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Today, I've escaped to a western county
which is responsible for supplying the UK with over 65% of its cider.
And that's exactly what these apples are going to become.
And I know what you're thinking, but no, I am not in Somerset.
Join me in a moment to find out where I am.
In today's show, I'll be helping a couple return to rural life
and escape the congestion of city living.
It's fabulous. Beautiful.
I'll show them a selection of fine properties for sale in their chosen area.
It takes your breath away. It's beautiful.
And our last property, of course, is the mystery house
but will any of our properties get them signing on the dotted line?
Today, I am in cider country, better known as Herefordshire.
For over 350 years, this little fruit has been brewed in and around this county
and now it's the largest producer of cider in the UK,
churning out over 325 million litres of cider to supermarkets and pubs every year.
The county sits just below the West Midlands and hugs the Welsh border.
It is one of England's most rural and least densely-populated areas.
The landscape is largely a myriad of fields, meadows and woodlands
with the River Wye and Severn gently meandering through it.
And as well as its cider production, another of its world famous exports is Hereford cattle.
The city of Hereford lies at the heart of the county and dates back to around 700AD.
It grew up on the banks of the River Wye and its 11th-century cathedral is home
to the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world, dating back to the 13th century.
40 miles north of Hereford is the historic market town of Leominster,
which owes its riches to the 14th-century wool trade.
Leominster is also the starting point for the Black And White Buildings Trail.
The 40-mile journey weaves through Herefordshire villages,
displaying examples of 16th and 17th-century timber-framed houses
that were infilled with lath and plaster.
The attractive black and white paintwork that gives the area
its distinctive character is, however, relatively recent.
The average price of a detached house here in Herefordshire
is just shy of £278,000, which is 8% above the national average.
So it's not the most expensive place to buy.
However, if you take into account the current housing market, property stocks are limited.
So it may be a little bit tricky to find that perfect house in the country.
If that hasn't put you off and you think Herefordshire is the place
for you, then take a look at these properties on offer for all manner of budgets.
If you're at the top end of the market looking for a handsome property,
look no further than this house in Huntingdon
which is on the market for £1.5 million.
The elegant home offers luxurious living, complete with a wine cellar for chilling those vintage bottles.
The four-acre garden with its own private boating and fishing lake
will surely make you the envy of your friends.
Or just £5,000 short of £800,000 will buy this striking four-bedroom barn conversion near Ledbury.
The exposed timbers offer character
and the large, light-flooded rooms offer spacious living.
And if you're green-fingered, you'll love the landscaped rear garden.
Or if your budget is around the £175,000 mark,
then you could pick up this semi-detached cottage in Kingsland.
For a two-bedroom cottage, it's surprisingly spacious,
and with its light and airy decoration, it's surely got to be a hot property.
There's an abundance of fine houses to choose from in Herefordshire,
so hopefully, we'll find something to suit today's buyers.
Steve and Lindsey live in this three-bedroom house in Peterborough.
After years of country living, where they owned
a time-consuming boarding kennel business, they sold up and moved to Peterborough.
Although they are glad they sold the business, they bitterly regret
moving into town and are now desperate to get back to the countryside.
What I don't like about this house is - and there's not very much I don't like about this house -
but the views.
You look out of the window and you can see other houses.
I want to look out the window and see fields and hills and sky.
I totally agree with that, absolutely.
We want to be free-range hens, not battery chickens.
But for Steve and Lindsey, there could be trouble ahead.
I would like to be totally isolated, outside of rifle range of other people.
Lindsey would like to be within a stone's throwing distance of other people.
On the outskirts of a village.
Satisfying them both could be tricky but they have got a few priorities they both agree on.
I really like this kitchen-diner.
The next house, I would like something very similar,
or at least the space to be able to knock a wall down, if necessary,
to create a large, open, airy space in the kitchen.
Although we want character and we'd quite like a cottage,
obviously, I'm fairly tall,
so I don't need any low beams or low ceilings.
Even though we want to move to the country, we don't really want acres and acres of land.
A small garden that's easy to maintain, easy to manage, would be absolutely ideal.
So, what sort of property would suit them best?
I think the main bonus I would like is either an open fire
or a wood-burning stove in the lounge.
I'd also like an Aga.
Somewhere with character.
We need an en suite.
We need two, three bedrooms.
It doesn't have to be very big.
A small country estate will do.
There's also another major consideration to take on board.
Steve is a retired commercial airline pilot
and owns a two-seater plane
and has his head in the clouds regarding the ultimate property accessory.
I would like an airstrip - a strip of grass, 600 yards long,
and a hangar attached to the house. Is that possible?
Very amusing, Steve. There's no chance of that,
but we might be able to find something close to an airfield.
Before we get this search off the ground, we've invited round a local estate agent
to give a current valuation of the house they bought just a year ago for £153,000.
This is a three-bedroom link-detached house, with a garage,
in a very nice location and I would value this property at £160,000.
In today's housing climate, it's a very fair valuation.
Obviously, I would have liked more, but with house prices declining at the moment, I think it's very fair.
At least they aren't too disappointed but we need to nail the budget.
The maximum budget, I'm told, for the new property, is £300,000.
