Sonali Shah heads to Yorkshire to help a couple of retired teachers with a £450,000 budget find a country home and finally return to their family roots.
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This Victorian industrial village is a particularly fine example
of just what can be achieved with enough time,
enough money and, most importantly, the right vision.
Find out where I am and whose vision it was in just a moment.
It's an exciting return to roots for her in today's house-hunt
that is also an electrifying experience for him...
I just had a shiver go down my spine.
-A good one, I hope.
..and they're both involved in the fun and games of the search.
And now look up.
Today I'm in Yorkshire
and this is the West Yorkshire village of Saltaire,
an outstanding example of a mid-19th century industrial village.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
Saltaire lies on the banks of the River Aire
and was the brainchild of Sir Titus Salt, a wealthy textile mill owner
and philanthropist who created this village to provide better living
and working conditions for his employees.
He even took them on day trips to the Yorkshire Dales
to get away from the noise and choking pollution of the mills
and today, 150 years on,
the surrounding countryside of this beautiful region
still provides a welcome escape.
Historic Yorkshire was once the country's largest county
but is now divided into four counties.
The landscape here is often dubbed by the locals as "God's own".
In the north are the stunning Yorkshire Dales,
the majority of which form part of a national park.
Awash with rich, lush valleys and expanses of wild heather,
the Dales are dissected by a maze of dry-stone walls
which are archetypal of the region.
Bordering the Dales National Park in Nidderdale,
man-made beauty meets nature's own to form the Gouthwaite reservoir,
a nature reserve built in the 1800s that is now protected
as a Site Of Specific Scientific Interest.
Just south of the Dales
is one of Yorkshire's striking stone-built villages, Bradley.
Cottages rest on the hillside here, surrounding a mid-19th century mill
that was remodelled in 2005 and is now used for housing.
The village is divided into High and Low Bradley,
and together they make up Bradleys Both
on the route of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
So, with its rugged backdrop of breathtaking beauty,
teamed with towns and villages of architectural interest,
Yorkshire is an ideal destination to get away
from the hubbub of city life.
As well as its beautiful landscapes,
Yorkshire also has some pretty attractive property prices.
Detached houses across the four counties in the region
cost an average of £221,000.
That's a sizeable 79,000 below the national figure.
And each of Yorkshire's four counties has its own story to tell.
You'll find the most expensive properties in the north,
with not one but two national parks,
and the most affordable in the south.
But it's the west part of God's own country that today's buyers
want to call home. Let's meet them and find out why.
Retired teachers Carol and Andy from Stoke Golding in Leicestershire
met as students four decades ago.
Carol walked through the door on her first night at university
and I thought, "Ey up!"
And we got chatting that night but it took us 12 months.
We were friends to start with and then we started to go...
In your second year.
And so, 40 years we've been together.
-Married for 35.
But been together for 40 years.
And now this long-standing couple have put their working lives
behind them, they're enjoying precious time with one another.
This retirement adventure we've just started
has brought us closer together.
Now we're able to spend more time together.
The next phase of our lives, really.
I'm really enjoying being
free to do things that we want to do, which is travel,
spend more time with the family, and hence the move to Yorkshire
where both our children live
and their partners and our new granddaughter.
For Carol, the decision to move to Yorkshire
is much more than relocating to a new property.
She's going home.
I was born in Yorkshire.
So, we always said that one day we'd return there,
so we decided that, when we retired,
we'd move closer to be amongst family.
And my mum still lives in Yorkshire and my brothers,
so there's lots of family ties up there.
For Andy, it's a move away from home, but one he's ready to make.
I've lived here all my life. I've lived here for 60 years.
We are slap-bang in the middle of the Midland's Motorway Network,
which has got its advantages, but not necessarily where we want to be.
We enjoy walking and outdoor life and Leicestershire has got
some great countryside, but it's flat, largely.
But the Dales...
The Dales are just epically beautiful.
-And we look forward to climbing a few hills.
