Denise Nurse tackles a sizeable house hunt in the Cotswolds, with a budget of £1.5 million Away from the search, Denise gets the modern spin on the area's wool heritage with a local alpaca farmer, and learns how to hand weave their exotic fibre.

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Today, I'm standing on a hillside that, some 400 years ago, 0:00:02.000:00:05.56
played host to the very first Olympic Games staged here in Britain. 0:00:05.560:00:10.08
Where am I? Well, all will be revealed in just a moment. 0:00:10.080:00:14.08
'In today's show, I'll be helping a couple leave their hectic lifestyle overseas behind 0:00:43.400:00:48.92
'and head home to find a country property on English soil. 0:00:48.920:00:52.60
'Early on, the charm of a period property gets a muted response.' 0:00:52.600:00:57.04
I'm not so sure I like that. 0:00:57.040:00:59.28
'But a house combining old and new gets them smiling.' 0:00:59.280:01:02.80
- I'm excited.
  - You really are. You're beaming.
Today, I'm in the Cotswolds and this is Dover's Hill 0:01:09.480:01:13.00
which, in 1612, was the location of the "Cotswold Olimpicks", 0:01:13.000:01:16.64
a tradition which is still going some 400 years later. 0:01:16.640:01:20.16
Gaining the royal seal of approval from King James I, 0:01:20.160:01:23.52
the Games were the vision of a local lawyer, Robert Dover, 0:01:23.520:01:27.04
and they included such illustrious events as sledgehammer-throwing, sword-fighting and shin-kicking. 0:01:27.040:01:33.24
Eccentric it may sound, but this historic local custom got a celebrated mention 0:01:33.240:01:38.08
in the winning bid for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 0:01:38.080:01:41.60
Now that's what I call keeping the torch burning! 0:01:41.600:01:44.76
Covering an area of nearly 800 square miles, 0:01:46.760:01:49.80
the Cotswold region crosses six county borders, 0:01:49.800:01:53.00
including Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire 0:01:53.000:01:56.84
and is England's largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 0:01:56.840:02:01.16
As one of the most unspoilt regions of England, 0:02:01.160:02:04.04
the Cotswolds are famous for pretty, honey-coloured limestone villages, undulating hills and scenic rivers 0:02:04.040:02:10.36
with England's longest, the Severn, meandering through its landscape. 0:02:10.360:02:14.60
The wool trade during the Middle Ages made this area prosperous. 0:02:15.680:02:19.64
Cotswold sheep were renowned across Europe for the quality of their wool which commanded a high price. 0:02:19.640:02:25.68
This wealth enabled wool merchants to leave their architectural mark 0:02:25.680:02:29.72
with an array of fine houses and wool churches, 0:02:29.720:02:32.56
such as those in Chipping Campden surviving to this day. 0:02:32.560:02:36.40
The region is still favoured by the rich and famous, 0:02:36.400:02:39.72
all drawn to the harmonious mix of stunning countryside and beautiful properties it offers. 0:02:39.720:02:45.72
Not surprisingly, the charm of the Cotswolds is reflected in the price of the properties around here. 0:02:48.000:02:53.84
The cost of the average detached house in the central belt starts at £500,000 0:02:53.840:02:58.68
and that is double the national average. 0:02:58.680:03:01.52
For a similar property in an exclusive heritage village 0:03:01.520:03:04.96
like Chipping Campden or here in Lower Slaughter, 0:03:04.960:03:08.16
you can expect to pay up to £750,000. 0:03:08.160:03:11.16
But don't despair. There are still some parts of this region which are affordable. 0:03:11.160:03:16.20
As you head westwards towards places like Stroud, 0:03:16.200:03:19.24
you could pick up a detached property for about £350,000. 0:03:19.240:03:23.08
But wherever you're looking, 0:03:23.080:03:25.12
there are plenty of fabulous architectural styles on offer in this region. 0:03:25.120:03:30.28
Many Cotswold villages are characterised by the famous Jurassic limestone 0:03:30.280:03:35.08
whose distinctive colour and malleability make it a desirable, natural building material. 0:03:35.080:03:40.24
It is still quarried in the region and the unique golden colour is a result of centuries of weathering. 0:03:40.240:03:46.76
However, there are variations in colour. 0:03:46.760:03:49.52
The stonework found in the northern Cotswold villages, 0:03:49.520:03:52.72
such as Stanton and Broadway, is darker than that found in the south. 0:03:52.720:03:56.88
You'll find a two-bed, mid-terrace, stone cottage typically costs around £375,000. 0:03:56.880:04:02.72
Thatch is also a recurrent theme across the region. 0:04:03.720:04:06.96
The Cotswold thatch is wheat reed and, depending on the size of the property, 0:04:06.960:04:11.96
can come with a large price tag. 0:04:11.960:04:14.00
For example, this five-bedroom, detached thatched house 0:04:14.000:04:17.36
in Chipping Campden would set you back £1.36 million. 0:04:17.360:04:21.08
There is a rich mix of properties here in the Cotswolds, but will any of them tempt our buyers? 0:04:23.000:04:28.76
Let's meet them and find out. 0:04:28.760:04:30.80
Alan and Sue live in Switzerland, but are looking for a home in the UK. 0:04:30.800:04:35.08
Alan is a media consultant and Sue is a former director of a pharmaceutical company, 0:04:35.080:04:40.56
but while they have been winding down their work commitments over the past few years, 0:04:40.560:04:45.48
they have been reflecting on what to do with the rest of their lives. 0:04:45.480:04:49.44
Both of our working days were very frenetic, often starting at 5.30, 6 in the morning up to 8, 9 at night, 0:04:49.440:04:55.68
in my case, seven days a week for many, many months. 0:04:55.680:05:00.12
And it was very nice to have a much slower pace 0:05:01.120:05:05.04
where both of us could be in the same location and have quality time together. 0:05:05.040:05:10.24
Our buyers have lived in the Swiss Alps for the last ten years. 0:05:10.240:05:14.08
They've enjoyed their life in the mountains, but they recognise a couple of key elements are missing. 0:05:14.080:05:20.12
The most important things at the end of the day are people - family and friends, 0:05:20.120:05:25.16
so we're very fortunate to have a little bit more time at this time in our lives 0:05:25.160:05:30.20
to spend with our family and friends and the people that matter to us. 0:05:30.200:05:34.24
  - And to have a local pub.
