Yorkshire Dales Escape to the Country


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Yorkshire Dales

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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These magnificent and beautiful horses

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used to roam this landscape for centuries.

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But they're actually a critically endangered species.

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So find out where these rare but beautiful animals call home

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in just a moment.

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On today's show, we're flexing our muscles to find a country home

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for a first-time buyer

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who's bringing his mum along for moral support.

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Of course, first impressions count.

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I love it. It looks nice from the outside.

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I like it. It's quirky, isn't it?

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But it's what's on the inside that really matters.

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Could be onto a winner if the rest of it matches up, yeah.

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Today, I'm in the Yorkshire Dales National Park,

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and this is Flora, a Dales pony.

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There's only around 1,500 of them left in the UK.

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But right up until the middle of the 19th century,

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they were heavily used in this area's thriving lead industry.

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After the Second World War, when many of them were used as pack

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and artillery ponies, their numbers dwindled.

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Later in the show, I'll be finding out how they're being protected

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and their future is going to be assured.

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But first, let's look at some of the other beauties

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the Dales have in store.

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North Yorkshire is England's largest county,

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covering some 3,000 square miles of breathtaking countryside.

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Of the two national parks within its borders,

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the pastoral scenery of the Dales is found in the west of the county,

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whose stunning rolling landscape

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is lined by a latticework of dry-stone walls.

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As well as man-made features,

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the waterways that charge through the terrain

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powered textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution.

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The county's abundant supply of water is evident at Aysgarth Falls,

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a magnificent triple-flight waterfall

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that was captured on canvas by landscape painter JMW Turner

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following a visit here in 1816.

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There's a rich mix of architecture that resonates with the drama

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of the Dales landscape, from scattered farm buildings

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set in remote valleys, to historic abbey ruins.

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At the gateway to the Dales,

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the market town of Skipton features one of the most complete

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and best preserved medieval castles in England,

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constructed back in 1090.

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But away from the picturesque towns and villages,

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the Dales are a place of wide and wild natural beauty, which provides

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a timeless source of inspiration and serenity.

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Property prices in North Yorkshire are rather good.

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The average price for a detached house here is £314,000,

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that's £15,000 less than the national figure.

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Of course, if you choose to live inside the Dales National Park

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with its tighter planning laws, then there is a bit of a premium,

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but that falls away if you choose to go outside, for example,

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the Skipton area, the gateway to the Dales.

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Luckily, today's buyers know this area very well indeed.

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In his quest for a more rural way of life,

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born-and-bred Lancastrian Sebastian

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has called on our help, and his mother Tina.

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Seb's very similar to me.

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Very confident, very outgoing.

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Kind, considerate, hard worker. Couldn't ask for a better son.

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This mother-son duo has a very close and steadfast relationship.

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So much so, that they successfully manage their own company.

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The business that we have together is a fire safety company,

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which my father set up 25 years ago.

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Our working relationship is really great.

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Most of the time, we get on absolutely fantastically.

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Aside from running the family firm,

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Sebastian dedicates most of his free time to working out.

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He began training two years ago,

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prompted by the death of his beloved father,

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who suffered from motor neurone disease.

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After his loss, Sebastian started to focus on

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leading a healthier lifestyle,

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and in a relatively short period of time,

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completely transformed his body.

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The positive results of that means he is now a fitness model

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and competes as a natural body-builder.

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I've just come out of competition prep.

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I'm driving to the gym every day.

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It's taking me half an hour to drive there.

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I'm doing cardio twice a day, so first thing in the morning,

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I've to either go running round the streets.

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I would love to find a property that I can walk straight out of the door,

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lovely, rolling hills, and I can just get straight out into that.

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I'd love to be able to put a gym in the house.

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And ideally, I would have some land as well there for some chickens,

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or goats, and provide my own eggs.

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And, er, maybe look at making some goat's cheese.

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This upcoming move will be Sebastian's first step

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onto the property ladder, and it's one he wants to make

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in a more inspiring environment

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than his current rented terrace in the town of Earby,

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on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border.

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Seb's always been a country boy at heart.

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From being two, when he used to try and shout the sheep in

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from over the fence, he'd try and get

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all the wild animals in the garden.

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So, he really needs to live in the country.

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I've got such happy memories of being able

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to just walk out into the countryside, climb trees,

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jump in rivers.

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Sebastian has chosen the Dales

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as he believes it will provide an invigorating terrain

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for his fitness regime, for both body and mind.

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What's more, it's not too far away from mum Tina.

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It's a big chapter in my life, buying my own house.

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I've lived in the family home

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and then I've lived with a friend for a few years.

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Now it'd be great to get a place of my own.

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I'm really pleased that Seb's made the decision

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to finally get somewhere of his own

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and make a life for himself in the country,

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because that's what he's always wanted.

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And you know, he can't have my house, so he's got to find his own.

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The family business is based in the Lancashire town of Colne,

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so ideally, Sebastian would like a Yorkshire Dales address

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that will allow for a reasonable commute to the office

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a couple of times a week.

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I'm catching up with first-time buyer Sebastian and his mother,

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Tina, to talk more about this move.

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Thanks for bringing me up to the Yorkshire Dales.

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This is your sort of stomping ground.

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My parents used to bring me up here when I was a child

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-and I love it, yeah.

-So, what is the...

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..what is the draw of the Dales, particularly?

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I just love the outdoors, to be honest.

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Erm, I was brought up in a really rural area.

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I've missed that for the last few years, so I'd like to...

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..like to move back somewhere close to home.

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-So, do you know this area?

-I know it really well.

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I did a lot of my courting in this area years and years ago.

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Wow! And in terms of the spec of the house, what are you looking for -

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bedrooms, outside space?

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Well, a minimum of two bedrooms, you know, maybe three would be nice.

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Erm, some land.

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Ideally, it would be detached, in the middle of my own field.

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Yeah, he's not used to neighbours.

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Realistically, I would be happy to have semidetached.

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A nice big kitchen.

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Maybe a range cooker.

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-Open fires. Something along those lines.

-Mmm.

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And remind us again of your budget, how much are we playing with?

