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|Today, I'm at a castle that's been home to 26 successive generations of the same family.||0:00:02.00||0:00:07.56|
|Mind you, when you have a place like this, who can blame them?||0:00:07.56||0:00:11.52|
|'In today's show, I'll be helping a couple run away to retire to the country||0:00:23.68||0:00:29.16|
|'and we've got a big budget, big houses and big "wows".'||0:00:29.16||0:00:33.16|
|A huge wow...! Oh, my goodness!||0:00:33.16||0:00:37.52|
|I don't believe it!||0:00:37.52||0:00:40.40|
| - 'And our mystery house is a real revelation.'|
- Oh, crikey!
|I'm in the Cotswolds and this is Berkeley Castle,||0:00:49.16||0:00:53.28|
|home to the Berkeley family that have lived in this magnificent place for 900 years.||0:00:53.28||0:00:59.56|
|Now, it may seem tranquil today, but if these ancient walls could speak,||0:00:59.56||0:01:04.44|
|they would whisper tales of a brooding past at odds with the peaceful surrounding countryside.||0:01:04.44||0:01:10.92|
|And it's truly magnificent.||0:01:10.92||0:01:13.72|
|Covering 790 square miles and spanning six counties,||0:01:13.72||0:01:18.00|
|the Cotswolds is the largest of the 40 Areas of Outstanding Beauty||0:01:18.00||0:01:22.40|
|across England and Wales.||0:01:22.40||0:01:24.44|
|Its historical towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden,||0:01:24.44||0:01:29.60|
|made from the local honey-coloured limestone, read like a Where's Where of the UK's most desirable places.||0:01:29.60||0:01:35.52|
|Jewel in the crown is Burford which, in 2009, a leading US magazine voted||0:01:35.52||0:01:41.04|
|as one of the most idyllic places to live in Europe.||0:01:41.04||0:01:45.04|
|And as one of the least populated areas of England, yet teeming with rich wildlife,||0:01:45.04||0:01:51.20|
|it's no wonder that so many people dream of finding their own haven in this part of the country.||0:01:51.20||0:01:57.24|
|There's no way round it. Property in the Cotswolds comes at a price.||0:01:57.24||0:02:01.88|
|The average detached property here would set you back - hang on to those tweed trousers -||0:02:01.88||0:02:07.72|
|a massive £181,000 above the national average.||0:02:07.72||0:02:12.84|
|This is a stunning part of the country with properties to match.||0:02:12.84||0:02:17.84|
|Just take a look at what's currently on the market.||0:02:17.84||0:02:21.36|
|If budget is not an issue,||0:02:21.36||0:02:24.00|
|how about this five-bedroomed, new-build Cotswolds house in Ascott||0:02:24.00||0:02:28.04|
|on the market for £1.3 million?||0:02:28.04||0:02:30.48|
|Besides a large family kitchen, there's plenty of space to relax||0:02:30.48||0:02:34.72|
|in the two comfortable sitting rooms and conservatory,||0:02:34.72||0:02:38.56|
|or even the summer house, a perfect spot to survey the three-quarters of an acre garden.||0:02:38.56||0:02:44.40|
|Or there's this deceptively large, four-bedroomed, weatherboard home overlooking Howells Mere Lake.||0:02:44.40||0:02:50.80|
|Soak up those waterside views from the huge, open-plan living area with its barn-style vaulted ceiling,||0:02:50.80||0:02:57.72|
|yours for £730,000.||0:02:57.72||0:03:00.44|
|And £380,000 will get you this three-bedroomed, Cotswolds stone barn conversion in Blockley.||0:03:01.44||0:03:08.72|
|The exposed stone walls and beams really give off that warm, cottagey feel||0:03:08.72||0:03:13.76|
|and you've got water on your doorstep with a stream running through the communal gardens.||0:03:13.76||0:03:19.80|
|I love the timeless appeal and subtle sophistication of the Cotswolds.||0:03:19.80||0:03:25.76|
|With a varied array of properties on offer,||0:03:25.76||0:03:28.80|
|I'm delighted to be house-hunting in this area this week. So who's going to be joining me? Let's find out.||0:03:28.80||0:03:35.44|
|Steve and Meera have been married for 12 years||0:03:35.44||0:03:38.80|
|and both work for the publishing company Steve founded 20 years ago.||0:03:38.80||0:03:42.68|
|With the four children they have between them now in their 20s and with retirement on the horizon,||0:03:42.68||0:03:48.72|
|they are excited about starting out anew in the Cotswolds.||0:03:48.72||0:03:52.56|
|I'm a bit of a romantic and I can remember being a young kid going on holidays into the country,||0:03:52.56||0:03:58.40|
|down into Devon and different places,||0:03:58.40||0:04:01.24|
|and I'm really looking forward to going places like that where you swing the doors open,||0:04:01.24||0:04:07.16|
|go out into the fresh air, go for fantastic walks.||0:04:07.16||0:04:10.68|
|I can't wait to get into that kind of environment. That's what I'm looking forward to.||0:04:10.68||0:04:16.00|
|I can't wait. If I found the place, I'd go tomorrow.||0:04:16.00||0:04:19.56|
|They're biding their time in their three-bedroomed flat||0:04:19.56||0:04:23.40|
|and have spent two years scouring the countryside for their dream home, so what are they looking for?||0:04:23.40||0:04:30.12|
|My dream property has to have lots of character.||0:04:30.12||0:04:33.36|
|It has to hit you when you look at it and you just go, "Wow, this is something really special!"||0:04:33.36||0:04:39.28|
|I want it to have a stream,||0:04:39.28||0:04:41.60|
|I want it to have a pond, although I can build a pond, and beautiful views.||0:04:41.60||0:04:47.08|
|Four bedrooms, two with en-suites and then a separate family bathroom,||0:04:47.08||0:04:52.16|
|then it might be quite nice to have an extra little room, a study.||0:04:52.16||0:04:56.56|
|Steve loves his music and he plays it extremely loudly, so a nice music room to shut him away would be good.||0:04:56.56||0:05:03.44|
|And there are some rather large companions to squeeze in too.||0:05:03.44||0:05:08.16|
|This is Denis. He's a beautiful piece of pottery.||0:05:08.16||0:05:11.20|
|We've got all our stuff that we've collected on our travels in storage,||0:05:11.20||0:05:15.32|