After doing some research on the internet and visiting a few counties in the UK, 0:05:37.640:05:42.24
they decided the Cotswolds is where they want to be. 0:05:42.240:05:45.32
We're looking to move to the Cotswolds for a number of reasons. 0:05:45.320:05:49.76
The landscape is very, very special. 0:05:49.760:05:52.76
It's relatively unique, certainly unique to the area. 0:05:52.760:05:56.28
But the colour of the stone and the woodland area is very, very unique here. 0:05:56.280:06:02.96
It's certainly very different from Switzerland 0:06:02.960:06:06.00
and that, I think, in one respect, is part of the lure of this area. 0:06:06.000:06:09.84
And the house will have to match their ideal location. 0:06:09.840:06:13.28
We both know there are very good reasons why we want to move back to the UK, 0:06:13.280:06:18.12
but because we have this lovely, privileged life in Switzerland, 0:06:18.120:06:22.16
it is very important for us to find the right house. 0:06:22.160:06:25.20
Everything has to be right, otherwise we have so much to give up, 0:06:25.200:06:29.04
it will make the decision either very difficult or we'll end up regretting it and we don't want to do that. 0:06:29.040:06:34.96
For Sue, top of the property wish list is the kitchen. 0:06:34.960:06:38.48
I do like to cook. I've always dreamed of having an island in the kitchen and never managed it so far. 0:06:38.480:06:44.60
To find an island in a nice kitchen would be a dream. 0:06:44.600:06:47.60
For Alan, it's all about the garden. 0:06:47.600:06:50.28
I've always had a dream of having a classic, quintessential, English walled garden 0:06:50.280:06:55.32
where you can spend an entire day just pottering away, 0:06:55.320:06:58.84
generating or producing vegetables for the entire village 0:06:58.840:07:02.88
and also in terms of a little refuge somewhere at the bottom of the garden, 0:07:02.880:07:07.56
so when there's a football match on, you can have a little fridge 0:07:07.560:07:11.48
with a sofa and put your feet up and watch a match. 0:07:11.480:07:14.96
- Typical! Somewhere to escape the wife.
  - Yeah.
Sue, though, also has a plan to escape the husband. 0:07:19.160:07:22.52
Opening up a tearoom in a nice village location is something 0:07:22.520:07:26.80
that I would take into consideration and investigate further. 0:07:26.800:07:31.12
I'm very interested in that. 0:07:31.120:07:33.40
Well, before Alan starts tucking into the produce, let's nail the finances. 0:07:34.680:07:39.72
Our budget is £1.5 million. 0:07:39.720:07:41.92
There is flexibility. 0:07:41.920:07:44.28
Crucially, it's all to do with the house 0:07:44.280:07:47.44
and if we found something really special, we would be flexible. 0:07:47.440:07:51.68
'Alan and Sue have asked us to focus their house search in the northern part of the Cotswolds, 0:07:55.840:08:01.28
'around the town of Evesham, as they have family and friends living there. 0:08:01.280:08:05.92
'They would also like good access to road links, 0:08:05.920:08:08.76
'so they can travel quickly to London to visit Alan's family. 0:08:08.760:08:12.40
'I caught up with them to find out more about the kind of property they are after.' 0:08:12.400:08:17.60
  - Sue and Alan, welcome to the Cotswolds. It's so beautiful here, isn't it?
- It really is.
  - Fantastic.
So what sort of property do we need to find you to make this move work? 0:08:24.200:08:28.76
You've got to find us a special property. 0:08:28.760:08:31.40
That's really helpful(!) I know what you mean. You want that feeling when you walk in. 0:08:31.400:08:36.44
We've got such a lovely house in Switzerland. We will only come back if we find the right property. 0:08:36.440:08:42.28
It's got to have a minimum of four bedrooms. It's got to have light. 0:08:42.280:08:46.44
For you, Sue, what's the absolute must-have? 0:08:46.440:08:49.28
- It's very boring, but I want a really nice kitchen. Everyone wants a really nice kitchen.
  - It's not boring at all.
I do very much enjoy cooking, like a lot of people, and eating. 0:08:55.320:08:59.16
Yes, a lovely kitchen with, hopefully, a nice eating area as part of it. 0:08:59.160:09:04.08
  - A central island.
- I've always wanted one. I've never had one.
How much land do you want? 0:09:08.000:09:10.12
The most important thing about the land is that it is enclosed, 0:09:10.120:09:14.16
that we have a private garden. 0:09:14.160:09:16.64
You've always had a dream for a walled garden. 0:09:16.640:09:19.60
A walled kitchen-garden specifically would be fantastic 0:09:19.600:09:23.84
with clear designation of herbs and different vegetables. 0:09:23.840:09:27.88
- Cash buyers, a great budget and a beautiful county. Shall we go and look at some houses?
  - Yes.
- Let's go.
'Alan and Sue may have a very generous budget of £1.5 million, 0:09:34.760:09:39.60
'but there are some specific requirements they're looking for in their country property. 0:09:39.600:09:45.12
'We'll show them three wonderful, yet very different properties, 0:09:55.000:09:58.76
'but we won't be letting them know the price of each until they've had a guess first. 0:09:58.760:10:03.96
'As ever, our final offering is the mystery house 0:10:03.960:10:07.12
'which is more unusual than its surroundings suggest. 0:10:07.120:10:11.48
'I'm taking Alan and Sue to Winchcombe, a town around ten miles south of Evesham. 0:10:16.560:10:21.76
'The name "Winchcombe" means "valley with a bend" 0:10:21.760:10:25.24
'and today, the town still retains streets which curve gracefully along the vale. 0:10:25.240:10:30.28
'If you're a keen walker, it's an ideal location to head off into the countryside 0:10:30.280:10:35.20
'for a gentle stroll or a vigorous long-distance trek. 0:10:35.200:10:38.68
'After working up an appetite out in the hills, you'll be spoilt for choice for eating and drinking here. 0:10:38.680:10:44.72
'Take your pick from afternoon tea or dish of the day in a local pub. 0:10:44.720:10:48.64
'Now let's put our best foot forward with our first property - 0:10:48.640:10:52.48
'a characterful, Grade 2 listed house with an historic past hidden within.' 0:10:52.480:10:57.32
Here we are, property number one. 0:10:57.320:10:59.96
This is a real period property. 0:10:59.960:11:02.60
- It certainly looks it.
