Derbyshire Escape to the Country


Derbyshire

With a budget of £475k, Alistair Appleton is helping a couple and their young sons to quit London and make a new life and home in Derbyshire.


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Transcript


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This metal dome is actually a map,

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charting the positions of the stars and planets

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above my head.

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It's called a stellarsphere,

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and it's a memorial to one of England's greatest astronomers.

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Find out who he was, and where I am, in just a moment.

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Once upon a time, two long-time Londoners

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had a dream of moving to the country.

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This feels to me like, you know, the sort of a house in the woods,

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the gingerbread fairy-tale sort of place.

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-But without the...

-But without the witch!

-Exactly.

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THEY LAUGH

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'And they may find their fairy-tale ending.'

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Completely tugging at my heartstrings, it really is, yeah.

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-I can just imagine us in here.

-I could, yeah.

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Today, I'm in Derbyshire, in the village of Denby,

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and this is the birthplace of John Flamsteed,

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England's first Astronomer Royal.

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Flamsteed spent his entire life observing the night sky,

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and he was one of the first to make the observation

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of what he thought was a star, and called 34 Tauri,

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but he was wrong.

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It turned out to be the planet that we now know as Uranus.

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Derbyshire is in the East Midlands of England

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and borders counties including Staffordshire,

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South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

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The carboniferous limestone that gives the county its dramatic

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gorges and heady cliffs has also produced

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the many grey stone villages

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that dot the landscape, such as the aptly named Stony Middleton.

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A large section of the Peak District,

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the first national park in England,

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is found in the county.

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It includes the remains of a collapsed cave system called

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Winnats Pass - a craggy valley whose steep sides were formed

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by water erosion.

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There are many footpaths in the area.

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But as well as being a popular destination for walkers,

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the high moorland plateaus and ridges of the national park

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are the source of many rivers.

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And it's these waterways that powered Britain's

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Industrial Revolution in the 18th century.

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Here on the Derwent, pioneering inventor Sir Richard Arkwright

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built one of his greatest endeavours, the Masson Cotton Mill,

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setting the blueprints for future construction.

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It's now a working museum.

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On the banks of the River Wye, we find what was

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once the 11th-century seat of William Peverel the Elder,

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alleged to be the illegitimate son of William the Conqueror.

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The current Haddon Hall showcases the architecture of the

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medieval manor house,

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with alterations and additions from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

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Elsewhere on the River Wye,

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water has been harnessed for recreation and relaxation.

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The Romans called Buxton "the waters of the goddess of the grove",

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and in the 18th century, the town became a spa centre,

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complete with elegant accommodation for an influx

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of wealthy tourists.

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So, for sublime scenery, a slice of social history,

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or a stop at a spa town,

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it's well worth diving into the depths of Derbyshire,

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and making that country escape.

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With more than a third of the country lying inside the

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Peak District National Park,

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there's plenty of gorgeous locations in Derbyshire.

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And property prices are not too expensive.

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The average price for a detached house here is £216,000,

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which is a whopping £84,000 less than the national figure.

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However, to protect rural communities,

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there are some restrictions on properties inside the park.

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These occupancy restrictions means that people can't buy them

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unless they've been working or living in the park

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for more than three years.

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However there are plenty of other gorgeous properties to be had,

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so let's meet the couple who are doing the choosing today.

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After 26 years together, John, a deputy headteacher,

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and Steven, who runs a hypnotherapy practice

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from their home in Leytonstone, East London,

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have the family of their dreams.

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We never imagined...

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even ten years ago,

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that we'd be able to get married.

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So, to have the civil partnership

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come along was amazing.

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And then when the adoption laws changed to allow gay couples

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to adopt, again, we never envisaged that we'd be able to

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have the family that we'd always wanted, with children.

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I can't think of a better decision we've made

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than to adopt the two boys that we have.

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We've got a really lovely family now.

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Becoming parents 18 months ago

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meant a big shift in priorities.

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And they feel that leaving London for a new life in the country

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is the best move for them and their two young sons.

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We've really searched ourselves

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and thought about how we were going to be...

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to be the best for them.

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And I think this move

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is another part of that journey,

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of wanting them to have

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the kinds of childhoods that we had,

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where you were able to go out and run around.

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You know, go for long walks in the fields, in the countryside,

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and not have to worry.

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And the feeling that we don't have to do one thing after the next,

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run from one appointment to another appointment.

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So the slower pace, I think, quite appeals.

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But also to have more space, I think, around us.

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For some reason, I having a vegetable patch sounds, you know,

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something I want to do, maybe even keep a few chickens.

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Along with the rural backdrop and room for their growing family,

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John's hoping for space to rekindle his musical side.

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I love writing music...

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and singing, performing.

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I've worked on several operas, I've written a requiem mass,

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which was a long time ago.

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And it's that kind of thing that I want to get back in touch with.

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My creative passions have taken very much a sideline.

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So, I've got a lot of unfinished projects,

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which I'm hoping will now get finished.

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And then see where I'm going from there.

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When it comes to the location of the new home,

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they both know where they want to go.

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We decided on Derbyshire as being a good place

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for the boys to grow up in, and also for ourselves,

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because we've visited the county so many times,

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and we've never grown bored of it.

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Derbyshire has always seemed to have a calling for us.

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You don't have to drive too far to get out into the

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sticks and the forests and the woods.

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Derbyshire's just a stunning place.

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And, you know, lovely villages...

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and the hills and the Peak District, and all that.

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It's one of those places, it's to feel...

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"Wow". You know, to feel...

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Feel comfortable, and to feel safe, and to feel,

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"This is where I really want to be."

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But most of all, it's about giving their life a breath of fresh air.

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It's having that...just that room to go...

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HE TAKES DEEP BREATH

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You know? And just...just chill out.

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-And living life rather than just existing.

-Existing.

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Steven and John are open to living anywhere in Derbyshire

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with good links to either the city of Derby or town of Chesterfield,

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for Steven's client base.

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But before I start showing them houses,

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we're meeting in their chosen county to talk about

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what they want from their move.

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-Morning, guys.

-Morning.

-Hi.

-Welcome to Derbyshire, although

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-you know Derbyshire quite well.

-Mmm.

-We do now, yeah.

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You moved together 20 years ago, to Leytonstone. Um...

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But this is a much bigger move, cos you've got the boys on board.

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How are you feeling about it? How are they feeling about it?

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We're excited, nervous, as you might expect.

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The boys are, um...

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-A little nervous.

-Mmm.

-A bit anxious.

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But they've made several moves in their lives already,

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and as one of them has said to me,

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"It's just another chapter in our lives, it's just another move."

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Tell me a bit about your spec.

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Remind us what we're looking for today.

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For just the house, which is a five-bedroom house.

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-So, five bedrooms, quite a big house.

-Mmm.

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-And you want a music room, is that right?

-Yes.

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Yeah, I need to have a space to be creative.

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What about the reception rooms? What do you need there?

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Well, I know John likes a big kitchen,

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cos our current one is very small, and he's quite a cook.

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Well, I have got a lovely sort of vision of me cooking

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and the boys sitting there doing their homework, or being creative...

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We love a vision on this show.... THEY LAUGH

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-And then we dash it with reality(!)

-No, I don't believe that, Alistair.

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Um, and one of the things I'm after is a separate room for my practice,

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-because I'm a therapist.

-Yeah.

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So, that will have to be downstairs, as well.

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And in terms of location and space outside,

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what are you looking for there?

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We want a decent-sized garden, particularly for the boys to

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be able to play out and enjoy being in the countryside.

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In terms of the actual style of the house, what are you looking for?

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Eh, we're after a house with character.

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I suppose our fantasy is the cottage,

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with a lovely real fire in the living room.

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So, we haven't really been interested in new-builds

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unless they've got something quirky about them.

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-If it feels right, if it's the right house, we can make it work.

-Mmm.

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Remind me of your budget. How much money have we got to play with?

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If we find a house with outbuildings, around 475.

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OK, so the outbuildings are for what...?

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-For the possibility of converting to maybe holiday lets.

-Oh, OK.

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-OK, well, we can talk about that as we go along.

-Sure.

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It's quite a lot that you're looking for.

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-You know, it's a nice big budget, but...

-Yeah, sure.

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We have some great properties lined up. All quite different,

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so hopefully one of them will tug at your heartstrings.

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And there's no time like the present, so get your bits and bobs,

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-let's go.

-Fantastic.

-Thank you.

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With a total budget of up to £475,000

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for the right house, with outbuildings,

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Steven and John would like a character property with

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a large kitchen, five bedrooms,

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a music room,

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and somewhere for Steven's hypnotherapy practice.