So, Steve and Lindsey have slightly differing ideas about what they want.
He wants to be remote and she wants neighbours.
What they do agree on is that they want a detached cottage, two to three bedrooms,
and that farmhouse kitchen, big enough to have that table and a more manageable garden.
But what I do know is that the rural tranquillity that Steve wants,
on their budget, is going to be hard to find.
Steve and Lindsey have already scoured the area north of Hereford
and found nothing to their liking.
So, we are focusing our search to the east and south of the city
where there should be some rural gems.
Over the course of two days, I'll be taking them on a tour of three rural hideaways,
but I will only reveal the price tags after they've had the chance to have a good look around.
The last of those properties will be the mystery house -
a property they may not have chosen to view themselves, but does offer them possibilities.
Steve, Lindsey, welcome to beautiful Herefordshire.
What attracted you to come to this area?
Well, Tim, I first came 25 years ago and absolutely fell in love with it at first sight.
So, we're just coming back again, hopefully, to live.
Now, your budget was 300,000 but there's been a little bit of a change.
Yes. We've found another £50,000, so it's now £350,000.
We did have that put aside for any renovations that might need doing,
but if we find a property that's in tip-top condition, we can spend that on the property.
Tip-top condition. I've got three brilliant properties to show you, one of which is a mystery property.
-Are you ready to go?
So, what are you looking forward to the most about moving back to the country?
Peace and quiet. Solitude.
Not too much traffic.
Preferably none. And walking, because we both really, really enjoy walking.
In that case, let's hope we've come up trumps with our property choices.
Our first house is in the hamlet of Aylton, 11 miles east of Hereford.
The village of Much Marcle stands four miles down the road
and the shop and post office caters for the day-to-day essentials.
Steve and Lindsey might like to join the locals in the village pub,
or alternatively, the 13th-century St Bartholomew's Church.
Our first offering sits at the end of a private driveway, with just a few other houses for neighbours.
So let's see what they think.
Well, there we go.
This is the first property. It was originally a smithy.
-It looks very interesting, Tim.
-I don't know if you do quaint, but that's what comes to mind.
-Definitely. We like quaint.
So what's your first impressions?
It's got possibilities. Possibilities.
I'm not sure about the road.
It's quite close to what could be a fairly busy road.
This smithy was originally part of the farmhouse which is behind that brick wall
and this was another outbuilding, all part of the same estate.
So you do have neighbours, not on top of each other, but it's not
completely remote, which is, I know, what you wanted.
Yes. A little bit closer than I would have liked.
-What about you, cos you wanted neighbours?
-Yes, but not too close.
-Let's see if I can convince you inside.
One of the remits that we did have was making sure that the ceilings were high enough.
-You're over six foot, aren't you?
-I'm six foot two.
I'm six foot and I don't like to duck when I go in anywhere.
I think we managed to find you a nice large kitchen in an older property.
The head room's OK in here. I'm used to ducking going through doors,
but that door's OK.
It's unusual to get a kitchen this big in an older property.
-Almost too big.
-No, no, no.
-It's a good size.
-It's the perfect size. Yes.
I like it. It's nice, large, airy, spacious and I love the floor.
Renovation took place about two years ago, so everything in this is new and to a good standard.
That'll suit Steve cos he's not really into DIY.
I'm with you on that, Steve. I don't like DIY.
I'll do it if necessary, but it's certainly... It's not to a professional standard, you know?
In this place, you don't have to do anything. It's light and airy.
Is that something that you like?
Yes. I think all women like light and airy, don't they?
I know you wanted a utility room.
Utility and downstairs toilet.
-To have this as well as a big kitchen...
-No. That's brilliant.
-Exactly what we asked for.
Great. Lindsey's happy with that.
I'm not sure, though, what they'll make of the lounge.
-You may have read in the estate agent's details, "bijou and compact".
-"Small" is the word you're looking for!
-There you go.
-What do you think?
-Small, but having said that, I love the ceiling and the beams and they're high again.
I like the kitchen. Love the fire.
Is this it? Does it go any further?
Well, this is the trade-off of having a larger kitchen.
-Is it too small for you?
I think we could manage this size.
-You're being very quiet there, Steve.
-It'll be easily heated.
-Be nice and cosy.
I think that might be a bit of a positive spin.
Next, for us, the upstairs and we're heading straight into the master bedroom.
Oh, this is lovely.
This is the master bedroom.
OK. How many bedrooms has it got?
-It's got two bedrooms.
But it has no en suite and I know you wanted en suite.
It's not the end of the world.
-What do you think about the features again?
-Absolutely lovely. Yeah.
At least there's room for the bed without it being in the eaves,
so Steve won't bash his head every time he gets in and out of bed.
And the views that I keep mentioning, if you look over there.
-You wanted to be in the country.
-Can you see, darling?
-I can see!
-Is this ticking any boxes for you, this house?
-It's lovely. Perfect.
Absolutely lovely. Yes.
-The house is?
-The house is absolutely all we could wish for.
It's the right size. Lovely features in it.
What about the fact there's no storage up here?
-The current owner uses this as a second property, so you would obviously need wardrobes.
It's not a problem for me cos these are the only clothes I've got.
But Lindsey's got hundreds.
