Wiltshire Escape to the Country


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Wiltshire

Property series. Jules Hudson is in Wiltshire helping a couple to find a family home with land, where they and their children can enjoy a self-sufficient lifestyle.


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Welcome to Escape To The Country.

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Today, I'm in a county that has more prehistoric landmarks in it

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than any other, including this one.

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But what is it, and where is it?

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Well, join me in just a moment and I'll tell you.

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On today's show, a couple who long to escape city life

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and bring up their two small children

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in the quiet of the countryside.

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But we hit a stumbling block with style...

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We're a bit more traditional.

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-We are, yeah. We're a bit more fuddy-duddies than you think.

-THEY LAUGH

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..although another of our properties really gets their imagination going.

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I can imagine us cooking, the kids playing,

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Jamie's doing all the hard work,

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-I'm sitting at the table with a glass of wine...

-SHE LAUGHS

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Well, today we are in Wiltshire and this is the Neolithic chamber tomb

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otherwise known as West Kennet Long Barrow.

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It is, without doubt,

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one of the finest examples of its type anywhere in Britain.

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I first came here 25 years ago as a young archaeology student.

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It was a mystery then and, to be honest, it's still a mystery now.

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But we do believe it was built around about 3650 BC,

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making it over 5,500 years old.

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It was in use for probably 1,000 years until, for some unknown reason,

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the entrance to the tomb itself was blocked up with those huge sarsen boulders.

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Now, why it fell into disuse is, of course, a mystery,

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but it is just one of the wonders of this landscape that, for me,

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make Wiltshire so fascinating.

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Known as the gateway to the West Country,

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landlocked Wiltshire is bordered by counties

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including Somerset to the west and Berkshire and Hampshire to the east.

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Agriculture, and a rich history dating back thousands of years,

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has shaped and left an indelible mark on this county's landscape,

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which is characterised by its rolling chalky hills

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and fertile valleys.

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Its unrivalled collection of prehistoric monuments

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include the largest stone circle in the world at Avebury,

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dating to around 5,000 years ago.

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The county is also famous for its collection of white horses

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carved out of the chalky hills.

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The vast majority, including this one at Westbury,

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aren't ancient creations, but date to the 18th century.

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Wiltshire also has its fair share of attractive market towns,

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including Marlborough, with its wide Georgian high street,

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and pretty thatched villages such as Alton Barnes,

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overlooked by the Pewsey Downs.

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With such a wealth of awe-inspiring architecture

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set in a timeless landscape,

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it's easy to see why many want to make Wiltshire their new home.

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Well, it probably comes as no great surprise to learn that there is

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a premium for wanting to live in this, let's face it, glorious county.

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Here, the average price of a detached property

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is currently £323,000.

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That's some £41,000 above the national figure,

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but fear not, there are some bargains to be had,

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particularly if you get away from the busy M4 corridor

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and popular commuter towns like Malmesbury and Marlborough.

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If you head west over towards Westbury and Trowbridge,

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here you could save yourself up to 45%, a saving well worth having.

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So, let's meet today's buyers and find out why they think

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Wiltshire is for them.

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Jamie and Sabrina currently live in London's East Dulwich,

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in a three-bedroom Victorian terrace with their two young sons,

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three-year-old Reuben and one-year-old Theo.

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We met when we were in the Philippines, about...

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five or six years ago.

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We were doing a marine conservation course.

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Jamie really liked the algae

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-because you were allowed to touch that.

-That's right.

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I really liked the fact that

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you were as excited to be there as I was,

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and I liked that you had been...

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-doing all these things...

-These are all nice things you've never said to me before!

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After that aquatic introduction came children,

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and the couple were married just over a year ago.

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But having lived in London for a number of years,

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Jamie and Sabrina now feel the time is right to leave the capital.

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We both grew up in the countryside,

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and so I think, essentially, the main reason we want to move is that

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we're not really convinced we want to raise our kids in a big city.

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Jamie works long hours as a lawyer in Central London,

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whilst Sabrina has put her writing career on hold

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to look after the children.

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For him, the move is a chance to reassess his work-life balance.

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It's not just about the kids,

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it's also about, kind of, our quality of life.

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-For you to not spend lots of time commuting.

-Yeah.

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Spend more time at home and have more free time

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to do some of the things that we would like to do.

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The couple have set their sights on Wiltshire,

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as it offers them countryside living within easy reach of Bristol,

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where Jamie hopes to find work.

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We're looking for somewhere

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where we can kind of have the best of both worlds,

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where you get the rurality of having...

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-That's not a word.

-You can have rural life

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with woodlands and outdoors and things like that,

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-but also have...

-Yeah.

-..access and availability to...

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-BOTH:

-..a bit of culture.

-Exactly.

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As well as spending quality time with the children,

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this creative couple are hoping to develop their repertoire of hobbies,

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including knitting and woodwork.

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I'd really like to get back to doing a bit more, kind of,

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carpentry and artistic carpentry and things like that.

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Whereas Sabrina is doing a course in garden design

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and hopes her new Wiltshire home

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will give her an inspiring blank canvas to work on.

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Certainly, where we are in London, the gardens are quite small

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and everyone just wants a bit of grass for the kids to play on,

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so it'd be really nice for us to have a bigger garden

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that I could experiment with as well,

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and maybe set aside certain areas for different things.

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And, as well as their hobbies,

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they also have aspirations to live the good life.

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-We're dying to have alpacas, and you want goats.

-Goats.

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Both of us are quite keen on being a bit more self-sufficient.

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I like growing food and Jamie would quite like to look after some animals, that sort of thing.

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With eldest son Reuben soon to start primary school,

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the race is on to find Jamie and Sabrina a home and community they can settle down in.

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This is more of a life adventure because this is

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taking the next step and...

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erm, it's...

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it's about our future rather than about our present.

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Our buyers would like to be within close proximity to the M4 motorway,

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for easy access into Bristol and London,

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so we're concentrating our property search in the north of the county.