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They'd also like a large, child-friendly garden.

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We've got some incredible properties to show them,

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and at each, I'll be asking them to

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guess the price before I reveal it.

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The final tour will be our Mystery House,

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which may lead to a surprising conversion.

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How are you feeling about moving to the countryside,

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now you're coming up into the sticks of Derbyshire?

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Everybody's been so friendly and so welcoming anywhere that we've been

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that it's kind of put my mind at rest.

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We love Derbyshire. We just love...

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When we come up, it's just that feeling.

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As soon as you see a bit of green or a tree,

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you know, it's like we' just sort of relax.

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It's something about being back in the countryside, in nature,

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that seems to naturally help you let go of the stresses of being

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in a busy city, and it just feels like it's going to be

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-a slightly slower existence.

-Yeah.

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Having to go from one diary entry to another and squeeze things in and

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rushed here, there and everywhere.

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Our house-hunting is taking us to the village of Hatton,

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close to the Staffordshire border.

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Around half a mile across the River Dove

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is the village of Tutbury.

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Below the ruins of its medieval castle are tea rooms, pubs,

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a post office and other provisions.

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But this is no sleepy country backwater,

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it's still a busy and populous place, as one factor of the house

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we've come to see demonstrates.

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So let's head back to the village of Hatton.

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So our first house meets pretty much all of your commitments on paper

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-except for one, and that you can probably hear.

-Yes.

-Yes.

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THEY CHUCKLE

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So, behind that big hedge, we've got a busy road into the village.

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-It's not the big rural location that you were looking for.

-OK.

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Well, we know we'd have to compromise on something, so...

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-We've lived close to kind of a main road in London, haven't we?

-Mm.

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What do you think about the actual property?

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-It looks really lovely.

-Yeah.

-Really... It looks old.

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-Yeah.

-A bit of character.

-Yeah.

-That's what we're looking for.

-Yeah.

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Love the house. But, yeah, the road...a little bit busy.

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-But, you know, we can have a look and see what we think.

-Yeah.

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-Let's go and have a look inside.

-OK.

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Although not in the depths of the countryside, I think

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this less isolated location may well appeal to our pair,

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who are used to living in London's busy East End.

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What's more, this detached home, originally built in the 1850s,

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shares some of the Victorian character they know and love

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in their current home.

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Extended to the front in the latter part of the Victorian era,

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a porched front door takes us through a very large entrance hall,

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currently used as a games area, and on to a further reception room.

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Come into this room.

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This is a good example of the Victorian dimensions of the house,

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with a lovely kind of fireplace, big, high ceilings.

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It's a lovely space. What do you think?

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-It is really...really calming, isn't it?

-Yes, it is.

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And it's very quiet.

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Nice sort of sanctuary.

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In terms of the kind of the style and period of the house,

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-is this what you were looking for?

-Yes.

-Yes, absolutely. Yeah.

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Yeah, it's... That sort of period of architecture is something

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I really like. It's solid, it's build to last.

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Nice big room, nice high ceilings, and that's...that's lovely.

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There's quite a lot of reception space in this house.

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As you noticed as we came in, there's a great big hallway,

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where they've got a sort of pool table.

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That could be a playroom, cos that's at the foot of the stairs.

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Yeah, that's true.

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-Good. So... Thumbs up?

-Yes, definitely.

-So far, yeah.

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-Let's continue our exploration.

-OK.

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Back through entrance hall,

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a corridor leads to the rear of the property where there is a large

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kitchen and breakfast room

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with lines of sight through to two further reception rooms.

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So come in. Now we come to the very other end of the house.

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It's a bit of a whistle-stop tour.

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But if you look behind you here,

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you've got these parallel through rooms here, lots of space.

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It's quite a big ground floor.

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This, then, is the kitchen, which is

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-kind of your domain. Is that right, John?

-Oh, yes.

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I like it.

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I can see me in here.

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Nice table here for the boys to sit and do their homework on.

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It's also nice to have a space that's sort of separate

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-but you can also see what they're up to.

-Exactly, yeah.

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And then I was thinking your music room could be there at the back.

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-Yep, yep.

-Is that going to be enough space?

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-Yes. Yes, definitely.

-Phew! Cos we can't give you any more.

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-No. Lots of possibilities about how we can use the room.

-Definitely.

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If you look over here,

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through this window, across the courtyard here,

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that's the annexe, so that's fully wired up,

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and we were thinking that would be a perfect place

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-as your therapy space.

-Oh, wow, wonderful, OK.

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Cos, you know, your clients could park, come in,

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they'd never have to come into the main house.

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No, that's a great idea, yeah.

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-Very excited actually.

-Yeah, yeah.

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-As you say, it ticks a lot of the boxes.

-Yeah.

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-I get a good feeling in here.

-Good.

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Yeah, I got that as soon as I came in through the door.

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It's important for me sort of the emotional connection to a place.

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-Yeah.

-I can see us entertaining here as well,

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because we do enjoy our entertainment, don't we?

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Particularly when you're cooking a lovely meal.

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We'll give you plenty of time, obviously, to look around,

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-but let's look upstairs.

-OK.

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The tranquillity, space and elegant dimensions offered up inside

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this home seem to have dispelled their initial reservations for now.

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And completing this floor is a cloakroom and utility.

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Upstairs, we find the four-bedroomed sleeping quarters.

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Above the kitchen,

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a family bathroom sits next to a double room.

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Another double has a single-aspect window,

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whilst a third enjoys aspects to the front and side of the home.

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That leaves the wing above the hall and sitting room

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for the fourth, largest bedroom, complete with an en-suite.

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Here we are, the master bedroom.

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-It's a lovely sized room.

-It is. Yeah.

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It's got a nice feel to it. Our sanctuary!

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Yeah.

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Lots of room for storage and getting all your clothes in.

0:16:080:16:12

-Right.

-Oh, yeah, all my shoes.

0:16:120:16:14

But this is quite a spectacular en-suite.

0:16:140:16:17

-Oh!

-Oh!

-Wow.

0:16:170:16:19

It's enormous, isn't it? Yes.

0:16:190:16:21

Oh, that was a surprise.

0:16:210:16:23

It is a very spacious house.

0:16:230:16:25

-You know, those Victorians, they didn't skimp on space.

-That's true.

0:16:250:16:28

-I think let's get the price in place.

-OK.

0:16:280:16:31

-So let's step outside for a moment.

-OK.

0:16:310:16:33

A good reaction to the interior of this large Victorian home.

0:16:350:16:39

And outside, there's gated rear access

0:16:390:16:41

to that self-contained annexe.

0:16:410:16:43

There's also off-street parking

0:16:430:16:46

and two single garages,

0:16:460:16:48

as well as a rather luxurious hot tab.

0:16:480:16:51

The front of the home features a large lawn

0:16:510:16:54

plus a paved terrace for al fresco dining.

0:16:540:16:57

What do you think of the garden size?

0:16:570:17:00

-It's a good size. I can see the boys being quite happy here.

-Absolutely.

0:17:000:17:03

Plenty of room for them to play in, I think.

0:17:030:17:05

Nice sort of zones to sit out in, on a summer's day.

0:17:050:17:09

What do you think about the price? You think this all comes in at?

0:17:090:17:12

-I'm going to go for 410.

-OK.

0:17:120:17:16

I'm going to go more towards the top of our budget. I think around 470.

0:17:160:17:20

Aha, right. So quite a disparity.

0:17:200:17:22

-Slap bang in the middle, actually. It's on at 430.

-Oh.

0:17:220:17:25

That's, I think, pretty good.

0:17:250:17:27

that gives you some money to play around with,

0:17:270:17:29

maybe redecorating stuff.

0:17:290:17:31

Why don't you go and explore and I'll catch up with you afterwards?

0:17:310:17:34

Brilliant, thank you.

0:17:340:17:35

That's a pretty good first house. I know the road is noisy.

0:17:360:17:39

That's going to be an issue.

0:17:390:17:40

But there's so much to offer in this property,

0:17:400:17:42

we couldn't not show it to them.

0:17:420:17:44

I think they are pretty charmed.

0:17:440:17:46

This detached Victorian home

0:17:480:17:50

comes with a large kitchen/breakfast room

0:17:500:17:53

and four further reception spaces.

0:17:530:17:55

There are four bedrooms, including a spacious en-suite,

0:17:550:17:58

and a self-contained annexe as well as two garages.

0:17:580:18:02

This would make a good therapy room.

0:18:020:18:04

-Yeah, I think so, yeah. Really fit the bill.

-Nice big space.

0:18:040:18:07

-And actually it is big enough to do small workshops as well.

-Oh, yeah.

0:18:070:18:10

-That's an idea.

