With a budget of £560,000, Jules Hudson is helping a retired couple move to Cornwall, where they hope to volunteer for the National Coastwatch Institution.
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Welcome to Escape To The Country.
Now, this tranquil spot and the ancient church that overlooks it
is surrounded by myth and mystery, and a legend that helped inspire
one of our most popular and famous hymns.
But where are we and what's the story?
Well, join me in just a moment and I'll tell you.
Today, it's a long-standing dream
that's driving an active and creative couple
to search for their country paradise.
And they're more than ready to part with their cash.
Have you got your cheque book?
Ah! Excellent. That's a good start, isn't it?
And a celebratory tipple is already on the cards.
What do you think about the bar?
Do you think you could use it for some other purpose?
I think I'd be inclined to keep it as a bar, my dear.
Well, today, we are in Cornwall and this is
the rather pretty, 13th-century St Just In Roseland Church,
tucked away on the banks of this gorgeous little creek,
just across the water from Falmouth.
And it's one of several spots here in the West Country
that it's thought were visited by a teenage Jesus,
who was then travelling with his relative, Joseph of Arimathea,
who it's thought at the time, was a wealthy merchant
dealing in Cornish tin.
Now, the idea and the legend that Jesus visited Britain
became immortalised in the words of the 19th-century hymn, Jerusalem,
written by the poet, William Blake.
Without a doubt, it is my favourite hymn
and it's gone down as a national favourite.
Cornwall is England's most south-westerly county,
sharing an inland border with Devon,
meeting the Celtic Sea to the north and west,
and the English Channel to the south.
The region's sole city is Truro,
with the tall spires of its cathedral
towering over the Georgian streets.
In 1880, the foundation stones for this spectacular place of worship
were laid by Queen Victoria's eldest son, Edward VII,
and 30 years later, the cathedral was complete -
the year of his death.
Moving out towards the coast,
Cornwall boasts miles and miles of glorious beaches,
overlooked by pretty coastal villages.
At the most westerly peninsula of the county, the picturesque
harbour at Mousehole, on Penwith, is actually spelt Mouse-Hole
and one local legend says the village was named after a hole
or cavern in a nearby cliff in the 12th or 13th centuries.
Towards the east of the region,
Bodmin Moor has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
as has almost a third of Cornwall.
Here, the 80 square miles are cloaked in heather
and grazed upon by moorland ponies.
So, with its rich canvas of stunning architecture
and dramatic natural beauty,
Cornwall is a hugely popular destination
for both visitors and escapees alike.
Well, behind me is the beautiful backdrop of St Mawes.
It's just one of numerous coastal settlements that, for many people,
really define what life is like in this maritime county.
And it's worth remembering that, no matter where you are in Cornwall,
you're never more than 25 miles from the sea.
As for house prices, they are often as attractive as the views.
Currently, the average price of a detached property here
That's some £22,000
below the national figure.
Now, of course, a house with a view like that is going to come
at a premium, but nonetheless, as a county,
it does represent pretty good value for money.
So, let's meet today's buyers and find out what's persuaded them
to weigh anchor and move to the South West.
Part-time lecturer Heather and her Merchant Navy officer husband David
live near Chelmsford, but have been in Essex since the 1980s.
They wed just six months after they met, 36 years ago.
I'd definitely say Heather is the noisy one.
She's the one that's outward-going more than I am,
although I think I have learned from her over the years
and we've met in the middle somewhere now.
The couple's two grown-up sons have now flown the nest
and their four-bedroomed, mock-Tudor detached home is up for sale.
Looking forward to their upcoming retirement,
Heather and David are planning on moving out of Essex.
I wouldn't say that Chelmsford exactly has
a great sense of community.
It is, literally, a commuter town. People use it for getting up
to work in London and they just happen to sleep here.
I think Chelmsford has grown over the last 20 years.
It's perhaps a little bit too big for us now.
And I feel that I would like to move to somewhere quieter.
And there's one West Country county that has captured their hearts.
I've always liked Cornwall.
I started to go down there when I was a baby
and sort of grew up going on holidays,
and when I go into Cornwall,
I feel that it's my natural home, that I've come home,
and that's really a feeling that I like and want to keep.
When they make their move,
Heather and David are planning on enjoying their hobbies,
and master mariner David has also got his eye on some new ones.
I'm coming up to retirement age now,
so I shall be looking for some retirement activities.
I've been involved in the nautical industry from the age of 13
and I look forward to being able to give something back
to the marine industry,
and I'd very much like to get involved
with the National Coastwatch Institution,
which is a voluntary organisation.
I will be giving up my work
and I would like to get involved with the local community.
I would like to develop my art skills, as well,
and I would like to sort of relax a bit,
cos I feel at the moment that we are living our lives
in a very full and very active way.
I'd still like to be active,
but in a little bit more of a relaxed surrounding.
All they need now is a sale on their house
and they will be opening the door to their future.
This move means a culmination of all my dreams and hopes.
I would love a lovely home in Cornwall,
where I can welcome my sons and my grandchildren
and we can enjoy the Cornish scenery and the Cornish life together.
That's what I want from Cornwall - happiness, relaxation
and a jolly good retirement.
Heather and David have asked us to concentrate our search
between the towns of Falmouth to the west and Looe to the east.
But before we commence our journey to find them their new home,
we're all catching up in Cornwall, on the banks of Charlestown's
picturesque harbour, to discuss the details of their property wish list.
Well, Heather, David, what a place to start our house search.
-It certainly is. Look at that.
-For a master mariner, come on, look!
I think it really does set the scene
and, for many people, this view is what Cornwall is all about.
