Herefordshire Escape to the Country


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Herefordshire

Property series. Ginny Buckley helps a couple with £500,000 find a country home in rural Herefordshire.


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From a distance, this lovely little church could look like any other in the country.

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But get up close and it tells a very different story.

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I'll tell you why and where I am in just a moment.

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Today's couple are longing to settle

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and start a new life in the countryside.

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We may have hit the ground running with our properties.

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Wow.

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-Oh, wow.

-Wow.

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-Wow.

-Wow.

-That's a good size.

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I can just hear the wows coming in behind me.

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And their model country pad could be right in front of their eyes.

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This is everything that I could have imagined with a house.

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And the view from there is just breathtaking.

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Today I'm in Herefordshire, and behind me

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is the church of St Mary and St David in the village of Kilpeck.

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Now, what makes it unique is it looks almost identical now to how

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it did when it was built over 870 years ago.

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And a closer inspection reveals that it contains one of the finest

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collections of ancient Romanesque sculptures in all of England.

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It's a remarkable building in a truly remarkable county.

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Often described as England's most rural county,

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landlocked Herefordshire sits on the border with Powys

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in Wales to its west and Shropshire to the North.

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Worcestershire to its east and Gloucestershire to the south.

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Herefordshire really is an unspoiled county.

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Rolling green countryside is an often used term,

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however the saying could and should have been coined here.

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It is and always has been an agricultural county,

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famed for its apple orchards and Hereford cattle.

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For centuries its rich natural environment has stood little changed,

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with picturesque towns and villages,

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black timbered houses dotting the landscape.

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At its heart sits Hereford,

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with its majestic cathedral dominating the skyline.

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However, the peaceful countryside and quiet pace of life belie

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the often turbulent history of the region.

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Herefordshire is littered with locations reflecting

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hundreds of years of conflict.

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Through the county flows the River Wye -

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it's one of the cleanest rivers in the UK - thought of as one of the

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best for salmon fishing, and it's also a special area of conservation.

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If you're thinking of escaping to the West Midlands then you should

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seriously consider house-hunting here in Herefordshire.

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Quite simply, there are some excellent homes that,

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broadly speaking, offer really good value for money.

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The average cost of a detached house here is £264,000,

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which compares to £278,000 across the rest of England and Wales.

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So, it's a wonderful county with some lovely homes.

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I need a couple to show them to, so let's meet them.

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Jo and Pete have been married for 31 years.

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They met in a bar in Hereford in 1979

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when Jo was training to be a nurse and Pete a new soldier.

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I thought that he was something special then.

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And I thought Jo was a wow, and still do.

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Pete's the eternal optimist.

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He's the one that comes up with the good ideas.

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I would class Jo as my rock.

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She keeps my feet very firmly on the ground.

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She keeps my aspirations attainable and achievable.

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After 37 years, army officer Pete has just retired

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from international service, where he and Jo have moved house 19 times.

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Having returned to the UK for good and with their children grown-up,

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now is the right time for them to move to the countryside.

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My military career has involved me in postings

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in the UK, America, Germany, Saudi Arabia and lastly, Italy,

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where we've been given a house that we haven't chosen,

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we've been told that will be our house.

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Now I've got the choice of where we live, I think I'd like to go

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and live in the country. I just love the open air.

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I'm an outdoor fanatic, I love walking, cycling, running,

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being out in it.

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With Pete now a home-based consultant,

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they're currently renting in Wiltshire,

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while they search for the house of their dreams in Herefordshire,

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in which they spent the early part of their marriage and where their son was born.

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We have existing family and friends there from our previous

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service there and we've got some

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very, very happy memories as a family from there of following the tractors

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loaded with apples driving around the country lanes.

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I particularly like Herefordshire for its greenness,

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its variety in terrain - it's a very rural county - and the pace of life.

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To go back to Herefordshire, for me, feels like going home.

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Living for over three decades in a permanent state of transition,

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Jo can't wait to unpack the many boxes they've been

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hauling around the world with them.

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Mostly, the boxes actually contain the memories of the children

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as they've gone through the years.

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I look forward to actually finding a property that we can actually empty those boxes into,

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and decide that they're actually not going to go any further.

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And longing to finally settle into rural living, they're also hoping

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to cement new friendships that they can build upon into the future.

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I'm very excited at the fact of actually putting some

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roots down and actually finding a community that we can

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actually then belong to, rather than feel that you're transiting through.

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One of the nicest things is that I'll actually be able to

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join clubs and societies and actually become a full member of those.

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After so many years of living in army accommodation,

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Jo and Pete are keen to begin their search to find

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their quintessential English country abode.

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The one thing that we're most looking forward to is finding

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the property that we've aspired to live in for 31 years of married life.

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We don't know what it looks like, but we are quite confident that

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when we see it we'll know it's the one for us.

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It would be so nice just to start afresh,

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and that's what we're really looking forward to think, isn't it?

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Both of us.

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With Jo and Pete keen to rekindle their happy Herefordshire memories,

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they're fairly open to living anywhere in the county,

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as long as it's not too rural

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and has good motorway connections for Pete's consultancy business.

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I'm meeting up with them

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to pinpoint exactly what they're after, in terms of what

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they want from their new home and new life in the UK countryside.

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-Hello, you two.

-Hi.

-Hello.

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So how does it feel being back in Herefordshire?

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-It feels like being at home again, doesn't it?

-It does, yes.

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When did you last live here?

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We last lived here in 2003,

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but we actually met in Herefordshire when we were much younger.

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We've still got some family. We've got lots of friends, which is nice.

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We've been catching up with them again, like a coat -

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just put it back on and your friendship's still there.

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So you've got good memories of the place, which is always a great way

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to start a search. Now, what about this house?

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What do you imagine it's going to look like when you pull up outside your dream home?

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It's going to have that feel-good factor about it, I think.

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Something that we can make into a nice home for us for the future.

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So what's on the wish list for it?

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A study because I work from home.

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Yeah, I'd like an open-plan kitchen.

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-And what about the style of the property?

-A bit of character.

-Yes.

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It could be new, it could be old.

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A good sized garden, at least half an acre.

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We're quite keen to have some sheep, chickens, things like that.

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Are there any no-nos?

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Is there anything that you really don't want me to show you?

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We're open-minded.

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I think the location is as important as the actual house

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because you can change a house slightly,

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so we're flexible.

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What about doing work on the property, is that something you'd welcome?

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That would have to be factored into the budget that we have,

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so we wouldn't go above that budget for the renovation,

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it'd have to be included into the price.

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OK, let's talk about the budget. What are we working with?

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£450,000.

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However, should we find a property with holiday let type potential, then we could go above that.

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Maybe a holiday let would be a nice thing to...get my teeth into.

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Well, that's a healthy sum, particularly for this part of the country, and, of course,

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you're in the great position of being cash buyers.

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I've got some very interesting properties to show you.

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-Shall we go and look?

-I can't wait.

-Excellent, can't wait.

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Jo and Pete are willing to stretch their maximum budget of up

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to £500,000 for the perfect property.

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They're after a three-bedroom detached quirky character home.

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Ideally, with a large open-plan kitchen and a study.

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They're after a sizeable garden

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with easy access to the heart of the community in a village setting.

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And they're also hoping for a

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property with holiday let potential.

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We've got some stunning properties lined up, which hark

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back to the history of Herefordshire that Jo and Pete love.

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Along with the land and future project opportunities

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they're hoping for from their new life back in the UK.

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And it's not until the end of each house tour that I'll be

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asking them to guess the price of each.

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Our final stop is the Mystery House, providing an alternative option

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which may make them reconsider elements of their wish list.

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Jo, what's it been like being an army wife? I'm fascinated.

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It's been a fantastic experience, actually.

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I mean, I've done so many different things

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that I would never have done before. It's taken us all over the world.

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I mean, it has made me very, very adaptable

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and I'll have a go at anything now.

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And now it's quite strange to have stopped, really.

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To now think, "Oh, suddenly we've got to start a different type of life now."

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-It strikes me that you're quite looking forward to some new challenges?

-I am.

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We've lived in many, many, many houses and we've always had,

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sort of, two years there,

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so everything we've done there, it's been a case of making do.

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We've not done improvements to houses.

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Every house we've had, we've tried to make a home of,

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but this time it's going to be

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so nice to be able to choose the house, for a start,

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choose the colour schemes and just put our own little mark on it, I think.

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And I think that's probably what I'm looking forward to most.

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I just want to have a nice garden, really, as well.

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I want to, sort of, develop the outdoor side of things.

