Norfolk Escape to the Country


Norfolk

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Transcript


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I'm in a county that really has got the wind in its sails

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and I'm not talking about sailing boats, I'm talking about windmills,

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making use of the winds that rip across this flat landscape you can see behind me.

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But where am I, I hear you cry?

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Well, join me on Escape To The Country and I'll show you.

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In today's show, I'll be helping a couple realise their dream

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of a lifetime as they go in search of a new home in the country.

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-Wow.

-I'll be whisking them off on a tour of some of the most unique and tempting homes on offer.

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Wow.

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I thought you'd like this.

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-Jaw-dropping.

-Yeah.

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And there's the mystery house that could just make their dreams come true.

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-You said you wanted a project.

-I did.

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Yeah, well, come on, you know.

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Be careful what you wish for, Des.

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Today I'm in Norfolk, where windmills like the one behind me

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were once iconic features of the landscape.

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They were used for grinding flour and pumping water.

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It's thought the technology's been up here since the 12th century,

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but there's a lot more that's turning heads around here than just windmills.

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Bordered by Cambridgeshire to the west and Suffolk to the south,

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Norfolk is one of the six counties

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that make up what's known as the East of England.

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To the east of the county lie the Norfolk Broads,

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created as a result of peat digging in Roman and medieval times.

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Today they make a network of over 126 miles of winding waterways

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and attract over five million visitors a year.

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At the heart of Norfolk is Norwich, the most complete medieval city

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in Britain and dominated by its 12th-century Romanesque cathedral.

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Over to the east coast is the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth,

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which has been pulling in the crowds for 250 years,

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with miles of sandy beaches, a proud maritime heritage and plenty of traditional seaside entertainment.

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And thanks to a long tradition of mining stone and using local clay,

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Norfolk is scattered with some very distinctive red brick and flint properties.

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But enough of the bricks and the mortar, how much is all of this going to cost?

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Your average detached will set you back around about

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9% below the national average in this neck of the woods,

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so it's a fantastic county if country living is for you.

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It is also a wonderful place if, like me, you love historical buildings,

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be they flint, brick or good old-fashioned thatch - whatever your budget, there's plenty on offer.

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If you're fortunate enough to be property hunting in the £1 million bracket, how about this 18th century

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Queen Anne-style rectory near Norwich, which dates back to 1715?

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Set in three acres of gardens with a river frontage,

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it has eight bedrooms to choose from and four reception rooms.

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Alternatively, this Georgian farmhouse, dating back to 1750

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near East Dereham, is on the market for £795,000.

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Inside, you can take your pick from the grand vaulted ceiling

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and exposed brickwork of a formal dining room

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to the classically styled breakfast room.

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Or if you fancy something a little more modern, this Methodist church

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was built around 100 years later, and dates back to 1866.

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Inside, it's been completely refurbished and has a spacious beamed lounge and a cosy open fireplace.

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Today's property hunters are IT worker Des and nurse Trudy.

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They live in a four-bed house in Hornchurch in Essex.

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They've always wanted to make the move and for some, it's going to be

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a dream come true, and I'm not talking about Beauty, the dog.

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Moving to the country is something that Trudy has wanted to do for...

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Oh, since I was a child. It's been my lifelong ambition, really, isn't it, to move to the country?

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And Des is after some peace and quiet.

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There's too much noise around.

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We're looking for more tranquillity.

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Slower pace of life, meeting people, being with people who have got a bit of time for you.

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You can say hello. It's everyone for himself these days, where we are.

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But why Norfolk?

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It just seems to be the right sort of place for us, as there's big skies, plenty of space.

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It has the right feel. I don't know what it is, but when we go there

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-on short breaks and holidays, it just feels like home.

-Mm.

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Keen to use the move as a motivation to change their lifestyle,

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the new property needs to have a few essential things.

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I love my gardening, I like to get out and do some digging, so ideally,

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I'd like a bigger plot, somewhere I could grow potatoes, peas, carrots.

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Just have some fresh veg on the table for Sunday lunch.

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It would also be lovely if we could have chickens, and perhaps even

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a pig one day, so we'd need quite a big plot for that.

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Well, that's outside sorted, but what about inside?

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I think essentially what we're looking for in a new property

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would be three or four bedrooms, it would have to have a separate dining room.

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Or fireplaces. We have an open fire here.

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It would be great if we could have an open fire in the dining room as well as the living room,

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-and if we had an open fire in the bedroom, that would be heaven.

-Icing on the cake.

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It would, it really would.

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So it all sounds quite straightforward, except for a minor detail.

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I think I'd perhaps like a bit more of a fixer-upper than Trudy would.

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Des is going to want a project. I don't. This house was a project.

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It has taken us the best part of five years to get it done up.

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I want to move in and enjoy.

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A lifetime is a long time to wait to move to the country,

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so we've invited an estate agent round to get the ball rolling

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and put a current valuation on their house.

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This property is located in a very sought-after cul-de-sac.

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It's a larger than average semi-detached four-bedroom property.

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It's got a nice proportioned rear garden

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and I would value this property at £350,000.

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So, of that, how much do they have to spend?

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For the new property, we're looking up to 350,000.

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That would have to have everything that we wanted in the house.

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-That would be our dream property.

-Yeah.

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We would go to 350 for our dream property.

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So, there is the challenge.

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They want a nice characterful property with potentially three or four bedrooms,

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lots of cosy fireplaces, a dining room to enjoy some meals in

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and enough of a garden to allow something of a vegetable patch and room for some chickens.

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All in all, a home to roost in.

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Location-wise, Trudy and Des are flexible.

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As long as we can find them somewhere with a good view

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of the vast Norfolk skies, they'll be happy,

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so we're focusing our search to the countryside south of Norwich.

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Over the course of two days, I'll be showing them

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a selection of fine rural properties, but I won't be revealing the prices until they've had a good look around.

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And last on our tour is the mystery house,

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where we throw down the gauntlet to see if our property hunters

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might take on something a little more challenging.

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Well, Des, Trudy, welcome to Norfolk.

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-A slightly grey start to the day, it has to be said, but you're up for this, aren't you?

-Yeah, definitely.

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It comes with the territory, doesn't it, the weather?

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How long have you been thinking about moving up here?

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-20 years.

-We've been looking around for about 20 years.

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That's a long time. Normally people to say to me, "Six months, a year".

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20 years. What's taken you so long?

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I think it's the opportunity of a job.

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My firm have just said I can relocate up here now,

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-which means, OK, the job we don't need to worry about, house we can concentrate on.

-Yeah, exactly.

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We've got some fantastic places for you to look at, so the sun might come out.

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-Let's go and look at some houses, shall we?

-OK.

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To sum up, what are Des and Trudy looking to get

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with their budget of £350,000?

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They want three to four bedrooms, and a separate dining room.

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They're after somewhere cosy with plenty of fireplaces

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and to find one in a bedroom would be the icing on the cake.

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Outside, they would love a garden big enough to accommodate some veggies,

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a few chickens and even a pig.

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Nestled in the south of the county,

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the first property is in the heart of the village of Banham.

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Set around a traditional village green,

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thatched and timber houses line the streets.

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The 14th-century church of St Mary's was a labour of love,

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taking 75 years to complete, spanning the reins of three kings.

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As far as amenities go, Banham has managed to hold onto

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its village post office and general store,

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so let's see what Trudy and Des make of property number one.

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We'll start here with this one.

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-Wow.

-Ooh, that's a nice gaff.

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-A nice gaff?

-Yes.

-That is nice. It's lovely, isn't it?

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-It's very, very pretty. It's thought to be the oldest domestic dwelling in Norfolk.

-Wow.

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-It goes back 700 years, so mid-14th century or so.

-Nice!

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I don't know how you are on that period of history...

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-I can't remember it!

-Well...!

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-Well, 1348 was the Black Death, OK.

-Oh, right. OK.

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Now, whether this witnessed that,

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who knows, but it's of that kind of period.

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It must've seen a lot of things.

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It was a complete derelict about ten years ago and it was taken on

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by the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, who have renovated it.

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-It's got a lot of wow.

-It has. It has got a lot of wow factor.

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-Let's go and see what you think of it.

