This is why Otley has earned its place as one of the best towns to live in the UK

Otley has been voted one of the best up and coming areas to live in a new list published by the Sunday Times.

Earlier this month the Sunday Times released a list of the UK's hotspots for property investment, with Otley trumping the list alongside nearby towns Farsley and Pudsey.

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Leeds property expert James Limb spoke to the YEP about why he thinks Otley has earned its place on the roster, and why budding house owners should look to the market town for opportunities.

This four bedroom house in Otley is on the market for £449,500 on Purplebricks.

"Otley has been a bit of a gem," James said.

"What we have seen over the last decade is that it has taken a real turn. There's lots of little independent shops and bars and restaurants that have popped up in there, and there's been a real turnover in the population.

"That sort of rejuvenation seen in the local demographic; shops have vacated the area and now there's lots of pubs. It's got about 20 bars that you can go into as well - for a little town with a population of around 22,000 it's a cracking little spot."

A shift in what the town has to offer has led to a lot more young people choosing to settle down in Otley, buying a home near to quirky local amenities and pubs yet retaining some of that countryside peace and quiet.

Located in beautiful countryside, the house on Milner Bank is perfect for a more rural way of life.

"It's changed over the last five years or so," James explained.

"We've seen a lot of the older generation move out and a lot of the younger generation move in. It's the type of place where people move to and stay, so you're seeing a lot of nesting and a lot of young families that have come to the area because it's that well positioned.

"It's got open space, gardens, fields, dog walks - it ticks all the boxes."

Famous for its picturesque views and cobbled streets, Otley has always attracted those who want a taste of country living without the isolation that can come along with it.

Internally the property benefits from versatile living space, a sleek kitchen and large bedrooms.

With fantastic transport connections to and from Leeds city centre and surrounding towns, a more urban lifestyle is only ever a short journey away.

James said: "You're only 20 or 30 minutes out of the city centre, which is nothing really, and then you've got Bolton Abbey and all the countryside right on your doorstep."

"A lot of the houses, whichever side of the river you are on, have beautiful views up to the Chevin and into Chevin Forest where you can get lost on a dog walk, or you can disappear the other way up to Askwith.

"There's countryside pursuits whether it's cycling, walking, dog walking, hiking - whatever it is you're into."

All four of the bedrooms are double bedrooms. For more information head to www.purplebricks.co.uk/property-for-sale/4-bedroom-semi-detached-house-otley-1369165

But it is not just the prime location and connection with nature that is driving people to buy homes here.

Otley is full of large detached houses and up-to-date properties, but what really makes the place special is its vast array of characterful cottages and quirky spots that emit heaps of personality.

"The vast majority of houses in Otley are really good, large detached houses," James explained.

"But if you stay on the south side of the river there's a lot more old town houses. So you've got some big, old Victorian terraces mixed in with some lovely, quirky cottages.

"It strikes a balance; if you want a Victorian terrace, it's there, and if you're wanting a big space or a seventies-style house then that's there. Even if you just want a new build or a turn key to drop your furniture in, that's there as well.

"It's obviously part of what's driving people to come out of cities, there's that variation."

This historical market town provides a wide range of amenities including shops, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants.

So how much will a house in Otley cost the average buyer? In comparison to many other towns on the Sunday Times list, a surprisingly low sum.

James said: "You can get a very, very good detached house for mid-to-low £400,000, whereas if you were to travel further down the valley and you get into Ilkley you're probably looking at the best part of 700,000. It is much more affordable without being bottom end."

For those considering investing in a property here, there has never been a better time to do so.

With the market yet to be clued up on the massive appeal of Otley, for both its beauty and functionality, buying a house here is recommended sooner rather than later to avoid rising costs.

"I think it's a bit of an undiscovered gem really," added James.

"And people are starting to realize that and snap [the houses] up now."