An attractive balcony can transport you from Harrogate straight to the Mediterranean

If you saw any of the social media video clips of people singing their way through the coronavirus lockdown in Italy or Spain a couple of months ago, you might have felt a sense of envy – of the weather, the operatic culture, and possibly also the architecture.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:00 pm
1A Riverside, 65 Westgate, Wetherby 485,000 with Beadnall Copley, 01937 580850.

If you saw any of the social media video clips of people singing their way through the coronavirus lockdown in Italy or Spain a couple of months ago, you might have felt a sense of envy – of the weather, the operatic culture, and possibly also the architecture.

Because, as we all know by now, Puccini arias are not meant to be sung from a garden, a driveway or a back-yard – they need to be belted out from a balcony.

This is where Mediterranean countries have an edge – balconies are commonplace there, but sadly relatively rare in this country.

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Apt 5, Wentworth Court, Beech Grove, Harrogate 660,000 with Feather Smailes Scales, 01423 501211.

There are two reasons for that: our style of housing and the weather. Since the end of the Second World War, many high-rise blocks have been built all over Europe, and in the south of the continent, flats invariably have some outdoor space, where the sunshine can be enjoyed, or used for drying clothes.

In this country, though, the architects of many of our tower blocks evidently thought our climate didn’t call for access to outdoor space, or perhaps balconies were considered expensive luxuries, detracting from the indoor square footage.

Whatever the reasons, thousands of UK flats are much the poorer for not having a balcony – and not just during lockdown.

Some blocks, however – particularly the smarter ones – do have balconies, and are far the more attractive and liveable for them.

Apt 18, Queens Close, Harrogate 295,000 with Myrings, 01423 566400.

The following flats all have one, and are all currently on the market in our area.

In Harrogate, Apartment 5, Wentworth Court on Beech Grove occupies a stunning position on the first floor of a block overlooking West Park Stray, within easy (level) walking distance of the town centre. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms (the master has an en suite), reception hall, kitchen, and open-plan dining room and sitting room, which opens onto the spacious balcony.

The communal areas in the block have recently been improved and outside there’s plenty of parking for residents and visitors.

In Wetherby, Apartment 1A Riverside is a ground-floor flat with south-facing views over the River Wharfe towards Wetherby Ings. A communal entrance leads into a private hallway for this and just one other apartment, and the hall has a marble-tiled floor with underfloor heating. Newly renovated, it has three bedrooms (although one is currently used as a study), two bathrooms (both with underfloor heating), open-plan sitting room and kitchen with oak flooring and solid wood breakfast bar, utility room, storage room, and spacious lounge with bi-folding doors opening onto the terrace balcony.

There also secure underground car-parking for residents, street-level parking for visitors, lift service to all floors, and communal gardens and seating beside the river.

Finally, back in Harrogate, 18 Queens Close is a second-floor flat in a fantastic location between the Stray and Cold Bath Road. It has three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living room, which has a balcony with woodland views to the front. There’s also a single garage and communal patio garden and visitor parking.