CITY worker Ruth Carter wanted her next home to be a world away from the hustle and bustle she had become used to.
The Open University tutor had spent years working and living in the centre of Leeds, but craved a more tranquil lifestyle for herself and her three girls.
She began looking for somewhere close enough to be within travelling distance of her job, but far enough to get away from it all at the end of a busy working day and she soon found an idyllic home in Marsden.
Ruth said: "I was living in the middle of Leeds, in the Hyde Park area, and it was becoming busier and more student occupied.
"My office was very near to the station and I thought I could travel by train to work so I started looking at areas on the route as possible places to live in Huddersfield and beyond.
"I thought I’d have a try at country life and found this old stone house with beautiful views. I knew it would be perfect for me, whether I chose to work at home or travel in to work."
Ruth, who had lived in period properties before, loved the sense of history oozing from the Grade II listed property.
The house was two separate weavers’ cottages before being put together and extended to create one spacious property by former owners in the late ‘80s.
Ruth says: "I loved the house, it ticked all the right boxes. It was a very good conversion and near to the station, so for work it was perfect.
"And the location was beautiful with absolutely stunning views right over the valley, looking down into Marsden and beyond.
The four-bedroom house came with some lovely period features, including the stone mullioned windows in the upstairs bedrooms where the weavers once worked their looms.
Ruth says: "I’d always lived in Victorian houses and loved period properties, so it was very nice to move into an older house with all the original features.
"One particularly stunning thing I found was this fireplace in the main living room. It had been covered over, but I had it cleaned up and repaired and it now makes a superb feature.
"It’s very beautiful, made from old stone. One of the repairers said it was very old, probably from the 18th century.
"I’ve not been able to work out why a weavers’ cottage had such a grand fireplace!"
When Ruth and her daughters moved into the house, she redecorated it from top to bottom and updated a few of the rooms.
Ruth says: "We wanted a house with lots of character so we added to it and really made ours.
"I like strong colours and some of the rooms reflect that, while my taste in furniture is quite eclectic."
But it’s the lovely, spacious garden that has seen the biggest transformation since Ruth and her family moved into the property.
Ruth explains: "The garden was very overgrown – the estate agent at the time described it as a ‘small uncultivated paddock’!
"It was also covered in rubbish and old car parts, so it took quite a bit of work, but I managed to turn it into a nice hillside garden.
"As they are south-facing, the garden and the house are very light and sunny. There’s a terrace at the front which is a particularly lovely place to sit because it looks right across the valley."
It was a change of lifestyle that Ruth and her daughters craved and they soon settled well into countryside living.
For Ruth, it was the experience of living in such a dramatically different, picture-perfect location that made the leap from city life all the more worthwhile for her family.
"It was nice to come back to the views and the clean air – it was quite a contrast from working and living in the middle of Leeds’ she says.
"We had never lived in a rural environment before, but we soon found we enjoyed the life very much.
"I became involved in organising Marsden Jazz Festival and with Mikron Theatre Company, so I discovered a whole new craft.
"Adapting was a bigger challenge for my youngest daughter, who suddenly found herself in a school with a farm attached!
"It’s a lovely environment to be a part of and it’s wonderful to have so many country walks right on your doorstep."
Ruth has recently retired and decided to sell her home of 12 years to be closer to family living in London.
She says: "For me 12 years is a long time to be in a house and I will miss its character and views.
"It’s a really special environment to be a part of and nothing will be able to replace that."
l Dirker Bank Cottage, Springhead Lane, Marsden, is on the market for £375,000. To arrange a viewing contact Bramleys estate agents on 01484 530361.