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Super Nature: Britain’s Most Beautiful Places to Live, Part 1

Posted 9 January 2020 by Keith Osborne

New homes on the doorstep of some of the best-loved protected scenic areas in Scotland, northern England and Yorkshire.

This country is blessed with beautiful countryside – only around 10% of the nation is considered to be in ‘built-up’ areas – and living in it or close to it is a must for many house-hunters.

Some very sizeable areas have been assigned as a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which protects them from overdevelopment and helps maintain their landscape, nature and heritage. Many are household names now, but there are many lesser known across the length and breadth of the country that each have their own character and offer a whole array of different terrains, flora and fauna, and activities.

We start in Scotland and head south to take a look at some of the country’s best-loved protected scenic areas, and where to buy a brand new home to be right on their doorstep.


Pentland Hills

Harwood ParkThe Pentland Hills is a designated Regional Park of peaks and pasture stretching 20 miles from the south-west fringe of Edinburgh. The undulating landscape rises as high as 1,900ft and offers a host of routes for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers. Swanston Golf Club is at the north edge, and close to that there’s an artificial ski slope.

Barratt Homes offers houses which are perfectly situated for this area. The Limes is just inside the City of Edinburgh Bypass and just ten minutes from the north of the Pentlands, and the same distance from the south is Harwood Park in West Calder, East Lothian. There’s also a final studio mews apartment available at Manor Wood.


Northumberland National Park and North Pennines

Birkey HeightsSome places in the north-east of England offer residents ‘two for the price of one’, being only a few miles from both a National Park and AONB. Northumberland National Park leads to the border with Scotland and within it you’ll find everything from waterfalls and hiking to a Roman temple and some of Britain’s best stargazing skies. The North Pennines offers 770 square miles of moors, meadows and wildlife which includes rare birds, otters and red squirrels.

Close to both of these is Woodland Rise, a development of detached and semi-detached homes in Hexham, and just over the River Tyne in neighbouring Acomb is Birkey Heights with a range of high-specification family homes.


Nidderdale and Yorkshire Dales

Kings CroftCovering some 233 square miles of North Yorkshire, Nidderdale has two long-distance walking trails as is also well known for the opportunities it offers mountain bikers and cavers. It is home to a World Heritage site, the Cistercian Fountains Abbey. The AONB’s northern boundary is with Yorkshire Dales National Park, which in addition to its natural beauty is also home to landmarks such as Bolton Abbey and Ribblehead Viaduct.

Harrogate is a delightful and well-connected spa town within easy reach, and Kingsley Meadows offers a collection of three- and four-bedroom homes, and house-hunters could also consider a range of three- to five-bedroom houses at Kings Croft.


Forest of Bowland

Monk's CrossThe AONB of Forest of Bowland offers a host of moorland, and notable hills, listed buildings and monuments across Lancashire and North Yorkshire. It is especially popular with walkers due to its many challenging routes, and with birdwatchers, anglers and paragliders. It includes the geographically separate Forest of Pendle. 

Clitheroe is a town in the Ribble Valley, on the doorstep of both parts of this AONB and a base for many visitors to the area. A few miles south is Whalley, where Monk’s Cross has everything from a two-bedroom terrace to a five-bedroom detached house. The Orchard is in neighbouring Barrow and currently has a range of four-bedroom properties for sale. 

Take a look at Monk’s Cross:  


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