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I'm meeting up with them in Wiltshire,

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to go over their wish list.

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-Well, good morning. Hi, Sabrina, very nice see you.

-Hi.

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-Hi, Jamie.

-Hi.

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Welcome to Wiltshire on a beautiful day -

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you've certainly brought the weather with you from London.

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-Why here?

-Well, we're both really fond of the South West.

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I was at uni in Bristol for four years,

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and Jamie's got family who live in Somerset,

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so this is a great location that we know and we're fond of.

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Now, this move is littered with some really interesting lifestyle ideas and ambitions.

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Just run through the list, Jamie.

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So, one of the things we'd really like to be able to do is use the land to make a bit of money,

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so we're thinking of having some kind of holiday let,

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whether that's a cottage or yurts on the land or something like that.

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But, at the same time, I would maintain working,

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which is why we want to be accessible to Bristol.

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We want to have a bit of land for us to have some animals to keep on,

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give our kids the opportunity to grow up in the country,

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experience a bit of country life.

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Let's talk about the alpacas.

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We'd like to have them as pets,

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but, also, I think there's loads of exciting other things we could do

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in terms of using their wool or maybe breeding them,

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and our kids really love them as well.

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In terms of property specifics,

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you've had some time to envisage what your new house may look like.

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Jamie, what's in your mind?

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So, I like, kind of, a country cottage or farmhouse-style building,

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whereas I think Sabrina's more after something on the Georgian-manor style,

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with high ceilings, big windows, that sort of stuff.

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A lady to the manor, is that it?

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Something a bit more regal?

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Not regal, necessarily,

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but I'm quite a fan of, you know, big windows and high ceilings.

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And, in terms of...

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..specifics, I mean, you know, bedrooms and all the rest of it, I mean, where are we on that?

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I think we'd like four bedrooms as a minimum,

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because it would be really great to be able to have family to come and stay, erm...

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nephews and nieces to be able to come and spend some time with us,

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and then I'd really like a nice, kind of, safe garden that the kids can just play in.

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I know you are very keen on gardening and you are undertaking

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-a course in garden design at the moment.

-I am, yeah.

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But, also, outside space, I mean, the alpacas are going to need some acres.

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Have you thought about, you know, numbers there?

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I think we'd like to have, sort of, five to ten acres.

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So, I think I know what you want, but where do you want it?

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I mean, location is all-important.

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The most important thing is access to a good primary school,

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but ideally, we'd love to be, say, on the edge of a village

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or walkable to a village with a nice pub, a shop.

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Wow, it's quite a list, isn't it?

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It is quite a list.

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But, let's see if the budget can match those aspirations.

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How much are you going to spend?

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Our budget is 900, up to a maximum of 950 for the perfect property.

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Weather's good. We've got three, I think,

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really interesting properties to show you,

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including, of course, our Mystery House.

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-So, ready to go?

-Great, yep.

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Come on, then, follow me.

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With a top budget of £950,000,

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Jamie and Sabrina differ slightly on architectural style,

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but they'd like a character house with four bedrooms,

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a large kitchen/diner and a separate sitting room.

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Outside, they want between five to ten acres of land to fulfil their

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smallholding ambitions, and to allow for a holiday enterprise

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at some point in the future.

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And the property should be situated on the edge of a village,

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close to schools for their two boys.

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We've lined up an assortment of wonderful Wiltshire houses for them to consider,

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but I won't be revealing the price tags until the end of each tour.

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Finally, our Mystery House will tempt them with the outside space,

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but they may want to put their stamp on the inside.

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We're kicking off our property search in the village of Little Somerford,

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around six miles from the town of Malmesbury, in the north of the county.

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Situated on the southern fringes of the Cotswolds,

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the village's architecture features the golden-coloured limestone

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the region is known for,

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and amenities include a popular public house and convenience store

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in nearby Great Somerford.

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There's also a Church of England primary school for their sons

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with an Ofsted rating of "good".

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Back in Little Somerford,

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our first house is located right next door to the 14th-century church

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on the edge of the village.

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Feast your eyes on this!

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Our first property of the week - there we go.

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What do you reckon to that, then?

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That's beautiful.

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Now, from what you were saying earlier, Jamie, I think this really is one for you.

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Sabrina, it's not a great big Georgian pile,

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but do you think this is the sort of property you could agree on?

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Yeah, definitely. I think it looks really beautiful.

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-Living the dream?

-Yeah.

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-Let's have a look inside, come on.

-Thank you.

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Set in a secluded spot, surrounded by a pretty garden,

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our first house is believed to date back to the 1750s,

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and is an attractive, timber-framed property, built from red brick.

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The thatched roof, made from reed, has recently been re-ridged.

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The interior has also been refurbished

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and the original house extended to the back and side,

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opening up the accommodation.

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There we go, starting with the kitchen is always a good bet

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cos it's a real scene-setter, I think.

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It's lovely. Two windows and the garden doors is just perfect.

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I can imagine us cooking, you know, the kids playing...

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Lovely to have a separate bit of space that they can play in,

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-or the doors open to the garden and they're kicking a football around outside.

-Yeah.

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Jamie's doing all the hard work,

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I'm sitting at the table with a glass of wine...

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-It'd be perfect.

-It's lovely.

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Yeah, I can see it as being a really nice sort of space just to have

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a little informal dinner and things, as well. It's beautiful.

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Look at your face!

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This is exactly what you were thinking about, isn't it?

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Come on.

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This is the dining room and this links the kitchen

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to the reception rooms throughout the rest of the house.

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-Wow!

-It's really atmospheric, actually.

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-It's quite intimate.

-Yeah?

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-But reception rooms are this way.

-Lovely.

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One of the two remaining reception rooms is a cosy snug

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with exposed beams and a wood-burning stove,

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part of the newer extension at the back.

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But we're heading for the larger sitting room.

