This is one of those ‘something for everyone’ kinds of places in terms of properties. You can snap up a commuter condo, a chi-chi cottage, a suburban between-the-wars semi or a vast and rambling Yorkshire estate. This is the land of some really lovely barn conversions and land-laden farms.
Off the scale in terms of connected considering it’s a little market town! East coast rail services to London and Scotland stop at the the station here. Next stop is York which connects to the west. Also just a few miles from the A1 and A19 for an easy link in any direction – and Leeds Bradford airport is under an hour.
A market town with a capital M on Wednesdays and Saturdays when a browse-worthy stalls take over the town. Wensleydale’s producers bring cheese, fruit and veg and meat. There’s a great fish stall with an abundance of east coast treats. Plenty of non-food folk selling bits and pieces too.
In terms of shopping, make a beeline for Barkers, a family-run and much-loved department store which manages to bridge the gap between traditional and on-trend. It’s just started opening up on Sundays too, which is a bonus. In terms of womenswear they’ve recently upped the game with a contemporary fashion area selling Boss Orange, Lauren’s Denim&Supply as well as the lesser known (and all the better for it) designer brands, Ronen Chen and Bitte Kai Rand labels which offer up sharp separates with a Scandi-style design edge.
The shoe department for men and women has some stylish Spanish brand – including Loake for the chaps and Fly for the girls. You’ll also find a great range of Orla Kiely bags if you love her fashion pops of colour. Menswear includes Hackett, Ralph Lauren Golf, Ted Baker, Brax and French & Hatton. Also on the fashion beat in the High Street, find Fat Fat, Crew Clothing, Clinkards and Moda in Pelle shoes.
Also for gifts and treats check out Pandora store and Market Cross jewellers.
Northallerton is home to the loveliness that is Fired Earth – one of few stores in the North and the place to find beautiful tiles and posh paint – as well as lust-after bathroom fittings, rugs and accessories for the home.
The quirky high street leads to some little alleyways which are home to specialist shops – The Optic Shop will fulfil your star-gazing dreams with telescopes and binoculars. In Zetland Street make a beeline for Better Daze record shop – it’s filled with juxeboxes and vinyl. Once in you might never escape! Next door is Cowley Cycles and just over the road the lovely Joe Cornish Gallery, a showcase for the photographer’s famous landscapes of coast and countryside, Yorkshire and beyond.
In Barkers Arcade, shop for furniture at Bay Tree Interiors. Another homes find is Joanna Marco Interiors near the town hall. Slightly out of town, is the Barkers Home store which is filled to the brim with furniture, a very impressive lighting department, smart designer bed linens and loads of home accessories.
There’s a welcoming Waterstones store in the main street – lots of books, obviously, but also nice cards and gifts.
FOOD & DRINK
Bettys is the heroine of the high street when it comes to some classy lunching and perfect patisserie. Expect to queue for a table any time of the day – this is where Yorkshire ladies take tea in some style, from morning coffee to the full afternoon cake trolley dilemma – in surroundings that are very ‘palm court’. Cutesy, old-fashioned service and luscious lunches. Take a speciality fat rascal home to continue the experience.
Lewis & Cooper also on the High Street is a gourmet institution. You can smell it before you see it – the aroma of Wensleydale cheese seeps into the street. Real Yorkshire food treats live here – great hams, local sausages, pies and deli treats – with every Yorkshire cheese you could wish for. A wonderful wine shop – and great for hampers. A coffee shop upstairs too.
Northallerton has just been treated to spanking new and spacious M&S food store at the rear of the main street – with easy parking.
Local butchers are the pride of the main street, particularly Kitsons and Thompsons of Northallerton. There’s also a Pizza Express and Majestic Wine Warehouse.
When we visited there was a big queue waiting to go into the Friday morning craft and bakery event in the town hall – cakes and bakes a speciality!
If you’re looking for a nice pub around these parts, the Buck Inn at Maunby is impressive.
The new kid on the block is The Potting Shed, Northallerton’s newest bar. Once was the Old Rutson Hospital, it has been restored to some of its former glory, complete with roof terrace, large garden featuring our iconic Potting Sheds. Serving homemade food from a theatre-style kitchen including wood fired pizza oven and a range of local craft ales and cocktails.
This is more of high-street mooch place than country ramble but not so far from the town itself is Mount Grace Priory, an English Heritage property nestling beneath the Cleveland Hills. This unusual monastery is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. Discover how the monks lived 600 years in the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb plot. The crumbling masonry and open grassland have become home to a collection of wildlife that has taken advantage of what previous owners, including the monks, left behind.
Jo Rose is curator at the Joe Cornish Gallery in Northallerton…
Three good things about living here: Shopping at Barkers. Walkable market town centre with lovely architecture. Good mixture of high street shops and independent retailers
Three places you take visitors: Joe Cornish Gallery & Café! ‘Grande’ Brazilian restaurant & cafe. Applegarth Park just behind the High Street, great place for children to burn off energy.
An ‘in the know’ secret: There’s a huge redevelopment of the former prison site which will double the size of the town centre.