We're really looking forward to joining a rambling club when
we move up to Yorkshire, because we walk nearly every day,
it keeps us fit.
We see it as a way of meeting people as well,
as a sort of a social thing. So it's important from that point of view.
And with their house on the market,
it won't be long before they can make the most of the great outdoors.
I'm really, really looking forward to opening my curtains
in the morning and thinking, "Wow, this is nice."
That would be good. Dry-stone walls, sheep in fields, hills, Dales,
snug little cottages.
First morning, waking up, I won't be able to believe it,
that I've actually finally come home.
It will be exciting, it will be really good.
Let's get this thing started, let's get it on the road
and let's just get on with it.
Can't wait. I can't wait.
Carol and Andy are moving to be closer to their son
in Knaresborough and daughter in Saltaire,
so we're keeping that in mind as we carry out our search.
And before we get going on our Yorkshire trip,
I'm meeting them to get the lowdown on their property wish list.
-Welcome to Yorkshire, Carol and Andy.
Let's talk about the type of property you're after.
What do you want it to look like from the outside?
What sort of setting do you want it to be in?
We probably need some facilities around us,
so a large village, small town.
Not near a main road.
It could be an old property, pretty.
We like contemporary as well.
We're very open to any...
Absolutely. Just looking forward to what we see today.
-Let's go inside your new home.
What do you want it to look like?
The main thing I would really like is a large kitchen/diner...
in preference to a separate dining room.
But if you show us something with a separate dining room,
that doesn't matter either.
I love traditional wood panelling, but Carol's not so keen.
I like light, airy houses, not dark.
And remind me of your budget.
450 maximum, but for 450, there has to be absolutely nothing to do.
Well, we have three fantastic properties lined up for you,
-so let's head off.
-OK, thank you.
For the top budget of £450,000,
Carol and Andy would like a character property,
but they're open-minded about the exact style of house they want.
Ideally it would have a large kitchen/diner
and three to four bedrooms,
and outside, it's a manageable garden they're after,
all in a location that's close to amenities.
We've tracked down a fabulous selection of properties
for them to view, but each one's price will only be revealed
after they've completed the tour.
And their final visit to the Mystery House could see them taking
another trip down the aisle.
We're starting off our property search in the North Yorkshire
village of Sutton-in-Craven.
Located in the Aire Valley,
this picturesque village sits in the shadow of hills and farmland,
with a stream running through it.
There's a history of corn-milling and textiles here
and buildings display the sandstone Yorkshire is famous for,
showcased in an old mill, now apartments.
Locals are served by a village hall, a handful of shops and a pub.
And, sitting above the village,
surrounded by a wealth of countryside walks,
we find our first property.
Bit different to what I was expecting.
-Not what you were expecting.
-It's not detached.
This whole building is a 400-year-old barn.
In the 1990s, it was converted into accommodation for people rather
than animals. And the house that we're looking at
is the middle house.
Right. What a location.
-On top of a hill, on top of the moor.
Looking forward to looking inside it now.
-Shall we head on in?
-Can't wait. Thank you.
This property's position in the centre of the barn conversion
means it benefits from having the original barn entrance.
This takes us into a roomy hallway
which leads into an open-plan dining hall
with an impressive vaulted ceiling.
Wow! Look at that view.
You can't miss it, can you?
It was the first thing you see as you walk through the door.
And it's really open, isn't it?
Got a lovely stone fireplace, so that's the sort of winter area,
I think, and then this is the sort of summer area, in a way.
Really like it.
-Can't wait to see more.
Let's go to the kitchen.
-That's different. Yeah.
-Such a contrast to the outside of the property.
-Yes, it's so modern, isn't it?
It is smaller than I was expecting from when we were out there,
but you've got your dining room there.
But with the rest of the downstairs being so open,
it's not so much of a problem, really.
-So it's something you could work with?
Well, let's go and have a look where you might be sleeping.
OK. Thank you.
Also on the deceptively large ground floor,
there's a room currently used for music and a shower room.