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There we go. You have got two reception rooms here,

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but this is the biggest, I would say.

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-Lovely. Doors on to the garden again...

-Yeah.

-..which is so nice,

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but the, kind of, low beams and the low ceilings...

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Yeah, it's not so much my style as Jamie's,

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but it's a really, really beautiful house.

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Good. Right, then, shall we go upstairs?

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Let's see what you make of the bedrooms.

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We've got some positive responses

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to the ground-floor layout of our first house.

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Upstairs, Jamie and Sabrina get the four bedrooms they've asked for.

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They're all good-sized doubles,

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offering plenty of options for the children,

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and there are two family bathrooms to choose from -

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one of which has a large corner bath.

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And that just leaves the master.

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So, this is the one we've got earmarked for you two.

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That's beautiful.

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-The window?

-The window, yeah.

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-Really lovely.

-This room, in particular, is so light. It feels very, very welcoming.

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It feels very restful.

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In terms of the accommodation up here,

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what about the boys and guests?

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You wanted four bedrooms - it's got four.

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The other room about the same size as this would this work for Reuben,

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or, potentially, Reuben and Theo together.

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We could have the smaller room, could be just a bit of

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an upstairs playroom for them, with some toys in.

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And then the guest room overlooking that beautiful view out the back would be perfect, wouldn't it?

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Yeah, absolutely.

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So, the house gets a general thumbs-up,

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even though the cosy character isn't entirely to Sabrina's taste.

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Outside, though, she gets the garden she wanted,

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with its pretty lawn and paved terrace.

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To the rear of the garden are two separate outbuildings.

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The first includes a bright and sunny garden room,

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a huge games room with a small en-suite shower

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and then, at the back, a double garage.

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The building could be converted into a holiday let in the future,

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subject to planning permission.

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A second, smaller outbuilding is currently being used as a gym.

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Now, whilst the land, which amounts to 2/3 of an acre,

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might not be suitable for a smallholding,

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there are other options for keeping animals nearby.

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So, there we go - that's it.

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That's the package. Our tour is pretty much done.

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One of the key elements you were looking for was this idea of land and space.

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We haven't got acres.

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However, the farmer who owns all the land around here, some 400 acres,

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is very keen to rent land out,

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at roughly about £100 an acre per year.

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Well, let's get down to the tricky bit - the money.

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You've got 900 to 950, Sabrina.

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Where do you think property number one comes, when set against that?

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I'd say maybe something like 830,000.

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830?

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-I'll give you a clue - that's a very optimistic 830.

-OK.

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Jamie, come on.

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Maybe we're looking at more like 850?

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-This is on the market for £875,000.

-OK.

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However, I don't think 850 is probably out of range, really.

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So, happy?

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-Very happy.

-We'll give you a little bit more time.

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Go and explore the house at your leisure,

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and I will catch up with you a little bit later. Off you go.

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Lovely, thank you.

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So, priced at £75,000 below our top budget, our first house

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is a handsome, 18th-century brick-and-thatch character property,

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which was extended and remodelled around 12 years ago.

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Part of the extension includes an open-plan kitchen,

0:16:110:16:14

and the four bedrooms provide plenty of space for the children.

0:16:140:16:18

Outside, there's an outbuilding which is ripe for development

0:16:180:16:21

and, in addition to the pretty garden,

0:16:210:16:22

there are options nearby to rent land for animals.

0:16:220:16:25

I think it was a really, really great start.

0:16:270:16:29

I love the location, the gardens,

0:16:290:16:31

the outbuildings and the potential for you could do with that.

0:16:310:16:33

The inside was definitely lighter than I was expecting

0:16:330:16:36

but, in some of the rooms, like the sitting-room and the dining room,

0:16:360:16:39

They're very beautiful old beams,

0:16:390:16:40

but they can feel a little bit oppressive hanging over your head.

0:16:400:16:43

People always talk about having this gut reaction to,

0:16:430:16:46

"Yeah, this is the house for me."

0:16:460:16:48

I'm not sure I got that.

0:16:480:16:50

The kitchen I absolutely loved,

0:16:500:16:51

but, actually, as we continued through the house,

0:16:510:16:54

I think that feeling probably lessened slightly.

0:16:540:16:57

How are we doing, then?

0:16:570:16:59

-Good.

-That was perfect timing.

0:16:590:17:00

-Seen enough?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:17:000:17:02

So, one down, two more to come tomorrow,

0:17:020:17:05

including our Mystery House.

0:17:050:17:07

Maybe we've kept the best till last.

0:17:070:17:09

Who knows? Come on, let's go.

0:17:090:17:10

As the day draws to a close,

0:17:140:17:15

it's a chance for our buyers

0:17:150:17:17

to reflect on their property journey so far.

0:17:170:17:19

It's the second day of our property search

0:17:240:17:27

with Sabrina and Jamie from south London.

0:17:270:17:29

With their generous £950,000 budget,

0:17:290:17:32

we're looking for a Wiltshire country home

0:17:320:17:35

with land for them and their two young children.

0:17:350:17:37

Coming up, two more houses...

0:17:370:17:39

I think if we brought the boys to all of the houses,

0:17:390:17:41

-this would be the one they'd choose.

-Oh, absolutely!

0:17:410:17:43

..and I get to grips with some handy regal attire.

0:17:430:17:48

-So, give us a date on that one.

-This is about 1559.

0:17:480:17:51

That's astonishing.

0:17:510:17:52

Our first offering this morning, house number two,

0:17:550:17:57

I think, could really work.

0:17:570:17:59

And then, of course, we finish up with our Mystery House.

0:17:590:18:01

Now, that will be interesting to see what they make of that one.

0:18:010:18:04

With a bit of TLC, who knows?

0:18:040:18:06

It may just give them a little bit too much.

0:18:060:18:08

But, before that, our second offering,

0:18:120:18:14

and we're heading towards the market town of Malmesbury.

