It’s an odd thing that when asked to name a Yorkshire spa town, people are likely to think of Harrogate, or Scarborough, or Ilkley, but not of the one town whose name gives it away.
Perhaps that’s because Boston Spa was overshadowed early on by its better-known neighbours, but that, paradoxically, has served it well.
It has a legacy of beautiful Georgian buildings built to the high standards that wealthy tourists in the early 19th century expected, but it stopped growing well before it reached the size of, say, Harrogate.
Yet it remained a thriving place – socially, culturally and commercially – and recently started a new growth spurt, with developments at Church Fields, next to the church of St Mary the Virgin, and Grove Road.
Just one mile from the A1(M), two miles from Wetherby and 10 miles from Leeds, it still has the population of a village (4-5,000) but almost all the conveniences you might want from a town.
Its High Street, which forms part of the A659 from Harewood to Tadcaster, shadows the River Wharfe to the north for much of its length.
It’s book-ended by residential properties, and home to many of Boston’s amenities, including a mini-supermarket, a range of small, independent shops, cafés (e.g. Moo), pubs, a chemist, a travel agent and the post office.
There are also several good restaurants, including the perennially popular Thai Jantra, Le Box Bistro and the Stew & Oyster.
Boston Spa Academy was judged to be Good by Ofsted in 2015, and St Edward’s Catholic Primary School is deemed to be Outstanding.
As far as village life goes, there’s too much going on to list everything, but of particular note are the renowned Jazz in the Spa in the village hall on Saturday evenings, and the two-day Boston Spa Beer Festival, held every February.
If you like the sound of all this, you may be interested in one of the following three properties, which are all currently on the market.
Tucked away from the Main Street down an unobtrusive side street, Kingswood is an enlarged and refurbished Victorian family home dating from 1897. It has five bedrooms, and the master suite includes a bathroom, dressing room and even a study beyond, with spiral staircase to the kitchen area and utility room. In addition, there are three more bathrooms, a long dining kitchen, and three large reception rooms.
The property is set in private, mature gardens with lawn and patio areas and, at the rear, a large enclosed courtyard. There’s also a detached double garage with two storerooms.
Near the heart of old Boston, 6 St Mary’s Street is a period cottage built from the distinctively local magnesian limestone. It has three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living room, and outside there is a walled garden with full-width patio area, plus tandem double garage and parking for three cars.
Finally, 278 High Street is another period cottage built in the local stone. It has two bedrooms, a very useful converted loft space, bathroom, kitchen, sitting room and converted cellar with vaulted ceiling. In its sheltered back garden there’s a shed and detached outbuilding, which could be used as a home office.