|so we are desperate to find a lovely new property to get them all out and enjoy them again.||0:05:15.32||0:05:20.84|
|This is a communal garden. We're looking for a bigger garden, one to three acres,||0:05:20.84||0:05:25.72|
|so we can have our pond, we can have some animals, chickens, ducks, lambs and maybe even ostriches.||0:05:25.72||0:05:32.36|
|I have actually agreed to have a dog,||0:05:32.36||0:05:35.04|
|but he is also talking about sheep and ostriches and pigs,||0:05:35.04||0:05:41.60|
|so that's a little bit scary, really.||0:05:41.60||0:05:45.72|
|We love cooking, we love entertaining, but this kitchen really isn't big enough.||0:05:45.72||0:05:51.24|
|We're looking for a big, open-plan kitchen-breakfast room, comfy sofa,||0:05:51.24||0:05:55.60|
|walk-in larder, French doors opening on to the garden, people can sit round, drink a glass of wine. Lovely.||0:05:55.60||0:06:02.44|
|Meera is also keen to get involved in village life.||0:06:02.44||0:06:05.96|
|I think it would be lovely to move into a village that's still got some of the local shops||0:06:05.96||0:06:11.80|
|like a butcher, like a post office, like a nice pub.||0:06:11.80||0:06:15.36|
|So many of the villages we've looked at don't have those amenities any more.||0:06:15.36||0:06:20.20|
|- I think a village loses some of its...|
|Identity. So for us, we would love to live close to a village environment,||0:06:24.64||0:06:31.48|
|so that we can get involved and become part of that community.||0:06:31.48||0:06:35.52|
|Steve and Meera are cash buyers,||0:06:35.52||0:06:38.20|
|but bearing in mind the land for ostriches and a perfect village location, how much can they spend?||0:06:38.20||0:06:44.24|
|We're fortunate. Our budget for the next move is up to a million pounds.||0:06:44.24||0:06:48.40|
|Steve and Meera are really fired up for this move and it's great to hear||0:06:49.96||0:06:54.00|
|they're serious about getting involved with the local community they will one day call home.||0:06:54.00||0:06:59.84|
|But when it comes to the house, I do have some concerns.||0:06:59.84||0:07:04.00|
|They both want a home with real character and a warm family heart,||0:07:04.00||0:07:08.64|
|but whether it's out in the sticks or near a village is still up for discussion.||0:07:08.64||0:07:14.16|
|Will they be able to agree? Let's find out.||0:07:14.16||0:07:17.20|
|Our buyers may differ on the exact location of their dream property,||0:07:17.20||0:07:21.64|
|but hopefully, we can offer up something to appeal to them both,||0:07:21.64||0:07:25.68|
|so we're focusing our search between Chipping Campden in the north||0:07:25.68||0:07:29.72|
|down to Cirencester in the south.||0:07:29.72||0:07:32.48|
|We've got three fantastic houses to show them, but before I reveal the price of each,||0:07:32.48||0:07:38.00|
|I'll ask them to have a guess first.||0:07:38.00||0:07:40.44|
|Finally, there's our mystery house which is guaranteed to be a real curve ball.||0:07:40.44||0:07:45.84|
| - Well, Steve and Meera, welcome to the Cotswolds.|
- Thank you.
| - I'm really looking forward to the next few days. I hope you are too. |
- We're very excited.
|And we've got a very healthy budget, a million pounds to spend.||0:07:55.72||0:07:59.56|
| - Yes, aren't we lucky? |
- And cash buyers?
- We are.
| - Which does make it a lot easier, we hope.|
|But we are in the Cotswolds, the beautiful Cotswolds, which is expensive,||0:08:05.92||0:08:11.28|
|so on paper, a million pounds should be able to buy us a castle,||0:08:11.28||0:08:15.32|
| - but here, you get rather less for your money. Are you aware of that? |
- I think we realise that.
|You've been looking around. How far have you cast this net?||0:08:21.40||0:08:25.40|
|We're pretty flexible because obviously work isn't an issue now, children aren't an issue now,||0:08:25.40||0:08:31.80|
| - so we can go more or less where we want to.|
- That's made it a lot harder because we could go anywhere.
|But I really don't want to move too far from where we are now which is Amersham,||0:08:38.12||0:08:44.32|
|mainly because we've got a lot of good friends there.||0:08:44.32||0:08:47.84|
| - And Steve, how far and remote do you want to go? |
- I'd go really quite rural.
|I would go... No, I would. I'd go kind of three miles from your nearest neighbour - great.||0:08:52.88||0:08:58.88|
|There's a bit of a difference here, isn't there? There is a bit of a difference.||0:08:58.88||0:09:04.24|
| - I wonder who's going to make the ultimate decision? |
- I think we probably both will.
|Yeah, we'll see. It'll be a compromise at the end of the day.||0:09:13.96||0:09:17.88|
|We've got some amazing properties for you to see and the mystery property.||0:09:17.88||0:09:22.96|
|- Are you ready to get started?|
- Come on.
|'So Steve and Meera have a very healthy budget of one million pounds.||0:09:26.60||0:09:32.32|
|'Steve wants a beautiful plot for his ostriches to roam in||0:09:38.88||0:09:42.72|
|'and with Meera asking for a village location not too far away from Buckinghamshire,||0:09:42.72||0:09:48.16|
|'fingers crossed, we can find something to keep them both happy.||0:09:48.16||0:09:52.20|
|'Our house search takes us to a very rural spot near King's Stanley,||0:09:52.20||0:09:56.24|
|'17 miles from Cirencester and a two-hour drive||0:09:56.24||0:09:59.68|
|'from Meera's loved ones back in Buckinghamshire.||0:09:59.68||0:10:03.44|
|'Nailsworth would be their nearest market town five miles away.||0:10:03.44||0:10:07.40|
|'It has independent shops and plush eateries. Many of its properties are built into the lush hillside,||0:10:07.40||0:10:14.20|
|'as we find with our next property in the open countryside. I think Steve will love this location.'||0:10:14.20||0:10:20.24|
|Here is your property, made of Cotswold stone.||0:10:20.24||0:10:23.32|
| - It was finished in 2007, so it's still very, very new.|
| - You've got a slate roof and the most amazing views.|
| - All the way around.|
- Absolutely stunning.