0:18:140:18:18

This historic hilltop settlement

0:18:180:18:20

is said to be the oldest continually inhabited town in England,

0:18:200:18:23

and notable landmarks include Malmesbury Abbey,

0:18:230:18:26

founded in the 7th century,

0:18:260:18:27

and the 15th-century market cross,

0:18:270:18:29

one of the best-preserved in the country.

0:18:290:18:33

The attractive high street is lined with an array of independent shops,

0:18:330:18:36

and there are a number of primary schools in the area to choose from.

0:18:360:18:40

House number two is situated just outside the popular town,

0:18:400:18:44

with views over open countryside towards the abbey.

0:18:440:18:47

Well, what about this lot?

0:18:510:18:52

Wow! The whole thing?!

0:18:530:18:55

The whole thing. JAMIE AND SABRINA LAUGH

0:18:550:18:57

Now, you wanted edge of village.

0:18:570:18:59

-Yeah.

-We've got you edge of Malmesbury.

0:18:590:19:01

-Oh, wow!

-ALL LAUGH

0:19:020:19:06

-Wow!

-Look at that!

0:19:060:19:07

-That's incredible!

-That is amazing!

0:19:070:19:09

And then, of course, there's the house itself.

0:19:090:19:11

Clearly, it had some agricultural origins,

0:19:110:19:14

but it's been much embellished over the years.

0:19:140:19:16

The most recent addition is that wing, there.

0:19:160:19:18

This, I think, is more for you, this one. It's...

0:19:180:19:22

really contemporary, very funky inside,

0:19:220:19:25

-has lots of character, but of a more modern sort.

-OK.

0:19:250:19:28

A different proposition to number one.

0:19:280:19:30

-Jamie, what do you reckon?

-I think it's beautiful.

0:19:300:19:32

I absolutely love it. The, kind of, the farmhouse style is lovely.

0:19:320:19:35

Let's see what you think, come on.

0:19:350:19:37

The original part of our second house dates to the 19th century

0:19:380:19:42

and was believed to be a barn.

0:19:420:19:44

During its conversion five years ago,

0:19:440:19:46

it was made energy-efficient with solar panels,

0:19:460:19:49

and renovated with modern living in mind.

0:19:490:19:52

The focal point of this house is an open-plan kitchen/diner,

0:19:520:19:55

which I'm hoping will be right up Sabrina's street.

0:19:550:20:00

Now, how funky is this, Sabrina? SABRINA LAUGHS

0:20:000:20:04

This is the place to start, I think.

0:20:040:20:06

-BOTH:

-Wow!

-The style's not quite our style.

0:20:060:20:09

It's a little bit more contemporary.

0:20:090:20:10

I thought that you'd go for this kind of fresh, contemporary look, actually.

0:20:100:20:14

-I think we're a bit more traditional.

-We are, yeah.

0:20:140:20:16

-We're a bit more fuddy-duddies than you think.

-THEY LAUGH

0:20:160:20:20

Fuddy-duddy's OK. That's probably me, too.

0:20:200:20:23

But what I like about it, the way they've furnished it,

0:20:230:20:25

you've got a nice mixture of the really contemporary units

0:20:250:20:28

and then some nice, you know, characterful pieces of furniture.

0:20:280:20:30

Absolutely. I think the space would work.

0:20:300:20:32

-Yeah.

-It would work really well.

0:20:320:20:34

You know, I could be cooking the boys' lunch,

0:20:340:20:36

they could be just playing in the same room.

0:20:360:20:38

-It's exactly what we're looking for, isn't it?

-Yeah, absolutely.

0:20:380:20:41

I'd never have thought this kitchen would be too modern,

0:20:420:20:45

but at least they're imagining how family life could play out

0:20:450:20:49

in this vast living space.

0:20:490:20:50

Just off the entrance hallway

0:20:520:20:54

is a spacious utility room and a downstairs washroom,

0:20:540:20:57

with the sitting room located in a recent extension.

0:20:570:21:01

Now, this, to me, is where the whole thing gets a lot cosier -

0:21:010:21:04

these lovely beams, you know, engineered oak floor.

0:21:040:21:08

Beautiful. Another absolutely amazing view, as well.

0:21:080:21:11

-Yeah.

-There's one thing we'd always said,

0:21:110:21:13

that it would be amazing to have a brook running alongside the prop...

0:21:130:21:16

-you know, a house, wasn't it?

-Yeah.

0:21:160:21:18

-It's probably only thing that wasn't on your huge wish list.

-Absolutely.

0:21:180:21:21

I know. Well, we didn't mention it but, yeah, that was a secret dream.

0:21:210:21:24

Yeah, so that's really amazing.

0:21:240:21:27

Of the four bedrooms here, two are on the ground floor,

0:21:270:21:30

at either end of the lounge,

0:21:300:21:32

and both feature a continuation of the large-window design

0:21:320:21:35

overlooking the brook.

0:21:350:21:37

Each has its own dedicated en-suite bathroom,

0:21:370:21:39

so either would make an excellent guest room.

0:21:390:21:42

Beyond the kitchen/diner is an additional room

0:21:430:21:45

currently being used as a children's play area.

0:21:450:21:48

But the remaining two bedrooms

0:21:500:21:52

are upstairs, in the original part of the house,

0:21:520:21:54

and include a single bedroom,

0:21:540:21:56

which is served by a stylish family bathroom, as well as the master.

0:21:560:21:59

Now, this is the oldest part of the building.

0:22:010:22:03

This would have been the old agricultural bit.

0:22:030:22:05

-So, you can see these lovely beams coming through, which is rather nice.

-Beautiful.

0:22:050:22:08

Bit more, sort of, history and character here.

0:22:080:22:11

-This is the master.

-Mm-hm.