  - It's medieval.
A lot to take in, so what are your first impressions? 0:11:05.040:11:08.48
It certainly looks impressive and it certainly looks old. 0:11:08.480:11:12.92
My only concern would be on the inside - is it dark and old? 0:11:12.920:11:16.88
- But we will see.
  - You will see indeed.
  - A perfect location. I can't wait to get inside.
  - On that note, let's have a look.
  - OK.
- Thank you.
'A house that is definitely to Alan's taste. 0:11:25.880:11:29.52
'As for Sue, I think all her reservations about period properties could be quashed 0:11:29.520:11:34.80
'as we go into the first room.' 0:11:34.800:11:36.84
- Well, in we come.
  - Oh, my goodness!
- Indeed!
Although it's a medieval property, it's Grade 2 listed, there have been additions over the years. 0:11:41.800:11:47.72
This part was added back in the 18th century, then we've had some in the 19th century. 0:11:47.720:11:53.32
And the current owner has renovated inside over the last two years, including this kitchen. 0:11:53.320:11:59.52
I didn't expect to find... looking at the fireplace, and then turning round and seeing a kitchen. 0:11:59.520:12:05.56
That's quite amazing, yeah. 0:12:05.560:12:07.88
  - It's certainly got your central isle.
- Yes, it's got my island.
  - That's one heck of an island. It's pretty big.
- The wood's nice.
Yeah, it really is very nice. 0:12:16.760:12:19.20
- Unexpected.
  - You didn't expect to like it, did you?
- No, no, no.
  - Smaller rooms perhaps, you thought?
- It's not too dark.
- Let me take you through to the oldest part of the property.
  - OK.
- Have a look in here.
Now, the origins of this property started here. 0:12:36.040:12:39.52
It was a chapel. We are standing in a medieval chapel. From the outside, you can still see the chapel window. 0:12:39.520:12:45.92
  - It's bricked in, but it's still quite beautiful. And now it's a snug.
- Very snug.
The fact it's an old chapel, I'm not so sure I like that, 0:12:51.360:12:55.36
and with the low beam, I think I'll try and rearrange it in my head a few times. 0:12:55.360:13:00.80
'A slight change in mood, sadly, 0:13:00.800:13:03.16
'as this room's religious origins haven't got Alan singing from the rafters. 0:13:03.160:13:07.80
'But there is also a useful study for them on this floor. 0:13:07.800:13:11.24
'Hopefully, he'll be more impressed with what the master bedroom offers upstairs.' 0:13:11.240:13:17.08
Now, they've managed to create a master suite up here. 0:13:17.080:13:21.60
- Gosh! They didn't have them in medieval times.
  - No, exactly.
You've got this as your main bedroom, but through there, there's a dressing room 0:13:25.560:13:30.52
and a quite sizeable en-suite bathroom as well. 0:13:30.520:13:33.56
'There is one other bedroom on this floor and a family bathroom, 0:13:33.560:13:38.12
'then up another flight of stairs, there are two more light and airy double bedrooms. 0:13:38.120:13:43.72
'With the house covered, it's time to head outside.' 0:13:43.720:13:46.96
This is the garden. It's probably the one drawback of this property. 0:13:46.960:13:51.12
  - This is what you get with the house.
- The view!
  - I'm glad you said that.
- The view is stunning.
  - That is very special.
- Yeah.
I'm not put off by the lack of space. 0:13:58.880:14:01.84
- I think this has got just...
  - I think it's big enough, actually.
- We could live with that.
  - There's a beautiful little...
- I'm glad you spotted that.
The water you would be drinking here is filtered from this very spring, so you've got your own water source. 0:14:10.240:14:16.24
  - Be like Del Boy trying to bottle it...
- And sell it to the locals!
How much do you think a property like this is worth? 0:14:20.080:14:23.28
  - You go first.
- OK.
- 1.4.
  - OK.
I'd say 1.1. 0:14:29.000:14:31.60
  - But who was right?
  - Put us out of our misery.
- Neither of you. But you were closer. It's on at 1.2 million.
  - Right.
- It puts into context what you get for your money in a period property like that in this area.
  - Yeah.
Why don't you spend a bit more time wandering around this property? There is a lot to take in. 0:14:46.000:14:51.56
  - I will speak to you a bit later on.
- Thank you.
On the market for £1.2 million, 0:14:55.720:14:58.08
this stunning chapel conversion offers them a slice of authentic Cotswolds architecture, featuring... 0:14:58.080:15:04.16
Oh, gosh, it's really light and airy up here. Oh, and there's another room. 0:15:16.520:15:21.76
  - A second bedroom. So that's two bedrooms on the top, two below, so that's four in total.
- Yeah.
I do believe this has been a really good first house, 0:15:27.960:15:31.00
not only because one of the things we thought we wanted was, as many people do, a characterful house, 0:15:31.000:15:36.64
but it does actually start to put into perspective what having character means. 0:15:36.640:15:42.36
The main living area with the kitchen 0:15:42.360:15:44.88
which then unfolds to almost two other areas - a dining area and a sitting area 0:15:44.880:15:49.92
with a fantastic fireplace, I was really surprised by that. 0:15:49.920:15:53.96
It was fantastic. I've never seen anything quite like that. 0:15:53.960:15:57.52
Have you taken it all in now? 0:16:00.880:16:03.00
- Yes.
  - We certainly have. Lots to take in. An awful lot.
  - But only the first property. We've got more to see, so let's keep moving.