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We've just spent 31 years of marriage trying to cultivate

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the military's gardens.

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We have returned, as we say, back to Hereford occasionally

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and you see some of the houses we lived in

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and you see the gardens growing and you think, "Well, Jo grew that

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"but she hasn't been able to actually enjoy it as it reaches fruition."

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So it will be nice to actually have a garden that develops over time.

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I'm looking forward to being a homemaker again, I think.

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Making a nice place for the family to visit, friends to visit and things.

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We're starting our search north of the county, in the hamlet of Lucton.

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Nearby is Yarpole, known for its thriving community who, since 2005,

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have run the first full-time shop from a church in the UK.

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Donating to many local projects, this is the first shop

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of its kind to receive the Queen's award for voluntary service.

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Also offering a pub, amateur dramatic society and book clubs,

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this centre would be ideal for Jo and Pete,

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and it's just a five-minute drive to the property we're going to view.

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-Wow.

-That's a good reaction.

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-Yes, that's fantastic.

-I love the angles.

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That's a really good feature, isn't it?

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Something quirky, something different.

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It looks, actually, quite stunning, doesn't it?

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Yes, it's got that different look about it that interests us, I think.

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The circular tower is because this was a grain store

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-so it's got all the character that you were after.

-Definitely.

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One of the unusual things that this offers is upside-down living,

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so you've got your living space at the top and the bedrooms underneath.

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I know you lived in lots of different houses, have you ever tried that before?

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We haven't, but Jo's sister has a house in France that does that.

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It's quite quirky.

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It's nice cos you often get the views from upstairs

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-that you don't get from down below.

-What about the location?

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Because we're north of Hereford here.

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I'm looking for access to motorways, but,

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if the compromise I have to make is that I have an extra 10 or 15-minute drive,

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so be it, cos it's the house that we're buying.

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Having been, sort of, within the military community for so long

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and been part of communities, we would like to get involved again.

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We'd be really keen to get immersed into that aspect of life.

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I love the aspect of the stairs to go up and all the pots on the stairs.

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That looks fantastic.

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Well, let's take a look.

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Because it's an upside-down house,

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we're going to have to go up the stairs to get into it.

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-Fantastic.

-It is lovely, isn't it?

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Dating back to the mid-17th century, this former barn

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made from local stone with a Welsh slate roof was originally

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a granary and grain store, before it was converted in the 1900s.

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Now...

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You said you were quite interested in seeing open-plan living,

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this is open-plan living.

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We do quite like that whole one large room where a lot of life takes place.

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Yeah, it's all got little areas as well, hasn't it?

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You could actually all be in and doing different things

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but you're not on top of one another.

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I think the stairs just, sort of, give you that bit of segregation.

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-Yes.

-What do you feel about the space in the kitchen, Jo?

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There's not a terrific amount of work space there.

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You could actually adapt it

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and have a big butcher's block or something like that.

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The interesting thing about the range is it's an electric range,

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and I don't know if you were beady eyed enough to notice the

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-solar panels on the roof...

-Yes, we did.

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We noticed that as we came through.

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That actually helps to reduce their electricity bill by half.

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-Wow, that's interesting.

-Wow. It's attractive to look at.

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The different materials, the colours, the beams,

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they work together quite well.

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Now, I know that a home office is important to you.

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There's a couple of options.

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We've got the mezzanine up here just above us,

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so you're really in the heart of the living space.

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Now, I know you mentioned quirky,

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-and there's quite a nice little quirky room that I'm going to show you.

-OK.

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Let's go through into here.

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Ah, so you're actually in the...

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In the actual grain store.

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So you do have the option of the mezzanine office,

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but I wonder how this would work for you as an office, Pete.

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It could work, but I think this would be a particularly nice snug,

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where you've got this lovely, quirky circular room.

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It could be a very pleasant area that you could withdraw to for

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a little bit of peace and quiet.

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You'd enjoy that and it'd be a place to listen to music and things like that.

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You get this lovely cosiness where the walls wrap around you, but yet,

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with the grey roof and it's angular,

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you actually get that sense of space as well.

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I'm going to show you the master bedroom and, of course,

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-because it's an upside-down house, we've got to go downstairs.

-OK.

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Jo and Pete asked for three bedrooms and there's one extra here,

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which could prove to be useful for visiting friends and family.

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On the ground floor there are two double bedrooms, one single,

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a bathroom and a utility room.

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-So here we have the master bedroom.

-Oh, wow.

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How do you feel about the size of the bedroom?

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We're not desperate for a huge massive room at all.

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-It works, doesn't it?

-I love the doors.

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Yeah, there's a lot of original features in the house which

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gives it that unusual quirky quality that I know you were looking for.

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-Yes.

-You've also...

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Something a bit more modern in there.

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-You've got a little en suite, which is very handy.

-Oh, it's lovely, isn't it?

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That's perfect, yeah.

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Again, that mixture of modern and old looks very good.

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There are already chickens in the garden.

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I just don't know if you're going to be able to squeeze any sheep in.

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-Right.

-But I'll see what you both think.

-OK.

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So far, Jo and Pete have warmed to this property,

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and can picture themselves potentially living here.

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But I wonder what they'll make of the cottage-style garden.

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-Nice chickens.

-Yeah, they are.

-This is it, this is the garden. What you see is what you get.

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It is smaller than what, perhaps, I was initially thinking about,

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but it's got lots of other lovely features about it.

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-There's that little nice snuggy area for having a glass of wine.

-Yes, we saw.

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And the owners were telling me that just up there, on the top of the steps where you

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go into the house, is their evening glass of wine spot because it gets

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the sunsets and it gets the sun, so they sit there, they have a glass of wine, they unwind.

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-Right, come on, let's guess the price. Ladies first.

-Erm...

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Well, I think, because it hasn't actually got the land that we're

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looking for, I think it's going to be below 400,000.

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I think it's going to be about 385.

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I'd go for 375.

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It is on the market for less than budget.

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Not quite as low as the two of you were saying though,

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it's on the market for £395,000.

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It would leave you, actually, with quite a healthy amount left over.

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Does that change your thoughts on the house at all?

0:16:440:16:47

It's reassuring to know that if we wanted to do some work to it,

0:16:470:16:50

that you have the funding in our budget to do that.

0:16:500:16:53

It's sounding really positive to me,

0:16:530:16:55

but why don't you to go back inside, explore the rooms that you haven't seen,

0:16:550:16:58

take a look around and I'll catch up with you in a little while.

0:16:580:17:01

Oh, thank you.

0:17:010:17:03

A sizeable £105,000 under budget,

0:17:070:17:11

this former grain store barn offers up four bedrooms,

0:17:110:17:14

large sociable open-plan living area and a prime central village location

0:17:140:17:19

within the heart of the community, which Jo and Pete were longing for.

0:17:190:17:23

I just love this area.

0:17:250:17:27

Walking into the open-plan space, my immediate thought was,

0:17:270:17:29

yet again, "Wow."

0:17:290:17:31

It has that cosiness that we're looking for,

0:17:310:17:34

with the characterfulness of the beams.

0:17:340:17:36

It's got some lovely features about it too,

0:17:360:17:38

and I can already see how we would make it ours.

0:17:380:17:42

There was a definite wow factor

0:17:420:17:44

when you look at the property for the first time, I think.

0:17:440:17:46

It's lovely and I could see us personalising it

0:17:460:17:49

and making it a home.

0:17:490:17:51

It's got that real cosy feeling about it.

0:17:510:17:53

It's got lots of potential for us to put our mark on the property.

0:17:530:17:57

The house is just amazing, I like it.

0:17:570:18:00

I really feel we could make a home of it.

0:18:000:18:02

It would certainly be a challenge to make it a new home for us.

0:18:020:18:05

From my perspective, the garden isn't a nonstarter, however,

0:18:050:18:09

it's the distance that I will have to travel down to get to the

0:18:090:18:13

motorways is a compromise that I'd have to think about.

0:18:130:18:16

For me, personally, the garden is the stumbling block.

0:18:160:18:19

I'd like to see something with a bigger garden.

0:18:190:18:22

So we went in the upstairs and you're coming out in the downstairs door.

0:18:220:18:26

-I think there's a television programme in that, personally.

-You're probably right, yes.

0:18:260:18:30

-Interesting property?

-Very.

-Very interesting.

0:18:300:18:32

-But there's more to see, so come on.

-OK.

0:18:320:18:34

Mention the county of Herefordshire and most people

0:18:410:18:44

think of the illustrious Hereford breed of cattle.

0:18:440:18:48

And whilst the county continues to farm the breed to which it gave its

0:18:480:18:52

name, there is now another notable, if diminutive, animal in residence.