Then upstairs, there's a galleried landing,
another smart shower room and three bedrooms -
a snug double,
a single with fitted wardrobes,
and lastly, there's the master.
-It's a good size.
-Oh, it's huge.
-It really is a master suite
because you've got this lovely bathroom.
I really like the bathroom, too.
The more we see of the property, the more it seems to grow,
-from the outside.
-Yes! It is really deceiving.
Now we're in, it's like, oh!
I really like what I've seen so far.
-Can we see more?
-Yes, let's go back outside,
because I think you'll see it with different eyes now, won't you?
-Absolutely. Thank you.
The property benefits from a large garage
and the rear garden features a terrace complete with pond,
but before we discuss the price,
we're taking a moment to enjoy the main highlight here,
which is absolutely priceless.
I do hope this view is to your liking.
-How could it not be?
This would be ideal, really, and because you've got this view beyond,
you don't need a big garden,
because the whole of it is like your garden, isn't it?
It is, and as a person who would be doing the work,
the smaller the better, to be fair.
There's somewhere to put some chairs, somewhere to put a table,
somewhere to sit and very little work, so absolutely spot-on.
It's time to guess the price.
Who'd like to go first?
-I think you should.
OK, and I'm going to go for a cheeky 375.
Andy, you are closer.
-And you're in luck.
It's actually on the market for £335,000.
-No way. I just had a shiver go down my spine.
-A good one, I hope!
-That's really good.
-Right, OK, that's a game-changer.
That is a surprise.
Go and have another look around while I enjoy the view
-and then I'll meet you out the front.
This 400-year-old barn conversion has rung in at £115,000 under
Carol and Andy's top budget.
There is a fantastic open-plan living area
plus the option to have four bedrooms and the views
from the garden are simply breathtaking.
-Another little room.
-It's not so small.
It's an ideal potential bedroom, and a separate entrance just there.
I could really see myself living here.
I know it's in the middle of the countryside,
it's more remote than perhaps I had in mind initially.
We both like walking and just looking out of that window would
make me want to go for a walk every single day.
As soon as I entered the property,
the only thing that catches your eye when you walk through the door
is that wall of glass and the view beyond.
If you were to say, what three things would you notice
when you walked in the room, I'd say view, view and view.
Look at that smile.
-You really do love the house, don't you?
I do, I really love it, yes.
It was such a surprise when we walked through the door.
-And the price is absolutely spot-on.
I almost feel guilty for taking you to see another house.
Almost, but not quite.
-OK. Thank you.
In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales
is the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Covering 233 square miles,
its stunning scenery makes it immensely popular
with visitors wishing to take in the countryside by foot.
As Carol and Andy are keen to join a rambling group
when they make their move,
they've come to meet Richard Hersey and fellow members of
the Harrogate Ramblers Club, who are gathering to start their walk
from the quaint market town of Pateley Bridge.
Well, Harrogate Ramblers - we have about 300 members
and we organise a walk on every Saturday,
and then we have a walk between 8 and 12 miles.
And where are we walking to today?
Today we are walking from Pateley to Brimham Rocks.
-Is it a strenuous walk or...?
-The first bit is uphill.
-We come from quite a flat area at the moment in
Leicestershire, so a few hills will be a bit of a challenge for us.
You'll be using some different muscles.
The backs of your calves might be having a new experience.
From start to finish, the route covers around nine miles,
and today they're taking in a few of its highlights -
a perfect introduction to the highs and lows of the Dales.
And as well as strenuous exercise,
it's a great chance to socialise, as some of the club members
are joining them for part of the journey.
Pateley Bridge is a great place to start.
It's the beginning and end point of the Nidderdale Way,
a circular route covering 53 miles through the Dales.
First stop for them all on today's jaunt
is St Mary's Church of Pateley Bridge.
Lovely old place, isn't it?
It is. It's gorgeous.
There's been a church here since about the 1300s.
About the end of the 1700s, it was falling into some disrepair,
and also the parishioners were finding it very difficult walking up
-the steep hill that we've just walked.
