Alistair Appleton is in the Yorkshire Dales helping a first-time buyer armed with £280,000 and the moral support of his mother find a country home.
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So find out where these rare but beautiful animals call home
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On today's show, we're flexing our muscles to find a country home
for a first-time buyer
who's bringing his mum along for moral support.
Of course, first impressions count.
I love it. It looks nice from the outside.
I like it. It's quirky, isn't it?
But it's what's on the inside that really matters.
Could be onto a winner if the rest of it matches up, yeah.
Today, I'm in the Yorkshire Dales National Park,
and this is Flora, a Dales pony.
There's only around 1,500 of them left in the UK.
But right up until the middle of the 19th century,
they were heavily used in this area's thriving lead industry.
After the Second World War, when many of them were used as pack
and artillery ponies, their numbers dwindled.
Later in the show, I'll be finding out how they're being protected
and their future is going to be assured.
But first, let's look at some of the other beauties
the Dales have in store.
North Yorkshire is England's largest county,
covering some 3,000 square miles of breathtaking countryside.
Of the two national parks within its borders,
the pastoral scenery of the Dales is found in the west of the county,
whose stunning rolling landscape
is lined by a latticework of dry-stone walls.
As well as man-made features,
the waterways that charge through the terrain
powered textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution.
The county's abundant supply of water is evident at Aysgarth Falls,
a magnificent triple-flight waterfall
that was captured on canvas by landscape painter JMW Turner
following a visit here in 1816.
There's a rich mix of architecture that resonates with the drama
of the Dales landscape, from scattered farm buildings
set in remote valleys, to historic abbey ruins.
At the gateway to the Dales,
the market town of Skipton features one of the most complete
and best preserved medieval castles in England,
constructed back in 1090.
But away from the picturesque towns and villages,
the Dales are a place of wide and wild natural beauty, which provides
a timeless source of inspiration and serenity.
Property prices in North Yorkshire are rather good.
The average price for a detached house here is £314,000,
that's £15,000 less than the national figure.
Of course, if you choose to live inside the Dales National Park
with its tighter planning laws, then there is a bit of a premium,
but that falls away if you choose to go outside, for example,
the Skipton area, the gateway to the Dales.
Luckily, today's buyers know this area very well indeed.
In his quest for a more rural way of life,
born-and-bred Lancastrian Sebastian
has called on our help, and his mother Tina.
Seb's very similar to me.
Very confident, very outgoing.
Kind, considerate, hard worker. Couldn't ask for a better son.
This mother-son duo has a very close and steadfast relationship.
So much so, that they successfully manage their own company.
The business that we have together is a fire safety company,
which my father set up 25 years ago.
Our working relationship is really great.
Most of the time, we get on absolutely fantastically.
Aside from running the family firm,
Sebastian dedicates most of his free time to working out.
He began training two years ago,
prompted by the death of his beloved father,
who suffered from motor neurone disease.
After his loss, Sebastian started to focus on
leading a healthier lifestyle,
and in a relatively short period of time,
completely transformed his body.
The positive results of that means he is now a fitness model
and competes as a natural body-builder.
I've just come out of competition prep.
I'm driving to the gym every day.
It's taking me half an hour to drive there.
I'm doing cardio twice a day, so first thing in the morning,
I've to either go running round the streets.
I would love to find a property that I can walk straight out of the door,
lovely, rolling hills, and I can just get straight out into that.
I'd love to be able to put a gym in the house.
And ideally, I would have some land as well there for some chickens,
or goats, and provide my own eggs.
And, er, maybe look at making some goat's cheese.
This upcoming move will be Sebastian's first step
onto the property ladder, and it's one he wants to make
in a more inspiring environment
than his current rented terrace in the town of Earby,
on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border.
Seb's always been a country boy at heart.
From being two, when he used to try and shout the sheep in
from over the fence, he'd try and get
all the wild animals in the garden.
So, he really needs to live in the country.
I've got such happy memories of being able
to just walk out into the countryside, climb trees,
jump in rivers.
Sebastian has chosen the Dales
as he believes it will provide an invigorating terrain
for his fitness regime, for both body and mind.
What's more, it's not too far away from mum Tina.
