Most people have probably never even heard of the Vale of Mowbray, and fewer still could place it on the map.
Nothing to do with “pork pie country” (that’s Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire) it lies to the north of the Vale of York and south of the Tees between the Yorkshire Dales to the west and the North York Moors to the east. The main towns are Northallerton and Thirsk.
The Vale of Mowbray – especially the southern part – is much like its southern neighbour, the Vale of York, but there are some real differences.
Whereas the Vale of York tends to be open and pancake flat, the Vale of Mowbray is more contained by its upland flanks and has areas of rolling hills as well as flatter floodplain.
It also tends to have more hedgerows and trees than the intensively-farmed Vale of York.
This gentle landscape is pierced by church spires, dotted with farmsteads and spliced by rivers and streams.
The villages tend to occupy the higher ground and are often linear, with houses – often with long rear plots – set back from the wide main road behind broad grass verges; village greens are common.
The traditional red-brick-and-pantile buildings, together with mature trees, make for some very attractive – and highly desirable – property.
Also, because the Vale is effectively a gap between two upland areas, it has long been used as a vital transport route. The Romans built roads through it and nowadays the A1 and the East Coast main railway line between London and Edinburgh pass this way.
The following are just three of the properties currently on the market in the area.
The Dower House is a beautiful detached property in the centre of Rainton. It has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining kitchen, two reception rooms and a cellar. Unusually, it also has a detached self-contained annexe with open-plan kitchen/sitting room, conservatory, double bedroom and shower room.
Outside, there are gardens and a single garage, and the property comes with outline planning permission for a single-storey detached house.
The Green House at Melmerby is a very spacious family home – with almost 4,000 sq ft of living space, which includes five bedrooms, three bedrooms and landing study area on the first floor.
Downstairs, there is a large open-plan dining kitchen, entrance hall, two reception rooms, office, utility room and store.
Outside, there are well-maintained gardens accessed via electronic gates and a sizeable driveway that leads to a double garage and ample parking space.
A few miles to the other side of the A1(M) from Melmerby, Jackabee House in Catton is a detached family home that was built in 2000. It has since been extended and now has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, open-plan kitchen/dining room, large sitting room, even larger garden room and utility room with access to the integral single garage.
Outside, there is a driveway with turning area for off-street parking, plus front and back gardens which are mostly lawned.