The Stray has long been considered one of Harrogate’s prime assets, and property overlooking it is highly sought after.
These 200 acres of open space curving around the town centre are sometimes wrongly referred to as parkland, but have actually been common land from time immemorial.
This status was enshrined in law in 1778 when the Award of the Commissioners for the enclosures of the Forest of Knaresborough stated: “The said two hundred acres of land shall forever hereafter remain open and unenclosed and all persons whomsoever shall and may have free access at all times...”.
In its history the Stray has fulfilled a number of functions, from land for grazing and horse exercise to a site for bonfires, fairs, sports days and diamond jubilee ox-roasts. In the first half of the 20th century it was sometimes even used as a temporary airfield.
Other strays exist in Redcar and York, which has four of them, but arguably none of these others is as central to the the character of their setting as Harrogate’s is to the town. It even gives its name to the area’s commercial radio station, Stray FM.
In 2011, the 150-year ban on cycling was finally overturned and the Stray has since become an important resource for carbon-zero commuters.
The following three properties all command fantastic views of different parts of the town’s “green lung” and are all currently for sale.
Apartment 4, 5 Church Square is a duplex apartment on the second and third floors of an impressive, stone-built block in High Harrogate.
The flat extends to some 1,850 square feet and has three double bedrooms and three bath or shower rooms; the master bedroom suite includes a dressing room and shower room.
There’s also a sitting room and large, well-equipped dining kitchen, as well as a laundry room, reception hall and long-distance views across the Stray.
Nearby, Apartment 1, 24-26 Park Parade is also a duplex, occupying the ground and first floors of a Grade II listed building on one of High Harrogate’s oldest streets. It has a long reception hall leading to a spacious kitchen and an open-plan living space with floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows giving views across Christ Church Stray.
A winding staircase with large feature window leads to the first-floor landing, which has wardrobes and space for a study area. There are three bedrooms; the largest has its own en suite, and the other two share a jack-and-jill bathroom.
Outside, there are rear communal flagged patios to the rear, plus a bin-store and some useful basement storage. At the front of the building there is parking for those with residents’ permits, which are available from the council.
Finally, 19 Beech Grove House is a penthouse apartment with fabulous views across West Park Stray. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room and living room with integrated Bose music system wired throughout the flat. The living room and one of the bedrooms also share a balcony.
There is visitors’ parking to the front of the building, as well as a garage with separate lockable storage room on the lower ground floor.