Gloucestershire Escape to the Country


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Gloucestershire

Property series. Ginny Buckley takes a couple from Harrogate on a property search in Gloucestershire with a budget of £650,000.


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This is one of the finest medieval buildings in the UK,

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and it has strong ties to America.

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Find out how they're connected,

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and, of course, where we are in just a moment.

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Today our house hunting duo are looking for a country pad

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that will bring them closer to family and friends.

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-What a view!

-Yeah, the view.

-It's lovely!

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And there's a bit of excitement along the way.

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I feel quite emotional.

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THEY LAUGH

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Going to do a dance!

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Today I'm in Gloucestershire,

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and behind me is Gloucester Cathedral,

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celebrated for its fan-vaulted roof and Gothic architecture.

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It's also famed for a choirboy, John Stafford Smith.

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He wrote a well-known drinking song for a London social club.

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For some reason, it gained popularity

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during the American Civil War,

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when it was paired with the lyrics of a patriotic poem

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before being renamed The Star Spangled Banner.

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Adopted as the American national anthem in 1931,

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it's just one of the many stars from this beautiful county.

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Gloucestershire lies to the south-west of England

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and shares its boundaries with seven other counties,

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including Wiltshire and Oxfordshire,

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as well as the Welsh county of Monmouthshire.

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Home to acres of established woodland,

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Gloucestershire was once the hunting ground for Norman kings,

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in particular the leafy depths of the Forest of Dean.

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With some 20 million trees,

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today this forest is celebrated as England's largest oak woodland.

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Countryside accounts for around 90% of the Gloucestershire landscape,

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and over half of the county is designated as an area of

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outstanding natural beauty,

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into which sit perfectly preserved historic villages.

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To the east lie the majority of the Cotswold Hills, a scenic limestone

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spine whose mellow ochre stone defines the local architecture.

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And aside from outstanding villages,

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Tewkesbury in the north of Gloucestershire is a historic town

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with over 200 listed buildings.

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But the main attraction is the cathedral-sized abbey,

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founded back in 1087.

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It's one of the largest and grandest

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parish churches in the country

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that has been a sacred haven to many people

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over countless centuries.

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With so much on offer in this lovely county it will probably

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come as no surprise when I tell you that those wishing to move here

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are going to have to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

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The average price of a detached house here in Gloucestershire is

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£308,000,

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30,000 above the national average.

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And with house prices up 12% on last year, those looking to

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relocate should probably do it sooner rather than later.

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So let's go and meet today's couple and find out what draws them

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to this lovely place.

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It was as an uninvited guest that retired agronomist Rick

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first set eyes on his wife-to-be, Sue.

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We got together when you gate-crashed my party

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when we were...

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-Did you not invite me?

-No.

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-Oh.

-SUE LAUGHS

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-Oops.

-Erm, it... Ooh, when we were 18.

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17 or 18?

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So, basically, after that, you used to carry my books home from school.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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So we've been together now for, ooh, 40-odd years?

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We've been married 44.

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And for the past two decades, Sue and Rick have been based

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in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate, along with their pet dog, Minnie.

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Home is a modern four-bedroomed 1980s property that they

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recently spent two years renovating.

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We live in the Duchy area of Harrogate,

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which is strongly residential, one of the older parts of Harrogate.

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It's getting more and more congested,

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so lots of cars, lots of parking problems.

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Originally we moved up here for a job,

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which, seeing as we're both retired, we're free agents now,

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we can go where we like.

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But the plan is to head south.

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Our daughter has just settled and is running a business in Wales, so we're

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fairly confident that she's going to sort of not be moving around.

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It'll be so nice to be a lot closer.

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Sadly, a family tragedy makes relocating to within close

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proximity of their daughter one of the main drivers for the move.

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We had two children.

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Sadly we lost our son, erm, five years ago,

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so our family now is

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our daughter and her family, which is a lovely little new grandson,

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well, 18 months, Maelo, who is half Welsh,

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-and, erm, yeah, lives a long way away.

-Yeah.

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My mother lives on the south coast of Devon,

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which again is about six hours' drive from here,

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so between those two we're clocking way too many miles in the car.

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Yeah, we're keeping the petrol industry afloat, aren't we?

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-Certainly are, even though it's a diesel car.

-Yeah.

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As previous residents of Bristol,

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they've chosen Gloucestershire as the right place

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within easy reach of their family as well as old acquaintances.

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But when it comes to the perfect house, they seem flexible.

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We're very capable, if the potential is there...

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Absolutely.

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..to add things to a building to bring it up to the

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-spec that we need.

-Yeah.

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I hanker after a cottage but cottages can be dark,

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so a nice, light, airy cottage would be lovely.

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And I'd love a house that's in a garden rather than

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looking down on a garden.

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And they'd love a location that allows them

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to make new friends and indulge in their hobbies -

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as well as find new ones.

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I hope to, erm, join new societies,

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perhaps do a few classes, erm,

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needlework classes perhaps,

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learn how to do things properly at last.

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It's never too late.

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I'm pretty active.

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I play racquetball two or three times a week.

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I do a lot of walking, not just with the dog,

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but distance walking as well.

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I do DIY, erm...

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Sail? Ski?

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Sail, ski, erm, and...

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He's Action Man, really.

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An energetic and positive couple,

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they've already secured a buyer for their Harrogate home,

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and are wholeheartedly welcoming a new chapter in Gloucestershire.

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A lot of people don't like change,

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but I embrace change, I love it.

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Yeah, you're always much more positive about change than I am.

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You're more set in your ways, aren't you?

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I'm more set in my ways, but, erm,

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it's inevitable that we move from here,

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so the sooner we get on with it, the better it'll be.

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This will probably be our last move, erm,

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so we need to make sure that we've got it right.

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Ideally, Rick and Sue are looking to be within an hour and a half of

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their daughter and grandson in Swansea, south-west Wales,

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so we're focusing the house hunt in Gloucestershire's rural villages,

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in the southern portion of the county,

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within easy reach of good road links.

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But to really get to grips

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with what this couple are after in their new home,

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I'm meeting up with them face-to-face

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in their chosen county.

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So what is it about Gloucestershire that appeals to the two of you?

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Oh, it's just beautiful. It's just beautiful.

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The scenery, the rolling hills, the...

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Yeah, it's so pretty.

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-And it's an area that we know quite well too.

-Yes.

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Because, er, we came from Bristol

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before we went up to, er, to Yorkshire.

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Old stomping grounds, really.

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Which is always good, isn't it, if you're starting somewhere else,

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-to have those connections there already?

-Absolutely.

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-Well, let's talk about the property.

-OK.

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When you envisage this property in your mind, what do you see?

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A really welcoming family home, practical for children and dogs,

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nice big kitchen I can spend days in.

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Certainly a study would be essential for you, wouldn't it?

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Yeah, although, I mean,

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-we've never been terribly good with very small rooms, have we?

-No.

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And do you have any strong ideas on garden?

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Flat or not on a slope would be great.

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-We don't want enormous, do we, but...

-Yes, we don't want a smallholding,

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but, erm, a reasonable sized garden,

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-some play areas for me?

-Yes.

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That sounds intriguing, do you want to expand on that?

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-Garage, man-shed, yes.

-Yes.

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Is there anything on that list that you feel you could compromise on?

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-I'm sure we could compromise.

-Absolutely.

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We've never yet bought a house

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that has fitted our specification, if you like.

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We've always just walked into one and thought, "Oh, yes."

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-"This is it."

-"This is it."

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"We'll get that next time."

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That's music to my ears!

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That's absolutely perfect.

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Can you remind me what the budget is for this move?

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-The budget for this move is £650,000.

-OK.

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Is there any wiggle room on it?

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If we find the great house, can we push it slightly?

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(We can always squeeze a bit more.)

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(Shh.)

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So have you looked at any properties in the area yet?

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-We haven't looked at all.

-So this is quite exciting.

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-This is amazingly exciting.

-Absolutely.

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Well, shall we see if we can find you that perfect property?

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-Yes, please.

-Yes, come on, then.

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For a budget of £650,000,

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Rick and Sue are after a spacious family home that should have

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a large sociable kitchen-diner, a separate study,

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and a flat, sunny garden with man space, like a garage or shed.