|It's actually five acres in total.||0:10:36.68||0:10:39.16|
|- Steve, you said you wanted a bit of a project.|
| - You wanted to keep some animals. |
- There's enough space for ostriches and llamas in there.
|You could have a whole zoo with all that land! Let's see if the house...||0:10:48.24||0:10:52.28|
|- Over my dead body!|
- ..is up to your taste.
|'Although Meera seems a bit scared by Steve's plans for his Noah's Ark,||0:10:58.08||0:11:02.32|
|'I think the interior of this property will really make an impact on her.'||0:11:02.32||0:11:07.08|
| - Come on in.|
- Oh, my goodness!
|This is just incredible.||0:11:16.04||0:11:18.08|
|You don't see living space like this very often, do you?||0:11:18.08||0:11:21.64|
|Now, you two wanted flexibility, you wanted lots of options.||0:11:21.64||0:11:26.48|
|- I think I'm going to cry.|
| - You said you didn't mind contemporary.|
- I know and I don't. Oh, I've gone all googly!
|It's ticking lots of boxes at this stage.||0:11:38.20||0:11:41.48|
|I don't want to get too excited. Let's walk through and you can really see the views.||0:11:41.48||0:11:47.04|
|Now, you've probably guessed this is a topsy-turvy, upside-down house.||0:11:47.04||0:11:52.16|
|But it works so well and it's been designed like that, so you get the most out of that view.||0:11:54.20||0:12:00.64|
| - You can see right across the valley. |
- Yeah, it's exceptional.
|Even washing up would be a joy!||0:12:04.92||0:12:07.40|
|A nice, big kitchen, you know, granite worktops.||0:12:07.40||0:12:10.60|
|Obviously, entertaining is so important||0:12:10.60||0:12:14.36|
|and somebody wanted a sofa,||0:12:14.36||0:12:16.80|
|so the sofa is in close proximity to the kitchen, so I believe that's going to get a big tick.||0:12:16.80||0:12:22.64|
|Yes, that's my space while Steve is preparing the dinner on a Saturday night. Perfect.||0:12:22.64||0:12:28.12|
|'Brilliant. This superb contemporary interior has bowled them over.||0:12:28.12||0:12:32.68|
|'Let's see if we can keep them smiling.'||0:12:32.68||0:12:35.52|
|I think this house really benefits from having this little private room to the side.||0:12:37.00||0:12:42.88|
|Yeah, absolutely. That is such a fabulous space out there.||0:12:42.88||0:12:47.36|
|But I think if that was all you had, I would have been a bit worried, so I'm really pleased we're in here.||0:12:47.36||0:12:53.60|
|This is lovely, really beautiful.||0:12:53.60||0:12:56.24|
|'Just next door, there's a study which would make a great den for Steve to play his music.||0:12:56.24||0:13:01.92|
|'They seemed utterly wowed by the views and flexible modern layout of this property.||0:13:01.92||0:13:07.48|
|'Meera's sculptures would certainly look great in here.||0:13:07.48||0:13:11.04|
|'Let's head downstairs and hope they'll be thrilled by the five bedrooms that lead off the hallway.||0:13:11.04||0:13:17.08|
|'Two would fit a double bed in nicely, this one with doors leading out to the patio.||0:13:17.08||0:13:22.36|
|'And the third double is a nice, generous size with a lovely, modern en-suite,||0:13:22.36||0:13:27.40|
|'but we'll take in those views from this generous fourth bedroom.'||0:13:27.40||0:13:31.72|
| - I'd be tempted to put my guests in here because look at that view! |
- Stunning views, stunning views.
|I wish I had a pound for every time we said "amazing, stunning views", but you can't help but be impressed.||0:13:38.24||0:13:44.28|
|It just hits you every time. Every time you come into another room and you see the view, it just hits you.||0:13:44.28||0:13:50.36|
|'Across the hallway is a great wet room-style family bathroom with a corner bath.||0:13:50.36||0:13:55.52|
|'Next door is an elegant master.'||0:13:55.52||0:13:58.24|
| - So again, good size for you? |
- Lovely. Lovely size.
- Lovely size.
|The utility room with the washing machine and all that gubbins is down here?||0:14:02.80||0:14:07.84|
|It is. Very cleverly, it's out of eyeshot.||0:14:07.84||0:14:10.88|
|Let's have a look at your wet room and I'll explain a little bit more.||0:14:10.88||0:14:15.40|
| - So here's your wet room.|
|And the utility is just through that door.||0:14:20.16||0:14:23.08|
|It's a Jack and Jill utility from the family bathroom and yours.||0:14:23.08||0:14:27.20|
|Laundry can go straight in there and no-one sees it.||0:14:27.20||0:14:30.60|
|That's perfect. Your clothes are in your bedroom. The bedrooms are all here.||0:14:30.60||0:14:35.64|
| - All I do is open the door and throw them in.|
- Yeah, and they come back clean by magic...
|..into your underwear drawer. I don't iron his underwear!||0:14:41.68||0:14:46.44|
|'There may not be much magic in the laundry room, but I'm sure outside will cast a spell on Steve.||0:14:46.44||0:14:53.08|
|'The five acres of land fall within a conservation area,||0:14:53.08||0:14:56.92|
|'so no chance of development getting between them and those views over the Malvern and Welsh Hills.'||0:14:56.92||0:15:02.96|
|The current owners have horses. But these paddocks... Meera, you might not want me to say this.||0:15:02.96||0:15:09.16|
|But they could be ideal for ostriches. No?||0:15:09.16||0:15:12.48|
|They could be. They could be.||0:15:12.48||0:15:14.80|
|You both seem so impressed with the property, but it's time to talk money.||0:15:14.80||0:15:19.84|
|How much do you think it's on the market for? Who's going to go first? Meera?||0:15:19.84||0:15:25.08|
|I'm going to say...||0:15:25.08||0:15:27.56|
|It's only just gone on the market. It's been about four weeks.||0:15:35.84||0:15:39.96|
| - So very early days.|
|The current asking price is...||0:15:42.28||0:15:44.72|
| - I'm staggered. |
- I wish I DID bring my chequebook!
