TV property programme focuses on Northumberland

Warkworth, the location of one of the properties on Escape to the Country.  Picture by Anne Hopper
Warkworth, the location of one of the properties on Escape to the Country. Picture by Anne Hopper

Northumberland has once again been in the TV spotlight, starring in this afternoon’s episode of Escape to the Country on BBC2.

In the programme, presenter Alistair Appleton goes house hunting with a couple, Michelle, from South Shields, and Steve, from London, looking to buy their first home together in the countryside on a budget of £300,000.

While in the county, Alistair discovers how a house in rural Northumberland was at the forefront of technological progress in the 19th century.

The programme begins in the impressive quarry gardens at Belsay Hall, which were built in the early 19th century by Sir Charles Monck. He created a romantic ravine and ornamental ponds using stone excavated from his own land.

The cameras call in at Morpeth and Alistair describes the county as “full of surprises and such beautiful landscapes, it’s hard not to see the attraction of this unspoilt region”.

He said: Northumberland is a great mix of rural countryside and history but it is also good value when it comes to property shopping. The average price for a detached house here is £220,000, which is £48,000 less than the national figure, although there are regional differences.

“If you want a well-connected market town with a good catchment area for schools then you might pay a third more than in the small mining villages in the area.”

The couple are shown three properties, the first a cottage at North Togston, near Amble, which is described as being on the River ‘Cocket’!

While in the area, they visit Seahouses, where the couple meet Patrick and Karen Wilkin at Swallow Fish and are shown how kippers are produced.

The second property is a detached stone house at Hedley on the Hill in south Northumberland and the third part of a country hall in Warkworth (also on the River ‘Cocket’!).

Alistair then pops into Cragside, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power.

To find out whether any of the homes were suitable and to see some stunning views of Northumberland, you can watch the programme on iPlayer. It is available for the next 29 days.