A longing to return to the dale where she grew up prompted Christina Huxtable-Curno to buy Hill Top Farm. The plan was that she and her husband would relocate from Somerset to Lealholm in the North York Moors national park, near Whitby.
“I’ve always loved the area. It is such a beautiful place so when we saw Hill Top Farm for sale we had to buy it. It is in such a fantastic position at the top of the hill with amazing views overlooking Fryupdale the Esk Valley and it came with land that offered us a chance to be semi self-sufficient,” says Christina.
The cottage, which has 4.85 acres, was in need of renovation but the couple were happy to take on the project. They have since updated and remodelled the house. The kitchen and separate dining room are now one open-plan space and the old, enclosed staircase was replaced with an open, oak version. Oak patio doors lead onto the garden and the Huxtable-Curnos invested in parquet flooring.
They have also secured planning permission for an oak-framed extension to give extra space and make the most of the exceptional views. The National Park Authority has also given the green light for a livestock barn, double garage and to turn the track into a wider road. The foundations for the extension and the garage are already in place.
At the moment, the house has a sitting room with a wood-burning stove, an open-plan dining kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside, the property has generous gardens, which include lawned areas with herbaceous borders and beds, together with a separate, fenced former vegetable garden to the side. There is a large parking area and a terrace to take advantage of the views. There is also a detached garage and three useful stores. The land extends to approximately 4.85 aces and includes two enclosures.
Christina and her husband are selling as their plan to return to Yorkshire has been scuppered by work and children. “The idea was that we would find jobs in the area but that hasn’t happened and now we have two children who are settled in Somerset so we are staying,” says Christina. “Part of me thinks let’s just move to Lealholm and make it work as living in the house there is my dream. It really is a magical place but I have to be sensible and let it go.”
The cottage is now a very successful holiday let but it would make the perfect smallholding or equestrian property. If the extensions are added it will have four bedrooms and almost double the square footage.
Hill Top Farm is £425,000. For details contact Jackson Stops and Staff, York, tel: 01904 625033, www.jackson-stops.co.uk