It's a big chapter in my life, buying my own house.
I've lived in the family home
and then I've lived with a friend for a few years.
Now it'd be great to get a place of my own.
I'm really pleased that Seb's made the decision
to finally get somewhere of his own
and make a life for himself in the country,
because that's what he's always wanted.
And you know, he can't have my house, so he's got to find his own.
The family business is based in the Lancashire town of Colne,
so ideally, Sebastian would like a Yorkshire Dales address
that will allow for a reasonable commute to the office
a couple of times a week.
I'm catching up with first-time buyer Sebastian and his mother,
Tina, to talk more about this move.
Thanks for bringing me up to the Yorkshire Dales.
This is your sort of stomping ground.
My parents used to bring me up here when I was a child
-and I love it, yeah.
-So, what is the...
..what is the draw of the Dales, particularly?
I just love the outdoors, to be honest.
Erm, I was brought up in a really rural area.
I've missed that for the last few years, so I'd like to...
..like to move back somewhere close to home.
-So, do you know this area?
-I know it really well.
I did a lot of my courting in this area years and years ago.
Wow! And in terms of the spec of the house, what are you looking for -
bedrooms, outside space?
Well, a minimum of two bedrooms, you know, maybe three would be nice.
Erm, some land.
Ideally, it would be detached, in the middle of my own field.
Yeah, he's not used to neighbours.
Realistically, I would be happy to have semidetached.
A nice big kitchen.
Maybe a range cooker.
-Open fires. Something along those lines.
And remind us again of your budget, how much are we playing with?
Er, we're looking at a top end of 300,000.
Good. Well, we've got three lovely houses lined up.
All we have to do is get your seal of approval,
so let's get in the car and visit.
-Look forward to it.
For a top budget of £300,000,
Sebastian is after a character property
that has a contemporary interior, ideally with countryside views.
It needs at least two bedrooms, the potential to create a home gym,
around an acre of land, and to offer an accessible commute.
We've got a great selection of Yorkshire homes
that might help Sebastian to make his first property purchase,
and they certainly have the winning hand when it comes to scenery.
But I'll be keeping my lips sealed as to the price tags
until the end of each tour.
Lastly, we've got the Mystery House,
where we focused more on the long-term future plan.
We're starting out in the small hamlet of Marsett,
right in the middle of the Dales.
About an hour and a half's drive from Colne,
the property is just under five miles from the town of Hawes.
Set 850 feet above sea level,
Hawes is one of the highest market towns in England.
Amenities include a grocer's and cafe,
and the town is home to the celebrated Wensleydale cheese.
Back in the peaceful hamlet of Marsett,
near the banks of Lake Semerwater,
there's a smattering of traditional stone homes,
one of which marks the beginning of our tour.
-Ooh, this is cute, isn't it?
Here we have property number one.
It's out in the middle of the sticks, you wanted that.
-It certainly is.
These farm buildings go back to about 1700.
So, it's this one that we're looking at.
-This is... This would be yours. And the garage as well.
There's a possibility that you could turn the garage into a gym.
-What are your first impressions?
Looks lovely. Looks fairly small from the outside.
It doesn't appear as though there's much land.
-But it does look very nice.
I think it looks lovely, but I don't know where the chickens'd go.
This one's not really big on the personal land.
Obviously, you've got lots of land all around you.
But this wouldn't... You'd struggle to get your goats.
-Let's have a look inside, shall we?
There's no question that this first property is a truly rural escape,
so Sebastian could just step out into the Dales countryside.
The stone-built property started life as a barn and has been recently
modernised and decorated throughout.
Coming in. Is there a little porch?
Straight into the dining room.
Very nice! Lovely.
Oh, I think this is a nice-sized dining room.
Because he will be entertaining, whether he knows it or not!
-HE LAUGHS Be entertaining you?
Come into the kitchen, see if it's up to snuff.
Nicely done. Yep.
I like the, er, Belfast sink.
It's very nice, but again, quite small.
They have it as their second home, so they use it as a holiday cottage.
-Got that feel.
Well, we were thinking for, you know,
essentially a bachelor house, you know, first house.
I don't know how big you want it.
