Herefordshire Escape to the Country


Herefordshire

Alistair Appleton is on a unique house-hunting mission in Herefordshire, helping two brothers who have a combined budget of £800,000.


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Transcript


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Here I am, just as one of the biggest events

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in the agricultural calendar starts warming up.

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It's held over three counties, and it's over 200 years old.

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But what's its name, and where am I? Find out in just a moment.

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Today's tricky mission is to help two independent brothers who are

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pooling resources and moving in together.

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And it's not long before sibling rivalry is in full swing.

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You should listen to your older brother, who is exactly right.

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-I never do that.

-Not when it comes to spending money, anyway.

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Definitely, no.

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So, can they ever agree on how the property will be divided?

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You're going to have to fight over who gets this bedroom.

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No contest.

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Today we are house-hunting in Herefordshire,

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and they are the hosts of this year's Royal Three Counties Show,

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which takes place in the show grounds here in Malvern, but the

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hosts rotate between Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

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It's now in its 219th year and it's a rich celebration of everything

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that is great about British agriculture.

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It's also the biggest equine and livestock show in England, and

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we'll be coming back later in our show to visit this very rich slice

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of Herefordshire life.

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Lying in the West Midlands, the landlocked and

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largely agricultural county of Herefordshire features

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some of the most attractive countryside in the UK.

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With around 6,000 listed buildings and structures,

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Herefordshire's fascinating historic path can be traced back for at least

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900 years, with records that can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086.

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At its heart is the city and county town of Hereford, with a beautiful

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12th century cathedral that dominates the skyline.

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This Gothic masterpiece has a soaring central tower rising above

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the city's quaint, narrow streets and reaches a height of 165 feet.

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Herefordshire has more than its fair share of unspoiled countryside,

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with two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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One of these is the sprawling Wye Valley, that covers 126 square miles

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and takes its name from the River Wye that runs through it.

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Head north in the county and you find the estate of Castle Frome,

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once owned by King Harold before the Norman Conquest.

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The name Frome can also be found in the nearby villages of Canon Frome

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and Bishops Frome, and supposedly comes from the Latin

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meaning "beautiful".

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Certainly, all the Fromes seems like peaceful and idyllic places

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to set up home.

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So, with a rich canvas of stunning architecture and dramatic natural

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beauty, Herefordshire is high on the list when hunting for relief

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from a chaotic city lifestyle.

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If you're looking for a truly rural escape to the country,

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then Herefordshire could be the answer, because it's one of

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the most sparsely populated counties in England.

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It also has very alluring property prices.

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The average price for a detached house in the county is £270,000,

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which is £30,000 less than the national figure.

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So who's been attracted to this wonderful county?

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Well, let's meet them and find out what they're looking for.

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Web designer Kerry and his older brother, IT consultant Tim,

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are looking to trade in urban life for a move to the country.

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As typical of most siblings, they haven't lived together since

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their childhood, so moving back in with one another

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won't be without its challenges.

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We've both lived by ourselves for a number of years and we've probably

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both got our own quirks, is probably the best expression for it.

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I'm the extrovert of the family.

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Tim is the more reserved, cautious member of the family.

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I'm the one that goes more for substance,

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and Kerry goes more for style.

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Someone has to!

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Kerry has recently sold his first home in Kent,

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but Tim has remained at his parents' 1950s property,

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in Hornchurch in Essex.

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They're now temporarily under that same roof again,

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back in the family home, and it's from here the brothers plan

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to sell up and relocate together.

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One of the driving factors of getting a property together,

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I think, is we're both conscious of the fact that we're not

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getting any younger. And, as you're getting older,

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if you're living by yourself and there is a problem,

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there's no-one there that is going to know about it.

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So, realistically,

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if both of us are there, we can both keep an eye out for each other.

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And it makes sense.

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Not surprisingly, Hornchurch has changed quite a bit

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since the brothers' childhood years of the 1950s,

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and for Tim, enough is enough.

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This area is getting busier and busier.

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At the moment, I have to drive across the Dartford Crossing to work

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three days a week, and it can be an absolute nightmare.

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One day, I can get across in half an hour and another day,

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it might take me an hour and a half.

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I think it would be just nice to get out to the country where you don't

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have all these sorts of problems.

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Both brothers have friends in the western portion of the UK,

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so the decision as to where to move was swift and unanimous.

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We decided on looking at Herefordshire because

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it's a beautiful area. The Wye Valley is great,

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and Hereford is obviously a great city.

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I have friends in Devon which I get to see rarely because

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of the distance from Kent.

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Tim has friends in Worcester, so it's great for that as well.

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Both Kerry and Tim believe a move to the country will free up more time

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for leisure, both on the ground and in the air.

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We both have an interest in aviation.

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Kerry has a power licence, although he hasn't flown for some time.

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I used to glide in my younger years, and I'm hoping to take that up again

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because there are gliding sites in Herefordshire.

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Whereas here, it's basically impossible these days.

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Too much controlled airspace.

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But whatever interests they may share, neither Kerry nor Tim

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are under any illusion about how demanding this move might be.

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I think, inevitably, it will present a bit of a challenge to us when

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we find a place together, because we have contrasting personalities.

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But, at the end of the day,

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compromise is going to have to be the word of the day.

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Kerry and Tim would like an easier commute to see their friends

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in Devon and Worcestershire, so we are concentrating our search

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to the southern half of the county.

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I'm catching up with them both in Herefordshire to discover what they

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each hope to achieve from that ideal country property.

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Welcome to Herefordshire.

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-Thank you.

-It's a little rainy, so we're indoors,

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but we're going to be outside a lot.

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So, two brothers in one big house. How's that going to work?

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What are we kind of looking for to make that happen?

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Erm, probably a massive iron gate between the two halves.

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-Are you looking for wings?

-Two separate villages.

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No, it really comes down to we want to have a property that

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has combined utilities and things, kitchen and this, that and

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the other, but at the same time, our own personal space as well.

