Sitting on the bench and looking down their garden, the owners of the house on Whitaker Road remember exactly why they bought their much-loved family home more than four decades ago. "When my husband first saw this property, he rang me and said I had to come and see it: he described it as a lovely house with a most beautiful garden and when I arrived it was exactly that and I knew this was where I wanted to live." The other owner agrees it was perfect for the family, who were in the process of moving to Derby from Birmingham. "There was a shortage of property at the time so I was staying in a flat and would drive around the streets in the evenings looking for For Sale signs. I saw one being put up by a retiring GP outside his house and I was invited in to have a look inside. It was everything we were looking for - it was love at first sight."
Dating back to about 1905, the imposing three-storey, seven-bedroom house still retains many character features. These include the likes of a grand reception hall, oak staircase with galleried landing, half landing with stained-glass window and polished parquet floor. There are also fireplaces, picture rails and coving, as well as a useful cellar. "We have maintained the house well in all the time we have been here," he says. "In 1992 we also extended out to the back of the house in order to enlarge the kitchen and create the walk in pantry, utility room, toilet and rear sitting room. We have replaced the bathrooms and kitchen on two occasions and have redecorated as necessary." He adds: "New owners may well wish to come in and make their own changes, however."
Today, the ground floor of the house includes the lobby, impressive reception hall, cloakroom, dining room and sitting room. "This is a lovely room to sit in because it has such nice views out on to the garden," he says. There is also an inner hall, leading to the breakfast room and kitchen including a walk in pantry, and then the rear section of the house, where there is another hall, lobby, laundry area, toilet and the rear sitting room. "This is a lovely room to sit in because it has such nice views out on to the garden," he says. "New owners might wish to convert this whole newer part of the house into accommodation for a relative perhaps. The rear sitting room could become a bedroom and since it has close access to a toilet and basin, the utility room and access to the kitchen, so it could work very well."
The first floor of the property houses the master bedroom, which has a beautiful bay window and feature fireplace. There are three more bedrooms, an airing room and a family bathroom at this level. Two more bedrooms and another bathroom can be found on the top floor of the house. "Two of the rooms on the first floor were given over to our children to use, which really gave them a wing of their own," he explains. "The top floor is also very nice because it is relatively self-contained and allows guests a suite of their own." Indeed, the layout and space at the property has made it very easy to accommodate visiting friends and family. "We have so much room here that we could put a regiment up!" he agrees.
ENTERTAINING AT HOME
The property and its exceptional garden have been superb for entertaining. From family Christmases to charity fund-raising events, there have been all sorts of great occasions here over the years. "We must have hosted about 2,000 Christmas meals over the time we have been here, as well as many garden parties for 200 to 300 people, where we have raised thousands of pounds for different good causes. We have had all kinds of wonderful events - it has been amazing."
The situation of the house has made it easy for visitors to reach and for family life. "We can walk into Derby, where there are lots of shops and restaurants, in about 20 minutes and can get into easily get to Nottingham." Locally, there are also shops, plus a doctor's surgery, Post Office and schools both state and private. The railway station, with fast trains into London is just 10 minutes' drive and there are good road links. "We like to visit Burton-on-Trent, Belper and within a 10-minute drive can be into countryside and on our way to Ashbourne," he adds. "We love being able to go walking in the Peak District, to places like Dovedale and Matlock." They will miss the location of their home, as well as all its space, they admit. "I will miss the garden," she agrees. "Sitting on the bench just outside and looking at the beautiful views is what I have enjoyed more than anything else" she says.
SETTING THE SCENE
The house on Whitaker Road is set back by a driveway offering ample off-road parking. There is also a garage. To the rear is a magnificent landscaped garden, which has been outstanding for entertaining. There is a terrace for outside dining and then a large lawn with mature borders and trees. A pathway leads to another paved area, with a further lawn beyond. The garden is a haven for birdlife.
Whitaker Road is situated in a popular Derby suburb, to the south west of Derby City Centre and the town centre has a variety of shops including supermarkets. The schools in the immediate area have a good reputation, while just a short distance away is the private schooling in Repton, Trent Collage, Derby High for Girls and Derby Boys Grammar. Derby boosts a successful Championship Football Team and there are local cricket and tennis clubs. Derby has a wide variety of pubs and restaurants. Nottingham with the Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Royal and the Playhouse is 15 miles.
WITHIN EASY REACH
Just a few minutes drive from the A38 and the A50 both offer links to the M1, which allows good access to London and the North. Derby train station, situated a short walk from Derby City Centre has regular train services to London which take from one and a half hours. There are a number of golf courses in the area, Uttoxeter Races, the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and the Peak District National Park.
Take the A52 from Nottingham to Derby, take the A5111 Derby ring road, this avoids Derby City centre. Keep on the A5111, after the sixth roundabout, at the next set of main traffic lights turn right towards the city centre continue on this road after 0.7 miles turn right onto Vicarage Avenue then turn right onto Whitaker Road, turn right to stay on Whitaker Road and the property can be found on the right hand side.
For those with Sat Nav the post code is DE23 6AQ