How much space do you need to throw pasta around?
-Is it a...?
-Er, essentially, I don't really need
much more than this, I suppose.
No, it's big enough.
So, through there, there's a nice, sort of, like, sitting room
-with a big log burner.
-Nice and snug.
-But we're going to go upstairs right now.
The layout of this charming home is a fairly simple one -
with the two separate reception rooms and kitchen
down on the ground floor, above which there are two double bedrooms
and the family bathroom.
Two bedrooms upstairs, both sort of equal size.
This one and the one next door.
And then you've got a family bathroom serving them both.
-No wardrobe in here, yes.
Yeah, clothing-wise, I'd fill...
I'd fill this room with clothes.
Yes, so you might struggle getting all your clothes in here,
unless you sacrifice a whole bedroom and have just a walk-in wardrobe.
Mmm, yeah, it'd be a one-bedroom house.
It's lovely, but I'd think it was a guest room, you know,
-and not your main bedroom.
-Yeah, it's all very nicely done.
It's been a positive tour, but I'm sensing some reticence
from both Sebastian and Tina
about this property's potential as his new home.
Now they've had a chance to take in all there is to see within the house
and outside in the gardens,
it's time to hazard a guess as to what it might be worth.
Just so you get a kind of outview of the whole kind of property
as it sits, amazing hills around
and the little Methodist chapel across the way.
-Still in use.
So, what do you think the price tag of this would be?
Oof, tough one.
I'd probably put it around...
-What do you think, Tina?
-Ooh. I've obviously not been looking!
I don't know, I would have thought about 180.
-But I have no idea.
-Yes, you may be a bit out of the loop.
This is on the market, pretty much as you said, it's on at 255.
I get the impression it might be a bit squeezy for you,
but have a look around, think about maybe whether the gym could work,
and then I'll come and find you and we can press on to the next one.
-Thanks a lot.
-Head back in.
Oh, good first property.
Nice, er, bones.
Perhaps a little too small.
Considerably under budget, at £255,000,
this detached barn conversion gets us off to a solid start,
meeting a lot of Sebastian's initial criteria.
It comes with two reception rooms,
two bedrooms, a pretty enclosed garden,
and provides great gym potential in the separate garage block.
All this amidst serene Dales landscape.
Very nice, yeah. It's a lot better than I thought.
-That's nice for a gym.
I could make this work, I think. It's a nice size.
-Oh, this is nice.
-Very nice and cosy.
Yeah. I love the ceiling.
Yeah, and this, er, this woodburner's lovely.
It's a lovely little place, but is it big enough?
-That's my only question. I'm not sure.
It's very pretty, picturesque, in the countryside.
Er, lovely house, lovely features.
Perhaps a little bit small.
Perhaps, er, slightly more remote than I was looking for.
It's a lovely property.
The inside's absolutely lovely. It's really quaint, cottagey.
Nice place, but I think it's probably too remote for Sebastian.
So we're finished on this one.
-We can get the wagons rolling ready for house number two.
Sebastian's dream of a rural move into the Yorkshire Dales
is one where he hopes to get closer to the natural environment
by taking his exercise regime into the great outdoors.
And whilst there's no shortage of inspiring landscapes in plain view,
such as the dramatic limestone cliff of Malham Cove,
below the surface, the National Park
has a few more fascinating scenes to discover.
Keen to broaden their experience of the region,
we sent Sebastian and Tina to meet John Connaughton
at a particularly picturesque Dales spot.
Wow, what an absolutely beautiful area.
-Whereabouts are we, exactly?
-We're at a place called Ribblehead,
part of the Settle-Carlisle railway line.
It's beautiful overground, but there's just as much hidden beauty
that you aren't even aware of, or can possibly see,
actually underneath our feet in the whole of this area.
-So, what is beneath our feet, then?
-Well, cave systems galore.
But we're going to see one in particular
which I know very, very well. White Scar Caves.
Where does it get the name White Scar Caves from?
The name is basically the name of the cliffs
that are directly behind the caves, on the escarpment behind us.
Great. And can we have a look round the caves?
You're more than welcome to go. I'll take you, with pleasure.
Do you want to follow me this way?