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Er, we're looking at a top end of 300,000.

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Good. Well, we've got three lovely houses lined up.

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All we have to do is get your seal of approval,

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so let's get in the car and visit.

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-Great!

-Look forward to it.

-Follow me.

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For a top budget of £300,000,

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Sebastian is after a character property

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that has a contemporary interior, ideally with countryside views.

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It needs at least two bedrooms, the potential to create a home gym,

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around an acre of land, and to offer an accessible commute.

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We've got a great selection of Yorkshire homes

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that might help Sebastian to make his first property purchase,

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and they certainly have the winning hand when it comes to scenery.

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But I'll be keeping my lips sealed as to the price tags

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until the end of each tour.

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Lastly, we've got the Mystery House,

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where we focused more on the long-term future plan.

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We're starting out in the small hamlet of Marsett,

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right in the middle of the Dales.

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About an hour and a half's drive from Colne,

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the property is just under five miles from the town of Hawes.

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Set 850 feet above sea level,

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Hawes is one of the highest market towns in England.

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Amenities include a grocer's and cafe,

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and the town is home to the celebrated Wensleydale cheese.

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Back in the peaceful hamlet of Marsett,

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near the banks of Lake Semerwater,

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there's a smattering of traditional stone homes,

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one of which marks the beginning of our tour.

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-Ooh, this is cute, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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Here we have property number one.

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It's out in the middle of the sticks, you wanted that.

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-Mmm.

-Beautiful landscape.

-It certainly is.

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These farm buildings go back to about 1700.

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So, it's this one that we're looking at.

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-This is... This would be yours. And the garage as well.

-OK.

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There's a possibility that you could turn the garage into a gym.

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-Yep.

-Yep.

-What are your first impressions?

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Looks lovely. Looks fairly small from the outside.

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It doesn't appear as though there's much land.

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-Mmm.

-But it does look very nice.

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I think it looks lovely, but I don't know where the chickens'd go.

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Yes! Indeed.

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This one's not really big on the personal land.

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Obviously, you've got lots of land all around you.

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But this wouldn't... You'd struggle to get your goats.

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-Let's have a look inside, shall we?

-Love to.

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There's no question that this first property is a truly rural escape,

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so Sebastian could just step out into the Dales countryside.

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The stone-built property started life as a barn and has been recently

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modernised and decorated throughout.

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Coming in. Is there a little porch?

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Straight into the dining room.

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Very nice! Lovely.

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Oh, I think this is a nice-sized dining room.

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Because he will be entertaining, whether he knows it or not!

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-HE LAUGHS Be entertaining you?

-Yeah. Yeah.

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Come into the kitchen, see if it's up to snuff.

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Nicely done. Yep.

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I like the, er, Belfast sink.

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It's very nice, but again, quite small.

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They have it as their second home, so they use it as a holiday cottage.

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-Yeah.

-So, erm...

-Got that feel.

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Well, we were thinking for, you know,

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essentially a bachelor house, you know, first house.

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I don't know how big you want it.

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How much space do you need to throw pasta around?

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-Is it a...?

-Er, essentially, I don't really need

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much more than this, I suppose.

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No, it's big enough.

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So, through there, there's a nice, sort of, like, sitting room

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-with a big log burner.

-Right.

-Nice and snug.

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-But we're going to go upstairs right now.

-OK.

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The layout of this charming home is a fairly simple one -

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with the two separate reception rooms and kitchen

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down on the ground floor, above which there are two double bedrooms

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and the family bathroom.

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Two bedrooms upstairs, both sort of equal size.

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This one and the one next door.

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And then you've got a family bathroom serving them both.

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-No wardrobe.

-Yeah.

-No wardrobe in here, yes.

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Yeah, clothing-wise, I'd fill...

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I'd fill this room with clothes.

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Yes, so you might struggle getting all your clothes in here,

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unless you sacrifice a whole bedroom and have just a walk-in wardrobe.

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Mmm, yeah, it'd be a one-bedroom house.

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-Mmm.

-Yeah.

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It's lovely, but I'd think it was a guest room, you know,

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-and not your main bedroom.

-Yeah, it's all very nicely done.

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It's been a positive tour, but I'm sensing some reticence

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from both Sebastian and Tina

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about this property's potential as his new home.

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Now they've had a chance to take in all there is to see within the house

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and outside in the gardens,

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it's time to hazard a guess as to what it might be worth.

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Just so you get a kind of outview of the whole kind of property

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as it sits, amazing hills around

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and the little Methodist chapel across the way.

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-Mm-hm.

-Still in use.

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So, what do you think the price tag of this would be?

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Oof, tough one.

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I'd probably put it around...

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-..250.

-Mm-hm.

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-What do you think, Tina?

-Ooh. I've obviously not been looking!

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I don't know, I would have thought about 180.

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-180?

-But I have no idea.

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-Yes, you may be a bit out of the loop.

-Yeah.

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This is on the market, pretty much as you said, it's on at 255.

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-£255,000.

-Wow.

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I get the impression it might be a bit squeezy for you,

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but have a look around, think about maybe whether the gym could work,

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and then I'll come and find you and we can press on to the next one.

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-OK.

-Thanks a lot.

-Head back in.

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Oh, good first property.

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Nice, er, bones.

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Perhaps a little too small.

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Considerably under budget, at £255,000,

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this detached barn conversion gets us off to a solid start,

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meeting a lot of Sebastian's initial criteria.

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It comes with two reception rooms,

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two bedrooms, a pretty enclosed garden,

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and provides great gym potential in the separate garage block.

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All this amidst serene Dales landscape.

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Very nice, yeah. It's a lot better than I thought.

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-That's nice for a gym.

-Yeah, definitely.

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I could make this work, I think. It's a nice size.

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-Oh, this is nice.

-Yeah.

-Very nice and cosy.

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Yeah. I love the ceiling.

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Yeah, and this, er, this woodburner's lovely.

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It's a lovely little place, but is it big enough?

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-Mmm.

-That's my only question. I'm not sure.

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It's very pretty, picturesque, in the countryside.

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Er, lovely house, lovely features.

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Perhaps a little bit small.