Its maritime heritage is writ large right across this glorious county.
So, I can perfectly understand how you have fallen in love with it
over so many years of coming here, but let's get down to the hard facts
of what it is you're looking for, Heather.
Well, we would like at least a three-bedroomed house.
I would very much like a beautiful stone Cornish cottage,
but I realise that may not be possible.
We don't want acres of ground,
but we want something with a little bit of character and, of course,
we want something to accommodate David's head height.
Yes! I mean, I'm just under six foot. How tall are you, David?
-Just under six foot six.
Obviously, the boys are going to come down and see you,
so what about reception space? Because at the end of the day,
that's where life's going to unfold on a day-to-day basis.
Well, I'd like a really nice lounge.
I think that's the most important thing,
a really nice, big lounge,
where we could have the boys and their families down.
I'm not so worried about the kitchen or the other bedrooms,
but David would like a study, and if there's a room,
it could even a small bedroom,
which I could sort of turn into an art studio,
that would be absolutely ideal.
In terms of garden space, you mentioned earlier,
-we're not after acres.
-Yes, I'd like somewhere where I can sit out,
have a cup of tea or a glass of wine and some sandwiches,
and I'd like somewhere to potter as well,
perhaps David wants to grow a few vegetables.
I'd like to plant some flowers and have some tubs.
-And you can't do that at sea, can you?
-Absolutely not. Total change.
-Tell us what you don't want.
-Well, I'm not really looking for
a barn. I know a lot of people like barns, but I don't really like
barns myself. We don't particularly want a very old property,
-with low beams, so that David keeps hitting his head.
And I am a little bit worried about a thatch, I'm not sure I could
-buy a thatched property.
-I do understand your concerns,
but have got an interesting range of properties here in Cornwall
to show you. How much are we going to spend, then, David?
-Well, our budget for the move would be £550,000.
But, for a suitable property, we could uplift that
-to maybe 560, at a pinch.
I am confident that, with your very generous 550,
or maybe a little bit more,
we should be able to find you what you're looking for,
from the range of properties that we have to show you,
including, of course, our Mystery House.
Oh, this is exciting! I'm really looking forward to it.
I'm afraid we have to bid farewell to lovely, historic Charlestown
and its wonderful boats and its wonderful sea view,
and head inland to our first property.
-Come on, let's go.
For their top budget of £560,000,
Heather and David are after a character Cornish home,
with at least three bedrooms
and enough headroom to accommodate David.
They'd like a living room, great for entertaining,
and a couple of hobby rooms.
Outside, they're after a manageable garden, with views,
and they'd also like to be close to the local community.
Our varied selection of properties will give Heather and David
food for thought, but it'll only be after they've viewed each one
that its price tag will be revealed to them.
The final visit to the Mystery House
is sure to turn things on their head,
but, with an open mind, it could be the answer to their dreams.
You could be forgiven for thinking that we are lost,
as we duck and dive our way through these little lanes.
And it wouldn't be the first time! But I'm pleased to tell you
we aren't lost. Our first property isn't far away!
So, let's see if this one will whet your appetite.
Our Cornish house-hunt is taking us to the inland village of Luxulyan.
Locals are served by a village store and post office,
and the village hall provides plenty of social opportunities,
as does the popular dining pub.
The parish church, originally Norman,
was completely rebuilt in the 15th century from granite.
One of its windows is a monument to a 19th-century architect,
whose name is also linked to this detached house
on the edge of the village.
Well, Heather, you wanted a Cornish house made of Cornish stone.
-How about this one?
-Like an old school.
-..like an old school.
It looks really interesting.
-It is an old school.
-And I love the stonework.
And I notice it was built in 1871.
It was, by the amazingly-named Silvanus Trevail.
He was an architect actually born in the village here.
He built around 50 schools around Cornwall.
And ended up, towards the end of the 19th century,
-as the Mayor of Truro.
So, it has quite an impressive, sort of, signature to it, this building.
When it was originally put together, there was no middle floor,
just a huge, kind of, vaulted space,
so the current owners have inserted a floor throughout it.
Well, it looks like, dare I say it, a hidden gem you've found for us,
so I'm very interested to open the package and let's see what's inside.
Right, then, let's open that package. Come on.
This impressive property was built from local granite
and converted into a family home around 1970,
a century after it was built.
Once inside, a long hallway divides the ground floor in two
and it's home to a rather fun surprise feature.
Come this way, guys, because this, I think, is really unusual.
-Wine rack set into the fireplace.
I'm sure you could fill it and just as easily empty it.
We could make a good attempt!
Anyway, this is the kitchen.
Nicely fitted. Very simple.
Oh, I like the kitchen.
It's very nice and I like the view from the window.
-And very spacious, as well.
They've got this breakfast bar in here, but next door, you've got
a really nicely-appointed dining room as well,
if you want to have more formal dining and so on,
but I imagine, sort of, for every day...
Yes, absolutely ideal.
I would like to see the rest of the rooms, though, please.
Oh, yes, absolutely. Of course you can. Follow me.
Beyond the kitchen and past the dining room is the sitting room.
And, although it's beamed,
there's enough headroom for all six foot six of David.
-Well, the beams aren't too low, are they?
-It's high enough,
but I'm a bit worried about what Heather's about to say.
It's a little bit too small, I think.
It seems to come in a little bit at me.
Whether we could get used to it, I'm not sure.
I certainly take your point,
but I do think it benefits from the addition of this conservatory here,
which I rather liken to the bridge of a ship.
-Yes, you could certainly survey your domain from here.
I do like that view. That view is lovely.