The spectacular underground network of White Scar Caves
was uncovered in 1923 by student Christopher Long.
He was spurred on to investigate
after hearing the distant sound of running water.
On his head, Long wore nothing more than a bowler hat for protection,
and was carrying three candles to light the way.
Right, well, this is the first area in White Scar Caves
that he actually explored back in 1923.
You wouldn't actually have been able to stand up properly as you are now.
Originally, they cave passage in this area would have been at least
that high, and with your little bowler hat and three candles,
you'd be very pleased to see the waterfall
that you're now looking at behind me.
Has the cave ever flooded?
The cave does flood, and if we get severe periods of rain in the area,
specifically, directly overhead, over two or three hours,
the water levels in this cave will actually rise quite significantly
in a very, very quick space of time.
From this point, as we go through the low section,
the show cave really does come alive with formations all around you.
Even the flow of the water under your feet becomes interesting.
The cave becomes alive. Do you want to follow me?
And enjoy yourselves, OK? Come on, then.
White Scar lays claim to be the longest show cave in Britain.
From the entrance, it runs a third of a mile deep,
and there are four and a half miles of known passageways,
some of which are rather narrow.
As well as underground waterfalls,
there are thousands of falling stalactites and rising stalagmites
that have developed into curious formations.
So, John, where are we now?
We're now in the area known as the Battlefield chamber.
Why is it called the Battlefield?
It's called the Battlefield Chamber because the first young lady
who actually got into the cave system
to explore the chamber itself, back in 1973,
she was called Hilda Guthrie,
and the first expression she used was,
"It looks like a battlefield in here.
"It looks like the Somme."
Because of all the steam and mist
that came off her body when she got here,
all she could see was slimy wet cave mud everywhere, and boulders.
So, the name stuck. The Battlefield.
So, how big is the chamber, John?
Well, the chamber is over 320 feet long, 60 feet wide in places,
and 80 feet high, and then we have one or two avens
which actually go 150 feet up.
So, what does the future hold for White Scar Caves?
Basically, we don't know. This simple answer is somebody,
someday, could move a boulder above us.
As a result of moving that rock, a new cave passageway
may be explored, and hopefully one day,
be able to open up and let everyone else enjoy
what's going to be found in the future.
But in the immediate future, we need to find our young buyer a new home,
so he and his mother need to get back above ground
where we can all continue with the pressing issue
of uncovering that perfect property.
For our next stop, we're travelling to Carperby,
in the east of the National Park.
This attractive village is full of stone-built houses,
and engulfed by outstanding countryside.
During the 17th century,
it was an important centre for the Quaker movement,
and a meeting house overlooks the market cross on the village green.
Carperby also has a popular pub,
where the 20th-century veterinary surgeon and author James Herriot
stayed on his honeymoon.
Right in the centre of the village, we find our next house.
This is the second property I want to show you, and as you can see,
it's slightly bigger.
You can see with the grey windows from that point there,
all across to the very end.
So, it's a bigger property. What do you think?
Yeah, I mean, initially, it looks much bigger.
First concerns are that it's on a road.
In terms of the style and the fact that it's attached,
how does that strike you?
That's fine. I love it. It looks nice from the outside.
I like it. It's quirky, isn't it?
They have had it all repointed, and the roof redone,
and the lead around this chimney's all in the last two years.
-No, it looks nice.
-Shall we take a peek inside?
-Yeah, can't wait.
This handsome character cottage lies at the end of a stone terrace,
with an integrated garage with wooden double doors.
We're starting in the main reception room.
So, come into this corner,
and you can see the full expanse of this very beautiful sitting room.
These fantastic flagstone floors.
-Mm, love it.
-Yeah, I like it.
-Yeah, it's nice.
-I like the stone floor.
And I like the windows either side.
Makes it feel more airy and spacious.
Could be onto a winner if the rest of it matches up, yeah.
An encouraging start for this charming country cottage,
as they are both appreciating the period style in the living room.
And over on the far side of the property, beyond a staircase,
lies a decent-sized kitchen diner.
Come in here, because this is...
The other side of the house is the kitchen,
and through there there's a kind of old larder,
a stone larder with these fantastic stone shelves.