-Mm.

-Yeah.

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I think you're going to like this one.

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Right, come on in.

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Squeeze into the corridor.

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Let's start in here, then. This is the main sitting room of this place.

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-Ha-ha!

-Oh, that's lovely.

-Oooh.

-What about that?

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-That is a fireplace.

-That's a proper inglenook.

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Yeah, really nice, and on a day like today, I'm glad it's on.

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-It's a fabulous room.

-It's gorgeous, isn't it? I love that beam.

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It's got loads of history. Little details.

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Can you see that behind me on the top of that beam, that "W"?

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That was carved goodness knows when, to ward off witches.

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Ah, yes. I thought that was a witch symbol.

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I think that's a lovely reminder of some of the people

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that have lived here over the past. It's quite an exciting building.

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I want to touch that beam.

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-Can you reach it?

-I can!

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LAUGHTER There you go.

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-It's not going to fall down in a hurry.

-That's fantastic.

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This is a great size room, but it doesn't feel "cottagey", does it, really?

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No. But it has a wonderful feel.

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It just feels homely, it feels nice.

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-It's nice.

-Good. Well, that's a good start, isn't it?

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We've only seen one room. Let's go and continue with the rest of it. Follow me through here.

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Now this is your dining room-reception, too, I suppose, if you like.

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-That's another nice big room, isn't it?

-Wood burner, very nice.

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-Would you use this as a dining room?

-Definitely.

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-Yeah, we would.

-There is a separate dining room at the moment and we use that for every meal.

-OK.

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Essentially, this property is divided into three sort of bays.

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You've got the first one over there, which is the principal living room

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we've just visited, this room, the dining room,

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and then through here, we've got the kitchen. Come and have a look.

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Now, then, Trudy...

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-Very nice, yeah, like this.

-Yeah?

-It's another big room, isn't it?

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It is, yes, really good size.

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Now, this wasn't part of the renovation.

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This was put in by the current owner a few years ago.

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It's all pretty brand-new. It's hand-built oak,

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with beech tops. Some of the other features in here are lovely.

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You can see these lime-washed beams, and then the original boards, floorboards, sticking through.

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Some have been replaced in other parts of the house, but in here, they remain.

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That's a rather nice feature.

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Yes. It's got so much character.

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I'm glad you like it, because the first property,

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it's always interesting to see how you're going to react.

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-If this is what you're in to, I think you could be in for quite an interesting time.

-It would work.

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It would, it would work very well.

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-If I gave you the keys, you'd make it work, wouldn't you?

-Yeah.

-Oh, yeah.

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Right, then, OK. Let's go upstairs and have a look up there,

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because very often with cottages, the bedrooms are a bit of a muchness,

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but not here - come with me.

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'The quirky charm of this unique property definitely seems to be winning Trudy and Des over

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'and it only gets better upstairs, where the personality of this house comes into its own.'

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Now, this is but one of two staircases in this property.

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-You wouldn't think it was big enough to have two.

-No.

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On the landing, we've got a little shower room.

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-That's good, yeah.

-Now, in total, three bedrooms, OK.

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Maybe not as many as you ideally wanted, but they are full of character.

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That's a little bit of a box room, which I would suggest could be something of a study.

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-Yeah, that could be the study.

-But in here, bedroom two,

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this is, for me, really where the history starts to come to life.

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Wow. This is...

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-Unbelievable, yeah.

-Magnificent. Yeah, wow.

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-I thought you'd like this.

-Jaw-dropping.

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-Really.

-That's fantastic.

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-Can you see these two worked timber posts?

-Yeah.

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These are crown posts.

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They're the key structural support for the roof.

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And can you see the blackened timbers?

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-Yes.

-This goes to the heart of when this place was built.

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Originally, it probably didn't have the floor we're standing on.

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-Right.

-All domestic activity would have happened down below.

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One end may have been occupied by animals, potentially, so all the smoke from the cooking

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would have drifted up through the then thatched roof, and out.

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Of course.

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So, that's why it's all black.

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And this floor probably went in, I don't know, but I would guess

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sort of 16th, 17th century.

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-Can you imagine waking up to that in the morning?

-It's stunning.

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This room is set up as something of a study-cum-bedroom.

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You'd probably want something separate.

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Come with me through here and let's look at the master. Duck.

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Watch your head on that beam.

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Quite a thing.

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There's the second staircase. That goes down to the dining room.

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But this end of the house, not only have you got the master bedroom, but also this family bathroom.

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-Yeah, that works.

-Oh, yes, not a bad room.

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Not a bad size, is it?

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-Now, I know that en suites weren't on your list, which is quite unusual these days.

-We've got legs.

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I like your thinking, because everybody wants an en suite these days,

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and it's not always easy to find, but you are right next door to your room.

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Come and have a look. This is the master.

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Tell me how you would feel waking up in here.

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-Inspired, I think.

-Yeah.

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-Wow. Just starting the day.

-Wow. Oh, my fireplace.

-You said you wanted a fireplace.

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I wanted a fireplace in the bedroom, yeah.

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-Is that big enough?

-That is fantastic.

-I think so.

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It's a nice room. It feels really nice, doesn't it?

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-Yeah.

-It has a good feel to it.

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-There's a little bit of garden, not acres.

-No?

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Let's go outside and finish off down there and then we'll talk about how much it's going to cost you.

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-Sounds fair.

-Sounds good.

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Right, let's go outside the back of this place.

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The garden, I have to confess, is not the biggest in the world.

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-It's not that deep, is it?

-No, no.

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But you've got the front garden, obviously,

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but this is the more private end of it. It's not acres.

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I know you've got some ambitions in terms of chickens and so forth.

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A pig, even, but I wouldn't fit the pig in here.

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You'd get away with the chickens, but I don't think you'd get away with the pig.

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That's its drawback, I suppose, to be honest,

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but by way of compensation, you do get one of the oldest dwelling houses in Norfolk.

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The garden's nice and private, it's secluded.

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It's not overlooked.

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Nothing's been done to this since it was done up.

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It's crying out to be a really busy colourful cottage garden.

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Which would suit this house. It would be lovely.

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Yeah, and if you're up for a project, then you could have a lot of fun here and have enough to keep you busy.

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THEY LAUGH

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Yeah, I know who's going to get that job.

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Right, you've got £350 grand or so to spend. What do you think this would set you back?

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I don't think I'd get any change out of that.

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-350?

-Yeah.

-OK, yeah.

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I would like to think you would get some change. I'm going to guess 320.

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320? So, optimistic?

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-Maybe.

-Realistic?

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Because you're both right, actually.

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-Oh.

-Yeah, it was on for around about 350 or so, and it has now been reduced to 320.

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-Oh.

-How about that?

-Makes it very interesting, doesn't it?

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-Not a bad start.

-Not a bad start. Well, go and have a look around.

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See if you want to part with £320,000.

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-I'll catch up with you later.

-OK, let's have a look, come on.

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This 14th-century character cottage is on the market for £320,000.

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It has three bedrooms and two reception rooms.

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It's a truly unique property with distinct beams

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and exposed brickwork throughout,

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and especially for Trudy, there's even a fireplace in the bedroom.

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The garden is small,

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but for a fine period house, it's well within budget.

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I love this house.

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It's the typical chocolate-box cottage in the country.

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As soon as we pulled up outside, I could see it just had the wow factor

0:17:150:17:20

and it hasn't disappointed internally.

0:17:200:17:22

It's been done superbly well, renovated, restored,

0:17:220:17:25

whatever you'd like to call it, by people who knew what they were doing.

0:17:250:17:29

-I love the beams and the windows.

-I know.

0:17:290:17:31

-Huge.

-It's so cosy. It's a big room, but it's really cosy.

0:17:310:17:36

I especially love the witch marks over the inglenook fireplace.

0:17:360:17:39

I love the upstairs, this kitchen,

0:17:390:17:41

but I can see that we'd have to compromise on some things.

0:17:410:17:45

For example, where would we fit all our modern day appliances?

0:17:450:17:49

Other than that, I think I can see myself living here.

0:17:490:17:52

Overall, I think it's a very good start and I've got a silly grin on my face.

0:17:520:17:56

Hey, how was that, then?