  - Good.
- OK.
BLEATS 0:16:15.160:16:17.68
As the largest of England's designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 0:16:20.080:16:25.08
the Cotswold Hills and its beautiful market towns and villages hold a worldwide appeal. 0:16:25.080:16:30.80
The region's harmonious style of architecture is due to the use of the local limestone 0:16:30.800:16:36.44
in everything from civic buildings, shops and houses 0:16:36.440:16:40.00
to the dry-stone walls that are so characteristic of the countryside. 0:16:40.000:16:44.04
Many Cotswold properties have introduced this feature closer to home by enclosing lawns and borders 0:16:44.040:16:49.88
to create their own walled gardens, such as in the pretty village of Lower Slaughter. 0:16:49.880:16:55.40
Alan and Sue are attracted to this idea and are considering developing their own walled garden, 0:16:55.400:17:01.04
but before getting to grips with the skills needed, we sent them to meet David Glenn from Huntsman's Quarry 0:17:01.040:17:07.28
to see up close how this distinctive and desirable stone is sourced. 0:17:07.280:17:11.84
Well, here we are in our quarry in the Cotswolds. 0:17:11.840:17:15.72
This is where we get our walling stone from. 0:17:15.720:17:19.00
The stone is a limestone and it's about 130 to 150 million years old. 0:17:19.000:17:25.40
We actually break the stone. We don't drill and blast. 0:17:25.400:17:28.92
We break the stone using a 70-tonne excavator with a hydraulic breaker on. 0:17:28.920:17:33.72
After being cut, any potential walling stone will be spread out 0:17:33.720:17:37.76
and hand-picked from the mass of excavated stone before being sent away for processing. 0:17:37.760:17:43.00
So what's the total production output per day? 0:17:43.000:17:46.04
The total output from the quarry is probably about 2,000 tonnes per day, 0:17:46.040:17:50.88
but of that, only a small percentage is suitable for walling stone, 0:17:50.880:17:54.92
probably about 100 tonnes a day. 0:17:54.920:17:57.76
Of all the things that come out of this quarry, 0:17:57.760:18:01.40
how much of them are used locally and how much do you sell to other parts of the country or overseas? 0:18:01.400:18:06.84
90%, as a rule of thumb, that goes out of this quarry 0:18:06.840:18:11.52
is used and consumed within a 25-mile radius of here. 0:18:11.520:18:15.52
One local craftsman who specialises in working with this walling stone is John Hepworth. 0:18:15.520:18:21.92
He creates bespoke walling projects that range from large estates to the smaller private gardens. 0:18:21.920:18:28.04
We sent Alan and Sue to meet him and get some first-hand experience of the skills needed. 0:18:28.040:18:33.56
So here we have a wall in progress. 0:18:33.560:18:35.80
You can see that we have the wall in various stages of being built. 0:18:35.800:18:39.96
It's a new wall with new stone. 0:18:39.960:18:42.00
We have this frame up called a profile frame, or a batter frame as it's known locally, 0:18:42.000:18:47.24
which gives us the shape of the wall. 0:18:47.240:18:49.76
Can you see that the wall is built in a slight pyramid section 0:18:49.760:18:53.88
which gives us the ability to have stability as the wall grows and comes out the ground? 0:18:53.880:18:59.84
The inside bits of the wall, called "hearting", are as big a stone as we can fit into the centre of the wall. 0:18:59.840:19:06.04
Let's put some hearting in, so pieces like that, Sue. 0:19:06.040:19:10.52
Don't be frightened to turn this round. That's great. That's more like it. 0:19:10.520:19:15.24
We can use smaller bits of stone to fill in the gaps. 0:19:15.240:19:18.24
As Alan and Sue are keen to lay down some solid foundations for their new life in the Cotswolds, 0:19:21.160:19:26.68
we'll return to the job of helping them find their perfect property. 0:19:26.680:19:30.72
For our second house, we're heading some six miles west from Winchcombe to Gotherington. 0:19:36.080:19:42.36
Thought to have been founded in 780 AD and gaining a mention in the Domesday Book, 0:19:42.360:19:47.40
it's a relatively small village, but with some useful amenities, 0:19:47.400:19:51.92
which include a local shop and post office, a tea room and a village hall. 0:19:51.920:19:56.96
Many of the original historic houses are clad in local stone, 0:19:56.960:20:01.28
but our second house is a more modern proposition. 0:20:01.280:20:04.60
It's a stunning detached property built in the traditional 1920s style from the local Stanton stone. 0:20:04.600:20:10.80
  - Property number two. Take it all in.
- Yeah, it looks big.
Very different. Very different to the last one. This looks promising. 0:20:16.800:20:21.20
  - Oh, listen to that.
- This looks promising. It does. It really does.
- I'm excited.
  - You really are. What is it you like?
First of all, I love the stone colour again because we really do love this stone colour, 0:20:29.440:20:34.80
but there's much bigger windows and there's a greater expanse of property that you can see, 0:20:34.800:20:39.96
which gives you the feeling it will be spacious inside. 0:20:39.960:20:43.20
Shall we look inside? You seem excited about the outside. 0:20:43.200:20:46.76
  - I'm excited to show you the inside.
- Let's go.
'Now, this impressive house perched on a hill has really got our buyers bubbling with enthusiasm 0:20:49.600:20:55.36
'and I'm sure that the inside won't disappoint either.' 0:20:55.360:20:59.20
You wanted more space. What do you think of this for your living room? 0:20:59.200:21:03.24
It's better, much better. 0:21:03.240:21:05.28
It's the light as well. It's the light. 0:21:05.280:21:08.24
And yeah, double, triple aspect. 0:21:08.240:21:10.56
- And what a fireplace!
  - Gorgeous fireplace.
- What a fireplace!
With a beautiful oak floor. 0:21:14.400:21:16.80
Out there, you've got a conservatory, wonderful sun trap. 0:21:16.800:21:20.36
Through here, you have enough space for three desks, so it's like a triple office. 0:21:20.360:21:25.40
Excellent. I'll have that one then. 0:21:25.400:21:27.80
  - But what was more important to you was the kitchen, wasn't it?