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I mean, we watch TV together and do things together,

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but there are times when we just need to be apart,

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because there are times when we, frankly,

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can drive each other a little bit potty.

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In terms of practical layout, would that be, say, two sitting rooms,

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and one communal kitchen?

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I think it's going to be a case of seeing a place and knowing

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how it will work. Sure. If I've got, sort of a large bedroom,

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where I've got room to have almost a bedroom where I can watch TV

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as well, with maybe an armchair or a sofa in there...

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What about style?

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Are you fussed about the age or the style of the property?

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I don't want to go for anything that's going to be very

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high maintenance, and I definitely don't want thatched,

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because it's just too much maintenance.

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OK. So, no thatch.

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But in terms of style, Kerry, do you have any specific wish list?

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I'm reasonably open.

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Obviously, I'm looking for something that's got character.

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That doesn't mean to say it has to be old. It could be new.

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My taste is relatively contemporary, I think, in terms of decor.

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And remind me again of your budget.

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We're looking at a maximum of 800,000.

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Well, that goes quite a long way in Herefordshire,

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so hopefully we're going to find you a nice, big house

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that you can divide up as you see fit.

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-Yes.

-Well, we hope so.

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So, perhaps we should head out and go and see these houses.

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Excellent.

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With a budget of £800,000,

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Kerry and Tim have set us the challenge of finding the right

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character property to suit them both,

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and preferably something contemporary for Kerry.

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The brief is pretty open, but they have specified a need

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for a large kitchen/diner and separate living areas.

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We've found a fantastic and contrasting range of properties to

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show our brothers, but the attached price tags won't be revealed until

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the end of each tour. If they decide they need even more independence,

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our Mystery House could offer them the ultimate getaway.

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For our first property, we're travelling to Upper Dormington, just

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on the edge of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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Close by is the village of Fownhope.

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Nestling on the banks of the River Wye,

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the village is surrounded by unspoiled countryside.

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There's a variety of shops, including a butcher's

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and a general store, and local residents are spoilt for choice

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when it comes to a drink as Fownhope has two popular watering holes.

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Our first house is four miles to the north,

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in Upper Dormington, and a long driveway brings us to

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the property's superbly commanding, elevated position.

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The weather didn't hold off, but...

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-No.

-But if you love the house in the rain, you'll love it in the sun.

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-Well.

-Ah-ha.

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So, I'm interested in your first impressions of the feel and the look

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of the property.

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There's quite a nice feel about the outside of it and leading up to it.

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-It looks quite welcoming.

-How about you, Tim?

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Yeah. I mean, the gardens in front of it look very nice.

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The house itself, it's a bit deceptive.

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It's probably bigger than it looks from the outside.

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There's lots to look at, so we should get going.

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-Yes. OK.

-Have a peek.

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-Looking forward to it.

-Shall we head inside?

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Yeah. Let's get out of the rain.

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'Built in the roaring '20s, this attractive family house

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'has been extensively renovated over the past seven years by the current

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'owners, and stands in 1.5 acres of stunning landscaped gardens.

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'We're heading straight into what many consider to be

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'the heart of the home.'

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Come on in to the kitchen.

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Wow! Big kitchen.

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Big and cosy as well, because you've got a great big log burner there.

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This used to be the stairwell.

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They kind of knocked back to open up this space.

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What do you think of the kitchen?

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At first glance, I'm not convinced that there's enough

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of a kitchen area, in terms of storage and work space.

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Oh, right.

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So much are you looking for? Because there's quite a lot here.

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We're used to, I think both of us,

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to more of an open layout for the kitchen with more storage space.

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It does concern me a little that it looks like there's nowhere

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for a good-sized fridge freezer, for example.

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So the fridge is just around the corner. Just to explain,

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there's a corridor and a big utility room on the other side of there.

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-So there is more space.

-Right, OK.

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I don't get the sort of wow factor when I look at it,

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if you know what I mean. It's a very personal thing.

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You either like something or you don't,

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and sometimes you can't always say why.

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'It looks like our pair of direct and frank brothers could end up

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'being hard to please.

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'If this 24-foot long kitchen wasn't enough, there's an extension,

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'that, along with the utility room,

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'provides a twin bedroom and a covered outdoor dining area.

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'With a little modification, this space could work as a living area

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'for one of the brothers. And down the opposite end of the property is

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'what could be a second reception space for brother number two.'

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This is the original sitting room of the house.

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Got a log burner here. So this is more of the snug room, the TV room.

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It's quite small, I would say.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah. If I'm honest, yes, I would have thought so, yes.

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Of course, there's also the possibility of doing

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sort of upside down living, so that you convert some of the bedrooms

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into kind of studies or even sitting rooms.

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Yeah. I mean, that's certainly a consideration.

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Obviously it depends what the layout is.

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So, we go and have a look.

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Because this is a house on three levels.

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So we're going to go up into the roof.

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You're going to have to fight over who gets this bedroom.

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No contest!

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'Up on the first floor, there are four bedrooms.

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'Three are generous sized doubles,

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'all with great light and fantastic views.

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'The fourth bedroom is currently being used as a study,

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'plus there's a family bathroom.

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'But we're heading up to the second floor to the generous master.'

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So this is the bedroom in the roof.

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-Wow! Yeah.

-On the other side of that there's a very nice

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en suite bathroom with a beautiful copper, beaten copper tub,

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so you can sit and watch the sunset. So, in terms of size and space,

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what are you looking for for your bedrooms?

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Personally, I would want a bedroom with an en-suite.

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-I know Tim would as well.

-Yeah.

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It's not as big as I had envisaged it would be.

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The layout of it is not conducive to being able to spread out

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and have our own personal space.

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To my mind, it still seems actually quite a small house overall.

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One has to consider if we're getting relatives and friends coming down

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from, you know, Essex or wherever, to visit,

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this definitely wouldn't work.

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'Not quite the response I was expecting for this vast three-storey

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'property. Both brothers are clearly struggling to see the potential.

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'Let's hope space isn't an issue in the acre-plus of land.