0:17:560:17:58

-Well, pretty good.

-Pretty good, not a bad start.

-Yeah.

0:17:580:18:02

-I thought you'd like it.

-I don't know how you'll top that one.

-A-ha.

0:18:020:18:07

Right, come with me.

0:18:070:18:08

Trudy and Des fell in love with the market town of Diss

0:18:140:18:17

on a holiday 20 years ago,

0:18:170:18:19

so they're returning to visit their favourite places.

0:18:190:18:22

Situated to the south of the county, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border,

0:18:220:18:26

Diss has been a thriving market town since the 16th century.

0:18:260:18:29

As well as a beautiful 13th-century church,

0:18:290:18:33

it has a award-winning museum and lots of local independent shops.

0:18:330:18:37

-I love these little places, don't you?

-Yeah.

0:18:370:18:39

Diss's centrepiece is its six-acre mere lake

0:18:420:18:45

which is a 60-foot deep hole that formed during the Ice Age.

0:18:450:18:49

Diss gets its name from a Saxon word meaning "ditch of standing water".

0:18:490:18:53

Everything's so gorgeous... Hello, duck. ..isn't it?

0:18:530:18:57

That bread's caused a kerfuffle!

0:18:570:18:59

For some more exotic wildlife, just a 15-minute drive from here

0:19:020:19:05

is Banham Zoo, which has been voted Norfolk's best visitor attraction.

0:19:050:19:09

The zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals, set in 35 acres of land,

0:19:090:19:12

with everything, from tigers to penguins.

0:19:120:19:16

Recently, a new giraffe house opened, complete with high-level walkway

0:19:160:19:20

so you can see them close up.

0:19:200:19:23

She's hamming it up for the camera, I think!

0:19:230:19:26

Pretending she's starved.

0:19:260:19:28

Gorgeous.

0:19:280:19:30

Quite a large tea for them. Again, they have as much...

0:19:300:19:33

Another local must is St George's Distillery, the only whisky distillery in England.

0:19:330:19:39

You can go on a tour to see the complete production process

0:19:410:19:44

and, of course, taste the finished product.

0:19:440:19:46

You get a little bit of vanilla and some toffee, butterscotch,

0:19:460:19:50

without sounding too flowery about it.

0:19:500:19:52

All those kind of things are there.

0:19:520:19:55

Some of these barrels you see in here,

0:19:550:19:57

they're going to be in here for 25, 30 years,

0:19:570:19:59

pretty much untouched.

0:19:590:20:00

The distillery only opened two years ago,

0:20:000:20:03

and as it officially takes three years to mature a whisky,

0:20:030:20:07

the first batch won't be ready to quaff for a while,

0:20:070:20:10

but in the meantime,

0:20:100:20:11

they've come up with this 18-month-old single malt spirit.

0:20:110:20:14

I can't wait to try the product when it has matured, so thanks very much.

0:20:140:20:19

Thanks. It's been a pleasure to meet you.

0:20:190:20:21

Our next property is on the outskirts of Wymondham,

0:20:290:20:31

nine miles southwest of Norwich.

0:20:310:20:33

Wymondham is a historic market town with some beautiful timber-framed buildings.

0:20:330:20:38

The town's abbey was originally founded as a Benedictine monastery in 1107

0:20:380:20:42

and its two tall towers dominate the landscape.

0:20:420:20:46

Another gem of Wymondham is the town's market cross, built in 1617

0:20:460:20:50

for the princely sum of 25 quid.

0:20:500:20:52

But we're heading to property two,

0:20:520:20:54

which is in a rural location, three miles from the centre.

0:20:540:20:57

Now, come and have a look at this.

0:21:000:21:01

This is different to what we've seen earlier in the sense that it's a barn conversion.

0:21:010:21:07

Yes, it's very different.

0:21:070:21:09

It's very, very different. How do you feel about barn conversions?

0:21:090:21:13

People either love them or hate them.

0:21:130:21:15

To be honest, I'm not a great fan, really.

0:21:150:21:18

I think it's the lack of compartments,

0:21:180:21:20

too much open space living.

0:21:200:21:22

-I like the walls, I like things to be just where they're supposed to be.

-Cosy?

-Yeah.

0:21:220:21:27

And how about you, Trudy?

0:21:270:21:29

I like that big open space and I still think they're very workable spaces.

0:21:290:21:33

-Come and have a look. You get that garage too, incidentally. Over there, that's yours.

-Yeah.

0:21:330:21:39

Right, now, come on in here.

0:21:420:21:44

Trudy, the kitchen.

0:21:440:21:48

-Nice kitchen.

-Bigger than what we've had before.

0:21:480:21:51

-Yeah.

-It is.

-Yeah, room for all the appliances, that's good.

0:21:510:21:54

It's all pretty new. This is currently used as something

0:21:540:21:58

of a kind of holiday let, so it's relatively unencumbered

0:21:580:22:01

with a family's bits and pieces

0:22:010:22:03

but it gives you an idea of the kind of space you've got.

0:22:030:22:06

Des is still looking unsold on the whole barn concept.

0:22:060:22:09

I'm just going to see how it goes.

0:22:090:22:11

There's more cupboards than the previous place.

0:22:110:22:14

-Bags of storage.

-Yeah.

0:22:140:22:15

Part of the interesting thing about this property is that it's slightly upside down,

0:22:150:22:19

because you've got a mixture of bedrooms on various floors.

0:22:190:22:22

You'll see what I mean.

0:22:220:22:24

Off of the kitchen, through this corridor, downstairs bathroom -

0:22:240:22:28

shower room as well. Have a look in there.

0:22:280:22:30

-Wow, that's a shower.

-That's pretty fancy, isn't it?

0:22:320:22:35

What that doesn't clean, mate, isn't worth doing!

0:22:350:22:37

But let's go next door.

0:22:370:22:40

We've got four bedrooms here for you. One of them, technically, is down here. Come and have a look.

0:22:400:22:45

Now, then.

0:22:450:22:47

Ooh, this is a big room, isn't it?

0:22:470:22:50

-This is more like a master bedroom, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:22:500:22:55

Well, it certainly could be a master suite

0:22:550:22:57

because you've got connecting doors through here.

0:22:570:23:00

You could make that an en suite and treat this as your master bedroom.

0:23:000:23:04

-But it's not the master, it's just one of the four bedrooms that are here.

-Wow.

0:23:040:23:08

-This is good.

-Yeah.

0:23:080:23:09

-This is a very nice room, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:23:090:23:12

-It could also be a dining room.

-Yeah. It could, couldn't it?

0:23:120:23:16

-Yeah.

-Right next to the kitchen.

-Sure.

-Yeah.

-If you wanted it to be.

0:23:160:23:20

-It's gorgeous, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:23:200:23:22

-Ah, so, Des?

-Well, yes.

-Ooh!

0:23:220:23:25

Oooh!

0:23:250:23:28

-You know, we're warming up a bit.

-Yeah, no, it's a good room.

0:23:280:23:31

Good. If you like this, you're going to love the rest of it.

0:23:310:23:34

I really hope so. I've put my neck on the line, there! Come on.

0:23:340:23:37

So, that was one bedroom, or maybe a dining room, depending on what you want it to be.

0:23:400:23:45

Two more here, very much mirror images of each other.

0:23:450:23:49

One in there, but come in here and have a look at this one.

0:23:490:23:51

-Ooh, that's nice.

-That is good.

0:23:540:23:56

Unexpected, isn't it?

0:23:560:23:59

Effectively, it's the exterior wall, I think, or exterior beam arrangement of the old barn.

0:23:590:24:06

What they've done is they've infilled it with a mixture of new and reclaimed brick

0:24:060:24:11

in a kind of period herringbone fashion. I think it works a treat.

0:24:110:24:16

Yeah, I think it's really good.

0:24:160:24:18

Let's have a look at a living room for you. Come through here.

0:24:180:24:21

Right... Now, Des, this may challenge your thoughts about barn conversions

0:24:210:24:28

in terms of space, et cetera.

0:24:280:24:30

-How does it feel?

-It's a big room, it's a big room.

0:24:300:24:33

It's a gorgeous room. I love it.