There's room for wardrobes there.
There is space, but it's limited.
-It is limited. Yes. Indeed.
-It's been very cleverly done to make it feel bigger than it is.
-Lots of Velux windows, a light colour scheme and carpet.
-It's beautiful and light.
-Your taste, though, I think.
Well, let's show you where the other bathroom is, even though it's not en suite.
It certainly is a good size.
This room, and the beam adds an interesting feature.
Just next door is the family bathroom which I can't pretend
is huge, but nevertheless, it does have a bath and a separate shower enclosure.
Next door, again, is the second bedroom,
which would work fine as a guest room and will easily fit a double bed. But we are heading outside.
Steve and Lindsey have said they are not the green-fingered type,
so I hope the quarter of an acre of garden won't be too big for them.
And the outside.
Watch you don't slip over cos there is wooden decking here.
-It does need to be cleaned up regularly...
-..which hasn't been done.
-Another job for Steve.
-Another job. They're racking up, these jobs, Steve.
-Leaves, as well.
-Well, it is a garden(!)
-I love raking leaves!
What do you think of the garden cos you didn't want anything too big? You said "manageable".
-This is manageable.
-It's quite low-key.
Yes. Absolutely. It's plenty big enough. But most of it
being laid to lawn, it's easy to maintain,
which is absolutely perfect for us.
Easy for you. I've got to cut it!
True. It's easy for me to sit on the decking and watch.
And watch the gardening going on.
But what about the noise of the road?
It's a little intrusive, isn't it?
It's certainly not unnoticeable.
It seems to be quite a busy road out there as well.
I think we should wander round to the other side of the house and talk money.
The size of the garden might be a hit with Steve and Lindsey,
but the only plane Steve will be able to land is a model one.
I do, however, have something else up my sleeve.
Just as you see the rest of the house outside, the sun's come out.
We've come to that difficult moment when we have to discuss money.
Ladies first. What do you think this property's on the market for?
Because it's been so well renovated, I would say 285,000.
-I would have to go a little lower than that. I would say 265.
265 and 285.
Well, the current price is £50 short of £330,000.
-A bit of a surprise for you.
I thought you might have said 300, but that's ridiculous.
A lot more than you two are guessing.
Quite a bit more. Yes.
In this current market, I think that's way too high.
Has it been on the market long?
It's actually been on the market for 12 months so you could make an offer on that.
-It's probably negotiable.
I'm going to send you back to the garden to ponder your prices,
but one thing you can also ponder about is the fact
that just over a mile away there is a private airstrip.
We're not sure if you could use it, but it is something to think about.
I wondered if you'd find out about that.
-We'll see you later.
They are a really nice couple, but a tricky couple
because they want certain things.
They want neighbours, but not too close.
They want a runway, which I think that they're not joking about.
With this house, the only box I've ticked is that large kitchen, big enough to put a kitchen in.
Do you like the kitchen?
-I do like the kitchen.
-It's good. Yeah.
I like the beams with the high ceiling.
There's nothing I don't like about it.
-It's very cosy in here.
-Very compact and bijou, but it's got a lot of nice features.
The bedrooms are fine. I'm sure we could find space for my clothes somewhere.
A wardrobe or two, somewhere along the way.
And the bathroom's fine as well. Steve's got his shower, I've got my bath, so we'll both be happy.
We wanted somewhere more rural, really,
so you can look out the window and see fields rather than houses.
I'm going to have to tear you away from that kitchen and make the most of the sun. You ready?
Steve and Lindsey have really missed living in a rural community
and their escape to Herefordshire can't come soon enough.
As they don't know the area well, they are taking a trip to explore what will be on their doorstep.
It's busy for a Tuesday.
Hereford is the county town
and has long been the livestock and agricultural centre of the county.
It seems a nice "olde worlde" sort of place.
It's lovely, all these little alleyways and tiny little shops.
-Very nice indeed.
As Herefordshire is one of the cider capitals of the world,
Steve and Lindsey's trip wouldn't be complete without a tour
of the Hereford Cider Museum.
-Look at all these apples.
-What a heck of a lot.
I didn't realise there were so many.
Set in a former cider factory,
it's the place to learn more about the traditional methods of cider production
and have a glimpse at the cellars where there are more bottles than you could imagine.
Steve and Lindsey can't wait to embrace nature when they move
so are making a start with the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo
a half hour drive south of Hereford.
The atrium houses around 240 exotic butterflies,
including 25 different species.
It's a great opportunity to admire the amazing colours
and swot up on butterfly facts.
An absolutely fantastic place, isn't it?
It's a real eye-opener.
Heading back to Hereford is the village of Kilpeck,
which is home to the Norman church of St Mary and St David.
Visitors flock here to see the intricate carvings
that are the handiwork of the 11th century stonemasons.
Have you seen that one of the rabbit and the dog?
The carvings in the local sandstone have been magnificently preserved
They are certainly fascinating, if not always attractive.
The trip here is also worth it for the view from the churchyard.
Look at those views. Aren't they absolutely fabulous?
It's certainly very pretty. Beautiful colours at this time of year.
Our second house is in the hamlet
of Great Doward which lies at the heart of the Wye Valley.