-A possibility.

0:18:100:18:12

I think the first thing I noticed about the property was its size.

0:18:120:18:15

It seemed like it held a lot of rooms.

0:18:150:18:17

And certainly we weren't disappointed when we came inside.

0:18:170:18:20

It was quite an imposing building, but at the same time,

0:18:200:18:22

we felt quite comfortable in here.

0:18:220:18:27

I think the house definitely

0:18:270:18:28

has potential, particularly if I think about my therapy practice

0:18:280:18:32

and that the annexe outside could definitely be converted to

0:18:320:18:35

a nice therapy space.

0:18:350:18:37

It's definitely a contender, I believe.

0:18:370:18:40

I feel at home.

0:18:400:18:42

I could see us living here.

0:18:420:18:44

I can see all our stuff here.

0:18:440:18:46

I can also see me pottering around in the kitchen,

0:18:460:18:48

watching the boys do their homework, so, like, I've moved in, in my head.

0:18:480:18:52

-OK, we're done with this one, let's go on to the next.

-OK.

0:18:550:18:58

Derbyshire may be best known for its Dales,

0:19:050:19:08

but at one time wealthy tourists came to the county not to clamber

0:19:080:19:12

up on its craggy cliffs

0:19:120:19:14

but to enjoy the alleged benefits of its naturally heated waters.

0:19:140:19:18

The town of Buxton, once popular with the Romans, enjoyed

0:19:180:19:23

a renaissance as a spa resort from the 18th century onwards.

0:19:230:19:27

And in 1903, an impressive opera house was built.

0:19:270:19:31

John, an opera fan who has even written some himself,

0:19:310:19:35

plans to explore his musical side after the move, so during the

0:19:350:19:39

week, we sent him and Steven to tour this theatrical treasure.

0:19:390:19:43

They are starting in the Dress Circle meeting Jenny Mather,

0:19:430:19:46

a keen amateur dramatist who has performed here herself.

0:19:460:19:50

-Hi, nice to meet you.

-You too.

0:19:500:19:52

Blimey, what an amazing theatre.

0:19:530:19:56

It is a stunning theatre, isn't it?

0:19:560:19:57

It was built in 1903 by Frank Matcham,

0:19:570:20:00

who was the most prolific theatre architect in the country

0:20:000:20:04

in the Victorian and Edwardian period.

0:20:040:20:06

Buxton Opera House is similar in design to the London Coliseum,

0:20:060:20:11

which you may be familiar with,

0:20:110:20:13

but it's considered one of Frank Matcham's most perfect design.

0:20:130:20:16

What makes it so special?

0:20:160:20:18

The proportions of the theatre are perfect,

0:20:180:20:21

and of course the decor is just to die for, isn't it?

0:20:210:20:24

It's just simply stunning.

0:20:240:20:26

And at the time in his career that Frank Matcham

0:20:260:20:28

built Buxton Opera House, you know, he had many years' experience,

0:20:280:20:32

so he mixed practicality with safety, lavish interior decor.

0:20:320:20:38

Of course, Frank Matcham was master of sight line and master of the key

0:20:380:20:42

sticks, so wherever you sit in the theatre, you are guaranteed

0:20:420:20:45

a fantastic view of the stage and you can always hear the performers.

0:20:450:20:49

It's still, you know,

0:20:490:20:50

a fantastic experience wherever you sit in the theatre.

0:20:500:20:54

There may be great views from all angles,

0:20:540:20:56

but the tiers tell tales from the strict social classes of yesteryear.

0:20:560:21:00

The middle and upper classes sat closeness to stage

0:21:010:21:04

level on the comfiest chairs and kept apart from the working class

0:21:040:21:08

up in the galleries, who were packed in on hard wooden benches.

0:21:080:21:13

And you'll be pleased to know that there are proper seats

0:21:130:21:15

upstairs in the gallery now.

0:21:150:21:18

There's so much gold everywhere,

0:21:180:21:20

then these amazing paintings on the ceiling.

0:21:200:21:23

The different painted panels represent the various arts,

0:21:230:21:26

so we've got music, literature,

0:21:260:21:30

dance, painting, poetry and comedy.

0:21:300:21:34

The gold leaf was repainted in 2001 and, I believe,

0:21:340:21:38

there's £85,000 worth of gold leaf up there.

0:21:380:21:41

And it is still as sparkling as what it was 2001.

0:21:410:21:44

In 1927, like many theatres at the time, the opera house became

0:21:460:21:50

a cinema before briefly closing during the 1970s.

0:21:500:21:53

Fortunately, it was restored and reopened, and it's now one of

0:21:540:21:58

around 20 surviving theatres in the country designed by Frank Matcham.

0:21:580:22:02

To demonstrate how productions are brought to life here,

0:22:040:22:07

technical manager Guy Dunk is on hand in the lighting box.

0:22:070:22:10

Well, it seems like a lot of buttons to press and control.

0:22:100:22:15

So how many lights are you controlling from the box?

0:22:150:22:17

Typically, for our own lighting rig, we've got about 130,

0:22:170:22:21

140 lamps. They're not all rigged at the same time,

0:22:210:22:24

but of course we get productions in from all over the world,

0:22:240:22:27

and they will bring additional lighting with them,

0:22:270:22:30

and so, you know, we can control, well, hundreds of lights.

0:22:300:22:36

The ancient Greeks were the first to use lighting cues with epic

0:22:360:22:40

performances calling for sunrise

0:22:400:22:42

and sunset at certain points of a production.

0:22:420:22:46

Several centuries later,

0:22:460:22:48

the Savoy Theatre in London went fully electric,

0:22:480:22:51

and others followed suit.

0:22:510:22:53

So, just to go through the basics, there's a touch-screen here.

0:22:530:22:57

Steve, if you want to press just there, we'll see...

0:22:570:23:00

..the house like going down, just gently fading out.

0:23:020:23:05

And then, John, if you perhaps just want to push up that fader.

0:23:050:23:10

-And there we can see the blue lights on the forestage.

-Wow.

0:23:100:23:16

You are now officially lighting operators. Well done.

0:23:160:23:20

So now what we are going to do is head down to the stage

0:23:200:23:24

and see what we can find there, OK?

0:23:240:23:27

Great.

0:23:270:23:29

The opera house uses what is known as a fly system.

0:23:290:23:32

This means hemp ropes and manpower are employed to raise

0:23:320:23:36

the stage curtain just as they were when the theatre first open.

0:23:360:23:39

So then, gentlemen, this is quite low-tech,

0:23:410:23:43

but this is the authentic experience,

0:23:430:23:45

so perhaps if you would like to head out onto the stage, and I will go

0:23:450:23:49

up the stairs, up to the fly floor and operate the curtain.

0:23:490:23:52

-OK?

-Thank you.

-See you in a bit.

0:23:520:23:54

OK, guys, are you ready? House curtain going up.

0:23:570:24:00

The boards of this 902-seater theatre have been trod by acting

0:24:020:24:06

legends such as Sir Alec Guinness and Dame Sybil Thorndike.

0:24:060:24:11

-Wow.

-Wow.

-Blimey.

0:24:110:24:14

Just stand and perform here.

0:24:140:24:16

Ladies and gentlemen...

0:24:160:24:18

Let's have a go of it.

0:24:180:24:19

Luckily, there are no signs of performance anxiety

0:24:200:24:23

as joining John and Steven on stage are community singers

0:24:230:24:26

The Kaleidoscope Choir for a rousing rendition

0:24:260:24:29

of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

0:24:290:24:33

# Hallelujah

0:24:330:24:35

# Hallelujah

0:24:350:24:38

# Hallelujah

0:24:380:24:41

# Hallelujah, hallelujah Hallelujah

0:24:410:24:45

# Hallelujah

0:24:450:24:49

# Hallelujah... #

0:24:490:24:53

No time for an encore, I'm afraid, as it's back to see if any

0:24:530:24:56

of our properties will get a curtain call on our Derbyshire house hunt.

0:24:560:25:00

The village of Brassington, in the Derbyshire Dales,

0:25:030:25:06

is where our search is heading.

0:25:060:25:08

Nestled in the rocky limestone uplands of White Peak

0:25:080:25:11

and close to many footpaths,

0:25:110:25:13

the quiet country lanes take in a pretty Norman church,

0:25:130:25:17

village shop and primary school,

0:25:170:25:19

alongside lovely old stone houses.

0:25:190:25:22

Once an important centre for lead mining,

0:25:230:25:25

reminders of the industry remain.

0:25:250:25:27

The house we've come to see is located in

0:25:280:25:30

a small residential close.

0:25:300:25:32

ALISTAIR SIGHS Listen, guys...