|So do I if it's that positive! I'm trying to hold back my enthusiasm.||0:15:57.16||0:16:02.28|
|And with a house like this,||0:16:02.28||0:16:04.32|
|I think your friends would be happy to make the two-hour journey here to see you,||0:16:04.32||0:16:09.60|
|rather than you go back to Buckinghamshire.||0:16:09.60||0:16:12.52|
|- Have another look around the house. I'll catch up with you in a while.|
|They certainly loved the price tag.||0:16:19.40||0:16:21.84|
|Way under budget at £895,000,||0:16:21.84||0:16:25.20|
|this exceptional, modern Cotswold property seems to have them reeling.||0:16:25.20||0:16:29.92|
|And it's all framed by jaw-dropping views.||0:16:42.04||0:16:45.80|
|I think the setting is exceptional.||0:16:45.80||0:16:48.88|
|I can imagine us standing out here on a summer's evening watching the world go by.||0:16:48.88||0:16:53.92|
|I could see myself living here. The views blew you away. It was exceptional.||0:16:53.92||0:16:58.92|
| - Family and friends would love coming here.|
- The sculptures would look fantastic here, paintings...
|Absolutely stunning. Took my breath away, really. Made me go all googly.||0:17:04.96||0:17:09.60|
|And for us, a space like this is what we like to live in,||0:17:09.60||0:17:14.08|
|so from that point of view, just couldn't be better.||0:17:14.08||0:17:17.60|
| - Have you two seen enough? |
- I think we have.
- Yes, I think so.
|- You've still got that grin on your face.|
- I have indeed.
- I'm going to have to drag you away now.
|'With its idyllic countryside, honey-coloured stone and rich housing stock,||0:17:33.28||0:17:38.60|
|'the Cotswolds is a place people want to move to and never leave.||0:17:38.60||0:17:43.36|
|'Nowhere is there a more compelling example than Berkeley Castle, home to the Berkeley family since 1154.||0:17:43.36||0:17:50.20|
|'Built under orders from Henry II, it has a unique claim to fame||0:17:50.20||0:17:54.04|
|'as the oldest continuously occupied castle by the same family in Britain.||0:17:54.04||0:17:59.88|
|'The castle has borne witness to some startling events over the past centuries||0:17:59.88||0:18:04.92|
|'and I'm meeting Charles Berkeley to learn more about the place he calls home.'||0:18:04.92||0:18:09.96|
| - Were you brought up here as a child?|
- We were.
|My brother and I, only 11 months between us, we spent our winter months here at the castle.||0:18:13.48||0:18:19.32|
|It was a magical place.||0:18:19.32||0:18:21.32|
|We lived in the keep which was the oldest part.||0:18:21.32||0:18:25.20|
|That was exciting - really old wooden floors and stone walls.||0:18:25.20||0:18:29.96|
|It was a paradise to grow up in.||0:18:29.96||0:18:32.28|
|There are so many stories of visitors seeing two boys up on the roof.||0:18:32.28||0:18:36.84|
|We respected the castle, but it was our playground. We were extremely lucky.||0:18:36.84||0:18:41.64|
| - I'm used to showing people houses, but I'd love you to give me a tour of your house.|
- Let's go, yeah.
|'Although noblemen walked through these hallways en route to sign the Magna Carta,||0:18:50.92||0:18:55.88|
|'Elizabeth I slept in its chambers||0:18:55.88||0:18:58.36|
|'and Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream was first performed here,||0:18:58.36||0:19:03.40|
|'it is a surprisingly homely place, although Berkeley does lay claim to one particularly dark tale.'||0:19:03.40||0:19:09.44|
|Charles, tell me a bit more about this story, the legend of the King.||0:19:09.44||0:19:13.96|
|Well, Nicki, Edward II was King of England in the 14th century.||0:19:13.96||0:19:19.12|
|And he was brought here as a prisoner in 1326.||0:19:19.12||0:19:25.00|
|On the orders of his wife, he was kept here for six months||0:19:25.00||0:19:29.12|
|and imprisoned in this cell here and they murdered him.||0:19:29.12||0:19:33.16|
| - This is where he was murdered?|
- This is the site where he was... Yeah.
|'After murder and mystery, a trip on to the roof is a breath of fresh air||0:19:37.92||0:19:43.56|
|'and a chance to take in the wonderful panoramic views,||0:19:43.56||0:19:47.40|
|'but with a £5.5 million appeal for repairs, including the roof,||0:19:47.40||0:19:51.80|
|'maintaining Berkeley involves considerable upkeep, so does Charles feel at home in these castle walls?'||0:19:51.80||0:19:58.04|
|It is very much a castle with its turrets and its towers||0:19:58.04||0:20:02.60|
|and its imposing look,||0:20:02.60||0:20:04.84|
|but it is still a wonderful family home and long may that continue.||0:20:04.84||0:20:10.20|
|'Exploring Berkeley has given me a fascinating insight into 900 years of British history||0:20:10.20||0:20:15.96|
|'and it's extraordinary how this home is still an ongoing concern||0:20:15.96||0:20:20.00|
|'for the same family some 25 generations on.||0:20:20.00||0:20:23.72|
|'As the day draws to a close over the Cotswolds,||0:20:25.52||0:20:29.08|
|'it marks the end of the first day of our property search.||0:20:29.08||0:20:33.12|
|'Meera and Steve are desperate to find their dream country home to retire to in the Cotswolds.||0:20:35.40||0:20:42.08|
|'With their big £1 million budget, Steve wants land for ostriches.||0:20:42.08||0:20:46.32|
|'They've seen one property, but coming up, it looks like Meera is wearing the trousers.'||0:20:46.32||0:20:51.64|
|- Steve cooking, me sitting, glass of wine.|
- Works well.
