A small town that is proving big draw for buyers
Pateley Bridge has glorious countryside, independent shops and a swimming pool. No wonder it’s in demand. Sharon Dale reports.
THERE is no-one as evangelical as a convert and so it’s little wonder that Jean Gilbertson excels at selling houses in Pateley Bridge.
Jean grew up in a “Coronation Street” style suburb of Manchester and dreamed of swapping the cobbled streets for country lanes and green fields.
The dream finally came true when she moved to Pateley Bridge 22 years ago.
“It’s so pretty and it is a really nice place to live. In my previous job I travelled round the country and was away a lot. When I got back here I always thought ‘Yippee I’m home’,” says Jean, who works for Verity Frearson’s Pateley office.
“I really do love it here and living here means I know a lot about the area so I can tell people who are thinking of buying exactly what they need to know. I am sure my real enthusiasm has helped sell houses.”
Pateley Bridge, which has a population of just 2,000, is incredibly well-served for such a small town as it attracts custom from the surrounding villages, hamlets and farmsteads. It has some great independent shops including Weatherheads and Kendalls butchers, the oldest sweet shop in England, a great deli and mini-markets. It also has dentist and doctors’ surgeries, a post office, library, a little theatre, leisure centre and a community hall, which has just started hosting monthly cinema nights.
The primary and secondary schools are well-regarded and there is a host of community groups and sports teams.
However, prices are not cheap for those who want to follow Jean’s dream. They start at around £125,000 for a onebedroom cottage and from £150,000 for a two bedroom terraced house or ex-local authority property, while a family sized semi is from £250,000 and a larger detached from £350,000.
Most of the housing stock is stone-built older properties and choice isn’t abundant, as this is a popular town where people tend to stay put long-term.
Chris O’Mahoney, manager of Dacre, Son and Hartley’s Pateley Bridge office, says: “It’s a nice town with great community so it has always been popular and the market is improving. The top end is particularly busy and most of these buyers are from outside the area.
“We’ve just put three properties over £500,000 under offer and we have another house at £900,000 that has attracted a lot of viewings. One of the buyers is from Dubai.”
Improved broadband and mobile phone connections have helped make it more attractive to those who work from home. It is also targeted by families for the schools, and, increasingly, by those who work in Leeds.
Chris says: “It takes about an hour to get to Leeds and you don’t have to go through Harrogate. You can drive over to Summerbridge and across to the A59 at Pool Bank and down through Otley. That’s a big attraction.”
Its relative isolation has deterred some buyers, but this is a self-contained town and it is only 20 minutes from Ripon and half an hour from Harrogate, providing it doesn’t snow.
The benefit of this location and one of the town’s greatest attractions is that you are surrounded by glorious Nidderdale countryside, designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Pateley Bridge is the starting and finishing point on the Nidderdale Way, a circular route which covers 53 miles.
Jean says: “We get a lot of people who retire here and a lot who want to buy holiday cottages. The latest people I showed round are from Cambridge and they want to buy here because they’ve been on walking holidays here and love the area. It is fantastic and the scenery is spectacular even in inclement weather.
“It is not as crowded as places like the Lake District. There are lots of nice walks where you won’t see anyone else. That’s a great pleasure but the best thing for me is not waking up to the sound of traffic. Instead I wake up to the sound of birdsong.”