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The location needs to be well connected for easy access

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to their daughter and grandson.

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And although open minded about the property's style,

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they're hoping to find somewhere in a lively,

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pretty village with a few amenities to hand.

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We have a fine selection of Gloucestershire properties to

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serve up, but I'll be keeping the price a hush-hush

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until we've had a good look around first.

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Then to finish up our tour, we're presenting the Mystery House,

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which may not be on the straight and narrow

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in terms of the wish-list,

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but I'll do my level best to get our buyers on-side.

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So how are you finding being grandparents for the first time?

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-Is it wonderful?

-It's brilliant, it's such fun, such fun,

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but, erm, being hands-on and being able to take a turn in the rota

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rather than a visitor will be great.

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We're starting our property search in the village of Avening,

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down in the south of the county, which is just under a two-hour drive

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from the Swansea-based side of the family.

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This desirable Cotswold village is chock-full of characterful

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properties in attractive, pale ochre tones,

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and the community provides not one but two public houses.

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Right in the heart of the village down a quiet country lane,

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our first offering is found.

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-This is the first property.

-This here?

-It is, right in front of us.

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-Looks very pretty.

-Looks interesting.

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-Yes.

-I think it's got...

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-It looks very promising.

-I think it's got some wow factor.

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-Mm.

-Yes.

-Yes, it's very attractive, charming.

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Very handsome, I think.

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It's Cotswold stone, built in around 1695.

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It's a semidetached property, actually,

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-although you wouldn't know that from looking at it.

-No.

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The house itself has got parking, three cars out the front,

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you've got a garage, and at the back of the garage is your man space.

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-Excellent.

-You have a workshop.

-Excellent.

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It's quite a low workshop but it is a workshop.

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It's all right, I'm not very tall.

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-It is Grade II listed.

-Let's hope we don't need to change anything.

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-Yes, absolutely!

-Does it draw you in?

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Do you want to go and open that front door?

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-Absolutely.

-Oh, yes.

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-Yeah.

-Yes.

-Come on, let's go and open it then, let's see what's inside.

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With roots in the 17th century,

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this attractive double-fronted property

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is laid out over three floors.

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The interior has a cottage feel,

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which is something Sue quite fancies,

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but it's a real contrast to the modern design of their current home.

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We're starting off in the sitting room.

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First impressions, it's quite small.

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I think the way to view this room is as a family room.

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I mean, the window seat, I think, is beautiful. I love a window seat.

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Yes, the window seat is a good feature.

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It's a room for probably reading in, perhaps a room... A play room.

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It's a second space, really, to use.

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As a second sitting room, it's got possibilities.

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-I'd do something with it.

-Work. Definitely work.

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-Well, let's go and take a look at the other main living area.

-OK.

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-And just see how the two would work together.

-Mm-hm.

-OK...

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So this is the second living room. You can see it's much larger.

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It's a great space, so this is

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-the room that the family who live here currently use all the time.

-OK.

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It's got that spectacular fireplace with the log burner.

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-Yeah, that's nice.

-That's very nice.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-What are your thoughts?

-Sort of feels a little dark.

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I don't know. I think it's the low...low ceilings.

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We've still got a lot more to see.

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-OK.

-Come on.

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OK, this is the kitchen. It's lovely and cosy

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thanks to that range cooker over there in the corner.

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Yeah, definitely the range cooker.

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-She's smiling! She's in the kitchen, she's smiling!

-Yeah.

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But it's not the big inclusive family space

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that I would be looking for.

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-It's very much a country cottage style, isn't it?

-Yes.

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So I mean, it fits in with the room nicely.

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-It's too small.

-OK.

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Coming in here, it's made me realise that perhaps a cottage isn't for us.

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Despite the cosy proportions, this is by no means a petite property.

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As well as the two reception rooms we've already seen

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and the kitchen/breakfast room,

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all at the front of the house,

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at the back there's also a garden room along with a large utility,

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which is very handy for storage and white goods.

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'The rest of the accommodation lies on two floors above.'

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The first set of stairs leads to the three first-floor bedrooms,

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the smallest being used as a study

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and then there are two bright double rooms,

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the largest of which has useful built-in storage.

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The bedrooms on this floor

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are all served by a good-sized four-piece family bathroom.

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But we're heading to the second floor

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to find the sleeping quarters we've saved for Sue and Rick.

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-So I'm bringing you right up to the top of the house...

-Right.

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-..to the master bedroom.

-OK.

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-This one, I'm sure you'll agree, is very impressive.

-Oh, my word!

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How do you feel about having your en-suite part of the bedroom?

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No wall, no door?

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It's a little exhibitionist!

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THEY LAUGH

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Not really my style. How about you?

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I...

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See? He's speechless!

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It's got a lot of character. You really see the bones of this house

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with these beautiful A-frame beams.

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-Fabulous, fabulous roof.

-Yeah.

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I'm not sure the intriguing mix of period history and dimensions,

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coupled with some contemporary design features,

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present an appealing combination for our buyers.

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But I'm confident that the garden

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may be more what they're looking for.

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Mainly lawn, there's a large, flat area

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that gently slopes away towards the rear boundary,

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enclosed by dry stonewalling. What's more, there are lovely views

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over the neighbouring fields and countryside.

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So here we are in the garden, and it becomes apparent, doesn't it,

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where the house is semidetached. You can't tell from the front.

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-No, not at all.

-It's a good-sized garden.

-The garden has potential.

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I'm going to put you two on the spot now.

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

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I'll have a guess around 500,000.

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I would think somewhere around 475.

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475, OK, well, it is under your budget of £650,000

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but not by that much. It's on the market for £575,000.

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-Wow.

-But it's a four-bedroomed house in a lovely part of the country.

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So I know you're not feeling engaged with it particularly at the moment.

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Why don't you go in, have a look around, just explore,

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take your time to look at it again.

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-OK.

-OK, off you go, I'll catch up with you soon.

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On the market for £75,000 under Sue and Rick's budget,

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our first home is an historic semidetached property

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that has two separate receptions,

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a kitchen/breakfast room

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and four bedrooms,

0:16:260:16:27

including a glamorous master suite,

0:16:270:16:30

and outside there's a lovely garden

0:16:300:16:32

and workshop, perfect for Rick.

0:16:320:16:34

I thought the house had amazing kerb appeal,

0:16:340:16:36

so pretty and in a lovely location. Beautiful village.

0:16:360:16:41

But for me, sadly, the kerb appeal didn't follow through into the rooms.

0:16:410:16:46

I think we need more space and more rooms that flow.

0:16:460:16:50

We wouldn't write off cottages

0:16:500:16:53

but we probably would write off this particular one.

0:16:530:16:56

-Had a good look around?

-Yes.

-Has it changed anything?

0:16:590:17:02

-Not a thing.

-No?

-Not for us.

-No.

0:17:020:17:04

-It's a lovely house but it's not really working for you.

-Absolutely.

0:17:040:17:07

-Well, just as well we've got plenty more to see.

-Excellent.

0:17:070:17:10

Come on, let's go and look.

0:17:100:17:11

Creative Sue is keen to continue pursuing her interest in arts

0:17:180:17:22

and crafts when she moves, so we have arranged for her and Rick

0:17:220:17:25

to visit Stroud, a town once known for its cloth and wool production.

0:17:250:17:29

They're meeting Liz Lippiatt at her town centre studio.

0:17:290:17:33

She's been a silkscreen printer for 30 years and creates her own

0:17:330:17:36

designs, which she sells locally

0:17:360:17:38

as cushions, scarves and clothing.

0:17:380:17:40

-So, welcome to the studio.

-Excellent.

-Thank you.

0:17:420:17:45

Liz, what are your major influences for your work?

0:17:450:17:49

I live in the countryside,

0:17:490:17:51

so I'm inspired by the great beauty of the countryside around me.

0:17:510:17:54

My favourite design is the hare, the running hare,

0:17:540:17:58

it's full of energy and this design means a lot to me.

0:17:580:18:01

Liz's hare design is hand-printed on Scottish linen,

0:18:010:18:04

but she also creates designs within the very fibres of fabrics too.

