5 reasons why you should move to Otley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 September 2019
Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd
Neighbourhood know-how, places and people
If you think you already know Otley from your encounters with the A659 which runs through the town, then think again. Park the car and within minutes you could be accessing the beautiful walks and boating alongside the River Wharfe, or setting out on an inspiring hike or bike ride up the awesome Chevin which overlooks the town - a lung busting climb upon which Olympic triathletes Jonny and Alastair Brownlee regularly train. With an ancient market dating back to 1222 at its heart, Otley is also a bustling commercial centre full of cool independent shops, bars and eateries. The Courthouse arts centre (once doubling as the Police Station in the TV series, Heartbeat), is also home to the Otley Chamber Orchestra which adds a classical dimension to the town's well established live music scene. Sports fans can look forward to getting behind the town's National League rugby union club.
Despite not being served by rail, Otley is perfectly placed for commuters, being just 30 minutes by car to the centre of Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford, as well as all the major motorway networks. Even better, the town is just 15 minutes from Leeds Bradford airport, a proximity which is guaranteed to save some frayed nerves once in a while!
Bag a Property
With prices starting at £130K for a one bedroomed terrace house and climbing to £1m for the most impressive detached properties on its rural outskirts, Otley offers something for every budget. For those in search of Victorian architecture, the town's industrial legacy proffers a wide range of centrally located, different-sized terraced properties.
For a stylish new build seek out Garnett's Mill, a former paper mill on the banks of the River Wharfe which has been redeveloped into a range of high spec apartments and townhouses.
There is so much to see in Otley that there are three different walking trails dedicated to showcasing its best bits - which can be downloaded from visitotley.co.uk. Top sights include its charming cobbled market square home to the town's iconic Jubilee Clock. One of the most historic in Britain, the market is still held there three days a week.
The River Wharfe and Wharfemeadows are both just a five minute walk from the town centre and offer boating, riverside garden walks and a nature reserve. There is also the fabulously named Tittybottle Park adjacent to the river, earning its name from the mums, nannies and children who frequented it in 1909 when it was created.
Foodies need look no further as Otley is home to some of the best artisan food shops in the region, including the award winning Weegmann's butchers which established its first premises in the town in 1869.
Another award winner, the Bondgate Bakery has been baking bread and cakes using traditional methods and locally sourced untreated flours for 35 years.
Café & Cocktails
Locals absolutely rave about Buon Apps, an authentic family run Italian restaurant located on the banks of the River Wharfe. Otley also has a well-established craft ale scene with The Blackhorse - now owned by Leeds iconic Brudenell Social Club and Kirkstall Brewery - coming top of the list.
Also look out for Groove Pad, a venue which brings together great beer, wine, coffee and vinyl - to either listen to or buy. And, for five star coffee and cakes with a little rock and roll pedigree, check out Bloomfield Square owned and run by former Terrorvision frontman, Tony Wright.
Otley born and bred Katie Burnett established her boutique garden nursery shop, Courtyard Planters 14 years ago. It is uniquely stocked with flowers and plants grown at her own nursery, also located in Otley.
Best thing about living and working in Otley?
It has a brilliant community spirit and there are always lots of events going on in the town. And, although a town, Otley actually feels like a village as everyone knows and supports one another.
My partner Tom and I and our two daughters love to walk up the Chevin and also play around in the river. On a rare night out together we look forward to catching up with the latest musical act or production at the Otley Courthouse.
I'm involved with Otley in Bloom and recently whilst working with a local primary school to develop a logo for Otley, the children said that the best thing about Otley is that it is safe and you can be yourself here - which is better than any USP I could come up with!