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'The ample terraced grounds are well stocked with established plants

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'and shrubs. This place has a real secret garden feel,

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'with secluded pathways leading to hedge-lined private spaces, and a

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'host of outbuildings includes a games room with breathtaking views.'

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You've got this lovely summer house, party house,

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with an outdoor barbecue area.

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Full-sized tennis court, and this used to be a paddock for the horses,

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actually, but the present owners landscaped it.

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Is this the right sort of size grounds?

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Actually, it's a bit difficult to determine,

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because obviously it's so tiered, and terraced.

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I can see there's quite a lot of high-maintenance planting here.

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And I've got visions of a sit-on lawn mower, so possibly...

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-So you want flat?

-Flat.

-Yes.

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What do you think this one's on the market for?

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Difficult one. I think it's definitely the lower end

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of the budget. I'd probably go with £665,000.

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I was going to say slightly lower at £650,000.

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Well, this is a bit higher than that. It's on at 695.

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-OK.

-There's quite a lot to look at,

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so I encourage you to have a wander around.

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Be careful, it's a bit slippy.

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And just see what you like, what you don't like.

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-OK.

-Great, thank you.

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At some £100,000 under budget,

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this impressive three-storey 1920s character house features

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a huge kitchen-diner, six bedrooms, and a range of outbuildings.

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All in 1.5 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens,

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with views over the Wye Valley.

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First impressions, I think when we arrived and looked up at the house,

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I loved the terraced gardens leading up to the property.

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And the view is lovely.

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I mean, especially looking out from the upper floors of the property,

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you can see right out across the hills.

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But I think the downstairs living space wouldn't work.

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I don't think the kitchen was right for us.

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Not enough storage space. Not enough work space.

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I don't honestly think we could make this work

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even with a substantial amount of modifications.

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The layout of the overall footprint of the house is just basically wrong

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for us, I think.

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-Right, guys, you all done?

-Yes. Thanks.

-Very good.

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So, we're ready.

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-If you close the door, we'll head on to property number two.

-OK.

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So, when was the last time you actually lived together as brothers?

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-40 years ago.

-And you stayed in the family home, Tim.

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If you've lived there your whole life,

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how are you feeling about leaving it?

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Well, it will be a wrench, to be quite honest.

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I mean, it's not just the house, it's the neighbourhood.

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I have very, very good neighbours.

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Nice people both sides of the road.

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You know, it will be a wrench.

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But, you know, I suppose things can't stay the same forever.

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I've always been a bit of a nomad.

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I've lived in various different places over my life, so

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I don't think it's as daunting for me as it will be for Tim.

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Our next house is located in Rowlestone, nestling in

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the Golden Valley of Herefordshire, close to the Welsh border.

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Just 2.5 miles to the west are all the amenities of Ewyas Harold.

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This quaint, peaceful parish features a church dating back to

0:17:180:17:22

the 13th century, and the surrounding streets offer

0:17:220:17:25

a butcher's, a restaurant and pub,

0:17:250:17:27

a small library, and a Post Office with attached general store.

0:17:270:17:31

Our second property is on the fringes of Rowlestone village.

0:17:320:17:35

Dan-dan-da! Great views.

0:17:360:17:38

-Amazing.

-Yeah!

-It is really good.

0:17:380:17:41

And a great property, I think.

0:17:410:17:43

Wow, that is really nice.

0:17:430:17:45

That is impressive. That is impressive.

0:17:450:17:47

I think that's very inviting.

0:17:470:17:49

It was a wow. Was it a wow from you?

0:17:490:17:50

Yes, almost.

0:17:500:17:52

It's as big as a wow as you'll ever get from Tim.

0:17:520:17:54

-That's right.

-No, initial reaction is, looking very promising,

0:17:540:17:58

I have to say.

0:17:580:18:00

-Mm. Very.

-Shall we look inside?

0:18:000:18:01

-Yes, absolutely.

-Love to.

0:18:010:18:04

'A solid start to this 200-year-old stone-built barn,

0:18:040:18:08

'which has been lovingly restored to a very high spec, and with its

0:18:080:18:13

'large outbuilding, it could offer our brothers an ideal set-up.

0:18:130:18:16

'But we're beginning the tour in the main house,

0:18:160:18:19

'down in the lower portion of the split-level ground floor.'

0:18:190:18:22

Come on into this crucial room - the kitchen.

0:18:230:18:27

This is sort of an undercroft kitchen.

0:18:270:18:29

This was excavated out to give you all of this space.

0:18:290:18:32

Is this big enough?

0:18:320:18:34

Heading that way.

0:18:340:18:35

"Heading" that way. My God! How big do you want your kitchen to be?

0:18:350:18:38

Huge! Huge!

0:18:380:18:40

My only initial reaction would be, it's quite dark in here. Because of

0:18:400:18:44

the low ceiling as well, it does feel a bit sort of oppressive,

0:18:440:18:47

-if you know what I mean.

-Well, let's look around the rest of the house,

0:18:470:18:50

because upstairs I think you won't complain about the light,

0:18:500:18:52

because it gets bigger and grander.

0:18:520:18:54

So, sweeping staircase.

0:19:000:19:02

-Yes.

-Up into this, the main heart of the house.

0:19:020:19:06

As you can see, it's got high ceilings.

0:19:060:19:09

-Yes, indeed.

-It's a bit like a mini-cathedral.

0:19:090:19:12

I've always liked vaulted ceilings and barn conversions are the place

0:19:120:19:16

to get those, basically, aren't they?

0:19:160:19:18

Upstairs is a sort of office space,

0:19:180:19:20

which has views obviously down the three levels.

0:19:200:19:23

-Excellent!

-What do you think?

0:19:230:19:25

-It's a very attractive room.

-Yes. It is.

0:19:250:19:27

-Certainly can't complain about the height of the ceiling.

-No.

0:19:270:19:30

Is this going to be a sort of place where the two of you can

0:19:300:19:33

-imagine hanging out?

