Quiet lodge in the woods is a haven for wildlife
Love was in the air when Kerry and Kevin Aspinall played Cupid for an internet bridegroom – and ended up with their own new romance, which endures to this day.
Kerry explained: “We lived in Merseyside and Kevin had a young lad working for him who was in touch on the internet with a girl from Haltwhistle.
“He met her, fell in love with her immediately and decided he was getting married, all within weeks – it didn’t last! He didn’t drive, so we moved him up here and while we were here, stopped at Greenhead.
“We decided to go out for the day and loved it here. We went to Haltwhistle and saw the advert for these lodges, which didn’t exist at the time. We drove up here, wondering where we were going because there was nothing, it was literally just a field, and we said, ‘Yes, we could live here,’ and that was it.”
Kevin added: “His love affair ended and our love affair began; it really was like that. As soon as we saw it, we said, ‘We’re going to live here’.”
They went home, put their house on the market and it sold within two days – “everything was coming together, it really was meant to be,” Kerry said.
Fast forward 10 years and the couple are still just as enamoured of both Northumberland and the little piece of it they call home – a timber-built lodge on a quiet, wooded park near Coanwood.
Their property is one of 10 on the site, which is in a lovely spot, surrounded by beautiful countryside yet close to a choice of towns for shopping and entertainment.
It is also very quiet – there is an occupancy clause that children cannot live there permanently.
The lodge’s layout and size is really that of a bungalow, with an entrance hall with oak wood flooring, lounge with patio doors to a decking area, a dining area, kitchen, two bedrooms with fitted wardrobes, bathroom and shower room.
Outside, there’s parking for two cars and side and rear gardens with gravelled pathway and stepping stones, mature trees, shrubs and plants and a log store with roof garden.
The couple are reluctantly selling up to move closer to the St Helens area as they are carers for family members still living there.
Kevin said: “We travel up and down the M6 all the time, hence the reason we’re moving – to get about an hour’s driving closer to the north west. There is no other reason, because we love it here.
“The view from the back of our place is stunning. We sit out and look out over the fells eastwards towards Hexham. If things were different in our lives, we wouldn’t be moving. Northumberland is stunning.”
Improvements they’ve made to their home include a wood-burning stove, the patio doors to make the most of the views, decking around three sides and making a garden from an expanse of grass.
There is a caravan park behind them, but again it’s very quiet, with mostly walkers and birdwatchers staying there.
Kevin said: “There’s lots of walking and cycling around here. There’s shopping in Haltwhistle or Alston, sometimes Brampton. We’re pretty central for all three places or there’s internet delivery. There’s a bus service 20 yards away too.
“It’s great for wildlife – deer, pink-footed geese, Canada geese, pheasants, ducks, muscovy ducks. We’re not far away from the RSPB Gelstdale reserve.
“I like looking at the birds – we have nuthatch, treecreepers, redpoll in the garden and resident woodpeckers, not just standard normal garden birds.
“I think if someone came to look at the property, they would do what we did and fall in love with it straightaway.”
Pinewood Grove, Home Park, Coanwood, is for sale at £117,000 from Grey Estates, tel. (01434) 700077.