The nearby village of Whitchurch would be Steve and Lindsey's
closest place for picking up the milk and papers
and passing the time of day in the pub.
The house we're viewing sits in an elevated position,
set into the hillside, and is a real rural hideaway,
so it should suit Steve down to the ground.
-Now, you wanted isolation. What do you think?
-It's a bit too isolated maybe.
-A bit TOO isolated?
-It's very promising. Very promising.
-Very promising. Yeah. It's very nice.
This house offers them a lot of what they're looking for, including the aerial views, but sadly,
not a landing strip for their plane. So what do you think of the views?
It's absolutely fabulous, isn't it?
It almost feels like you're in a plane.
-Yeah. It does actually. Almost high enough to be in one.
I'm going to tear you away from the views
because I want you to look at the house. It's a three-bed property.
It had some renovations done a little while ago,
including this here, which was originally the pigsty.
What's your initial reaction to the house?
It's fabulous. Beautiful. Love it.
-Right up my street.
-Right up your street. Fantastic. Lovely. Three positives.
-We're probably going to buy it straightaway.
I don't think we need to go inside!
-We'll have a quick look round, if you like.
Come in to the warm.
It's stunning, isn't it?
-It takes your breath away, actually. It's beautiful.
-You really like it?
-I love it.
-It's very salubrious, isn't it?
I'm glad that you're walking in here cos that was my first point of reference.
-It's lower, this one, but it's not too low.
And the best part about it is the log-burning stove,
which is absolutely beautiful.
Could you imagine yourselves spending a lot of time in the winter months here?
-I can imagine myself spending ALL my time.
-Even in the summer?
-Even in the summer.
-I think it's time I took you through to the pigsty.
As pigsties go, it's quite nice, I think.
Yes. It's very nice, actually, as pigsties go.
Not much straw on the floor, but very nice.
What I like about this room is the fact that it takes advantage of those views.
It's not just a small window. They've got French doors going out.
Yeah. Lovely sitting here having lunch, with the French doors open, in the summer.
Wooden parquet flooring, but what do you think about the decoration?
I think it could do with a lick of paint.
-To brighten it up a little.
-You're not put off by that?
Oh, no, no. Not at all.
-Let's take you into the kitchen.
-Probably a little more work in here, do you think?
Oh, wow. I didn't realise it was quite this large.
-It goes round the corner.
-It's a lot bigger than you think.
-Big enough for a table for you to sit round.
Yes. I don't think you would need a table in here AND the dining room, as they're next door to each other.
So, it would feel a lot bigger without the table, I think, in here.
-So you like the kitchen?
-I love it.
-Absolutely love it.
The only problem we might have is cleaning that window up there.
That's another job for you.
Yeah, sure it'll be my job.
I want to show you upstairs because if you like the views from here,
-you're going to love them from upstairs.
Well, we seem to be off to a flying start.
Off the hall there is a downstairs bathroom and a couple of extra rooms on the ground floor,
but I'm saving those for when we come back downstairs.
So, this is the master bedroom.
Oh, this is the master, is it?
It's small, but probably adequate.
You can walk round the bed, can't you? So it's not too bad.
The window could be a little bit bigger, but what you can see is brilliant.
You wanted an en suite.
Unfortunately, we don't have one, but we do have this, the second bedroom.
At the moment, they're using it for storage and a dressing area,
but you can make this into an en-suite bathroom if you wanted.
I think it's a nice dressing area. Plenty of wardrobe space.
The third bedroom is pretty much the same size as the master and easily takes a double bed.
Then, of course, there is the family bathroom.
It is rather small, the bathroom, so I'll let you guys go in first.
OK. Thank you.
Yes. It's quite small, but I would say it's adequate.
Yeah. It's absolutely fine for our needs.
-You'll have to stay that side and I'll stay this side.
-Just about the right height for me over here.
-What about the decor?
Well, again, it's dated, isn't it?
She's good at decorating.
-A job for you.
-I'm well-practised with decorating.
You'll be working on the kitchen and you'll be doing the bathroom.
I'll be doing the kitchen and the bathroom.
Let's have a look downstairs.
Poor Lindsey seems to be tasked with all the DIY work,
but, fortunately, doesn't appear to be too bothered.
Before we head outside, there's a chance to see the extra ground floor rooms I mentioned earlier.
So, this is the sunroom.
Oh, that's lovely.
Is it south-facing?
It's west facing, actually. But you still get so much light from here cos it's glass on three-quarters.
And you can see right across to the other side of the hills over there.
It will be lovely sitting here with a glass of brandy.
Also, you can be doing some washing, cos you've got your little utility room there.
Another sink, and also, your washing machine.
Now, there's plenty more outside which, hopefully, is going to impress you.
-Impress us even more than the house?
Or depress us.
You asked for a small, manageable garden.
-Does this tick that box?
This is it, to the hedge, is it?
-Yep. All this bit is your garden.
But you can hear the A40, which is way off there in the distance.
-That's the only down point that we've found, so far.
It won't be a problem when we're inside.
We'll have to wear ear defenders when we sit outside.
The pluses of the house and garden definitely outweigh the traffic...at the moment.
-Noise from the traffic, but no noise from the neighbours.
