Overdene, Northumberland – A Home to Cherish

Overdene, Northumberland – A Home to Cherish

8th August 2023

A few things spring to mind when you finally find your new home. Imagination spurs to life, cogs whirring, the life you’ve been searching for seeming more and more real. Suddenly your future children are running in the hall for teatime, they’re rummaging under the Christmas tree that you’d place just over there. You picture all the balls lost over the garden fence, the lamps lit as gentle snores emit from quiet bedrooms, at last.

Not all of us look for the perfect house, but the promise of the perfect home.

For Sally and Ian Lockey, it was the feeling of incredible relief when their offer was accepted over twenty-one years ago on Overdene in Riding Mill, Northumberland – a popular commuter village in the Tyne Valley. “I was eight months pregnant when our offer was accepted.” Just like that, those future memories became a little more tangible, and for the next two decades, the couple slowly made their house a home for their growing family.

With Riding Mill offering a good range of local amenities including a pub, two village halls, churches for various denominations, an extensive selection of clubs and societies, and Corbridge, Hexham and Newcastle a short drive or train journey away, it’s not hard to see why Sally and Ian chose to raise their family here. Instead of a fast-paced modern life, Overdene gave them time to put roots down and enjoy the harvest for over two decades.

Overdene is an impressive and handsome detached property, made even prettier by the sprawling wisteria and climbing roses adorning the walls. Inside, there is a comfortable elegance to the interiors that immediately makes you feel at home. “We’ve done lots of jobs inside and out, while keeping all the original features,” Sally tells us. From installing new ensuites, refitting the main family bathroom, and fitting out the double garage to make it a fantastically sized and highly-insulated workshop (which can easily be used as a garage again in future if needed), they have made Overdene a warm and inviting haven.

With six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three bright, south-facing reception rooms, they might have had their work cut out for them, but the result of much love and hard work is a property that immediately evokes a sense of family and occasion at every turn. An abundance of light fills the house; it flows through an incredibly stylish country house kitchen, fitted with bespoke heritage palette cabinetry and an AGA nestled in the inglenook fireplace. It is a space the couple tells us is their favourite room.

“We love cooking and there’s so much space. It’s a sociable and comfortable place that everyone gravitates to, either to lounge or to sit at the table and eat, study or work.” It’s clear Overdene promises the very real potential for real family life without compromising on style. The house boasts a neutral, calming palette, giving the never-ending character features space to truly shine. Original fireplaces and high ceilings adorn most rooms, stained glass windows decorate the winding stairwell, and yet there has been a simple thoughtfulness to the décor that promises a blank slate for future owners.

It isn’t just inside the house that has given so many memories, however. Externally Overdene sits with 1.19 acres of land that surrounds the house on all sides. It is something that for Sally has always been incredibly special: “The garden has been fantastic for our children, their friends and all our many nieces and nephews and now grandson. We’ve had easter egg and treasure hunts, a makeshift water slide and many ball games in the main garden. There’s a wild, wooded area at the bottom which has been perfect for hide and seek, making dens and playing on rope swings.” It’s a garden that is both wonderfully fun, but safe too, with the couple fencing the boundary to make it secure for both their two terriers and their young grandson. “Since becoming grandparents it’s great to know our toddler grandson can also play safely outside when he visits.”

Despite its size, Sally and Ian have created an outdoor space that is easy to maintain and even easier to enjoy. By reducing the number of flower beds, the grass is easier to cut, and with the addition of a kitchen garden, they have sourced their own vegetables.

A home that is cosy and self-sustainable? Yes please!

Not only for young children, but growing teenagers and adults alike, it seems. On a typical summers-day, the couple spend a slow morning dead-heading roses, watering the tomatoes and enjoying the peace and quiet they have cultivated to perfection. With a neighbourhood that is centred on community and friendship, they often enjoy drinks on their patio, the sounds of summer and nothing but the birds around them.

Overdene has been a place of great connection and occasion for the entire family. On first glance, the mind goes to quintessential Christmasses, garlands of greenery cascading down the stairs, a big Christmas tree and open fire crackling in the hall and living rooms. On further exploration, the promise of quieter, special moments; the peace of the kids studying as the smell of dinner flows around them, or the quiet cup of tea on the window seat in the master bedroom before the day begins.

One standout memory in recent years for the family was their youngest son’s eighteenth birthday at the end of December 2019, with family members travelling for hundreds of miles to be there. With lockdown on the horizon, it made everyone being together even more poignant, as the joy of having family and friends stay at Overdene over the years is something that Sally and Ian have always truly cherished: “We love how relaxed our guests say they feel and how keen they are to come back, whether grandparents or teenagers. One thirteen-year-old told us with great seriousness ‘you must never sell this house!’”

We’re sorry Josh, but the time has come.

With their children grown and flown from the stunning nest Sally and Ian have made, it’s time for pastures new. But what magic they have made in their home will always follow. “Winter evenings by the stove in the kitchen, watching the kids play in the garden, the house buzzing with chat and laughter. That’s what has made this house so much a home for us. It is a very happy place, and the memories will sustain us for many years to come.”

Sally and Ian’s chapter may have come to a happy close at Overdene, but for someone, it is time to start a new one.

Overdene | Sandy Bank | Riding Mill | Northumberland – Guide Price £1,550,000

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