|In my handbag is the chequebook.||0:20:56.52||0:20:59.92|
|'But can our mystery house bring them back down to Earth?'||0:20:59.92||0:21:04.12|
|Yesterday went rather well.||0:21:04.12||0:21:06.56|
|With stunning scenery and rural seclusion, the ball was firmly in Steve's court.||0:21:06.56||0:21:12.40|
|But of course, this move is about Meera too, so today, we're going to address the balance.||0:21:12.40||0:21:18.04|
|We're heading for the village of Pebworth just six miles from Chipping Campden||0:21:18.04||0:21:23.28|
|and an hour and three-quarters away for visitors to drive from Buckinghamshire.||0:21:23.28||0:21:28.32|
|I think they'll make the trip because although Pebworth lies just outside the Cotswolds border,||0:21:28.32||0:21:34.20|
|it still benefits from that beautiful scenery.||0:21:34.20||0:21:37.92|
|I think Meera will love this quiet village which has a number of period properties dotted about.||0:21:37.92||0:21:43.96|
| - 'But could she live here?' |
- Oh, my goodness!
|- That whole thing?|
- That whole thing.
- I've gone all goosepimply!
- Have you?
| - What do you think, Steve? |
- It's very big, that's for sure.
|The house is made up of three parts.||0:22:00.04||0:22:02.80|
|- The original house is Jacobean.|
- At the back of the property.
|- This side of the house is Georgian.|
- And just because they decided it needed to be a little bigger,
| - that's the Victorian extension. |
| - I think it's time to go in. |
- Let's go.
|'This huge country house in the middle of the village certainly seems to have blown Meera away,||0:22:22.92||0:22:29.64|
|'as it did Sir Ben Kingsley who restored it from flats.||0:22:29.64||0:22:33.84|
|'Leading off the entrance hall is the first of two sitting rooms.'||0:22:33.84||0:22:37.72|
|This is absolutely stunning. And I've gone goosepimply again!||0:22:38.88||0:22:43.72|
|- This is the Victorian side.|
- This house is Grade 2 listed.
|You have to bear that in mind for anything you want to do to it.||0:22:49.28||0:22:54.24|
|The current owners decided they wanted to knock through to the kitchen.||0:22:54.24||0:22:59.84|
|I think it works really well.||0:22:59.84||0:23:02.36|
- Does that make you happy?
- A gorgeous range. Steve cooking, me sitting, glass of wine.
| - Yeah.|
- Works well.
| - There's no sofa in here. You do have a good-sized table. |
- You've got to have somewhere to sit.
|- It has a good vibe about it.|
- Thumbs up?
|- I'd like to see more.|
- There is so much more to show you. Follow me.
|'The different architectural styles seamlessly flow into one another.||0:23:30.52||0:23:35.16|
|'And our next room is certainly fit for a Jacobean banquet.' If one was going to have a dinner party,||0:23:35.16||0:23:41.88|
| - how would this work as a dining room?|
- I'm almost...lost for words, which doesn't often happen.
|- The size of that fireplace!|
- I mean, it's just incredible.
|You've got original leaded windows. The surrounds have been repaired.||0:23:54.68||0:23:59.52|
| - Can you feel the history? |
- It just oozes with it.
|It comes out of every bit of it.||0:24:06.36||0:24:09.00|
| - This is just...|
- You're very animated!
- I know!
- In a village!
|I'm trying to kick myself, hold myself back.||0:24:14.24||0:24:18.28|
|- Where's the driveway?|
- Where will the ostriches go?
|'Right, on we go. As we step out of the 1600s and move through to the Georgian part,||0:24:23.40||0:24:29.52|
|'we pass a wine cellar, a must for those dinner parties. And what better room to retire to than here?'||0:24:29.52||0:24:36.92|
|- A beautiful Georgian room, presumably.|
- It is.
- You've got sash windows, shutters.
|And a great view of the church.||0:24:44.08||0:24:47.04|
|A working fire as well. Wonderful.||0:24:47.04||0:24:49.68|
|- And dual aspect. You can go through the patio doors.|
- They're open?
|Plenty of light.||0:24:54.88||0:24:57.04|
|'And there's light streaming in to the study off the sitting room.||0:24:57.04||0:25:01.28|
|'Also tucked away on this floor is a cloakroom, WC and utility room.||0:25:01.28||0:25:05.76|
|'Meera has fallen in love with what she's seen so far||0:25:05.76||0:25:09.80|
|'and Steve has been lapping up the historic wow factor.||0:25:09.80||0:25:14.24|
|'I don't think upstairs will disappoint.'||0:25:14.24||0:25:18.08|
|So this house has five bedrooms and this is the master.||0:25:18.08||0:25:22.64|
|- This is lovely.|
- That is gorgeous!
- It's so bright as well.
|- Look at the view, Steve!|
- Everything in this house is pretty large.
|- And I know...|
- Oh, my goodness!
- ..you wanted an ensuite,
| - so... Just go and have a little look.|
|Is it going to be mega?||0:25:40.16||0:25:42.44|
|- Oh, my goodness!|
|This is just about big enough(!)||0:25:46.20||0:25:49.04|
|- It is enormous.|
- Absolutely enormous.
|'All the rooms lead off this sprawling landing. At the end of the hallway is the family bathroom.||0:25:52.64||0:25:59.16|
|'You've guessed it - huge! With a luxurious roll-top bath.||0:25:59.16||0:26:03.12|
|'The second bedroom is currently used as a dressing room||0:26:03.12||0:26:07.16|
|'and is certainly big enough for Meera's sofa.||0:26:07.16||0:26:10.68|
|'Opposite are two bedrooms. Perfect for guests. Back down the hall is another potential bedroom,||0:26:10.68||0:26:16.72|
|'which could make a great den for Steve's loud music.||0:26:16.72||0:26:20.60|
|'Upstairs again is a real treat for their overnighting guests.||0:26:20.60||0:26:24.64|
|'It's a self-contained flat complete with sitting room and architectural history on show.'||0:26:24.64||0:26:32.16|
|- Gosh. Look at this.|
- The original wattle and daub.