0:22:110:22:13

It's not en suite like the others are,

0:22:130:22:15

but it has this fantastic bathroom next door

0:22:150:22:17

with a kind of freestanding bath in it,

0:22:170:22:19

really nice double shower,

0:22:190:22:21

and, at the other end of the corridor, the smallest room,

0:22:210:22:24

which may be for the children at the moment.

0:22:240:22:26

So they'd be next to you.

0:22:260:22:27

Yeah, I mean, I think that would work really well, certainly now, while the kids are little.

0:22:270:22:31

Erm, we could be a bit tucked away up here, closer to them,

0:22:310:22:33

-and then, perhaps, as they got bigger we might want to move downstairs, I think.

-Yeah.

0:22:330:22:37

So, outside space -

0:22:370:22:39

let's see what you think of this.

0:22:390:22:40

I think Jamie and Sabrina are really warming to our second offering

0:22:430:22:47

and the options it gives them.

0:22:470:22:49

Outside, at the front of the house, there's a further outbuilding.

0:22:490:22:52

As well as providing garage space,

0:22:520:22:54

on the first floor there's an annexe which is open-plan,

0:22:540:22:57

with a separate kitchen and shower room that could make a potential holiday let.

0:22:570:23:01

At the rear of the house,

0:23:010:23:02

the land fans out from a terraced patio area and includes

0:23:020:23:06

a well-maintained lawn, a vegetable patch with raised beds,

0:23:060:23:10

a greenhouse and an area of garden for the children.

0:23:100:23:13

Beyond the fence bordering the lawn is a decent paddock for alpacas.

0:23:130:23:17

All in all, there's one and three-quarter acres of land with this place.

0:23:170:23:21

There we go. I love this view of the property, I have to say.

0:23:260:23:29

-Yeah.

-It's fantastic, isn't it?

0:23:290:23:32

So, have I either of you got an idea as to what this may cost you?

0:23:320:23:36

You've got 900 to 950. Go on, then.

0:23:360:23:39

I think I would say 950.

0:23:390:23:41

Jamie?

0:23:410:23:42

Maybe I can be optimistic and go for 935.

0:23:420:23:44

Another bit of optimism, from you this time. OK.

0:23:460:23:49

Well, I'm not going to labour it or keep you in suspense,

0:23:490:23:52

it is £950,000.

0:23:520:23:55

It's an incredible house.

0:23:550:23:56

-It is.

-Incredible.

-Have a quick whizz around,

0:23:560:23:58

and I'll catch up with you shortly.

0:23:580:24:00

-Go that way.

-Thank you.

-See you later.

0:24:000:24:03

At the very top end of their budget,

0:24:060:24:08

our second house,

0:24:080:24:09

a former 19th-century barn,

0:24:090:24:11

has been stylishly remodelled

0:24:110:24:12

in recent years,

0:24:120:24:13

providing contemporary

0:24:130:24:14

living spaces inside.

0:24:140:24:16

As well as a large kitchen/diner,

0:24:160:24:18

the property comes

0:24:180:24:19

with four bedrooms,

0:24:190:24:20

two of those on the ground floor,

0:24:200:24:22

overlooking a brook.

0:24:220:24:24

The 1.75 acre plot

0:24:240:24:25

includes a paddock for animals,

0:24:250:24:27

but the real bonus is that

0:24:270:24:28

the property lies within

0:24:280:24:30

walking distance of Malmesbury,

0:24:300:24:31

which has schooling options

0:24:310:24:32

for the children.

0:24:320:24:34

The house definitely has the whole package

0:24:340:24:36

for everything we were looking for. The land is amazing.

0:24:360:24:39

We were talking...we might do a bit of glamping with a yurt or something,

0:24:390:24:42

and it's such a beautiful spot,

0:24:420:24:43

I think people would love to stay here.

0:24:430:24:45

House number two is a beautiful house.

0:24:450:24:47

Inside, the modern look of it isn't, necessarily, mine or Sabrina's taste

0:24:470:24:51

but you could look past that, see the potential in the rooms...

0:24:510:24:55

It was very interesting, sort of, the layout,

0:24:550:24:58

how the rooms flowed off each other.

0:24:580:25:00

It was great.

0:25:000:25:01

Ah! How are we doing, chaps?

0:25:030:25:06

-Good.

-Good.

-What do you think of that, then?

0:25:060:25:08

Yeah, it's a great space, loads of potential. Really beautiful.

0:25:080:25:11

Good. One on the list, I think, for you to really think about.

0:25:110:25:14

And look at that view, come on.

0:25:140:25:16

So, one more property to come.

0:25:160:25:17

-Where to next, then?

-The Mystery.

0:25:170:25:19

Yes, come on!

0:25:190:25:20

Well, guys, are you happy with what we've been able to show you so far

0:25:240:25:28

with only one property left to see?

0:25:280:25:30

The houses we've seen so far were really beautiful,

0:25:300:25:32

but they were both very much finished,

0:25:320:25:34

so it would be quite exciting to see something

0:25:340:25:36

where we could make our mark a little bit more.

0:25:360:25:38

Well, our Mystery House certainly allows you to do that

0:25:380:25:42

and, I think, it doesn't lose sight

0:25:420:25:44

of your ambitions to become smallholders.

0:25:440:25:47

Yeah, that sounds great. Can't wait to see it.

0:25:470:25:50

But will it be too much of an undertaking?

0:25:500:25:53

It's the closest of our houses to Bath,

0:25:530:25:56

and is located in the village of Colerne.

0:25:560:25:58

Affectionately known as "the village on the hill",

0:25:580:26:01

due to its elevated position at 545 feet above sea level,

0:26:010:26:05

Colerne is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,

0:26:050:26:09

and enjoys stunning panoramic views over Wiltshire's Box Valley.

0:26:090:26:14

Today, it is well served with local amenities,

0:26:140:26:16

including a grocery store,

0:26:160:26:17

public house, and a primary school with a good rating from Ofsted.

