Postcode focus - NE47

The NE47 postcode incorporates a large rural area of Northumberland. The main town is Haydon Bridge with, further south, Allendale and down to Allenheads.

The NE47 postcode incorporates a large rural area of Northumberland. The main town is Haydon Bridge with, further south, Allendale and down to Allenheads.

There are probably not many places in the North-East where life is set to improve so much for residents over the next few years as in Haydon Bridge, which lies a few miles west of Hexham on the A69.

For the past 15 years people living in the town have had to tolerate an ever-increasing flow of traffic along that main Newcastle to Carlisle route, with the heavy lorries and constant flow of cars passing right through the centre of the village.

But now work has finally begun on a £26m bypass, which will drastically reduce that traffic flow and turn the rumbling lorries into distant memories for people living in the village.

Despite being the last of the major settlements on the A69 to benefit from a bypass, there have been people living in this particular part of the River Tyne since Saxon times.

Keen to take advantage of the improvement the removal of the road will make to the village, a steering group has been set up to make sure the town develops in the best possible way.

The group, which is made up of those local to the area, is drawing up a plan of action to highlight what facilities are most important for residents and businesses. Resident Peter Fletcher, who chairs the steering group, said: "It is about the village looking forwards, beyond the bypass to the next phase of its life.

"It already has great local facilities that attract people to the area."

Among these facilities are a renowned butcher and three excellent pubs.

Each of the General Havelock, The Anchor and The Railway serve good quality food meaning visitors as well as residents are never short of a place to eat and drink.

A growing number of good quality bed and breakfasts also means that those who are just visiting are spoilt for choice when choosing where to stay.

Another of the strengths that Haydon Bridge will always have, even when the A69 is moved a few hundred yards out of town, is its location which allows residents to enjoy rural living while still having major towns and cities within striking distance.

Having the A69 on the doorstep of the town means residents can savour the beautiful surrounding countryside, while still having the facilities of Hexham, Newcastle and Carlisle within a short drive.

With its eponymous bridge, a key strategic point during the border raids and the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745, Haydon Bridge is a town that can boast a history as rich as many of its Northumberland counterparts.

And large part of its heritage is attached to perhaps its most famous son, the Romantic painter John Martin.

Martin, who was born in the village and lived there until the age of 14, was among the most popular artists of his day. A heritage trail has been created in the village, which takes in a number of the key sites in the painter's early life.

The town has a railway station, built in the 1830s, and is also a popular base for tourists investigating nearby Hadrian's Wall.

And situated in the middle of Northumberland's most scenic areas, lovers of the great outdoors are never more than a short drive from a great walk.

One obvious destinations is the Wall itself, but for those more inclined to stand and wait for their entertainment there are five miles of salmon and trout fishing available through South Tyne Angling Club.

Or, for some, a simple drive could prove an end in itself, with the A696 road from the town to Penrith via Alston, in Cumbria, described by the AA as one of the top 10 drives in Europe.

The rolling moors south of Hadrian's Wall which blend into the Northern Pennines on either side of the South Tyne Valley through Allendale and Allenheads are an attractive site all year round, linked by the winding B6295.

On the top of the moors - sometimes from two miles away - one can see lonely chimneys, the end of the flumes from the lead smelters in the valley below. These flumes are constructed of brick and large enough for a man and cart to walk through have been buried and not always obvious.

The area is proud of its rich history, based around the lead mining industry and the Allenheads Heritage Centre is well worth a visit.

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Working village a hub of activity

Haydon Bridge is a medium-sized village seven miles west of Hexham, with a population of around 1,450 people.

At the moment most people recognise the name because the village straddles the A69 and you will drive through it on the way to Carlisle and the west. The great news for residents and for the infrastructure of the village is that a bypass is being built.

This much-needed route will, undoubtedly, turn Haydon Bridge into a quiet, sought-after village.

The demand for property in the area will definitely increase, and along with it we are expecting a rise in the average value of property there.

The village has its own high school, which carries sports college status. Students in the school have shown a significant rise in achievement over recent years. The refurbished Lodge acts as a centre for Child Care Studies across Tynedale. Some students living in the North Tyne area board at Ridley Hall during the week.

When the pupils go home at weekends in the tourist season, they are replaced by tourists, who are keen to frequent the many eating places and variety of pubs in the village.

Residents are made up of a real mix across all ages and background, although at the moment most are local - this will probably change once the bypass is built. First-time buyers stand a good chance of getting a perfect first property, with two-bedroom flats commanding around £100,000.

The larger properties in the area carry prices up to around £400,000 but for that you get a lot of property and plenty of private garden areas.

It is easy to get to the main cities in the region for commuters as the transport link is good. Not only is there a train station, the main Newcastle to Carlisle bus stops at the village, and of course, the local road network is being improved.

Although it will never be a sleepy hamlet, Haydon Bridge is a village with history and character surrounded by beautiful countryside.

It has every amenity anyone could need on their doorstep. Already popular for property sales, we are bracing ourselves for the deluge of inquiries once the new road is open and the village is united once more!

* Joyce Douglas is the office manager for Northumbria and Cumbria Estates, based on Fore Street, Hexham, (01434) 600146.

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On the market in NE47

Located in the heart of Haydon Bridge next to the high school, this five-bedroom semi-detached house is within easy reach of shops and amenities.

The substantial stone-built property has a versatile and well-proportioned layout. On the ground floor the reception hallway has an ornate staircase. There is a lounge with an impressive marble fireplace, separate dining room, recently fitted kitchen with granite work tops.

The property on Belmont Gardens is for sale through Northumbria & Cumbria Estates at offers in the region of £350,000, tel: (01434) 600146.

Ideal for horse lovers, this double-fronted Edwardian home comes with a half acre paddock and stabling.

The imposing four-bedroom property is in Slaley, seven miles south of Hexham. The main reception rooms have grand south-facing double sash windows.

South Glen is for sale through RPS Residential at a guide price of £565,000, tel: (01434) 608980.

This stone-built, detached property has an elevated position on the outskirts of Haydon Bridge, giving outstanding southerly views.

Character features include polished timber flooring, vaulted ceilings with exposed roof trusses and deep window sills.

The property on Heugh House Lane is for sale at offers in the region of £345,000, tel: (01434) 600146.

This Grade II Listed Victorian school has been restored and improved over the last seven or eight years to create a spacious three double-bedroom home with considerable character.

At Carrshield, Northumberland, the property is in an idyllic rural position midway between Alston and Allenheads, 16 miles from Hexham and 37 miles from Newcastle.

Quality fixtures and fittings include natural wood floors, large sash windows and halogen spotlights.

The Old Boys School, Carrshield, is for sale through Foster Maddison at a guide price of £295,000, tel: (01434) 605441.

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