- It certainly was.
  - I don't want to disappoint you with that.
- I hope you're not going to.
  - Shall we have a look?
- Yes, please.
  - See?
- Oh!
  - You wanted an island...
- Now we're talking!
- It looks like a continent!
  - This is a fantastic room.
- Good grief!
This is quite possibly the biggest island I've ever shown anyone. 0:21:53.080:21:57.36
There are many lovely kitchens, but this is certainly one of them. 0:21:57.360:22:01.56
And you came through a dining area. 0:22:01.560:22:03.80
- Yes, we noticed.
  - It is used a lot by the family who live here at the moment.
Utility space there, then through that door, there's a garage and a room next to it. 0:22:09.320:22:14.72
You can almost smell freshly baked bread 0:22:14.720:22:18.48
and a little bottle of freshly made lemonade or whatever there as well. 0:22:18.480:22:22.52
  - It would be fantastic.
- You never know.
  - You're getting a warm feeling about this one, aren't you?
- Very good.
'It's a great sign that Alan is actually imagining himself living here. 0:22:29.680:22:34.84
'There is also a second utility room which completes our tour of the ground floor. 0:22:34.840:22:39.88
'We're now heading upstairs to take a look at the bedrooms.' 0:22:39.880:22:43.92
So this is the master. 0:22:43.920:22:45.96
Ah! 0:22:45.960:22:47.60
- Very nice.
  - Very nice.
Those are encouraging sounds. 0:22:49.640:22:52.40
- Very good.
  - It's light.
- Yeah.
And a beautiful view of the garden at the back. 0:22:54.440:22:57.68
- And I think I spied to my left an en-suite?
  - Yes, you have an en-suite.
- And it's a very generous size as well.
  - Fantastic.
- You've got an en-suite for your master bedroom.
You can also see that this leads through to another bedroom with its own en-suite. 0:23:07.600:23:13.04
- In fact, this property comes with five good-sized bedrooms, all with their own bathrooms.
  - All?
- All.
  - OK.
- That's a lot of toilets to clean!
  - I just want to show you one more. I think you'll be quite impressed.
- OK.
Final bathroom. 0:23:31.320:23:33.32
And this is the last bedroom I wanted to show you. 0:23:36.080:23:39.76
This is another master and a half! 0:23:39.760:23:42.20
- Wow!
  - So is this THE master bedroom or another master bedroom?
Well, this is the guest wing. 0:23:46.960:23:49.08
- I want to be a guest!
  - Exactly.
- This is like a luxury suite in a hotel, isn't it?
It is, but it could be your home. 0:23:55.480:23:57.52
The last thing I need to show you is outside, so let's have a look at the garden. 0:23:57.520:24:02.36
- Then there's that very difficult question. Oh, dear.
  - That's the one. Start thinking.
- Yeah.
Thank you. 0:24:07.880:24:09.64
'We appear to be on to a winner here as Alan and Sue have clearly been impressed 0:24:10.640:24:15.48
'with the overall space of this house. 0:24:15.480:24:18.20
'I'm hoping, as we move outside, our buyers won't be overwhelmed 0:24:18.200:24:22.32
'with the amount of land that comes with this property.' 0:24:22.320:24:25.88
Here we are at the back of the house. 0:24:25.880:24:28.40
Your garden is round the side, round the back. It's all been beautifully landscaped. 0:24:28.400:24:33.88
So you get an acre of garden wrapping round, 0:24:33.880:24:37.60
but then that way, you also get five acres of paddock. 0:24:37.600:24:41.28
  - Good grief!
- And your friends, the sheep, are there at the moment.
  - It's rented out to the local farmer, so you've got the sheep grazing.
- At least you don't have to maintain it.
With everything this house has to offer in mind, how much do you think it's on the market for? 0:24:52.240:24:57.48
It's got to be probably 1.6 million. 0:24:57.480:24:59.96
I also was going to say just over the budget, so let me go in between. 0:24:59.960:25:05.72
1.55 then. 0:25:05.720:25:07.56
This house is on the market at 1.35 million. 0:25:07.560:25:12.92
Good grief! That's fantastic. We'd still have enough left over for a decent car. 0:25:12.920:25:18.16
Lots for you to think about. Go and have a wander. 0:25:18.160:25:21.20
  - I'll come and seek you out later on.
- All right. Thank you.
  - Thank you.
What a result! They loved that property from the moment we walked in 0:25:25.400:25:29.92
and it didn't fail to meet their expectations. 0:25:29.920:25:32.96
And what I most love is that they overvalued it. 0:25:32.960:25:36.16
I think that's a sign of just how much they love it. 0:25:36.160:25:39.36
Coming in under budget at £1.35 million, 0:25:40.360:25:43.56
the price of this detached house has been a welcome surprise for Alan and Sue. 0:25:43.560:25:48.60
What's more, it meets many of the criteria on their wish list, providing them with... 0:25:48.600:25:53.64
I think this is much more our type or style, 0:26:07.760:26:11.80
simply from the point of view that it's very practical 0:26:11.800:26:15.56
and we would have very little to do. 0:26:15.560:26:18.60
Almost the biggest surprises for me and the nicest things about the house 0:26:18.600:26:23.12
was not just the wonderful kitchen and the lovely feeling of space when you walked into the house, 0:26:23.120:26:29.68
but that feeling of space continued upstairs. 0:26:29.680:26:32.52
I think that Alan and I are both very excited about this house. 0:26:32.520:26:36.12
If we had the money in our back pockets now, 0:26:36.120:26:39.44
we'd almost be meeting with the owner and seeing what we could do because it has got such a lovely feel to it. 0:26:39.440:26:45.68
I have high hopes for this one. 0:26:45.680:26:47.72
- Hey there.
  - Yes...
- You managed to find your way out?
  - Yeah.
- You almost didn't get us out. It's really, really lovely.
I'm so pleased it's been positive, but this is only the end of day one. 0:26:54.960:26:59.00
  - There's more to see tomorrow.
- Good.
  - Great.