0:24:330:24:36

We talked about a separate dining room maybe in that other large bedroom, but you have got one here.

0:24:360:24:42

It also makes use of those double doors and the view out to the garden and so forth.

0:24:420:24:46

I think we probably would use this as the dining room for every meal, as we do at the moment.

0:24:460:24:51

-Well, it's a shame to waste it, in a sense.

-Exactly.

-Yeah.

0:24:510:24:54

Come through here, because this herringbone brickwork, this is the back of the bedroom

0:24:540:24:58

-that we looked at.

-Right, I see.

0:24:580:25:01

And then you get into this space. Lovely wood burner,

0:25:010:25:04

nice and warm today, and then you've got all that.

0:25:040:25:08

-Wow.

-Oh, a nice little gallery.

-Mm.

0:25:080:25:11

That's your landing, effectively.

0:25:110:25:14

-I could see us living here, yeah.

-How about you, Des?

0:25:140:25:17

It's going to take me a bit of time.

0:25:170:25:19

-I can see bookshelves up there.

-Wow.

0:25:190:25:22

I can see you up there, because that's the master bedroom. Come with me.

0:25:220:25:25

'It's obvious that Des isn't a big fan of barn conversions,

0:25:250:25:29

'but I suspect a combination of Trudy's enthusiasm

0:25:290:25:31

'and the treats in store upstairs, will work some magic on him.'

0:25:310:25:35

I love this view.

0:25:350:25:37

-Oh, wow.

-How about that?

0:25:370:25:39

That is good, isn't it?

0:25:390:25:40

Yes. Yes, I love that view.

0:25:400:25:42

You do appreciate it, don't you?

0:25:420:25:44

This is really the kind of...

0:25:440:25:46

master floor, if you like, because only you are up here.

0:25:460:25:51

Now, then, Trudy and Des, your des res, Des.

0:25:510:25:57

It's pretty good.

0:25:570:25:59

-It is, yeah.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:25:590:26:01

You've got beautiful views out there, you know,

0:26:010:26:05

through those huge panes of glass, and you've also got the en suite.

0:26:050:26:09

You don't really want one, but there it is. Go and have a look.

0:26:090:26:13

It's all for free if you buy the house.

0:26:130:26:15

That's a good size, isn't it, for an en suite, yeah.

0:26:150:26:18

And you've still got the beams of character.

0:26:180:26:21

Yeah, loads of beams. Again, a mixture of old and new, as it's been renovated.

0:26:210:26:26

How does it work as a master suite for you?

0:26:260:26:31

-I think I prefer the room downstairs.

-Do you?

0:26:310:26:34

-That big room downstairs, yeah.

-You've got a bathroom to go with it.

0:26:340:26:37

-Yeah.

-So this would be a guest room?

0:26:370:26:39

-This would be the guest suite, yeah.

-I'm coming to stay!

0:26:390:26:43

Now, let's see about the price, shall we?

0:26:430:26:46

That's going to cause a stir, I'm sure,

0:26:460:26:49

but not before we've looked at the garden. Come and have a look outside.

0:26:490:26:53

Right, now, in terms of garden, Trudy,

0:26:570:27:01

-this may disappoint you.

-It's not very big, is it, no.

0:27:010:27:06

What you see is what you can put in your pocket, really.

0:27:060:27:10

It's not pig country.

0:27:100:27:13

-It's definitely not, is it?

-No.

0:27:130:27:15

Maybe not even chicken country. Maybe a few chickens, possibly.

0:27:150:27:19

Go on, make me an offer on this one. You've got 350 grand to play with.

0:27:190:27:23

I think it might be outside our budget, this one. I would say 375.

0:27:230:27:27

375, OK, yeah.

0:27:270:27:30

I think with my reservations and my drawbacks, I wouldn't want to pay more than 310.

0:27:300:27:36

310? Gosh, that's harsh, isn't it?

0:27:360:27:39

£60,000 or so between you.

0:27:390:27:40

OK, well, here it is.

0:27:400:27:43

£325,000.

0:27:430:27:49

-Mm. I thought it was going to be a lot more.

-You did.

0:27:490:27:52

Well, you know, times are changing.

0:27:520:27:54

Think about a sensible offer, because everybody's open to offers.

0:27:540:27:58

Who knows. Go and lap it up, because I know you love the inside.

0:27:580:28:01

-I do, yeah.

-Go on, twist his arm.

0:28:010:28:04

Go on, off you go. Enjoy.

0:28:050:28:09

Coming in well under budget,

0:28:090:28:11

this barn conversion has a price tag of £325,000.

0:28:110:28:15

It has four bedrooms, an impressive vaulted beamed reception room

0:28:150:28:19

with gallery and separate dining area.

0:28:190:28:21

The garden is small but the property is set in a rural location,

0:28:210:28:26

so what's the verdict?

0:28:260:28:28

This is a big room, isn't it?

0:28:280:28:29

-It's fabulous.

-It's impressive, isn't it?

0:28:290:28:32

-Yeah.

-Huge.

0:28:320:28:33

-Nice high ceiling. That is just monster, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:28:330:28:37

-Huge burner there.

-Mm.

0:28:370:28:39

There's such a lot I like about property number two.

0:28:390:28:41

It's got so much character.

0:28:410:28:43

I like this exposed brickwork in this room, I love the exposed beams.

0:28:430:28:47

The master bedroom is a bit of a disappointment, a bit smaller than I'd have liked,

0:28:470:28:51

and I must say, the outside space lets it down.

0:28:510:28:54

The garden is really too small, but on balance,

0:28:540:28:58

I think there's more that I like about this property than I don't like.

0:28:580:29:02

This property gives me mixed feelings.

0:29:020:29:05

I do like to see the exposed timbers.

0:29:050:29:07

I do like to see the exposed brickwork.

0:29:070:29:10

But it just wouldn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling when I came home.

0:29:100:29:15

Right, well, that was the end of that one.

0:29:160:29:19

-Yeah, interesting.

-Very interesting.

0:29:190:29:21

-Very.

-A lot of space.

0:29:210:29:22

A lot of space. Have I sold you on barn conversions?

0:29:220:29:25

I'm not convinced.

0:29:250:29:27

-I think I am.

-THEY CHUCKLE

0:29:270:29:29

Right, I can see that debate is going to rumble on, but it's not over yet.

0:29:290:29:34

There's still one more property to see, the mystery house, of course.

0:29:340:29:38

Who knows, I wonder how that one's going to go? Come on.

0:29:380:29:42

With night drawing in,

0:29:480:29:49

the mystery house is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

0:29:490:29:52

But back at our hotel,

0:29:520:29:54

Trudy and Des are busy reflecting on today's properties.

0:29:540:29:58

An interesting day, wasn't it?

0:29:580:30:00

The cottage was gorgeous. What did you think of it?

0:30:000:30:02

-As soon as you drove up...

-Yeah.

0:30:020:30:04

-It just had the wow factor. Chocolate-box.

-Mm.

0:30:040:30:07

Definitely. Be really special, wouldn't it...

0:30:070:30:10

-Yeah.

-..to live in that, and to look after that.

-Mm.

0:30:100:30:13

-But...

-Yeah, did have some reservations

0:30:130:30:16

-about the bedrooms and the sloping ceilings.

-Yeah.

0:30:160:30:20

-And the garden wasn't enormous.

-No.

0:30:200:30:22

What about the barn conversion?

0:30:220:30:24

-Didn't grab me.

-No?

-You know?

0:30:240:30:27

-I loved that exposed brickwork...

-Yeah.

-..in that bedroom.

0:30:270:30:30

I thought that was really nice.

0:30:300:30:32

I like that herringbone pattern.

0:30:320:30:34

But I just didn't feel that it was right for me.

0:30:340:30:38

-But some of the room sizes were fantastic.

-Oh, enormous.

0:30:380:30:42

Would we find room sizes that big in another property?

0:30:420:30:45

-I think they'll be pushed to find us something with those proportions.

-Yes.

0:30:450:30:49

So, the search continues.

0:30:490:30:51

-Looking forward to tomorrow!

-See what tomorrow brings!

-Yeah.