0:18:040:18:08

This is my devore fabric.

0:18:080:18:11

Devore is a French word, "devour",

0:18:110:18:15

it's burning away part of the velvet,

0:18:150:18:17

so in order to make devore work,

0:18:170:18:20

you have to use a mixed-fibre cloth

0:18:200:18:23

and this cloth is made of rayon,

0:18:230:18:26

which is made from wood pulp, it's a cellulose fibre, and silk.

0:18:260:18:31

This art form originated in 17th-century France

0:18:310:18:35

and transforming fabric into devore is a long and skilled process.

0:18:350:18:39

It can take Liz as long as three days from start to end product

0:18:390:18:42

but today she is going to show Sue and Rick how to make a design

0:18:420:18:45

on silk velvet in just three hours.

0:18:450:18:48

The first step is to make a stencil cut from iron-on paper.

0:18:480:18:52

I thought we would take

0:18:520:18:54

the leaves I've gathered in the byways this morning,

0:18:540:18:57

so you can trace around the leaves.

0:18:570:19:00

Sue and Rick are using a permanent felt-tip pen

0:19:050:19:08

to trace around the autumn leaves on the iron-on paper, sticky side down.

0:19:080:19:11

That's pretty! Do you want to swap?

0:19:130:19:17

No, I want to see you cut that out!

0:19:170:19:19

They are both cutting out intricate leaf patterns,

0:19:190:19:22

which will be placed on the screen.

0:19:220:19:24

Oh, well, Sue, that looks lovely.

0:19:240:19:27

-Well done.

-Thank you.

-Really beautiful.

0:19:270:19:30

I think these are so pretty that actually

0:19:300:19:33

-they would look rather good as a floating design.

-OK.

0:19:330:19:37

That means we're going to devore the whole of the background

0:19:370:19:41

-and this will be left as the velvet.

-Right.

0:19:410:19:44

So the next thing is to iron the sticky paper onto the screen

0:19:440:19:48

so that we can print through and it will stay in place,

0:19:480:19:52

so all we're going to do is dab it on,

0:19:520:19:55

so we just lightly press,

0:19:550:19:58

to stick it in place.

0:19:580:20:01

A bit of couture protection and it's time for the fun bit.

0:20:010:20:05

The screen with Rick's design attached is placed

0:20:050:20:08

on top of a square of white velvet.

0:20:080:20:10

So now I'm going to put the devore paste into the well

0:20:100:20:14

at the edge of the screen.

0:20:140:20:16

The paste is a seaweed gum

0:20:160:20:18

carrying an acid which will eat the rayon fibres in the velvet

0:20:180:20:21

and with every stroke of the squeegee, the paste is pushed

0:20:210:20:24

through the mesh and onto the silk velvet fabric below.

0:20:240:20:27

That's it, stop short and...

0:20:270:20:30

..pull it back.

0:20:310:20:32

-Ah, yeah.

-Oh.

0:20:380:20:39

It's a clear paste but you can see where it's printed.

0:20:390:20:42

So the next stage is to bake the devore paste,

0:20:420:20:46

so now we're going to carbonise the fibres,

0:20:460:20:50

so you can see we're slowly toasting,

0:20:500:20:54

carbonising the devore paste...

0:20:540:20:57

..and revealing your pattern.

0:20:590:21:02

The fibres that have come into contact with the paste

0:21:020:21:04

will disintegrate, leaving the transparent silk mesh.

0:21:040:21:07

Now you can see all the fibres just crumbling away.

0:21:070:21:11

Yeah.

0:21:110:21:13

So instead of scratching it, we're going to just wash it, wash it off.

0:21:130:21:18

Do you squeeze it out or not?

0:21:180:21:20

-Yeah, you can do.

-It's not too fragile?

-No.

0:21:200:21:23

-Da-da!

-Lovely!

0:21:230:21:25

So the last stage is the dyeing process,

0:21:250:21:28

so we've got the wet fibres

0:21:280:21:30

and we're going to put it into the dye bath, into the warm dye,

0:21:300:21:36

and keep the whole thing agitated,

0:21:360:21:39

because it's the movement that stops it dyeing it in a patchy way.

0:21:390:21:44

And after 20 minutes of stirring,

0:21:440:21:46

the blue and green dye has penetrated every fibre of the fabric

0:21:460:21:50

and it's ready to take out.

0:21:500:21:51

This is so exciting!

0:21:510:21:54

Think I've got the other one. Yeah.

0:21:540:21:57

A rinse and a squeeze before the fabric's iron-dry,

0:21:570:22:00

which will reveal its true colours.

0:22:000:22:04

-That's like magic, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:22:040:22:06

See what it's... Finished?

0:22:080:22:10

-That's fantastic.

-Isn't it lovely?

0:22:100:22:13

-That's gorgeous.

-There you go!

0:22:140:22:16

That's lovely, that's so fascinating.

0:22:160:22:18

Thank you very much for showing us that.

0:22:180:22:20

-Yes, thank you very much indeed.

-It's a great pleasure,

0:22:200:22:22

-and well done, both of you.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:22:220:22:24

For our next stop, we're travelling two miles south of Stroud,

0:22:300:22:33

to the village of Amberly,

0:22:330:22:34

about an hour and three quarters by car to Swansea.

0:22:340:22:37

Surrounded by 600 acres of National Trust land,

0:22:390:22:42

Amberly is a particularly peaceful place,

0:22:420:22:44

so much so that cattle roam freely through the village.

0:22:440:22:47

There's a good range of amenities to hand, including a post office,

0:22:470:22:50

convenience store, village church and two pubs,

0:22:500:22:53

one of which is right opposite our next house.

0:22:530:22:56

So, this is the property that I wanted to show you.

0:22:580:23:01

-And you'll see there's a lot going on with the roof lines.

-Yes.

0:23:010:23:03

The first part of it, which is here on the right,

0:23:030:23:05

was built in 1731, so it's got a lot of history,

0:23:050:23:08

extended in the '70s and then extended again about ten years ago.

0:23:080:23:11

Looks promising to me.

0:23:110:23:12

Yes, it's not got quite the chocolate box look that the last place had,

0:23:120:23:16

but it's nice and symmetrical

0:23:160:23:17

and lovely stone, so it looks promising.

0:23:170:23:20

I'm putting this theory that you've never actually bought

0:23:200:23:23

-the house you went looking for to the test with this one.

-Never.

0:23:230:23:25

Let's go and have a look.

0:23:250:23:27

For this property, we've moved from the 17th to the 18th century,

0:23:290:23:33

so we're giving historic period charm another stab,

0:23:330:23:36

as inside there's an open plan feel that should appeal to our buyers.

0:23:360:23:40

So, here we are,

0:23:400:23:42

and we're straight into this very nice, big, open living space.

0:23:420:23:48

-Lovely.

-Yes, you're smiling.

-Yes!

0:23:480:23:51

And you haven't even spotted

0:23:510:23:52

-that huge open fireplace around there yet.

-OK!

0:23:520:23:55

Very nice. It's lovely.

0:23:550:23:56

What I think is quite interesting about the layout here

0:23:560:23:59

is that as it's been added on,

0:23:590:24:01

there's now a really nice split-level area here,

0:24:010:24:03

which goes up to a secondary area,

0:24:030:24:06

it's got another fireplace and it's used as a dining room at the moment

0:24:060:24:09

but you could use it as another sitting-room.

0:24:090:24:11

-It's sounding very good.

-There's also a study up there.

0:24:110:24:13

-Really?

-Yes. So what are your thoughts in here?

0:24:130:24:16

-Could you imagine yourselves...

-Yes.

-..in something like this?

0:24:160:24:19

-Very happy, yeah.

-I think so.

0:24:190:24:21

It's spacious, it's open.

0:24:210:24:23

-You've got double doors opening out onto the garden.

-It feels nice.

0:24:230:24:26

Absolutely, there's a view into the garden, which is key.

0:24:260:24:29

-I'm liking it.

-That's a really good start.

0:24:290:24:31

-I'm very happy. Shall we go and look at the kitchen?

-Yes, please.