What I'm thinking about is, is that a solid wall?
You could potentially open that up.
It would become a diner-cum-living room.
Cos I suppose then you could effectively shift that whole
doorway back down the corridor and give yourselves a much bigger
living room with, of course, the bonus of the conservatory.
But it would feel bigger. Maybe that's what we're after.
That could very well be it, yes.
There are so many other features that recommend this property to you.
There's also one twist, which I can't wait to show you.
Come on, follow me.
Also on this side of the house
is a bath and shower room and a cloakroom.
Now, this is a little surprise I've got for you, Heather.
David could probably reach this.
Above our heads is a loft hatch concealing something
rather special. All will be revealed.
The pull-down stairway takes us to a vaulted loft room
that runs the length of the house.
It's bright and airy, so could provide a perfect space
for a budding artist.
This has got the light that you would need
from both ends of the room.
This would be absolutely superb.
Imagine this without a floor. That is how it was when
-it was a schoolhouse.
-I think this is such a useful space for you.
Yeah. It's good.
Look at that smile! I know we had a bit of a downer in the living room,
didn't we? But, somehow, I think our little graph has picked up again.
I think the old compromise is coming into play there, isn't it?
Well, you know, what you lose with one,
often a property will make up for with another,
and I think this, certainly, should recommend this place to you.
Moving back downstairs into the other side of the house,
there's a utility room and three ground-floor bedrooms.
At the front, there's a small double and next door is a single.
The master overlooks the back and has its own en-suite shower room.
The nature of this converted schoolhouse
means the upstairs accommodation isn't conventional.
As well as the loft ladder leading to the potential studio,
there are two separate staircases,
each leading to a first-floor bedroom,
again featuring vaulted ceilings.
That makes five bedrooms in total.
But next stop is the garden.
Hot tub straight outside the master bedroom...
-..for a morning dip.
Outside, the conservatory opens onto a raised terrace
with views across the lawn, a pond and a panoramic countryside vista.
There's also a walled side garden and a summerhouse-cum-bar.
It's an ideal size.
Not too much to look after.
Very, very low-maintenance. I love the walls that surround it.
You've got a nice sort of tool shed there,
very much in keeping, obviously, with the original building.
Water feature here, David, which I don't know if it's quite
Sounds of the Sea, although I have filled it with salt water,
just to make you feel at home.
And the views, you know, not bad, really.
It's a lovely spot. It's beautifully quiet.
What do you think about the bar?
I think that looks excellent, myself.
Do you think we could use it for some other purpose?
I think I'd be inclined to keep it as a bar, my dear.
What other purpose could you possibly have in mind
for your art studi... Er, sorry, David! Sorry.
You've got an art studio in the loft!
So, I think this is of interest.
-But, of course, it will come down to its price.
-I would go round about 520.
I think it's probably a little bit more, so I'm going 525.
If it was £500,000, that makes it very doable.
That would give us money to be able to perhaps change it
to the way that we might want it.
Yes, it's a really good first house.
Have another look at this one, because it is quite cavernous.
There's plenty to see.
Go on, off you go, and I will come and find you later on.
Brilliant. Well, Heather said it. It's a great start,
so let's hope that what begins well, ends well.
This 19th-century old schoolhouse is under budget,
leaving a healthy £60,000 in the kitty.
It's got the potential for a great family room,
along with the huge loft room and five bedrooms.
With the garden comes many additional features
along with those lovely views
and the property is located right on the edge of the village.
-Oh, that's very interesting.
-It is interesting, isn't it?
I can imagine a beer tap there and probably a barrel of beer
-Yes, I think you and your whisky-drinking chums
would really like this on a summer's evening.
When I approached the house, it looked lovely.
I loved the stone and I loved the age of the house
and the big, wide driveway.
Then, there was the attic space.
Well, that was a complete surprise.
I mean, I'd never dream I could get anything as big as that as a studio.
Well, overall, I'd feel this house has got a lot of potential for us.
I had a reasonably good feeling in most of the house.
Certainly, the art studio potential would be very nice for Heather.
-How are you doing?
-Very nicely, thank you, Jules.
-It's very interesting.
A really good first house.
-I thought you'd think that. Come on, let's go.
With 50 years at sea under his belt,
David can't wait to make the most of the Cornish coastline,
which spans a distance of over 400 miles.
He has hopes of joining the NCI, the National Coastwatch Institution,
a voluntary organisation,
which keeps a vigil watch along the UK's shores
to keep seafarers safe.
This is Polruan NCI, over.
David and Heather have come to the ancient fishing village of Polruan
to meet Richard Hews,
a trustee of the NCI at one of the 50 stations in England and Wales.
Can you tell me, please, when was the NCI set up
and where did the idea come from?
Way back in 1994, two fishermen were tragically drowned off the Lizard.
They were in the vicinity of a disused coastguard station.
The local community were very upset by this and asked the National Trust
if they could reopen the station on a voluntary basis,
and Bass Point was reopened in December 1994 and NCI was born.
I'm actually a serving Merchant Navy officer.
Do you consider I've got the correct qualifications for the job?
David, you'd be in an ideal position to become an NCI watchkeeper.
You don't actually need to have previous maritime experience.
A lot of watch-keeping is common sense,
but you need patience, vigilance, a good pair of eyes,
and if we can make a difference in helping to protect and preserve life
and safety at sea,
then we feel we are doing a worthwhile job
and we're passionate about it.
There are 2,000 volunteers, like Richard, around the country
and he's one of 40 watchkeepers who volunteer here at Polruan.
This lookout was opened in 1998 and sits 240 feet up
in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Right, come on in.