0:30:510:30:55

Trudy and Des from Hornchurch, Essex, are looking to fulfil

0:31:060:31:10

one of their lifelong ambitions and make the move to the Norfolk countryside.

0:31:100:31:14

With a budget of £350,000, so far we've found two unique properties which have inspired them.

0:31:140:31:19

-You said you wanted a fireplace.

-I wanted a fireplace in the bedroom.

0:31:190:31:23

But still to come, Trudy finds the perfect home for her chickens.

0:31:230:31:26

This is more like it, isn't it? This is a proper garden.

0:31:260:31:29

And we find a project for Des.

0:31:290:31:32

-The word would be fixer-upper.

-THEY LAUGH

0:31:320:31:35

Trudy has always wanted the space to have a few chickens, and with their move to the country imminent,

0:31:390:31:44

her dream could be a reality sooner rather than later.

0:31:440:31:47

So, we've called into Melsop Farm Park just west of Norwich

0:31:470:31:50

to meet owner Keith Stone and his menagerie of feathered friends.

0:31:500:31:55

Well, look at this lot.

0:31:550:31:56

-I could cuddle them.

-COCK CROWS

0:31:560:31:58

-Oh, hello!

-All different shapes and sizes.

0:31:580:32:02

You've got some wonderful things in here.

0:32:020:32:04

We've got browns, blues, whites, blacks.

0:32:040:32:08

How many breeds have you got here?

0:32:080:32:10

We normally keep about 25 to 30 different, all rare breeds, at one time.

0:32:100:32:14

Right, so these guys do want a bog-standard couple of chickens and maybe something else to go with it,

0:32:140:32:20

-you're the man to come and talk to?

-Yeah.

-Brilliant.

0:32:200:32:23

You've got some willing customers.

0:32:230:32:25

Show us around. Let's have a look at what we've got.

0:32:250:32:27

'Your average brown laying hen should lay an egg a day, but rare breeds such as this Brown Yokohama

0:32:270:32:33

'and this handsome Silver Sablepoot, will only lay about four eggs a week from March to October,

0:32:330:32:39

'but there's no reason why you can't have a few of each and mix things up.

0:32:390:32:43

'These Gold Laced Polish chickens are real lookers, with their handsome crest of head feathers

0:32:450:32:50

'and no surprise, they're bred primarily as a show bird.'

0:32:500:32:54

-These look extraordinary.

-They're gorgeous.

0:32:540:32:57

You haven't just sprayed up some common garden chickens...?!

0:32:570:33:01

They look as though they're hand-painted!

0:33:010:33:05

-So, do you fancy some of these pretty Polish chickens?

-I do.

0:33:050:33:08

-I fancy a larger fella, really...

-TRUDY TUTS

0:33:080:33:11

-Yeah.

-No!

-Scuttling around.

0:33:110:33:13

-What, a kind of Big Bird kind of thing?!

-Yeah!

0:33:130:33:16

Saying, "Here I am"!

0:33:160:33:17

"Hey, boy... I say, boy..."

0:33:170:33:19

-Have you got anything bigger here?

-Yeah, in this next pen.

0:33:190:33:24

-Now, is that what you had in mind?

-Yes, I mean, that size, yeah.

0:33:240:33:29

-That's a beautiful looking bird, isn't it?

-So what sort is that?

0:33:290:33:33

-This is a Gold Brahma, large fellow.

-A Gold Brahma?

-Yeah.

0:33:330:33:36

-I like this one. Very... Very friendly, isn't it?

-Mm.

0:33:360:33:41

-Soft and warm.

-Soft feathers, yeah.

0:33:410:33:43

These rare breeds, will they all live together quite happily, or are there some you need to separate?

0:33:430:33:49

Most of them all mix quite happily together.

0:33:490:33:51

There are one or two, like the Indian Game and the heavier breeds, which I wouldn't mix,

0:33:510:33:57

but on the whole, most of them will mix quite happily in the same pen.

0:33:570:34:01

-That's good. I don't want any fights breaking out!

-THEY LAUGH

0:34:010:34:05

Now how long are you going to enjoy the company of a bird like this for?

0:34:050:34:09

I think probably the average age is probably about five years

0:34:090:34:13

but you never know in chickens. Chickens are funny things.

0:34:130:34:17

I'd probably say anywhere between two and six years, really, is a good indication.

0:34:170:34:25

I think that one of the key lessons we're learning

0:34:250:34:28

is that your rare breeds are all well and good,

0:34:280:34:31

but they're probably not the thing if you want to have lots of eggs.

0:34:310:34:37

However, Keith here does have one or two other breeds around here which lay fantastic eggs, don't you?

0:34:370:34:44

-That's right.

-Shall we go and have a look?

0:34:440:34:46

Come on. Wait till you see this.

0:34:460:34:48

-Oh, you'd better leave that behind.

-Aw!

0:34:500:34:53

You were hoping to get away with that, weren't you?

0:34:530:34:55

Now, Des wanted a big bird,

0:34:550:34:58

but maybe these fellows are a little too large, even for him.

0:34:580:35:01

-Look at that.

-That would make a big omelette.

0:35:010:35:05

-That's a rea egg.

-A rea egg?

-Yes.

0:35:050:35:06

There are reas and emus in here.

0:35:060:35:08

Emus are the darker ones, the blacky coloured ones,

0:35:080:35:11

and the reas are the grey coloured.

0:35:110:35:14

Amazingly, reas and emus lay twice a year, producing on average 30 eggs at a time.

0:35:140:35:20

We know where to come for Easter!

0:35:200:35:22

-We'll come and see you. Thanks so much for showing us around.

-Thank you for coming.

-Thank you.

0:35:220:35:27

At long last, I can reveal the mystery house to Des and to Trudy.

0:35:380:35:42

So far, everything we've shown them has been ready to go,

0:35:420:35:45

ready to move into, but Des did say he was up for a project.

0:35:450:35:48

I just wonder how much of a project.

0:35:480:35:51

Last but not least, folks, it's the mystery house.

0:35:560:35:59

Yeah, can't wait to see what it is.

0:35:590:36:00

-I don't know what you've got up your sleeve.

-I've no idea.

0:36:000:36:03

Well, they're always, you know, very different.

0:36:030:36:07

Who knows what you're going to make of this one.

0:36:070:36:09

I think it's quite interesting, but we're heading out in this Norfolk gloom.

0:36:090:36:14

-It's all going to add a bit more mystery to the mystery house, I think.

-More mists than mystery.

0:36:140:36:19

The mystery house is in a rural location

0:36:230:36:26

just one mile from Trudy and Des's favourite Norfolk market town, Diss.

0:36:260:36:30

Although this is a tourist destination, it's also highly valued

0:36:300:36:33

by locals, as it provides somewhere to catch up with the neighbours and do a weekly shop.

0:36:330:36:38

All the basics are well catered for here,

0:36:380:36:41

with a post office, ironmonger's and even a fresh fish stall.

0:36:410:36:45

Trudy and Des love this place, but will they also fall in love with the mystery house?

0:36:450:36:51

-Now, very different to what we've seen before.

-Very different, yes.

0:36:510:36:54

-It is, essentially, a straightforward old farm worker's cottage.

-Right.

0:36:540:37:00

The reason I think it's a good mystery house for you two

0:37:000:37:04

is that it is something of a blank canvas

0:37:040:37:06

in terms of what you can do with it.

0:37:060:37:08

Des, particularly, I think this could be quite exciting for you.

0:37:080:37:12

-Let's go and look at it, then.

-Come on, then.

0:37:120:37:14

Right, come round here, through this little pathway.

0:37:170:37:20

After you.

0:37:200:37:22

-Remember, vision.

-OK.

0:37:250:37:28

Right, let's start in here.

0:37:290:37:31

Now, this is currently set up as the dining room,

0:37:310:37:34

but I think it gives you a sense that it's a place that's crying out for some real love and attention.

0:37:340:37:40

Definitely, yeah. Yeah.

0:37:400:37:42

I think the word would be fixer-upper.

0:37:420:37:46

-That springs to mind, yeah.

-It is a fixer-upper, but it's largely, I think, a cosmetic job.

0:37:460:37:52

-The ceilings are a bit low for my liking.

-That's cottages for you.

