Upper Nidderdale: the ultimate place for outdoor space in lockdown
Outdoor space is important. If we didn’t already know that this time last year, then we certainly did once the first coronavirus lockdown began to make itself felt.
Within weeks of the first restrictions being introduced last spring, estate agents were reporting a huge rise in interest in properties with balconies, gardens and roof terraces, and once the market reopened in May, homes near parks started to fly off the shelves.
But some househunters took the search for outdoor space to the extreme, and decamped from London to new homes in the countryside.
The capital is such a fathomless source of well-heeled buyers that some of them inevitably ended up here.
And why not? The Harrogate District and neighbouring areas are more rural than many, and some of our countryside is hard to beat.
What’s more, there’s a huge stock of beautiful properties with acres (literally!) of space to spread out in.
If you’re really looking to get away from it all, you can’t do much better than head for the upper reaches of Nidderdale, between Gouthwaite and Scar House reservoirs.
As part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it has stunning countryside, including How Stean Gorge, the Nidderdale Caves, some of the finest heather moorlands in the country, which are internationally important for conservation.
If this sounds like the kind of uncrowdedoutdoor space you could enjoy, one of the following three properties, which are all currently on the market, may be the one for you.
Low Sykes is a detached house just downdale from Lofthouse. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, two reception rooms and fantastic views down the dale.
Outside, there is ample off-street parking, as well as a large garden to the front and an enclosed back garden with the potential to be extended, subject to planning.
Further up the dale, Wellgate is a double-fronted, semi-detached cottage in the heart of Middlesmoor, which is Nidderdale’s highest village. Reroofed, rewired and re-plumbed in recent years, it has two bedrooms, two shower rooms, kitchen and lounge.
Outside, there is a shared gravelled area to the front, plus an outdoor store that can be used as a boot room.
Finally, right at the top of the dale, Scar House is a spacious house which was built in the 1930s as a home for the chief engineer of Scar House Dam.
In fact, you even have to cross the dam to reach it.
The main house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus entrance hall, kitchen and three reception rooms.
But the property was built to host events – the Lord Mayor of Bradford used to hold receptions here – so there is also a 49-foot banqueting hall with men’s and women’s toilets and twin fireplaces featuring the crest of Bradford Corporation.
Outside, there’s a wraparound garden, detached garage, and breath-taking views of the reservoir.