Welcome to the lookout.
Dan is on A-watch this morning.
You can see from here that he's got a very good view of the coastline
in front and to the east and the west.
He's also monitoring several different radio channels.
We have a number of optics,
which aid us in looking further out to sea,
according to the visibility.
These are all important aids to watch-keeping,
but it can't spot a local fisherman in distress,
or a yacht with an engine breakdown,
or a kayaker or a canoeist who's in trouble.
What you need is the Mark One Eyeball for that...
-..and that's what we do, visual surveillance.
That's why we are here.
But if someone is in distress, the Coastwatch can also
be contacted via one of the radio channels,
and there's a dedicated channel -
number 65, to communicate with local vessels.
Since we've had this dedicated channel 65,
we get more and more yachtsmen,
fishermen asking us for local information,
what is very important, they want to know
what are the real-time weather conditions out in front of them,
and they can also ask, if they
are coming in, for local information about the harbour,
which we can help them with.
So, Richard, could you please tell me
what a typical day would be like in the lookout?
I don't think there's any such thing as a typical day.
Sometimes we come up here and you can't even see to the edge of the cliff,
but we can listen to the radio,
we can see what's going on through radar,
there's always ongoing familiarisation and training to do in the lookout.
All of the sophisticated technology in use here is invaluable, but,
as Richard says, there's nothing quite like a watchful pair of eyes,
and something that makes spotting trouble that little bit easier
are these powerful tripod-mounted optics.
I've got the edge of the coastline.
Yes, I can see it quite well now. It's very clear.
If you see somebody in the water, what would you do then?
Well, the phrase to remember is "spot, plot and report".
Once we've spotted somebody who is either in danger
or looks as if they might be going into danger,
we need to plot as accurate a position as we can very quickly
and then we will relay that position,
by phone, to the coastguard,
and then they will decide on the resolution of
that particular situation.
With his marine background,
David's training won't be too lengthy if he joins the Coastwatch.
And with the organisation involved
with almost 300 incidents last year alone,
the work he could be doing would be very much appreciated.
You've seen our lookout. What do you think of it?
Very interesting, too.
I think I could be very interested in joining
when we actually, finally move down here.
I should say also that we do have
a number of husband-and-wife teams who keep watch together,
and they do extremely well,
-so I hope we do see you again.
-I'm sure you will.
-I shall look forward to a nice cup of tea, then.
-Thank you so much.
-Yes, thank you, Richard.
Well, now David's all but signed on the dotted line,
it's time to return to our house-hunt, to continue
our quest to give him and Heather a new Cornish address.
Next, we're heading to the hamlet of Scredda.
Just a ten-minute drive away is the coastal village and port
What was once a small fishing village,
home to just nine families, has grown into a charming community,
attracting both locals and tourists.
Fishermen still use the quaint harbour,
which dates back to the 18th century.
Its beauty has also won it a part in
the hugely popular television series Poldark,
where it stood in for Truro.
Just over two miles away is this detached whitewashed house,
with views back down to St Austell Bay.
There we are, look, our second offering, bathed in sunshine.
I like the house, it's a nice, light, well-built-looking house.
The only problem is, is that road noise.
-And I can hear it.
-There is, to be fair,
a little bit of road noise, I mean, that has come with the territory,
in terms of where we are - St Austell.
But the house itself, it is well-built.
Originally built about 1890 or so,
that's the front half and then,
at the turn of this century,
sort of 2002, it was effectively doubled in size to the back.
What do you think, David?
Well, certainly it's a traditional building.
I'm confident that what you'll find inside is well worth considering.
-So, let's see what you think.
'Located on a country lane, this 19th-century detached house
'is built from granite, with an attractive approach from the front.'
In you come.
'And once inside, the distant hum of the passing traffic is forgotten.'
Nice little hallway to greet you.
Really nicely appointed dining room in there,
with a couple of skylights above it.
I think the best place to start is probably in here, Heather.
This is a nice, light room.
It's very nice. I like the three windows -
that does project lots of light in.
It's got a very good floor area as well.
I mean, it's certainly high enough for you, isn't it?
It is high enough, yes, these beams are not a problem at all.
So, a sitting room fit for statuesque David,
and across the entrance hall
at the back of the house is the kitchen.
Is this to your taste, madam?
Yes, it's a very nice kitchen,
there's room for a table.
There is a table.
You've also got a utility room and a downstairs loo through that door.
-Which is really handy.
I think it works a treat, actually.
If you say, "Yes, Jules, I think it does," I'll let you
-see more of the house.
-Yes, Jules, it does,
-please could I see more of the house now?
-Yes, you may, come on!
The kitchen is part of the 14-year-old extension,
as is a good-sized family room next door, featuring
access to the garden. It could provide an
inspirational art space for Heather.
Moving upstairs, there's a smart and neutral family bathroom
and four bedrooms. There's a sunny double at the back,
plus another that's dual aspect.
There's a single in use as a dressing room
and we're headed to what I believe
is the best of the bunch.
Then finally, this would be your master, with yet more views
of St Austell Bay.
It's a nice, light, airy room and, yes,
you can see the sea.
-What's behind the door?
-Ah, now, this is
your en suite, madam.
-My en suite.
-Go and have a look, en-suite shower room.
-Er, ludicrously large, actually.
It's a lovely big room.
-Come on, out you come.
But I think it gives you the idea that actually,
the nice thing about this property is
that the space is very sort of amenable.
I think you can play around with it, whether it's downstairs
or upstairs, to kind of fit the life that emerges once you get down here.
So, let's finish off outside, then.
