One of the peculiarities of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is that it doesn’t include the whole of the Yorkshire Dales. Some parts, like Nidderdale and the Washburn Valley were, oddly, left out when the boundaries were drawn in 1954.
Even when the park was extended in 2016 to link up with the Lake District National Park, the eastern fringes – those parts nearest us – were excluded.
Only in 1994 did this part of the Dales gain special recognition, when it became an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
There are 46 of them in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and they enjoy similar levels of protection to national parks, but without their own planning powers.
Nidderdale AONB – which takes in 600 sq km (233 sq mi) of Nidderdale, the Washburn Valley and parts of lower Wharfedale and lower Wensleydale – covers just under half of Harrogate District.
It includes Jervaulx Abbey in the north and extends right down to the River Wharfe in the south, stopping just short of Otley and Ilkley. In the west, it takes in Great Whernside – which at 704m (2,310ft) is its highest point – and in the east claims Fountains Abbey (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The landscape of Nidderdale AONB is known for its open heather moorlands, rolling pastures, dry stone walls and beautiful villages.
There’s loads to do – from adventure sports to rambling – and few places can beat it for points of interest; ancient rock art, Iron Age settlements, disused lead mines, spectacular underground caverns and nine Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) provide plenty to exercise the mind.
If all this sounds like your kind of environment, one of the following three properties may be the home for you.
Manchester House is a place where you can really spread out. It occupies high ground at Dallow, near the source of Pye Carr Spring, which flows into the River Laver, a tributary of the River Ure – and so is, by extension, in lower Wensleydale. It has over 4,000 sq ft of living space and 4.5 acres of land, with a further 34 acres available by separate negotiation.
The main house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, dining kitchen, two reception rooms, utility room, study, snug and games room. Outside, there’s plenty of parking, a stable yard with eight stables and central hay barn, plus lawns and a large summerhouse.
In Nidderdale proper, Nidcot is a two-bedroom stone-built inner terrace property in the heart of Lofthouse, right at the top end of the dale. It has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and lounge, as well as a stone-built storage shed along the road from the property. It’s also just a short stroll down the lane to the cosy Crown Hotel.
Finally, in the Washburn Valley, Tabucca is one of several properties converted from Brame Hall Farm. Fully updated, it is now a contemporary home with the latest technology. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms (including underfloor heating and heated mirrors with Bluetooth speakers) and two reception rooms, as well as a kitchen, store and adjoining garage. Outside, there are garden patios with stunning views, and the Sun Inn is just along the lane.