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Perhaps, er, slightly more remote than I was looking for.

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It's a lovely property.

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The inside's absolutely lovely. It's really quaint, cottagey.

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Nice place, but I think it's probably too remote for Sebastian.

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-Hi, guys.

-Hi.

-All done?

-Yeah.

-Good.

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So we're finished on this one.

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-We can get the wagons rolling ready for house number two.

-OK.

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Sebastian's dream of a rural move into the Yorkshire Dales

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is one where he hopes to get closer to the natural environment

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by taking his exercise regime into the great outdoors.

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And whilst there's no shortage of inspiring landscapes in plain view,

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such as the dramatic limestone cliff of Malham Cove,

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below the surface, the National Park

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has a few more fascinating scenes to discover.

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Keen to broaden their experience of the region,

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we sent Sebastian and Tina to meet John Connaughton

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at a particularly picturesque Dales spot.

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Wow, what an absolutely beautiful area.

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-Whereabouts are we, exactly?

-We're at a place called Ribblehead,

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part of the Settle-Carlisle railway line.

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It's beautiful overground, but there's just as much hidden beauty

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that you aren't even aware of, or can possibly see,

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actually underneath our feet in the whole of this area.

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-So, what is beneath our feet, then?

-Well, cave systems galore.

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But we're going to see one in particular

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which I know very, very well. White Scar Caves.

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Where does it get the name White Scar Caves from?

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The name is basically the name of the cliffs

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that are directly behind the caves, on the escarpment behind us.

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Great. And can we have a look round the caves?

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You're more than welcome to go. I'll take you, with pleasure.

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Do you want to follow me this way?

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The spectacular underground network of White Scar Caves

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was uncovered in 1923 by student Christopher Long.

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He was spurred on to investigate

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after hearing the distant sound of running water.

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On his head, Long wore nothing more than a bowler hat for protection,

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and was carrying three candles to light the way.

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Right, well, this is the first area in White Scar Caves

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that he actually explored back in 1923.

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You wouldn't actually have been able to stand up properly as you are now.

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Originally, they cave passage in this area would have been at least

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that high, and with your little bowler hat and three candles,

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you'd be very pleased to see the waterfall

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that you're now looking at behind me.

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Has the cave ever flooded?

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The cave does flood, and if we get severe periods of rain in the area,

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specifically, directly overhead, over two or three hours,

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the water levels in this cave will actually rise quite significantly

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in a very, very quick space of time.

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From this point, as we go through the low section,

0:17:270:17:30

the show cave really does come alive with formations all around you.

0:17:300:17:34

Even the flow of the water under your feet becomes interesting.

0:17:340:17:38

The cave becomes alive. Do you want to follow me?

0:17:380:17:40

And enjoy yourselves, OK? Come on, then.

0:17:400:17:42

White Scar lays claim to be the longest show cave in Britain.

0:17:470:17:52

From the entrance, it runs a third of a mile deep,

0:17:520:17:55

and there are four and a half miles of known passageways,

0:17:550:17:58

some of which are rather narrow.

0:17:580:18:01

As well as underground waterfalls,

0:18:010:18:02

there are thousands of falling stalactites and rising stalagmites

0:18:020:18:07

that have developed into curious formations.

0:18:070:18:10

So, John, where are we now?

0:18:120:18:14

We're now in the area known as the Battlefield chamber.

0:18:140:18:17

Why is it called the Battlefield?

0:18:170:18:19

It's called the Battlefield Chamber because the first young lady

0:18:190:18:22

who actually got into the cave system

0:18:220:18:24

to explore the chamber itself, back in 1973,

0:18:240:18:27

she was called Hilda Guthrie,

0:18:270:18:29

and the first expression she used was,

0:18:290:18:31

"It looks like a battlefield in here.

0:18:310:18:33

"It looks like the Somme."

0:18:330:18:35

Because of all the steam and mist

0:18:350:18:36

that came off her body when she got here,

0:18:360:18:38

all she could see was slimy wet cave mud everywhere, and boulders.

0:18:380:18:42

So, the name stuck. The Battlefield.

0:18:430:18:45

So, how big is the chamber, John?

0:18:450:18:47

Well, the chamber is over 320 feet long, 60 feet wide in places,

0:18:470:18:52

and 80 feet high, and then we have one or two avens

0:18:520:18:55

which actually go 150 feet up.

0:18:550:18:57

So, what does the future hold for White Scar Caves?

0:18:570:19:01

Basically, we don't know. This simple answer is somebody,

0:19:010:19:04

someday, could move a boulder above us.

0:19:040:19:06

As a result of moving that rock, a new cave passageway

0:19:060:19:09

may be explored, and hopefully one day,

0:19:090:19:11

be able to open up and let everyone else enjoy

0:19:110:19:13

what's going to be found in the future.

0:19:130:19:15

But in the immediate future, we need to find our young buyer a new home,

0:19:150:19:20

so he and his mother need to get back above ground

0:19:200:19:24

where we can all continue with the pressing issue

0:19:240:19:26

of uncovering that perfect property.

0:19:260:19:28

For our next stop, we're travelling to Carperby,

0:19:330:19:35

in the east of the National Park.

0:19:350:19:38

This attractive village is full of stone-built houses,

0:19:380:19:41

and engulfed by outstanding countryside.

0:19:410:19:44

During the 17th century,

0:19:440:19:46

it was an important centre for the Quaker movement,

0:19:460:19:48

and a meeting house overlooks the market cross on the village green.

0:19:480:19:53

Carperby also has a popular pub,

0:19:530:19:55

where the 20th-century veterinary surgeon and author James Herriot

0:19:550:19:59

stayed on his honeymoon.

0:19:590:20:02

Right in the centre of the village, we find our next house.

0:20:020:20:05

This is the second property I want to show you, and as you can see,

0:20:060:20:09

it's slightly bigger.

0:20:090:20:11

You can see with the grey windows from that point there,

0:20:110:20:13

all across to the very end.

0:20:130:20:15

So, it's a bigger property. What do you think?

0:20:150:20:18

Yeah, I mean, initially, it looks much bigger.