-As with any other property,

0:19:330:19:36

I think what the rest of the property brings is going to dictate

0:19:360:19:40

whether this works, if that makes sense, because, you know,

0:19:400:19:43

needing space to be able to shut ourselves away if we want to,

0:19:430:19:47

but certainly a very encouraging start, without a doubt.

0:19:470:19:51

The good thing about this property is there are lots of other spaces.

0:19:510:19:54

-Let's go and look at the other wing that you could occupy.

-OK.

0:19:540:19:59

'This impressive property has a plethora of living accommodation.

0:19:590:20:03

'On the split-level ground floor there are two bedrooms,

0:20:030:20:06

'a family bathroom, as well as yet another sitting room, which could

0:20:060:20:09

'offer some solitude when one of our brothers needs some private space.

0:20:090:20:14

'Like all the rooms downstairs,

0:20:140:20:15

'this reception area benefits from underfloor heating.

0:20:150:20:19

'And with a southerly aspect,

0:20:190:20:20

'it enjoys great views across the garden and the countryside beyond.

0:20:200:20:25

'Of the two generously-sized double bedrooms, one has French doors

0:20:250:20:28

'leading straight on to the rear portion of the garden.

0:20:280:20:31

'It also has an en-suite shower room.

0:20:310:20:35

'This property just keeps on giving.

0:20:350:20:37

'The first floor, like the ground, is also split-level,

0:20:370:20:40

'squeezing every inch of accommodation out of this

0:20:400:20:42

'extraordinary barn conversion.

0:20:420:20:45

'Up here, there are a further three good-sized bedrooms,

0:20:450:20:48

'all with very unique features.

0:20:480:20:50

'One nestles beneath characterful original beams and has a barn door,

0:20:500:20:54

'with stairs leading down to the garden.

0:20:540:20:57

'There's a compact family bathroom, which also serves a single bedroom,

0:20:570:21:01

'again with direct access out to the garden.

0:21:010:21:04

'Next stop for us is the largest of the bedrooms.'

0:21:040:21:07

This is the grandest.

0:21:090:21:11

-Oh, right.

-That's grand.

0:21:110:21:13

What's even grander is the rather fantastic en suite.

0:21:130:21:17

-Golly, that's a big bathroom.

-That's pretty enormous.

0:21:180:21:21

-It's a big 'un, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:21:210:21:23

Far larger than you'd want, Tim.

0:21:230:21:25

Well, come back in here, we can talk about the bedrooms in general,

0:21:270:21:30

because the thing about this property is,

0:21:300:21:32

it's going to be true of all big properties, is there's going to be

0:21:320:21:35

a big master and the other rooms are going to be smaller.

0:21:350:21:39

But from what you've seen, do you think that's, you know...?

0:21:390:21:42

It's nice. I mean, obviously I think that our idea in terms of bedrooms

0:21:420:21:48

wouldn't be so much that the bedrooms themselves had to be huge,

0:21:480:21:51

but we'd like to, if at all possible to go for bedrooms that both had

0:21:510:21:57

reasonable size en suites.

0:21:570:22:00

I mean, there's a lot of positives so far.

0:22:000:22:03

'I must say, after quite an underwhelming response to the

0:22:030:22:06

'property this morning, Tim and Kerry seem overwhelmed by

0:22:060:22:10

'what's on offer here.

0:22:100:22:12

'Outside, it is smaller, but there's a chance of sibling separation,

0:22:120:22:16

'for one of them could make the self-contained studio their own.

0:22:160:22:19

'The garden is beautifully landscaped, with gravel pathways

0:22:210:22:24

'and beds stocked with mature plants and shrubs.

0:22:240:22:27

'For relaxing, there's a smart patio area, complete with a hot tub.

0:22:270:22:31

'Parking shouldn't be an issue,

0:22:320:22:34

'thanks to an enormous timber car port. And if all this

0:22:340:22:37

'wasn't enough, the property also boasts staggering views.'

0:22:370:22:41

Is this kind of the right size?

0:22:430:22:45

In terms of the actual land, it's less than we would have hoped for.

0:22:450:22:50

It's beautifully laid out.

0:22:500:22:52

The view is amazing.

0:22:520:22:54

But again, compromise is always going to be the key word, I think,

0:22:540:22:57

with any property that we look at.

0:22:570:22:59

What do you think's the value of this one?

0:22:590:23:00

Price-wise, I would say probably looking at £795,000.

0:23:000:23:04

I'd probably go lower, to be perfectly honest.

0:23:040:23:07

I would probably go at £745,000.

0:23:070:23:09

Right. Well, you should listen to your older brother,

0:23:090:23:11

-because he's exactly on the money.

-At 795.

-795.

-OK.

0:23:110:23:15

So, armed with that fact, do have another ferret around,

0:23:150:23:17

because there's quite a lot to take in, I appreciate that.

0:23:170:23:20

And then when you've had a good look,

0:23:200:23:22

-I'll grab you when you're done.

-Great.

0:23:220:23:25

'At £795,000, this 200-year-old barn conversion offers a lot of

0:23:250:23:30

'luxurious living space for the cash.

0:23:300:23:33

'With its vast kitchen-diner, five bedrooms, detached annexe,

0:23:330:23:37

'and village location, this highly desirable property could offer

0:23:370:23:42

'the right buyers a great family home.'

0:23:420:23:46

-Yes. Interesting!

-Nice open space.

0:23:460:23:49

A lot of potential here, I would have thought.

0:23:490:23:51

You've got a sink there, a fridge.

0:23:510:23:53

Actually, looking around here this actually could make quite

0:23:530:23:56

-a workable annexe.

-Yeah.

0:23:560:23:58

I think the overall layout of the house presents some disappointments,

0:23:590:24:04

if you like, in terms of how it would work for us individually.

0:24:040:24:07

There is the possibility with the outbuilding there that it would make

0:24:070:24:11

quite a nice annexe with a lot of space.

0:24:110:24:14

Kerry's talking about possibly doing something with the outbuilding.

