Demand for hospitality businesses in rural and coastal locations skyrocketed during 2020, as the combination of international travel restrictions and lockdown measures encouraged people to take domestic ‘staycations’ and visit community pubs and restaurants closer to home.
This trend has shown no signs of abating so far in 2021, with a range of investors and buyers hoping to capitalise on the robust future for the staycation market, or perhaps relocate from the city for a lifestyle business opportunity.
During the first quarter of 2021, the team at Christie & Co have exchanged on over 130 hospitality properties, ranging from leisure attractions, community pubs and restaurants (in particular with outside space and an accommodation offering) to hotels and holiday lettings, with demand continuing to outstrip supply in rural and coastal destinations.
In this new five-part series we roundup some of the ‘Hospitality Hotspots’ across the UK which have been seeing a flurry of activity amongst buyers and sellers. First up is the Yorkshire Dales.
PART 1: YORKSHIRE DALES
The Yorkshire Dales is a region situated mostly within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in the historic county of Yorkshire, England. The area comprises a number of ‘dales’ (valleys) which boast their own distinct beauty and character, from traditional farming landscapes and serene meadows to wild, expansive heather-covered moorland and windswept hills dotted with ancient architectural landmarks such as castles and ruins. The region is also famed for having some of the finest limestone scenery in the UK and is home to a number of protected areas including the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
This stunning scenery and rich heritage, along with the many picturesque villages and hamlets scattered throughout the area, make the Yorkshire Dales an ideal place to live and work, and a hotspot for tourists, with more than eight million people visiting the area each year.
During 2020, the region’s popularity only increased, with Christie & Co’s hospitality experts completing on a number of notable deals. In September 2020, we negotiated the sale of the Holly Hill Inn, a popular coaching inn situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and within easy reach of Richmond, to Trust Inns, one of the UK’s longest standing, privately owned pub companies with a national portfolio of 350 venues. With its position along the St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay coastal walk, views of Richmond Castle from the outdoor beer garden and four deluxe en-suite bedrooms, the pub presented an attractive investment opportunity for a range of buyers before it was snapped up by Trust Inns in excess of the £625,000 asking price.
Holly Hill Inn
Shortly afterwards in October, The Farmers Arms, a traditional village pub located in Muker, North Yorkshire with no immediate local competition and a self-contained holiday let, was acquired by Andy Gascoigne, a retired rugby league star-turned hospitality entrepreneur.
The Farmers Arms
Welcome to Yorkshire
has already reported an increase in holiday bookings across the region for the 2021 summer period, which food-led hospitality businesses will also benefit from. As such, buyer appetite for the Yorkshire region shows no signs of abating for 2021, with many investors eager to acquire good quality assets ahead of the summer months.
A popular area within the Yorkshire Dales which is currently seeing significant demand from investors is Grassington, in Upper Wharfedale. Situated at the heart of the region, the charming village has long been considered an enviable location to live and work. However, the town recently caught international attention after it became the main location used to film Darrowby, the fictional village in the legendary and hugely popular James Herriot novels, in a TV series released by Channel 5 in late 2020, followed by a Christmas special. A second series has already been commissioned, set to be filmed early this year, which will only add to Grassington's popularity.
Within the village, we are currently marketing the award-winning Grassington Lodge, a contemporary 12-bed guest house considered the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Yorkshire Dales. The property is a previous winner of Channel 4’s popular reality show ‘Four in a Bed,’ and holds the highest TripAdvisor ranking for the area.
The versatile business experienced an unbelievably busy and profitable few months in the period following the COVID-19 national lockdown in 2020 and is currently on the market with a guide price of £925,000 for the freehold.
Elsewhere in the Dales, Christie & Co are marketing, How Stean Gorge; an outdoor activity centre with licensed restaurant, shop and campsite – the site also benefits from planning permission for seven Swiss Chalets. The site is for sale freehold at an asking price of £650,000.
How Stean Gorge
For more information on our current listings in the region click here
David Cash, Associate Director - Hospitality
(Christie & Co Pubs & Restaurants Business Agent of the year 2020)
T +44 (0) 191 269 7025
M +44 (0) 7736 621 023