I haven't been completely honest.
There is also an extra three quarters of an acre of field, but it doesn't need much doing to it.
And I have another surprise in store.
-A lot of walking today.
Now, if you look up there, there's a very beautiful vista of a small wood.
That's yours as well.
Three-quarters of an acre of wood.
-I always wanted to be a lumberjack.
Well, now you can live out your dreams up here.
And that's not all. There's also a stable block and a few storage sheds.
-There's quite a bit here, isn't there?
I want you to think about that whilst you give me your opinion of how much it's on the market for.
You went first last time, so I think this time... Steve?
The onus is on me.
Difficult to say, really.
I think it's beyond our budget.
-Maybe even more than that.
I don't know. Hope not.
-You're going to go for 350?
-Exactly what I was going to say.
It's either dead on budget or slightly above.
So round about 350. I hope.
-Are your fingers crossed in your pockets?
It's actually on the market for...
So, the fingers that were crossed in your pockets, are they now doing this?
-Yes. I've got everything crossed.
Excellent. Go and look at the rest of the land.
OK. Thank you.
What a surprise, but a positive surprise.
I thought Steve would love this as it's so remote,
but Lindsey's fallen in love with it as well.
All the boxes have been ticked in this property.
A little bit of decoration, but the views have made up for it.
The only way I could improve this property is if there was an airstrip in front of the front door.
I think it'd be easy to see us living here.
So do I. I can just imagine us sitting here on a winter's evening, in front of the log-burner.
Overall, we've got a good feeling about the property
and I would give it nine, nine-and-a-quarter out of ten.
I wanted something that was rural, but that had other houses within sight of it.
So this is absolutely perfect because you can see two other houses from here.
And yet, it's on its own.
What I like about this property is the fact that my wife likes it.
And if she's happy, then I'm happy.
But no, it's certainly pretty good.
There's absolutely nothing that I don't like about it.
Let's move in tomorrow.
OK, guys, come on. The sun's setting and I've got to get you out of here.
-We're coming. We're coming.
As the sun casts its final rays over the Herefordshire countryside,
Steve and Lindsey head back to the hotel for a chat about the houses they have viewed.
What did you think of the conversion at Aylton?
I thought the property was absolutely lovely, actually.
The kitchen was fabulous, lovely size.
The lounge was very small, probably a little too small for us.
But it had certainly been renovated to a very high standard.
How did you feel about it?
I quite liked it.
It was a nice kitchen and I didn't mind the small lounge.
-Would you like to live there?
You would? I'm surprised.
I couldn't cope with the road, it's far too noisy.
And the house next door was a little too close for comfort.
What did you think to the cottage at Whitchurch?
That was a different kettle of fish. That was much better.
That was a lovely little place.
The views there were fantastic.
That's what I was expecting of Herefordshire.
It was nicely isolated, although you could see houses nearby. They weren't too close.
I liked it a lot as well. I thought it was fantastic.
-I could see us living there.
-So could I.
They're going to have to go a long way to top that one for the mystery house tomorrow.
-Yes, that should be very interesting.
-And very exciting.
Steve and Lindsey, from Peterborough, want to ditch
their urban lifestyle and return to country living.
They're chasing a rural retreat in Herefordshire and have a budget of £350,000.
So far, they have viewed two beautiful properties and coming up...
an opportunity to hone their range cooking skills,
and a mystery house that really does feel like home.
It feels like it's got good karma.
Steve and Lindsey dream of having a range cooker in their new home.
They don't, however, have any experience of cooking on one.
So we've arranged to meet Rose Norman,
who has over 30 years' experience of cooking on a range.
She's going to give us a demonstration.
Rose, this is Steve and Lindsey.
They are keen to find out about the range.
Apparently, you're the expert.
The great thing about range cookers is they store their own heat.
What you have to remember when you're cooking
is your biggest source of heat loss is through your lids.
So you actually try and do most of your cooking in the ovens.
It looks fantastic, but it also looks intimidating.
-Are they hard to use?
-No, they're very basic, actually.
-You've got three ovens on this one.
-Yes, I have.
Do they all come with three ovens?
You can have a two oven, a three oven or a four oven.
You can use all of those ovens and if they're used correctly,
you're going to get the most out of your range cooker.
This is your hottest oven. That is your roasting oven.
That is where you would do roast beef, Yorkshire puddings.
This is your simmering oven.
That's your coolest oven because it's further away from the burner.
That oven is your friend because you can cook a casserole all day,
go out to work and come back and your supper's ready for you.
It's a brilliant way of managing your life, really.
And this is your baking oven.
Lindsey and Steve are on the go all the time. Is there anything you can cook that's simple and quick?
Sure, I can make you a Victoria sponge
and show you how quickly we can cook that.
Or I can show you how to do a fatless egg on toast. What could be more simple?
-We can do Welsh cakes on the top as well.
-Let's do all three.
And in that good old tradition, there is some cake mix that Rose prepared earlier
and as soon as it's in the tins,
it's straight into the baking oven.
The hobs may lose the heat, but they still have their uses.
Today, it's for cooking Welsh cakes.
I think this is Lindsey's first cooking lesson. Steve's getting stuck in too.
