One family’s journey from a year in a caravan to country home
managed the scheme but first, he and Ruth stripped the house back to its bones ready for contractors.
It was then they discovered period fireplaces that had been bricked up and hidden by fifties versions. They also found the recesses and original holes for the wooden bar used to “bar the door” and keep out intruders.
“They were used before locks were invented and I imagine they were just as effective,” says David.
The couple also tackled pointing, lime plastering and the decorating, though most weekends and evenings were spent outside re-laying flagged areas, re-building dry stonewalls and reinstating stone gateposts.
Ruth, who runs her own property management and gardening business, Newgarth Properties, transformed the neglected garden into a private, family friendly area with patio and barbecue area and an enclosed garden laid to lawn.
The family moved into the farmhouse four years ago and later broke through into the byre to complete the project.
The property now has an entrance hall, living kitchen with four-oven Aga, dining area, boot
Nidderdale is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering 233 square miles of the Yorkshire Dales, though it is not part of the Dales National Park.
Its central feature is the long, majestic dale of the River Nidd that runs from the fells around Great Whernside. On the western side, there is a remote and wild gritstone landscape room, utility room, sitting room with wood burning stove and a ground-floor bedroom/study with door providing independent access and a shower room.
On the first floor, there is a master bedroom suite with a dressing room and en-suite, three further bedrooms and a house with heather moorland that is internationally important for wildlife. The eastern side is more pastoral with rolling farmland, sheltered river valleys and picturesque towns and villages.
The only town in the dale is Pateley Bridge. Other settlements include Wath, Ramsgill, Lofthouse, and Middlesmoor. bathroom. Outside, there is parking, gardens with panoramic views and four acres of land.
Although they’ve enjoyed the last five years, the Leeming-Sykes are planning to leave their idyllic country home to be closer to their new business commitments in Harrogate.
They have, however, left the new owners with a potential project of their own, should they wish to embark on it.
David and Ruth have secured planning permission on one of the two barns at Middle Woodale, providing buyers with a range of options.
One barn adjoins the main farmhouse so there is the option to break through and create one large house or to convert the building into two cottages.
There is also another detached barn that provides the potential for conversion into a holiday let.
“We will miss this house. The location is very tranquil and the wildlife is amazing. We’ll be leaving with great memories of a very special time in our lives,” says David.
“We decided to sell Middle Woodale to buy a property closer to our new business. Given that the next part of the project is to develop the barns, it seems a natural break point for us and will allow any future owner to develop them to their own requirement and taste.
“Fortunately, the farmhouse is already completed so there will be no question of them living in a caravan while they’re doing the work.”
Middle Woodale Farm, Lofthouse, near Pateley Bridge, is on the market for £650,000 with Dacre Son and Hartley, tel: 01423 711010, www.dacres. co.uk FRANCE remains the number one country for Britons looking to buy abroad, followed closely by Spain, according to the latest HiFX Property Hotspots Report.
Almost a quarter of potential buyers said that they would most like to buy in France, while 20% are searching in Spain.
Mark Bodega, Director at HiFX, says: “France remains a safe bet for Brits. It goes without saying that the sun and lifestyle are a big pull but buyers can now get better value for their money and take advantage of the weakening euro.
“Spain is still popular with Brits who are hoping to take advantage of lower property prices. The average property price in the country is down almost 13 per cent in the last year alone.” THE average price of a new home in October was £231,049, down 3.3 per cent over the month, according to SmartNewHomes.
Steven Lees, Director of SmartNewHomes, says: “New home prices eased back in October following a wave of previously pent up buyer demand in September.
“We expect to see annual price growth of 3 per cent this year, with this strong price performance bolstered by growing consumer confidence and the mounting imbalance between demand and supply.
“As NewBuy celebrates reaching 2,000 reservations and the Welsh government announces plans to introduce a similar shared equity scheme, we need to ensure that new homes are readily available and kept at affordable levels.”
HOME COMFORTS: Middle Woodale is now a des res after David and Ruth Leeming-Sykes renovated it and extended the living space into an adjoining cow byre. David and Ruth have secured planning permission on one of the two barns, providing buyers with a range of options to further develop the property, including turning it into a holiday let.