See if we can find something else to tempt you.
We've already seen the enclosed lawn garden to the front,
that overlooks the sea.
Then to the back, there's a raised deck terrace with
a hot tub and a double car port.
But there's more.
Now, I know you didn't want acres.
But this one just happens to come with a 1.3 acre paddock.
-Which we could...
-..presumably rent to someone.
-..or you could simply not buy it.
Cos they're prepared to knock a bit off...
if you don't want this.
-And they would keep it for their own use.
Right. That's got me thinking.
Which brings us neatly on to the price!
Well, I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue
how much land is worth.
On average, pony paddocks like this -
anything from between, say, £10,000 to £15,000 an acre.
I'm going to pitch at 450.
I'd say, bearing in mind your calculation there,
-470 for the house...
..with 15 on top for the paddock, so, 485.
You're very good at sums, you must be a brilliant navigator.
-As you are!
You're absolutely right, £485,000 is the asking price...
for the package combined.
Go and have a wander round.
Soak up the atmosphere of this very pretty cottage.
-I'll come and find you a little bit later.
-Off you go.
In the meantime, I might enjoy this sunshine, walk round the paddock.
This detached house with the additional land has rung in at
£75,000 under Heather and David's top budget.
It offers a great living space,
a boarded garden and sea views.
The bonus paddock is optional.
This is the dining room! It's quite a nice-sized room.
-I like the skylights.
-Yes, they do cast some nice light down.
-And we've got the view.
-A lovely view there as well.
It's a nice view from the window.
Generally speaking, the house in itself, erm...well-constructed,
solid and one that I could live in.
It was a good property.
Overall, I think the house is jolly good.
It's a nice size.
I like the paddock.
We could do things with it.
I like the view.
But, unfortunately for me, the road noise, I think,
is a deal breaker.
-How are we then, all right?
-Yes, thank you. Had a good look round.
Well, skipper, I think the sun is pretty much over the yardarm.
Well, I think it's time for a bevvy, in that case, Jules!
-Gin o'clock. Off you go.
-Gin o'clock, it is.
-Ready for another day.
It's the second leg of our coast around Cornwall,
on the hunt for a country pad
for Heather and David from near Chelmsford in Essex.
With a top budget of £560,000 in their pockets,
we've been given the job of finding them a home full of Cornish charm
that also has high enough ceilings for 6'6" David.
'Coming up, we've got a surprise in our Mystery House...'
-It is like...a five-star hotel.
Do you want to check in, I wonder?
'..and I'll be getting the pick of the county's bunch
'when I discover why this pocket of the country is carpeted
'by the biggest concentration of daffodils in the world.'
You've got a rubber band already on yours,
I haven't even picked enough yet! LAUGHTER
Well, our Cornish quest is now heading into its final leg
and with two more properties to come,
we've managed to conjure up a Mystery House that should offer
Heather and David a real slice of grand country living,
and that I hope will prove to be as memorable as it is unusual.
But first, a property that I hope will really appeal
to their love of the coast, and what's more,
it's just a stone's throw from this beautiful harbour.
Mevagissey is a village on Cornwall's southern coast.
This pretty fishing port attracts tourists to its harbour
and narrow streets, teeming with artisan shops and eateries.
In the late 1700s, Andrew Pears, a farmer's son, was born here.
He later invented and gave his name
to a very famous amber-coloured soap.
Just five minutes' walk from the centre of the village
and perched on a hill with views to the coast is our next offering.
Looks absolutely magnificent.
-Have you got your cheque book?
Ah, excellent! That's a good start, isn't it?
It's really substantial.
I think the tree here in the foreground,
gives us a real sense of the climate you can expect when you move down here.
-Oh, come on, please, can we go in?
This fabulous whitewashed detached villa certainly looks
perfectly in place with its palm tree and its proximity to the sea.
It was once a guest house and, with a local history of smugglers,
who knows who may have rested here in the past?
I love the double doorway.
It's a classic layout - central hallway, dining room is in there,
but let's start in here. This is the living room.
I just love it.
I love the height of the ceilings.
I like the ceiling rose, the fire...
I could see us living here very happily already.
-And it's cosy as well.
-And it's cosy.
It could be our home already.
Wow! That's a great reaction!
I wasn't expecting that, to be honest with you, but I'm delighted.
I don't need to sell this any more, do I?
-No, we're off, Jules. We're going to...
-Go on, then, you can go.
Let's have a look at the kitchen.
Just to remind you - sumptuous, Victorian-style dining room in there
and then this, the galley kitchen,
which is sort of appropriate, I suppose,
for a master mariner, David.
This would be very appropriate and extremely good to work in.
I think it's wonderful!
Would you like me to make you some tea and toast?
-You've moved in, haven't you?
You know, for a galley kitchen, it does extend this way, which is,
I think, a really useful space for the dining table,
nice little range at the end, there,
but the whole thing is really complemented by
this rather useful garden room as well
that really does milk those views.
Oh, what a wonderful conservatory.
Absolutely fabulous. Absolutely beautiful.
Yeah. It's the bridge, it's your own maritime bridge.
It's my own little domain.
All you need is a ship's wheel in the middle
-and you'll feel right at home.
I can see all our friends will want to visit us.
Well, let's find some bedrooms for them, shall we? Come with me.
The stairway from the entrance hall leads up to the first floor,
where all the rooms are off a wide landing
and served by a bright, monochrome family bathroom.
There are four double bedrooms, one in each corner of the house,
and whilst they're all generously sized,
the biggest of the four is the master,
which comes with an en-suite shower room and sea views.
