If, back at your desk at work this January, you’ve been contemplating a change of lifestyle, Homes & Property has your back. How about a move halfway up a mountain in Yorkshire, to an off-grid house 1.5 miles from the nearest public road, where the night skies are so dark that you can see the Milky Way?
Crina Bottom —yes, that’s the name of the house— is situated inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, on the grassy, craggy slopes of Ingleborough. It has been listed for £750,000 with Fisher Hopper estate agents.
The nearest public road, Fell Lane, is at the end of a 1.5-mile track, which, says agent Darren Spratt, is “maintained by the Yorkshire Dales National Park authority to equivalent bridleway standard – they don’t maintain the track for vehicles”. Getting to the road —and the property’s own letter box— requires a good pair of hiking boots, therefore, or a "pretty sturdy 4x4”.
“You’ll live immersed in nature, surrounded by silence only broken by the sounds of wildlife,” wrote current owners Adam and Moira in the listing. “This really is getting away from it all.”
The four-bedroom property is a “classic Yorkshire farmhouse” built 400 years ago. Yet, unlike many of the other farmhouses in the area, it has been continuously lived in and remains in good condition – particularly after being renovated by its current owners.
Due to its remote location, Crina Bottom is completely off-grid, without connection to mains supplies, electricity, gas or water. But, as part of their renovation, the owners have also introduced a “slick” solution, says Spratt.
A wind turbine generates around two thirds of the house’s power, with batteries storing two days’ worth of electricity. Heating, meanwhile, is provided by a biomass boiler, fed by renewable wood pellets.
There is a water treatment plant on-site, which treats water from the mountainside before it is stored into two 10,000-litre tanks. A septic tank provides drainage, while the house is connected to the internet with mobile broadband. Just don’t expect the fastest speed.
In fact, Crina Bottom makes a small amount of money by being off-grid: it receives a £1,200 yearly rebate for the wind turbine's contribution to the National Grid, while the biomass boiler receives £1,400 annually from the government. There is a back-up generator and, overall, the off-grid system “doesn’t take a huge amount of maintenance”, says Spratt.
Inside, the house is arranged over two storeys, with a generous kitchen diner, dining room, sitting room, laundry room, log store and three store rooms downstairs, plus four bedrooms above. Expect a cosy, rustic feel, with a large cast iron fireplace in the living room, painted wooden beams and wooden floors.
Adam and Moira bought the house three years ago, and have lived there themselves as well as running it as a bed and breakfast. “It has proven to be very popular, with great reviews from people who have stayed there,” says Spratt.
“When [Crina Bottom] was last on the market, they saw it and they had to have it. They were very passionate about the Yorkshire Dales and very keen to inject new life into the building. It was in a slightly run-down state at the time.”
The couple have also opened a refreshment kiosk for hikers climbing Ingleborough, open during the summer months. Because of the house’s unusual, isolated position, Spratt says it has become an “iconic property” amongst outdoor enthusiasts.
Now, though, Adam and Moira are selling Crina Bottom to start a new mountain business in Spain. So far, Spratt says that there has been an even mix of interest between buyers looking to use the house as a retreat, and those keen to continue the business.
But inevitably, prospective buyers are drawn to the property for the same reason: “It’s the uniqueness of being able to acquire a historic property with no near neighbours that’s located halfway up one of the most famous fells in England,” says Spratt.
New year, new you? Perhaps Crina Bottom is the answer.