0:25:340:25:36

-Mmm. No road.

-Just quiet. Peace and quiet.

0:25:360:25:40

-Good. Good, good, good.

-This is the property we're interested in.

0:25:400:25:43

We're just a village away from the beginning of the national park.

0:25:430:25:46

-Oh.

-Right.

-So, great location.

0:25:460:25:48

-It looks beautiful, I think.

-It does, yeah.

0:25:480:25:51

-Really sort of country cottage-y.

-Lovely. I love the brickwork.

-Yeah.

0:25:510:25:54

-It feels nicely quiet down here, particularly.

-Mmm.

0:25:540:25:57

-So, the boys could play out here, I think...

-Yeah.

0:25:570:25:59

..and I'd be perfectly happy with that.

0:25:590:26:01

-Well, you'll see there's more play options elsewhere.

-OK.

0:26:010:26:05

Let's take a look inside.

0:26:050:26:06

Built in 1992 with a later extension,

0:26:080:26:11

a central hall takes us to the first room of the home,

0:26:110:26:14

which is currently unoccupied.

0:26:140:26:16

It's an unusual property because there's nothing in it,

0:26:190:26:21

-so the owners have already moved out.

-OK.

0:26:210:26:23

-But it gives you a blank canvas.

-Mmm.

0:26:230:26:25

Obviously, this is sitting room,

0:26:250:26:27

and it goes through into this lovely sunroom at the back.

0:26:270:26:30

-Not sure at the moment.

-Yeah.

0:26:300:26:32

-I like the location, I very much like the location.

-Yeah.

0:26:320:26:34

Not sure about the size of the house.

0:26:340:26:38

-I need to see the rest of the house.

-Yeah.

0:26:380:26:40

It's interesting, as well... Because it hasn't got the furniture in,

0:26:400:26:43

-it takes a bit more imagination...

-Mmm.

0:26:430:26:45

..to imagine the cosiness of it.

0:26:450:26:46

-So, there's a little bit of that going on as well.

-Mmm.

0:26:460:26:49

So, you're feeling it's a bit small...?

0:26:490:26:52

That's just first impressions, yeah. That might change as we go round.

0:26:520:26:55

Let's have a look in the kitchen.

0:26:550:26:57

Across the hall, the kitchen/breakfast room

0:26:570:27:00

sits to the front of the house.

0:27:000:27:02

Kitchen, again, bare of any furniture and...

0:27:030:27:06

What do you think?

0:27:060:27:08

-It's a good size.

-Yeah.

-Yeah, very good size.

0:27:080:27:11

The thing about this property is that...

0:27:110:27:13

one - it requires a bit of imagination

0:27:130:27:15

to put the furniture in place,

0:27:150:27:16

but also there's a potential to kind of change the interior.

0:27:160:27:19

So, there are plans that the owner had drawn up to knock through

0:27:190:27:23

there so you've got a big kitchen/diner that goes

0:27:230:27:25

right to the back of the house, right into the garden.

0:27:250:27:27

OK.

0:27:270:27:28

OK, that sounds like a good idea.

0:27:280:27:30

So it's definitely a property that you kind of need to kind of think

0:27:300:27:33

-beyond what you can see right now.

-Yeah.

0:27:330:27:35

We'd be up for that, I think.

0:27:350:27:36

We wouldn't do it ourselves. Get somebody else in to do it.

0:27:360:27:39

You've got a sort of cryptic smile, polite smile, John...

0:27:390:27:42

THEY LAUGH Does that mean you've given up

0:27:420:27:44

-on this one?

-No, I haven't given up on it at all, no.

-Right.

0:27:440:27:46

I'm just struggling to see how we're going to fit everything in.

0:27:460:27:51

Yeah.

0:27:510:27:52

It remains to be seen whether this house can coax John and Steven

0:27:520:27:56

to make it work for them, although it seems they are open

0:27:560:27:59

to doing some reconfiguration.

0:27:590:28:01

Completing the current layout of the ground floor,

0:28:010:28:04

a utility and cloakroom sit behind the kitchen.

0:28:040:28:07

And behind that, a dining room with views

0:28:070:28:10

and doors out to the garden.

0:28:100:28:12

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms.

0:28:120:28:14

To the front of the house, there's a double bedroom

0:28:140:28:16

with built-in wardrobes,

0:28:160:28:18

and a single room,

0:28:180:28:20

which are both served by a family bathroom.

0:28:200:28:23

There's a further bedroom to the rear of the house, with an en-suite.

0:28:230:28:27

Then, overlooking the garden, is the en-suite master.

0:28:270:28:31

This would be your bedroom.

0:28:320:28:35

Got great views.

0:28:350:28:36

Yes, it has.

0:28:370:28:38

And you've got an en-suite here.

0:28:380:28:40

It's a nice-sized room,

0:28:400:28:42

but I don't see much in the way of storage, you know.

0:28:420:28:45

-Once you get your...

-Yeah, once you get your bed in.

0:28:450:28:48

Yeah, that's true. Oh, dear. Feel like it's ebbing away.

0:28:480:28:51

JOHN LAUGHS Sand dropping through my fingertips.

0:28:510:28:54

It seems the accommodation in this detached Dales house

0:28:540:28:57

has failed to convince our buyers,

0:28:570:28:59

but perhaps the glorious garden setting will win them over.

0:28:590:29:03

As well as a stream,

0:29:030:29:04

there's a paddock of around a fifth of an acre.

0:29:040:29:07

And with a footpath on their doorstep,

0:29:070:29:09

the Derbyshire countryside is in easy reach.

0:29:090:29:13

Plus, the attached garage provides a versatile space

0:29:130:29:16

that could be adapted for Steven's therapy practice.

0:29:160:29:19

So, the garden, you can see here, is a great run-around for the boys.

0:29:210:29:25

LAUGHING: Still not looking very impressed...

0:29:250:29:27

-It's kind of everything that we weren't looking for.

-Oh, really?

0:29:270:29:31

Yeah. The look of the house is great,

0:29:310:29:33

it's just the actual size of the rooms, I think.

0:29:330:29:37

I love the fact the stream is there, not that we asked for that,

0:29:370:29:39

-but it's a lovely extra.

-Mmm. A good extra.

-Um, you know,

0:29:390:29:42

land-wise, garden-wise, it's here.

0:29:420:29:44

I find it difficult to see the therapy room being here

0:29:440:29:48

unless we invested in converting the garage.

0:29:480:29:52

Yeah, there are some options. You could kind of build out, over

0:29:520:29:54

the garage. You could also possibly go up into the roof, although,

0:29:540:29:57

as you see, it's got quite some impressive solar panels,

0:29:570:30:00

which brings back around £2,000 a year,

0:30:000:30:02

-so you're heating's pretty much for free.

-Sure.

0:30:020:30:05

Which is a pity. I mean, I love the conservatory, the size of it.

0:30:050:30:08

Obviously, there's features of it that are nice.

0:30:080:30:11

So, what do you think it's on the market for?

0:30:110:30:13

-Uh...375?

-Mm-hm.

0:30:130:30:15

I'll go for 400,000.

0:30:150:30:17

Your both a bit low, it's on a 418,000.

0:30:170:30:21

OK.

0:30:210:30:22

But go back inside and have another snoop around,

0:30:220:30:24

and I'll see you out front

0:30:240:30:25

and then we can see what else we can rustle up for you.

0:30:250:30:28

-OK.

-Great. Thank you.

0:30:280:30:30

Coming in below budget,

0:30:310:30:32

this detached Dales house comes with

0:30:320:30:35

a kitchen/breakfast room,

0:30:350:30:36

dedicated dining room

0:30:360:30:38

and a large conservatory.

0:30:380:30:40

There are four bedrooms,

0:30:400:30:41

two with en-suite bathrooms,

0:30:410:30:43

and a good-sized garden

0:30:430:30:45

surrounded by countryside.

0:30:450:30:47

-The conservatory's stunning. The views are amazing.

-Agreed.

0:30:470:30:51

So again, a lot of our boxes, I think, have been ticked.

0:30:530:30:56

-Maybe not enough.

-No.

0:30:560:30:59

I think the house promised a lot.

0:30:590:31:01

From when we rolled up at the front door, I thought,

0:31:010:31:03

"Wow, this looks just what we're looking for."

0:31:030:31:05

And the location was stunning.

0:31:050:31:07

The conservatory particularly appeals to me.

0:31:070:31:09

I quite like the idea of the sun coming in and kind of sitting

0:31:090:31:13

out there and reading.

0:31:130:31:15

As a growing family, I think we just need that room to expand.

0:31:150:31:19

The floor space, as a whole, is not as big as we've got at the moment.