Meanwhile, the sponge is coming along nicely.
I would say another five, ten minutes.
What we're going to do is cook these on the top of the oven.
This is your simmering plate.
This, again, is another friend.
Things can be very relaxed with this plate.
This is a very hot, boiling plate.
You need to keep your eye on anything you have on that plate.
To cook these Welsh cakes, I'm going to put that cotton-based covering on.
-Can you use this again?
It'll last a year, two years. It's amazing stuff.
These will take three to four minutes on each side.
And one of the easiest things to cook is an egg and there's no need for any oil.
I'm going to put the lid down.
These lids are domed, so it's not going to touch the egg.
You've just got heat coming from all sides.
That will take a couple of minutes.
And before long we've cooked up a storm
and I think we've got to grips with the basics of range cooking.
There we go.
-What do you think?
-They're absolutely delicious.
I hope I haven't frightened you
and I hope that when you've got the hang of cooking on that range cooker,
you would never want to cook on anything else.
It's been fascinating, Rose. Thank you so much.
-You're very welcome. It's been a great pleasure and delight.
All Steve and Lindsey need now is a range cooker and I'm determined we won't let them down.
Now it's time for the mystery property, and good news, we finally
found one with an airstrip nearby, for the ever-compromising Steve.
The fly in the ointment - there are neighbours.
So, guys, we're on the way to the mystery property,
what are your expectations?
I don't really know, to be honest with you, Tim.
I think you're going to find it hard to top the second one we saw yesterday.
If it's better than that one, we'll be extremely surprised and it will be a pleasant surprise.
How could it be better?
-It could have an en suite, an Aga and a runway.
-The big three!
You never know your luck, I might just have two of those in store.
Our mystery house sits in Linton Hill,
20 miles southeast of Hereford.
The village of Linton is just a stone's throw down the road
and is a typical rural village, with a pub, post office
and even a traditional red phone box.
The village hall holds regular activities, but apart from that,
it's a sleepy place that should suit Steve and Lindsey.
The mystery house is semi-detached but sits in such a prime position,
with wonderful views to the front and rear,
that it is, without doubt, worthy of being on our hit list.
So, this is the mystery property.
Built around the 1840s.
It was originally a community house for the whole community.
Everyone used to come here to sort out their problems.
It's got a lot of history with it.
-Oh, so we could get our problems sorted out?
Sit in that kitchen looking at the views, there won't be any problems.
-Is it all of this?
-You're a canny man. No, it isn't.
I have to say the S-word. It's semi-detached.
That bungalow has a neighbour in it.
-In this bit here?
-Just that bit there.
But once you get inside and look at those views,
you'll overlook the fact that you have a neighbour so close by.
And if that's not enough, there is a sweetener.
There is a private airstrip just 20 minutes away that you could possibly use.
-So we thought that might be a positive for you.
-And when you get inside, I think there's going to be at least a "wow", if not more.
Oh, this is lovely.
This is a surprise from the outside.
-There was a "wow"! Slightly ironic.
I didn't want to disappoint you.
What a surprise from the outside.
Look at that.
-Views to die for.
-A beautiful elevated position, isn't it?
-Isn't it fantastic?
No problem with flooding, then!
And very rare that you get such uninterrupted views.
-And on a clear day, you can see over 30 miles.
-No. It's beautiful.
-What about the kitchen itself, because you wanted a kitchen that was big enough
-to put your table in?
-Is it your style?
-It's got the island in the middle.
-It's a nice farmhouse-style kitchen.
-It's got ash units, a granite top.
-A range cooker.
See, finally, we got you a range.
Not quite an Aga.
Oil-fired. And it heats, obviously, the kitchen.
The pipe goes upstairs, which they use to put their towels on.
It's multifunctional and it also does all the water in the house as well.
Even though this kitchen is big enough for you...
There you go.
Oh, a larder.
-Oh, that's very handy.
-Very handy, indeed.
Now, if Steve's naughty...
..you can put him down here.
-That's different, isn't it?
This cellar runs the footprint of the whole house.
And the bit that's the size of this kitchen is head-height.
He uses it for storage and a workshop as well.
There is another access to the cellar downstairs.
You don't need to go this way. But good to know.
So another entrance into the house.
This is an occasional room, really, which they don't use too much,
-but one thing I want to point out to you is...
..a very thin wall that could be knocked through.
OK. I could use this as a study.
Use this as a study, but if you wanted, you could make it bigger as you have this room here.
OK. It's quite an unusual-shaped room, isn't it?
-The fireplace, in the corner.
-It's a big window.
-They've really taken advantage of the views here, though, haven't they?
-I love this little balcony.
Can you imagine us sitting out on the balcony? A glass of wine in the summer?
-And you can't tell there's any neighbours.
Well, they're out at the moment.
Or maybe they're in. You don't know. You'll never see them.
Well, obviously the views are a big plus-point, but what do you think about the room?
It's a nice little size, quite cosy.
It's cosy. I quite like the fire in the corner over there, at an angle.
It makes it a little bit different.
The chimney's in action, is it?
-We could have a real fire.
-A working fire for the winter.
-What do you think so far?
The lounge is about the right size.
-It's big enough, anyway.