0:24:140:24:17

I think, as far as the en-suite facilities are concerned,

0:24:170:24:20

we would probably have to do something there as well.

0:24:200:24:23

I think we both need a sensibly sized en suite,

0:24:230:24:26

and progressively one seems to be rather too large and the other's

0:24:260:24:29

-rather too small.

-Overall, I think it's open for discussion,

0:24:290:24:35

but I'm not convinced it's the right property for us at this time.

0:24:350:24:38

-All done, guys?

-All done.

0:24:400:24:42

-Thank you.

-I need to tear you away from this one.

0:24:420:24:43

Because that's all for today, so we can have a little kind of down time,

0:24:430:24:46

think about things, get ready for the Mystery House tomorrow.

0:24:460:24:49

-That's great. Thank you.

-Excellent.

0:24:490:24:52

'It's day two of our property search, and we're in Herefordshire

0:25:000:25:04

'on a very challenging expedition, helping Essex-based Kerry and his

0:25:040:25:08

'older brother, Tim, to find somewhere they can live

0:25:080:25:11

'independently but together under the same roof.

0:25:110:25:14

'They have a very healthy budget of £800,000,

0:25:140:25:18

'and so far, we've presented two beautiful property options,

0:25:180:25:21

'though neither had what it takes to satisfy the individual demands

0:25:210:25:24

'of each brother. But still to come,

0:25:240:25:27

'we've got one more shot at uniting them with our Mystery House,

0:25:270:25:31

'which could offer the brothers all the space they need,

0:25:310:25:34

'though they may not be alone.'

0:25:340:25:36

Just the most historic part of the house.

0:25:370:25:39

-No ghosts or anything, hopefully?

-Not that I know of!

0:25:390:25:41

'And I'll be feeling the full force of an artillery charge

0:25:420:25:45

'and getting a lesson in sheep anatomy

0:25:450:25:48

'at England's largest agricultural show.'

0:25:480:25:51

Got to make sure they've got a real good jigget at the back end,

0:25:510:25:54

-and a good strong top.

-Did you say jigget?

-Jigget. The back end.

0:25:540:25:58

It's a beautifully moist and fragrant morning

0:26:020:26:05

here in Herefordshire. All the plants and birds and animals

0:26:050:26:07

are shaking off the heavy rain from yesterday, as are we,

0:26:070:26:11

ready for the Mystery House.

0:26:110:26:13

It's been wonderful showing Tim and Kerry around the properties,

0:26:130:26:17

because they really tell you what they're thinking.

0:26:170:26:19

They're pretty straight talking,

0:26:190:26:21

so the Mystery House is going to be an adventure.

0:26:210:26:24

I don't think we quite got it right with the houses yesterday,

0:26:240:26:28

but this property is... Well, a curveball, as always.

0:26:280:26:30

So hold on to your horses and get ready for part two of our adventure

0:26:300:26:33

with the brothers.

0:26:330:26:35

What do you think we're going to show you for the Mystery House?

0:26:400:26:44

I suspect it may be either something that requires a certain amount

0:26:440:26:51

of refurbishment, or potentially a conversion

0:26:510:26:54

from a church, or something like that.

0:26:540:26:56

What would be your nightmare that we show you?

0:26:560:26:58

Probably thatch. And very small windows.

0:26:580:27:02

I think also somewhere that's got a lot of low ceilings and dark beams

0:27:020:27:07

and things like that would potentially rule a property out,

0:27:070:27:11

especially given that I'm 6' 3", and Tim's a tad over 6',

0:27:110:27:15

so low beams probably wouldn't work.

0:27:150:27:19

'Our Mystery House is located on the edge of the village of Tarrington,

0:27:230:27:26

'around eight miles east of the county town of Hereford.

0:27:260:27:29

'Tarrington has a small but active community, well served by a pub,

0:27:300:27:35

'a village hall, and a 12th century church.

0:27:350:27:38

'Now, Kerry and Tim did say they wanted much more outside space,

0:27:380:27:42

'and with our final property, I think even they would have to agree

0:27:420:27:46

'that it delivers on that front.'

0:27:460:27:48

Right - Mystery House time.

0:27:500:27:53

Not a converted church.

0:27:540:27:56

-No. I was wrong with that.

-But it is a plateful.

0:27:560:28:00

There's a lot on offer here.

0:28:000:28:02

-Now, you were talking about wanting a bit more land.

-Mm-hm.

0:28:020:28:05

This is a 12-acre site.

0:28:050:28:09

-Wow!

-Basically everything you can see up to the brow of that hill,

0:28:090:28:13

all around here, two big paddocks up there.

0:28:130:28:15

The edge of this woodland and then all these fields down to

0:28:150:28:19

-the big field down at the bottom...

-Wow!

0:28:190:28:22

..is yours. Could be yours.

0:28:220:28:24

-And then you have this pot-pourri of property.

-Mm.

0:28:240:28:30

The oldest part was actually that barn over there, which is

0:28:300:28:32

a whole new project, which we can bracket out for the time being.

0:28:320:28:35

Then there's this big old farmhouse here, which has a big extension.

0:28:350:28:40

And then there's this, also a barn,

0:28:400:28:42

which was converted quite recently into a huge barn conversion.

0:28:420:28:45

So, there's a lot of property here. So this is not what you asked for,

0:28:470:28:50

strictly because it's not all living under one roof, although you could.

0:28:500:28:54

But it's just we're throwing everything down and seeing whether

0:28:540:28:57

-you like it.

-OK.

-OK. Intriguing!

0:28:570:29:00

It is intriguing!

0:29:000:29:01

'There certainly is plenty to explore here, with a total of

0:29:010:29:05

'some 3,800 square feet of living accommodation,

0:29:050:29:09

'including the Grade II listed barn.

0:29:090:29:13

'We're starting with the farmhouse, with parts dating back to 1760.

0:29:130:29:17

'I've got everything crossed that they can see the potential.'

0:29:170:29:20

This is the main living space in the old house here.