0:20:180:20:22

First concerns are that it's on a road.

0:20:220:20:26

In terms of the style and the fact that it's attached,

0:20:260:20:28

how does that strike you?

0:20:280:20:30

That's fine. I love it. It looks nice from the outside.

0:20:300:20:34

I like it. It's quirky, isn't it?

0:20:340:20:36

They have had it all repointed, and the roof redone,

0:20:360:20:39

and the lead around this chimney's all in the last two years.

0:20:390:20:43

-No, it looks nice.

-Shall we take a peek inside?

0:20:430:20:45

-Yeah, can't wait.

-Great.

0:20:450:20:46

This handsome character cottage lies at the end of a stone terrace,

0:20:480:20:52

with an integrated garage with wooden double doors.

0:20:520:20:55

We're starting in the main reception room.

0:20:550:20:57

So, come into this corner,

0:20:590:21:01

and you can see the full expanse of this very beautiful sitting room.

0:21:010:21:05

These fantastic flagstone floors.

0:21:060:21:09

-Mm, love it.

-Fireplace.

-Yeah, I like it.

-Yeah, it's nice.

0:21:090:21:13

-Nice size.

-I like the stone floor.

0:21:130:21:17

And I like the windows either side.

0:21:170:21:18

Makes it feel more airy and spacious.

0:21:200:21:23

Could be onto a winner if the rest of it matches up, yeah.

0:21:230:21:26

An encouraging start for this charming country cottage,

0:21:270:21:30

as they are both appreciating the period style in the living room.

0:21:300:21:34

And over on the far side of the property, beyond a staircase,

0:21:340:21:38

lies a decent-sized kitchen diner.

0:21:380:21:41

Come in here, because this is...

0:21:420:21:45

The other side of the house is the kitchen,

0:21:450:21:47

and through there there's a kind of old larder,

0:21:470:21:50

a stone larder with these fantastic stone shelves.

0:21:500:21:54

-What do you think of this space?

-I like it.

-Yeah, it's nice.

0:21:540:21:58

Lovely, bright. It's a good start, I think.

0:21:580:22:01

So, it's a fairly simple layout, but I think, obviously,

0:22:010:22:03

much bigger and much more kind of,

0:22:030:22:05

perhaps more useful for you than the first was.

0:22:050:22:07

Yeah, I think it works better.

0:22:070:22:09

And this property has three bedrooms.

0:22:090:22:12

-Very good.

-Good.

-So, you've got some options upstairs.

0:22:120:22:15

Exactly. Now I know that you need a walk-in dressing room.

0:22:150:22:18

Probably. Probably have a dressing room.

0:22:180:22:21

And a very lovely flight of stone stairs.

0:22:210:22:23

-Lead the way.

-Oh, yeah.

-Very nice.

0:22:240:22:26

The three bedrooms fan off a narrow hallway,

0:22:270:22:30

at the end of which is a stylish bathroom

0:22:300:22:33

with a roll-top bath and shower.

0:22:330:22:35

There's a single bedroom, and a cosy,

0:22:360:22:39

characterful double with built-in storage.

0:22:390:22:42

But we'll take a view on the largest of them.

0:22:420:22:45

This is the master suite.

0:22:480:22:51

Because you've got an ensuite shower room through there.

0:22:510:22:55

Ah, great. I think this looks great, largely.

0:22:550:22:58

It's a nice size. I like the wooden floorboards.

0:22:580:23:02

Yes, some nice features.

0:23:020:23:04

And absolutely cracking views out over Pen Hill.

0:23:040:23:07

Wow, yeah, the views are nice.

0:23:070:23:09

And these wonderful picture windows.

0:23:090:23:12

-Yeah.

-I think so far, so good.

0:23:120:23:15

How are you feeling? You're quite a muted fish.

0:23:150:23:17

It's quite difficult to read your excitement.

0:23:170:23:20

Just taking it all in, I think. Yeah.

0:23:200:23:22

It just feels really homely to me. I really like it.

0:23:220:23:25

So, you can explore all the other rooms in your own sweet time,

0:23:250:23:28

but let's go outside and we can perhaps

0:23:280:23:30

-talk about gyms and gardens and prices.

-OK.

0:23:300:23:35

All the land that comes with this cottage sits at the back,

0:23:380:23:41

and it's a private area, enclosed by dry-stone walls.

0:23:410:23:45

This garden faces south and has been divided into a patio,

0:23:470:23:50

lawn and flower beds, along with a couple of outbuildings.

0:23:500:23:54

So, there's lots to look at. Got the beautiful view.

0:23:560:24:00

And then these nice features like the steps going up to the hayloft,

0:24:010:24:05

a little kind of dovecote up there.

0:24:050:24:07

And also this barn, sort of stone building at the back.

0:24:070:24:11

Some of them have been turned into offices along the row,

0:24:110:24:13

but at the moment, it's just storage.

0:24:130:24:15

So, there are two options, Sebastian, for your gym.

0:24:150:24:18

That, and also this side retreat at the end.

0:24:180:24:21

So, the sort of side is like a garage now, but could be a...

0:24:210:24:25

Yeah, that looks interesting.

0:24:250:24:26

Definitely looks like I could get a bit of a gym in there, yeah.

0:24:260:24:30

-The garden's nice.

-It's obviously not an acre.

0:24:300:24:33

I mean, I think, I mean, realistically, for your budget,

0:24:330:24:35

an acre is probably a bit ambitious.

0:24:350:24:37

-Mmm.

-I'm really impressed with it.

0:24:370:24:39

Yeah. Extra space, garden, sitting out area.

0:24:390:24:43

-I really like it.

-Good. Thumbs up, everywhere.

0:24:430:24:46

Yeah. I like this one.

0:24:460:24:47

What about the price tag? What you think that might be?

0:24:470:24:50

Well, I was useless on the last one.

0:24:500:24:53

So, I think more like 275 for this one.

0:24:530:24:57

Sebastian?

0:24:580:25:00

I think this is probably up at 285.

0:25:000:25:04

In this instance, you should listen to your mother,

0:25:040:25:06

because she's exactly right. It's on at £275,000.