-What do you think of this space?
-I like it.
-Yeah, it's nice.
Lovely, bright. It's a good start, I think.
So, it's a fairly simple layout, but I think, obviously,
much bigger and much more kind of,
perhaps more useful for you than the first was.
Yeah, I think it works better.
And this property has three bedrooms.
-So, you've got some options upstairs.
Exactly. Now I know that you need a walk-in dressing room.
Probably. Probably have a dressing room.
And a very lovely flight of stone stairs.
-Lead the way.
The three bedrooms fan off a narrow hallway,
at the end of which is a stylish bathroom
with a roll-top bath and shower.
There's a single bedroom, and a cosy,
characterful double with built-in storage.
But we'll take a view on the largest of them.
This is the master suite.
Because you've got an ensuite shower room through there.
Ah, great. I think this looks great, largely.
It's a nice size. I like the wooden floorboards.
Yes, some nice features.
And absolutely cracking views out over Pen Hill.
Wow, yeah, the views are nice.
And these wonderful picture windows.
-I think so far, so good.
How are you feeling? You're quite a muted fish.
It's quite difficult to read your excitement.
Just taking it all in, I think. Yeah.
It just feels really homely to me. I really like it.
So, you can explore all the other rooms in your own sweet time,
but let's go outside and we can perhaps
-talk about gyms and gardens and prices.
All the land that comes with this cottage sits at the back,
and it's a private area, enclosed by dry-stone walls.
This garden faces south and has been divided into a patio,
lawn and flower beds, along with a couple of outbuildings.
So, there's lots to look at. Got the beautiful view.
And then these nice features like the steps going up to the hayloft,
a little kind of dovecote up there.
And also this barn, sort of stone building at the back.
Some of them have been turned into offices along the row,
but at the moment, it's just storage.
So, there are two options, Sebastian, for your gym.
That, and also this side retreat at the end.
So, the sort of side is like a garage now, but could be a...
Yeah, that looks interesting.
Definitely looks like I could get a bit of a gym in there, yeah.
-The garden's nice.
-It's obviously not an acre.
I mean, I think, I mean, realistically, for your budget,
an acre is probably a bit ambitious.
-I'm really impressed with it.
Yeah. Extra space, garden, sitting out area.
-I really like it.
-Good. Thumbs up, everywhere.
Yeah. I like this one.
What about the price tag? What you think that might be?
Well, I was useless on the last one.
So, I think more like 275 for this one.
I think this is probably up at 285.
In this instance, you should listen to your mother,
because she's exactly right. It's on at £275,000.
-Bang on, yeah.
-So, it's still under your top budget.
-You'd have enough money to perhaps do your gym,
-a little bit over.
-You're getting a lot more house.
No, the inside's nice and it is bigger than the other.
Well, there's pluses and minuses,
so if you want to go inside and sort of weigh them up,
-then I'll come and find you round the front.
Again under budget at £275,000,
this lovely stone end-of-terrace cottage comes with a kitchen diner,
three bedrooms, two bathrooms,
a private garden and an integrated garage,
which could make a good option for Sebastian's home gym.
Very nice. That's good, yeah. Bonus.
Don't know whether it's big enough, though.
-Probably fit something in,
but I'm not sure if it's quite big enough.
Yeah, you could soon have that levelled out, though, couldn't you?
Put a false floor in.
TV and a screen here, doing your exercises.
Yeah, maybe. We'll see.
It's probably the right size, perfect size.
It'd suit me with that regard.
I think maybe I could make do with gym in the garage.
I think the garden's great.
I'm not sure yet. I'll have to sleep on it, I think.
-Hey, guys. Are we all done inside?
So, wrap up warm, we're all done for today,
we can go and find somewhere warm to relax.
With a budget of £300,000,
Lancashire-born fitness fan Sebastian wants to move out
into the rural wilds of the Yorkshire Dales
to buy his very first home.
And he's brought along his mother Tina for support.
Still to come, some quiet confidence in the Mystery House...
So, what are you thinking? It's quite hard to read you, Sebastian.
-You're keeping your cards close to your chest.
-He's jumping inside.
And I'll be trotting out with these hardy residents
of the North East.