-I'd agree with that.
But it's lovely, it has what's called a devil's door over there,
where the devil was supposed to leave when there was a baptism.
We'll be leaving now through the priest's door.
The rest of the Harrogate group
are going to carry on back down to Pateley,
but we will carry on to Brimham Rocks.
-OK. Thank you.
-See you, then.
-Good luck with the house-hunting.
The Ramblers is a nationwide charity with over 100,000 members.
It was established in 1935 after groups campaigned for people
to have access to the countryside.
And it put pressure on landowners to allow ordinary folk
to walk across their land.
Today its goal is still to protect access
to the great outdoors by foot.
Wow. What a gorgeous view.
Yes, what it is is the Nidd Valley,
so you've got the River Nidd in the bottom here.
Harrogate is away over that way and then you can also walk further up
the valley. This part here is just part of the Nidderdale Way.
-Can't wait to be able to do all the walks.
Next stop is Brimham Rocks,
a collection of unusual eye-catching rock formations
scattered across 50 acres of moor.
Wow, Richard, what an amazing place this is.
I know, it's a kind of millstone grate.
It was formed about 320 million years ago.
Laid down in layers.
The reason that they're undercut so much is because we had an ice age
which lasted tens of thousands of years.
About 15,000 years ago, this valley here was full of ice,
but these rocks were sticking up, just proud of the glacial ice.
And then you got pebbles and other things, sand, being blown across
by the Arctic winds, which have undercut this rock
and have also taken out some of the softer areas
of the sandstone you can see higher up.
It looks like you could almost push it over,
balancing on that smaller rock at the bottom.
But it weighs 180 tonnes.
I don't know how they worked that out, but that's what they say.
And just a little further down the path,
the rocks can truly be appreciated in all their glory -
even through a spot of rain.
Well, Richard, this really is an absolutely amazing place.
Thank you very much for bringing us here today.
It does say on the information board here
that we can see York Minster on a clear day.
We've lost that, I'm afraid, now, but it is a spectacular place.
-I hope you will come back and have a look at it again...
-..when the sun's out.
-But thanks, we've really enjoyed it.
-Good, I'm glad you've had a good day.
-Yes, thank you.
Now it's time to ramble back to our house-hunt.
Our next property stop takes us into West Yorkshire,
to the village of Wilsden.
Perched on the hillside and rolling down into the valley,
Wilsden paints a picture of a classic Yorkshire landscape.
Surrounded by farmland,
there's evidence of the mills of yesteryear on the horizon.
There's also a church here, a small choice of shops,
a pub and there are plenty of country walks on offer
with beautiful scenery at every twist and turn.
And just on the edge of the village is our second house.
Very, very pretty.
-Isn't it just?
-This is also a barn conversion.
-So it dates back to 1750 and it was converted into a home
in the 1970s.
-But again, you've got brilliant views.
-The other thing to mention is, of course,
-that it is attached on one side.
-It is, yes, however...
-That doesn't daunt you any more.
..I may have learned my lesson from the previous property.
-You're over that now.
-Over that, yes. Not a problem.
-Well, let's get inside, then.
OK, thank you.
This attractive stone barn was originally the milking parlour
for the local farm and we're beginning our tour of it
in the rather grand and lofty entrance hall.
I thought we should stop in this hallway
because they've made a really nice feature of the entrance, I think.
How many houses can you buy where you can put a sofa in the hallway?
Exactly, it's quite hotel-like, isn't it?
I can't wait to see more.
-Let me show you the lounge.
-OK, thank you.
How's this for a sitting room?
Wow, it's a good size.
With this fireplace as the feature.
Really striking. Very grand, as well.
Nice and central, and dual aspect.
-It doesn't feel hugely barnlike.
It feels really cosy and comfy.
-The other thing about this house, it really does flow nicely.
-So let me take you through the dining room.
Right. This is a killer kitchen.
It's so light, isn't it? And spacious.