0:29:220:29:26

In fact, it's actually a modern extension. You wouldn't guess -

0:29:260:29:28

it's been very sympathetically done,

0:29:280:29:30

but it was only built in the last 20 years.

0:29:300:29:32

-What do you think?

-A good-sized room.

0:29:320:29:34

It is a good-sized room, yeah.

0:29:340:29:35

-Nice wood burner.

-Big huge wood burner. Lovely beams.

0:29:350:29:40

Our initial thought was perhaps this was a property where

0:29:400:29:43

you would not live under the same roof, because this would more likely

0:29:430:29:47

be your place, Tim, and we imagine, Kerry,

0:29:470:29:49

that you would take the annexe which has a bigger kitchen,

0:29:490:29:52

-and a much bigger, more contemporary feel.

-OK.

0:29:520:29:55

How do you feel about the idea of not living under one roof?

0:29:550:29:57

Mixed feelings, I think. In some ways, it's a good idea,

0:29:570:30:00

and in other ways, it could be a bit inconvenient.

0:30:000:30:02

I think it's something that you would adapt to.

0:30:040:30:07

Let's go and look at the smaller part of the house,

0:30:070:30:09

the most historic part of the house, but it is more bijou.

0:30:090:30:12

-OK.

-No ghosts or anything, hopefully.

-Not that I know of.

0:30:120:30:15

'The original 18th-century portion of this house also features a

0:30:170:30:20

'dining room with stairs leading down to a cellar.

0:30:200:30:23

'A short walk back through the hallway takes us into the kitchen.

0:30:240:30:27

There's a real slice of history here.

0:30:270:30:31

These beautiful quarry tiles, and everything is original,

0:30:310:30:35

but as you see, quite small.

0:30:350:30:37

Yes, not quite as small as I envisaged when you were talking

0:30:370:30:40

-just now.

-Managing your expectations!

0:30:400:30:42

-Yeah!

-Nice stone tops.

0:30:420:30:45

Yeah. It's nicely done.

0:30:450:30:47

The style of the units fits the property as well.

0:30:480:30:52

This would have been just a two up, two down little farmhouse cottage,

0:30:520:30:56

so upstairs here, the bedrooms are very small.

0:30:560:30:58

There are three little rooms.

0:30:580:31:00

Then in the extension, there are two more,

0:31:000:31:01

so let's go and look at the master.

0:31:010:31:03

'They may be compact in size but the bedrooms here are full of character,

0:31:060:31:10

'all of them are bright, and some with original cottage fireplaces.

0:31:100:31:15

'They're all served by a family bathroom.

0:31:150:31:18

'We're heading to the fifth and main bedroom of the house.'

0:31:180:31:22

Here we go, so this is, I guess this would be your room, Tim,

0:31:220:31:25

-if you had this house.

-Yes, a good-sized room.

0:31:250:31:28

-A nice room.

-You've got five bedrooms up here.

0:31:280:31:31

You'd probably convert one of those into an en-suite.

0:31:310:31:34

OK.

0:31:340:31:35

-Hmm.

-Hmm.

0:31:350:31:38

-Lots of "Hmm"s.

-Potential.

0:31:380:31:40

-Hmm. Hmm.

-Potential.

0:31:400:31:42

It's one of those properties that's a lot of, "Oh," "Ah".

0:31:420:31:45

-Yes, it needs a lot of thought.

-It's a lot to take in.

0:31:450:31:49

-Yeah, a lot to take in.

-Yeah.

0:31:490:31:52

So, let's go outside, and we can get a view of the land.

0:31:520:31:55

OK. After you.

0:31:550:31:58

'The main house is surrounded by well-established grounds,

0:32:010:32:04

'with flower beds bordering a level lawn.

0:32:040:32:07

'A stone's throw from the house is the Grade II listed two-storey

0:32:070:32:10

'converted barn that's completely self-contained.

0:32:100:32:13

'At its centre is a near 35-feet long sitting room,

0:32:140:32:18

'with a picture window allowing fantastic views

0:32:180:32:21

'over the surrounding countryside.

0:32:210:32:23

'To one side is a bright, open-plan kitchen, and at the

0:32:230:32:28

'opposite end of the sitting room is a generous double bedroom.

0:32:280:32:32

'To the rear of the property is a separate bathroom and utility,

0:32:320:32:35

'and moving up to the first floor, there's a good-sized second bedroom.

0:32:350:32:39

'There are yet more outbuildings, including a stable block

0:32:400:32:44

'and a second barn where conversion has already been started.

0:32:440:32:48

'This beautiful 12.5 acre rural estate spreads over four enclosures.

0:32:480:32:55

'All of this is topped off with far-reaching views

0:32:550:32:58

'across the Herefordshire landscape.'

0:32:580:33:01

Oh, it looks like the rain has finally stopped.

0:33:010:33:03

-Yes.

-Getting a bit brighter.

0:33:030:33:05

Here you can see how successful and indeed ambitious the extension was,

0:33:050:33:09

because in some ways, the extension is bigger than the original.

0:33:090:33:12

It has tripled the size of the property, I guess.

0:33:120:33:15

I know it's a lot to take in, with all the various properties and

0:33:150:33:18

the land, but what do you think the price tag on this one is?

0:33:180:33:20

I would say, bearing in mind the amount of land and the fact you've

0:33:200:33:23

got an annexe, it must be at the top end of our budget, at 800K.

0:33:230:33:28

-What do you think, Kerry?

-I'm struggling.

0:33:280:33:30

It would need certain things doing to it in order for it to work for

0:33:300:33:34

both of us, I think, so I'll probably come in a bit lower,

0:33:340:33:37

-at maybe 770.

-Again, you should listen to your older brother.

0:33:370:33:40

-He's exactly right.

-I never do that, never.

0:33:400:33:43

Maybe that's the life lesson from this show.

0:33:430:33:45

-"Always listen to Tim."

-No, I won't learn that one, I'm sorry.

0:33:450:33:48

-Not when it comes to spending money, anyway.

-Oh, no, definitely not.