0:24:310:24:35

-It's not the big kitchen that you had talked about potentially.

-No.

0:24:380:24:43

But I think it has a nice feel to it, it's nice and light.

0:24:430:24:46

It's nice, it's attractive. Clean lines.

0:24:460:24:49

So this is the part that's from 1731, and actually, over

0:24:490:24:51

in the living room is the original deed of covenant of the house,

0:24:510:24:55

which is quite a nice touch, that they still have that.

0:24:550:24:57

So this is the oldest part but I do think there is potential here.

0:24:570:25:00

You've got a fantastic boot room, back doors,

0:25:000:25:02

you don't have to bring the dogs in, straight into the living room,

0:25:020:25:05

you've got plenty of room in there for all your coats, your wellies,

0:25:050:25:08

you'll need it living somewhere like this

0:25:080:25:09

-because you'll be out walking all the time.

-Definitely.

0:25:090:25:12

-Now, beyond the kitchen is a fairly big pantry.

-Right.

0:25:120:25:16

-And then beyond the pantry is a very big laundry room space.

-OK.

0:25:160:25:20

The size of this is slightly disappointing

0:25:200:25:23

but if the house is as nice as the first room,

0:25:230:25:26

and there's potential, that sounds very promising.

0:25:260:25:30

It looks absolutely fine to me.

0:25:300:25:31

It's more with what Sue considers to be the kitchen,

0:25:310:25:35

I'm more interested in what comes out of it.

0:25:350:25:37

You can sit at the breakfast bar, eat the cakes

0:25:370:25:39

-and watch the cows wandering by the window.

-Absolutely.

-Very nice.

0:25:390:25:42

-That's all right, isn't it?

-I could stand that.

0:25:420:25:45

-OK, well, let's take a look upstairs.

-OK.

0:25:450:25:47

Sue and Rick are much more enthusiastic about this property

0:25:500:25:53

than the morning's offering,

0:25:530:25:54

so let's hope the momentum keeps going upstairs,

0:25:540:25:57

where there are four bedrooms

0:25:570:25:58

that lie alongside the family bathroom.

0:25:580:26:01

All the three bedrooms are doubles, one with a basin,

0:26:010:26:04

another with built-in wardrobes

0:26:040:26:06

and a third, which is beautifully bright.

0:26:060:26:08

Lastly, another bright room

0:26:080:26:10

overlooking the rear of the property.

0:26:100:26:13

Going to go down a couple of steps,

0:26:150:26:18

into one of the four bedrooms,

0:26:180:26:20

-and this is the master bedroom.

-OK.

0:26:200:26:23

-Again, it's in the older part of the house.

-Yeah.

0:26:230:26:26

And as you can see, you get...

0:26:260:26:28

Oh, wow, what a view!

0:26:280:26:29

So you can sit in bed with your cup of tea and papers and that's...

0:26:290:26:33

-What a view!

-You get the view.

0:26:330:26:35

It's lovely. Where do you keep your clothes?

0:26:350:26:37

The door behind you actually goes up to a sort of secondary smaller room,

0:26:370:26:41

which is kitted out as almost a walk-in wardrobe above this.

0:26:410:26:45

-Really?

-Yes.

-OK.

-And there's also an en-suite just over there.

-Right.

0:26:450:26:49

So how would you describe this room?

0:26:490:26:51

Well, it's nice, it's light and airy, and gosh, it's got a view.

0:26:510:26:55

-You're really making me smile, you know.

-It's lovely.

0:26:550:26:57

You're making me smile because actually I can touch the ceiling,

0:26:570:27:00

-so this is quite...

-Yes.

0:27:000:27:02

-This is quite a little cottagey room.

-I had noticed.

0:27:020:27:04

But you're not as conscious of it, are you, this time around?

0:27:040:27:07

-Not at all.

-A lot more light coming in.

-Yeah.

0:27:070:27:09

-So maybe we shouldn't rule out cottagey living just yet.

-We'll see.

0:27:090:27:13

THEY LAUGH

0:27:130:27:15

I'm delighted that it's all going to plan so far inside,

0:27:150:27:18

but there is more to explore outside. Let's see

0:27:180:27:22

if we can deliver there as well.

0:27:220:27:24

An attached single garage lies to one side of the property

0:27:240:27:27

and the garden wraps itself from the other side around to the back

0:27:270:27:30

and features gravelled areas,

0:27:300:27:32

patios with potted plants, as well as a compact lawn.

0:27:320:27:35

Rick, how does the size of the garden strike you?

0:27:360:27:39

It certainly could be a little bit bigger,

0:27:390:27:41

but there was always going to be a compromise somewhere down the line.

0:27:410:27:44

-It could fit the bill.

-Yeah.

0:27:440:27:46

What do you think this property is on the market for?

0:27:460:27:48

Right. Go.

0:27:480:27:50

I'm going to go for...620,000.

0:27:510:27:56

Hmm. I think it's probably on budget at 650.

0:27:560:28:00

OK, it was on the market for £595,000 a few months ago...

0:28:000:28:05

-Right.

-It's currently on the market for £575,000.

0:28:050:28:10

-How is that?

-Interesting.

-That's interesting.

-Yeah.

0:28:100:28:14

I have a feeling you're not going to need much encouragement to go back

0:28:140:28:17

-and have a good root around.

-No!

-All right, off you go.

0:28:170:28:20

I'll come and find you in a minute.

0:28:200:28:22

Isn't that strange? This morning it was, "Cottages, low ceilings, no!"

0:28:240:28:30

Suddenly, a different property, a different feel, different area,

0:28:300:28:34

and it's a whole different story.

0:28:340:28:35

A pleasant surprise, under budget by £75,000.

0:28:380:28:42

This charming property

0:28:420:28:43

is an extended detached four-bedroom

0:28:430:28:45

home featuring a master en-suite,

0:28:450:28:48

sizeable open-plan living area,

0:28:480:28:50

two further reception rooms

0:28:500:28:51

and a manageable garden,

0:28:510:28:53

but big enough for the dog,

0:28:530:28:55

and the whole lot lies at the heart of a beautiful Cotswold village.

0:28:550:28:59

-Good size for a study.

-Mmm.

0:29:000:29:02

-With a nice view, again, into the garden.

-Yes.

0:29:020:29:04

I could easily see myself living here.

0:29:040:29:06

The outside space is probably not as big as I would have liked,

0:29:060:29:11

it's a single garage rather than a double garage,

0:29:110:29:14

so it would require a compromise to move here, but it's a possibility.

0:29:140:29:21

Takes a bit of thinking about.

0:29:210:29:23

It's a house that flows, which was just such a relief,

0:29:230:29:27

but slightly tempered by

0:29:270:29:29

a bit of a disappointment going into the kitchen,

0:29:290:29:32

which although it's very nice, it's not what I would have chosen.

0:29:320:29:37

There are lots of positives about the house that I like,

0:29:370:29:40

but I would want to explore what we could do...

0:29:400:29:44

and I'd be very keen for a second viewing

0:29:440:29:47

if there are a few things we can change.

0:29:470:29:49

I have a very funny feeling

0:29:490:29:51

that cottages might be back on the agenda.

0:29:510:29:54

So I think we may be ending the day on quite a positive note.

0:29:540:29:57

-I think we might.

-Yes. I think it has got possibilities.

0:29:570:30:00

I think we deserve a drink.

0:30:000:30:02

And guess what, there's a pub just over there.

0:30:020:30:04

-Shall we go and try it out?

-Why not?

0:30:040:30:06

-Perfect.

-See what your potential local could be like.

0:30:060:30:09

It's the second day of our house hunting tour around Gloucestershire

0:30:210:30:24

in search of a country escape for Sue and Rick from Harrogate.

0:30:240:30:28

They've got a healthy budget of £650,000 to spend on

0:30:280:30:32

a spacious pad with a great garden.

0:30:320:30:34

Coming up,

0:30:340:30:35

are things going to go downhill when our mystery house is revealed?

0:30:350:30:39

I can see you looking up there.

0:30:410:30:43

-This is...

-It's not flat!

0:30:430:30:46

And I'll be getting my adrenaline fix behind the wheel.