0:25:060:25:09

-Bang on, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:25:090:25:11

-Fair enough.

-So, it's still under your top budget.

0:25:110:25:13

-Yeah.

-You'd have enough money to perhaps do your gym,

0:25:130:25:16

-a little bit over.

-You're getting a lot more house.

0:25:160:25:19

No, the inside's nice and it is bigger than the other.

0:25:190:25:23

Well, there's pluses and minuses,

0:25:230:25:25

so if you want to go inside and sort of weigh them up,

0:25:250:25:27

-then I'll come and find you round the front.

-Great.

0:25:270:25:29

Again under budget at £275,000,

0:25:310:25:35

this lovely stone end-of-terrace cottage comes with a kitchen diner,

0:25:350:25:40

three bedrooms, two bathrooms,

0:25:400:25:43

a private garden and an integrated garage,

0:25:430:25:46

which could make a good option for Sebastian's home gym.

0:25:460:25:49

Oh, wow.

0:25:520:25:54

Very nice. That's good, yeah. Bonus.

0:25:540:25:57

Don't know whether it's big enough, though.

0:25:570:25:59

-Wide enough?

-Probably fit something in,

0:25:590:26:02

but I'm not sure if it's quite big enough.

0:26:020:26:05

Yeah, you could soon have that levelled out, though, couldn't you?

0:26:050:26:08

Put a false floor in.

0:26:080:26:10

TV and a screen here, doing your exercises.

0:26:100:26:13

Yeah, maybe. We'll see.

0:26:130:26:16

It's probably the right size, perfect size.

0:26:170:26:21

It'd suit me with that regard.

0:26:210:26:24

I think maybe I could make do with gym in the garage.

0:26:240:26:29

I think the garden's great.

0:26:290:26:31

I'm not sure yet. I'll have to sleep on it, I think.

0:26:310:26:34

-Hey, guys. Are we all done inside?

-Yeah.

-Sorted.

0:26:370:26:41

So, wrap up warm, we're all done for today,

0:26:410:26:43

we can go and find somewhere warm to relax.

0:26:430:26:46

-Good.

-Great.

-Thank you.

0:26:460:26:48

With a budget of £300,000,

0:26:590:27:01

Lancashire-born fitness fan Sebastian wants to move out

0:27:010:27:05

into the rural wilds of the Yorkshire Dales

0:27:050:27:08

to buy his very first home.

0:27:080:27:10

And he's brought along his mother Tina for support.

0:27:100:27:13

Still to come, some quiet confidence in the Mystery House...

0:27:130:27:17

So, what are you thinking? It's quite hard to read you, Sebastian.

0:27:170:27:20

-You're keeping your cards close to your chest.

-Is it?

0:27:200:27:22

-He's jumping inside.

-Is he?

0:27:220:27:24

And I'll be trotting out with these hardy residents

0:27:240:27:27

of the North East.

0:27:270:27:28

Free to let him go, walk on.

0:27:280:27:29

Walk on, Paddy!

0:27:310:27:32

It's a lovely, misty, and atmospheric morning here

0:27:350:27:37

in the Yorkshire Dales.

0:27:370:27:39

Perfect weather for a Mystery House, don't you think?

0:27:390:27:41

Now, yesterday, Sebastian, who's looking for his starter home,

0:27:410:27:44

didn't quite fall in love with either of the properties

0:27:440:27:46

that we showed him, so for the Mystery House, we're going to

0:27:460:27:49

shake things up a little bit,

0:27:490:27:51

and instead of showing him a bachelor pad,

0:27:510:27:53

how about a future family home?

0:27:530:27:56

So, in terms of the Mystery House,

0:28:000:28:02

what do you think we might be showing you?

0:28:020:28:04

I would probably say that it would be a terraced property,

0:28:040:28:10

or an apartment.

0:28:100:28:11

Yeah, maybe an apartment in an old chapel or mill, or old pub.

0:28:110:28:18

There's plenty of those closed down.

0:28:180:28:20

Our last property destination is out of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

0:28:220:28:26

and into the hamlet of Tosside,

0:28:260:28:28

right on the edge of the Forest of Bowland.

0:28:280:28:31

This location would bring Sebastian within a 45-minute drive

0:28:310:28:35

of both work and his mum.

0:28:350:28:38

In fact, Tosside sits across the North Yorkshire

0:28:380:28:40

and Lancashire border.

0:28:400:28:42

Though some parts lie in North Yorkshire,

0:28:420:28:44

most of the residents have an address for the neighbouring county.

0:28:440:28:48

Local facilities here include a community hall,

0:28:480:28:51

a cafe serving traditional home-cooked produce,

0:28:510:28:54

a late 17th-century church,

0:28:540:28:56

and a former public house that is now a B&B.

0:28:560:28:59

Lying in Gisburn Forest,

0:29:000:29:02

within reach of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,

0:29:020:29:05

Tosside also benefits from great mountain biking

0:29:050:29:08

and walking territory.

0:29:080:29:10

So, all in all, it would make an ideal location

0:29:100:29:12

for a fitness enthusiast.

0:29:120:29:14

Here we have it, the Mystery House.

0:29:140:29:16

-OK.

-Looks amazing.

0:29:160:29:19

Best one so far for me.

0:29:190:29:20

-Nice and quiet.

-Yeah, very peaceful.

0:29:200:29:23

It's the first one we've managed to show you with a bit of land,

0:29:230:29:26

because the idea of the Mystery House

0:29:260:29:29

is that we're no longer looking at a bachelor pad,

0:29:290:29:32

we're looking at a family house.

0:29:320:29:35

-Great.

-So, thinking ahead...

-Yeah, a few years. Give me a few years.

0:29:350:29:39

To your future.

0:29:390:29:41

And it gives you pretty much everything you want and a lot more.

0:29:410:29:43

So, you've got some land, you got this little paddock here

0:29:430:29:46

and this little triangle of land here,

0:29:460:29:47

and then actually another little patch on the other side of the road

0:29:470:29:50

-where you could have some chickens.

-I really like it.

0:29:500:29:53

To me, it feels more like home, to me.

