Couple hunt for Rutland home on TV’s Escape to the Country

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A COUPLE are settling into life in the area after falling in love with it while filming a television programme.

Frank and Sue Hayes decided to swap their hectic life in south east London for a quiet rural life and fell in love with Rutland when they visited Hambleton Hall for a friend’s birthday party last year.

The couple applied for BBC2 programme Escape to the Country, which was filmed in April.

Mrs Hayes, 63, said looking at two properties in Rutland and one in Leicestershire sealed their love for Rutland and they moved into a cottage in Barrow in October.

Mrs Hayes said: “We were just looking for a quieter way of life. I had been teaching dressage in Kent, which I still do, so I wanted somewhere I could rear horses and when we found Rutland, we fell in love with it.

“We had never even heard of the county before our friends birthday party.”

During filming, the couple were also shown around Oakham by former town clerk and county council worker Richard Adams, of Trent Road, Oakham.

Mr Adams is an amateur photographer and is knowledgable about the area having lived in the county for more than 30 years.

Mrs Hayes said: “He showed us around Oakham Castle and the Buttercross and we spent a few hours with him. He was such a lovely guy.”

In the afternoon, the couple also saw the osprey project at Rutland Water with project officer Tim Mackrill.

Mrs Hayes said although the couple loved the mystery home they were shown for the programme, they had not sold their London property at the time.

They continued looking and then found the cottage in Barrow.

Mrs Hayes said: “Since we moved in, it has been absolutely wonderful. We are used to the hustle and bustle of London and it is taking some time to get used to being in the quiet.

“But it is an absolutely wonderful area and everyone has been so kind.”

Mrs Hayes said she and her husband Frank, 73, a retired Metropolitan Police officer, enjoyed filming, particularly as the presenter was Jules Hudson.

Mrs Hayes said: “We love the programme and I really like Jules.”

Mr Adams, who showed the couple around Oakham, said he was looking forward to the programme being screened.

He said: “It was a really enjoyable experience and Frank and Sue are a lovely couple.

“We have been in touch since and have talked about going out for a meal. I am delighted they loved the county so much, they decided to move here.”

The programme featuring the couple will be shown at 3pm on Thursday.