Whitby Holiday Cottage, where to begin?

By Wendy the Other Half

Well, at the beginning obviously. You’ve already read about us finding and purchasing the cottage so I’ll begin with our first visit, which resulted in the video guided tour. (see the video here)

The sale of the cottage completed on the 6th February. We decided to make a flying visit to Whitby to pick up the keys (by flying visit I, obviously, mean a 5 hour round trip) on the 7th. We needed to check out the property to have a look at what would be needed to stay a few nights there with the kids during half term.

You have to remember that we had last seen the cottage in August 2010, almost 18 months ago! A ten minute open viewing with only a cursory look at what work may need doing, but we fell in love with it and made our offer over a year later. No second viewing. This, we have to stress, is NOT the way to successful property investment.

So, lunchtime in Whitby, after driving through rather dense fog over Fylingdales Moor (we couldn’t even see the Hole of Horcum, we stopped and checked) we parked on the West Cliff and walked past our cottage on Cliff Street to Astins to pick up the keys. Here we finally met in person “our” estate agent Nick, who had been Mr. Helpful himself. He even offered help in the future with local knowledge, contractors etc.

Back up the hill and we’re at our new (rather shabby) front door. Keys work fine sticks a bit at the bottom though, one for Stuff Doers list, but no matter I’ve picked the colour it’s going to be and dug out the antique knocker that’s going to furnish it.

Into the lobby, it’s not grand enough to be a hallway, with its blown plaster next to the door. At least that was one thing we’d remembered, then through into the downstairs living /dining room. Yes the wallpaper was as bad as we’d remembered, but once we’d removed the cover over the door window it was much brighter and opened up a view we didn’t realise we had.

Then through to the kitchen, the biggest surprise, it was a good bit larger than either of us recalled. This is great news. I’m aware that most people don’t go on holiday to cook, but some people (myself included) want a well equipped kitchen. Plus this cottage will also, for some of the year, be our home so I can now let my imagination run wild and think of ways to justify having a range cooker!

Everywhere else in the cottage is pretty much as we remembered it. We discover that we can put a proper passage on the walk- through bedroom, rather than the moveable privacy divide that we’d envisaged.

In the upstairs living room we discover what we think is a Victorian marble fireplace with a rather hideous gas fire plonked in front of it. Stuff Doer decides to have a quick look to see how easy it’ll be to remove but said fire isn’t actually attached to anything other than the gas pipe. Here’s one thing that can’t wait until our next visit. I can smell gas and we really don’t want to leave the gas off for a few days on one of the coldest days of the winter so far. The “elbow” on the gas pipe doesn’t work, the more it’s turned the more gas escapes, so off to the DIY shops round the corner to do a permanent fix. So, we’ve made a start already and we’ve only had the keys for two hours!

removing gas fire to reveal fireback and flu
Quick work after capping off the Gas, revealing a solid fuel fire back

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