0:18:520:18:57

Just outside Leominster are 17 of the smallest sheep in the world.

0:18:570:19:02

Ouessant sheep are small in stature, but big in character.

0:19:020:19:06

Hoping to have enough land to keep a few sheep,

0:19:060:19:08

Pete and Jo are meeting Carolyn Southern,

0:19:080:19:10

who has been breeding these little gems for 13 years.

0:19:100:19:14

Hi, Pete, Jo, welcome to the smallholding.

0:19:140:19:18

So, Carolyn, how big do this breed actually grow?

0:19:180:19:21

Well, the breed standard is 48 centimetres for an adult ram

0:19:210:19:26

and 45 centimetres for an adult ewe.

0:19:260:19:28

So they stay quite small?

0:19:280:19:30

Yes, they're very tiny.

0:19:300:19:31

So if we were to have three sheep, Carolyn,

0:19:310:19:33

what sized plot would you recommend that we would have?

0:19:330:19:35

Ideally, I would say about half an acre.

0:19:350:19:38

About ten animals to the acre is the maximum.

0:19:380:19:41

And in winter, do you have to provide them

0:19:410:19:43

with shelter or do they stay outside?

0:19:430:19:45

They will stay outside, generally. They're really hardy.

0:19:450:19:49

But, if it's really heavy rain, they'll want to just run in.

0:19:490:19:52

They also need the shelter to get out of the strong sun as well.

0:19:520:19:56

So would they be a breed that you would recommend as a first-time sheep owner?

0:19:560:20:00

Yes, well, I'd never had sheep before I had these

0:20:000:20:03

and once I looked into it, they just seemed ideal.

0:20:030:20:06

They're very easy to keep. I've got some more stock over here,

0:20:060:20:10

-I'll show you those.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:20:100:20:12

Ouessant sheep were to be found solely on the French isle of Ouessant

0:20:130:20:16

until the start of the 20th century when they were saved from extinction

0:20:160:20:20

by a group of aristocrats

0:20:200:20:22

who brought them over to mainland France.

0:20:220:20:25

Having only arrived on British shores around 15 years ago,

0:20:250:20:28

today there are thought to be around 2,000 in the UK.

0:20:280:20:30

These are this year's lambs.

0:20:320:20:34

So, what are we feeding them here today, then, Caroline?

0:20:340:20:36

This is actually a bit like muesli.

0:20:360:20:38

It's called ruminant mix and it's a mixture of grains.

0:20:380:20:42

And what else do they eat other than that?

0:20:420:20:45

Primarily, they'll eat the grass but they do also eat the hedges

0:20:450:20:49

and the bark off the trees of any low branches on the trees.

0:20:490:20:54

In the winter, if the grass is very sparse,

0:20:540:20:56

you can give them hay, as well.

0:20:560:20:57

OK. Is there anything in particular that they shouldn't eat?

0:20:570:21:01

-What's dangerous for them?

-Well, when you've got...

0:21:010:21:03

When you have your plot, you've got to make sure there's nothing

0:21:030:21:06

that's poisonous in...

0:21:060:21:08

That they can reach.

0:21:080:21:10

-The obvious ones - yew and laurel and rhododendron...

-OK.

0:21:100:21:15

..that are really quite nasty.

0:21:150:21:17

Are there any legal requirements we have to have or be aware of

0:21:170:21:21

if we were to buy sheep?

0:21:210:21:22

I recommend that you only buy your animals from a registered breeder.

0:21:220:21:26

You need to have a holding number which Defra will provide you with.

0:21:260:21:31

How do you recognise a healthy sheep?

0:21:310:21:33

As you can see, these are pretty lively and bright eyed.

0:21:330:21:38

If you check that they haven't got any runny eyes,

0:21:380:21:40

they're not limping, you know, lame.

0:21:400:21:44

If their fleece is very solid, it's a soft fleece.

0:21:440:21:47

You don't want anything with different patches of different

0:21:470:21:51

colours in because that wouldn't conform to the breed standard.

0:21:510:21:54

We are going to move some sheep today,

0:21:540:21:56

so if you want to give us a hand, that would be fabulous.

0:21:560:21:58

-That'd be great.

-We'd love to.

0:21:580:22:00

They're so friendly, it's gorgeous. Aren't you?

0:22:000:22:03

Surprisingly low-maintenance, these sheep are shorn once a year

0:22:060:22:10

and have the most wool per weight of any breed.

0:22:100:22:12

Come on! Sheep!

0:22:130:22:15

RUSTLING

0:22:150:22:17

-Here they come.

-Here they come.

0:22:170:22:18

By splitting the plot of land and rotating them every six-eight weeks,

0:22:200:22:24

it not only rests the ground but keeps the sheep healthy.

0:22:240:22:27

Have you got any tips for what we should be doing

0:22:290:22:31

and how we should help you do this?

0:22:310:22:32

Well, they're difficult to catch unless you do pen them first.

0:22:320:22:36

And then what we've done is we've put a race of hurdles

0:22:360:22:39

in to sort of channel them down into the next field.

0:22:390:22:43

-They're off.

-They're off, aren't they?

0:22:500:22:53

-They know where they're going, don't they, Caroline?

-Yes.

0:22:530:22:55

-They're moving really fast, aren't they?

-They can run very fast, yes.

0:22:550:22:58

They're off on their hols now!

0:22:580:23:00

With three registered breeders in Herefordshire,

0:23:010:23:03

it looks like Jo and Pete will be flocking to buy some of these

0:23:030:23:06

little beauties before too long.

0:23:060:23:09

Aw. Yeah, I've fallen in love with them already, I have.

0:23:090:23:12

I hope you decide to keep this breed cos they're very special.

0:23:120:23:15

Well, thanks for showing us your sheep,

0:23:150:23:17

-it's been absolutely fascinating.

-You're very welcome.

0:23:170:23:19

Yeah, thank you. We've thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

0:23:190:23:22

It's been great.

0:23:220:23:23

Our house-hunt continues in the village of Garway.

0:23:280:23:32

Hovering outside the Herefordshire/Welsh border,

0:23:320:23:35

the pub is the heart of the community

0:23:350:23:37

and is a hive of weekly activities, hosting cinema and book clubs.

0:23:370:23:41

With monthly music gigs held at the village hall

0:23:410:23:44

and regular farmers' markets, there's plenty of opportunity for Jo

0:23:440:23:47

and Pete to involve themselves in this tightknit social scene.

0:23:470:23:51

The nearest local amenities are a mile away

0:23:510:23:53

and the property we're visiting is just a short stroll from all

0:23:530:23:56

the action at the edge of the village.

0:23:560:23:58

-So, this is the property I want to show you.

-That's gorgeous.

0:23:590:24:02

Really very pretty, isn't it? It looks very nice.

0:24:020:24:05

-Picture perfect, actually.

-Yes.

0:24:050:24:06

It's how you imagine a little cottage to be and it looks like

0:24:060:24:09

-it's got potential for lots of views.

-It has.

0:24:090:24:11

On a day better than today, you can see right out over

0:24:110:24:13

-the Black Mountains.

-Yes.

-Oh, really?

0:24:130:24:15

So, the views over there are stunning.

0:24:150:24:17

There's an old store just over there which is currently

0:24:170:24:20

-used as an art studio...

-Yes.

-..which is of a decent size.

0:24:200:24:24

-There's also a stone barn...

-Oh, wow.

0:24:240:24:26

..that needs completely converting.

0:24:260:24:29

One thing this property offers you is the potential for a holiday annexe.

0:24:290:24:32

-Exciting.

-Shall we go and take a look?

-Excellent, yes, we'd love to.

0:24:320:24:35

-Hello!

-Hi.

0:24:370:24:38

Originally constructed in the 18th century, this attractive

0:24:410:24:45

stone cottage was sympathetically renovated in the 1970s

0:24:450:24:48

to form an endearing characterful house packed with original details.

0:24:480:24:52

Come on in. Let's move over here.

0:24:540:24:56

So, we're standing, actually, inside a 1970s addition to the property

0:24:570:25:01

which I think, externally, has been done really sympathetically.

0:25:010:25:04

-Really?!

-Yeah.

-And internally, as well.

0:25:040:25:06

-I wouldn't have believed this was 1970s.

-Yeah, it is.

0:25:060:25:08

Now, this property doesn't offer you the open-plan living that

0:25:080:25:12

I know we talked about at one point.

0:25:120:25:15

But it does have quite a nice flow to it. So, you come into this

0:25:150:25:18

first entrance room, they've got it set up as a dining room,

0:25:180:25:20

I think you could use it for lots of different purposes.

