Postcode focus - NE9

Situated between the Angel of the North and the Tyne Bridge - a great view is never far away for the residents of Low Fell.

Situated between the Angel of the North and the Tyne Bridge - a great view is never far away for the residents of Low Fell.

But this part of Gateshead is well on the way to becoming as well-known in the North-East as its iconic neighbours, for Low Fell is now one of the most popular places to live on Tyneside.

The property market in the area consists of a huge mix of housing sizes and styles and has been on the rise for years now, spurred on by its lively nightlife and wide selection of shops.

With more and more professionals making Low Fell their home, this trend shows no sign of slowing down, especially when the developers move in on the Gateshead College site, which the students are vacating in 2009.

Life in Low Fell centres on the busy high street on Durham Road, where shoppers can find all of life's essentials and a host of independent, local shops. And the Durham Road has popular pubs and more than its fair share of places to eat.

A public library stands at its southern end, the magnificent Saltwell Park is just a few minutes walk away, and getting access to a host of local services couldn't be easier.

The Team Valley and Retail World are a short drive away, where there is a large Sainsbury's store and shops including Homebase, Currys, Next, Boots, MFI and PC World. The A1 is just a few miles south, while a short bus ride or drive north takes you into the centre of Gateshead, to the Quayside or over the Tyne into Newcastle city centre. Gateshead Fell separated after the Enclosure Act of 1809 into High Fell and Low Fell and according to some historians, was until 1790 populated only by "vagrants, tinkers and cloggers" - completely in contrast to where the name Low Fell derives from - the meaning of `village through the fields'.

The area gradually built up and in the late 19th Century intensive building saw the population soar.

Nowadays the number of estate agents on Durham, nestled among the butchers, florists, supermarket, pubs, newsagents and restaurants, signify just how popular Low Fell has become. With several banks, insurance companies, solicitors and mortgage advice firms, your financial needs can be taken care of too. On Kells Lane is one of Tyneside's most popular curry houses, The Last Days of the Raj, which has won a string of local and national accolades since opening in 1995.

Historically, Kells Lane, which branches off the southern end of the High Street, was home to one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the industrial revolution.

It was in a house called Underhill, that the world's first electronic lightswitch was installed, it being the home for many years of Joseph Wilson Swan, inventor of the carbon filament lightbulb, the predecessor of our present day light bulbs.

Now it is pushing on amidst the rejuvenation of Gateshead, symbolised by its neighbour the Angel and soon, we are promised, a new town centre.

Estate agency boss Sarah Mains explains why she'll always fell at home in Low Fell

I started my estate agency career in Low Fell, on Durham Road, and when I came to set up my own business I had no hesitation in choosing premises just off this main road on Beaconsfield Road.

Homes in NE9 are being snapped up across every price bracket, as the area has a new found vibrancy that is attracting people from far and wide.

Always well-known for its good education, children have a number of nursery, primary and junior schools to choose from. There is a wide range of secondary schools including Joseph Swan and St Edmunds Campion Roman Catholic School and, of course, for sixth form studies, people travel far and wide to attend Gateshead College, which is investing a massive £60m.

The high street that runs through the heart of NE9 is another strong attraction. The shops here offer everything from supermarkets, florists, and clothes - you name it, you can buy it here.

Durham Road has always had its fair share of nice, local pubs but recent investment has seen many refurbishments and it is a great place for a night out. Especially with the huge variety of restaurants that have sprung up.

You can dine out on cuisines from around the world in NE9 including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican - the list goes on and that explains why our Low Fell team are always keen for nights out!

There are also lots of services at hand such as banks, dentists, solicitors, and accountants as well as health care being on the doorstep, as we have the highly acclaimed Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the top of the hill.

Just 10 minutes from Newcastle city centre, with great public transport links and close to the MetroCentre and Team Valley Retail Park, NE9 is popular with people from outside the area, as well as locals keen to return to their roots. Because of that, the property prices have healthily climbed until this year when they have stablised nicely to fall in line with similar areas in the North-East.

The most expensive houses in the postcode reach more than £400,000 with Lyndhurst Grove, Belle Vue Grove and Earls Dene being popular. Properties are available for about £75,000, for a smaller flat or apartment.

Our office in Low Fell is thriving, which is a great reflection on a steady market in a location with lots to offer. NE9 is well worth considering taking a look at!

* Sarah Mains is a director of Sarah Mains Residential, www.sarahmains.com The company's Low Fell office can be reached on (0191) 487-8855.

Great place to live and work

Maxine Colledge says Low Fell is a great place to live and work.

The 25-year-old manages Sanctuary beauty salon in Springs Gym on Joicey Road, Low Fell, Gateshead, and says she really enjoys working in the area.