0:30:470:30:50

This is fantastic.

0:30:500:30:51

This is the most fun I've had in the morning in a very long time!

0:30:510:30:55

HE LAUGHS

0:30:550:30:56

What would you like me to be taking you off to look at today?

0:31:010:31:04

I'd like...

0:31:040:31:07

a bit more going on outside.

0:31:070:31:09

Storage for all the accumulated...stuff.

0:31:090:31:14

That isn't accumulated stuff, that is essential...

0:31:140:31:18

SUE LAUGHS

0:31:180:31:20

-..essential tools and materials.

-OK.

0:31:200:31:24

-Is this your man space, are we back to that?

-Yeah.

0:31:240:31:26

OK, so we'd like a nice, cosy, welcoming family space

0:31:260:31:30

-and some man space.

-And some man space.

-That's on the list for today.

0:31:300:31:33

-Absolutely.

-Great, let's see what we can do.

0:31:330:31:35

With life and activities high on the agenda, for our next property stop

0:31:380:31:42

we're taking our buyers out of Gloucestershire,

0:31:420:31:45

away from the quiet of the Cotswolds landscape and to familiar territory

0:31:450:31:48

in the rural outskirts of Bristol.

0:31:480:31:51

Our destination is the conservation area of Siston Hamlet,

0:31:510:31:54

which has a journey time of an hour and a half to family in Swansea.

0:31:540:31:58

Just over a mile away from Siston, Pucklechurch is the nearest village,

0:31:590:32:03

which has a shop, tearoom, newsagent and a choice of three pubs.

0:32:030:32:08

Back in Siston, the next property we've lined up isn't a cottage

0:32:090:32:12

but it does have rather a noble pedigree.

0:32:120:32:15

-Ooh!

-Oh! If we talk about a house having kerb appeal,

0:32:150:32:21

I think it's fair to say that this one has definitely got that.

0:32:210:32:25

It's part of the Grade I listed Tudor mansion, Siston Manor.

0:32:250:32:29

-Grade I?

-Yes, Grade I. This has got a Grade II listing.

0:32:290:32:32

This was the gardener's cottage.

0:32:320:32:34

-Goodness me!

-Right.

0:32:340:32:37

Lucky gardener! This is the garden here for the property,

0:32:370:32:41

it's all here at the front.

0:32:410:32:43

-Right.

-OK.

-So it's a good size, it's flat.

-Yes.

0:32:430:32:45

-Yeah?

-Yeah. I could work with that.

0:32:450:32:48

You also have a separate outbuilding,

0:32:480:32:51

a kind of large, detached old barn.

0:32:510:32:53

It's big, it could be, you know, a garage, storage,

0:32:530:32:56

-so you've got that as well to go outside.

-Right, that's good to know.

0:32:560:32:59

That is interesting, yeah.

0:32:590:33:00

-OK, well, we've seen the outside of your castle.

-Yes.

0:33:000:33:04

Or your manor! Do you want to see inside?

0:33:040:33:06

-I haven't looked round a castle before!

-Come on.

0:33:060:33:09

Constructed with blue lias stone,

0:33:100:33:12

it's thought this handsome property was built in 1830,

0:33:120:33:15

but inside, the accommodation is very much up-to-date and on trend.

0:33:150:33:20

An impressive and original front door takes you into a grand hallway,

0:33:200:33:25

off which is a contemporary downstairs bathroom

0:33:250:33:28

and the smaller of two living rooms.

0:33:280:33:30

We've passed through the room the family that own this house

0:33:300:33:33

refer to as the snug, with its little log burner,

0:33:330:33:35

into this room, which is the main family room, the entertaining space.

0:33:350:33:39

-What are your first thoughts?

-This is lovely!

0:33:390:33:42

This is lovely!

0:33:420:33:44

-Ah, yes.

-Yeah.

-Fabulous windows into the garden.

-The window's original.

0:33:440:33:50

It's got the original shutters

0:33:500:33:52

but they work, they're in great working order.

0:33:520:33:55

Oh, wow. And lovely to have two spaces, you know,

0:33:550:33:58

nice to have somewhere away from the telly that you can be

0:33:580:34:01

and then the telly in the snug, perhaps, so it's not dominating.

0:34:010:34:04

Wonderful! I love it.

0:34:040:34:06

I have a feeling that you are going to like the kitchen.

0:34:060:34:09

-Oh, yes!

-Come on.

0:34:090:34:10

A second larger hallway lies on the other side of the property,

0:34:120:34:16

with an office in the alcove under the stairs.

0:34:160:34:19

Watch the step down.

0:34:190:34:21

-And here we have...

-Ah-ha!

0:34:220:34:24

Oh, this is more like it!

0:34:240:34:26

You said you wanted a big kitchen.

0:34:260:34:29

-Oh, yes! Yes, this is feeling wonderful.

-Ticking some boxes?

0:34:290:34:33

-What do you think?

-This is a good space.

0:34:330:34:35

Now, then, where can I put the table?

0:34:350:34:37

Yep, exactly there. Yeah, it's lovely.

0:34:370:34:39

It's a really good-sized family room,

0:34:390:34:42

it's a huge dining kitchen, you've got a lot of light coming in

0:34:420:34:46

-from those doors that open onto that sweet little courtyard area.

-Yes!

0:34:460:34:50

I bet you want to take a closer look at what's going on

0:34:500:34:52

-down at the cooking end, don't you?

-Yes!

-Shall we wander down?

0:34:520:34:54

It's got a lovely range.

0:34:540:34:57

What a lovely space. How well done is this?

0:34:570:35:01

It's lovely.

0:35:010:35:03

I feel quite emotional.

0:35:030:35:04

THEY LAUGH

0:35:040:35:06

Going to do a dance.

0:35:060:35:07

-Is it a happy dance?

-Yes.

-Have you got a tear in your eye?

-No.

0:35:080:35:12

Course not.

0:35:120:35:14

-It's super.

-Really nice. Really nice space.

0:35:140:35:17

There's more to show you, let's go and check out the bedrooms.

0:35:170:35:19

-OK.

-Brilliant.

0:35:190:35:21

You can't ask for a better reaction than one which touches the heart.

0:35:230:35:27

And this fabulous property seems to be doing just that.

0:35:270:35:31

I'm leading Sue and Rick back to the hallway

0:35:310:35:33

and upstairs to explore the first floor.

0:35:330:35:35

There are four bedrooms in total but one of them

0:35:350:35:38

has such high ceilings that the space comfortably fits a

0:35:380:35:41

mezzanine level that creates a fifth sleeping space or study area.

0:35:410:35:45

There's also another roomy, bright double

0:35:450:35:47

and the smallest bedroom features one of the stunning Gothic windows.

0:35:470:35:52

These bedrooms all make use of a smart family shower room

0:35:520:35:55

and that just leaves the room with Rick and Sue's name on it.

0:35:550:35:58

-So this is the room currently used as the master bedroom.

-Right.

0:36:010:36:05

It has an en-suite.

0:36:050:36:07

Very nicely finished.

0:36:080:36:09

This is a really good sized walk-in wardrobe that is all railed

0:36:110:36:14

-out for the clothes.

-Oh, perfect.

0:36:140:36:16

-There's a lot of wow factor in this house downstairs.

-Yes.

0:36:160:36:19

What do you feel about the bedroom?

0:36:190:36:20

We don't have very much in the way of bedroom furniture.

0:36:200:36:23

Virtually none cos we're totally built-in

0:36:230:36:26

so we don't necessarily need big rooms up here.

0:36:260:36:30

There is still one extra room downstairs that I haven't

0:36:300:36:33

-shown you yet that I'm quite keen for you to have a look at.

-Right.

0:36:330:36:36

And I also need you to start putting your mind to the price.

0:36:360:36:39

-To how much this house is on the market for.

-Yes, I'm worried.

0:36:390:36:43

THEY LAUGH

0:36:430:36:45

My lips are sealed.

0:36:450:36:46

-Let's go and look downstairs again.

-OK.

0:36:460:36:49

This property has already delivered way above expectation,

0:36:500:36:53

yet there's more to take in.