|All the walls were done like them. When they restored the house,||0:26:36.52||0:26:40.92|
|about 25 years ago, it looked so amazing they made it a feature.||0:26:40.92||0:26:46.16|
|'There's also a kitchenette and their guests won't believe their luck||0:26:46.16||0:26:51.60|
|'in the minimal splendour of this bathroom. The space just keeps on going outside.||0:26:51.60||0:26:58.40|
|'Across the driveway is a double garage with two stables.||0:26:58.40||0:27:02.92|
|'Behind that is a small pond for Steve and a superb annexe,||0:27:02.92||0:27:06.88|
|'currently fitted out with a large gym and games room. A fantastic space to have fun in.||0:27:06.88||0:27:14.60|
|'So there's acres of house and the landscape garden is a surprisingly quiet retreat,||0:27:14.60||0:27:20.72|
|'given it's right in the middle of the village. But the ostriches might have to be chickens.||0:27:20.72||0:27:26.96|
|'Is it a compromise worth making for such a sumptuous property?||0:27:26.96||0:27:31.40|
|'Time to catch our breath and consider the price.'||0:27:31.40||0:27:35.24|
|So I think I've shown you everything. How much do you think the current asking price is?||0:27:35.24||0:27:41.28|
|I've got to say... over our budget,||0:27:42.24||0:27:46.00|
|but I'd go for 1.1.||0:27:46.00||0:27:48.04|
| - And Meera?|
- I'm going to go slightly under Steve and say
|£50,000 under what Steve said.||0:27:53.72||0:27:56.72|
| - So just over a million? |
- Just over a million.
|This house is currently on the market...||0:28:01.52||0:28:05.36|
| - ..for £875,000.|
|In my handbag is the chequebook.||0:28:18.40||0:28:21.64|
| - That is amazing. |
- That is amazing!
| - Now if this house was probably three or four miles in that direction...|
|..you would be looking at substantially more||0:28:33.28||0:28:37.32|
|and we're not talking £50,000 or £100,000 more.||0:28:37.32||0:28:41.36|
|But we are just outside the boundaries of the Cotswolds, but it is all around you.||0:28:41.36||0:28:47.60|
|You can see the Cotswolds from your bedroom window.||0:28:47.60||0:28:51.16|
| - Go and enjoy, take your time. |
- Thank you.
|Again under budget at £875,000,||0:28:54.64||0:28:58.08|
|this property has clearly worked its magic on Meera.||0:28:58.08||0:29:02.12|
|Although Steve will have to have a serious rethink on the land,||0:29:02.12||0:29:06.16|
|they've been seduced by its three reception rooms and their character,||0:29:06.16||0:29:10.80|
|its historical features spanning some 500 years and the five bedrooms with that enormous ensuite.||0:29:10.80||0:29:17.48|
|The village location should please Meera and it's still an easy drive back to Buckinghamshire.||0:29:17.48||0:29:24.08|
|I knew as soon as I looked at the outside that I could live here.||0:29:24.08||0:29:27.88|
|I fell in love with it on the spot.||0:29:27.88||0:29:30.36|
|When I came inside, it was breathtaking.||0:29:30.36||0:29:34.92|
|The thing about it is it's got such a...warm, homely feel to it.||0:29:34.92||0:29:41.36|
|I think what happens coming into a house like this, you start off at zero degrees||0:29:42.12||0:29:49.04|
|and in the hall you're at 15 degrees, by the kitchen it's 50.||0:29:49.04||0:29:53.08|
|By the time I got to the dining room I was boiling. It's very special.||0:29:53.08||0:29:57.16|
|There cannot be many like this.||0:29:57.16||0:30:00.44|
|Are you both ready?||0:30:00.44||0:30:02.88|
|I'm as excited as you both are! Come on, we've got to press on.||0:30:04.80||0:30:09.44|
|Meera and Steve are certainly not the only ones to have succumbed to the idyllic charm of the Cotswolds.||0:30:14.24||0:30:20.68|
|Around 280,000 visitors a year flock to its beautiful honey-coloured villages,||0:30:20.68||0:30:26.40|
|including Long Compton with its rich history.||0:30:26.40||0:30:29.76|
|We arranged for them to meet local historian Jan Treadaway||0:30:29.76||0:30:34.20|
|to find out more about the village's mysterious tales from the past. First stop, the lych gate.||0:30:34.20||0:30:40.52|
|- What exactly is a lych gate?|
- Lych is an Old English word. It means body or corpse.
- Oh, right.
|And in the Middle Ages, the wool merchants were very powerful around here.||0:30:47.36||0:30:53.52|
|There was a law passed that stated that every corpse had to be buried in a woollen shroud,||0:30:53.52||0:30:59.56|
|- which was quite expensive.|
- Nice extra income!
|And they had the right to stop a coffin at the church gate||0:31:04.00||0:31:08.44|
|- and open it and inspect to see if the body was dressed...|
- ..in a woollen shroud.