0:29:530:29:55

-Yeah.

-It's lovely.

0:29:550:29:57

Yeah, it's the nicest views as well, that we've had so far,

0:29:570:29:59

which is definitely a big thing for me.

0:29:590:30:02

-I want to get inside.

-Let's do it, then!

0:30:020:30:04

Set in a particularly beautiful location with endless rural views,

0:30:060:30:10

it's no surprise that this mystery barn conversion

0:30:100:30:13

is drawing Sebastian in.

0:30:130:30:15

Semidetached, with just one immediate neighbour,

0:30:150:30:18

the property has been used as a holiday let in the past,

0:30:180:30:21

but is well presented throughout,

0:30:210:30:23

ready and waiting for a new owner to make it their permanent home.

0:30:230:30:27

Come into the warmth!

0:30:290:30:31

-Oh, lovely.

-And this big, open plan space.

-Yeah.

0:30:310:30:35

-Kitchen.

-I like it.

-It's great.

0:30:350:30:38

-It's the biggest kitchen.

-Nice kitchen, yeah.

0:30:380:30:40

-It's nice.

-Nice and modern.

0:30:400:30:41

No range, but there's plenty of room to change things around if needs be,

0:30:410:30:46

but I like it as it is, to be honest.

0:30:460:30:48

I do. I like the tiles, I like everything.

0:30:480:30:50

And the great views, when you're doing your washing up.

0:30:500:30:53

That's nice.

0:30:530:30:54

Yeah, it's definitely the best views out of the three so far.

0:30:540:30:57

And then, obviously, this is the main living space.

0:30:570:31:01

-And I think really great.

-Yeah.

0:31:010:31:04

You've got a nice log burner, which kicks out a lot of heat.

0:31:040:31:07

Log burner looks nice.

0:31:070:31:09

It's a much bigger space, isn't it?

0:31:090:31:11

It's all been renovated in the last two years,

0:31:110:31:14

-so it's very spick and span.

-Yeah.

0:31:140:31:16

So, what are you thinking? It's quite hard to read you, Sebastian.

0:31:160:31:19

-You're keeping your cards close to your chest.

-Is it?

0:31:190:31:21

This, so far, is ticking all the boxes.

0:31:210:31:24

-Yeah.

-He's jumping inside.

-Is he?

-Yeah.

0:31:240:31:26

-He's a cool cucumber on the outside.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:31:260:31:29

So far, this is definitely the best.

0:31:290:31:31

What's nice about this is that it has potential for you to expand

0:31:310:31:35

from being a single man into a family,

0:31:350:31:38

because you've got three bedrooms upstairs

0:31:380:31:41

and one big bedroom downstairs, and all of them have ensuites.

0:31:410:31:44

-Wow!

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

-That's a lot of ensuites!

0:31:440:31:47

Wow.

0:31:470:31:49

The open plan kitchen,

0:31:490:31:51

dining and living area seems to be hitting all the right notes,

0:31:510:31:54

and Sebastian should be thrilled to know that this Mystery House

0:31:540:31:58

offers different options for his gym.

0:31:580:32:01

The first of these is inside, on the ground floor.

0:32:010:32:04

Currently, this is set up as the fourth bedroom,

0:32:050:32:08

and actually they use it for holiday lets, so they've got single beds in.

0:32:080:32:13

-Right.

-But we thought this would be a great sort of gym,

0:32:130:32:15

because it has an ensuite.

0:32:150:32:16

A big ensuite and a shower room, through there.

0:32:160:32:19

-Oh, wow!

-Massive, yeah.

0:32:190:32:21

So, you can work out, go straight into the shower, shower down.

0:32:210:32:25

-Wow.

-And also, you can head out here and go for a run.

0:32:250:32:28

Perfect, yeah. I think this would be a great gym.

0:32:280:32:32

If you did ever fancy putting a treadmill in

0:32:320:32:35

instead of going outside,

0:32:350:32:36

you could look straight outside there, which is lovely, yeah.

0:32:360:32:39

-No, it's great.

-And upstairs is also very spacious,

0:32:390:32:42

and you've got three rooms to choose from,

0:32:420:32:44

so let's go and look at the master.

0:32:440:32:46

There are a generous four bedrooms in total,

0:32:490:32:52

and the other three lie upstairs.

0:32:520:32:55

All large doubles,

0:32:550:32:56

they each come with their very own spacious ensuite.

0:32:560:32:59

One even has its own balcony,

0:33:000:33:02

to make the most of the stunning location.

0:33:020:33:04

So, as I mentioned, there are three rooms upstairs.

0:33:070:33:09

-They're all pretty big.

-Wow, it's huge.

0:33:090:33:11

Yeah, and lovely views.

0:33:110:33:12

And again, a nice big ensuite.

0:33:120:33:14

-And a shower.

-Wow.

0:33:150:33:17

Yeah, they're all decent sized rooms, aren't they?

0:33:170:33:19

-I'll have any.

-Yeah.

0:33:190:33:21

All right, then. You can have any.

0:33:210:33:23

You can pick and choose.

0:33:230:33:24

Yeah, it's big, nice, and plenty of room for storage.

0:33:240:33:29

I think we're getting there with this one.

0:33:290:33:31

And you do get great views from pretty much every window.

0:33:310:33:34

-Yeah.

-Looking out over the countryside.

0:33:340:33:36

And even though it's on a lane, it's not noisy.

0:33:360:33:38

-No.

-Yeah, it's very quiet.

0:33:380:33:41

-Peaceful.

-Talking of views,

0:33:410:33:42

let's go outside and we can talk about the price.

0:33:420:33:45

OK.

0:33:450:33:46

If Sebastian were to use the downstairs as a gym,

0:33:460:33:49

and take on clients,

0:33:490:33:50

he could make the most of the large gravelled area to the rear side

0:33:500:33:54

near the road as guest parking, by removing part of the perimeter wall,

0:33:540:33:58

subject to the right permissions.

0:33:580:34:01

However, there is another option

0:34:010:34:03

for that all-important exercise studio.

0:34:030:34:06

Lying at the front, where we started, is a large outbuilding,

0:34:060:34:10

half of which provides garaging for this house.