0:37:540:37:58

-But in terms of useable space...

-Very useable.

0:37:580:38:03

-Very useable-sized dining room.

-Yeah, nice enough room for that.

0:38:030:38:08

Come and have a look at the kitchen, because again,

0:38:080:38:10

whether you want to screen this off on a more permanent basis,

0:38:100:38:13

or keep it as it is, in terms of size and space...

0:38:130:38:17

-Not bad.

-I think you need the wall back in...

0:38:170:38:20

-I think so, too.

-..to give you more wall space, because you've got a decent width,

0:38:200:38:24

-so you can afford to have cupboards and workspace here.

-Yeah.

0:38:240:38:30

-Because that's wasted space.

-I think so.

-It's a project, you know.

0:38:300:38:34

-That's why it's the mystery house.

-You said you wanted a project.

-I did.

0:38:340:38:38

-Yeah, well...

-I didn't.

0:38:380:38:41

Be careful what you wish for, Des!

0:38:410:38:44

Especially on this show. All right, come through here.

0:38:440:38:47

Go on.

0:38:470:38:49

You get the sense that this ground floor layout is something of a circular route.

0:38:490:38:53

We started over there at the front door and we've gone round through the kitchen and now back into this,

0:38:530:38:58

but one of a number of living rooms that this house has to offer.

0:38:580:39:04

-That's all I'm going to say.

-That sounds interesting.

0:39:040:39:06

But, of course, it's dominated by that wood burner.

0:39:060:39:09

I have to say, I quite like it.

0:39:090:39:11

I like the brass and all that that's going on with it.

0:39:110:39:14

In terms of size, it's quite nice.

0:39:140:39:17

I think the point about this is that you need to see it as a whole.

0:39:170:39:20

You're only going to get a real sense of whether it's for you

0:39:200:39:23

when we've seen the rest of it, so follow me.

0:39:230:39:25

Right, so we've got this sort of lobby area, as it were.

0:39:250:39:29

Downstairs loo, and then it leads into what I would call

0:39:290:39:33

a kind of a link between the old cottage, and this room in here...

0:39:330:39:38

I mean, you tell me what you want to do with this.

0:39:380:39:42

Wow.

0:39:420:39:44

-Big room.

-It is a big room, yes.

0:39:440:39:46

I mean, it's got that...

0:39:460:39:48

Somebody pinched that off the set of The Great Escape, I think.

0:39:480:39:52

As a wood burner, I think it's lovely.

0:39:520:39:54

-We need to go underneath there somewhere!

-There's a tunnel!

-There's a hole and a wooden ladder!

0:39:540:39:59

-It could be a fabulous space, couldn't it?

-It could be.

0:39:590:40:02

It could be a fabulous big living room, couldn't it?

0:40:020:40:05

-Well, there's more. Come through here.

-Wow.

0:40:050:40:08

'Leading off this room is what's referred to as a bedroom,

0:40:080:40:12

'but I think that does require a leap of imagination.

0:40:120:40:14

'It's probably better suited to a study area, which leads us into the garage.'

0:40:140:40:19

Now, Des, what about this, then?

0:40:190:40:23

-That's incredible. There's a lot of space, isn't there? Double garage?

-Double garage.

0:40:230:40:27

-And a kind of workshop space?

-Yeah.

-That's your workshop, isn't it?

0:40:270:40:32

-I'm not quite sure what the idea there was.

-To be partitioned, isn't it.

0:40:320:40:36

Yes. I, personally, wouldn't bother with it.

0:40:360:40:39

I'd just get rid of it and if I needed a workshop, put benches along the back and keep it simple.

0:40:390:40:44

Then if you want a garage for two cars, you can. But it's not over yet.

0:40:440:40:48

Let's have a look upstairs. See what you make of that.

0:40:480:40:51

Right, back through here.

0:40:520:40:54

'Admittedly, there is plenty of work to be done here,

0:40:560:40:59

'but I'm hoping Trudy and Des can see what a great home this could be with some tender loving care.

0:40:590:41:04

'Upstairs, the family bathroom is a great space to work with, and then there are the bedrooms.'

0:41:040:41:09

Now, you know, it's a bedroom, overlooking the lane.

0:41:090:41:14

Nice and light.

0:41:140:41:16

Nice views out of both windows.

0:41:160:41:18

My sense is that underneath all this pine, you've got some nice old beams, ready to be exposed.

0:41:180:41:26

-You think that's just clad over the top?

-I think it's just clad over.

0:41:260:41:29

-It would be interesting to find out.

-You'd get a lot more character out of these rooms,

0:41:290:41:33

and next door is no exception. Come and have a look at this.

0:41:330:41:36

Through this sort of little corridor arrangement.

0:41:360:41:40

-Again, very similar to what we've just seen.

-Yeah.

0:41:400:41:44

Take the cladding off, I'm sure you'll find something a lot more exciting underneath,

0:41:440:41:49

and again, you get an idea with this sort of thing.

0:41:490:41:52

There's a similarly sized one next door with a kind of built-in bed arrangement.

0:41:520:41:56

No, I think it is do-able. If these are just stud walls, then a little bit of imagination, away it comes.

0:41:560:42:03

The other thing this house has, which we haven't yet seen really,

0:42:030:42:06

-I don't think, is a half-decent garden.

-Wow.

0:42:060:42:09

-Yeah?

-Sounds good.

-Let's see if the garden persuades you.

0:42:090:42:12

We're going to pop into the garden right now, but the more I think about it, this room,

0:42:180:42:22

I think, lends itself to being the kitchen.

0:42:220:42:25

-It's a big room.

-It could, couldn't it, be a huge kitchen?

0:42:250:42:29

Work surfaces all the way through. It's just wasted, really, as a living room, in some senses.

0:42:290:42:35

-Yeah, you could say it's too big for a living room.

-Just a thought.

0:42:350:42:39

-Wow!

-Just a thought.

0:42:390:42:41

Right. Now, then, out we come.

0:42:430:42:47

In truth, I suppose, this is the first proper garden

0:42:470:42:50

we've had a chance to really look at on our tour of these properties.

0:42:500:42:54

Somewhere where you can wander.

0:42:540:42:55

This is more like it, isn't it? This is a proper garden.

0:42:550:42:58

It's a proper garden, and listen... Hardly any noise at all, really, from very much.

0:42:580:43:04

Going back to the idea that this was once a couple of farm workers' cottages,

0:43:040:43:08

this would have been, once up a time,

0:43:080:43:10

probably full of vegetables and chickens

0:43:100:43:13

and all that sort of stuff. I imagine the soil here is really, really good.

0:43:130:43:17

-It's probably had years and years of working and manureing and all that sort of stuff.

-I like it.

0:43:170:43:22

-I like it.

-Love the garden, yeah.

0:43:220:43:25

Good. So it's all building, then, to some conclusion. Whether it's for you or not, who knows,

0:43:250:43:31

but money, cos that is really what this is about, I think.

0:43:310:43:35

Let's have a think, shall we?

0:43:350:43:37

Go on, Des. We put Trudy on the spot.

0:43:370:43:39

OK. I'd like to see it at about 280.

0:43:390:43:43

280, yeah?

0:43:430:43:45

Mm...

0:43:450:43:47

Yes, I would like it to be less than that, but I have a feeling it's probably more.

0:43:470:43:51

I reckon it's probably about 325.

0:43:510:43:54

You're really good at this.

0:43:540:43:56

-Have you been reading my notes?

-No!

0:43:560:44:00

OK, yeah. It is on the market at 325, OK, which is a very interesting comparison with our last property,

0:44:000:44:08

-which was also 325, of course, the converted barn.

-Yeah.

0:44:080:44:11

However, it does need a lot doing to it.

0:44:110:44:14

My sense is that it is open to fairly serious offers.

0:44:140:44:18

-Shall we wander around the rest of the garden?

-Yes.

0:44:180:44:21

Go and check it out, explore, and I'll catch up with you a bit later.

0:44:210:44:24

-OK.

-Brilliant.

0:44:240:44:26

This farm cottage will leave them plenty of change at just £325,000.