|The church that stands here today is late Norman, but there was one as far back as the 5th century.||0:31:14.20||0:31:20.36|
|It's said that when St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, was sent here in the 6th century,||0:31:20.36||0:31:26.80|
|while preaching in the church yard he raised a man from the dead.||0:31:26.80||0:31:31.36|
|There are also numerous burial grounds and ancient sites steeped in legend around here,||0:31:31.36||0:31:38.20|
|including the rollright stones, thought to be older than Stonehenge and linked to witchcraft.||0:31:38.20||0:31:45.04|
|The story goes that an invading king was tricked by a witch who told him, "If Long Compton you shall see,||0:31:45.04||0:31:51.08|
|"King of England you shall be."||0:31:51.08||0:31:53.72|
|When his view was obscured by a hill, she turned him to stone.||0:31:53.72||0:31:58.12|
|These are supposed to be the king's men. Over there is the king's stone, which was the king turned to stone.||0:31:58.12||0:32:04.72|
|Well, these pretty villages shouldn't be taken at face value.||0:32:04.72||0:32:09.16|
|Their rich folklore is a defining feature of the ancient Cotswold landscape.||0:32:09.16||0:32:14.56|
|Every now and then we find a property that just screams out to be the mystery house.||0:32:17.04||0:32:24.04|
|And this is one of those.||0:32:24.04||0:32:26.56|
|Steve and Meera have been wonderfully open-minded||0:32:26.56||0:32:31.00|
|but this house is going to certainly test them.||0:32:31.00||0:32:34.96|
|All will be revealed soon enough.||0:32:34.96||0:32:37.96|
|We're heading to the village of Fulbrook, half an hour's drive from Chipping Campden||0:32:37.96||0:32:43.60|
|and just an hour and a quarter from Buckinghamshire.||0:32:43.60||0:32:47.64|
|The nearest amenities are in the pretty town of Barford, a mile away.||0:32:47.64||0:32:52.88|
|Its lively streets are lined with magnificent stone frontages||0:32:52.88||0:32:56.64|
|and there's a raft of pubs and local shops to pick from,||0:32:56.64||0:33:01.08|
|but I think our mystery house will require me to do some hand-holding.||0:33:01.08||0:33:06.40|
|I'm bringing you to the mystery house. I don't think you'll be too disappointed with the surprise.||0:33:06.40||0:33:13.24|
|On three. One, two, three.||0:33:13.24||0:33:17.68|
|- It's built into the hillside.|
- It's an earth-sheltered home.
| - Were you expecting this, you two? |
- Not in a million years!
|I know you both love your first impressions.||0:33:32.72||0:33:36.40|
| - How does this rate? |
- Funky, awesome,
|amazing. Indescribable, really?||0:33:41.00||0:33:43.84|
| - It is. It's just completely different.|
- A proper earth-sheltered home, made of Cotswold stone.
|So it's in keeping. A double garage there.||0:33:49.88||0:33:53.64|
|You've got a cedar lip there. It's like an umbrella above the property,||0:33:53.64||0:33:59.28|
|like a huge, huge umbrella to insulate it and keep out water.||0:33:59.28||0:34:03.80|
| - So first time for any of us in an earth-sheltered home. Ready for the grand tour?|
|I think we'll enjoy it.||0:34:09.72||0:34:11.76|
|'Our mystery earth shelter may be an unexpected Cotswolds find,||0:34:11.76||0:34:15.96|
|'but they've been around for thousands of years. It's a fantastic way to combine great architecture||0:34:15.96||0:34:22.44|
|'with making homes more energy efficient. So let's explore.'||0:34:22.44||0:34:27.96|
|It's very deceiving from outside.||0:34:27.96||0:34:30.60|
|- It really is.|
- How clever, the way they've got all these different levels in.
|- I can't believe the space is so... light.|
- Being south-facing, you get the warmth and the light.
|Covered in soil, it's insulated. The windows and doors are air-locked to keep that heat in.||0:34:42.44||0:34:48.44|
|'In the spacious utility room is some interesting eco-kit.||0:34:48.44||0:34:52.80|
|'This ground source heat pump absorbs heat from deep underground and warms the house throughout.||0:34:52.80||0:34:59.04|
|'The open-plan area is cleverly split into different zones, like the large sitting room.||0:34:59.04||0:35:05.08|
|'We'll explore the central hub.'||0:35:05.08||0:35:08.00|
|This house does benefit from being open-plan. Here's your dining area.||0:35:08.00||0:35:12.84|
|- And that leads beautifully on to the kitchen. It's really well-fitted.|
- Got everything.
|You mentioned this property being on different levels.||0:35:20.28||0:35:24.32|
|Before I take you upstairs, I'll show you what's down here.||0:35:24.32||0:35:28.92|
|So here's the second reception room. There is potential to convert this to another bedroom||0:35:31.32||0:35:37.76|
|if you wanted a four-bedroom house and not a three.||0:35:37.76||0:35:42.48|
| - Across the hallway, you've got a bathroom and a bedroom. |
- It is completely different.
|For a surprise house, it couldn't be any more of a surprise.||0:35:47.96||0:35:52.96|
|'I'm not sure they're completely falling in love with this property, but they're impressed by the design,||0:35:52.96||0:35:59.84|
|'flexible layout and great energy-saving features.||0:35:59.84||0:36:04.04|
|'Upstairs includes the third of four potential bedrooms, opposite which is a family bathroom||0:36:04.04||0:36:10.08|
|'with a shower cubicle. Time now to check out the main bedroom.'||0:36:10.08||0:36:14.48|
| - This is the master. |
- Good natural light.
|- And a good-sized room.|
- Yes. It is surprising, given where we are in the house,
|how much light comes through. It is surprising.||0:36:25.56||0:36:29.20|
| - It benefits from an ensuite, a large, generous ensuite.|
| - Which was on the hit list. |
- Yes, definitely.
|This house does have its benefits. It's low maintenance, low heating bills.||0:36:36.72||0:36:42.56|
| - And there are just the two of you. |
|'Mm, indeed. Well, there's one big surprise to come that might make them consider taking the plunge.'||0:36:44.92||0:36:52.52|
| - ..take a look at this. |
- I don't believe it!
|- Crikey! That would keep us fit.|
- It would do that.
|That was designed for the owner, so they could keep fit.||0:37:03.60||0:37:07.64|
- It's what you'd call a bath!
|I wouldn't want to clean it! It's got a contra flow system like a water treadmill.||0:37:11.48||0:37:17.32|
|When you turn it on, you literally swim against the current.||0:37:17.32||0:37:20.88|
|'With the house covered, and armed with those brollies, we're going back above ground||0:37:20.88||0:37:26.32|
|'to stand on the roof and admire the surprisingly large garden.'||0:37:26.32||0:37:30.84|
| - It's impressive, isn't it? |
- It is. It's very different.
|- Without wanting to keep you out here any longer...|
- This is difficult!
