Get more for your money in this tourist hotspot

Its mag­nif­i­cent moors, lit­er­ary sis­ters and steam rail­way have helped to cre­ate a healthy prop­erty mar­ket. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

ON sunny week­end af­ter­noons the steep cob­bled main street in Haworth is packed with vis­i­tors who jos­tle for space in the quaint shops and queue for tables in the tea­rooms.

It’s the kind of day-trip­per in­va­sion that drives some lo­cals mad, though most are grate­ful for the spin off ben­e­fits that tourism brings.

“Most peo­ple don’t mind be­cause it’s what makes the vil­lage so lively and lo­cals get the ben­e­fit. There are plenty of lovely shops, pubs and tea­rooms on the doorstep and that’s one of the rea­sons I love liv­ing here,” says Gwen Jones, who works for the Green Part­ner­ship es­tate agency.

Haworth also has a large pri­mary school, a pretty park, a doc­tors surgery and a Spar mini su­per­mar­ket and it’s these kind of ameni­ties along with its lo­ca­tion that at­tracts buy­ers.

Green Part­ner­ship’s An­drew Earn­shaw says that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who buy in the vil­lage come from within a 10-mile ra­dius.

“At the mo­ment it is largely a lo­cal mar­ket. A lot of peo­ple come from Keigh­ley and Brad­ford but they travel back out for work.

“We are also see­ing buy-to let in­vestors re­turn­ing. All in all it is a sought-af­ter place and prop­erty here is sell­ing quite well, though it is price-sen­si­tive. If the price is right it will sell.”

Two-bed­room ter­raced houses start from about £80,000, a three bed­room town­house from £150,000 and a four bed­room de­tached from £265,000. The most af­ford­able area is on the Brow and the most de­sir­able are the char­ac­ter­ful lit­tle cot­tages on the Main Street, though they’re not for ev­ery­one.

“I have a friend who lives on Main Street and he loves it, but a lot of lo­cals pre­fer to live out­side that touristy area, es­pe­cially on the 1940s week­end, when it is ex­tremely busy,” says Ian Bradbury, head of Dacre, Son and Hart­ley’s Keigh­ley of­fice and a for­mer res­i­dent of the vil­lage.

Out­side the main drag, the house types are mainly cot­tages and ter­raced houses. There are also some newer builds, plans to de­velop Ivy Bank Mill and a pro­posal to build 120 more prop­er­ties, though the lat­ter is al­ready be­ing con­tested.

New and pe­riod homes here of­fer good value com­pared to other York­shire tourist hotspots, says Ian Bradbury, who adds that prop­erty is half the price of that in Ilk­ley. It’s one of fac­tors that at­tracts sec­ond home own­ers.

“There aren’t as many peo­ple look­ing hol­i­day homes here at the mo­ment but they are still com­ing. I have some­one from Lon­don who is go­ing to buy one.”

He may be in­ter­ested in ac­tress San­dra Dick­en­son’s sec­ond home at Cottage Mews, which is for sale thanks to her work com­mit­ments in the south. She loves the vil­lage for its lo­ca­tion in stun­ning coun­try­side. The sur­round­ing moors are spec­tac­u­lar and a liv­ing con­nec­tion to the Bron­tës.

Nearby Top Withens is said to be the in­spi­ra­tion for Wuther­ing Heights and there are many other land­marks that the sis­ters used to fre­quent. Sur­pris­ingly, not many buy­ers are mo­ti­vated by prox­im­ity to these.

“We get more buy­ing here to be near the rail­way and oth­ers be­cause they’ve been for days out and fancy liv­ing here,” says Ian.

The Keigh­ley and Worth Val­ley steam rail­way has a sta­tion in Haworth. Rid­ing on it is a great ex­pe­ri­ence, though it doesn’t count as a pub­lic trans­port link.

For this you would have to rely on buses, which run to Keigh­ley, Brad­ford and Heb­den Bridge. The trendy Calderdale town isn’t far away and Haworth could soon be a ri­val.

It is at­tract­ing more de­signer mak­ers and artists, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture maker An­thony Hart­ley, who is based at Dam­side Mill.

His stu­dio is there along with his gallery, which show­cases other mak­ers. Shops like The Imag­i­nar­ium on the Main Street have also started to re­flect the in­ter­est in con­tem­po­rary art and de­sign.

“House prices are cheaper here than in Heb­den Bridge and the coun­try­side are is just as at­trac­tive. I can see it be­com­ing a cre­ative hub,” says An­thony.

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