0:31:190:31:24

It feels like there's too many compromises for us,

0:31:240:31:27

with this property.

0:31:270:31:28

This is the quiet location that we want,

0:31:280:31:31

-but just a bigger property.

-Yes. Yep.

0:31:310:31:34

I don't know how many extensions or skylights

0:31:350:31:38

or new solar panels

0:31:380:31:40

is going to make this house work for them, so...

0:31:400:31:43

I was just saying, I can't really tweak this property

0:31:430:31:46

to make it sing to you, can I?

0:31:460:31:47

-No, I'm afraid not, Alistair.

-Let's draw a veil over it.

-Yes.

0:31:470:31:51

-And go and get some rest and get ready for tomorrow.

-Wonderful.

0:31:510:31:54

We're in Derbyshire, with a maximum budget of £475,000

0:32:070:32:12

to find John and Steven, from East London,

0:32:120:32:14

a country home for them and their two sons.

0:32:140:32:17

They've already seen some lovely property, but there's

0:32:170:32:20

some more to come, including the Mystery House,

0:32:200:32:22

which could take our search to new heights.

0:32:220:32:25

-Do you like what you see?

-I do, yeah.

-I do like what I see, yeah.

0:32:250:32:28

It's lovely, it's welcoming, it's warming.

0:32:280:32:30

Got that lovely calm feeling.

0:32:300:32:33

And I'm at the cutting edge of a local craft revival in Derby.

0:32:330:32:37

I think there's something to be said about the warmth that

0:32:370:32:40

you get from wood. It's... Yeah, less sterile.

0:32:400:32:43

-It's lovely - you're kind of beaming as you say that.

-I know!

0:32:430:32:46

We didn't quite hit the mark yesterday, but today's

0:32:500:32:53

another day, here in the beautiful peaks, and we're hoping that

0:32:530:32:56

we can get closer to meet John and Steve's expectations,

0:32:560:33:00

even though they are quite high for their budget. But it's all for a

0:33:000:33:03

good cause - getting the boys a new home up here in the north -

0:33:030:33:07

so I'm hoping that one of today's properties is going to hit the mark.

0:33:070:33:11

I'm really hoping one of them does.

0:33:110:33:13

We're travelling to the small hamlet of Shipley Gate,

0:33:160:33:18

on the border with Nottinghamshire.

0:33:180:33:20

The town of Eastwood is under a mile and a half away and provides

0:33:210:33:24

a good range of shops and services. The writer D H Lawrence

0:33:240:33:28

was born in this former coal town, and as the son of a

0:33:280:33:32

barely literate miner, his exposure to colliery life was formative.

0:33:320:33:37

A short drive away, our next house is located by a canal

0:33:370:33:41

built to transport the region's coal. Accessed via a gated drive,

0:33:410:33:45

the surroundings may be picturesque, but it holds its own

0:33:450:33:49

rather gruesome link to the mining industry.

0:33:490:33:51

OK, now, I love this property, but I have no idea whether

0:33:530:33:56

you're going to love it or hate it.

0:33:560:34:00

-This used to be the slaughterhouse.

-Hmm.

-Yes.

0:34:000:34:03

I was toying whether to tell you that or not. It's the slaughterhouse

0:34:040:34:08

-where they used to slaughter the pit ponies.

-My goodness, wow.

0:34:080:34:12

This is a project, so it's whether you're going to be willing to

0:34:120:34:16

-do the work and make it happen.

-Sure.

-OK.

0:34:160:34:21

-I'm up for a project, yeah. Are you?

-I think so, yeah, yeah.

0:34:210:34:24

-What are your first thoughts, coming down the drive?

-I love it.

0:34:240:34:27

-Yeah?

-This kind of feels to me like the house in the woods,

0:34:270:34:31

you know, the gingerbread fairy-tale sort of place.

0:34:310:34:34

-But without the nasty...

-But without the witch!

-Exactly!

0:34:340:34:37

-Yeah, no, this looks fantastic.

-It does, yeah.

0:34:370:34:40

-Really excited about seeing inside.

-Let's see what you think.

0:34:400:34:43

With a stable block dating from the 18th century,

0:34:450:34:48

the main building was constructed in the 1920s

0:34:480:34:52

and converted into a home in the 1980s. Its intriguing layout

0:34:520:34:57

begins with an entrance hall, which leads into the country kitchen.

0:34:570:35:00

Come into the warmth, and into the kitchen.

0:35:020:35:05

I love it, actually. The fact it's kind of like a farmhouse kitchen.

0:35:050:35:10

-It just kind of gives that nice feel to it, doesn't it?

-It does, yeah.

0:35:100:35:12

-Working kitchen.

-Yeah.

-Full of character.

0:35:120:35:15

-I love the beams as well.

-Yeah.

0:35:150:35:17

-I love it. It feels like a home...

-Mm.

0:35:170:35:20

-..which is what we're after, isn't it, really?

-Mm, absolutely, yeah.

0:35:200:35:23

But I think it's a love it or hate it sort of thing, you know,

0:35:230:35:26

-if you like the vibe of the place, you can do something with it.

-Yeah.

0:35:260:35:30

Directly off the kitchen is a reception room,

0:35:300:35:32

packed with period appeal.

0:35:320:35:35

This is the heart of the home, really. This is the sort of

0:35:350:35:38

-central sitting room.

-Lovely and quirky.

-It is quirky.

0:35:380:35:43

-Which is exactly what we're after, isn't it?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:35:430:35:46

This house has a lot of character.

0:35:460:35:47

-Great big roaring coal fire.

-Yes.

0:35:470:35:50

Completely tugging at my heartstrings. It really is, yeah.

0:35:500:35:54

-I could just imagine us in here.

-I could, yeah.

0:35:540:35:56

-Absolutely.

-Definitely.

0:35:560:35:57

-It's a very cosy house.

-It is.

-And you could do so much with it.

-Mm.

0:35:570:36:01

I think particularly, what appeals to me, is the boys loving

0:36:010:36:04

-exploring and hiding...

-Yeah.

-..and running around, and having

0:36:040:36:07

a lot of fun living here, I think, particularly...

0:36:070:36:10

-I think it would appeal to the boys, wouldn't it?

-Yeah, I think so.

0:36:100:36:13

Upstairs is a little bit tight, I'm just warning you,

0:36:130:36:15

so let's have a look there.

0:36:150:36:18

I'm glad the somewhat grizzly origins of this

0:36:180:36:21

former slaughterhouse have not distracted John and Steven from

0:36:210:36:24

its undeniable charms. Off this reception is a dining room with a

0:36:240:36:28

spiral staircase up to the upper floor,

0:36:280:36:31

as well as doors out to a sunroom.

0:36:310:36:33

Next to this is a second kitchen space, and beside

0:36:340:36:37

the entrance hall is a utility, plus a flight of stairs down to

0:36:370:36:41

the first of four bedrooms, that includes an en-suite cloakroom.

0:36:410:36:46

But we're taking the main stairs from the sitting room up to

0:36:460:36:49

the remaining three bedrooms.

0:36:490:36:51

I'll give you a sort of... Your bearings up here.

0:36:520:36:55

You can explore a bit more later. This is the master behind you.

0:36:550:36:58

So you've got lots of storage under the eaves.

0:36:580:37:01

-But no en-suite, you'd have to use this bathroom here.

-Mm-hm.

0:37:010:37:05

And then, on this side, you've got a chain of two interlocking rooms,

0:37:050:37:08

and another bathroom, and then the spiral staircase.

0:37:080:37:11

You'd all be one family, snug under the eaves!

0:37:110:37:14

-Yeah, I think it is quite snug, isn't it?

-It is.

0:37:140:37:17

Not a big problem, I don't think.

0:37:170:37:18

-We could work with that, while we get the place sorted out.

-Mm.

0:37:180:37:21

-You can imagine playing hide and seek up here, or sardines.

-Yeah.

0:37:210:37:25

There are even more hidden corners to explore, as outbuildings

0:37:250:37:29

include a garage and a disused cottage, ripe for renovation.

0:37:290:37:34

But first, we're investigating the former stable block,

0:37:340:37:37

which is currently divided into six zones and dates from the 1700s.

0:37:370:37:42

Oh, this sort of space makes a developer drool a little bit,

0:37:440:37:48

but maybe it puts you off, does it?

0:37:480:37:50

No, not in the slightest.

0:37:500:37:51

I think there's so much that we could do with this.

0:37:510:37:53

-There's so many opportunities, I think...

-Yeah. Absolutely.

0:37:530:37:56

..for therapy rooms, and play room for the boys, or a music room...