I can imagine, you know, while we're cooking,
having the family round all sitting together and, yes, really...
Very social space.
And I like this sink, the position of the sink, as well.
-It's quite unusual, isn't it, being there?
-It is, actually.
Well, you know, eating dinner, you can be at the sink, washing up.
-My life, then.
-After he's served you.
Shall I show you where he's going to be serving you breakfast in bed?
Just off the kitchen, there's a utility room
and then moving upstairs, there's a fully tiled bathroom
and three bedrooms all in the eaves.
At the back, there's a bright double and a single which currently serves
as a study, then at the front of the house is the master.
-Very good size.
-Actually, it comes with its own dressing room...
I guess for some families, it would be a nursery,
but it's a lovely dressing room and there's an en suite.
I really like the windows and look at the little windows at the bottom,
-They're really sweet, aren't they?
They are. You could lie in bed and look up.
They've got their own little doors on.
Let's head back outside
and talk about how much this might set you back.
-Do you want to lead the way?
The split-level garden includes a lush lawn
surrounded by mature trees and hedges, a walled pond,
pebbled seating area and pretty flower beds,
all with panoramic views.
So, with this property, there's no front and back garden.
-This is everything.
-Front entrance, back entrance, everything,
-because this is the south-facing bit.
-It's still quite private,
though, isn't it? You're not really overlooked.
-It's so quiet.
-But you can do some overlooking.
-I mean, the view down there is fabulous.
-I know, it's amazing.
A lovely landscape.
-His and her sheds.
-His shed, more.
-Well, there are two, so, there really is one each
-or you can have two.
-So we need to discuss price, don't we?
-How much is this property on the market for?
I'll go first, this time.
-I'm going to go for 445.
Right, well, I overestimated last time,
so I'm going to go lower and I'm going to say 425.
OK. Again, Andy is closer
and I've done what you've asked.
I've used up your whole budget because there is nothing to do.
-Nothing to do.
-So it's on the market for £450,000.
So now that you know the price, have another look around and discuss
-whether you want to use your whole budget.
-And I'll meet you in a bit.
-Brilliant, thank you.
This converted barn, thought to date back to the 17th century,
is priced at the top of Carol and Andy's budget.
It gives them both character on the outside and style on the inside,
including a fabulous open-plan kitchen/diner and three bedrooms.
The garden is a good but manageable size and the views are stunning.
They've got this as an office,
but I guess we could have it as a third bedroom.
Yeah, make a really good-sized single room.
You could probably get a double bed in here.
Certainly in the future, I can see Carol and I and family in here
just enjoying the space, enjoying each other's company.
When we walk into a property, Carol and I know fairly quickly
if it's going to be a place for us
and we got that feeling straightaway.
This house is definitely calling out to us.
Yes, we really like it.
The views here, the hallway as you come in
and looking out with that lovely glass door
overlooking all the beautiful dales, it's gorgeous.
I think it's been quite a successful day.
-It has. Two, although similar properties,
but actually both with different things to offer.
Really, really interesting and quite thought-provoking as well.
Shall we go mull over things with a glass of something?
Sounds like a plan to me.
It's day two of our Yorkshire road trip, searching out a rural retreat
so that Carol and Andy from Leicestershire
can live closer to family, and with a top budget of £450,000 to spend,
we've already shown them two characterful properties,
but all their prayers could be answered with our Mystery House.
I can't think of anything to say.
It's just absolutely stunning.
You are quite speechless.
And later, I'll be finding out how
Iceland meets Yorkshire in the Dales.
There's something very satisfying about this.
Andy and Carol were certainly expressing enthusiasm
for both of our properties yesterday, with house number two
quickly surpassing house number one in their minds.
But I do feel they are holding back a little bit
and I can't quite put my finger on why,
but I'm hoping our Mystery House and its location will convert them from
being cautious, into candid.
What do you think I have up my sleeve for the Mystery?
Well, I think it could be something like an apartment.
And I think it's a new-build.
You think I'm going to go right away from barn conversion?
