With the North Pennines on its doorstep, the village of Rowlands Gill is the perfect rural hideaway for Newcastle commuters. Perhaps it’s time you escaped to the countryside?

Rowlands Gill sits about 10 miles south west of the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the beating heart of the north east. Formerly a coal mining village, it is now popular with commuters thanks to its good transport connections.

The picturesque village boasts an attractive rural setting within Gateshead’s green belt, with views across the Derwent Valley.
 
Yet the average house price currently averages £213,000, which dwarfs neighbouring Gateshead.
 
Check the most up-to-date prices here or take a look at our guides on Newcastle and Tyne and Wear to find out more about the area.

Living in Rowlands Gill: what to expect

Rowlands Gill grew rapidly during the 1860s and as a result, there are many elegant properties dating back to the late-19th and early-20th centuries throughout the village.

Corner shops, small cafés, restaurants and take-aways can be found along Station Road and the streets connecting to it. But if you’re after a wider selection of shops, restaurants and bars, your best bet is to head to Gateshead or Newcastle.

Despite its small size, there are three local primary schools. Highfield Community Primary School in nearby Highfield received an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted at its last inspection, while Rowlands Gill Primary School and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School were rated as ‘good’.

Rowlands Gill is located on the banks of the River Derwent and surrounded by woodland, meadows and rivers. You can explore local sites along the old railway path, which runs from Swalwell near Gateshead to Consett. And a little further afield, there is the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

New-build detached house in Rowlands Gill

Where to start your property search

Rowlands Gill has grown in recent years, with new housing estates emerging out of the ground.

For modern detached homes, look at the Sherburn Towers development. Many of these properties are double-fronted with twin garages, big driveways and views of the surrounding countryside.

You can find more spacious detached homes with open-plan living and dining areas at Dominies Close. And there are also plans to build a new estate of 142 homes on Collingdon Road.

For 20th-century terraced, semi and larger detached properties, many with spacious gardens, search Lintzford Gardens, Norman Road, Ponthaugh and Orchard Road. For semis built in the 1920s with large bay windows and open fireplaces, head to Stewartsfield.

If you’d prefer a period property, converted farmhouse or barn, hunt around the outskirts of the village.

Dene Road and Dene Avenue have a number of period properties, including large double-fronted detached homes. Many of these houses have attractive features such as sash windows and stone fireplaces.

For those with a smaller budget, look along streets such as Margaret Terrace for smart, close-knit terraced homes with two to three bedrooms.

It’s also worth looking at properties in nearby Highfield. The Cowell Grove development has contemporary three-bedroom detached houses with landscaped gardens, and there are more modest terraced homes available on South View West and Old Terrace.

Getting around Rowlands Gill

By car: The village is situated on the A694, which runs south west to Stotley Bridge and north east to Swalwell. Importantly, the A1 at Swalwell skirts around Newcastle, linking with Edinburgh in Scotland and London.

The nearest motorway is the A194(M), which starts south of Gateshead and then heads down towards Darlington.

By bus: The village has no train station. But frequent buses run to Newcastle city centre and the Metrocentre in Gateshead as well as to Blackhall Mill and Consett.

By air: You can fly to both domestic and international locations from Newcastle International Airport, the largest airport in the north east. It serves 80 direct destinations, including one long-haul route to Dubai.

Detached house in Rowlands Gill

Things to do in Rowlands Gill

History: Admire commanding views of the Derwent Valley as well as Gibside, a picturesque estate owned by the National Trust, from the top of the 500ft-long Lockhaugh Railway Viaduct. It was constructed in 1836 to preserve the nearby Gibside estate after the owner (the Earl of Strathmore) refused to allow the railway to pass through it.
 
It’s especially popular among bird watchers who use it as a handy vantage point to spot red kites. And enjoy more scenic views from the 13th-century ruins of the old manor house of Hollinside, a mile east of Gibside.
 
You might also want to visit the Butterfly Bridge, one of the best known bridges on the River Derwent. The current structure replaces the original 1842 bridge that was destroyed in a flood.
 
Wander across to Clockburn Lonnen, a street in Whickham, to trace part of the route marched by Oliver Cromwell’s army on their way to the Battle of Dunbar. The route was once the main road from the north to Durham and was used by the army of 16,000 to reach their enemy in 1650.
 
Outdoors: If you’re a golfer, Whickham Golf Club should be on your to-do list. It is hidden in Hollinside Park and offers spectacular views of Derwent Valley. The club house has a lounge and dining area that serves everything from sandwiches to three-course meals.
 
At the National Trust estate, Gibside, explore the 18th-century landscaped garden, follow one of the four walking trails and discover woodland and meadows, or take your children to the Strawberry Castle play area or nature playscape. There are also organised bike rides, running groups and orienteering on offer. And if you want to see the estate at night, sign up to one of the organised night trail runs.
 
Visit Derwent Walk Country Park and enjoy its woodlands, meadows and wetlands. They are all connected by the Derwent Walk, an 11-mile route that follows the track of the old Derwent Valley Railway.
 
And of course, there is the North Pennines. Just a 20-minute drive from Rowlands Gill, this rugged wilderness has vast moors, dramatic hills, peatlands, meadows and waterfalls to be explored.
 
Shopping: Pick up fresh seasonal food at Gibside market twice a month. Farmers, bakers and cheese-makers all turn up to showcase their wares, and there’s even live music.
 
You can find independent and specialist shops, such as Clare’s Saddlery, along Station Road in Rowlands Gill. But for more choice, make the short journey to Gateshead. The intu Metrocentre has many high street shops, including Argos, Boots and Debenhams, as well as chain restaurants, such as Bella Italia and Five Guys.
 
Food and drink: Enjoy a pint of ale from Wylam brewery while sitting near the log burners or the braziers at the National Trust-run pub in Gibside, the only pub in the village. Events such as ‘beer and a bite’ night and ‘buskers’ night’ are held monthly, so make sure you keep an eye on the pub’s calendar.
 
The owners of Kitchen Café in the centre of the village serve satisfying breakfasts and lunches. And Café at Thornley Woods is popular for its light meals. It also hosts regular supper club nights for those in search of an interesting evening meal.
 
You can also eat out at Saltimbocca and The Orient, two local favourite restaurants.

Semi-detached house in Rowlands Gill

Hidden Rowlands Gill

The Column of British Liberty in the Gibside estate was built in 1759. It has a 12-foot statue on top of a 140-foot column, which makes it almost as tall as Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square.

5 reasons to live in Rowlands Gill

  • Views across Derwent Valley

  • Close to stunning countryside, including the North Pennines

  • Easy commute to Newcastle

  • Plenty of comfortable family homes

  • Proximity to historical sites

Does Rowlands Gill sound as though it will be the perfect base for you? Tell us why in the comments below.

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