-I think it's got good karma.
-Well, we like that. Let's see if the karma continues upstairs.
It sounds like this house could be the home of their dreams
and there's still the three bedrooms upstairs to see.
So, the master bedroom. You can see all the fitted wardrobes there.
-OK. This is the largest of the three bedrooms?
-This is the largest of the three bedrooms.
But what you have in this bedroom is the views from the other side of the house.
So these are fresh views to you.
Sadly, it's a bit rainy today, but you've got lots of things to see over there.
And can you see this field in front of you, here?
-It looks like a landing strip.
That's exactly what I said to Steve, didn't I, when we walked in?
It would probably work. Yes. Yeah.
It's owned by the local farmer. He doesn't use it for animals.
-Is it something that you could approach him about? Would you do that?
But these views just keep selling the house to me. Do they to you?
Definitely the best views we've seen.
I thought yesterday's was spectacular...
but this certainly beats that one.
-No en suite, though?
-There isn't any en suite, but I do have an option for you, so follow me for my idea.
So, this is the family bathroom.
-Where's the bathtub, Tim?
-There is no bath here, but you do have this rather lovely shower.
But there isn't a bath. You could very easily...
knock through from here.
-That's the master bedroom and that would make this an en suite.
You can see the actual fixtures are really nice.
To a very high standard.
Oh, yeah. What's here is beautiful.
But I do like a bath sometimes.
There is room to reconfigure it to put a bath in.
-Maybe even have it here so you can take advantage of those views.
It would, of course, always be the family bathroom in the house.
Knocking through to the toilet next door would make it both larger and accessible from the landing, too.
The first of the remaining two bedrooms is a reasonable-sized double,
and the final room, which is currently used as a study, would easily fit a single bed.
Time for us, though, to head outside and explore the terraced back garden
and enjoy the magnificent view they saw from the lounge.
-Watch yourself coming down here.
They look quite steep.
The garden is basically split into four parts.
You've got two turfed areas here, a vegetable garden down there
and then over here, some more vegetables.
And then just a bit of bracken. But this bit's been done rather nicely.
Here, you've got a little pond. I can imagine you sitting out here when it isn't raining.
-What do you think?
-I think the views are just spectacular.
-Different, isn't it?
-You wanted a manageable garden.
Yes. This is nice because it's got the vegetable plot,
the lawn for sunbathing, barbecues etc. No. It's very nice, actually.
Completely private. Not overlooked by anybody.
Nobody can see into your garden.
The bonus with this house is that it sits right next to a public footpath
with an access gate from their garden.
So the country walks they long for are right on their doorstep.
Will this, along with the potential landing strip in the farmer's field
and the airfield a short distance away, help to clinch the mystery house?
I've shown you all of the house and outside now, so it's time to talk money.
I think you went first last time, didn't you? So it's down to you again, this time.
For the house, I'd go for 280,000,
but another 50,000 for the views, so 330,000.
I think it's a difficult one because, after all, it is a semi-detached property.
Had it been detached, it would probably be worth a little bit more.
So, I think, on reflection, I would plump for 295.
Well, it's actually on the market for...
-Oh, you were very close.
-You were miles out.
-That's quite a pleasant surprise, actually.
-Pleasant enough to consider it?
We'd certainly consider the views, which obviously come with the property,
-Oh, well, I'm pleasantly surprised.
I'm going to start letting you make your way back up to the house, but be careful of the terrace.
-OK. See you later.
-See you later.
Well, that was quite positive. It is the mystery house -
you never know what the reactions are going to be.
A huge kitchen, big enough for that table. Stunning views.
And a very close airstrip, if not in front of the door.
But at the end of the day, it's not detached.
I really like the kitchen, it's a really good size.
-Yeah. I like the range.
-I like the range, too.
-I'm looking forward to your cooking on that.
It's possible to get a bath in if you take the wall down and rearrange it slightly.
Move the radiator, obviously.
You could have the best of both worlds - bath and shower.
The fact that it's semi-detached was a little disappointing, yes,
I have to admit, because we are looking for a detached property.
But again, I think the views make up for the fact that
it is a semi-detached, so I'll have to have a word with Steve.
I can understand why it was the mystery house because there are one or two
interesting issues regarding the property.
Having views on one side would be a bonus, but having them on both sides,
whichever side of the house you were looking out of the window,
is definitely, definitely a huge bonus.
-Fantastic. I would buy the house just for the views.
-Come on, guys.
We've got to get going.
Bring your umbrella.
Our tour around the three Herefordshire properties is now over.
Steve and Lindsey are looking for a home they can live in for several years, so I'm giving them some time
to mull over their options and see if we have found them their country dream.
And as this country has a strong farming heritage,
I can't leave without mucking in.
'One of Herefordshire's most prestigious exports for the last 150 years,
'has been its Hereford cattle,
'which take their name from the county town where the breed originated
'in the mid 18th century.
'This breed, which is bred all over the world,
'is known for its high quality beef,
'and I'm keen to find out more.
'I'm meeting up with Richard Bradstock, the chairman of the Hereford Cattle Society,
'on his family farm with his prize-winning herd.'
-These are in calf at the moment, aren't they?
They'll be calving in the spring.