- Looking forward to it.
As evening falls over the Cotswold skyline, 0:27:14.840:27:17.96
our buyers can bask in the warmth of a successful first day's house-hunting. 0:27:17.960:27:23.20
After ten years of being wedded to their respective jobs in Switzerland, 0:27:28.640:27:33.28
Alan and Sue have decided to cast aside their careers and return home to England 0:27:33.280:27:38.32
for a more tranquil life closer to family in the Cotswolds. 0:27:38.320:27:41.88
So far, our converted chapel failed to fire up our couple's enthusiasm, 0:27:41.880:27:47.08
but the 1920s house on a hill revived their spirits with its fabulous kitchen. 0:27:47.080:27:52.64
But could we have reached tipping point with our mystery house? 0:27:52.640:27:56.68
This is just extraordinary. 0:27:56.680:27:59.08
And I'll be meeting the new faces continuing the Cotswolds wool tradition. 0:27:59.080:28:04.48
Yesterday, I gave Alan and Sue a real flavour of the Cotswolds, 0:28:06.560:28:10.56
showing them two very distinctive properties, 0:28:10.560:28:13.40
one with historical charm and the other with a very spacious layout. 0:28:13.400:28:17.44
The second property really captured their imagination and has given them some food for thought, 0:28:17.440:28:23.00
but with our mystery house, it's time for something very different. 0:28:23.000:28:27.04
They'll be hard pushed to find a Cotswold stone in sight. 0:28:27.040:28:30.44
'Our mystery house is in the south-west area of the Cotswolds in Uley. 0:28:34.080:28:38.72
'It may be a fair distance from Evesham, which was Alan and Sue's ideal search area. 0:28:38.720:28:44.48
'However, we have found them a house that is truly unique. 0:28:44.480:28:48.88
'Before seeing the mystery property, we'll pop into the creative hub of Uley, the Arts Centre, 0:28:48.880:28:54.36
'and meet a local who runs the cafe.' 0:28:54.360:28:57.24
So what's the local community like? This is a central focal point. 0:28:57.240:29:01.72
It's very vibrant. There's a lot of things taking place, lots of activities. 0:29:01.720:29:06.76
We've got a brewery. That's pretty good. We've got an arts centre, a pub and a post office. 0:29:06.760:29:13.08
- There are things taking place in Uley.
  - What's it like living round here?
- It's lovely.
It's a beautiful place to live. I wake up every morning, take a deep breath and go, "Oh, my goodness!" 0:29:18.120:29:24.16
  - Let's get back to it, the mystery house calls. Adam, thank you very much for your time.
- Thank you.
'Now, we've taken a calculated risk with the mystery house 0:29:29.720:29:33.68
'which is a complete break from the Cotswold traditional style. 0:29:33.680:29:37.64
'It is uber-modern, but it's also located in the grounds of a walled garden, 0:29:37.640:29:42.48
'so fingers crossed, they'll like it.' 0:29:42.480:29:45.12
It's just like a Monet garden, isn't it? 0:29:45.120:29:48.08
Well, here we are, a Monet garden indeed, and we have the mystery house. 0:29:48.080:29:53.64
It's definitely a mystery. That is fantastic. 0:29:53.640:29:57.48
  - I never would have imagined that.
- I could never have expected anything like that.
A modern house, wood, lead, quite interesting. 0:30:02.520:30:05.36
It was designed and built by the current owners in 2007, so a very modern building. 0:30:05.360:30:10.40
  - Not only is it modern, it's an eco-house.
- Excellent. OK.
I'm almost speechless and I'm really excited to get inside 0:30:14.040:30:17.60
because I think this could be a very, very special property. 0:30:17.600:30:21.44
  - It is very special indeed. Let me show you inside.
- Good.
'This is such an unusual property, I'm not surprised Sue is a touch tongue-tied, as well as intrigued. 0:30:25.000:30:31.12
'And inside, it certainly takes "light and airy" to a new level.' 0:30:31.120:30:35.64
Well, in we come. 0:30:36.640:30:38.64
This part of the house, we're almost underground. It's been built into the ground. It's concrete. 0:30:38.640:30:44.84
At the other end, it's oak timber frames, so it's unusual, the design and the set-up. 0:30:44.840:30:51.28
Down here at the front, you've got a really good room which they use as a children's playroom. 0:30:51.280:30:56.68
You could do as you wish. This is a gym with a wetroom and sauna. That could be quite special. 0:30:56.680:31:02.52
Shall we go into the living room and explore more of the features of this property? 0:31:02.520:31:07.80
So this is the main living room area. 0:31:07.800:31:11.08
- Oh, this is stunning.
  - As you can see, you're looking out on to the water.
  - They have built the windows...
- The oak beams are exceptional.
I love the wood and the view out of the window is stunning, but it feels somehow a cold room. 0:31:19.320:31:24.56
I don't have the feeling of warmth in this house so far. 0:31:24.560:31:28.40
  - Let's go into the kitchen and see if you warm up a bit in there.
- OK.
  - So through a dining room area which does lead to the outside...
- Lovely.
  - But this is the kitchen.
- And yet another island.
  - Another island.
- Fantastic.
And the angles and the view with the water outside is just so special. 0:31:44.480:31:51.28
  - And through that door, you do have a very large utility area.
- That's always helpful.
- You're doing well, Denise.
  - Good.
- You're doing well.
'The ground floor is certainly spacious and includes a separate dining area, a cloakroom 0:32:00.200:32:05.64
'and a large study, all of which enjoy fabulous views out on to the grounds. 0:32:05.640:32:10.68
'However, I'm saving one of the best views until last.' 0:32:10.680:32:14.32
Here's a highly unusual master. 0:32:16.120:32:18.56
  - You don't often get to look out on to the roof there, which is sort of seed and flowers.
- More oak beams.
The lighting is exceptional. Again that's really unusual. 0:32:24.840:32:28.48
It looks like there would be a very good view from the balcony. 0:32:28.480:32:32.32
- I think there is. Shall we have a look?
  - Yeah.
- After you.
  - I think this is the best view from this property.
