Homes on the Nidd

2 Castle Mills, Waterside, Knaresborough - �399,950 with Nicholls Tyreman, 01423 503076.
2 Castle Mills, Waterside, Knaresborough - �399,950 with Nicholls Tyreman, 01423 503076.

Comparing the towns of Harrogate and Knaresborough is a dangerous game, as offence is bound to be caused one way or the other.

But it’s fairly safe to say that there is at least one thing the more ancient of the two towns has over its more glamorous younger sister: its location.

Arbeadie Cottage, 51 Kirkgate, Knaresborough - �399,950 with Myrings, 01423 566400.

Arbeadie Cottage, 51 Kirkgate, Knaresborough - �399,950 with Myrings, 01423 566400.

Whereas the spa town of Harrogate started life on land described by an early traveller as looking like a Scottish moor, Knaresborough was built in a stunning position on the north bank of a river the Celts described as “brilliant”.

The Nidd, which rises on the slopes of Great Whernside, flows south-east through Nidderdale before starting to meander on flatter ground north of Bilton.

Over the years it has been used both as moat and mill-race, but now almost exclusively serves the tourism industry.

The following four properties are all currently for sale and all have fantastic views of this beautiful river.

River View Cottage, Castle Ings Road, Knaresborough - �275,000 with Bridgfords, 01423 866951.

River View Cottage, Castle Ings Road, Knaresborough - �275,000 with Bridgfords, 01423 866951.

The south-facing River View Cottage sits a little back from the water’s edge, but its name tells you what you need to know.

Outside, there is a walled courtyard garden, a rear courtyard and parking space.

Internally, it has been completely refurbished by a multi-award-winning designer and now has a light-filled dining conservatory, as well as a balcony – with great views – off one of its three bedrooms.

From its perch 100 feet up on the gorge cliff, Arbeadie Cottage arguably has one of the best river views in town.

Willow Dene, 20 Abbey Road, Knaresborough - �795,000 with Buchanan Mitchell, 01423 360055.

Willow Dene, 20 Abbey Road, Knaresborough - �795,000 with Buchanan Mitchell, 01423 360055.

Being on a slope, it has four floors of accommodation – the ground floor on the street side is the first floor on the gorge side – including four bedrooms, two reception rooms and a laundry room.

Dating from the mid-1600s, it oozes character, with wonky beams, period fireplaces and vintage radiators.

Outside, that view from the stone-flagged terrace takes in a large sweep of river, from the castle right round to Knaresborough’s iconic viaduct, which stands just next door, making it very handy for the station.

Closer to the water, 2 Castle Mills is part of a much-admired conversion of a grade II-listed flax mill.

Built in 1764, it produced fine-quality linen and received a royal warrant from Queen Victoria. It was even sketched in 1797 by JMW Turner.

This two-bedroom house is in the middle of the terrace and has an attic and a single garage with second-level storage area. From its pretty, private gardens there are steps leading down to a patio area right on the river – fishing and boating rights included.

Finally, Willow Dene is many people’s idea of a dream home. Low-profile and charmingly irregular in shape, it’s spacious and makes great use of its unusually long river frontage, with large windows – for light and views – and a sizeable balcony off its master bedroom.

The property has been restored by the current vendors and now has four bedrooms, three reception rooms – two of them more than 30 feet long – and an integral tandem garage.

One of its greatest assets must surely be its landscaped gardens and luxuriously large patio, which lends itself to al fresco dining and has fabulous views over the river.

As a finishing touch, it also has a private jetty with fishing and boating rights.