Free to let him go, walk on.
Walk on, Paddy!
It's a lovely, misty, and atmospheric morning here
in the Yorkshire Dales.
Perfect weather for a Mystery House, don't you think?
Now, yesterday, Sebastian, who's looking for his starter home,
didn't quite fall in love with either of the properties
that we showed him, so for the Mystery House, we're going to
shake things up a little bit,
and instead of showing him a bachelor pad,
how about a future family home?
So, in terms of the Mystery House,
what do you think we might be showing you?
I would probably say that it would be a terraced property,
or an apartment.
Yeah, maybe an apartment in an old chapel or mill, or old pub.
There's plenty of those closed down.
Our last property destination is out of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
and into the hamlet of Tosside,
right on the edge of the Forest of Bowland.
This location would bring Sebastian within a 45-minute drive
of both work and his mum.
In fact, Tosside sits across the North Yorkshire
and Lancashire border.
Though some parts lie in North Yorkshire,
most of the residents have an address for the neighbouring county.
Local facilities here include a community hall,
a cafe serving traditional home-cooked produce,
a late 17th-century church,
and a former public house that is now a B&B.
Lying in Gisburn Forest,
within reach of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
Tosside also benefits from great mountain biking
and walking territory.
So, all in all, it would make an ideal location
for a fitness enthusiast.
Here we have it, the Mystery House.
Best one so far for me.
-Nice and quiet.
-Yeah, very peaceful.
It's the first one we've managed to show you with a bit of land,
because the idea of the Mystery House
is that we're no longer looking at a bachelor pad,
we're looking at a family house.
-So, thinking ahead...
-Yeah, a few years. Give me a few years.
To your future.
And it gives you pretty much everything you want and a lot more.
So, you've got some land, you got this little paddock here
and this little triangle of land here,
and then actually another little patch on the other side of the road
-where you could have some chickens.
-I really like it.
To me, it feels more like home, to me.
Yeah, it's the nicest views as well, that we've had so far,
which is definitely a big thing for me.
-I want to get inside.
-Let's do it, then!
Set in a particularly beautiful location with endless rural views,
it's no surprise that this mystery barn conversion
is drawing Sebastian in.
Semidetached, with just one immediate neighbour,
the property has been used as a holiday let in the past,
but is well presented throughout,
ready and waiting for a new owner to make it their permanent home.
Come into the warmth!
-And this big, open plan space.
-I like it.
-It's the biggest kitchen.
-Nice kitchen, yeah.
-Nice and modern.
No range, but there's plenty of room to change things around if needs be,
but I like it as it is, to be honest.
I do. I like the tiles, I like everything.
And the great views, when you're doing your washing up.
Yeah, it's definitely the best views out of the three so far.
And then, obviously, this is the main living space.
-And I think really great.
You've got a nice log burner, which kicks out a lot of heat.
Log burner looks nice.
It's a much bigger space, isn't it?
It's all been renovated in the last two years,
-so it's very spick and span.
So, what are you thinking? It's quite hard to read you, Sebastian.
-You're keeping your cards close to your chest.
This, so far, is ticking all the boxes.
-He's jumping inside.
-He's a cool cucumber on the outside.
So far, this is definitely the best.
What's nice about this is that it has potential for you to expand
from being a single man into a family,
because you've got three bedrooms upstairs
and one big bedroom downstairs, and all of them have ensuites.
-That's a lot of ensuites!
The open plan kitchen,
dining and living area seems to be hitting all the right notes,
and Sebastian should be thrilled to know that this Mystery House
offers different options for his gym.
The first of these is inside, on the ground floor.
Currently, this is set up as the fourth bedroom,
and actually they use it for holiday lets, so they've got single beds in.
-But we thought this would be a great sort of gym,
because it has an ensuite.
A big ensuite and a shower room, through there.
So, you can work out, go straight into the shower, shower down.
-And also, you can head out here and go for a run.
Perfect, yeah. I think this would be a great gym.
If you did ever fancy putting a treadmill in
instead of going outside,
you could look straight outside there, which is lovely, yeah.
-No, it's great.
-And upstairs is also very spacious,
and you've got three rooms to choose from,
so let's go and look at the master.