0:34:100:34:13

But, with a little time and money,

0:34:130:34:15

it could be transformed into Sebastian's dream gym.

0:34:150:34:18

So, a lovely package.

0:34:200:34:22

It's great.

0:34:220:34:23

It seems to... be pleasing you both.

0:34:230:34:26

Yeah. I really like it. It's lovely.

0:34:260:34:28

What do you think the price tag is?

0:34:280:34:30

SHE SIGHS

0:34:300:34:32

It's a tough one, because obviously, it's a different area.

0:34:320:34:35

I'd probably put it up at 290.

0:34:350:34:37

Right. Well, I thought it was more like 320.

0:34:390:34:41

Well, it's actually just a shade under the top of your budget.

0:34:410:34:44

It's £299,950.

0:34:440:34:48

-OK, yeah.

-Right.

0:34:480:34:50

So, why don't you go and explore?

0:34:500:34:51

You can explore the barn again,

0:34:510:34:52

maybe decide where you will put your gym,

0:34:520:34:54

or you could have two gyms,

0:34:540:34:56

and then I will meet you when you're done,

0:34:560:34:58

and we can wrap things up.

0:34:580:35:00

-Great.

-Thanks.

0:35:000:35:01

Thank you.

0:35:010:35:02

Right at the top of Sebastian's budget,

0:35:050:35:07

the Mystery House is a large, semidetached barn conversion

0:35:070:35:11

with an open plan kitchen and living area,

0:35:110:35:14

four ensuite bedrooms, one of which is on the ground floor,

0:35:140:35:17

a paddock,

0:35:170:35:18

a separate garage,

0:35:180:35:20

and uplifting rural scenery all around.

0:35:200:35:23

-Oh, this is great.

-It's huge.

0:35:260:35:28

Yeah. The floor's good.

0:35:280:35:30

Nice high ceilings.

0:35:300:35:32

You'd have to put heating in, though!

0:35:320:35:34

It is cold.

0:35:340:35:35

My first impressions of the Mystery House were just almost blown away.

0:35:370:35:43

I wasn't expecting to see exactly what I wanted, and this is it.

0:35:430:35:48

I'm really pleased that we both agree on the Mystery House.

0:35:480:35:52

I think it's absolutely perfect,

0:35:520:35:54

because he can move in straightaway,

0:35:540:35:56

and the downstairs bedroom can be his gym temporary,

0:35:560:35:59

and he's got plenty of time to save up and make a fantastic gym outside.

0:35:590:36:04

This is somewhere I could see myself, you know, long-term.

0:36:040:36:07

Maybe, yeah. When I do meet the right girl,

0:36:070:36:11

that she'd move in with me.

0:36:110:36:13

Can almost see your house from here.

0:36:140:36:15

Yeah. Fantastic views, but I think I'm that way, so...

0:36:150:36:19

-Yeah.

-You won't be able to spy on me.

-A few hills over there.

-Yeah.

0:36:190:36:23

Fantastic.

0:36:230:36:24

Then you are. Pretty as a picture!

0:36:240:36:26

So, if you want to close on up,

0:36:260:36:28

and we'll meet you out the front and we can...

0:36:280:36:29

-OK.

-All right.

-See you soon.

0:36:290:36:31

Ah! They look right at home.

0:36:320:36:34

That's probably going to be Tina's guest room when she's a grandmother,

0:36:340:36:38

a little further down the line.

0:36:380:36:40

Right, let's wrap things up.

0:36:400:36:41

For centuries, the upland Dales area of England

0:36:460:36:49

have been the stomping ground for sure-footed Dales ponies.

0:36:490:36:53

The breed was valued for their hardiness

0:36:530:36:56

and ability to carry heavy loads long distances

0:36:560:36:59

through the diverse and vast countryside.

0:36:590:37:01

But by the 1950s, these ponies had become critically endangered.

0:37:020:37:07

Today, the numbers are still terribly low,

0:37:070:37:09

but the Dales Pony Society is optimistic about their future,

0:37:090:37:14

with members such as Anna Pennell, whose family breeds them,

0:37:140:37:17

and is dedicated to raising their profile.

0:37:170:37:19

Anna... This is Flora. I met her at the beginning of the show.

0:37:200:37:23

She's very beautiful.

0:37:230:37:25

But tell me about the Dales ponies, because I don't actually...

0:37:250:37:28

I'm not very good with horses,

0:37:280:37:29

so what makes a Dales pony a Dales pony?

0:37:290:37:32

The Dales pony, they're known for being a great all-rounder.

0:37:320:37:35

They're fun, they're active, they love their work,

0:37:350:37:37

and they're a brilliant pony.

0:37:370:37:39

What's not to love about that?

0:37:390:37:40

Exactly!

0:37:400:37:41

And physically, are there any distinguishing physical features?

0:37:410:37:44

Yes, she's pretty much a classic Dales pony in terms of,

0:37:440:37:48

you see them with the full manes and tails.

0:37:480:37:50

They come in the black, predominantly, with the feather,

0:37:500:37:54

which protects their limbs,

0:37:540:37:55

and they are renowned for their big, high stepping trot.

0:37:550:37:58

We call them the hidden gem of the north-east.

0:37:580:38:00

And tell me a bit about Flora's history.

0:38:000:38:02

-How old is she?

-So, Flora's an eight-year-old mare.

0:38:020:38:04

We bred her.

0:38:040:38:05

She proves how versatile the Dales ponies are.

0:38:050:38:08

This year, she was third at the Horse Of The Year show,

0:38:080:38:11

which is the highest pinnacle for ridden showing,

0:38:110:38:13

-and she was the highest placed mare, so...

-Well done!

0:38:130:38:15

-She does it all.

-Star pony!

0:38:150:38:17

So, I'm notoriously bad at riding horses,

0:38:170:38:19

and I wouldn't put Flora through that,

0:38:190:38:21

but I hear there is a more sedate way of travelling with the ponies.

0:38:210:38:24

Yes, they love to drive,

0:38:240:38:25

and I've brought along a friend today,

0:38:250:38:28

Richie Longstaff, who's happy to take you out for a drive.