What a good master bedroom this is.
-I love the big windows and the light pouring in.
There's nothing more I can say. It's a really superb house.
-All right, then.
Come on, let's continue, there's plenty more to this place.
Below ground, in a basement level,
lies a warren of rooms to give even more options for hobbies
and visiting friends and family.
There's a utility room, a bathroom and a shower room,
a sauna, an office and a studio that's currently in use
as a treatment room. Outside, there's a garage
and a beautiful, multi-level garden.
It's a little sun trap.
-It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Absolutely ideal size for us as well.
So I think we've scored quite well with this one!
Do we have potential for a vegetable patch?
I would say so, yeah.
There's a little bit of garden behind that wall as well, but as you can see,
they've got a little developed veg patch here, quite modest,
but there's nothing to stop you making that bigger.
You couldn't have done more for us.
I quite agree with that.
It's been absolutely a privilege to come round this property.
-A privilege, indeed.
Will it be a privilege to buy it, then?
You were keen to get your cheque book out before we'd even got through the door, Heather!
I suspect that thought is still foremost in your mind.
But we need to talk about the price.
Where are we on this one, then, David?
Well, it's a lovely house.
I think it's nearer to the top end of our budget.
-I'd go for 530,000.
I think it's going to be slightly higher than that,
and I'll go for 545.
It's not £545,000, I'm afraid.
It's £480,000. SHE GASPS
For once, you're lost for words!
And that would give us plenty of money to do it up.
You did say 480, didn't you?
I did. They are the right numbers in the right order.
-Right then, better wet the ink, mate.
I suspect you'll be writing something fairly quickly!
Go and have another look around.
In particular, do have a look at the basement area.
I think you'll find that quite amusing, you'll see what I mean.
-Go on, then. Off you go.
This wonderful detached house has come in way under budget,
and gives Heather and David
everything they've asked for and more.
There's a great living room and a spectacular conservatory,
along with four bedrooms.
The basement offers plenty of extra space,
and then there's the garden with all its nooks, crannies and sea views.
Location-wise, it couldn't be better situated,
close to amenities and the sea.
-Watch your head!
-I will do.
Nice little office, working area.
Do you think it would be sufficient for your office space?
Well, just a little bit concerned about the head room.
This is an interesting little room.
I think it'd make a perfect studio for you.
I could even have my art books up there.
Well, it's a really lovely house. It has heaps of character.
I can see Heather and I living here for a long time to come.
It's light, it's airy.
The garden is a real little sun trap.
And there's a studio and there's a little study for yourself.
I don't think we could better this.
Well, look at these beaming faces!
-Happy with the studio?
Well, I am delighted at your reaction to this property,
and if it were the last property on our list, so far, so good.
However, of course, there is one more to come.
-The Mystery House.
-The Mystery House.
Can it possibly better this one?
Who knows, but I am pleased to think
that at least we've got one really good contender on our list.
Come on, let's go.
There's nothing more vibrant to signal the arrival of spring
to the British countryside than the sight of yellow daffodils
swaying in the breeze.
And it seems we Brits just can't get enough of them.
An estimated three-quarters of a billion daffs
are grown commercially in the UK each year.
But it's Cornwall that's the largest producer of this springtime bloom
in the world.
I've come to meet James Hosking on his 25,000-acre farm near Truro,
where his father first planted my favourite flower half a century ago.
I had no idea that Cornwall was the home of the British daffodil.
Yes, the climate down here is absolutely ideally suited to daffodils,
and it's really because we've got these mild springs,
which mean we get the daffodils before everyone else.
So, it is the true harbinger of spring,
and when you're in darkest winter in the rest of the country,
suddenly you get a bit of spring coming out of Cornwall as the daffodils arrive.
They do look beautiful today, putting on a fabulous show.
How many acres have you got given over to daffodils, James?
Of daffodils, we've got about 170 acres.
And how many daffodils is it possible to quantify
that you actually produce here?
Roughly, we pick about 15 million stems of flowers
-that go to market each year.
And how many varieties?
Well, we've got about 400 different varieties.
We tend to have a lot of speciality daffodils,
as opposed to the Cornish crop,
which really is producing the early yellow trumpet daffodil.
These yellow flowers aren't just a pretty face -
they were brought to Britain centuries ago by the Romans,
who believed their sap to have healing powers.
But even today, a substance in their bulbs
is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's.
The daffodils on James's family farm are picked
from the beginning of January through to mid-April.
And although numbers run into many millions,
they're still plucked by hand.
They just look beautiful today.
I mean, that's a classic example, isn't it?
They do, and it is, but that's not what we want to pick.
That's how it needs to look in someone's vase.
So, actually, that's the one we want to pick.
-It's at the stage we pick it.
-The one that's unopened?
Unopened. This variety needs to just be showing a little bit of colour
to show... And that's at the right stage to pick it.
And do you cut them?
No, our way of doing it is what we call pulling it,
because what you want is a clean break on the stem, and not...
If you pick it, you can squash it, and they curl up and it looks tatty.
So our way is... No pressure in my thumb, I just grip it in my palm.
You give it a sharp pull up,
and it gives a clean break on the stem,
and also it gives me another inch longer stem,
-so that makes a longer bunch.
-That's the perfect picked daffodil.
-One of the 15 million.
-One of the 15 million.
Ten of those, and that's a bunch.
We've put this out in our cold store for tonight to cool down,
and then it's posted out tomorrow,
so in one day's time, it'll be on someone's kitchen table
or living room or whatever, and just starting to open.
I mean, can I just practise the technique
on this very pretty head here?
Because, you know, that to me...