0:37:560:38:01

Just, yeah, there's a lot of potential here.

0:38:010:38:04

And it feels really solid as well, so, you know, structure's there.

0:38:040:38:07

-There is a lot of potential.

-Yeah, certainly.

-Yeah.

0:38:070:38:11

-Well, I'm hoping that the garden might just seal the deal.

-Right, OK.

0:38:110:38:15

The three-quarter acre grounds had been planted with

0:38:160:38:18

over 300 trees by the current owners,

0:38:180:38:21

who also rent one and a half acres of land for around £350 a year.

0:38:210:38:27

It's the perfect territory for budding adventurers,

0:38:270:38:30

offering them its very own stretch of uncharted waters.

0:38:300:38:34

-Look, you've got a river!

-Oh!

-This is the Erewash River.

0:38:340:38:38

-Beautiful.

-This is proper countryside.

-Yeah.

0:38:380:38:40

-You've outdone yourself, I think, today.

-Yeah.

-Amazing. Beautiful.

0:38:400:38:44

The sound of the water's amazing.

0:38:440:38:45

-Beautiful garden. I love it.

-Yeah.

-I love the naturalness of it, too.

0:38:450:38:48

-Yeah, it's wild.

-Yeah.

0:38:480:38:50

-So, I'm getting a good vibe.

-Yes.

0:38:500:38:52

Now comes the tricky bit - guessing the price.

0:38:520:38:55

I'm going to be cheeky.

0:38:550:38:56

I think with the amount of work that needs to be done, I think that

0:38:560:39:00

has to be reflected in the price, so for me, I'm going to go 385.

0:39:000:39:06

I'm going to be even more cheeky, I think, then, and go for 375,

0:39:080:39:12

I think.

0:39:120:39:13

OK, you're both being very cheeky, cos this is...

0:39:130:39:17

-It's a big lot of property. This is on the market for 450.

-OK.

-OK.

0:39:170:39:21

-You could negotiate down, but probably not that far down.

-No.

0:39:210:39:25

Cos you're right, there is a lot of work, and you're going to

0:39:250:39:27

have to budget about whether you can actually afford to do it.

0:39:270:39:30

So, take a look at the outhouses, the cottage,

0:39:300:39:32

and have a sniff around inside to see if that's going to work for you.

0:39:320:39:35

-Right.

-And I'll see you out the front.

-Great. Thank you.

0:39:350:39:39

Well, they ARE cheeky, aren't they? That's a very low price.

0:39:390:39:43

But, you know, they're right, it's going to take a lot of work,

0:39:430:39:45

but what an opportunity.

0:39:450:39:47

I think it could be such a great place for the boys to grow up

0:39:470:39:50

and for them to have a life together.

0:39:500:39:52

With a guide price £25,000 below their top budget,

0:39:550:39:59

this converted slaughterhouse comes with a country kitchen,

0:39:590:40:03

characterful sitting room and four bedrooms.

0:40:030:40:06

There's lots of potential in the various outbuildings, plus it's in

0:40:060:40:09

a canal-side country location, with its own stretch of river.

0:40:090:40:13

I'm enamoured with this property.

0:40:150:40:17

I like the canal, I like the river at the bottom of the garden.

0:40:170:40:21

The garden just seems to go on and on and on.

0:40:210:40:23

It's an amazing property.

0:40:230:40:25

It has so many things that we haven't asked for,

0:40:250:40:28

but would have been on our higher sort of fantasy wish list, I guess.

0:40:280:40:31

It's a delight, isn't it?

0:40:310:40:33

And there's so much, I think, that we could do with the place,

0:40:330:40:36

-whilst keeping it in character.

-Mm.

0:40:360:40:39

It just appeals to me on so many different levels.

0:40:390:40:42

-I've walked round with a smile on my face since I came here.

-Mm.

0:40:420:40:46

I think this could definitely be our home, and for the boys particularly.

0:40:460:40:49

I could just see them having so much fun in the garden.

0:40:490:40:52

I really see their smiling faces in my imagination,

0:40:520:40:56

just having a wonderful childhood, which is really

0:40:560:40:59

a big part of the reason why we want to move to Derbyshire.

0:40:590:41:02

I think this has got potential.

0:41:080:41:10

Yeah, I like the idea of it being converted to a holiday let, I think.

0:41:100:41:13

-Yeah.

-Having seen the rooms next door,

0:41:130:41:15

I think we could possibly use part of that.

0:41:150:41:18

Good, I like this planning what you're going to do with the space.

0:41:180:41:20

It's a very good sign.

0:41:200:41:22

I'm afraid I'm going to have to drag you away,

0:41:220:41:24

cos we've got other houses to see, other things to do.

0:41:240:41:26

-OK.

-So, follow me.

0:41:260:41:28

Amongst the moors and peaks, the mines and mills of Derbyshire

0:41:380:41:41

played a pivotal role in Britain's Industrial Revolution,

0:41:410:41:45

and the area around the Derwent River was particularly productive.

0:41:450:41:50

This former cotton mill now houses the workshop of Ben Edmonds,

0:41:500:41:54

who's bringing back a local skill - knife-making.

0:41:540:41:57

And it's fantastic what you're doing, because obviously Sheffield,

0:41:570:42:00

the Peak District, famous for knives, scissors, and steel.

0:42:000:42:03

-Yep, yep.

-And now here you are, kind of reviving.

0:42:030:42:06

Yeah. We just make one-off kitchen knives.

0:42:060:42:09

What was the fascination of steel and wood and blades?

0:42:090:42:13

I suppose it developed over time.

0:42:130:42:14

When I first started, I just thought, "Surely it's only me

0:42:140:42:17

"mad enough to make knives."

0:42:170:42:20

There's a nice kind of revival of makers now.

0:42:200:42:23

I had a meeting with about 15 knife-makers from Sheffield,

0:42:230:42:27

and it's really nice,

0:42:270:42:28

all these people just, you know, hand-crafting one-off pieces.

0:42:280:42:31

I'm from the Midlands,

0:42:310:42:33

and I wanted to make a knife that I thought was true to me.

0:42:330:42:36

I wanted to pick the right steel, the right design,

0:42:360:42:39

and produce something quite simple, but best for the job.

0:42:390:42:43

I mean, we use a specific high-carbon steel

0:42:430:42:46

which basically means you can get it quite tough

0:42:460:42:49

and you get a really fine edge.

0:42:490:42:51

So, the handle - this is wood?

0:42:510:42:53

Aesthetically, I think it's great, and I think there's something

0:42:530:42:56

to be said about the warmth that you get from wood. It's...

0:42:560:43:00

Yeah, less sterile.

0:43:000:43:01

-It's lovely - you're kind of beaming as you say that.

-I know!

0:43:010:43:04

Ben first started crafting knives at his kitchen table,

0:43:040:43:07

using techniques he learned from the internet.

0:43:070:43:10

Four and a half years on, he runs a three-man enterprise.

0:43:100:43:14

Each knife begins as flat metal,

0:43:140:43:16

which is worked through a series of four belts,

0:43:160:43:19

starting with the ceramic belt that grinds a V-shaped blade edge.

0:43:190:43:23

You can see the steel coming off.

0:43:230:43:26

Um...

0:43:260:43:27

And now Zack has to be careful that he doesn't get that knife too hot,

0:43:270:43:32

which is why he keeps dipping it in the water.

0:43:320:43:34

The remaining belts, we're just looking to remove

0:43:380:43:41

scratches and get finer and finer.

0:43:410:43:42

And then we go on to hand-sanding after that.

0:43:420:43:45

How long does all that process, like, to get from the stock,

0:43:450:43:47

-from the, you know, the...

-Yeah.

0:43:470:43:49

We could probably do four of those in a day.

0:43:490:43:52

There's now a three-year waiting list for these artisan knives,

0:43:530:43:57

each of which features a hand-crafted handle made

0:43:570:44:00

from a selection of over 50 types of wood.

0:44:000:44:03

So this is our clean room.

0:44:030:44:06

We glue all the handles here to avoid any dust.

0:44:060:44:10

So Pat's now just using a resin, and we are literally gluing the wood

0:44:100:44:15

and the pins to the steel.

0:44:150:44:17

Yeah, so we clamp that tight. We leave that for 24 hours,

0:44:170:44:20

and then we have to take it back into the other workshop

0:44:200:44:23

-and start sanding it down on the machines.

-Yes.

0:44:230:44:25

Because the finished product is very finished indeed, isn't it?

0:44:250:44:29

It is, yeah.

0:44:290:44:30

For those of us who don't have £1,000 for new knives...

0:44:300:44:32

I mean, I've got knives that are probably horrendously blunt.