She said: "You get to see a wide range of people coming into the gym and everyone is really great and friendly. There is something for everyone in Low Fell, with plenty of shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants.

"We're not on the high street where most of Low Fell's fabulous amenities are, but we're too busy during the day to enjoy them anyway.

"It's clearly a popular area and we get plenty of people coming in who are always saying how Low Fell has improved over the years."

Maxine, who comes from Sedgefield, County Durham, has been manager of the salon at Springs for 14 months and works with five other members of staff.

She added: "Low Fell has a great sense of community and a long history in Gateshead. It seems to be an excellent place to raise a family too, as well as being a lively place to live for younger people."

Out and about

Transport: The A1 and A167 into Newcastle are minutes away. Frequent buses head into Newcastle and towards Chester-le-Street, Durham and beyond. Most buses north go via Gateshead Interchange, which is a five minute journey, where the Metro system also stops.

Shops: Durham Road is well-served for food shopping, and there is a Sainsbury's at Team Valley and a Tesco in Gateshead town centre. Durham Road also has a range of smaller shops, banks, off-licences, newsagents and estate agents.

Schools: Local primary schools include Glynwood, Harlow Green, Kells Lane, Oakfield and St Peter's. Secondary schools include the Joseph Swan School, Dryden Road and The Cedars. Gateshead College is soon to move to a new campus on the Quayside.

Facilities: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is a short drive away. There is a library on Durham Road. The council-run leisure centre is just off Durham Road.

Pubs: A host of friendly pubs include the Beaconsfield, the Aletaster, The Gateshead Arms, and the Black Horse, to name but a few in the Durham Road area.

Restaurants: Eateries include the Last Days of the Raj, the Silver Giraffe, the Imperial, Italia, Paprika, and a wide choice at most of the pubs. Durham Road and Kells Lane also have a range of takeaways.

Sites: Some of the architecture along Durham Road is stunning, and major buildings of interest include Underhill, on Kells Lane, was for many years the home of Joseph Wilson Swan, who invented the carbon filament lightbulb.

The Low Fell War Memorial was erected in 1902 to honour soldiers who died during the Boer War.

Trams used to run to Low Fell from Newcastle until the late 1950s and the building which used to be the tram waiting room exists almost unchanged at the junction of Kells Lane and Durham Road. The Shipley Art Gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions and Saltwell Park has recently undergone a major revamp.

On the market in NE9

A substantial four-bedroom home has come up for sale in the heart of Low Fell.

The three-storey period-style double-fronted house is on sought-after Beaconsfield Avenue with several shops just around the corner on Kells Lane. It has been refurbished yet retains much of its original character, including some sash-style windows, period fireplaces and coving.

The ground floor includes a lobby, hallway, lounge, dining room and contemporary kitchen. Two bedrooms are on the first floor along with en-suite facilities to the master and a family bathroom. Two further bedrooms are on the second floor.

There is a small town garden at the front, a garage at the side and an enclosed yard to the rear.

2a Beaconsfield Avenue is for sale through Sarah Mains for offers in excess of £299,950, tel: (0191) 487-8855.

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This six-bedroom end-terraced home offers plenty of versatile living space to suit a variety of buyers.

The stone-built double-fronted house has two reception rooms with fireplaces on the ground floor - both of which have original coving, ceiling roses and picture rails.

There is also a long kitchen, vestibule and reception hallway with stripped and polished floorboards. A spindle staircase leads to the first floor where there is a bathroom and three bedrooms. Three further bedrooms are on the second floor.

This property also has a small garden at the front and a rear yard for off-street parking. 207 Kells Lane is for sale through Parker Stag at £275,000, tel: (0191) 482-1211.

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A spacious luxury loft apartment has just come on to the market in Low Fell. This impressive open-plan living space has lots of character.

The apartment includes two double bedrooms, a bespoke kitchen, bathroom and wet room. There are also communal gardens and a parking bay.

Hillcroft North is for sale through Marshall Gray at a guide price of £180,000, tel: (0191) 441-4444.

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This outstanding four-bedroom family home has just come on to the market.

The property has a wealth of modern and period features. On the ground floor there is a reception hall, cloakroom, lounge, dining room and fitted kitchen.

The first floor has three double bedrooms and a contemporary bathroom. The second floor has a large fourth bedroom and a separate shower room.

To the rear there's a south-east facing garden, mature borders and trees as well as a patio, water feature and raised decking area.

At the front there is a driveway leading to a garage and garden.

16 Lyndhurst Crescent is for sale through Rook Matthews Sayer at £434,950, tel: (0191) 482-8270.

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