0:26:170:26:22

Our Mystery House is located on the fringes of the village,

0:26:220:26:25

at the end of a long driveway,

0:26:250:26:27

and offers our couple the land they wanted

0:26:270:26:29

and the chance to put their personal stamp on their new home.

0:26:290:26:32

So, at last, we can reveal the Mystery House.

0:26:360:26:38

There you go. What do you think of that, then?

0:26:380:26:40

-Wow, it's huge!

-SABRINA LAUGHS

0:26:400:26:43

Impressive.

0:26:430:26:44

The reason it's the Mystery House

0:26:440:26:46

is because I'm hoping it will combine

0:26:460:26:49

the best of what we now think you both want.

0:26:490:26:52

So, it's got a slightly cottagey aspect,

0:26:520:26:54

with these lovely borders and the setting,

0:26:540:26:56

but it also has something of the grand about it.

0:26:560:26:59

The way it's been converted and furnished,

0:26:590:27:01

it has this sort of manorial feel.

0:27:010:27:03

The other thing to point out about what we're looking at here

0:27:030:27:06

is that this, actually, is the back.

0:27:060:27:08

-OK.

-The front's even prettier.

0:27:080:27:10

Come and have a look at this.

0:27:100:27:12

Around 150 years old,

0:27:130:27:15

the stone-built barn was converted into a home in the early 1990s,

0:27:150:27:19

and is nestled between two sections of pretty garden.

0:27:190:27:22

The rear is particularly well thought out -

0:27:220:27:24

a garden designer's dream.

0:27:240:27:26

There we are. Come over here.

0:27:290:27:31

If you get back from it a bit,

0:27:310:27:34

you get an even better view.

0:27:340:27:36

SABRINA LAUGHS

0:27:360:27:38

Still those big proportions.

0:27:380:27:39

-That's true, isn't it? Yeah.

-Amazing.

-Yeah.

0:27:390:27:42

I love the fact that it's kind of nestled down in this valley.

0:27:420:27:45

Feels very sheltered and secluded.

0:27:450:27:47

-Absolutely.

-I can't wait to see the inside.

-Absolutely.

0:27:470:27:50

Come on, then.

0:27:500:27:51

Whilst the Mystery House certainly delivers on land,

0:27:530:27:55

Jamie and Sabrina may have to think laterally

0:27:550:27:58

about its internal arrangements.

0:27:580:28:00

So, through the hallway...

0:28:010:28:03

..into here.

0:28:040:28:05

I thought we'd start with the, kind of, manorial living room

0:28:050:28:09

-with this slightly, sort of, Georgian twist, perhaps.

-Yeah.

0:28:090:28:12

With those very imposing beams,

0:28:120:28:14

but, still, it's got the really high ceilings.

0:28:140:28:17

-I do love a bit of ceiling height.

-Yeah, you do.

-Yeah, I do.

0:28:170:28:20

You just get such a feeling of space, and I think, for us,

0:28:200:28:22

this would, literally, just be a question of redecorating,

0:28:220:28:25

which should be quite an easy job, really.

0:28:250:28:27

And the whole thing flows. You've got the hallway there. Front door, obviously.

0:28:270:28:30

You come through those double doors into the living room,

0:28:300:28:33

and then, through here, you've got the dining room, there.

0:28:330:28:35

Again, with lovely doors out to the garden where we started.

0:28:350:28:38

Yeah, it's lovely.

0:28:380:28:39

All that light coming in through those doors is fantastic.

0:28:390:28:42

But this is handy, because it leads right onto the kitchen.

0:28:420:28:45

Now, the kitchen itself is curious, cos you sort of step up...into it.

0:28:450:28:49

It's a great space.

0:28:490:28:51

Yeah, it's nice. I can kind of see, maybe with a bit of modernisation,

0:28:510:28:54

maybe a little bit of reconfiguration,

0:28:540:28:56

I think this could, actually, be a really nice kitchen.

0:28:560:28:59

-You're not convinced.

-I'm not...

0:28:590:29:01

I'm not quite as convinced as Jamie,

0:29:010:29:02

I think just because I do more of the day-to-day cooking

0:29:020:29:05

when the kids are around, lunches and things.

0:29:050:29:07

So, having these steps here, you know, that's a bit of a hazard

0:29:070:29:09

and if they're going to be playing in the...

0:29:090:29:11

you know, in the main reception room,

0:29:110:29:13

that's on the other side of the house from here.

0:29:130:29:15

In terms of how we'd practically use it, it doesn't work as well.

0:29:150:29:19

So, Sabrina has concerns about the ground-floor configuration,

0:29:190:29:22

which also includes a utility room just off the kitchen.

0:29:220:29:26

Upstairs, it provides our buyers with four bedrooms

0:29:260:29:29

arranged off a central landing.

0:29:290:29:31

These include a good-sized double,

0:29:310:29:33

a single with built-in cupboards and a twin,

0:29:330:29:35

so lots of options for their sons.

0:29:350:29:38

There's also a separate study and a large family bath and shower room.

0:29:380:29:43

Which leaves the final piece of the puzzle up here for them.

0:29:430:29:45

There we go. This is your bit,

0:29:470:29:48

and that's because you get the dressing room, here... SABRINA LAUGHS

0:29:480:29:53

You can share it.

0:29:530:29:54

And also the en-suite bath and shower room, over there.

0:29:540:29:57

That's a really good size.

0:29:570:29:58

Of all the master bedrooms we've seen in the three houses,

0:29:580:30:01

this is definitely the biggest and feels the most masterful.

0:30:010:30:04

Could you see yourselves in this one,

0:30:040:30:06

in this particular building, do you think?

0:30:060:30:08

I like the building, but I think, maybe...

0:30:080:30:11

the layout - we'd have to work that out.

0:30:110:30:14

So, better reactions to the upstairs

0:30:140:30:15

and, while Jamie and Sabrina

0:30:150:30:17

may have to work out the ground-floor layout,

0:30:170:30:20

I think the land here may sugar the pill,

0:30:200:30:22

as, outside, there are seven acres to play with.