0:25:200:25:23

What are your initial thoughts?

0:25:230:25:24

Potentially, you're right next to the kitchen, aren't you?

0:25:240:25:27

So, you know, depends on how big the kitchen is

0:25:270:25:30

but this looks as though it could be a through room, anyway.

0:25:300:25:33

Well, it carries on the warm quaintness of the initial

0:25:330:25:37

view as you walk in straight away.

0:25:370:25:39

I think the best way to see this house is just to have a wander round

0:25:390:25:42

downstairs cos it does have a very interesting flow to it.

0:25:420:25:45

-So, let me show you another room.

-OK.

0:25:450:25:47

Oh, wow. I just keep coming out with wows, don't I?

0:25:500:25:53

-This is stunning.

-Yeah, this is cosy.

-A lovely room.

0:25:530:25:56

This is, obviously, the original part of the cottage.

0:25:560:25:58

-That's an inglenook fireplace, isn't it?

-It is.

0:25:580:26:00

It's got the lovely feature of the original bread oven.

0:26:000:26:03

Sadly, it doesn't work any more but it looks nice.

0:26:030:26:06

It's definitely quite a big room. With the three windows in it, it's...

0:26:060:26:09

Very bright and airy.

0:26:090:26:10

Yes, for a cottage, this is a really good-sized living room.

0:26:100:26:13

-Breathtaking, I have to say.

-Yes.

-It takes your breath away.

0:26:130:26:16

It's very interesting when you see the staircase up there as well.

0:26:160:26:19

It just adds to it, doesn't it? It adds to the feel of the place.

0:26:190:26:21

I was going to come to the staircases

0:26:210:26:23

because there are two staircases that lead upstairs.

0:26:230:26:26

I'm not going to take you there just yet though.

0:26:260:26:28

You've already spotted the kitchen from the entrance or dining room

0:26:280:26:31

but there's another way into the kitchen,

0:26:310:26:32

-so follow me and all will become clear.

-Excellent. Lovely.

0:26:320:26:35

'On the ground floor there is also a conservatory and a study-cum-library,

0:26:350:26:39

'which may be useful for Pete's home-based consulting,

0:26:390:26:43

'which leads through to the kitchen.'

0:26:430:26:45

That a good size, isn't it?

0:26:450:26:47

Again, nice and light with double aspect window.

0:26:470:26:51

And you've got lots of working surfaces.

0:26:510:26:53

What about the style of the kitchen? Is it your style?

0:26:530:26:56

Erm, it may be.

0:26:560:26:59

I mean, there's always room for potential, isn't there?

0:26:590:27:02

It's certainly something I could live with.

0:27:020:27:04

I think what you could do with this kitchen

0:27:040:27:07

is potentially knock that wall down.

0:27:070:27:09

You could end up with a really lovely free-flowing space

0:27:090:27:12

that gives you a bit of that open-plan feeling that you wanted.

0:27:120:27:15

I think that would really be something that I'd be interested in doing.

0:27:150:27:18

Then you could put an island on here

0:27:180:27:20

because you've got more room around.

0:27:200:27:22

And if you did go for the big open-plan look then you've got

0:27:220:27:25

a separate utility room out there, which is very handy.

0:27:250:27:27

-I think it's time we went to investigate those two staircases.

-OK.

-Follow me.

0:27:270:27:32

'Due to the cottage having undergone previous extensions,

0:27:320:27:35

'one staircase leads to two doubles

0:27:350:27:37

'and one single bedroom, as well as a bathroom on the first floor.

0:27:370:27:42

'And the other staircase leads to another double bedroom

0:27:420:27:44

'with its own shower room.'

0:27:440:27:46

So I've brought you up the staircase that leads you through

0:27:460:27:50

to the master bedroom.

0:27:500:27:52

Oh, wow, very airy and spacious, isn't it?

0:27:520:27:55

Oh, fantastic views as well. Can you imagine?

0:27:550:27:58

To wake up and see those views must be wonderful.

0:27:580:28:00

And again, because this is in the newer part of the house,

0:28:000:28:03

you've got the high ceiling height,

0:28:030:28:04

so you don't have those low cottagey ceilings.

0:28:040:28:06

It's quite nice in a bedroom.

0:28:060:28:09

-Could you see yourself in here?

-Yes.

0:28:090:28:11

-This is, er, definite, definite...

-Very nice.

0:28:110:28:15

Definitely nice. A good size as well, isn't it?

0:28:150:28:18

-It's not a small bedroom at all.

-Let me show you the outside.

0:28:180:28:21

Jo and Pete seemed to be making all the right noises

0:28:220:28:25

when it comes to the interior of the house

0:28:250:28:27

so I'm hoping they'll be impressed with the bigger garden here,

0:28:270:28:30

which amounts to two-thirds of an acre.

0:28:300:28:32

It's certainly got the type of garden I would look for.

0:28:340:28:39

-It would definitely keep me busy, wouldn't it?

-It certainly would.

0:28:390:28:42

Well, let's see if guessing the price can bring back some of those wows.

0:28:420:28:45

What you think, Jo?

0:28:450:28:46

I think, looking at it,

0:28:460:28:47

the garden and the potential with the two outbuildings, I think £445,000.

0:28:470:28:52

-OK. Pete?

-I'm going to go a little bit lower. I'm going to go £425,000.

0:28:520:28:55

Wow. I think there's a bit of wishful thinking

0:28:560:28:59

going on with you two at the moment.

0:28:590:29:00

You're way off the mark, both of you.

0:29:000:29:03

-This property is on the market for £500,000.

-OK.

0:29:030:29:08

What do you think now you know that?

0:29:080:29:09

That's at the very, very top of our bracket,

0:29:090:29:12

which would leave us nothing to actually do any development work

0:29:120:29:15

and there's quite a lot of development that would be needed

0:29:150:29:17

to create that holiday let there.

0:29:170:29:19

Well, you still haven't seen all of it properly yet

0:29:190:29:22

and you haven't investigated the annexe and also that barn.

0:29:220:29:26

So, why don't you go and have a good look around?

0:29:260:29:28

-OK, thank you.

-OK, thanks.

0:29:280:29:30

At the very top of their budget,

0:29:320:29:34

this pretty stone cottage with four bedrooms, bags of character

0:29:340:29:38

and a large garden has huge potential to convert

0:29:380:29:40

the outbuildings into self-contained holiday lets.

0:29:400:29:44

Based in an excellent edge-of-village location,

0:29:440:29:46

it would be close but far away enough for Jo and Pete

0:29:460:29:49

to immerse themselves in as little or as much as they want.

0:29:490:29:53

The flow downstairs is great. I definitely liked the lounge area.

0:29:540:29:57

This is a nice little room. Could you see yourself in here as a study?

0:30:000:30:02

When I want to work, I want to lock the rest of the family off

0:30:020:30:05

and get on with work

0:30:050:30:06

and I think sitting right next to the kitchen

0:30:060:30:09

is just a little bit too close for me.

0:30:090:30:10

I like the fact that the garden is big and there is potential.

0:30:100:30:14

In the studio we are in here, there is some potential

0:30:150:30:18

but it's not enough.

0:30:180:30:20

Whether that potential is what we would want to achieve from it, I don't know.

0:30:200:30:23

The house itself is very pretty.

0:30:230:30:26

The work that needs to be done is quite substantial

0:30:270:30:30

and that would take it well over our budget.

0:30:300:30:32

I think this is a lovely house,

0:30:320:30:35

but I can't see myself in it.

0:30:350:30:37

It doesn't actually feel like I could make it my home.

0:30:370:30:40

Well, that's the final one for today.

0:30:420:30:45

-Has it been a good day for you both?

-It's been a fabulous day.

0:30:450:30:48

Yes, it's been very interesting.

0:30:480:30:50

It has, and it's been rewarding and it's actually enabled us

0:30:500:30:52

to sort of refine a bit more what we do want

0:30:520:30:56

and also we don't want

0:30:560:30:57

and what's more important and what isn't important.

0:30:570:31:00

I think you should think about that this evening

0:31:000:31:02

because I've got some very interesting things to show you tomorrow.

0:31:020:31:05

Excellent.

0:31:050:31:06

It's the second day of our property search in Herefordshire

0:31:130:31:16

with Jo and Pete, who have just returned to the UK

0:31:160:31:19

from international army service.

0:31:190:31:21

With a budget of up to £500,000,

0:31:210:31:24

they're ready to begin the next chapter of their lives

0:31:240:31:26

in the countryside they know and love.