0:44:320:44:36

Is there a way of keeping knives that we already have sharp?

0:44:360:44:39

The main thing is to keep them sharp.

0:44:390:44:41

Once a knife has dulled, it's tricky to get the edge back.

0:44:410:44:45

Have you got time to give me a little workshop on that?

0:44:450:44:47

-Yeah, let's do it.

-Good.

0:44:470:44:49

The travelling knife sharpener, who once visited towns

0:44:520:44:56

and villages every year, was a common sight in Victorian Britain.

0:44:560:45:00

Now left to our own devices, without those sharp skills,

0:45:000:45:03

blunt knives are an all-too-common problem.

0:45:030:45:07

-So, I recognise these, but I have no idea what to do with them.

-Right.

0:45:070:45:11

So, these are two very different things,

0:45:110:45:14

although they look relatively similar.

0:45:140:45:16

-That's a hone, and that's a steel.

-OK.

0:45:160:45:20

So, a hone doesn't have an abrasive edge - that's completely smooth -

0:45:200:45:24

whereas a steel has got a slight abrasion.

0:45:240:45:27

'With a dulled knife, we need to start with the steel.'

0:45:270:45:32

So, from the heel, we put the knife flat,

0:45:320:45:34

and we give it about 15 degrees.

0:45:340:45:37

And all we're going to do is drag the knife down, making sure that

0:45:370:45:40

you go from heel to tip all the way, and then we go to the other side.

0:45:400:45:43

Same angle.

0:45:430:45:45

-So, give that a go.

-OK.

-Right there.

0:45:450:45:49

Set that angle, and pull it all the way down.

0:45:490:45:52

-That's it. Maybe a bit more pressure.

-Bit more?

-Yeah, bit more.

0:45:520:45:55

'Then it's onto the hone, for a few light strokes.'

0:45:580:46:02

-You're probably talking three or four times on each side.

-OK.

0:46:030:46:07

-And all that does...

-Caressing the blade.

-Yeah, caressing the blade.

0:46:070:46:10

And all that does is realigns the edge.

0:46:100:46:12

'And, finally, we use a wet stone to give a really sharp finish.'

0:46:120:46:17

-So, start here...

-Starting flat.

0:46:170:46:19

Yeah, and work all the way to the tip.

0:46:190:46:22

-And pushing up?

-Yeah.

0:46:220:46:23

Nice.

0:46:260:46:28

Let's have a look.

0:46:280:46:29

-Looking good?

-I think we are. And we'll try the paper again.

0:46:310:46:34

And we'll see what happens.

0:46:340:46:36

-Oh, wow!

-Perfect.

0:46:360:46:38

-There we go.

-Amazing.

-Nice and sharp.

-Yeah.

0:46:380:46:42

If you love your knife, then, yeah, it should last...

0:46:420:46:46

Yeah, it should last a lifetime. That's the idea with them, anyway.

0:46:460:46:48

If you look after them properly,

0:46:480:46:50

you should be able to have one knife for life.

0:46:500:46:53

In terms of the Mystery House,

0:46:570:46:59

do you have any concept what we might be showing you there?

0:46:590:47:02

-Ho-ho!

-Something possibly converted?

0:47:020:47:06

Converted barn, or a...windmill or something, I don't know.

0:47:060:47:11

It's going to be something that will stretch our spec,

0:47:110:47:15

you know, maybe we've said we don't want this and you'll show us that

0:47:150:47:18

because the mystery property will have other things going for it.

0:47:180:47:22

A very unusual property, like...

0:47:220:47:24

A very quirky property indeed.

0:47:240:47:26

-Like a lighthouse...

-Converted mill chimney, or something!

0:47:260:47:29

-A mill chimney.

-Yes.

0:47:290:47:31

-Just doesn't stack up, really.

-Oh!

-Oh, God.

0:47:310:47:34

Our Mystery House is found in Flash, a village in the

0:47:370:47:40

Peak District National Park, just across the Staffordshire border.

0:47:400:47:44

A range of services are found three miles away in the

0:47:440:47:46

Derbyshire spa town of Buxton,

0:47:460:47:48

whose architectural delights include the 18th-century

0:47:480:47:51

Devonshire Dome, which originally provided stabling and quarters

0:47:510:47:55

for the servants of the nearby Crescent Hotel.

0:47:550:47:58

Back in Flash, there are stunning views of the Peak District,

0:48:000:48:03

as well as a shop and pubs.

0:48:030:48:05

Its claim to be the highest village in Britain has been disputed,

0:48:070:48:10

but there's no doubt that it did once feature

0:48:100:48:12

the country's highest Methodist chapel,

0:48:120:48:15

which has been converted into a home

0:48:150:48:17

and is the property we've come to see.

0:48:170:48:19

-And this is the Mystery House.

-Wow.

0:48:200:48:23

You were correct about the conversion - not a windmill,

0:48:230:48:26

-but a Methodist chapel.

-Wow.

-OK, what do you think?

0:48:260:48:30

-Looks very interesting from the outside, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:48:300:48:33

-Completely renovated and done up inside two years ago.

-OK.

0:48:330:48:38

-It's a Mystery House, remember, so it's a bit of a curve ball.

-Sure.

0:48:380:48:41

-All right.

-There's one very obvious feature that you might not like.

0:48:410:48:46

-Oh!

-But I think there's a lot to admire.

-OK, sure.

0:48:460:48:49

-You ready for a go?

-Yeah, can't wait to see it.

-Definitely.

0:48:490:48:51

Let's go inside.

0:48:510:48:53

Wesleyan Methodism was well-established in Flash when

0:48:530:48:56

a chapel was built here in the 18th century

0:48:560:48:58

to serve a 61-strong congregation.

0:48:580:49:01

Rebuilt in 1821, it's now a Grade II listed home.

0:49:010:49:05

Spread over three levels, we're starting in the multi-purpose

0:49:060:49:09

living space that has been created on the ground floor.

0:49:090:49:13

Come right into the heart of this big beast of a house.

0:49:130:49:16

-As you can see, it's pretty much all open-plan.

-Mm.

0:49:170:49:21

-Interesting.

-Yeah.

-Do you like what you see?

0:49:210:49:24

-I do, yeah.

-I do like what I see, yeah.

0:49:240:49:25

It's lovely, it's welcoming, it's warming, it feels cosy,

0:49:250:49:28

even though it's a big space.

0:49:280:49:29

Cos you've got a big log burner sort of solid fuel heater here.

0:49:290:49:33

That actually heats all the water. You've also got another one here,

0:49:330:49:36

-if you get chilly in the winter.

-Oh, OK.

0:49:360:49:38

And, as you can see, this is what would have been the worship space.

0:49:380:49:41

-Yeah.

-I've got a thing about converted churches, anyway,

0:49:410:49:44

just that lovely, calm, feeling.

0:49:440:49:47

-Nice feel let's look in the kitchen.

-Mm.

0:49:470:49:50

The sitting room is sandwiched between an area used as

0:49:510:49:54

a study-cum-music-room, and a dining space.

0:49:540:49:57

Then, at the back,

0:49:570:49:58

we find a separate country kitchen/breakfast room.

0:49:580:50:00

Everything flows very nicely,

0:50:000:50:02

and then you've got a kitchen with amazing views.

0:50:020:50:05

It's amazing. Just unexpected, in such a modern kitchen.

0:50:060:50:11

I just get a really good feeling about the place.

0:50:110:50:14

The style fits lovely with the house, doesn't it?

0:50:140:50:16

Yes, it does, yeah.

0:50:160:50:18

Well, the space and the serenity of this former chapel

0:50:180:50:21

may yet convert John and Steven.

0:50:210:50:23

On the lower ground floor is a cosy snug, a store room, utility,

0:50:230:50:29

and a wet room, serving two of the home's four bedrooms -

0:50:290:50:33

a very large double, and a smaller double.

0:50:330:50:36

And, taking the stairs, we reach a galleried upper floor.

0:50:360:50:40

So, again, let me just give you a little bit of geography.

0:50:400:50:43

On that side, you've got a very nice...

0:50:430:50:45

probably would be your master.

0:50:450:50:47

And then a beautiful bathroom,

0:50:470:50:50

a family bathroom with one of those sort of slipper baths.

0:50:500:50:53

And then you've got this lovely...

0:50:530:50:54

basically a sitting room for a landing.

0:50:540:50:56

Another bedroom here, and then a great big kind of...

0:50:560:50:59

-Well, it's a dressing room here.

-Mm.

0:50:590:51:02

As it stands, it doesn't work.

0:51:020:51:04

I mean, I still love it - that's the thing about it,

0:51:040:51:06

there's a lovely feel to it.