0:33:480:33:52

The whole package is on the market for £800,000,

0:33:520:33:54

so it doesn't leave you much in terms of wiggle room.

0:33:540:33:57

-No, that is the problem, yeah.

-So, lots to stew over.

0:33:570:34:00

-Yes, absolutely.

-I'll meet you down where we came in,

0:34:000:34:04

-and then we can see what happens next.

-OK.

0:34:040:34:08

This sprawling Mystery House comes in bang on budget at £800,000.

0:34:130:34:17

It comprises a five-bedroom farmhouse,

0:34:170:34:20

a contemporary two-bedroom barn conversion, and some 12 acres

0:34:200:34:24

of outstanding Herefordshire countryside.

0:34:240:34:27

All in all, it would probably be a clear winner in most people's books.

0:34:270:34:31

I think the style of the barn conversion is very contemporary,

0:34:320:34:36

which suits me down to the ground.

0:34:360:34:37

It is a beautiful location.

0:34:380:34:41

There's lots of land. It is really, really nice,

0:34:410:34:44

but I think the internals of the main house are just not quite right,

0:34:440:34:49

sadly.

0:34:490:34:51

-The sun has come out, guys. It's a sign.

-It is.

0:34:520:34:56

A sign that all our house tours are over, so we're going to go

0:34:560:34:58

and find a spot to have some tea and discuss everything.

0:34:580:35:01

-That's good. Excellent.

-I could do with that.

0:35:010:35:04

'With most of Herefordshire's landscape given over to agriculture,

0:35:090:35:12

'it's probably not surprising this county has farming roots dating back

0:35:120:35:16

'many hundreds of years.

0:35:160:35:18

'In fact, for over two centuries, Herefordshire,

0:35:180:35:21

'Worcestershire and Gloucestershire have come together to celebrate

0:35:210:35:25

'all things farming at the Royal Three Counties Agricultural Show.

0:35:250:35:29

'Originally, each county took its turn to play host, but nowadays,

0:35:290:35:32

'this annual spectacle has a permanent home in Malvern.

0:35:320:35:36

'To get immersed in this established and extraordinary event,

0:35:360:35:39

'I've come to meet CEO, Ken Nottage.'

0:35:390:35:42

Ken, we caught you at a very busy time, I know,

0:35:430:35:45

very important time for you.

0:35:450:35:46

So this is the beginning of a whole year's worth of work?

0:35:460:35:49

Absolutely, this is a very, very special show

0:35:490:35:52

in the society's calendar.

0:35:520:35:54

And in terms of the history, is it an ancient show?

0:35:540:35:57

Oh, this dates back a long, long time.

0:35:570:35:59

The origins date back over 200 years.

0:35:590:36:03

It was about farmers competing, who had the best livestock.

0:36:030:36:06

The same things happen in other counties.

0:36:060:36:08

It builds up, and suddenly you've got three counties joined together,

0:36:080:36:13

and this show, the Royal Three Counties Show.

0:36:130:36:16

And in terms of the roots, it was like farmers showing off

0:36:160:36:18

their livestock - is that still the heart of the show?

0:36:180:36:21

Very much so. This is the biggest livestock show in the country.

0:36:210:36:24

We know that because we've checked the numbers.

0:36:240:36:26

Over this weekend, there's almost 1,000 cattle here,

0:36:260:36:29

2,500 sheep, nearly 3,000 horses,

0:36:290:36:32

so this is a major event for the livestock industry.

0:36:320:36:35

'All this is big business,

0:36:370:36:38

'with over 100,000 people expected to pour through the gates of this

0:36:380:36:42

'364-acre site over the next three days.

0:36:420:36:46

'And, with the decline in young people going into farming,

0:36:460:36:49

'shows like this work hard to generate new interest

0:36:490:36:53

'in agriculture. I'm meeting Jack Walton, farmer and official blogger

0:36:530:36:57

'for the Three Counties Show, whose passion for his industry

0:36:570:37:00

'is an inspiration for the next generation.'

0:37:000:37:02

I've been brought up on a farm all my life.

0:37:040:37:07

My family have been breeding sheep and cattle since 1937.

0:37:070:37:12

-In these parts?

-Not in these parts,

0:37:120:37:13

all the way up in Northumberland, but we moved down here about

0:37:130:37:17

eight years ago, and I keep a small flock of sheep.

0:37:170:37:20

-You, yourself?

-Yeah, I keep a small flock of sheep.

-You're 18, right?

0:37:200:37:24

Just 18, so just finished school about three weeks ago.

0:37:240:37:27

That's quite cool. I can't remember what I was doing when I was 18,

0:37:270:37:30

but it certainly wasn't keeping sheep!

0:37:300:37:32

Is this like a prestige thing? Is it more like,

0:37:320:37:35

"We're going to keep one cow, one pig and make them really beautiful,

0:37:350:37:38

"and take them for a bit of fun," or is there a serious...?

0:37:380:37:41

It's got a real serious element to it because this is your shop window.

0:37:410:37:45

You're coming here and you're competing against other exhibitors.

0:37:450:37:48

There's about 120 Herefords here this year, and if you win out of

0:37:480:37:51

that class, it's a fantastic accolade to have.

0:37:510:37:54

I've found a very good guide. Can we wander around and look at some more?

0:37:540:37:58

-Of course.

-I'd like to pick your mind on sheep as well,

0:37:580:38:00

-because that is obviously your speciality.

-Oh, yes.

0:38:000:38:03

'We're heading to one of the marquees that's crammed with the

0:38:030:38:06

'very best of individual breeds.

0:38:060:38:08

'Every inch of these animals will be scrutinised in the judging ring,

0:38:080:38:12

'and Jack knows exactly what they'll be looking for.'

0:38:120:38:15

Let's have a look.

0:38:150:38:17

It's funny with you with a tie and a shirt on doing it.

0:38:170:38:20

-Hello.

-So, in a field, a sheep would not be looking like this.

0:38:200:38:24

The sheep would have a big fleece on.