0:31:260:31:29

Coming up, our house-hunt offers more history than they could have hoped for.

0:31:290:31:33

That is absolutely stunning. I just love the height.

0:31:330:31:37

The colours are very enchanting.

0:31:370:31:40

And I find out how traditional Herefordshire

0:31:400:31:42

is keeping up with modern day tastes.

0:31:420:31:45

Oh, it's a lovely mellow, fruity flavour that's very smooth.

0:31:450:31:48

There were elements in both of yesterday's houses

0:31:510:31:53

that really appealed to the lifestyle that Pete and Jo

0:31:530:31:55

are looking to lead here in Herefordshire.

0:31:550:31:57

But it's a new day and there are two new properties to show them,

0:31:570:32:00

including the Mystery House,

0:32:000:32:02

which could make them reassess exactly what it is they are looking for.

0:32:020:32:07

Let's find out just how open-minded Pete and Jo are prepared to be.

0:32:070:32:11

But before the mystery property, our search is taking us

0:32:120:32:15

to the village of Bishops Frome.

0:32:150:32:18

Located on the border where Herefordshire meets Worcestershire,

0:32:180:32:21

this idyllic and very active village

0:32:210:32:23

has a community-run shop with two pubs.

0:32:230:32:26

Half a mile away is the Hop Pocket Shopping Village

0:32:260:32:29

spread over a number of old agricultural buildings,

0:32:290:32:32

which offers a cafe, wine centre and butchers with fine local produce.

0:32:320:32:36

Just outside the village,

0:32:370:32:39

our next property can be found down a quiet, country lane.

0:32:390:32:42

Now, in our conversations we've talked a lot

0:32:430:32:46

about how you like old, but you like new.

0:32:460:32:48

Wow. I'm back to wows again now.

0:32:480:32:50

You are back to wows. I like that.

0:32:500:32:53

-That looks impressive.

-That's stunning. That is actually very stunning.

0:32:530:32:56

From the first impression, it looks good.

0:32:560:32:58

It looks like it blends in very well.

0:32:580:33:00

-It makes you want to actually go in and view it.

-Exciting.

0:33:000:33:03

-Let's go and investigate.

-Great.

-Can't wait.

0:33:030:33:06

Built in 1650, this former barn

0:33:070:33:10

of traditional oak timber frame construction

0:33:100:33:12

originally belonged to the house next door

0:33:120:33:15

until it was converted in the 1980s.

0:33:150:33:17

Two years ago an annexe was added to the rear.

0:33:170:33:20

The front door leads to a hallway and the main sitting room,

0:33:210:33:24

but because there's so much of this house to see,

0:33:240:33:27

we're heading straight through it to the kitchen.

0:33:270:33:30

-Double wow.

-A double wow.

0:33:300:33:32

-This is stunning. Absolutely stunning.

-It's so nice to see you two smiling like this.

0:33:320:33:37

This is obviously the older part of the house.

0:33:370:33:40

-It's got the beams that you wanted, hasn't it?

-Yeah.

0:33:400:33:42

There's lots of character here.

0:33:420:33:44

I've got a warm, cosy, homely feeling

0:33:440:33:47

that we had in the upside-down house yesterday

0:33:470:33:50

but there is space around.

0:33:500:33:52

It's interesting for me

0:33:520:33:53

because you really did like open-plan

0:33:530:33:55

and this technically isn't open-plan

0:33:550:33:58

-but it's appealing to you.

-Yeah.

0:33:580:33:59

It flows very naturally

0:33:590:34:01

and, actually, whilst there is only doorways,

0:34:010:34:03

not huge open-plan,

0:34:030:34:05

I think it adopts a more modern feel to open-plan.

0:34:050:34:08

What's welcome is the utility room just over there

0:34:080:34:10

-so you can keep everything out of the way.

-Very useful.

0:34:100:34:13

I don't know how keen your ears were when we were outside looking at the property.

0:34:130:34:16

-Did you hear the tinkling?

-I did.

-Did you?

-I did hear that.

0:34:160:34:19

Let me just give you a glass of that just to try. You can have one each.

0:34:190:34:22

There you go.

0:34:220:34:24

You've got your very own stream.

0:34:240:34:26

Well, it's a spring and the water for the property

0:34:260:34:29

is fed from the spring so you don't pay any water rates on this property.

0:34:290:34:32

-So cheers to that.

-Cheers.

-Cheers to that.

0:34:320:34:34

Apparently it tastes very good. I haven't tried it yet.

0:34:340:34:37

-That's nice, isn't it?

-Jo loves water.

0:34:370:34:39

That's very, very clean and fresh.

0:34:390:34:41

So, yes, the spring is up right at the top of the garden.

0:34:410:34:44

My gosh, that's amazing too, isn't it?

0:34:440:34:45

-I'd like you to take a closer look at the dining hall because that's really interesting.

-OK.

-OK.

0:34:450:34:50

Also on the ground floor there's a double bedroom with en suite

0:34:500:34:54

and in the eaves of the dining hall there's a mezzanine,

0:34:540:34:56

both of which could provide great office space for Pete.

0:34:560:34:59

-Ooh, it looks good.

-Oh, wow. That is absolutely stunning.

0:35:020:35:07

I think we can add a couple more wows into here.

0:35:070:35:09

Yeah, I was going to say, your wow quota is building for this property.

0:35:090:35:12

I mean, I just love the height.

0:35:120:35:15

-Isn't that fantastic?

-Absolutely stunning. Just absolutely stunning.

0:35:150:35:18

What a feature though, this bit is.

0:35:180:35:20

You get the sense that this was, of course, a beautiful barn.

0:35:200:35:23

You've got the old beams in here.

0:35:230:35:25

You really get the feeling of what it once was back in the day, don't you?

0:35:250:35:29

Yes, you do. I love the exposed stonework.

0:35:290:35:33

The colours are very enchanting.

0:35:330:35:37

-Can you imagine the family in here at Christmas?

-I could.

0:35:370:35:39

I could imagine a Christmas tree in here, a full height Christmas tree.

0:35:390:35:42

Let's just talk, then, about the annexe.

0:35:420:35:44

The doorway here leads through to the modern part.

0:35:440:35:47

-Would you like to have a look?

-Certainly.

-Let's go.

0:35:470:35:50

The self-contained annexe space here is the real selling point of this property.

0:35:520:35:57

Completed to a very high spec,

0:35:570:35:59

with its own double bedroom and shower room,

0:35:590:36:01

it meets all modern eco-requirements

0:36:010:36:03

and is just what our buyers are after.

0:36:030:36:05

-Wow.

-Oh, goodness.

-Goodness me.

-The wows.

0:36:070:36:09

I can just hear the wows coming in behind me.

0:36:090:36:12

I'm just... My breath is just taken away.

0:36:120:36:15

Absolutely taken away.

0:36:150:36:16

-But how different it is though.

-What a complete contrast.

0:36:160:36:19

You've gone from the 17th century to the 21st century.

0:36:190:36:22

I'm not sure I want to let this be a holiday let, actually.

0:36:220:36:25

It's just so nice. I'd want to live here myself.

0:36:250:36:28

Everything is ready for a kitchen to go in across here.

0:36:280:36:30

They haven't put one in, but it's got water, it's got all the points that you need.

0:36:300:36:34

It's even got the extractor fan.

0:36:340:36:35

So you might notice it's very lovely cosy and here from the underfloor heating

0:36:350:36:39

and it's free in this house because it's got a state-of-the-art wood pellet boiler.

0:36:390:36:44

So that, combined with the solar panels,

0:36:440:36:46

means that this house has a zero carbon footprint.

0:36:460:36:49

There is no gas bill. There is no electricity bill.

0:36:490:36:52

And you actually make money on the property.

0:36:520:36:54

You're just ticking every box. Absolutely every box.

0:36:540:36:56

This is something that Pete and I, Pete was looking at

0:36:560:36:59

when we first started looking at houses saying,

0:36:590:37:02

I want an eco-friendly house.

0:37:020:37:04

This is just... I'm just blown away.

0:37:040:37:07

This is everything I could ever have imagined in a house.

0:37:070:37:09

And the view from there, those trees, just changing colour,

0:37:090:37:13

is just absolutely breathtaking.

0:37:130:37:15

Does the prospect of closing off that area

0:37:150:37:18

and having this is a holiday let, does that appeal to you?

0:37:180:37:21

-It certainly...

-It does actually because I think it would work.

0:37:210:37:25

I think you could do it.

0:37:250:37:26

And there's still so much more to show you

0:37:260:37:28

because we have to go back into the old part so I can show you the master bedroom.

