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Get a taste for the high life and buy 
a property with a rooftop terrace

The roof terrace at 43a Abbey Road, Knaresborough ' �700,000 with Verity Frearson, 01423 562531; inset: the property itself, on high ground looking out across the valley.
The roof terrace at 43a Abbey Road, Knaresborough ' �700,000 with Verity Frearson, 01423 562531; inset: the property itself, on high ground looking out across the valley.

The warm weather we’ve been enjoying over the last week or more may well be making you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Gardens are good for that, of course, but then, not all properties have one.

Whitehall Lodge, Tewit Well Road, Harrogate ' �625,000 with Knight Frank, 01423 530088; inset: the roof terrace.

Whitehall Lodge, Tewit Well Road, Harrogate ' �625,000 with Knight Frank, 01423 530088; inset: the roof terrace.

A very good substitute, though – at least, if simply sitting outside is all you want to do – is a roof terrace.

These have become extremely popular in recent years, as owners and landlords invest in alterations to provide garden-less properties with some outdoor space.

That said, roof terraces are certainly nothing new. In fact, they could be found in homes in bronze-age Knossos in Crete – also known as Europe’s oldest city – dating from as early as 1700 BC.

Flat roofs have been common in the Middle East for centuries, or longer, and many people even sleep on them during the hot summer nights.

Plot 5, Rooftop Gardens, Harrogate - �379,950 with Linley & Simpson, 01423 540054.

Plot 5, Rooftop Gardens, Harrogate - �379,950 with Linley & Simpson, 01423 540054.

Further north, in Venice – not a place that lends itself to domestic gardens – the rooftop terrace, or altana, is the most common form of terrace. Consisting of a wooden platform with small gaps between the floorboards, this was originally for hanging out laundry, but is now used primarily for socialising.

Roof terraces are typically modest in size, but make up for that with a high degree of privacy – the perfect place to sunbathe without being overlooked by the neighbours.

There are a number of properties – both houses and flats – currently for sale in our area with roof terraces. The following are three of the best.

In Knaresborough, 43a Abbey Road is a detached house, newly built to the latest building regulations and configured to suit a modern way of living.

That may sound like sales talk, but in this instance it’s actually true; an integral garage takes up much of the ground floor and you’ll find the living room (with vaulted ceiling and skylight windows) and dining kitchen on the top floor, whwere bi-folding doors lead to a sun terrace with a full south-facing view across Nidd Gorge.

Sandwiched in the middle of the house are three double bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, and also on the ground floor (apart from that garage) is a utility room, bathroom and an optional extra fourth bedroom (which could otherwise be used as a study).

Linking all three floors is an internal lift, making this one of the most accessible homes on the market.

In Harrogate, the penthouse apartment at Whitewell Lodge has been fully refurbished, but retains many of its original period features.

It has three bedrooms, one with an adjoining study, plus a bathroom, a dining room in the turret, and large dining kitchen and living room, both of which have bi-folding doors opening onto a private, 45-foot-long roof terrace with panoramic views of the Stray.

It also has a garage and a private lockable storage room in the basement, plus access to communal gardens and visitor parking.

Finally, 5 Rooftop Gardens is one of newly built townhouses just a short walk from Harrogate’s town centre. It too has a ground-floor tandem double garage and utility room, with a sitting room and roof terrace at the top of the house. In between are three bedrooms, a kitchen-diner and living room.