-There were two barn conversions yesterday.
I am hoping you are going to stir the pot, a bit,
see what comes up this time.
But you liked them both so much.
-That's absolutely correct, but it is the Mystery property.
For our third and final property stop,
we're off to the market town of Sowerby Bridge.
Just over ten minutes away
is the attractive market town of Hebden Bridge
which lies on the Rochdale Canal.
There were many water-powered weaving mills here
in the 19th and 20th centuries, and at one time,
Hebden was known as "Trouser Town"
because of the abundance of clothing manufacturers here.
Today, they're still evidence of the town's industrial past along with
more up-to-date independent shops and eateries.
The area is popular for walking and cycling, and in recent years,
the Tour de France passed through it on its way from York to Sheffield.
I've brought Carol and Andy to the waterside
to see what they could have at their disposal.
There's a connection between Hebden Bridge and the Mystery House because
a couple of the architects that were involved in the Mystery House
also were involved in the building of the bridge.
So, there is a nice link, but I thought we could have a walk around...
-And then drive the 10 or 15 minutes
-over to the Mystery House.
In Sowerby Bridge, we find our rather outstanding Mystery House
and it's so unique that I want it to be a true surprise for our buyers.
Right, eyes down.
-And now look up.
That's a very imposing building.
I'm sticking with the conversion theme...
-..but it's not a barn conversion, of course,
it actually was a Methodist chapel.
-At the moment, it's two houses,
so the whole of the right-hand side is on offer.
How would you feel about living in a converted chapel.
Especially with those views.
Absolutely and you can see from the height of the home,
the views that you would have.
-Just looks fantastic.
-Let's go in.
-OK, thank you.
This magnificent Mystery House built from Yorkshire stone in 1822
speaks for itself. The chapel was rebuilt in 1897,
influenced by French Renaissance style,
but it's conical towers are Arts and Crafts in design.
It closed its doors as a place of worship in 1979
and was later converted
into two homes.
The interior is a complete contrast
to the outside and is currently vacant.
Now, to make the most of those glorious panoramic views outside,
the house has been designed upside-down, really.
This would be your master and in the turret,
you've got that beautiful
circular room that you can turn into anything, really.
-Could have the world's biggest walk-in wardrobe.
How do you feel about upside-down living?
-We like something a bit quirky.
Also on the ground floor are a further two bedrooms,
one double and a single.
They are both served by a fully tiled bathroom.
This is actually a three-storey property
and there is another bedroom found up in the eaves
on the second floor and all the bedrooms sandwich the first floor
where we find the living quarters, featuring a huge sitting room
which is overlooked by a galleried mezzanine level.
How is this for a living room?
I'm just speechless.
That's one of my favourite areas, over there.
You can see the sun streaming through this all the time.
Sun trap. Shall we go and have a look inside?
Next door is another circular room with a decorative solid-wood floor,
an amazing outlook and timber-panelled walls,
something that was on Andy's wish list.
I think I'd spend all day sitting in here.
I can't think of anything to say.
It's just absolutely stunning.
You are quite speechless.
-For once, yes.
The thing that neither of you have mentioned so far is the kitchen,
which is so important to you.
Should I show you that or should we just put an offer in already?
-We'd better have a look.
-All right. Just to be polite.
Back through the main reception room and up on the mezzanine level
is a shower room, but on this floor, there is an ultra-modern bathroom
and then at the other end of the expansive living room
is a smart and contemporary kitchen.
It looks small compared to the rest of the rooms we've visited,
however, it's actually a very useful and... It's a big kitchen!
There's loads of cupboards.
-It's all there.
-Yes, I like it.
OK. Shall we go and enjoy more of the view outside?
Outside, there's a balcony on the first floor
and a raised deck terrace overlooks the landscaped gardens.
Next door are reminders of the house's former life as a chapel.
It's been all about the views the past couple of days.
Just continues the theme.
It's just spectacular.
If you were to go for it, how much would it cost?
I think once again, you've pushed the budget and possibly even more.