0:30:220:30:26

In addition to the two sections of garden we've already seen,

0:30:260:30:29

there's a large gravel driveway and a separate garage block,

0:30:290:30:33

and just uphill from that

0:30:330:30:34

is a huge sloping paddock, making up most of the land,

0:30:340:30:38

providing shelter and space for possible alpacas.

0:30:380:30:41

Now, believe me, it's worth the climb...

0:30:430:30:46

cos the view of the house and your land is just wonderful.

0:30:460:30:50

The house itself is set down a bit,

0:30:500:30:52

but there's a real feeling of open space, here, I think.

0:30:520:30:55

Yeah, absolutely. This is kind of the best view of the house.

0:30:550:30:58

You can really see what it's about when you get up here.

0:30:580:31:01

So, for the final time of asking this week,

0:31:010:31:05

you've got £900,000 - £950,000 - what do you think

0:31:050:31:08

our Mystery House is on the market for, Jamie?

0:31:080:31:11

I'm going to go with 895.

0:31:110:31:12

895, yeah. Sabrina?

0:31:120:31:14

I was thinking maybe something like 900, as well.

0:31:140:31:17

£900,000.

0:31:170:31:19

You're both, I'm afraid, being

0:31:190:31:21

a little bit too optimistic, once again. This is on the market...

0:31:210:31:25

-for £950,000...

-OK.

0:31:250:31:29

..but, having spoken to the agent, I think...

0:31:290:31:32

you know, they're not going to give it away,

0:31:320:31:33

but there is a conversation to be had.

0:31:330:31:35

I think provided it starts with a nine,

0:31:350:31:37

you might be in with a fighting chance.

0:31:370:31:39

OK. Yeah, interesting.

0:31:390:31:41

Well, look, take some time.

0:31:410:31:42

Go and have another look at the property

0:31:420:31:44

and I will come and catch up with you a little bit later.

0:31:440:31:47

-Off you go.

-Brilliant, thanks very much.

0:31:470:31:49

At the top end of their budget,

0:31:530:31:55

the Mystery House is a converted barn, built around 150 years ago

0:31:550:31:59

and refurbished in the '90s, with four good-sized bedrooms.

0:31:590:32:03

With a high ceiling in the living room,

0:32:030:32:05

but a cosy cottagey feel throughout,

0:32:050:32:07

it appeals to Jamie and Sabrina's different preferences on style.

0:32:070:32:12

And although they may want to put their own stamp on the place,

0:32:120:32:15

seven acres of land gives them lots of outside options.

0:32:150:32:19

The house has got so much potential. It needs...

0:32:190:32:21

I think we'd probably want to do quite a lot of work to it.

0:32:210:32:23

I could imagine really stripping it back,

0:32:230:32:25

but it's quite exciting, actually,

0:32:250:32:27

thinking about everything you could do here.

0:32:270:32:29

In terms of the land that we were thinking of,

0:32:290:32:31

I think this house definitely gives us

0:32:310:32:32

the closest to what we were imagining.

0:32:320:32:34

You could do so many different things - have the alpacas,

0:32:340:32:36

some yurts and caravans, all sorts of things we could do out here.

0:32:360:32:39

I don't think it's quite there yet,

0:32:390:32:42

but it's absolutely got the potential

0:32:420:32:44

to be something that could work so well for our family.

0:32:440:32:46

With a bit more imagination, I think this could be an amazing house.

0:32:460:32:49

We've given you some cracking properties this week.

0:32:530:32:56

-Time to think about them, I guess.

-Yeah, absolutely.

0:32:560:32:58

Then get your chequebook. Come on.

0:32:580:33:00

In the Wiltshire town of Warminster

0:33:050:33:07

is the headquarters of one of the UK's leading glove manufacturers.

0:33:070:33:12

Established in the late 18th century,

0:33:120:33:14

Dents have been making gloves for the rich, the famous and royalty

0:33:140:33:18

for over 230 years.

0:33:180:33:20

It's just one of a handful of companies

0:33:200:33:22

still manufacturing leather gloves using time-honoured techniques.

0:33:220:33:26

I've come to the firm's museum to find out more

0:33:260:33:28

about the county's rich history of glove-making.

0:33:280:33:31

I'm meeting CEO Deborah Moore.

0:33:310:33:33

-You've been making gloves for a very long time, haven't you?

-1777.

0:33:330:33:37

The company started in Worcester.

0:33:370:33:39

John Dent, who eventually brought his sons, William and John, into the business.

0:33:390:33:43

And why did the factory move from Worcestershire to Wiltshire in the West Country?

0:33:430:33:47

I think we followed the tanneries.

0:33:470:33:49

The tanneries came down to Yeovil

0:33:490:33:51

and many of the glove companies actually followed.

0:33:510:33:53

Now, you've got your own museum here,

0:33:530:33:55

which contains many items, many gloves.

0:33:550:33:58

My eye has been caught by

0:33:580:33:59

the gold that is glittering off the table next to us, here.

0:33:590:34:02

What have you got out for us today?

0:34:020:34:04

We've got two gloves here.

0:34:040:34:05

First of all, we've got Queen Elizabeth I's glove.

0:34:050:34:08

That's astonishing. So, give us a date on that one.

0:34:080:34:10

This is about 1559.

0:34:100:34:12

-1559!

-This is her coronation glove.

0:34:120:34:14

Look how slender the fingers are.

0:34:140:34:16

And you would see very long fingers,

0:34:160:34:18

but they would have stuffed the ends of the fingers, here.

0:34:180:34:21

Her fingers would not actually have been that shape?

0:34:210:34:23

No, they wouldn't.

0:34:230:34:24

These gloves were, of course, acquired for the museum's collection,

0:34:240:34:27

but, in 1953, the company was asked to produce a similar set of gloves

0:34:270:34:32

for the coronation of our present Queen.

