The Bedale bypass will make the pretty market town even more attractive to buyers. Sharon Dale reports.
It’s a small stretch of road but the Bedale bypass looks all set to make a big difference to the property market in the beautiful Georgian town.
The £35million three-mile stretch, which opened in August, has made access to the A1 easier and quicker, while freeing the town from congestion.
It now takes a matter of minutes to get on to the A1 and less than an hour to drive to Leeds.
“People are beginning to realise that they can get to Leeds more quickly from here than they can from places like Wakefield and when the motorway opens north and the roadworks disappear in spring next year, then it will be 45 minutes to Newcastle,” says estate agent Robin Jessop, whose office is on the town’s main street.
There is also a direct train to London from Northallerton, which is eight miles away, and the restored Wensleydale Railway, a tourist and heritage line, has a station in Bedale.
The lure of excellent transport links and of living in a pretty and exceptionally well-served Georgian town on the edge of Wensleydale is attracting buyers from far and wide.
“We are seeing more buyers from the south, including Kent and London, though one of the issues we are having is a shortage of quality properties for sale,” says Robin.
“This is one of the most picturesque market towns in the area. It is classic Georgian with a market square and market cross and parkland. The bypass
has helped make it more pleasant as the heavy wagons coming down from Wensleydale now don’t have to come through the town to get to the A1.”
Estate agent Philip Mills, head of the Bedale branch of Norman F. Brown, agrees and says they see a lot of ex-service personnel once stationed at Catterick barracks and RAF Leeming returning to the area when they leave the forces.
“They remember how lovely it is here and want to come back and settle down,” he says.
The historic town has a host of independent shops, including a butcher, deli, baker and greengrocer, along with a weekly market. There is a leisure centre with a gym and a swimming pool and good schools. Sixty six per cent of Bedale High School pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C, including English and maths.
Property prices in the town and the surrounding villages – including Burneston, Kirklington, Crakehall Thirn, Thornton Watlass, Well and Snape, are another draw. They are much lower than those in the golden triangle hotspots and access to the Yorkshire Dales is also much easier – they are on the doorstep.
The starting price for a property is about £90,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and from £130,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house. Semi-detached homes start at £160,000 and detached from about £220,000. At the top end, the 5,000sq ft Burneston Hall is £1.25m
Robin Jessop says: “Property here offers good value for money compared to places like Harrogate and Wetherby and we don’t have the same fluctuations. Prices here weren’t badly affected by the recession and they have been steady for the last few years.”
However, given the growing interest in this area Philip Mills believes they may rise. “They haven’t moved much for the last two or three years and I feel they will soon nudge up slightly.”