The Hereford breed is known throughout the world as a white-faced breed.
'Richard's herd is registered with the Herefordshire Cattle Society
'who maintain a pedigree record of all the pure-bred cattle.'
So you really know an individual's family history?
Yes, we can trace these cattle back to 1846.
The first herd book was produced in 1846.
We can trace right back.
So over 100 years, you can trace back the genealogy of these?
Exactly, yes. This herd is over 100 years old.
-My grandfather started it.
You've got calves back at the farm. Is it possible to have a...?
-We can do that.
'Richard leaves the cattle in the field as far into the autumn as possible
'as it's much healthier for the breed.
'But we're heading back to the farmyard to see the rest of herd, which have been brought in.'
They're a popular breed. You don't just find them here, do you, in Herefordshire?
We believe they're the most numerous breed, either Hereford or Hereford crosses, in the world.
-They number over 100 million.
-They should have their own fan club.
'Richard has, over the years, won many awards for his herd,
'but the coveted first prize doesn't come easily.
'My next task is to help Richard's son, Tony, prepare a bull for a show.
'Having had his hair washed, it's time for a blow-dry.'
-So you're drying it off.
-Drying it and blowing out any rubbish.
How often do you do this?
In the run-up to a show, three or four times
in the days before and weeks before.
Somebody's getting jealous. What's the matter?
'They're fighting for my attention, but this 14-month-old champion calf is enough for me.'
That is the first time I've ever made over a bull.
It's intensive, isn't it?
Yeah, lots of work.
'This hardy pedigree breed are for prime quality beef
'and the fat that marbles through the meat
'adds to the texture and flavour when cooked.'
Richard, this is what it's all about.
-What makes it such a special beef?
-It's got that marbling in it.
That keeps the succulence and flavour. It stops it drying out when it's cooked.
That's the most important thing with beef.
The marbling is the fat, but once it's cooked, you lose that but it makes it cook better.
You lose some of it. A lot will melt while it's being cooked. It will keep the meat succulent.
-I'm not an expert. Do you think that's done?
'It does look mouthwatering and after all the work, I'm peckish.'
-It's very succulent.
-Indeed, and juicy.
The worst thing you can do to beef is overcook it.
Thank you for showing me around and allowing me to sample your beef.
You're most welcome. It's been a pleasure to show you round.
Lindsey and Steve are a lovely but intriguing couple
with lots of different ideas about their property search.
I've shown them three very different houses, but at the end of the day,
I think it's going to be Lindsey who makes the decision.
Let's find out.
So, guys, are you exhausted or invigorated?
Let's start with property one.
Now, when you walked in, you loved the interior, didn't you?
I loved the house. Thought it was fantastic.
A little on the small side, cos it only had the two bedrooms,
one of which was very small and the very small lounge, but I actually liked the property...
I liked the property. I thought it was brilliant. Yeah.
We could live in that, except the neighbour,
the house next door... A bit too close.
There was an issue with the noise from the road.
It was a very, very busy main road.
The garden was fine.
-And the decor?
-Brilliant. We wouldn't have needed to touch a thing.
-We could have moved straight in.
-We like that.
So, house number two.
You surprised me with this one.
I thought you would like it because it was very remote, and you do like
neighbours somewhat close to you, but you liked that one as well.
I thought that was absolutely fantastic, that house, and there were neighbours, you know,
within sight of the property, which is fine. I thought everything about it was fantastic.
Well, no. The only downside is that it needed decorating in parts
and probably the kitchen modernising slightly, but that's no big deal.
I could live there. It had a nice feel.
It felt right when you went in.
Nice and cosy with that log-burning stove. Super.
-The house fitted the lifestyle that you'd want?
Though we noticed the noise from the road when we first arrived, after we'd been there for a while,
I didn't notice it. So I don't think it would bother us.
We move on to the mystery property.
I was a little mystified about the house stuck on the side.
I did think the views would compensate for the fact you had neighbours so close.
It could have been a possibility.
Yes. The views were absolutely stunning, out of both sides and they were absolutely brilliant.
I also had an issue with the garden because it was very steep at the back and it felt quite dangerous as well.
Even on a dry day, it would have been difficult moving around it.
-The house, we both liked inside, didn't we?
All three properties, you liked the interiors.
-It really came down to the exteriors.
-And the location.
You were a perfect gentleman over the first couple of days,
quite vocal about deferring to your wife.
Lindsey, which one would you choose?
The second one, Tim.
-The cottage at Whitchurch.
-Do you agree with that?
Even if she wasn't sitting next to me, I would say I agree with that.
So where do we go from here?
Are you going to have another revisit or ponder?
-We're going to have another look.
-Yes. We're going to...
Well, Steve's going to look into the nearest airfield, obviously...
when we get home. And then if there's one close enough that suits,
we're going to come back and have another look.
It's been great fun taking you round, despite the wet weather.
And good luck with your quest.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, Tim.
I always thought it was going to be a tricky job to find a house that both Steve and Lindsey liked,
but lo and behold, they both agreed on a property that had the most acreage
and they wanted something with a smaller, more-manageable garden.
So go figure. I don't think it will be that long before they escape back to the country.
Join me next time.
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