There are a generous four bedrooms in total,
and the other three lie upstairs.
All large doubles,
they each come with their very own spacious ensuite.
One even has its own balcony,
to make the most of the stunning location.
So, as I mentioned, there are three rooms upstairs.
-They're all pretty big.
-Wow, it's huge.
Yeah, and lovely views.
And again, a nice big ensuite.
-And a shower.
Yeah, they're all decent sized rooms, aren't they?
-I'll have any.
All right, then. You can have any.
You can pick and choose.
Yeah, it's big, nice, and plenty of room for storage.
I think we're getting there with this one.
And you do get great views from pretty much every window.
-Looking out over the countryside.
And even though it's on a lane, it's not noisy.
-Yeah, it's very quiet.
-Talking of views,
let's go outside and we can talk about the price.
If Sebastian were to use the downstairs as a gym,
and take on clients,
he could make the most of the large gravelled area to the rear side
near the road as guest parking, by removing part of the perimeter wall,
subject to the right permissions.
However, there is another option
for that all-important exercise studio.
Lying at the front, where we started, is a large outbuilding,
half of which provides garaging for this house.
But, with a little time and money,
it could be transformed into Sebastian's dream gym.
So, a lovely package.
It seems to... be pleasing you both.
Yeah. I really like it. It's lovely.
What do you think the price tag is?
It's a tough one, because obviously, it's a different area.
I'd probably put it up at 290.
Right. Well, I thought it was more like 320.
Well, it's actually just a shade under the top of your budget.
So, why don't you go and explore?
You can explore the barn again,
maybe decide where you will put your gym,
or you could have two gyms,
and then I will meet you when you're done,
and we can wrap things up.
Right at the top of Sebastian's budget,
the Mystery House is a large, semidetached barn conversion
with an open plan kitchen and living area,
four ensuite bedrooms, one of which is on the ground floor,
a separate garage,
and uplifting rural scenery all around.
-Oh, this is great.
Yeah. The floor's good.
Nice high ceilings.
You'd have to put heating in, though!
It is cold.
My first impressions of the Mystery House were just almost blown away.
I wasn't expecting to see exactly what I wanted, and this is it.
I'm really pleased that we both agree on the Mystery House.
I think it's absolutely perfect,
because he can move in straightaway,
and the downstairs bedroom can be his gym temporary,
and he's got plenty of time to save up and make a fantastic gym outside.
This is somewhere I could see myself, you know, long-term.
Maybe, yeah. When I do meet the right girl,
that she'd move in with me.
Can almost see your house from here.
Yeah. Fantastic views, but I think I'm that way, so...
-You won't be able to spy on me.
-A few hills over there.
Then you are. Pretty as a picture!
So, if you want to close on up,
and we'll meet you out the front and we can...
-See you soon.
Ah! They look right at home.
That's probably going to be Tina's guest room when she's a grandmother,
a little further down the line.
Right, let's wrap things up.
For centuries, the upland Dales area of England
have been the stomping ground for sure-footed Dales ponies.
The breed was valued for their hardiness
and ability to carry heavy loads long distances
through the diverse and vast countryside.
But by the 1950s, these ponies had become critically endangered.
Today, the numbers are still terribly low,
but the Dales Pony Society is optimistic about their future,
with members such as Anna Pennell, whose family breeds them,
and is dedicated to raising their profile.
Anna... This is Flora. I met her at the beginning of the show.
She's very beautiful.
But tell me about the Dales ponies, because I don't actually...
I'm not very good with horses,
so what makes a Dales pony a Dales pony?
The Dales pony, they're known for being a great all-rounder.
They're fun, they're active, they love their work,
and they're a brilliant pony.
What's not to love about that?
And physically, are there any distinguishing physical features?
Yes, she's pretty much a classic Dales pony in terms of,
you see them with the full manes and tails.
They come in the black, predominantly, with the feather,
which protects their limbs,
and they are renowned for their big, high stepping trot.
We call them the hidden gem of the north-east.
And tell me a bit about Flora's history.
-How old is she?
-So, Flora's an eight-year-old mare.
We bred her.
She proves how versatile the Dales ponies are.