0:36:530:36:56

We're weaving our way back down to the ground floor through

0:36:560:36:59

the dining room and out into the last of the reception rooms.

0:36:590:37:02

So I've been saving this room which is a beautiful sunroom.

0:37:020:37:07

It's a fairly recent addition to the property

0:37:070:37:10

and you get the view of the gardens and the fields.

0:37:100:37:14

-It's bright and airy.

-It's amazing.

-It's got a log burner.

0:37:140:37:17

Ah! I'm speechless. I really am speechless.

0:37:190:37:24

There's a huge laundry room behind me with a second fridge,

0:37:240:37:27

-with washer, dryer, everything.

-You're joking!

0:37:270:37:29

Everything's in there, it's a huge space.

0:37:290:37:31

Loads of room for it all.

0:37:310:37:34

This is so well thought through. Just perfect, it's lovely.

0:37:340:37:38

I'm quite intrigued to find out from you both what you think this

0:37:380:37:41

property is on the market for. Sue?

0:37:410:37:44

This has got to be top end of our budget or above.

0:37:440:37:47

-I'm going to go for an optimistic 650.

-OK and, Rick, what about you?

0:37:470:37:53

I'd go for 630.

0:37:530:37:55

OK. I'm afraid it's over budget.

0:37:550:37:59

It was on the market earlier this year for £825,000.

0:37:590:38:04

It has been reduced to £695,000.

0:38:040:38:09

You did say to me there was some wiggle room in your budget.

0:38:090:38:11

What do you think of that?

0:38:110:38:13

-Well, I'm not surprised. Yes.

-Interesting reduction.

-Absolutely.

0:38:140:38:19

We need to think about it, look at the rest

0:38:190:38:22

and I wouldn't rule it out yet.

0:38:220:38:24

Why don't you go and explore the rest of the house.

0:38:240:38:26

I know it sparked an interest in you.

0:38:260:38:28

Go and ponder on the wiggle room.

0:38:280:38:30

-Yes, definitely.

-See what you think. I'll catch up with you.

0:38:300:38:33

Jumping over budget by £45,000, this property is an exceptional

0:38:370:38:41

Grade II listed historic home.

0:38:410:38:43

Beautifully renovated it boasts...

0:38:430:38:45

When I walked through the door it was a surprising change from

0:38:530:38:57

a somewhat formidable exterior to a really homely feel inside the house.

0:38:570:39:03

In the garages there is certainly potential.

0:39:030:39:07

At the moment it's a fairly rough area but it's a big space.

0:39:070:39:11

A big, interesting space. And with some work and some imagination...

0:39:110:39:16

..I could certainly turn that into what I need.

0:39:170:39:21

If the location works and Rick's happy with his man space outside,

0:39:210:39:25

I would be very interested in exploring...

0:39:250:39:30

..exploring further and coming back again.

0:39:310:39:34

I can imagine us living here.

0:39:340:39:36

-So, did the inside live up to that very handsome exterior?

-Absolutely.

0:39:380:39:44

It's lovely.

0:39:440:39:45

How are you both feeling now that you've had a good look around?

0:39:450:39:48

Optimistic. It's definitely a contender.

0:39:480:39:50

-Yeah.

-It's good to see you with a smile on your face, both of you.

0:39:500:39:53

-It's nice to have one.

-Let's head off.

0:39:530:39:55

When we started this journey with Rick and Sue to help them

0:40:020:40:05

find their dream home they really gave me a blank canvas to work from.

0:40:050:40:09

However, after yesterday I think they've got a firmer

0:40:090:40:12

idea of what they're looking for than they're letting on.

0:40:120:40:14

But one thing that I do believe is they are open to compromise

0:40:140:40:18

and today's mystery house with its, shall we say

0:40:180:40:21

steep garden, will really put that theory to the test.

0:40:210:40:24

But I do believe if they're willing to be flexible,

0:40:240:40:27

this could prove to be the house that they're looking for.

0:40:270:40:30

For our final property we're heading back into Gloucestershire proper.

0:40:340:40:37

Just north of our houses yesterday to the village of Sheepscombe.

0:40:370:40:41

Sheepscombe is located at the bottom of a steep green valley

0:40:420:40:45

covered in woodland.

0:40:450:40:47

The village is well serviced with a pub, a village hall,

0:40:470:40:52

post office and a church.

0:40:520:40:54

And on the edge of the village is our mystery house.

0:40:540:40:57

So this is what I brought you to see.

0:40:590:41:01

This very charming Cotswold stone cottage dates back to 1880.

0:41:010:41:06

It's been beautifully renovated inside

0:41:060:41:09

and out by its current owners.

0:41:090:41:11

It's stunning to look at. If you notice behind you, it's an annexe.

0:41:110:41:14

It's a one-bedroom annexe with a separate bathroom.

0:41:140:41:18

-Is that interesting?

-Yes, it would probably be very useful for visitors.

0:41:180:41:24

We may well be in a position to need one for relatives at some stage.

0:41:240:41:28

-Definitely of interest.

-Yeah.

0:41:280:41:30

-I can see you're looking up there.

-It's not flat.

0:41:300:41:35

This is the mystery house and it's the mystery house for a reason.

0:41:350:41:38

We have to throw a curveball in there somewhere.

0:41:380:41:40

It isn't flat, as you've noticed.

0:41:400:41:42

It has a stepped garden. Having said that, it's been

0:41:420:41:46

beautifully planned out and designed.

0:41:460:41:48

This all looks delightful. It's really nicely done.

0:41:480:41:51

-But levels worry me at this stage.

-See how we go.

0:41:510:41:56

One thing I should also tell you is it comes with an acre of land

0:41:560:41:59

so there is a plot of land just down below there that they

0:41:590:42:01

use for extra parking.

0:42:010:42:03

-They're got a thriving veggie garden already on that.

-Interesting.

0:42:030:42:06

-Shall we take a look inside?

-Yes, please.

-Come on.

0:42:060:42:08

This 19th century stone cottage is semidetached

0:42:110:42:14

and it may not sit on level ground

0:42:140:42:16

but hopefully that won't be a concern once our buyers step inside.

0:42:160:42:20

And we're starting in the kitchen.

0:42:200:42:22

I always feel the kitchen should be the heart of the house

0:42:230:42:25

and it really does feel like this with this one.

0:42:250:42:28

Yes, it does. It's lovely.

0:42:280:42:30

-Very cottage-y, isn't it?

-It is but with space.

0:42:300:42:33

It's nice and open. I like it a lot.

0:42:330:42:36

-I could happily spend time here.

-Yeah.

0:42:360:42:39

-It's got that cosy feel, hasn't it?

-Yep.

0:42:390:42:41

And it flows down nicely into the sitting room,

0:42:410:42:44

which is down here.

0:42:440:42:45

-It's compact but it doesn't feel too close.

-Claustrophobic. It's well lit.

0:42:460:42:53

It's a friendly room.

0:42:530:42:55

You can see yourself with your feet up and your book.

0:42:550:42:58

That will be a first.

0:42:580:42:59

THEY LAUGH

0:42:590:43:00

But this isn't the only reception room.

0:43:010:43:03

Back through the kitchen is a beautiful addition to this

0:43:030:43:06

traditional home,

0:43:060:43:07

a garden room attached to the outside of the property.

0:43:070:43:09

Making the most of the original stone walls.

0:43:090:43:12

-It's a lovely room.

-Yeah.

-Very attractive.

0:43:120:43:16

It's currently used as a dining room.

0:43:160:43:17

I think it's a room you could probably use all year round.

0:43:170:43:20

-Yes.

-Cosy in winter.

-Yes.

-Doors open in summer.

0:43:200:43:24

How are you feeling at this point?

0:43:240:43:25

I'm sensing an interest but I'm not sensing wow from you.

0:43:250:43:30

No, I think it's absolutely charming and the spaces are lovely.

0:43:300:43:34

I'm not 100% convinced there's enough living space for us.

0:43:340:43:40

-But what there is here is lovely. What do you think?

-I...

0:43:400:43:44

-I think there might be enough living space.

-Do you?

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:43:470:43:52

Our mystery house seems to be dividing opinions

0:43:520:43:55

between Sue and Rick. But there's still more to see.