0:34:320:34:34

Part of the coronation ceremony is that the monarch is given a glove,

0:34:340:34:38

and it's the right-handed glove in this case, and she touches it...

0:34:380:34:42

-Can I pick it up?

-You can, yes - obviously with gloves.

0:34:420:34:45

Obviously with other gloves on.

0:34:450:34:46

I suppose, never really worn.

0:34:460:34:48

No, they haven't been.

0:34:480:34:49

But these look like they have been through the wars, as it were.

0:34:490:34:52

Two left-handed gloves.

0:34:520:34:53

These were Lord Nelson's gloves.

0:34:530:34:56

No! He famously lost his right arm, didn't he?

0:34:560:34:59

So, two left-hand gloves.

0:34:590:35:01

Today, gloves here are still made

0:35:040:35:06

just as they were over 100 years ago.

0:35:060:35:09

Each pair in their Heritage Collection is handmade from leather,

0:35:090:35:13

and there around 70 people working to produce 50,000 pairs each year.

0:35:130:35:18

Now, you're busy stitching together these 24 components.

0:35:180:35:21

I am, yeah. I've already put the thumb in...

0:35:210:35:23

..and now I'm measuring up the fourchettes.

0:35:240:35:26

The fourchettes are the bits that go in between the finger,

0:35:260:35:29

that actually make it fit your finger,

0:35:290:35:30

and if you look at the top, where we bend it back,

0:35:300:35:33

you get a very small little V.

0:35:330:35:35

And if you don't get the V, then you haven't done it right.

0:35:350:35:39

It requires years of practice,

0:35:390:35:41

but Sally is very kindly allowing me to have a go

0:35:410:35:44

on the 80-year-old sewing machine.

0:35:440:35:46

Just put your fingers there, and just hold there...

0:35:460:35:49

-Hold that straight.

-You can see where the needle is going to go.

0:35:490:35:51

-Yeah.

-Go up on the edge, and you'll be fine.

0:35:510:35:54

Now, Sally can put it all together in half an hour, but me,

0:35:540:35:58

I'm taking a little longer.

0:35:580:36:00

-We'll have to have you here to do a few.

-HE LAUGHS

0:36:000:36:03

Somehow I think it would take me a little bit longer than half an hour!

0:36:030:36:08

Having been given an inside look into the production process,

0:36:080:36:11

it's been interesting to see how these historic gloves

0:36:110:36:14

are still being made in such a time-honoured way,

0:36:140:36:17

keeping those handcrafted skills alive.

0:36:170:36:19

Well, this week, we have shown Jamie and Sabrina

0:36:230:36:26

three fabulous properties,

0:36:260:36:27

with a combined asking price

0:36:270:36:29

of £2,775,000.

0:36:290:36:33

And despite their fabulous budget,

0:36:330:36:35

they can, of course, afford to buy only one of them.

0:36:350:36:38

But which one?

0:36:380:36:39

Well, let's go and ask them,

0:36:390:36:41

and have some tea and scones while we're about it.

0:36:410:36:43

Well, look at you in this lovely, rather regal setting.

0:36:460:36:52

It's the moment we've all been waiting for. It's decision time.

0:36:520:36:55

Have you had a chance to think about it all?

0:36:550:36:57

-Yeah, we have.

-Had a bit of a chat, bit of a mull.

0:36:570:37:01

A bit of a mull.

0:37:010:37:02

We did give you three, I think, really interesting options.

0:37:020:37:05

So, which one, if any of them, have you alighted upon?

0:37:050:37:09

I think we'd probably like to have another look at two of them.

0:37:090:37:12

Firstly, house number two.

0:37:120:37:14

That setting with that walk over the fields into Malmesbury

0:37:140:37:17

was just spectacular, and the beautiful land behind,

0:37:170:37:20

so we'd definitely like to go back and take a second look there.

0:37:200:37:22

But you also liked property number three, our Mystery House, of course.

0:37:220:37:26

We did. I think we'd like to come back and have a think about that

0:37:260:37:28

with costings and how that would work financially.

0:37:280:37:30

Looking at particularly the Mystery House

0:37:300:37:33

and seeing what that offers in terms of scale of land -

0:37:330:37:36

that really has confirmed to me

0:37:360:37:38

that having a bit more land is an exciting prospect.

0:37:380:37:41

So, potentially, two more revisits, as it were.

0:37:410:37:45

When's it going to happen?

0:37:450:37:47

Well, I think we'll probably try and come back in the next weekend or so.

0:37:470:37:50

Maybe stay in Malmesbury, have a chance

0:37:500:37:52

to properly look around there and get to know that area.

0:37:520:37:54

Best of luck. Let us know how you get on.

0:37:540:37:56

Oh, thank you very much, and thank you so much

0:37:560:37:58

for showing us, you know, three such unique properties.

0:37:580:38:01

It's given us a lot to think about, as well.

0:38:010:38:03

Well, it's been a week of wonderful properties,

0:38:050:38:07

high numbers and even loftier ambitions.

0:38:070:38:10

And now, with any luck, Jamie and Sabrina

0:38:100:38:12

are that little bit closer to realising some,

0:38:120:38:15

if not all, of theirs.

0:38:150:38:17

I'll see you next time.

0:38:170:38:18

Jamie and Sabrina revisited our second house

0:38:210:38:24

and are still considering their options.

0:38:240:38:26

If you'd like to Escape To The Country,

0:38:260:38:28

in either England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland,

0:38:280:38:31

and would like our help,

0:38:310:38:32

then please apply online at...

0:38:320:38:37

Jules Hudson is in rural Wiltshire helping a couple with a handsome £950,000 budget to find a family home with land, where they and their young children can enjoy a self-sufficient lifestyle. Jules also gets to grips with the county's glove-making heritage and handles some fascinating examples made for famous figures.