Formerly two dwellings for farm workers, the home was built in 1714 and has period features such as oak beams, inglenook fireplaces and deeply recessed windows.
Mark said: “We bought the house 11 years ago because we wanted to live in the country and it has been a great place for our kids to grow up in.
“We were attracted by the location. It is a rural lifestyle but close to local amenities.
“Whickham is a nice town and has amenities such as pubs, shops and some excellent schools.
“Although this property is in a very rural setting you can walk to Whickham and Sunniside, we’re very close to Newcastle and the Metrocentre.”
The cottage sits in six acres of grounds, ideal for Elaine to use for her work as a dog trainer, teaching dog agility classes.
Mark says that it would suit someone who has dogs because of all the space, and also suit someone with horses. The Wilsons have run a livery from the house and also have their own horses. The grounds have stables, tack room and field shelter.
“We’re surrounded by excellent country trails for horses and we borders Washingwell Wood which has the lake so it’s an idyllic location for horse riding or dog walking,” Mark said.
The property has well-proportioned rooms which are full of characte. Elaine stripped and restored the beams to their original state and opened up the two inglenook fireplaces the dining room and sitting room, which now has a wood-burning stove.
The breakfasting kitchen has been fitted with cottage-style units and has a double aspect, making it light and airy.
The tiled floor adds to the rustic feel and extends into a rear hallway which can be used as a utility space.
The ground-floor en suite master bedroom is a later addition to the property and also has a dual aspect with views over the front garden. The garden can also be reached from this room.
The bathroom is on the ground floor while upstairs there are two spacious bedrooms which enjoy views of the garden.
Mark said: “We have a nice big garden with a patio area and it’s south-facing so it gets the sun all day. It has good views of the countryside.
“What’s ideal about the property is that it’s ideal for horse riding and dog walking and also has outbuildings.
“We actually bought it from a professional musician who had converted two of the stables to a recording studio so it’s ideal for rock stars too!
“Seriously, it would be perfect for someone who wanted to work from home – the converted stables could be a home office or gym.”
As well as the countryside walks and trails in the vicinity, the home is also near to the Tanfield Railway Path and Derwent Walk, ideal for cyclists and with wonderful views of the wooded Derwent Valley.
The Wilsons have two children – Stewart, 23, and Kirsty, 21. Stewart is living away and Kirsty hopes to move out soon.
It is this, coupled with the fact that Mark’s place of work has changed from the Team Valley to Bowburn, south of Durham, that has decided the couple on the move.
Mark said: “Our plan had been to wait until the kids grew up then move but we’re going because of my journey to work and also to downsize.”
- The Cottage, Marshall Lands Farm, Whickham, is for sale at offers over £575,000 from Smiths Gore, tel: 01434 632404.