0:37:280:37:32

Aside from the two bedrooms downstairs,

0:37:320:37:34

on the first floor there is a bathroom and two further bedrooms,

0:37:340:37:37

a single and the master.

0:37:370:37:39

So this is the master bedroom.

0:37:410:37:43

You've got fantastic views across the Fromes Hill.

0:37:430:37:46

-Stunning.

-You've actually got the size of the room

0:37:460:37:48

-without the beams taking away that view.

-It's breathtaking.

0:37:480:37:51

I seem to be getting a really positive vibe

0:37:510:37:52

from both of you about this house. What is it that you like about it?

0:37:520:37:55

You've got the warmth and the cosiness of the 17th century.

0:37:550:38:00

It is old but this part, because it's been so nicely renovated,

0:38:000:38:04

it actually has a new feeling about it too.

0:38:040:38:06

It belies how old it is.

0:38:060:38:08

It's quite exciting as well because I still get to show you the outside.

0:38:080:38:11

-Yes.

-And there are some really good things to tell you

0:38:110:38:14

-when we get out there.

-Excellent.

0:38:140:38:16

Jo and Pete are obviously wowed by the property,

0:38:180:38:20

and with the rear garden set in just over an acre,

0:38:200:38:23

plus an extra paddock of a third of an acre,

0:38:230:38:26

I suspect that the outside space here might just be the icing on the cake.

0:38:260:38:31

So, up here, this is where your sheep can live

0:38:310:38:34

and the really hard work in the garden has been done.

0:38:340:38:36

All the real legwork.

0:38:360:38:38

What it needs now is just that work of landscaping.

0:38:380:38:41

-Personalisation.

-Is it too big for you?

0:38:410:38:44

-No.

-No.

0:38:440:38:45

It's that time for you to guess the price.

0:38:450:38:48

Because it's in the east of Herefordshire,

0:38:480:38:50

it's got good communication links, I'm going to say £575,000.

0:38:500:38:53

Because I think it's a lovely house,

0:38:550:38:57

I do think it's going to be over our budget.

0:38:570:38:59

I'm going to go for £525,000.

0:38:590:39:01

You will probably be very pleased

0:39:010:39:03

when I tell you that it's on the market for offers over £500,000.

0:39:030:39:08

However, I've had a conversation with the owners

0:39:080:39:11

and they've made it clear to me that they would accept

0:39:110:39:13

an offer of under 500,000, only just,

0:39:130:39:17

from buyers in your position.

0:39:170:39:18

That is amazing. That is utterly amazing. Where do I sign?

0:39:200:39:25

-Really?

-Seriously.

0:39:250:39:27

Well, I'd like you to go back inside and really look around the property.

0:39:270:39:30

I know it's got a lot to offer and there's a lot you haven't seen,

0:39:300:39:32

so take your time, explore and I'll come and find you.

0:39:320:39:34

-OK, thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:39:340:39:36

At the top of their budget,

0:39:390:39:41

this former barn with an eclectic mix of original character features

0:39:410:39:45

and modern eco-specifications

0:39:450:39:47

meets all of Jo and Pete's wish list and more.

0:39:470:39:51

Having an almost ready to go holiday let opportunity,

0:39:510:39:54

it's set in an ideal village location and has fantastic views.

0:39:540:39:58

This property ticks every single box that we could think of.

0:39:580:40:02

It's the right location.

0:40:020:40:04

It's got the views,

0:40:040:40:06

the opportunity to develop the garden.

0:40:060:40:09

This room is amazing, isn't it?

0:40:090:40:11

Look at the way the carving is up on the minstrel's gallery.

0:40:110:40:13

I just love the double height, the space, the light...the history.

0:40:130:40:18

I'm feeling really excited

0:40:180:40:20

because I think there's an opportunity for me, here definitely,

0:40:200:40:23

to do a holiday let.

0:40:230:40:24

I can see myself here at home and also entertaining the family here.

0:40:240:40:28

This is just absolutely amazing. It's everything we want in a house.

0:40:300:40:33

It's a combination of old, new, quirky, characterful...

0:40:330:40:36

..eco-friendly.

0:40:380:40:39

I'm going to interrupt you. I know you love this house

0:40:390:40:41

but there is still one more to go and it's the Mystery House.

0:40:410:40:44

-Come on.

-I'm very excited.

0:40:440:40:46

What about the Mystery House?

0:40:550:40:57

What do you think I'm going to show you there?

0:40:570:40:59

I think you're going to go something quirky, new, today because I think

0:40:590:41:03

that just is totally opposite to what we've

0:41:030:41:06

-put out in our brief, really, I think.

-Do you?

0:41:060:41:08

I think it's going to be a chapel conversion or something like that.

0:41:080:41:12

-Yes.

-My lips are sealed, of course, at this point. All will be revealed.

0:41:120:41:16

You kind of feel, I think, like you have a good idea of what you want,

0:41:180:41:21

but from my perspective, I don't know if you actually do.

0:41:210:41:25

I think you're probably quite right.

0:41:250:41:27

It's the first time we've actually been looking inside and around

0:41:270:41:31

a house as a potential purchase.

0:41:310:41:36

But we've also found it very interesting

0:41:360:41:41

refining down what we do like but also what we don't want,

0:41:410:41:46

and what's more important than we previously thought,

0:41:460:41:49

and what is less important. Such as, I actually picked up yesterday,

0:41:490:41:52

at the first house, that actually, views are quite important.

0:41:520:41:55

Because if I'm going to be in the country, I want to be able to see it.

0:41:550:41:58

Another aspect for me, of course, is that the study is important.

0:41:580:42:02

And, Jo, what about you?

0:42:020:42:04

I do want a reasonable-sized garden that

0:42:040:42:06

I can actually spend a lot of time in.

0:42:060:42:10

I probably want a smaller house than I first anticipated

0:42:100:42:15

because I think it would be more cosy.

0:42:150:42:18

And probably, I don't want one that's too remote.

0:42:180:42:23

We've always been part of a community

0:42:230:42:26

and as much as we quite like being on the edge of a community,

0:42:260:42:30

I think we like being able to join in as and when we wish.

0:42:300:42:33

I'm quite excited about the mystery property.

0:42:330:42:35

So the pressure's on to find you a property that knocks both your socks off.

0:42:350:42:39

Not at all, not at all.

0:42:390:42:40

I'm sure you'll rise to the challenge, Ginny.

0:42:400:42:42

For our mystery property,

0:42:480:42:49

we're heading to the small village of Wormelow Tump.

0:42:490:42:53

South of Herefordshire, the tump itself was a mound,

0:42:530:42:57

which local tradition claims was the burial place of King Arthur's son,

0:42:570:43:01

having been flattened to widen the road in 1896.

0:43:010:43:05

There's a local garage and a pub here.

0:43:050:43:08

With the greater amenities of Hereford nearby,

0:43:080:43:10

it's just a short drive to our next property,

0:43:100:43:13

which is blessed with a stunning setting.

0:43:130:43:15

-It's not so much a Mystery House...

-Oh, my goodness.

0:43:170:43:20

..as a Mystery Mansion.

0:43:200:43:22

-Wow.

-Wow. Goodness me.

-It is stunning, isn't it?

0:43:220:43:25

It's been bought by developers and it's being turned into 12

0:43:250:43:28

extremely high-end, luxury apartments and two houses.

0:43:280:43:32

I know you've lived in properties all over the world,

0:43:320:43:34

-different kinds of properties...

-Never a stately home.

0:43:340:43:36

-Have you come across a stately home on your travels?

-No, we haven't.

-No.

0:43:360:43:40

-A few officers' messes like stately homes...

-Yes.

-..but never actually lived in one.

-No.

0:43:400:43:44

It's communal living. It's very different.

0:43:440:43:47

I know you had these ideas about the lifestyle you were going to have

0:43:470:43:49

in Herefordshire, and I just thought,

0:43:490:43:51

-"Why not challenge that?"

-Yes.

-It's very beautiful,

0:43:510:43:54

-you have a view...

-Yes.

-A fantastic view.

0:43:540:43:57

-..and it's a different thing to consider.

-It is.

-I quite agree.

0:43:570:44:01

In the scheme of things, it is something we should consider

0:44:010:44:05

-cos it's...one avenue...

-It challenges our thoughts.

0:44:050:44:12

-We would probably never have looked at something like this.

-No.

0:44:120:44:14

I guessed not, somehow. But it's inside this house

0:44:140:44:17

that you really get the feeling for how stunning it is...

0:44:170:44:20

-Yes.

