homemaker featured property - 21 September 2013

The Martins in Prestwick near Ponteland is up for sale and offers buyers a beautiful rural retreat close to busy city life


For some buyers a rural retreat is the perfect home, while others prefer a busy city lifestyle.

When haulage firm boss, Nigel Arthur, 52, first saw The Martins, Prestwick, near Ponteland, 11 years ago he fell in love with it. And it’s not hard to see why as the property offers the best of both worlds being in a countryside setting within easy reach of the hustle and bustle of Newcastle.

Over the years Nigel has transformed the detached property into a beautiful family home that combines traditional and modern elements well.

Today the five-bedroom house, which was built in the 1950s, boasts two balconies, an unusual arched entrance, oak flooring and a multi-fuel burning stove, as well as a new kitchen and spacious conservatory.

But it wasn’t always like this and the property needed extensive work to be as family-friendly as it is now.

Nigel said: “It was a bit run down when I first saw it, and the house needed some TLC to bring it up-to-date, but after some rendering, rewiring and replastering work, it was as good as new. I did some of the renovation work myself which was hard, but enjoyable at the same time because I knew how it was going to look when it was finished. It inspired me to keep going and you could say it was a real labour of love.”

The sitting room has a lovely welcoming feel, decorated with bold cherry red and chocolate wallpaper and matching furnishings which add to its warmth. While the breakfasting kitchen area has a farmhouse feel to it with a range of cream units and AGA-style oven. French doors lead from here out into the large back garden which is planted with an array of shrubs and trees.

“I think my favourite room has to be the sitting room as it’s lovely in the winter with the multi-fuel burning stove on. I also like the conservatory as it’s so bright and airy and great in the summer months. The house certainly lends itself to entertaining too with its open-plan feel. We had a party here for my 50th birthday.” said Nigel.

The first floor has five bedrooms, a study and bathroom with free-standing roll top bath. The master bedroom, decorated in lilac and cream, has French doors that lead out on to a balcony offering views of the back garden and beyond.

Being only a stone’s throw from Ponteland Golf Course also has its advantages for the keen golfer.

Nigel, who runs the family business, John Arthur & Son Ltd, said: “I’m a member of Ponteland Golf Course, so it’s really handy for me. It’s also close to the Metro and Newcastle Airport for anyone who needs to travel around the region. I think living here certainly offers the best of both worlds, it’s got a countryside feel, but doesn’t take too long to get into the city.”

The property offers a great deal of green space set in extensive grounds with stables and a paddock.

Nigel said: “One of the attractions when I saw the house was how much green space there was with it. It’s such a tranquil setting. The house would be great for a family with children who want to keep a horse due to the fact it has the stables and a paddock. There’s also plenty of land which could provide scope for possible development or anyone who wants to work from home.”

But with the five children having now flown the nest, the detached home is now too big for Nigel on his own.

He said: “I’m looking to downsize now with the children gone, I don’t need as much space as before. I’d like to stay in a rural area such as Heddon on the Wall and I’d love to take on another new project, but on a smaller scale this time.”

The Martins, Prestwick, near Ponteland, is for sale through Bridgfords at £650,000, tel: 01661 860300.


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