29:210:29:23

I like something a bit different.

0:29:230:29:25

I think I would be rattling around,

0:29:250:29:27

wishing people were here apart from...

0:29:270:29:29

Obviously, I thoroughly enjoy your company...

0:29:290:29:31

Grandchildren, they could come down, stay long weekends.

0:29:310:29:34

It'd be wonderful.

0:29:340:29:35

Let's go outside, look at the outside space

0:29:350:29:38

-and start having a think about price.

-Oh, gosh.

0:29:380:29:41

-Looking forward to this.

-OK!

0:29:410:29:43

While Elspeth seems daunted by the space inside,

0:29:430:29:46

Rob already has visions of family staying.

0:29:460:29:49

But we've still got the garden to inspect.

0:29:490:29:52

It's of a reasonable size, completely manageable

0:29:520:29:55

and thoughtfully designed around a large walled courtyard.

0:29:550:29:58

There's plenty of space for parking,

0:29:580:30:00

plus Rob's all-important garage.

0:30:000:30:03

Now, outside space...

0:30:040:30:05

You probably get as much as we've seen, actually.

0:30:060:30:11

-Low-maintenance.

-I love it.

0:30:110:30:13

People did used to call you Lord Pinkney of Peckham.

0:30:130:30:16

-Yes!

-There you go.

0:30:160:30:18

Well, it's been fun looking around the place.

0:30:180:30:23

Now you've got to try and price it.

0:30:230:30:25

Who wants to go first?

0:30:250:30:26

I think I'm going to guess this one bang on the nail.

0:30:260:30:30

I would say it's over budget, about 850, 875.

0:30:300:30:35

-OK.

-Yep.

0:30:350:30:36

-Elspeth?

-It's so beautifully done and it's a magnificent property.

0:30:360:30:41

I think, like Rob, I think I would say 820.

0:30:410:30:44

It's on the market for offers around £785,000.

0:30:440:30:49

-Oh!

-Gosh, you get an awful lot of property for your money, don't you?

0:30:490:30:53

-Yeah.

-Goodness.

-So, you know the price, go back inside, discover it,

0:30:530:30:58

fight it out amongst yourselves and I'll catch you when you're done.

0:30:580:31:00

-OK.

-OK.

-See you in a mo.

0:31:000:31:02

Our mystery coach house

0:31:050:31:07

is a surprising £15,000 below Elspeth and Rob's budget.

0:31:070:31:11

The super-sized proportions give them

0:31:110:31:13

a wealth of open-plan, bright spaces they wanted,

0:31:130:31:16

and it's perfect for entertaining.

0:31:160:31:19

There's one more bedroom than they asked for

0:31:190:31:22

and, outside, there's a low-maintenance,

0:31:220:31:24

attractive courtyard garden.

0:31:240:31:26

What's more, Rob gets his garage,

0:31:260:31:28

and there's a thriving community

0:31:280:31:30

on their doorstep.

0:31:300:31:31

The mystery house, I think, is absolutely incredible.

0:31:320:31:35

It's huge.

0:31:350:31:37

But I think the practicalities of needing to heat it, clean it,

0:31:370:31:41

fill it with people and fill it with life...

0:31:410:31:44

It feels to me as though

0:31:440:31:46

it's just waiting for a lovely family to live here.

0:31:460:31:49

My initial impression when I walked down the drive was,

0:31:490:31:52

"Wow and double wow."

0:31:520:31:53

I just loved the look of the place.

0:31:530:31:55

It's nice and big, nice and airy.

0:31:550:31:57

Even though we wanted a smaller house, to downsize,

0:31:570:32:00

as soon as I saw it, I just thought, "Wow."

0:32:000:32:03

-Now, then, you haven't fallen out, have you?

-No. Not quite!

0:32:060:32:10

You don't look like a man that's got his own way, which is...

0:32:100:32:13

-Well, it's disheartening for...

-I never get my own way, Jonnie.

0:32:130:32:16

Well, hopefully, we've shown you

0:32:160:32:18

at least one house that's in the running.