0:43:550:43:57

On this floor there's a utility room and a cloakroom.

0:43:570:44:01

As we move upstairs there's a family bathroom with the added

0:44:010:44:05

bonus of a shower and three bedrooms laid out over two floors.

0:44:050:44:09

There's a bright double in the eaves of the second floor, another double

0:44:090:44:13

below it with a striking beamed ceiling and then, there's a master.

0:44:130:44:18

So that lovely, quirky,

0:44:210:44:22

-charming nature of the downstairs is carried on up here.

-Very charming.

0:44:220:44:26

-High ceilings. Higher than downstairs.

-It is a nice, light room.

0:44:260:44:30

-Nice colours.

-It's a lovely room.

0:44:300:44:33

One of the beautiful things about this room is, of course, that view.

0:44:330:44:36

-Lovely.

-You get the view because we're on a hill and the hill means

0:44:360:44:39

you've got that sloping garden which

0:44:390:44:41

-I know you were concerned about.

-Yes.

0:44:410:44:43

Shall we go and have a really good look at it?

0:44:430:44:45

-Let's take a look at how manageable it may or may not be.

-OK.

0:44:450:44:48

I think we'd have to.

0:44:480:44:49

The gardens here may not be flat, but they are stunning.

0:44:490:44:53

Landscaped with paths, steps, terraces and vistas.

0:44:530:44:58

There's also a garage below the annexe which could serve

0:44:580:45:01

well as Rick's man space.

0:45:010:45:03

And here we are at the top of the sloping garden.

0:45:050:45:07

-Look, that's what you get. You get that spectacular view.

-Yep.

-Wow!

0:45:090:45:13

-It's lovely.

-You could while away a few hours up here.

0:45:130:45:16

Wouldn't get anything done. It's too good.

0:45:160:45:20

A tiered garden you can do in chunks

0:45:200:45:22

so from that point of view it will be a lot easier than a long

0:45:220:45:27

sloping field but I think it's too much up and down for me.

0:45:270:45:31

I think it's too much up and down for you.

0:45:310:45:33

I'm going to ask you to take a guess what the

0:45:330:45:35

property's on the market for.

0:45:350:45:38

Stunning location,

0:45:380:45:39

beautiful Cotswold village, views to die for.

0:45:390:45:42

The cottage is on the small side but it has the annexe and the land.

0:45:420:45:48

So I'm going to go for 600,000.

0:45:480:45:49

Rick?

0:45:500:45:52

-I'll go slightly above, 625.

-I'm afraid you're both off the mark.

0:45:520:45:57

You did mention the land and because it has that

0:45:570:45:59

-acre of land in this part of the country it's over budget.

-Really?

0:45:590:46:03

-It's on the market at £675,000 and it's not been on that long.

-No.

0:46:030:46:09

-Does that surprise you?

-It does. Yes, it does.

0:46:090:46:12

Go off and have a look, explore and I'll come

0:46:120:46:16

-and meet you in a little while.

-OK.

0:46:160:46:20

This gorgeous cottage is on the market £25,000 over Sue

0:46:260:46:29

and Rick's agreed budget.

0:46:290:46:31

But there is the option of selling the extra acre of land to

0:46:310:46:34

reduce costs.

0:46:340:46:35

It's got the welcoming feel they were after

0:46:350:46:37

and a lovely, sociable kitchen.

0:46:370:46:40

The annexe brings the bedrooms to four,

0:46:400:46:42

meaning space to accommodate family and friends.

0:46:420:46:45

And although the garden may not be flat, there's plenty of it.

0:46:450:46:50

Mind your head.

0:46:500:46:51

-Oh! This is above the garage.

-Yeah.

0:46:510:46:53

-So you got the bedroom and you've got the...

-Little en-suite.

0:46:530:46:58

-Little en-suite.

-Charming.

-It is. Lovely.

0:46:580:47:01

The mystery house has been quite a revelation

0:47:010:47:05

because the house is very charming.

0:47:050:47:08

I don't feel it's quite large enough for dimensions for us

0:47:080:47:12

to make it work.

0:47:120:47:13

The garden is just wonderful but on so many terraces,

0:47:130:47:18

so many steps I couldn't contemplate getting old here.

0:47:180:47:22

When I first saw the mystery house I thought, "Levels.

0:47:220:47:26

"Steep stairs. This is going to be very difficult for Sue."

0:47:260:47:32

I hoped not to like the house.

0:47:320:47:35

I love the house but I'm quite glad it's too small

0:47:350:47:38

because I would struggle.

0:47:380:47:39

-It's very cute in there.

-It's great for Hobbits.

-Great for Hobbits.

0:47:420:47:46

That was the last house I had to show you.

0:47:480:47:50

The mystery house ends the search.

0:47:500:47:52

I think it's time we went and had a drink, have a

0:47:520:47:55

chat and see what you're feeling about everything.

0:47:550:47:58

-BOTH: Sounds good.

-Come on.

0:47:580:47:59

Gloucestershire is bursting with beautiful scenery.

0:48:070:48:10

And in the southeast of the country is the Cotswold Water Park.

0:48:100:48:13

A peaceful, 40 square-mile area of countryside

0:48:130:48:16

with 150 lakes it's a wildlife haven.

0:48:160:48:20

But in one corner of it is a less tranquil 20 acres which is

0:48:200:48:24

home to an exciting adrenaline sport - rally driving.

0:48:240:48:28

Like in motor racing, rally drivers aim to go faster than their

0:48:290:48:32

opponents, but unlike motor racing which mainly takes place on a tarmac

0:48:320:48:36

circuit, rallying can happen on any surface, gravel, forests, even snow.

0:48:360:48:42

I've cove to meet Andy Gwynne who has owned this rally school

0:48:420:48:44

for 20 years.

0:48:440:48:46

-Hi, Andy.

-You all right?

-Nice to meet you.

-And you.

0:48:460:48:49

I know I'm in the hands of a seasoned pro today

0:48:490:48:52

so tell me about your rallying experiences.

0:48:520:48:54

As a kid with the family going out and watched rallies, just really

0:48:540:48:58

admiring the drivers from all over the world and wanting to be like it.

0:48:580:49:03

I think everyone likes that sort of sport, really.

0:49:030:49:06

-So you were lured by the excitement of it all, were you?

-Very much so.

0:49:060:49:10

It strikes me that rallying is quite an accessible form of motorsport.

0:49:100:49:14

-It's not that hard to have a go.

-No, I mean, there's the likes of us.

0:49:140:49:18

A good few centres over the country that you can go

0:49:180:49:21

and buy an experience and come and drive a rally car

0:49:210:49:25

so it does tend to lead onto other people wanting to go a little

0:49:250:49:29

bit further with it, which is quite nice.

0:49:290:49:31

What are you going to teach me today, Andy?

0:49:310:49:33

Just the starting basics of driving a rally car.

0:49:330:49:37

The balance, how you position the car in the corner.

0:49:370:49:40

Just how you make the car slide around

0:49:400:49:43

-in your favour, basically.

-Can't wait.

0:49:430:49:45

Rally driving dates back to 1894 in France

0:49:470:49:50

when an event took place between two cities.

0:49:500:49:53

The vehicles were horseless carriages.

0:49:530:49:56

Today, rally cars are modified road vehicles with adapted engines and

0:49:560:50:00

gear boxes and tens of thousands of pounds could be spent doing them up.

0:50:000:50:05

The car we're driving today is Andy's Citroen C2 with

0:50:050:50:08

around £6,000-worth of additions.

0:50:080:50:10

One of these.

0:50:120:50:13

Safety is paramount and every rally car has safety modifications too,

0:50:160:50:20

like a roll cage and fire extinguisher system.

0:50:200:50:24

And unlike in motor racing, in rallying you always have a

0:50:240:50:27

co-driver who's there to navigate and keep track of time.

0:50:270:50:30

I'm not sure how much use I'll be but here we go.

0:50:300:50:33

And right on cue the heavens have opened, it's raining.

0:50:330:50:37

What's that going to do to this surface?

0:50:370:50:40

-Less grip, really.

-Just a little less grip.

0:50:400:50:42

So, come on, talk me through it.