- Wow!
  - You're right about that, Denise.
- Absolutely.
So that's it, you can get a feeling for the grounds, 0:32:45.680:32:49.04
but one area you were interested in was gardening, growing your own veg. They're passionate about that here. 0:32:49.040:32:55.08
  - There's an awful lot to look at.
- There is. Let's have a wander round.
'Back inside, there are four more good-sized bedrooms, 0:33:00.320:33:04.72
'one of which has an en-suite shower room. In addition, there's a separate family bathroom. 0:33:04.720:33:10.60
'As we move outside, the mature gardens have a natural stream feeding two ponds 0:33:10.600:33:15.88
'and there is a raised terraced area, perfect for dining outdoors.' 0:33:15.880:33:20.08
  - You've got just under two acres, so 1.8.
- Good grief! That's incredible.
It runs right the way round the walled garden. 0:33:24.240:33:27.08
You can see the wall up there behind the trees, then up and back round here. 0:33:27.080:33:31.80
Over this side is a fantastic vegetable garden. They grow everything there. 0:33:31.800:33:37.52
  - And you have a little swimming pool.
- Fantastic.
- All this and heaven too then!
  - You've also got this area here which is where the original bungalow was.
  - Now it's a garage and storage. The current owners use it as a hobby and craft room.
- Very special.
  - So special, but how much?
- I would think probably 1.7,
  - 1.75, something like that?
- OK.
Why don't I go a little bit closer to budget and say 1.6? 0:34:02.120:34:05.64
  - You, Alan, are spot-on. It's on at 1.75.
- Fantastic. I thought so.
There's so much to take in here. You'd be hard-pushed to find a more unusual house in the Cotswolds. 0:34:10.400:34:16.44
Have a wander round. Enjoy these gardens. Go on a discovery journey. 0:34:16.440:34:20.48
  - I will seek you out later on.
  - Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
I think they were blown away by that, but they did get the price spot-on. 0:34:24.320:34:28.96
It's hard to value a property that's so unique, but if you wanted the best of the Cotswolds 0:34:28.960:34:34.00
and the best of what's contemporary, you can't go far wrong with this. 0:34:34.000:34:38.04
On the market for £1.75 million, 0:34:40.640:34:43.12
our high spec mystery house has certainly got our buyers considering 0:34:43.120:34:47.16
whether they would opt for a more unconventional style of property. 0:34:47.160:34:51.20
It includes... 0:34:51.200:34:53.04
The house is certainly not what I expected and it would not have been on the top of our priority list. 0:35:09.560:35:15.60
There's no Cotswold stone to be seen. 0:35:15.600:35:17.96
A lot of wood, actually a lot of beautiful wood. We both love oak. 0:35:17.960:35:22.00
And a lot of glass. 0:35:22.000:35:24.04
First impressions were... 0:35:24.040:35:26.08
a big "wow"! 0:35:26.080:35:28.08
The garden is exceptional. 0:35:28.080:35:30.12
As with most men, you always have to succumb to female charms 0:35:30.120:35:34.24
and I think what will happen here is Sue will do the usual suggestions about, "Let's think about it 0:35:34.240:35:40.36
"and come up with some ideas and costings, then we'll go from there," 0:35:40.360:35:44.40
which is code for saying "no", 0:35:44.400:35:46.84
but I'll be batting hard to try and get my pennies' worth listened to at least. 0:35:46.840:35:53.96
  - There you are.
- Yes, at last.
I had to find Alan. He was doing his best to get lost, so he could stay. 0:35:57.880:36:02.44
  - It's an amazing property, but you have seen everything we have to offer now.
- Yes.
  - Time to sit down and reflect.
- Definitely.
'Although it was sheep that put the Cotswolds on the map from the late Middle Ages, 0:36:18.880:36:23.72
'the region's wool and cloth production declined during the early 19th century 0:36:23.720:36:28.64
'as the mechanised factories further north created more efficient forms of textile manufacturing. 0:36:28.640:36:34.32
'The golden age of the Cotswold wool industry came to an end. 0:36:34.320:36:38.16
'Fast-forward to the 21st century, it's making a bit of a comeback, 0:36:38.160:36:42.56
'albeit on a smaller scale and from an entirely different species that you wouldn't expect to find here. 0:36:42.560:36:49.40
'There are now over 1,000 alpaca owners in the UK, breeding the animal for their fibre. 0:36:49.400:36:55.08
'The majority of breeders sell the fleece on to be processed, 0:36:55.080:36:58.44
'but at this farm north of Swindon, they're spinning the wool and making hand-crafted items on site. 0:36:58.440:37:04.12
'I dropped in on Mym and Adrian Holcombe to find out more 0:37:04.120:37:07.64
'about how their modern spin on producing wool in the Cotswolds came about.' 0:37:07.640:37:12.48
Guys, these are definitely some of the cutest animals I've ever seen on a farm. I love them. 0:37:12.480:37:18.04
I can see why you probably fell in love with them, 0:37:18.040:37:21.08
but tell me about the journey from corporate life to running an alpaca farm. 0:37:21.080:37:26.20
We sold a couple of companies and we literally spent three years looking for something to do, 0:37:26.200:37:31.72
something that was exciting, that we could get really involved with, 0:37:31.720:37:35.76
that didn't mean sitting in an office all day and dealing with employees. 0:37:35.760:37:40.40
We just happened to see a five-second clip on television of alpacas, 0:37:40.400:37:44.36
Googled them and couldn't see any downside, 0:37:44.360:37:47.12
so 11 weeks later, we took delivery of four pregnant girls. 0:37:47.120:37:50.76
The four turned into eight, then we had a few more extravagances and ended up with 40. 0:37:50.760:37:56.96
They are unusual. It's not what I expect to find in the Cotswolds. Where are they from originally? 0:37:56.960:38:03.12
They originate from Peru, Bolivia, South America. They first came in with the Incas, really. 0:38:03.120:38:08.92
They used them for everything from meat, from pack animals, for the fleece for fibre. 0:38:08.920:38:14.52
'This herd of alpacas had their annual shear a few days ago 0:38:14.520:38:17.92
'and on average, one animal will yield one and a half kilograms of wool. 0:38:17.920:38:22.68
'As one of a handful of alpaca breeders in the Cotswold Hills, 0:38:22.680:38:26.52
'Mym and Adrian have learnt to spin, felt and weave their home-grown alpaca fleece.' 0:38:26.520:38:32.16
We've seen the animals in the field. They've been sheared. This is how it comes off their backs. 0:38:32.160:38:37.36
So if we want to do anything with this, we really need to what we call "card" it. 0:38:37.360:38:42.32
That's basically combing the fibres in the same direction, 0:38:42.320:38:45.88
then we can spin with it or, as we're doing, moving on to peg-looming with it. 0:38:45.880:38:50.72
It's very, very simple, hence I'm allowed to do it, 0:38:50.720:38:53.96
and we just put a little bit on the side here. 0:38:53.960:38:57.92
- And we just turn the handle.