-I think 465.
I'm going to say 399.
Oh, gosh. We are bang on budget, again.
It's on the market for £450,000, so it would be your entire budget.
That's absolutely understandable, as well. It's huge.
-And a one-off.
Yes. It's really unique. Now that you know the price,
have another look around and I shall come and see you.
-See you in a bit.
Our Mystery House is priced right at the top of Carol and Andy's budget
but it offers them something quite exceptional.
It's got undeniable character outside with a spacious,
contemporary interior and four bedrooms, plus in the pretty garden,
there are views galore from every aspect.
When we pulled up and we were allowed to look at the property,
I thought, "Wow. It looks like a castle. Fairy tale."
When we started the tour, I was just bowled over -
the size of the rooms, the number of the rooms,
the character in the place,
but after a while, and as Carol and I wandered around,
we tried to imagine what it would be like to actually live in that house.
Just the two of us most of the time.
It began to dawn on us that, actually, it may be a step too far.
I've never envisaged myself living in a property like this.
As we were walking around the rooms, I was thinking,
"Wow, this place is amazing and it would be great to show it off
"to the family and friends,"
but then, as we went into different rooms,
I was thinking practicalities of the place, you know,
I just don't think it is for us, really, because it's too big.
Well, I'm really curious about what you're going to do next,
so let's go and have a cup of tea somewhere and have a proper chat.
It's not unusual to see grazing cattle on the horizon of
the Yorkshire landscape, and in the heart of the Dales,
a young Yorkshireman is using his cattle's yield
to produce a dairy product that, legend has it,
the Vikings introduced to Iceland over 1,000 years ago.
23-year-old dairy farmer Sam Moorhouse
discovered skyr on the internet when he was looking to diversify on
the family farm and decided to fly to Iceland to find out more about
the product which is somewhere between a yoghurt and a cheese.
Hesper Farm is currently the sole UK producer.
What made you think, "Actually,
"this is something I can do from a Yorkshire Dales farm?"
Well, I mean, we had the milk, obviously,
and it hadn't been done in the UK yet and it was high protein.
It's a high-protein product and a high-calcium product
and it's low in fat. So I just thought, you know,
I'd go and find out what I can about it, so I went over to Iceland
to find somebody in Iceland who could show me how to make it.
So you had to train up to do it, really?
Very much so.
The family has a herd of 300 Holstein cows
of which 160 adult cattle are milked
twice a day to each produce around 35 litres of milk.
This makes about 2,000 litres of skyr a week.
The family are very proud of their prize-winning girls.
He spent the majority of his life
trying to breed them up to a good standard of cow.
You are looking for like a good confirmation on,
you know, good udder and legs and so on,
and, yes, occasionally we get awards.
And what about the milk?
-Is that assessed?
-To a degree, yeah.
They do look at how much milk they are producing, the quality of
the milk, but that should come with it being a good cow.
The most treasured is Baby,
the first cow Sam bought when he was just 14 years old,
and she's the poster girl for Sam's skyr.
Baby's just laid down, as she likes to be over in the grass over there.
And you can always pick her out?
Yeah, yeah, she's got quite distinctive markings, if you know...
if you're used to looking at cows.
-And she is your baby.
-Yeah, that's it, yeah.
It's in the dairy where Iceland meets Yorkshire
and the white stuff is transformed.
Skyr takes almost three times longer than traditional yoghurt
to make and uses around four times more milk per pot.
Three to four litres of milk makes
a kilo of the nutritious dairy product.
After being skimmed and pasteurised at a local dairy,
the milk goes into the batch tank here, where it's heated
before cultures direct from Iceland are added and then vegetable rennet.
This is where I should tell you, I've always made natural yoghurt
at home and what I'm quite curious about
is how similar the process is.
Yes, I mean to a degree, it will be similar.
There's variant steps that may change.
So this is the saucepan, or the yoghurt maker.
Very much so, yeah, this is where it all happens.
