It will be Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, when many people spend much time, effort and money declaring and celebrating their love for each other.
People do all sorts of things to mark it. Flowers, chocolates and meals out are the usual ways of getting the message across, and some couples go a step – or two – further. But if bungee-jumping, skywriting and spelling out ‘I love you’ in hay bales beside the A1(M) aren’t your style, maybe you should book a house viewing.
But it can’t be any old house – you’ve got to find a romantic property that your significant other can really imagine sharing with you. After all, you will be there with a view to buying.
If all this sounds like a rather extreme way of marking February 14, don’t worry – we’ve already got the ball rolling for you by finding you some romantic properties ourselves.
Now all you have to do is take a look around, get a mortgage, sell any property you may already own, book the removal people and move in. Couldn’t be simpler.
First on the romantic viewing roster is Dougill Hall, a stunning country house dating from 1722. The main house has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study, breakfast kitchen, three reception rooms, and boiler room/workshop.
Adjoining it is The Old Cooling House, a one-bedroom cottage (dated 1696) with sitting room, kitchen and bathroom. It is currently registered as a separate dwelling under business use, but is included as part of the sale. There’s further development potential below, with a lower level of the building currently used as a tack room and store.
Beyond, there are gardens to the front, bordered by a stream and small paddock. A substantial traditional stable block leads on into paddock land of around four acres.
Currently in a part-refurbished state, it will need some more investment. That may take some financial commitment to do it to the standard required of a Grade II* listed building, but with such a fabulous home it should – appropriately enough – be a labour of love.
Romantic for similar reasons, the Grade II-listed Cruck Barn dates back to around 1560 and is believed to be the oldest house in Fearby, just west of Masham.
Whether it is or not, it must surely be the most atmospheric. Using a technique thought to have evolved in Anglo-Saxon times, it has full-size three-bay crucks – internal timber A-frames – and has retained its full height inside, as well as its exposed stone walls.
It’s been converted into a two-bedroom house by the current owners, but while there’s some work yet to do – there’s a huge amount of attic space to make use of – it’s mostly cosmetic.
Finally, Lodge Cottage is an extended cottage in Staveley, between Knaresborough and Boroughbridge. It has three bedrooms, bathroom, two reception rooms and large, open-plan dining room and kitchen, which opens onto the enclosed back garden. There’s a garden to the front too, as well as ample off-street parking.
The house also backs onto Staveley Nature Reserve, 84 hectares of a shallow lagoon edged with reedswamp, fen and flower-rich grassland – the perfect place to enjoy a romantic walk.