Spectacular countryside, regeneration and competitive house prices have made Consett a place to consider for home hunters.
Its location on the edge of the Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of its many assets. Others include good road links to Newcastle, Durham and Carlisle. This makes Consett an ideal home for commuting city workers as well as families who are looking to enjoy the great outdoors at the weekend.
Also boosting its fortunes are the large regeneration and investment projects that have led to new and improved town infrastructure.
The time is ripe for buying as, despite its growing fortunes, house prices in Consett remain very competitive. Expect to pay an average of £132,000, although pricier detached homes on the outskirts can fetch around £225,000. You can check the latest house prices here.
Living in Consett: what to expect
Once famed for its steel, Consett’s days of heavy manufacturing are long gone. But there are still reminders of its past glories. It’s not unusual for a modest period house to boast a grand fireplace of marble, quarried stone or cast iron – a throwback to when coal was in plentiful supply.
At 900ft above sea level, Consett is one of the highest towns in the UK there’s breathtaking scenery visible from several of its residential streets. Get the location right and you’ll find sprawling countryside vistas stretching behind your garden.
The town’s revival in fortunes is thanks in part to big investment in local infrastructure. In addition to new school academy buildings and a purpose-built multi sports leisure centre and swimming pool, the reinvestment has also helped woo major supermarkets and bring other household names to the town. The high street now boasts an attractive mix of local and national shops.
Where to start your property search
Town centre and suburbs: Stone-built terraces stand shoulder-to-shoulder on town centre roads such as Edith Street, Hartington Street and Palmerston Street. These properties typically have two bedrooms and are just a short walk from the main shopping areas.
If you’re looking for a 21st-century home, there are newly built terraces, semis and detached houses at Ponds Court, off Genesis Way. Templetown, another popular development of modern properties, is a few years older and has more established gardens and neighbourhoods. Both developments offer easy road access to Durham, Tyneside and Carlisle.
Medomsley Road is a good place to start your search if you want to live within walking distance of the town centre. The road has a mixture of period semis and terraces with rows of back-to-back houses.
Pick the right side of Barley Mill Road in north west Consett and you’ll enjoy spectacular scenery from your garden and upper windows. Houses on one side of the road back on to fields overlooking the River Derwent.
Homes on Elmfield Road can also benefit from attractive country views. Look along this narrow tree-lined street to discover grand detached homes, some of which are built of stone. Many have generous gardens and older properties boast original features such as open fireplaces.
North of the town is the place to look for post-war family homes. Check out streets such as Woodlands Road, which has spacious semis with four bedrooms and bay windows, or Elsdon Gardens for comfortable homes with private garages.
Rural: Widen your search to the outlying villages if you are on the look-out for substantial country homes. Choose between stone barn conversions, former farmhouses and the occasional one-off modern house.
But the villages surrounding Consett are not only ideal for people with deep pockets. There is a ready supply of affordable and charming compact cottages, practical executive homes and well-designed new-builds in places such as Corbridge, to the north of Consett and west of Tyneside.
Corbridge is popular thanks to its pretty streets and thriving shops. It also has a choice of restaurants and pubs, both a doctors’ and a dentists’ surgery and a garage.
Shotley Bridge is another village to put on your list. It is south west of Consett, has a lively community and several sports clubs as well as shops, restaurants and pubs. Besides terraced Edwardian houses and mid-century semis, there are also new houses in areas such as The Woodlands.
Lanchester’s popularity centres around its shops, post office, restaurants, churches and community. Take a trip down Ford Road to see established older properties built of stone, and look out for homes in mid-century developments such as West Drive.
Getting around Consett
By rail: There is no railway station in Consett but a frequent train service from Stocksfield gets locals to Newcastle in 25 minutes. Wylam and Prudhoe are also on this line. From Newcastle, travellers can get to London King’s Cross or Glasgow in three hours.
It’s 15 miles from Consett to Newcastle via the A692 and A694 roads. From there, it’s easy to pick up the A1, which runs north along the east coast or south onto the A1(M).
The journey between Consett and Durham takes about 30 minutes, depending on traffic on the A691.
By air: Newcastle International Airport is about 20 miles away by road. The airport offers 80 direct flights to destinations all over the world and within the UK, including London.
Durham Tees Valley airport, around 30 miles away, offers three daily flights to Amsterdam Schiphol, one of the best-connected international airports in the world.
By sea: Cruise and ferry services run from the Port of Tyne at Newcastle, 25 miles from Consett. Three ferries a day operate between Newcastle and Amsterdam.
Things to do in Consett
History: Beamish open air museum, 10 miles outside Consett, allows you to take a step back in time to life in the north east of England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. You’ll find a series of recreated streets, complete with shops, tramways and housing, plus a farm, a pit village and a colliery. There are also plans for a 1950s town to be created at the site, which will include an electric cinema, a welfare hall and old miners’ homes.
Cultural: The Empire Theatre & Cinema hosts touring shows and bands, ballets and comedy performances. It also screens blockbusters and 3D movies thanks to its state-of-the-art digital projector.
Sport: Around £44 million has been invested into a new public sports complex and the new campus for Consett Academy. The complex includes a swimming pool, multi sports centre, gym, squash courts and all-weather outdoor games pitches.
Outdoors: The Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club boasts 1,000 acres of clean, open water dedicated to windsurfing and sailing. The waters are also popular for trout fishing – there’s a fishing shop onsite selling supplies and refreshments. If you prefer, take a walk along the shores and across the dam; there’s a trail to Pow Hill Country Park that is wheelchair accessible.
Lanchester Valley Walk runs along the site of the old railway line to Durham. The route, which is also used by horse riders and cyclists, links with other disused railways to form a network of paths and bridleways. The former Consett steelworks site is just one of the sights to watch out for. You can meet up with like-minded walkers at the Consett and Vale of Derwent Naturalist Field Club.
The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect green escape. The landscape includes heather moors, peatland, woodland and rivers. Millshields and Pow Hill Country Parks, both close to Consett, are also two of the best places in England to watch the night sky, thanks to a lack of light pollution.
Shopping: Front Street, Middle Street and Victoria Street are the primary shopping roads. Here you will find an array of local stores, corner shops, cafés and take-aways as well as some high-street favourites.
For more mainstream shops, residents can head to the Hermiston Retail Park, which has large Morrisons, B&Q and Matalan stores.
Food and drink: Pop along to Knitsley Farm Shop and Granary Café for high quality, local food. Make sure you get up early enough to sample its breakfast of free range eggs, homemade sausage, black pudding and bacon. It also serves a popular Sunday lunch with a choice of five roast meats.
Enjoy afternoon tea at Sweethart Coffee & Cakes. It sells a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes, as well as jacket potatoes, wraps and salads. In summer, you pop in and order a take-away picnic.
Two huge sculptures, known as Terris Novalis, have been cast in stainless steel to mark Consett’s former industry, which was once Europe’s largest steel works. The statues now stand on the coast-to-coast cycle path.
5 reasons to live in Consett
- Competitively priced housing
- Excellent road links to large cities
- On the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Lots of sporting facilities
- Plenty of local investment
Are you planning to buy a home in Consett? Share your reasons in the comments below…