0:44:280:44:33

It has three bedrooms, a large room to the back of the house

0:44:330:44:37

which could be converted into a great kitchen area, a double garage,

0:44:370:44:41

and a large garden with space for a few roosters and a pig for Trudy.

0:44:410:44:46

I think he was right - this is the best garden.

0:44:460:44:48

-Oh, it is.

-Yeah.

-Definitely the best garden.

0:44:480:44:51

Fantastic vegetable patch we could have here.

0:44:510:44:54

We could grow herbs, we could have all those lovely cottagey flowers.

0:44:540:44:58

The mystery property is interesting.

0:44:580:45:00

I love the garden.

0:45:000:45:02

The long room at the back would make a fantastic kitchen.

0:45:020:45:05

But the rest of it doesn't really do it for me.

0:45:050:45:08

In my opinion, it's too small,

0:45:080:45:10

and I think it needs too much work done.

0:45:100:45:13

But I think Des would probably like to take it on as a project.

0:45:130:45:16

I think it's the sort of property Des would walk in to

0:45:160:45:19

and think, "I can do a lot with this".

0:45:190:45:21

There is potential.

0:45:210:45:23

I can see that the end product would be a fantastic home.

0:45:230:45:28

I don't think this would work, no, because I'd like to make

0:45:280:45:31

a big country kitchen, and I'll do things to make a lovely country kitchen.

0:45:310:45:35

-This isn't big enough. The long room is.

-Right.

0:45:350:45:38

Make a fabulous country kitchen in that.

0:45:380:45:40

What would happen with this?

0:45:400:45:42

-Knock it through, make a bigger living room?

-I see, yeah.

0:45:420:45:46

I'm a little bit scared of committing our resources,

0:45:460:45:49

which are finite,

0:45:490:45:51

and this is going to be our last move.

0:45:510:45:53

It's going to be our forever house, and it's got to be right,

0:45:530:45:57

and I'm having doubts - doubts are creeping in there.

0:45:570:46:01

I think it's a good choice,

0:46:010:46:02

and it's a very interesting carrot to dangle in front of us.

0:46:020:46:06

-Lots to think about.

-Yeah, plenty.

0:46:060:46:08

-Lots to think about?

-Yes.

0:46:080:46:10

-Well, that's it, guys, property tours are now done and dusted.

-Yeah.

0:46:100:46:15

-Lots going through your minds, I suspect.

-Tons, yeah.

0:46:150:46:19

Let's get you somewhere where you can explore all the options

0:46:190:46:22

we've shown you, and then maybe you'll have made a decision.

0:46:220:46:26

-You never know.

-Maybe.

-Maybe. Come on.

0:46:260:46:29

-Somewhere warmer.

-Yes!

-That'll do.

0:46:290:46:31

Having now seen all of the properties, I've given Trudy and Des

0:46:410:46:44

some time of their own to consider their options

0:46:440:46:47

and see if any of the houses are right for them.

0:46:470:46:49

Now, one thing that East Anglia, and in particular Norfolk,

0:46:520:46:55

is famous for are these great big, flat, wide open landscapes.

0:46:550:46:59

They lend themselves not just to beautiful skies and sunsets -

0:46:590:47:02

the kind of thing that Des and Trudy are so keen on -

0:47:020:47:05

but also represent an area of very intensive arable agricultural production,

0:47:050:47:09

and at its heart is grain.

0:47:090:47:11

For many years, this part of the UK has been known as the bread basket of Britain,

0:47:110:47:15

and this is why.

0:47:150:47:18

This is what it's all about.

0:47:180:47:20

This huge pile of grain

0:47:200:47:21

represents just some of the many millions of tonnes

0:47:210:47:24

that are produced in the UK every year.

0:47:240:47:26

This lot is going off to an industrial processing plant

0:47:260:47:30

to be turned into the biscuits and bread that we know and love so much.

0:47:300:47:34

But, of course, the landscape here in Norfolk

0:47:340:47:36

has lent itself for centuries

0:47:360:47:38

to an altogether different form of industrial processing -

0:47:380:47:41

something powered not by engines and fuel

0:47:410:47:43

but by the wind.

0:47:430:47:45

This is Denver Mill in north Norfolk.

0:47:450:47:48

Built in 1835, it's one of the few working windmills in the country,

0:47:480:47:53

and to find out more about this magnificent piece of engineering,

0:47:530:47:56

I've come to meet head miller, Mark Abel.

0:47:560:47:59

-Hello, Mark!

-Hello!

-Nice to see you.

-Pleasure.

0:47:590:48:02

What a beautiful structure.

0:48:020:48:04

Yeah.

0:48:040:48:05

We like to think of her as sort of a great big agricultural beauty.

0:48:050:48:10

It's all of that, isn't it?!

0:48:100:48:12

What's the best way to understand how one of these beauties works?

0:48:120:48:16

Right. It's quite simple.

0:48:160:48:18

-You get your corn up to the top...

-Yeah.

0:48:180:48:21

-..and then you let gravity do the rest.

-OK.

0:48:210:48:23

The simplest thing is to get a sack of corn on the way up

0:48:230:48:26

and then we'll follow it as it comes back down again.

0:48:260:48:29

How are we going to get one of those up there?

0:48:290:48:32

Quite simply on the sack hoist.

0:48:320:48:35

-So, wind is used for every part of the process.

-Yep.

0:48:350:48:38

-It's the only way of doing it.

-Look at that!

0:48:380:48:41

It's driven right from the top from the sails.

0:48:410:48:44

There she goes.

0:48:440:48:46

That's going to go all the way to the top? ..I love this noise.

0:48:460:48:49

CLANKING AND BANGING It's all alive, isn't it?

0:48:490:48:52

-That banging...

-Yeah.

-More trap doors?

-Yep.

0:48:520:48:54

-Third one, then we stop it.

-BANGING

0:48:540:48:57

Now I'll let it back down.

0:48:570:48:58

-So, you know that's at the top now?

-She's now on the third floor.

0:48:580:49:03

-On the way, we can have a good look at the workings of the mill.

-Right.

0:49:030:49:06

-After you, sir.

-Up we go.

0:49:060:49:08

How exciting!

0:49:080:49:10

It's like climbing up through the heart of an animal.

0:49:120:49:16

-She's alive.

-What are we looking at here?

0:49:160:49:18

This is the bottom of the production line.

0:49:180:49:21

-OK.

-We've got the bottom of the grindstones above.

-There?

0:49:210:49:24

Yep. And as the corn is ground,

0:49:240:49:26

it passes through the stones and then comes down this chute.

0:49:260:49:29

It falls out the bottom, which is what it'll do if I don't put a bag on it.

0:49:290:49:33

Fantastic. Right, so...

0:49:350:49:37

Shall we continue?

0:49:370:49:40

English windmills date back to the 12th century

0:49:400:49:43

and were popular in the windy flat lands of East Anglia.

0:49:430:49:46

Most villages had a mill to grind corn, but by Tudor times,

0:49:460:49:49

some were adapted for paper-making, lead-smelting

0:49:490:49:52

and, most dangerously, gunpowder-making.

0:49:520:49:55

Now, this is the stone floor, basically where it all happens.

0:49:550:49:58

Wow!

0:49:580:50:01

This is the heart of the process.

0:50:010:50:02

These are the actual grindstones.

0:50:020:50:04

This is what changes the corn into flour.

0:50:040:50:07

Upstairs, we'll see where we put the corn into the bin.

0:50:070:50:10

-That feeds this chute.

-Right.

0:50:100:50:12

Sits in this box, which then distributes down to what I think

0:50:120:50:15

is the most wonderful bit of engineering you're likely to see in your life.

0:50:150:50:19

This gadget is called the shoe.

0:50:190:50:21

-Right.

-It works something like a flour sieve.

0:50:210:50:23

It IS an old technology, not very commonly used at the moment.

0:50:230:50:26

How do we know how it all works?

0:50:260:50:28

-How do you repair it?

-It's largely common sense.

0:50:280:50:31

You're talking about 500-year-old technology,

0:50:310:50:33

500-year-old designs.

0:50:330:50:35

It was a time where it was critical to keep stuff working.

0:50:350:50:38

For a miller,

0:50:380:50:39

no wind, no flour - no flour, no money.