0:32:180:32:20

Let's find somewhere for you to have a chinwag,

0:32:200:32:22

-and then we'll all catch up. Yeah?

-Excellent.

-Let's go.

0:32:220:32:25

Well, I think we could all see that Rob really fell

0:32:290:32:32

for that huge mystery property. But, personally,

0:32:320:32:35

I'm not convinced it's done enough to beat that house with the views.

0:32:350:32:38

So let's catch up with them and find out.

0:32:380:32:40

OK, you've had a discussion.

0:32:430:32:45

What's the plan? Have you got a favourite?

0:32:450:32:47

Well, I do.

0:32:470:32:48

She goes her way, and I go her way.

0:32:480:32:51

That sounds very sensible.

0:32:510:32:53

So your favourite house is...?

0:32:530:32:55

-The one with the view.

-Yes, it was gorgeous.

0:32:550:32:57

-The views were stunning.

-Now, the view, of course,

0:32:570:33:00

that was one of the big things we had to put a tick against

0:33:000:33:04

but you wanted to be within striking distance of Bradford on Avon.

0:33:040:33:07

-Very important.

-You're a mile away with that house.

-Perfect.

-Yeah.

0:33:070:33:11

What about the whole layout of the house?

0:33:110:33:14

Cos you wanted big rooms all along, didn't you?

0:33:140:33:16

I think that worked really well -

0:33:160:33:18

that gorgeous big lounge that all our furniture will fit in.

0:33:180:33:21

Yeah. You've agreed,

0:33:210:33:23

the house with the views is your favourite between you.

0:33:230:33:26

What about the mystery house, Rob?

0:33:260:33:27

You seemed to fall head over heels for that place.

0:33:270:33:30

And it was definitely WOW.

0:33:300:33:32

-Do you still love it?

-I do, but it would be...

0:33:320:33:36

slightly impractical, really.

0:33:360:33:37

It was just a bit too big, you know, for the two of us,

0:33:370:33:40

which it would be most of the time.

0:33:400:33:43

I thought it really brought into definition how perhaps I thought

0:33:430:33:47

that the house with the view might not have been downsizing enough

0:33:470:33:51

for somebody of our age group. Right.

0:33:510:33:53

But when we went to that big mystery house,

0:33:530:33:56

it made me realise that the size of the one with the view

0:33:560:34:00

was actually perfection.

0:34:000:34:02

And I saw fantastic reactions from you guys in the house with the views.

0:34:020:34:06

-Yes.

-Yeah.

-You both really seemed to enjoy looking round that house,

0:34:060:34:10

-so what's next?

-Well, I think a second viewing, definitely.

0:34:100:34:13

Definitely a second viewing.

0:34:130:34:15

And then, most probably, discussion with them on price.

0:34:150:34:19

Let us know what happens, how you get on with that second viewing.

0:34:190:34:22

-We certainly will.

-And if we buy it,

0:34:220:34:24

-we'll stick your picture over the fireplace.

-Don't devalue it, please.

0:34:240:34:27

Come on! I've got to advise you against that.

0:34:270:34:30

-Good luck.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:34:300:34:32

Well, Rob and Elspeth gave me quite an exacting wish list, didn't they?

0:34:370:34:42

But I must say, to find a property with brilliant views,

0:34:420:34:46

all that space to entertain, even with a good-sized budget,

0:34:460:34:49

that close to Bradford on Avon wasn't easy,

0:34:490:34:52

so I do hope they take full advantage of this second viewing

0:34:520:34:56

and really seriously consider this as an option

0:34:560:34:59

to escape down here to Wiltshire.

0:34:590:35:01

I wish them both the very best of luck.

0:35:010:35:03

See you next time.

0:35:030:35:04

If you would like to Escape To The Country in England, Northern Ireland,

0:35:050:35:09

Wales or Scotland and need our help, you can apply online at...

0:35:090:35:13

Jonnie Irwin goes property hunting with a couple of new grandparents who have a budget of £800k to buy a rural home in Wiltshire, close to their family. Whilst there, Jonnie learns a traditional process of curing Wiltshire bacon and savours the results.