0:38:240:38:26

These have been clipped, trimmed down nicely.

0:38:260:38:28

The hair, a bit of baby oil.

0:38:280:38:31

-Really?

-Bit of baby oil, to make it nice and slick.

0:38:310:38:33

What are the other tips? Baby oil on the hair.

0:38:330:38:35

Baby oil on the hair and on the legs.

0:38:350:38:37

You want the legs to be nice and shiny.

0:38:370:38:40

Some people like to colour them, some people don't,

0:38:400:38:43

just to show them off in the ring.

0:38:430:38:45

You want to make sure they've got a good solid back.

0:38:450:38:48

A real good jigget at the back end, and a good strong top.

0:38:480:38:52

-Did you say jigget?

-Jigget, the back end.

0:38:520:38:56

'But the Three Counties Show is not just about breeding and judging.

0:38:570:39:01

'This year, there's also some high-octane entertainment on offer.

0:39:010:39:05

'Established in 1947 by King George VI,

0:39:050:39:08

'the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery is the ceremonial unit

0:39:080:39:13

'of the British Army. The troop features teams of six horses,

0:39:130:39:17

'each one pulling a tonne and a half of First World War era field guns.'

0:39:170:39:22

Please put your hands together

0:39:220:39:24

for the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery!

0:39:240:39:28

'I'm meeting captain of the troop, Nick Watson,

0:39:280:39:30

'to find out a little more.'

0:39:300:39:33

How long have you been involved?

0:39:330:39:35

I've been in the King's Troop for three years now,

0:39:350:39:37

so this is my last season. We like to do as many of these as possible.

0:39:370:39:40

It's great to get the horses away, great to get the soldiers away,

0:39:400:39:42

out of London for a bit of fresh air, but with the ceremonial

0:39:420:39:45

calendar in London, it's quite tight, so this is the only

0:39:450:39:48

county show we're doing this year.

0:39:480:39:50

We've done the Royal Winter Horse Show.

0:39:500:39:52

We did Her Majesty's 90th birthday pageant in the summer, so it's nice

0:39:520:39:55

to come for a little bit of a relax.

0:39:550:39:58

'But there won't be much more time for R&R.

0:40:000:40:02

'It's a full-on schedule for the King's Troop,

0:40:020:40:05

'as they're giving two performances a day. This show really does seem

0:40:050:40:08

'to have it all, and it's clear there's plenty in the region

0:40:080:40:11

'to inspire and entertain anyone

0:40:110:40:13

'wanting to settle in this beautiful, rural part of the world.'

0:40:130:40:16

Before the rain sets in, let's find out what the brothers'

0:40:180:40:21

final word is on all the houses that we've shown them.

0:40:210:40:24

Hello, gentlemen.

0:40:280:40:29

-Hi.

-It's raining again here in Herefordshire, so we've come inside

0:40:310:40:34

to have a final chat. What do you think has come into focus for you?

0:40:340:40:38

Has it made it any clearer what the next step is?

0:40:380:40:42

Yes, I think it has, yeah.

0:40:420:40:43

I think we've firmed up on more of what we do like

0:40:430:40:47

and what we don't like, which is good.

0:40:470:40:50

In terms of the project of living together,

0:40:500:40:53

what is being ruled out and what is still on the table?

0:40:530:40:57

What will work is a property where we have shared common parts,

0:40:570:41:01

if you like. Neither of us are getting any younger, so we need to

0:41:010:41:04

look at a property that provides relatively easy living,

0:41:040:41:09

but without compromising on space and flexibility.

0:41:090:41:15

So, essentially, a nice big spacious barn conversion would be ideal?

0:41:150:41:21

That's what seems to be coming out at the front at the moment,

0:41:210:41:23

especially after what we've viewed over the last couple of days.

0:41:230:41:27

The Mystery House, obviously, we were suggesting that there was

0:41:270:41:30

a possibility of living under two separate roofs.

0:41:300:41:33

Is that a goer?

0:41:330:41:34

I think it could be, under certain circumstances,

0:41:340:41:37

but unfortunately, the property we looked at,

0:41:370:41:40

the main part of the property just wasn't suitable.

0:41:400:41:43

I think, at the end of the day, you have to be positive

0:41:430:41:46

and look forward, and hope that we find the right property,

0:41:460:41:49

and that it's a reasonably smooth transition.

0:41:490:41:52

-I really wish you the best of luck.

-We've had a great time.

0:41:520:41:55

It's been thoroughly enjoyable, and very interesting.

0:41:550:41:58

Yes, we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I have to say.

0:41:580:42:01

-Well, we've enjoyed showing you around.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:010:42:04

What a fascinating week's house-hunting

0:42:090:42:11

here in Herefordshire, and one of the things that has made it

0:42:110:42:14

really interesting is not only finding all the puzzle pieces

0:42:140:42:17

that get together and create this fraternal home for the two brothers,

0:42:170:42:21

but also investigating the slight tension between Kerry,

0:42:210:42:25

who's been moving around all his life,

0:42:250:42:27

and is really keen to find his home in the countryside, and Tim,

0:42:270:42:31

who's lived in the same house for 65 years,

0:42:310:42:33

and there's a certain amount of inertia about moving at all.

0:42:330:42:38

But when you bring those two together and you find them

0:42:380:42:40

the house - we didn't quite manage it - but when it happens,

0:42:400:42:43

I'm sure it's going to be magnificent.

0:42:430:42:46

So, join us next time for more rural house-hunting

0:42:460:42:49

on Escape To The Country.

0:42:490:42:51

If you would like to escape to the country in England,

0:42:530:42:56

Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland, and need our help,

0:42:560:42:59

you can apply online at...

0:42:590:43:04

Alistair Appleton is on a unique house-hunting mission in Herefordshire, helping two brothers who have pooled their resources to have £800,000 to find the right country home where they can live together. And it's the perfect time to be in the region, as Alistair is given an exclusive invitation to experience the best in British agriculture at the Royal Three Counties Show.