0:50:420:50:45

OK. Turn into the corner. Off the gas, that makes the car turn in.

0:50:450:50:51

-Off the gas again. Back on the gas to straighten the car out.

-OK.

0:50:510:50:55

Andy's showing me a move called the Scandinavian Flick, which

0:50:550:50:58

allows the car to turn at speed, slingshotting it around the corner.

0:50:580:51:03

This is what the flick's all about. One way, then the other.

0:51:030:51:08

Back on the gas, straightens up. Back off the gas, there it goes.

0:51:080:51:13

You can literally feel the car sliding through.

0:51:130:51:17

It is a balance thing.

0:51:170:51:19

'The handbrake is used extensively in rallying,

0:51:200:51:23

'which makes the car slide and change direction at speed.'

0:51:230:51:26

This kind of driving is strictly not for public roads

0:51:260:51:29

and should only happen under the supervision of an expert.

0:51:290:51:32

Using the handbrake.

0:51:350:51:37

Good handbrake.

0:51:370:51:39

Do you think having a go at a course like this can actually

0:51:390:51:42

make your on-road driving better?

0:51:420:51:44

It does teach you how easy it is to lose control of a car.

0:51:440:51:49

It's a great pendulum effect as you feel the back of the car

0:51:490:51:52

swinging around.

0:51:520:51:54

Just like walking the tightrope, you've got to balance the weight.

0:51:540:51:58

Feel the car going one way, you lean the other a little.

0:51:580:52:01

-Off the gas, into the corner.

-Off the gas.

0:52:010:52:04

-And as you hit the corner, back on the gas to power through.

-That's it.

0:52:040:52:09

It sounds perfect in theory. What can go wrong?

0:52:090:52:12

Well, I'm about to find out.

0:52:130:52:15

Andy's putting his trust in me and allowing me to take the wheel.

0:52:150:52:18

Oh, wow! Andy, that was fantastic.

0:52:180:52:22

I can't wait to have a go, I have to say.

0:52:220:52:25

-So what first, Andy?

-OK, into second. That's it.

0:52:250:52:29

-This is just a steady lap.

-Getting you to know where we're going.

0:52:290:52:33

Lean to the right. That's it. Hit the gas. That's the lift off.

0:52:340:52:40

I could feel the lift. Did you do that or did I do that?

0:52:400:52:44

To the right again.

0:52:440:52:46

Gas, that's it.

0:52:480:52:50

That's where you have to predict where to get on the gas.

0:52:500:52:53

Right, right, right. That's the one.

0:52:550:53:00

This car might be worth under £10,000 but some rally cars can be

0:53:000:53:04

worth up to half a million pounds,

0:53:040:53:06

-or even more.

-A bit more, bit more, bit more.

-Am I being too gentle?

0:53:060:53:10

Whoo!

0:53:100:53:11

THEY LAUGH

0:53:110:53:12

Little bit of gas, little bit of gas.

0:53:150:53:17

Ease off.

0:53:190:53:20

-Gas, that's good.

-Really nice. That felt really good.

0:53:210:53:25

I could really feel the slide.

0:53:250:53:27

I bet I'm going really slowly, aren't I?

0:53:270:53:29

-No, you're doing really well.

-I feel like I'm going 15mph.

0:53:290:53:33

It might feel like 15 but I'm actually reaching a slightly

0:53:340:53:37

more impressive 50mph.

0:53:370:53:38

-Whoa!

-You got it.

0:53:400:53:42

This is fantastic.

0:53:450:53:46

This is the most fun I've had in the morning in a very long time.

0:53:460:53:50

Back to the pits and sadly, the fun's over.

0:53:510:53:54

-Andy, thank you. That was so much fun.

-Good.

0:53:540:53:58

I'm really sorry about the state of your car.

0:53:580:54:01

Who would have thought that in the middle of the peaceful

0:54:010:54:04

Cotswolds you could have so much high octane fun.

0:54:040:54:07

It's brilliant.

0:54:070:54:08

Rick and Sue have seen all the properties that

0:54:100:54:12

I had to show them and there's been some mixed emotions so I'm looking

0:54:120:54:15

forward to hearing their thoughts

0:54:150:54:17

and finding out what their next move is.

0:54:170:54:20

Well, you two, when we started off looking at properties you

0:54:270:54:29

were very flexible, very laid-back.

0:54:290:54:31

I'm wondering what you might have learned from the last

0:54:310:54:34

couple of days.

0:54:340:54:35

It's been fascinating looking at different styles of property,

0:54:350:54:38

hasn't it?

0:54:380:54:40

I've noticed a real difference between the two of you

0:54:400:54:42

and your attitudes towards this move.

0:54:420:54:44

I have a real sense that Sue, you still want, actually,

0:54:440:54:48

the big family house with the big rooms and you can envisage

0:54:480:54:52

packing it with all your family on their special occasions.

0:54:520:54:55

Yet, Rick, I sense that you would be happy to downsize.

0:54:550:54:59

To perhaps go to a smaller cottage if it worked for you

0:54:590:55:01

and it was in the right location.

0:55:010:55:03

I think that's right.

0:55:030:55:05

-Yeah.

-Yes, I think it probably is.

0:55:050:55:07

So is there a what next with any of the properties you've seen?

0:55:070:55:10

I think we'd be interested in going back to the castle.

0:55:100:55:14

-I think we would.

-Definitely like another look at that.

0:55:140:55:18

It's quite curious to me that your favourite house is the house that

0:55:180:55:22

isn't in the chocolate box village and it's by far the largest house.

0:55:220:55:26

The house really took our breath away, mine.

0:55:260:55:31

So, yes, it's a tricky one. It's got to be able to work, I think.

0:55:310:55:35

The mystery house was lovely and not taking into account

0:55:350:55:39

the size of the rooms, the garden was just not doable for us.

0:55:390:55:44

How are you both feeling at this point, going forward?

0:55:440:55:47

I'm very excited by the whole prospect.

0:55:470:55:49

It's been great to look at properties in the area

0:55:490:55:52

and it's concentrated the area for me.

0:55:520:55:55

I sort of also know the corridor we're looking in gets ever so hilly.

0:55:550:55:59

A lot more hilly than I realised in places.

0:55:590:56:03

So looking at the surrounding

0:56:030:56:04

countryside around here has been brilliant.

0:56:040:56:06

It has been really, so useful.

0:56:060:56:08

I'm really excited for the two of you.

0:56:080:56:10

I think it's fantastic that we've found one property that has

0:56:100:56:13

sparked such an interest in you.

0:56:130:56:14

It seems like you've learned quite a lot about the journey

0:56:140:56:17

that you're going on.

0:56:170:56:19

And we do wish you all the best.

0:56:190:56:21

We hope it goes really well and you find that dream home

0:56:210:56:24

-so you can be closer to Sarah and Maelo.

-Thank you.

0:56:240:56:26

-It's been wonderful.

-Thanks very much.

0:56:260:56:28

It's been great. Thank you very much.

0:56:280:56:30

It's quite a hard search to sum up because while

0:56:330:56:35

Sue and Rick have found a property

0:56:350:56:37

and an area they want to explore more, I don't think they've found

0:56:370:56:40

the dream home that's going to allow them to move closer to their family.

0:56:400:56:44

But I do think the experience has made them focus more on exactly

0:56:440:56:47

what it is they want and what they're willing to compromise on.

0:56:470:56:51

Both of which can only be great things for their move.

0:56:510:56:54

I'll see you next time on Escape To The Country.

0:56:540:56:57

Sue and Rick decided the castle house wasn't situated close

0:56:590:57:02

enough to local amenities

0:57:020:57:04

but the great news is they had an offer accepted on a

0:57:040:57:07

five-bedroom property not far away and have already moved in.

0:57:070:57:10

If you would like to escape to

0:57:100:57:12

the country in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England

0:57:120:57:15

and would like our help, please apply online at:

0:57:150:57:18

Ginny Buckley takes a couple from Harrogate who are looking to put their family first on a property search in Gloucestershire with a budget of £650,000. Ginny shows them properties with unique character and charm before putting pedal to the metal in the Gloucestershire gravel.