0:50:390:50:42

No money, no food.

0:50:420:50:43

-So that old adage, necessity is the mother of invention...

-Absolutely.

0:50:430:50:47

We'll get the corn running up the top

0:50:470:50:49

and then see if we've got enough wind for the stones to be turning.

0:50:490:50:53

-Fingers crossed.

-OK.

0:50:530:50:55

By the start of the 19th century,

0:50:550:50:57

windmills were responsible for milling almost all of the country's flour.

0:50:570:51:00

But wind is fickle and as steam power developed,

0:51:000:51:04

it marked the steady decline of these magnificent machines.

0:51:040:51:08

There's our sack. Put it into the corn bin here.

0:51:080:51:12

Right, here we go.

0:51:120:51:14

Wait till you've got half a ton of it to do!

0:51:150:51:18

Look at that.

0:51:180:51:20

-That...is soon going to be flour.

-It is.

0:51:200:51:24

Now, then, we're almost at the top.

0:51:240:51:27

-That's the most exciting bit of all.

-Come on, then!

0:51:270:51:29

-Let's go and see some engineering!

-Watch the chain.

0:51:290:51:32

This is it - this is the top.

0:51:360:51:37

Wow!

0:51:370:51:38

That is extraordinary!

0:51:380:51:40

-So, that huge chunk of oak, presumably...

-Yeah.

0:51:400:51:44

-..that's going down to that big wheel we saw in the...

-..stone floor.

0:51:440:51:49

-And it's all connected directly through...

-Yep, to the sails.

0:51:490:51:54

This cast-iron shaft - wind shaft -

0:51:540:51:56

goes right from the back, out the front,

0:51:560:51:59

and the two stocks that the sails are bolted onto

0:51:590:52:02

fit onto the end of that shaft.

0:52:020:52:04

I mean, I do just love it.

0:52:040:52:06

I love the fact it's so solid,

0:52:060:52:08

these great big lumps of timber and these great big iron bolts

0:52:080:52:11

and the cogs and the noise.

0:52:110:52:13

It IS just this wonderful celebration of pure simplicity

0:52:130:52:18

with a real practical purpose.

0:52:180:52:19

Let's see if we can get the stones working!

0:52:190:52:22

I was going to say! Let's get some flour.

0:52:220:52:24

Try and get some bread.

0:52:240:52:26

As we are making our way down, so is the grain.

0:52:260:52:30

With the help of the wind to drive the sails,

0:52:300:52:32

the cogs are powering the drive shaft, rotating the grinding stones.

0:52:320:52:38

Our grain is being ground down and pushed out of the sides.

0:52:380:52:41

It then drops through the chute into the bag we strapped on.

0:52:410:52:45

Let's take a look.

0:52:450:52:47

-Look at that.

-Nice, soft, fine.

0:52:470:52:49

Wholemeal.

0:52:490:52:51

-It really is quite a long way down from the top of there.

-Yeah.

0:52:510:52:55

Do it a few times and you feel it!

0:52:550:52:57

-Look at that - that's the real thing.

-Help yourself.

0:52:570:53:01

Mm!

0:53:030:53:05

That's absolutely fantastic.

0:53:050:53:07

I still find it thrilling that this was corn hours ago.

0:53:070:53:11

Mark, thanks. It's been a really, really fascinating insight.

0:53:110:53:15

All I can say is, I hope the wind keeps up.

0:53:150:53:17

Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure.

0:53:170:53:19

At long last, it's decision time for Des and for Trudy.

0:53:280:53:31

You may think sitting at home that making your mind up

0:53:310:53:34

as to which property you may go for is fairly straightforward, but don't be fooled.

0:53:340:53:38

There's an awful lot riding on this, a whole lifestyle change

0:53:380:53:41

and an awful lot of money, so let's see if they have made their minds up.

0:53:410:53:45

Now, Trudy, Des, 20-odd years ago you came up to Norfolk

0:53:450:53:50

and fell in love with it.

0:53:500:53:52

-Yep.

-Yep.

-And 20 years on, you've decided to come back,

0:53:520:53:56

but have we convinced you of any of the properties?

0:53:560:53:58

It all started with, allegedly, one of the oldest dwellings in Norfolk,

0:53:580:54:03

that extraordinary 14th-century building. What did you think of that one?

0:54:030:54:08

I couldn't believe it when we pulled up outside.

0:54:080:54:11

-No, what a looker.

-Yeah, couldn't believe that we were going to look at that property.

0:54:110:54:16

-Absolutely fantastic.

-And the money...

0:54:160:54:19

-Not bad, eh?

-No.

-No.

0:54:190:54:20

-Very, very good.

-Comfortably under-budget.

-Yes.

0:54:200:54:24

What did you think, Des?

0:54:240:54:26

I think it was a picture postcard, chocolate-box, beautiful house,

0:54:260:54:30

but there were pros and cons.

0:54:300:54:32

With the upstairs, the building wasn't designed to have a first floor,

0:54:320:54:37

so consequently, you're living in the roof space with the sloping ceilings,

0:54:370:54:41

which then restricts what you can do, say, for wardrobe space.

0:54:410:54:45

Mm. But 320.

0:54:450:54:47

-Not bad, though. All that history...

-I know.

0:54:470:54:51

-A good price a piece of history, really.

-A unique property.

0:54:510:54:55

Well, then we went onto the barn conversion.

0:54:550:54:58

-I know you had some reservations about them, you loved the idea of a barn conversion.

-Oh, yeah.

0:54:580:55:04

Let's do the good news first. Let's hear about your take on it.

0:55:040:55:07

I loved it. I loved the space.

0:55:070:55:09

I loved the open beams, I loved the exposed brickwork.

0:55:090:55:13

The size of the rooms was fantastic.

0:55:130:55:16

There was that huge bedroom downstairs.

0:55:160:55:19

I'd have preferred to use that instead of the master.

0:55:190:55:21

-Des?

-I just felt there was just too much open planness there.

-Interesting.

0:55:210:55:27

OK. There's no pleasing some people! Is he always this difficult?

0:55:270:55:31

Yes!

0:55:310:55:33

THEY LAUGH

0:55:330:55:35

Finally, of course, it was time to go and visit the mystery house.

0:55:350:55:38

Very much a project.

0:55:380:55:41

-Which I thought you would respond to, Des.

-Yep.

0:55:410:55:43

Let's hear from you, first.

0:55:430:55:45

Which I did, initially, and then walking round,

0:55:450:55:49

I think I lost my nerve a bit, halfway through,

0:55:490:55:52

and I thought, "Well, perhaps this is a step too far".

0:55:520:55:55

I had to bear in mind what Trudy's feelings were as well.

0:55:550:55:58

Well, let's hear those. Come on.

0:55:580:56:02

Unfortunately for me, the mystery house just didn't do it.

0:56:020:56:06

-Didn't do it.

-It didn't do it at all, no.

0:56:060:56:08

I could see there was potential.

0:56:080:56:10

I could see that the long room at the back of the house could have made a fantastic kitchen,

0:56:100:56:14

a huge kitchen, but the rest of the house didn't do it for me.

0:56:140:56:17

Well, what happens next, I suppose, is the burning question.

0:56:170:56:21

-I've got a rough idea, but go on, you tell me.

-The search continues.

0:56:210:56:25

-Yeah, we'll carry on looking.

-Yeah.

0:56:250:56:27

-We love Norfolk.

-Yeah. It's been a very valuable process.

0:56:270:56:30

It's been very interesting, we've enjoyed it a lot.

0:56:300:56:32

-Thanks very much for coming.

-We've really enjoyed it.

-Thanks.

0:56:320:56:35

It's been great fun. Best of luck with the search.

0:56:350:56:38

-Thank you.

-We'll keep you informed.

-Please do.

0:56:380:56:41

If you would like to Escape To The Country and would like our help,

0:56:410:56:45

then please apply online.

0:56:450:56:46

Subtitles Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:050:57:09

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:090:57:13

Jules Hudson is in Norfolk helping a couple in search of the good life in the country. They are looking for a character property with feature fireplaces and a garden suitable for raising chickens and pigs. Jules shows them a 14th-century character cottage, a barn conversion and an old farm cottage.


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