And you're saying...pull, not pick.
Yeah, so grip it with your palm and don't pinch it with your thumb.
So grip it and just pull up.
There we are, a nice, clean break.
-And what variety is that one?
-This one's called Rosemoor Gold,
which is a new variety that was actually bred down here at Camborne.
Wow. Now, about four years ago, when I moved into my current home,
James, we planted about 1,000 daffodil bulbs, and thankfully,
they are looking absolutely at their best at the moment.
But there are one or two clumps which are showing
no signs of flowering at all.
They just look like that, let me pull that off of there.
Clumps with seemingly no flower on them at all.
Will they eventually produce flowers?
It's short of nutrients, and the bulb's defensive mechanism
is not to send up a flower because it's sort of struggling slightly.
And it's generally because either it's short of nutrients
because it's used them all up, or often there are trees nearby
that have, A, given a bit of shade or sucked it out of the ground.
So the answer is, you want plenty of potash and potassium,
like old bonemeal or whatever, fertiliser,
which will get them back again.
That's very interesting, you're right, they are near trees.
So actually what I need to do now is to get home, fertilise them
and then hopefully next year, we'll get that instead of that.
Right, then, we'd better get picking, hadn't we?
There we go, that's a nice one, isn't it?
-That's very nice.
-Yep, there we are.
You've certainly got your work cut out, though, I mean,
-to get 15 million.
-That's right, and then, to finish off,
I have my daffodils, I want to even them up now,
so I give them a little twist to straighten all the stems
-and get them to line up.
Bring their heads on, and so you just...
Quick break on those, even up again.
-Look at that.
-And then, that's a nice bunch of daffodils.
You've got a rubber band already on yours,
I haven't even picked enough yet! LAUGHTER
I'm not sure I'm really going to help you towards your total.
-I've done it before.
-You certainly have.
Now, James may have 400 varieties of daffs on his farm,
but there are 13,000 hybrid varieties, too.
It's been a fascinating insight into what is, without question,
my favourite flower.
Well, Jules, it's been an absolute pleasure having you here,
and why don't you take those home to put in a vase?
I know exactly where they're going to go. Lovely.
-Made in Cornwall, just like they should be.
Well, there's no doubt that these daffs are a sign of new beginnings.
So now, it's back to our house-hunt,
to continue our search for a new home for Heather and David.
Well, I think it's safe to say, David, that at last,
our house search might really be getting somewhere.
Yes, the last property that we've just seen was absolutely excellent.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
So, what could we possibly have come up with,
Heather, for our Mystery House?
Well, I've deliberated about it long and hard.
It has to be a barn.
Possibly with a twist.
-You don't like barns.
-No, I don't, really.
But our Mystery House does have a twist.
And as a clue, it's a lovely mixture of classical elegance.
Well, Heather, I think that rules out a houseboat, doesn't it?
A houseboat would be a bit unkind,
that would be a busman's holiday for you, wouldn't it?
-It would, rather.
-Well, let's see what you make of it.
It's got a lot to compete with, though, hasn't it?
We await with eager anticipation.
Our final stop is the village of St Clement in mid-Cornwall.
Just south of St Clement is the village of Malpas,
which sits on the bank of the Truro River,
where it meets the River Tresillian.
Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Malpas is a port
and is popular for its boat trips in the summer months.
The river here is known for being unpredictable at times
and there are even tales of tidal waves in the 19th century.
Five minutes away is St Clement, where we find our final offering,
which forms part of this grand, Georgian home.
Well, chaps, this very steep drive goes to the heart of explaining
in part how our Mystery House - there it is - is arranged.
-What do you think of that?
-Is it all of it?
No. You get...that cream wing.
-I like the style.
-It looks Georgian.
Its proportions on the inside are Georgian -
high ceilings, big windows, loads of light,
but, in truth, this was put on in the late 1980s.
-Now, it is a wing of an earlier country house,
a mixture of Victorian and Georgian,
although, that bit there you can see is 1940s.
So it's a building that's evolved in both size and purpose over time.
David, is this one possibly going to compete with our last offering?
Well, let's have a look inside and see how it's all set up.
I do like the fact that it's set in nice woodland
and it's totally different to what we've seen before.
It's a slice of mini-estate, really.
Right then, let's have a look.
This rather grand, semidetached house
uses its elevated position to its advantage
and has been laid out in an upside-down configuration
to make the most of the superb views across the Cornish countryside,
and so win it its title of Mystery House.
We're starting our tour in the sunlit living room.
Our Mystery House may be turned on its head,
but it's not hard to see why.
Well, this is the obvious place to start, I think,
and you can see how the reorientation of the downstairs
to the upstairs works rather nicely,
with those views out of the window
and these lovely, really generous proportions.
I do like the layout of the room and the size and the fireplace.
I like the fireplace very much.
I think it gives you the idea
-that none of the rooms here are going to be tiny.
It's certainly interesting and will certainly make us think.
Good. Well, let's have a look at the kitchen.
Dining room in there.
And then, in here... I mean, I think, in fairness,
this is probably the same size as the living room next door.
-It is a lovely kitchen.
-I think you're probably right.
Lovely working space here.
They've got this as a bit of a sort of living end.
You'd certainly accommodate a much bigger dining table here.
Yes, and then possibly use the dining room for some other function.
So the whole thing has had a quite recent refresh.
Not just in the kitchen, but also in the bathrooms, too.
Come on, follow me. Let's go and look downstairs.
Also on this floor is a beautifully appointed bathroom,
but it's downstairs where we find the sleeping quarters.
Now, unusually, I thought we might start down here
with one of the two family bathrooms this place has to offer you.