The mixture sits in the tank for six hours where it turns to curd
and is then drained into muslin sacks.
And this is where it stops being the yoghurt, is it?
Because that's where I would stop.
-I would then put the yoghurt straight
into the fridge after it's sat out for 12 hours or something.
Ordinarily, that's where... At that point, you'd say that's yoghurt.
There's a few extra little steps involved in making skyr.
12 hours later, when the excess liquid, or whey, has drained out,
high-protein, high calcium, fat-free product is born.
-So this is the mixing bowl where we are mixing some skyr now.
If it's plain skyr,
we just stir it, mix it up, break it up, make it smooth.
And if it's a flavoured skyr,
we then add fruit in at that point, as well.
And what flavours do you do, then?
We do vanilla, strawberry, raspberry,
black cherry and blueberry.
After it's been mixed for around 10 to 15 minutes
with some sweetened fruit,
the skyr goes into the filler ready for potting.
Now that's quite liquidy.
Yeah, once this has come through and we've potted it up,
-we'll get it into the fridge...
-Back in the fridge.
..then start setting again. What we'll do is we'll grab a few pots.
I'll give you a couple, maybe.
How many pots do you normally do?
Usually we fill up this table behind us
and we'll seal them as we go across.
So, do you want a crack at it?
-Put your foot on there.
-MACHINE WHOOSHES TWICE
Oh, I could hear it twice, but I see what you mean.
There's something very satisfying about this.
Next, the lids are sealed on and after a little bit of work,
I think I deserve to be rewarded with a taste.
First up is the original.
It would go nicely with a curry.
Black cherry, your favourite.
This is my favourite, yes.
It is just a hint of black cherry, but there's enough there.
Yeah, so you know about it.
But you've got the sourness of the yoghurt, still.
It's still that natural yoghurt taste in it. And finally, raspberry.
It's distinctive from the black cherry.
It's definitely got a different fragrance and flavour about it.
Sam, thank you very much for showing me the process,
it's been so interesting.
-No, it's been good to have you.
So we know our Mystery House is too big for Andy and Carol,
so let's find out if one of our
two other properties is a good fit for them.
So, where are we with the houses?
I know you liked all of them, really.
But which ones are serious contenders for you now?
Is it really only house number two?
-I think so, yes.
I loved house number one but I think I agree with Andy
that it's perhaps just a little too remote.
Lovely location, but practically, day-to-day living,
I just feel it's a little too far out of town.
So, will you go back and see house number two?
Oh, yes, definitely.
Do you love the house enough to perhaps put an offer in
-if you were in a position to?
-The house is lovely.
It suited us down to the ground.
I think you looked at home in it.
-I felt at home.
It was very homely and for a barn conversion,
just felt really cosy, and I could see us relaxing there,
having the whole family over.
I like that word. I felt relaxed in it, as well.
Yeah, you could just move, literally,
straight in without having to do anything.
Well I'm hoping you like the area, then,
because actually, therefore, you might have found the house.
We might have... You might have found us a house.
-Well, I wish you both the best of luck, I'm excited for your move
and the fact that you'll be moving closer to family.
Yes, and I'd just like to say thank you so much
for the last couple of days.
We've just enjoyed it so much.
It's been a really good experience.
I can't wait to phone you up and tell you the news.
Well, do it soon, do it soon.
It's easy to see why Carol and Andy seemed so at home in Yorkshire
with lots of family members already living here.
In many ways, house number two was spot-on for them,
but even if that doesn't work out,
I'm just so pleased that we were able to open up their minds
about what type of property they should go and see from now on,
and also help them realise
just how important location is to them.
So, I look forward to hearing their good news
about moving to this picturesque region very soon.
See you next time on Escape To The Country.
If you'd like to Escape To The Country
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Sonali Shah heads to Yorkshire to help a couple of retired teachers with a £450,000 budget find a country home and finally return to their family roots. Along the way, Sonali meets a young Dales farmer who is using his dairy herd to produce Icelandic-inspired Skyr yoghurt.