0:38:280:38:30

Fantastic. See you, Flora.

0:38:300:38:32

The strength and endurance of the Dales ponies

0:38:360:38:38

made them a firm favourite for the military

0:38:380:38:40

for pulling artillery and supplies.

0:38:400:38:42

They nearly faced extinction after the Second World War,

0:38:420:38:45

and by 1955, there were only four registered foals left.

0:38:450:38:50

However, Dales enthusiasts like Richie Longstaff's father

0:38:510:38:55

helped boost the numbers,

0:38:550:38:57

and Richie now breeds the ponies himself.

0:38:570:39:00

Can I get up? Yeah?

0:39:000:39:02

What's the name of this fine animal?

0:39:030:39:05

-Paddy.

-Paddy?

0:39:050:39:06

Paddy is a bit smaller than Flora.

0:39:060:39:09

Is he were typical of the size of the...?

0:39:090:39:10

Yeah. They vary from 14 hands to 14, 2".

0:39:100:39:14

Ah, OK. And how many ponies have you got?

0:39:140:39:18

About 12.

0:39:180:39:19

-12?!

-That's all I've ever known, is Dales ponies, actually.

0:39:190:39:22

They're sturdy beasts, aren't they?

0:39:220:39:24

-Yeah.

-And so they're also good at pulling traps, I'm guessing.

0:39:240:39:27

-Yeah.

-What's the instruction here?

0:39:270:39:29

Now, you just take hold of the reins in between your fingers,

0:39:290:39:33

like that.

0:39:330:39:34

Finger over the top, like that.

0:39:340:39:36

That's it. And then when he walks, just tell him to walk on...

0:39:360:39:39

I'd better hadn't say that, because he will.

0:39:390:39:41

You could just whisper it. So, what are the instructions?

0:39:410:39:43

-Walk on?

-Walk on, and then whoa, for stopping.

0:39:430:39:46

-Whoa.

-Yeah.

-Frida, let him go.

0:39:460:39:48

Walk on!

0:39:480:39:49

Walk on, Paddy.

0:39:500:39:51

Paddy is six years old,

0:39:530:39:55

and can manage to trot a distance of some ten miles.

0:39:550:39:58

He's quite easy to drive, actually.

0:39:580:40:00

Go on, lad. Go on.

0:40:000:40:01

Richie takes him out every other day in the summer,

0:40:030:40:05

and I must say, it's a particularly serene way of travelling.

0:40:050:40:09

Whoa, lad.

0:40:100:40:11

This is stunning countryside to trot ten miles through, is it?

0:40:110:40:14

Yeah. It is.

0:40:140:40:16

It's been absolutely fantastic.

0:40:160:40:17

I could spend the whole day with you and Paddy,

0:40:170:40:20

trotting round the Dales.

0:40:200:40:21

-Well, you can take me home.

-Come on, Pad.

0:40:210:40:23

Come on, Paddy.

0:40:230:40:24

So gracious.

0:40:270:40:29

Yeah.

0:40:290:40:30

For thousands of years,

0:40:300:40:31

ponies like Paddy were a vital part of working life,

0:40:310:40:35

and although technological advances have changed the relationship

0:40:350:40:38

between man and beast,

0:40:380:40:39

it's been encouraging to know that committed breeders are trying

0:40:390:40:44

to ensure that the story of the Dales pony is one of survival.

0:40:440:40:47

Aw, cute!

0:40:510:40:52

So, we've finally come to the end of Sebastian's house hunt.

0:40:520:40:57

Time to find out whether he really can afford the Mystery House,

0:40:570:41:01

cos it seems that's his favourite.

0:41:010:41:03

Well, guys. That was a very nice week in the Dales,

0:41:110:41:14

and hopefully not entirely unproductive.

0:41:140:41:17

I'm guessing that it was the Mystery House that took your fancy?

0:41:170:41:20

It was indeed, yes.

0:41:200:41:21

The mystery house was fantastic.

0:41:210:41:23

It was exactly what I'm looking for to be honest.

0:41:230:41:26

The only one issue I had with it was, it was bang on my budget.

0:41:260:41:30

I need to put a gym in,

0:41:300:41:32

weigh up how much it's going to cost,

0:41:320:41:34

and then look at maybe putting a bid in.

0:41:340:41:37

-So, it's a goer?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:41:370:41:38

-Definitely.

-Yeah,

0:41:380:41:40

it certainly made me realise exactly what I want and where I want it,

0:41:400:41:45

and what I want out of life, right now, I think.

0:41:450:41:48

Good. Well, so, next week, you're going to revisit?

0:41:480:41:51

Just look at the financial side of things?

0:41:510:41:54

-Yep.

-Yeah.

-So, do let us know if you press ahead and buy,

0:41:540:41:57

because we'd be delighted to hear that you went for the Mystery House.

0:41:570:42:00

-Will do, yeah.

-House-warming party.

0:42:000:42:02

House-warming party, indeed.

0:42:020:42:03

Yeah. There's enough land to put a marquee up, yeah.

0:42:030:42:05

-Absolutely.

-Good, well, all the best,

0:42:070:42:09

and thanks again for inviting us up to the Dales.

0:42:090:42:11

-No, thank you very much.

-Thank you for showing us.

0:42:110:42:13

It's so lovely to have someone on the show who's buying a starter home

0:42:190:42:22

at the beginning of their house-buying career,

0:42:220:42:24

rather than a forever home at the end of theirs.

0:42:240:42:27

And it was very pleasing to me

0:42:270:42:28

that Sebastian decided to go for something a little less remote,

0:42:280:42:31

in this beautiful but often quite isolated countryside.

0:42:310:42:34

I think he'll be happier in the Mystery House.

0:42:340:42:36

And that it has longer legs, as it were,

0:42:360:42:40

for his future family to come.

0:42:400:42:42

And I hope that you've enjoyed the show

0:42:420:42:43

enough to join us next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:42:430:42:46

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

0:42:490:42:52

Northern Ireland or Scotland, and need our help,

0:42:520:42:54

why not apply online at...

0:42:540:42:56

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.