Oh, this is a very good bathroom.
-I like the shower. Yeah. Super shower.
And I know Heather likes the bath.
I like the roll-top bath, that's really nice,
and the big radiator beside it.
I can certainly imagine myself languishing in there
with a glass of something nice after a hard week at sea.
I think that could well be the case, yes.
But, of course, this, really, is to flatter and spoil your guests with,
because the master bedroom, just across the hallway,
not surprisingly, has its own en suite.
Come and have a look at this.
Probably one of the most generous master bedrooms I've seen of late,
-if I'm honest.
-I do like a big bedroom.
It's got plenty of scope for extra furniture,
like you could have a couch there, for instance.
And they have had in the past.
It is very luxurious.
It is like...a five-star hotel.
Do you want to check in, I wonder?
Come on, let's go up and talk about the price.
Along with this luxurious master bedroom
are a further three double bedrooms on the ground floor.
There's one with an adjoining cloakroom,
a room of the same proportions next door
and another, slightly larger one across the corridor.
Moving back outside, as well as the private driveway,
there's also a lawned garden on the lower level,
surrounded by mature trees,
but the view can be best appreciated from a raised terrace.
There's no getting away from how intoxicating those views are, guys.
They're absolutely gorgeous views.
And there are many other factors to recommend our Mystery House,
Heather, but clearly, the price may be the weightiest of the lot.
Make me an offer for our mystery, mock-Georgian number.
I think I would give you 430,000 for it.
-Oh, would you?
-I'd agree with Heather,
but I wouldn't go quite so low as that.
I think I'd price it at £460,000.
You know, there is a curious relationship
between the estimates people give on properties...
and how much they really love them.
This is on the market at £550,000,
or indeed, offers in excess of,
although, of course, open to negotiation.
So, go and have a quick run round, don't take too long,
and I'll come and find you and whisk you away.
-Off you go.
Our great and grand Mystery House has crept in just under budget.
It offers Heather and David both light and plenty of space.
There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms,
and because it's an upside-down house,
there are wonderful views from many a window.
There's also a manageable garden
and the house is located just a short drive from amenities.
This property fulfils the criteria
of the Mystery House, most certainly.
It's quirky in the fact that it's an upside-down house.
However, it is a little bit isolated.
It's very interesting to see this property, though.
It's been an intriguing property
and one I've thoroughly enjoyed looking round.
There are a lot of nice features within this property,
for instance, both Heather and I were very much taken
with the kitchen and also the master bedroom,
so it does have a lot going for it,
but perhaps not enough for ourselves.
Out you come!
Right, then, that's it, our house tours are now all over.
You have got quite a lot to think about, I suspect.
-Shall we go?
Well, it's now decision time for David and for Heather,
so, as a final treat on our trip to Cornwall this week,
I thought I'd bring them here
to the beautiful Botanic Gardens at Tregothnan.
These are just part of what is still
the largest privately owned estate in Cornwall,
and just over a decade ago, they started growing this stuff - tea.
It's the perfect place for a final chat
over a lovely, home-grown cuppa.
Well, this is all very civilised.
-How are you?
-I am very well, thank you.
A cup of Cornish tea, Cornish scones and, look -
Cornish daffodils that I picked.
Mmm. Now, then, before we celebrate completely...
let's think about these properties,
cos we've given you, I think, a really interesting range,
but I think it will come as no surprise to anybody
to realise that there is one front runner.
Tell me what it is.
-I think you know it's going to be the house in Mevagissey.
-It's the house in Mevagissey.
It was a remarkable price.
And, in terms of its location, next to the harbour, pretty much.
Really couldn't have done better than that.
Are you surprised to have found a property this week
that you've clearly fallen head over heels in love with?
Yes, because it wasn't really a location that we'd thought about.
I wanted somewhere with a community,
and Mevagissey gives us that in buckets,
but the house was quite a surprise.
It's got the studio, it's got the study,
it's got the lovely, large bedrooms.
It's got the wonderful kitchen and conservatory, and the view.
-What more could we ask?
-So, what happens next?
I know you've still got your house to sell, any movement on that?
Well, our house is on the market, as you're aware.
We have been in touch with the agent today.
We're informed there's been lots of interest,
but, unfortunately, no concrete offers yet,
but we are hoping for that to change soon.
Well, guys, I'm absolutely delighted. I can't wait for you
to go back and have another look. I'm sure you will.
And then, hopefully, news
that you may have been able to put in an offer.
How optimistic are you that might happen, Heather?
-Right then, David, that's told us, hasn't it?
So we might as well toast to your new life in Cornwall.
It will happen, I dare say, very soon.
-New life in Cornwall.
-Here's to you.
Well, it is often said that some of our best decisions are made
over a cup of good, old-fashioned tea,
and that is exactly what has happened here
in these beautiful surroundings at Tregothnan.
Now, I mentioned earlier
that this was the biggest private estate in Cornwall.
It is also, surely, one of the oldest.
It's been in the same family since 1334
and that is the sort of legacy that I think most of us would aspire to.
And now, hopefully, Heather and David have got the chance to create
a legacy of their own. And not just for themselves,
but also for their children and their grandchildren
in a beautiful Victorian villa overlooking the sea.
I'll see you next time.
If you would like to Escape To The Country
in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England
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With a budget of £560,000, Jules Hudson is assisting a retired couple in their bid to move to Cornwall, where they hope to get involved in the local community and volunteer for the National Coastwatch Institution.
It is the ideal time to visit as Jules gets the pick of the bunch in the county that is the home of the British daffodil.