-..so I think we should go in and take a look.

0:44:200:44:22

This Victorian gothic manor house was constructed in the 1860s

0:44:230:44:28

by Sir James Rankin,

0:44:280:44:29

whose family made their money through timber and shipbuilding.

0:44:290:44:33

Steeped in history, it also spent former years as a factory

0:44:330:44:37

and prisoner of war hospital during the Second World War.

0:44:370:44:40

So, I just thought I'd bring you into the entrance hall, you know.

0:44:410:44:45

Look at the chandeliers up there.

0:44:450:44:47

-I mean, it's gothic architecture at its finest.

-Look at the fireplace.

0:44:470:44:51

-It's beautiful.

-How does this style appeal to you?

0:44:510:44:53

It's a different period of architecture

0:44:530:44:56

but it has that immenseness of it that I'm not overawed by it,

0:44:560:45:00

I'm actually drawn into it. I think it's stunning.

0:45:000:45:05

So, how do you think it would be welcoming your friends

0:45:050:45:07

and your family into this entrance hall.

0:45:070:45:09

Well, you can just imagine walking through that huge gothic door

0:45:090:45:13

and saying, "Please come into our house,"

0:45:130:45:16

coming through, walking up those stairs...

0:45:160:45:19

It just blows people's minds, doesn't it?

0:45:190:45:21

Luckily, the apartment I'm going to show you, is on the first floor.

0:45:210:45:24

It's the only one ready at the moment and it's fantastic

0:45:240:45:27

cos we get to take advantage of going up that lovely staircase.

0:45:270:45:30

The show home here mirrors the style

0:45:330:45:35

and layout of the apartment Jo and Pete would be able to buy.

0:45:350:45:39

So...

0:45:390:45:40

-..come on in.

-Oh, goodness.

-Very clean. Oh, goodness me.

0:45:430:45:48

-High ceilings.

-Yes.

0:45:480:45:50

So, you've got the beautiful original features, those lovely,

0:45:500:45:53

tall windows, the original doors but then you have

0:45:530:45:56

the modern touches as well that I know appeal to you both.

0:45:560:45:58

The height and the spaciousness and the clean, uncluttered lines it's...

0:45:580:46:03

-Yeah.

-And the doors are absolutely stunning, aren't they?

0:46:030:46:06

I really wanted to challenge your perceptions of what your journey

0:46:060:46:09

could be like, of what your escape to the country could be for you.

0:46:090:46:12

You're impressing us. You're making our decision hard.

0:46:120:46:15

I might be about to make that decision harder because, Joanna,

0:46:150:46:18

the kitchen really matters to you

0:46:180:46:20

-and I know you're going to like this kitchen.

-Oh, OK.

0:46:200:46:23

-There we go.

-Wow. That's a really good, open kitchen, isn't it?

0:46:280:46:32

-It's a lovely space, isn't it? And it's the ceiling heights.

-Yes.

0:46:320:46:36

-The door heights are half the height of the room.

-Yeah.

0:46:360:46:39

And look at the view out the kitchen. Sheep.

0:46:390:46:41

THEY LAUGH Yeah, we could watch sheep even if we couldn't have our own, couldn't we?

0:46:410:46:45

Is it too modern for you? Do you think it compliments the property?

0:46:450:46:48

I think it does, yes. It's that new and old again.

0:46:480:46:51

Could you imagine a family get-together and a meal in here?

0:46:510:46:54

Lots of working space, lots of good working space.

0:46:540:46:57

-I'd really like to show you the master bedroom and its view.

-Wow.

0:46:570:47:00

With two double bedrooms, a second bathroom,

0:47:030:47:05

and an office on offer in this spacious, single-level apartment,

0:47:050:47:10

it's the aspect from the master that's hard to beat.

0:47:100:47:14

-SHE GASPS Oh, yes.

-Wow.

0:47:140:47:17

Yeah, that'd be nice to wake up to, isn't it?

0:47:170:47:20

It's a lovely sized bedroom.

0:47:200:47:21

You've got a beautifully finished en suite bathroom.

0:47:210:47:24

Do you think you'd have a good night's sleep in a room like this?

0:47:240:47:26

Oh, I think so. You'd almost want to wake up early

0:47:260:47:29

-to see the view.

-Yeah.

-And, again, it's the stunning high windows.

0:47:290:47:34

It's letting so much light into the room.

0:47:340:47:36

-But can you both imagine living here?

-I could.

-I'm not so sure.

0:47:360:47:40

I know we're not getting any younger but I'm not quite ready for this.

0:47:400:47:45

Ten years down the line, I think it would be fantastic.

0:47:450:47:49

I've still got that little bit inside me that wants to try

0:47:490:47:53

and make my garden and make my home.

0:47:530:47:56

I am still keen to show you the gardens cos, as you can imagine,

0:47:560:47:59

they're as stunning as the house.

0:47:590:48:01

The immaculate communal gardens elegantly sweep

0:48:030:48:05

around the mansion and, along with the upkeep of the main building,

0:48:050:48:09

have maintenance charges of £2,000 a year.

0:48:090:48:12

So, these will form part of the communal gardens

0:48:150:48:17

and you'll have a veggie plot to grow your own vegetables in.

0:48:170:48:20

It's a fantastic place. Scenery and setting but not just yet.

0:48:200:48:25

I can imagine myself here, but maybe not at this time in my life.

0:48:250:48:28

Well, let's price the show property that I've shown you.

0:48:280:48:31

It's a two bedroom property, it's got a generous living space,

0:48:310:48:34

it's got access to the communal gardens. Who wants to go first?

0:48:340:48:37

-I'll say budget. 450,000.

-I'm going to say more.

0:48:370:48:41

-I'm going to say 475,000.

-OK, that's quite interesting.

0:48:410:48:46

-The two of you are way off the mark, actually...

-Aw, again?

0:48:460:48:48

Completely, cos it's massively under your budget at £359,000.

0:48:480:48:54

Wow. That sort of price, that's good value, I think.

0:48:540:48:57

-I'm impressed at the price.

-Yes, I am. That's a good price.

0:48:570:49:00

-Go and have a poke around, have a look...

-Yes.

0:49:000:49:03

..cos it's a really interesting place to explore so go on.

0:49:030:49:05

-I'll catch up with you.

-Thanks very much.

-Thank you.

0:49:050:49:08

At £141,000 under budget,

0:49:080:49:11

this gothic style apartment with uninterrupted, stunning views

0:49:110:49:15

offers an alternative modern and characterful home

0:49:150:49:17

in the style that Jo and Pete are fond of.

0:49:170:49:21

It's a very impressive structure.

0:49:210:49:23

As you look at the building it...takes your breath away.

0:49:230:49:25

Oh, this is another nice-sized room, isn't it? Good size for a spare room.

0:49:250:49:29

-Lovely views.

-It's the heights, the view... Stunning.

0:49:290:49:32

-I don't think it's really wowing me as a house.

-I am tempted by this.

0:49:320:49:36

This is low-maintenance living where we could come in and do very little.

0:49:360:49:42

Yeah, it's been a great opportunity to see a different style.

0:49:420:49:45

-Something very, very different.

-But unfortunately...

0:49:450:49:48

-Not for us.

-..I'm not ready for it yet.

0:49:480:49:50

The mystery apartment, it has got some nice features about it,

0:49:500:49:53

but I can't see it becoming a home.

0:49:530:49:55

We've challenged you with this property.

0:49:550:49:57

-I just don't know if it's the right point in your lives.

-You're correct.

-I think so too.

0:49:570:50:01

But I do think we have a lot of talking to do so let's go and get a cup of tea.

0:50:010:50:05

Yeah, I think so.

0:50:050:50:06

With its agricultural heritage,

0:50:100:50:12

it'll come as no surprise that Herefordshire is full of farms

0:50:120:50:15

yielding a wide range of wonderful, and sometimes exotic produce.

0:50:150:50:20

Having bought a cider-making farm in 2007,

0:50:200:50:23

and with the need to broaden the spectrum of his produce,

0:50:230:50:26

William Chase decided to make a slightly less traditional

0:50:260:50:29

product from potatoes.

0:50:290:50:31

I'm meeting his son and third-generation potato farmer

0:50:310:50:35

James Chase to get more of a flavour on what's become

0:50:350:50:38

of your average spud.

0:50:380:50:41

-Hi, James.

-Hi, how're you doing?

-So, what about the potatoes? Where do they come in?

0:50:410:50:45

All of our vodkas are distilled from potatoes,

0:50:450:50:48

and that award-winning vodka has gone on to be

0:50:480:50:50

supplied into about 32 countries around the world.