0:51:060:51:07

Practically, I don't think it would work...

0:51:070:51:09

You know, I'm thinking about your therapy room,

0:51:090:51:12

where we would have that, but I do love the house.

0:51:120:51:16

I really love the house.

0:51:160:51:17

-I guess I could always retire early, or something.

-Yeah.

0:51:170:51:21

Well, in a way,

0:51:210:51:23

the question marks may be resolved when we look at the outside space.

0:51:230:51:27

-OK.

-OK, all right, OK.

-Come with me.

0:51:270:51:29

Despite the impressive spec and location,

0:51:300:51:33

John and Steven remain to be convinced that this house

0:51:330:51:36

has everything they need for family life, and outside,

0:51:360:51:39

it's time to reveal why this is a bit of a gamble,

0:51:390:51:43

because restrictions here in the national park mean that

0:51:430:51:46

this sizeable home is limited to a rather modest patio plot.

0:51:460:51:50

So, this might be the shortest garden tour we've ever done,

0:51:520:51:55

-because this IS your garden.

-Right.

-OK.

0:51:550:51:58

-The idea, of course, is that THIS is your garden.

-Mm-hm.

0:51:580:52:02

But, it being the Peak District, you cannot turn arable land into garden.

0:52:020:52:07

Right.

0:52:070:52:09

Not much to say, really, about this.

0:52:090:52:11

Well, you know, clearly for us, the garden was an important part,

0:52:110:52:14

because of the boys, and we want them to be safe.

0:52:140:52:17

-That's a big missing piece, I think, for us.

-Mm.

0:52:170:52:20

-It is beautiful, there's no doubt about that.

-Mm.

-We love it, I think.

0:52:200:52:23

Yeah, we do.

0:52:230:52:24

There's just the missing pieces, I think.

0:52:240:52:27

And what do you think it's on the market for?

0:52:270:52:29

-Yes.

-I think it's... It's got to be over budget.

-Do you think so?

0:52:290:52:34

I would even go so far as to say maybe 520.

0:52:340:52:37

Ooh. I do think it's above what we were prepared to pay.

0:52:370:52:40

I think I'll say 475.

0:52:400:52:43

-This is actually on the market for £445,000.

-Really?

-Oh, OK.

0:52:430:52:49

-Wow!

-I'm sorry about the garden, but, you know, we couldn't resist

0:52:490:52:52

-showing it to you, because it's a classic Mystery House.

-Mm.

0:52:520:52:55

And it has, you know, lots that recommends it.

0:52:550:52:58

This converted Methodist chapel offers open-plan living

0:53:000:53:03

on the ground floor, and a separate kitchen and breakfast room.

0:53:030:53:07

There are a total of four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and it's in

0:53:070:53:11

the heart of a village within the Peak District National Park.

0:53:110:53:14

I think... If it was just the two of us,

0:53:140:53:17

-I think this would be absolutely perfect.

-Mm.

0:53:170:53:20

But our priorities have changed.

0:53:200:53:23

It just wouldn't be suitable for the boys.

0:53:230:53:26

-Unfortunately, this isn't the house for the family.

-No.

0:53:260:53:30

From the moment we pulled up and saw the house from the outside,

0:53:300:53:33

the Mystery House, I just thought, was beautiful.

0:53:330:53:37

Had a brilliant use of space.

0:53:370:53:39

This house would have been a contender

0:53:390:53:41

had it had a garden, and I think we would have gone for it.

0:53:410:53:44

Ordinarily, I think it would be lovely to move in

0:53:440:53:47

and consider putting a bid in for it,

0:53:470:53:50

but it just doesn't fit our new family requirements,

0:53:500:53:53

so, unfortunately, we're going to have to let it go.

0:53:530:53:56

Ah, beautiful views, but I feel a rotter for showing you

0:53:580:54:01

this property and not giving you a garden, but what can I do?

0:54:010:54:04

-Oh, sorry.

-That's OK.

0:54:040:54:06

But, we're done here,

0:54:060:54:07

but there is a pub - probably the highest pub in Britain -

0:54:070:54:09

over there, so why don't you get yourself settled in there,

0:54:090:54:12

and I'll come and join you in a minute?

0:54:120:54:13

-Sure.

-OK.

-Thanks, Alistair.

0:54:130:54:15

Oh, Mystery Houses can be so heartbreaking.

0:54:150:54:18

They can either go wildly right, or wildly wrong.

0:54:180:54:21

I mean, the garden was always going to be a hard thing to swallow, and

0:54:210:54:25

it didn't quite work out, but let's go and find out what they think

0:54:250:54:27

about the whole experience of being on Escape To The Country.

0:54:270:54:31

Hey, nice to see you've really settled in to the neighbourhood!

0:54:380:54:41

-Yes!

-Drinks ready and everything.

-Mm.

0:54:410:54:43

Have you been mulling over the properties?

0:54:430:54:45

We certainly have, and I think there's no doubt in our view

0:54:450:54:49

that the house that's the favourite is the one by the canal.

0:54:490:54:52

Yes, I'm glad, because it's a great property.

0:54:520:54:55

So, what are the brass tacks? What happens next?

0:54:550:54:57

Look at the finances, and...

0:54:570:54:58

-Yeah, and look at the plans for the place...

-Yeah.

0:54:580:55:00

..to get a rough idea of what we want to get done pretty quickly,

0:55:000:55:04

and how much that'll cost.

0:55:040:55:05

And I see that being absolutely possible.

0:55:050:55:09

Have you thought about what's the priority in that property?

0:55:090:55:12

I think the priority's probably the holiday let, first of all,

0:55:120:55:16

to get some income coming in,

0:55:160:55:18

and then we focus on the bits, I think at least anyway, that we want.

0:55:180:55:21

-Yes.

-It is definitely liveable as it is, so we'll live with how the

0:55:210:55:25

set-up is at the moment, I think.

0:55:250:55:27

We can do that and focus on the other things first.

0:55:270:55:30

-So, are you excited? Does it suit your...?

-Yes.

-Butterflies?

0:55:300:55:33

I guess I'm not going to sleep tonight cos I dare say

0:55:330:55:35

-I shall be dreaming about it.

-Yes.

-And what about the boys?

0:55:350:55:38

What's the plan? Do you bring them up and...?

0:55:380:55:40

Yes, we'll have to bring them up and let them see the property.

0:55:400:55:42

They are an important part of the decision-making process.

0:55:420:55:45

They'll love the stream, they'll love the canal,

0:55:450:55:47

they'll adore the garden.

0:55:470:55:49

-Yeah.

-So much room for them to just run around.

0:55:490:55:51

-And a great house for them to hide in.

-Yeah.

0:55:510:55:52

Exactly, so many cubbyholes.

0:55:520:55:54

-It's going to hold their interest, I know.

-Yeah.

0:55:540:55:56

Well, I'm delighted that we've found you something,

0:55:560:55:59

cos it was quite a tall order. We seem to have found you something.

0:55:590:56:01

Yeah, absolutely.

0:56:010:56:02

And I really hope that you and the boys take that house and settle in.

0:56:020:56:06

-Yeah.

-Thank you.

-Keep us in the loop.

0:56:060:56:07

-Yeah, thanks very much for your help.

-Been a fantastic few days.

0:56:070:56:10

-Really has been amazing.

-And it's always nice to be in Derbyshire.

0:56:100:56:12

Yeah.

0:56:120:56:14

Can I let you in to a secret?

0:56:210:56:22

I thought, for a while,

0:56:220:56:23

we had bitten off more than we could chew,

0:56:230:56:25

because Steve and John really wanted a lot for their budget,

0:56:250:56:29

but it was such a good story, with the boys, and the new family,

0:56:290:56:32

and moving from the East End to all of this,

0:56:320:56:34

that we did take on the challenge, and I am so relieved that

0:56:340:56:38

we seem to have hit a bulls-eye with that house by the canal.

0:56:380:56:41

It's going to be a lot of work,

0:56:410:56:42

but it's the sort of work that will really bring that family together.

0:56:420:56:46

If they need a peak experience,

0:56:460:56:48

then this is the landscape that will give it to them.

0:56:480:56:53

So, on that happy note,

0:56:530:56:55

join us next time for more rural adventures on Escape To The Country.

0:56:550:56:59

If you would like to Escape To The Country

0:57:020:57:04

in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, or England

0:57:040:57:06

and need our help, you can apply online.

0:57:060:57:09

Series which helps prospective buyers to find their dream home in the country. Alistair Appleton helps a couple and their young sons to quit London and make a new life and home in Derbyshire on a budget of £475k.

Alistair also spends time with a craftsman who is bringing back the local skill of knifemaking.