Property gallery: Derwent Valley views and versatility in split-level property

This spilt-level home on the western edge of Rowlands Gill village, has spectacular views overlooking the Derwent Valley

This stunning spilt-level property has spectacular views overlooking the Derwent Valley.

It is idyllically situated in a cul de sac, on the western edge of Rowlands Gill village, in the greenbelt of Gateshead, and has been home to Hilton Smith, a retired businessman turned crime fiction writer, and his partner Anne, for the past eight years.

The couple recognised the opportunity to substantially improve the house and bought it in 2007. They have since enjoyed the serenity of village life but have decided to sell up in order to downsize and embark on a new chapter in their lives.

“It was in a reasonable condition when we moved in, but I still had a lot of work to do,” explained Hilton. “We bought it primarily because it’s got a fantastic view over the valley and being in a nice spot we thought it was a good investment to refurbish it completely.

“There was a conservatory on the back of the property which we had to knock down and we built a new orangery on its footprint, which is almost like a second living room because it’s very large.

“We also had to do various things around the house, such as making a better place for storing the bins out of sight and completely rejigging the rear garden.”

Extensive accommodation includes an entrance porch with attractive tiled flooring and inner hallway which leads to a lovely dining room, in turn leading to a delightful lounge with valley views.

The home of Hylton Smith, from Rowlands Gill, which is for sale
The home of Hylton Smith, from Rowlands Gill, which is for sale

There is also an impressive kitchen with breakfasting bar, three bedrooms including the master which has an en suite, and a luxurious family bathroom. To the ground floor is a double garage, workroom, office, fitness suite with gym and walk-in shower.

Hilton said: “This would be a perfect house for people who need a teenager flat or granny annex, because the house is split level, all of the living quarters are on one floor, but underneath to the ground floor, as well as a garage, there’s a massive basement with a fitness suite and an office which could easily be converted into separate living space for a teenager or an elderly relative.”

Hilton’s favourite parts of the house are the orangery which was built with energy-efficient units and self-cleaning glass, the lounge and the beautifully tiered and terraced back garden.

“The orangery was built to our specification so we love it, but we spend most of our time in the original living room because of the view it has over the valley. It stretches for miles. If we’re sitting in the rear garden and we are having a meal on the top level at night, we can actually see over the top of the house and get an even better view of the Derwent Valley.”

The area is also perfect for outdoor entertaining and is a key feature of the home, with red brick ornamental steps leading up from a large lawn to the living area. In addition there is a garden to front and parking space for several vehicles.

The property features highg quality fixtures and fittings throughout and offers versatile accommodation which will appeal to a range of different buyers.

Hilton, 74, and Anne, 67, are looking to downsize and stay in Rowlands Gill and will also consider a part-exchange of the property. “Now that I’m fully retired I want to spend more time travelling around and I can’t justify a house of this size,” says Hilton. “I’ll miss the views that we’ve got, but needs must.

“Apart from the initial surge of money and time we’ve put in to get it the way we want it, it’s been a fantastic home and if we could shrink the house into a smaller one we probably wouldn’t have it up for sale. It’s also in a very quiet position for those who want privacy and Rowlands Gill village is lovely and has a lot of amenities.”

  • 7 Holmewood Drive, Rowlands Gill, is for sale at £465,000, through Your Move, tel: 01207 544498.


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