0:50:500:50:53

Don't tell me you send it to Russia cos I will love it if you do.

0:50:530:50:56

Well, it's really funny you say that.

0:50:560:50:57

Two weeks ago, we signed our first distribution agreement to Russia.

0:50:570:51:00

So now the English are selling vodka back to the Russians.

0:51:000:51:03

You've diversified, I hear, as well.

0:51:030:51:05

You're now using fruit for making different kinds of vodkas.

0:51:050:51:08

About four years ago, we released a marmalade flavoured vodka.

0:51:080:51:11

I'd love to see how marmalade vodka is made. That sounds fascinating.

0:51:110:51:15

Well, why don't you head on up the path? Go and meet our master distiller, Jamie.

0:51:150:51:18

-Fantastic. Hopefully I'll get to try some too.

-See you later.

-Bye.

0:51:180:51:22

The potatoes are grown on the farm here before they're

0:51:220:51:25

peeled, mashed, fermented and distilled to form vodka,

0:51:250:51:29

in a process that takes ten days.

0:51:290:51:32

Using the finest oranges from Seville,

0:51:320:51:34

the farm extracts the most intense flavour from the top of the oranges,

0:51:340:51:38

where the fruit has absorbed the greatest sunshine.

0:51:380:51:41

The essential oils released

0:51:410:51:43

are used to form the basis of a thick-cut and juicy marmalade,

0:51:430:51:47

which is redistilled with their potato vodka.

0:51:470:51:50

-Hi, Jamie. That looks intriguing.

-Oh, hi, Ginny.

0:51:510:51:54

So, what have we got going on in here, then?

0:51:540:51:56

Once we've made the vodka,

0:51:560:51:57

we then move it into a vacuum chamber where we heat it up

0:51:570:52:01

under pressure with the addition of real marmalade

0:52:010:52:04

and some Seville orange peel. A little bit of colour from these kibbles, or peels,

0:52:040:52:09

-will then macerate out into the finished product.

-OK.

0:52:090:52:13

-Shall we do that now?

-Let's do it. Absolutely.

0:52:130:52:16

Yeah, we just need a piece to hang it down into the liquid.

0:52:160:52:18

How long does it have to be in there for?

0:52:180:52:21

Well, it depends on the time of year. When it's nice and warm in the summer,

0:52:210:52:24

it happens quite quickly, so anywhere up to 48 hours

0:52:240:52:27

but in the winter it can be as long as 72 hours.

0:52:270:52:30

-And you're just tasting all the time?

-Every three hours we taste it.

-Lovely.

0:52:300:52:33

-So all we do, we suspend it in here.

-SHE GASPS

0:52:330:52:36

That smell is amazing.

0:52:360:52:37

This smells really fruity. It's like being in an orchard.

0:52:370:52:39

What we're trying to create here is layer and layer of natural flavour so it stays with you on the palate.

0:52:390:52:44

Makes you feel like you've had marmalade on toast.

0:52:440:52:47

We've got some here if you want to try some.

0:52:470:52:48

-You've twisted my arm. Go on, then.

-OK, follow me, then.

0:52:480:52:52

Passed through a filter before it's ready to drink, 1,000 bottles

0:52:540:52:57

of marmalade vodka are being produced today.

0:52:570:53:00

Due to its popularity, the farm are now diversifying their products,

0:53:000:53:03

infusing vodka with blackcurrants and rhubarb.

0:53:030:53:07

Well, I don't know much about the art of distillery

0:53:080:53:11

but I'm guessing this is everybody's favourite part of the process.

0:53:110:53:14

It certainly is. Everybody likes a taste.

0:53:140:53:16

First of all, have a really good smell.

0:53:160:53:18

Oh, it's a lovely, mellow, fruity flavour.

0:53:200:53:22

There's none of that harsh hit that almost makes your eyes water.

0:53:220:53:26

Let's try this.

0:53:260:53:27

Wow, it's very smooth.

0:53:310:53:33

I'm getting a lovely kick of sweetness

0:53:330:53:35

actually that's just starting to come through.

0:53:350:53:37

I would love to stay here and work my way through a whole range of them,

0:53:370:53:41

but sadly, and it breaks my heart to say this, I've got to go.

0:53:410:53:45

-OK.

-Thank you.

-No problem. Thank you very much.

0:53:450:53:48

Well, Pete and Jo have seen all the properties we had to offer

0:53:510:53:54

and it's obvious, isn't it? There's a clear favourite.

0:53:540:53:57

What I need to find out now is what they're going to do about it.

0:53:570:54:01

Well, Pete and Jo,

0:54:130:54:14

I think it was apparent that there was one house that got quite

0:54:140:54:16

-a lot of wows over our search.

-Yes.

-Definitely.

0:54:160:54:19

What was it about that 17th-century house with the modern annexe

0:54:190:54:22

-that really appealed to you both?

-It was that mix of old and new.

0:54:220:54:25

It ticked every box that we had for a property,

0:54:260:54:30

and actually ticked even more that we hadn't asked you to find.

0:54:300:54:34

The eco side of it, etc, etc. It just left us overawed.

0:54:340:54:38

So, there were things that you hadn't mentioned to us

0:54:380:54:41

-that you found in that property?

-That's right, yes.

0:54:410:54:43

We'd discussed beforehand about having an eco-friendly house

0:54:430:54:47

and that was something Pete was looking for,

0:54:470:54:50

so he was really pleased to have seen that today.

0:54:500:54:52

It also seemed to offer you the potential for the lifestyle

0:54:520:54:55

that you want to lead when you move here to Herefordshire.

0:54:550:54:57

Yes, it's good access through Ledbury, to the M50.

0:54:570:55:00

I can get a train to London, should I have to,

0:55:000:55:02

through Ledbury train station.

0:55:020:55:03

It then has easy access to friends and family who are in

0:55:030:55:07

that area of Herefordshire, and it ticks all the property bits.

0:55:070:55:10

The village aspect of it seems very nice too. The location is fantastic.

0:55:100:55:14

Then, it's going to be a challenge for me to develop

0:55:140:55:16

the potential of the garden and our house as a holiday let.

0:55:160:55:19

There was a little sense that I got though, as we were looking round,

0:55:190:55:23

that you were definitely enthused by the house.

0:55:230:55:26

I felt a bit more reticence from you. Is that fair to say?

0:55:260:55:29

Probably, cos I'm always the one that has to be slightly

0:55:290:55:32

swayed by Pete in decisions, I think. I think things through, perhaps more.

0:55:320:55:38

But eventually, if it's the right decision, I'm quite happy with it.

0:55:380:55:42

Well, then, I've got to ask. What are you going to do about it?

0:55:420:55:45

We'll definitely be going for a second viewing with our children,

0:55:450:55:48

-and then we'll be putting an offer in.

-That's great news.

0:55:480:55:51

I'm not surprised but I'm thrilled to hear it, and I do hope

0:55:510:55:54

we've managed to find you the home that you were looking for.

0:55:540:55:57

-I think you have.

-You have, yeah. I'm sure we'll be very happy there.

0:55:570:56:00

-Yeah, you've done a fantastic job for us and we're very grateful.

-Thank you very much.

0:56:000:56:04

I'm so thrilled to hear you both say that

0:56:040:56:06

and I'm so excited that this move back to the UK

0:56:060:56:09

after your travels around the world has such a potentially happy ending.

0:56:090:56:12

-Yes. We can't wait to start.

-We can't wait to start.

0:56:120:56:15

I'm delighted that Pete and Jo

0:56:210:56:23

have decided to take their family back for a second viewing

0:56:230:56:25

of that fabulous 17th-century property with the modern annexe.

0:56:250:56:30

Let's face it, it's got their name written all over it.

0:56:300:56:33

If I was a betting woman, my money would be on them

0:56:330:56:36

calling it home before too long.

0:56:360:56:38

I've got my fingers crossed for them. I'll see you next time.

0:56:380:56:41

After a second viewing of the barn conversion, Jo and Pete decided that

0:56:430:56:47

the older part of the house required just a bit too much work for them.

0:56:470:56:51

On the plus side, they've since found

0:56:510:56:53

and fallen in love with a cottage in Herefordshire and having

0:56:530:56:57

put in an offer which was accepted, they're due to exchange shortly.

0:56:570:57:01

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

0:57:010:57:05

or Northern Ireland and would like our help, you can apply online.

0:57:050:57:09

Ginny Buckley helps a couple with £500,000 find a country home in rural Herefordshire. While in the county, Ginny samples a potent yet palatable drink produced by one pioneering farm there.