This year, she was third at the Horse Of The Year show,
which is the highest pinnacle for ridden showing,
-and she was the highest placed mare, so...
-She does it all.
So, I'm notoriously bad at riding horses,
and I wouldn't put Flora through that,
but I hear there is a more sedate way of travelling with the ponies.
Yes, they love to drive,
and I've brought along a friend today,
Richie Longstaff, who's happy to take you out for a drive.
Fantastic. See you, Flora.
The strength and endurance of the Dales ponies
made them a firm favourite for the military
for pulling artillery and supplies.
They nearly faced extinction after the Second World War,
and by 1955, there were only four registered foals left.
However, Dales enthusiasts like Richie Longstaff's father
helped boost the numbers,
and Richie now breeds the ponies himself.
Can I get up? Yeah?
What's the name of this fine animal?
Paddy is a bit smaller than Flora.
Is he were typical of the size of the...?
Yeah. They vary from 14 hands to 14, 2".
Ah, OK. And how many ponies have you got?
-That's all I've ever known, is Dales ponies, actually.
They're sturdy beasts, aren't they?
-And so they're also good at pulling traps, I'm guessing.
-What's the instruction here?
Now, you just take hold of the reins in between your fingers,
Finger over the top, like that.
That's it. And then when he walks, just tell him to walk on...
I'd better hadn't say that, because he will.
You could just whisper it. So, what are the instructions?
-Walk on, and then whoa, for stopping.
-Frida, let him go.
Walk on, Paddy.
Paddy is six years old,
and can manage to trot a distance of some ten miles.
He's quite easy to drive, actually.
Go on, lad. Go on.
Richie takes him out every other day in the summer,
and I must say, it's a particularly serene way of travelling.
This is stunning countryside to trot ten miles through, is it?
Yeah. It is.
It's been absolutely fantastic.
I could spend the whole day with you and Paddy,
trotting round the Dales.
-Well, you can take me home.
-Come on, Pad.
Come on, Paddy.
For thousands of years,
ponies like Paddy were a vital part of working life,
and although technological advances have changed the relationship
between man and beast,
it's been encouraging to know that committed breeders are trying
to ensure that the story of the Dales pony is one of survival.
So, we've finally come to the end of Sebastian's house hunt.
Time to find out whether he really can afford the Mystery House,
cos it seems that's his favourite.
Well, guys. That was a very nice week in the Dales,
and hopefully not entirely unproductive.
I'm guessing that it was the Mystery House that took your fancy?
It was indeed, yes.
The mystery house was fantastic.
It was exactly what I'm looking for to be honest.
The only one issue I had with it was, it was bang on my budget.
I need to put a gym in,
weigh up how much it's going to cost,
and then look at maybe putting a bid in.
-So, it's a goer?
it certainly made me realise exactly what I want and where I want it,
and what I want out of life, right now, I think.
Good. Well, so, next week, you're going to revisit?
Just look at the financial side of things?
-So, do let us know if you press ahead and buy,
because we'd be delighted to hear that you went for the Mystery House.
-Will do, yeah.
House-warming party, indeed.
Yeah. There's enough land to put a marquee up, yeah.
-Good, well, all the best,
and thanks again for inviting us up to the Dales.
-No, thank you very much.
-Thank you for showing us.
It's so lovely to have someone on the show who's buying a starter home
at the beginning of their house-buying career,
rather than a forever home at the end of theirs.
And it was very pleasing to me
that Sebastian decided to go for something a little less remote,
in this beautiful but often quite isolated countryside.
I think he'll be happier in the Mystery House.
And that it has longer legs, as it were,
for his future family to come.
And I hope that you've enjoyed the show
enough to join us next time for more Escape To The Country.
If you would like to escape to the country in England, Wales,
Northern Ireland or Scotland, and need our help,
why not apply online at...
Alistair Appleton is in the Yorkshire Dales helping a fitness enthusiast first-time buyer armed with £280,000 and the moral support of his mother find a home where he can run free in the countryside.
While in the area, Alistair learns about the efforts to increase the number of native Dales ponies, currently a critically endangered breed. He also takes to the reins and enjoys a ride through the countryside the breed is historically linked with.