- It is, but it's the bit I like.
|- It's the bit I dread!|
- How much do you think it's on the market for?
|I'm going to say...||0:37:47.64||0:37:50.64|
|I'll go... slightly less than that.||0:37:52.56||0:37:56.00|
|The current asking price - £850,000.||0:37:58.96||0:38:03.88|
| - 850?|
|You're not going to get a house like this in a location like this. It's a one-off.||0:38:05.80||0:38:11.08|
|For the right couple or the right person, it's a tremendous buy.||0:38:11.08||0:38:15.72|
|The big question is... is that you two?||0:38:15.72||0:38:19.72|
| - You're not going to let me know, are you?!|
- No, we're not.
|Your lips are sealed. Why don't you go back inside where it's toasty,||0:38:23.76||0:38:28.60|
|have another look around, have a think about it? I'll see you later.||0:38:28.60||0:38:33.40|
|'Our cutting-edge Cotswolds stone earth shelter is under budget at £850,000||0:38:33.40||0:38:40.24|
|'and it's a real one-off, featuring large flexible living areas,||0:38:40.24||0:38:45.08|
|'an impressive insulating roof which doubles up as the garden,||0:38:45.08||0:38:49.12|
|'four potential bedrooms with an impressive master ensuite||0:38:49.12||0:38:53.16|
|'and, critically for Meera, it's just an hour to Buckinghamshire,||0:38:53.16||0:38:57.20|
|'so catching up with family and friends couldn't be easier.'||0:38:57.20||0:39:01.32|
|The big open-plan area down there would be fantastic for a party.||0:39:01.32||0:39:05.40|
|And you wouldn't even know you're almost underground.||0:39:05.40||0:39:09.04|
|When Nicki brought us round that corner and we opened our eyes,||0:39:09.04||0:39:13.04|
|I would never have imagined that this was what I'd see. Phenomenal.||0:39:13.04||0:39:18.36|
|Obviously it's low maintenance, the heating bill is very low.||0:39:18.36||0:39:22.80|
|It's very secure. As you get older, you could see yourself moving here.||0:39:22.80||0:39:28.40|
|But it's a bit too early for us. At the moment, I want big grounds.||0:39:28.40||0:39:33.60|
|Sorry to bring you back out!||0:39:33.60||0:39:36.12|
| - That house certainly makes a statement.|
- It certainly does.
| - So unique, but you guys have got some thinking to do. |
- We certainly have!
|'Steve and Meera have approached this house search with gusto, but now it's time for a quiet think.'||0:39:54.08||0:40:01.52|
|It's decision time for Steve and Meera.||0:40:01.52||0:40:05.56|
|At the beginning of the week, this couple couldn't decide where they both wanted to live.||0:40:05.56||0:40:11.68|
|Let's hope they've found common ground.||0:40:11.68||0:40:15.04|
| - Well, you've had some thinking to do, haven't you?|
- Just a little.
- Certainly have.
| - Shall we start with the first property?|
- The vista was superb.
|And it really reminded you of how wonderful the English countryside is.||0:40:27.48||0:40:33.20|
|As we approached the house, it was new, then when you opened the door and saw the internal layout,||0:40:33.20||0:40:39.96|
|it had to be one of the big wow factors of the week.||0:40:39.96||0:40:43.56|
|It was phenomenal. It took my breath away really,||0:40:43.56||0:40:48.48|
|but the longer I spent there, I wasn't sure that we could live within that space,||0:40:48.48||0:40:54.12|
|even with the additional rooms on that upper level.||0:40:54.12||0:40:59.08|
|The main bulk of the house was that one open-plan area.||0:40:59.08||0:41:03.12|
|I just felt we needed a little bit more space or additional rooms.||0:41:03.12||0:41:08.00|
|Both of you want to immerse yourself in country life. Meera, it's important you're near a village.||0:41:08.00||0:41:14.72|
|So we found a property right in the middle of a village.||0:41:14.72||0:41:19.44|
|As soon as I looked at the outside, I loved it.||0:41:19.44||0:41:23.24|
|And then when we opened the door, it just blew me away. The more we walked round, I could see us there.||0:41:23.24||0:41:30.12|
|The grounds were lovely, the annexe is another dimension.||0:41:30.12||0:41:34.56|
|And there was a further piece of land that I'd love to turn into a natural part of the garden||0:41:34.56||0:41:41.20|
|and have a small pond there et cetera. It had a lot going for it.||0:41:41.20||0:41:46.80|
|Our mystery house, is always different. The earth shelter. I haven't seen anything like it.||0:41:46.80||0:41:54.40|
| - I don't think you two had either. |
- And at no point inside
|did you ever feel you were underground. So much natural light.||0:41:58.64||0:42:03.24|
|All those different levels. I thought it was fabulous.||0:42:03.24||0:42:08.04|
|It was great to go and see. We'd seen others like that, but never been inside one.||0:42:08.04||0:42:14.12|
|- Nice to see.|
- Wonderful to see. I'm really pleased you showed it.
|Well, you've seen these properties.||0:42:19.16||0:42:21.80|
|Where do we go from here? I'm so eager to find out!||0:42:21.80||0:42:25.96|
|Well, I think tomorrow we are going to go back to Pebworth,||0:42:25.96||0:42:31.04|
|- have a good look round the village and who knows?|
- See where we go.
|Well, that is great news. It's been a wonderful few days.||0:42:36.40||0:42:40.44|
| - All the best. And if you do have any good news, let us know. |
- We certainly will.
|I've really enjoyed this week.||0:42:49.68||0:42:52.68|
|It was always going to be a challenge finding the right property and location for Steve and Meera,||0:42:52.68||0:42:59.12|
|but they remained open-minded and saw the merits in each of the properties we showed them.||0:42:59.12||0:43:05.92|
|I so hope they're a step closer to making this all-important move||0:43:05.92||0:43:10.52|
|and immersing themselves in country life.||0:43:10.52||0:43:14.32|
|If you'd like to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England||0:43:14.32||0:43:20.40|
|and need our help, please apply online:||0:43:20.40||0:43:25.44|
|Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010||0:43:35.00||0:43:39.04|