  - This way?
- That's right.
  - Other way.
  - Other way.
- There you go.
  - It's like a brush.
- It is exactly like a brush.
A little bit more. 0:39:08.280:39:10.52
  - Where does it come out?
- It comes out here. It comes out on the drum.
'The wool is now ready to be woven and I'm going to have a go at peg-looming.' 0:39:14.480:39:19.72
These are warps and what we're going to do is add the wefts across, 0:39:19.720:39:25.00
so all these pegs have a warp going through them 0:39:25.000:39:29.48
and that's where it attaches to, 0:39:29.480:39:32.00
and very simply... 0:39:32.000:39:34.04
..we take a piece of this 0:39:35.080:39:37.12
and you just join it by twisting it together like that. 0:39:37.120:39:41.72
And then you go in and out. 0:39:44.280:39:46.92
In and out. 0:39:48.520:39:50.56
  - Twist.
- This looks simple enough that even I can have a go.
- Over to you.
  - The proof will be in the pudding. So we're twisting.
- That's right, in and out.
Carry on with the twisting. 0:40:00.280:40:02.72
When you get to the end, you just go back again. 0:40:02.720:40:05.76
  - In and out. Always twisting in the same direction?
- Yeah.
In and out... 0:40:09.160:40:12.00
  - Are you doing this as well?
- There we are. Yeah.
'Slowly but surely, I'm getting to grips with this peg-looming, 0:40:15.000:40:19.16
'but let's weave our way back to Alan and Sue and see if they've made any decisions on our properties.' 0:40:19.160:40:25.20
Sue and Alan, what a couple of days we've had! 0:40:25.200:40:28.44
To lure you back from Switzerland, we're trying to achieve your Cotswold dream. 0:40:28.440:40:33.68
Let's reflect on each of them. We started with something very traditional. You wanted character. 0:40:33.680:40:39.32
It was unique, very special, but internally for me, the flow of the house didn't work. 0:40:39.320:40:44.88
Because you were accommodating a chapel, 0:40:44.880:40:47.72
as well as other 18th century parts, 0:40:47.720:40:50.12
it was something which would be too much and too difficult to accommodate what we wanted it to be. 0:40:50.120:40:57.44
So from there, we moved you forward a few centuries. 0:40:57.440:41:00.92
How did you feel about house number two? 0:41:00.920:41:03.64
I really liked house number two, particularly when we first walked up to it. 0:41:03.640:41:09.04
The colour of the stone used there was so warm. There was just something very special about that. 0:41:09.040:41:15.04
The only thing perhaps that was negative about the inside was there were too many rooms. 0:41:15.040:41:20.16
- It was just a bit too big and that sounds...
  - Oh, Sue!
- I know.
So we had a bit too small, we've gone too big. 0:41:23.720:41:26.68
With the mystery house, did we get it just right? 0:41:26.680:41:29.92
  - It was a surprise.
- A huge surprise.
  - Number one, we delivered a walled garden.
- You certainly did.
That was completely left-field, totally unexpected, 0:41:35.720:41:39.36
and by far, for me, the best of the three. 0:41:39.360:41:42.68
It was something which had character, but the character was modern. 0:41:42.680:41:47.52
The fact that the house very much is situated in and around the beautiful gardens, 0:41:47.520:41:53.00
including that lake-ette, for want of a better word, outside the main living area, 0:41:53.000:41:58.04
that really transforms the look of the house. 0:41:58.040:42:01.24
I've got a feeling that you perhaps like one of our properties more than you, but am I wrong? 0:42:01.240:42:06.80
Have you fallen in love with any of them? 0:42:06.800:42:09.52
For me, the third property, 0:42:09.520:42:12.08
the mystery house is the one which I would be seriously interested in, 0:42:12.080:42:17.08
but I think Sue might have another opinion. 0:42:17.080:42:20.64
Am I right, Sue? Do you have a different opinion? 0:42:20.640:42:23.96
Slightly. 0:42:23.960:42:26.00
I didn't quite feel the love for the infrastructure of the house as I did for the second house. 0:42:26.000:42:32.04
However, the garden is absolutely amazing 0:42:32.040:42:35.52
and I realise it fulfils a number of Alan's dreams, 0:42:35.520:42:38.92
so I think we've got a lot of talking to do, that's for sure. 0:42:38.920:42:43.28
What would be brilliant is if you do find a home soon and make the move, so do let us know. 0:42:43.280:42:48.48
We certainly will. Thank you very much. 0:42:48.480:42:51.16
Well, the mystery house seems to have done it again, 0:42:54.720:42:58.24
a very non-traditional Cotswold property in a very idyllic Cotswold setting. 0:42:58.240:43:03.28
It seems to have fulfilled Alan's dreams 0:43:03.280:43:06.12
and if Sue can find a way of putting her stamp on it, it could be the house for her too. 0:43:06.120:43:11.68
I'll see you next time on Escape To The Country. 0:43:11.680:43:15.04
If you'd like to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales, 0:43:16.040:43:20.00
Northern Ireland or England and need our help, please apply online at: 0:43:20.000:43:24.04
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 0:43:48.960:43:52.00