Young couple, Ashley Dunsmore and Daniel McCormick, have found their ideal home in Aberdeen’s new wellbeing-focused community, Countesswells.
After three years sharing a flat in the city centre’s busy Rubislaw area, the pair were ready to look for somewhere more spacious and restful when they first discovered Countesswells.
Ashley, who works in the construction industry, explained: “Countesswells felt really peaceful, and not busy or congested, which is what we wanted our home life to be. We’re so busy when we’re out of the house, on the go twenty-four-seven, so to be able to just drive off the dual carriageway into this secluded little community is great.”
As an active couple, who strive to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, Ashley and Daniel were keen to find a home that suited the best of both worlds – indulging their love of the outdoors while still enjoying the convenience of living close to the city.
Ashley continued: “I think one of the main things we wanted was for our new house to still be close enough to town, but far enough out that you were away from all the hustle and bustle and the noise.
“Countesswells is only around 20 minutes from the centre of town but with loads of green and open space around it.
“Daniel’s a keen runner so the more running routes there are the better. Being based here gives him loads of options – especially with the three surrounding woods.”
Although the couple were initially concerned about the future development of the community, they eventually settled on a Stewart Milne Homes Denewood style property as being the perfect home for them.
Daniel said: “My concern was that it is still the early days of the development. I was worried that plans may be in place that would result in the community getting too built up as currently, there’s lots of green space and natural land. What we wanted was a sort of ‘modern ruralness’, an urban development but with not too much ‘concrete’. However, the sales team showed us the plans for the development, which reassured us.”
And now that they’ve moved into their new home?
“It’s just so peaceful, I love it,” says Ashley. “We went for a hour-long walk yesterday and you really appreciate just how peaceful it is. You literally hear nothing, just the birds in the forest.
“We’ve both been living in flats so to be able to sit in the garden when it’s sunny or have barbecues with friends’ round is great. There’s so much more space to enjoy life really.”
Daniel, who regularly travels to Norway as part of his job in the oil and gas industry, appreciates the ease of going to and from Aberdeen Airport. He says: “With the AWPR so close, it makes it really easy for me to go back and forth for flights. It’s nice not to have to worry about leaving that bit earlier.”
In today’s digitally minded world, the couple have also been thrilled to feel like part of the neighbourhood and have fully embraced the community spirit at Countesswells.
Ashley said: “As well as community fairs and events like the Christmas Tree light switch on, we’ve been really impressed by the active community spirit that is apparent here.
“There’s a street Whatsapp group where people can have a chat or if they’ve got anything they need to ask, they can do that in the group. It feels like a close-knit community and during this unusual time, that’s a really comforting feeling.”
In addition to the community feel, Daniel was drawn to their new home’s modern design and spacious layout, with four bedrooms and an open plan kitchen/diner. He says, “I’ve always wanted to own a new house. Brand new, it’s fresh and a new start.”
He added: “It’s on a very nice wide street, and no other houses look on to us, so it feels very open.”
When asked which their favourite room was to spend time in, Ashley said: “We’re always in the open plan kitchen. If anyone comes around, we’re always in the kitchen, sitting at the table or round the breakfast bar.”
As they settle into their first year living in Countesswells, Daniel and Ashley are both looking forward to seeing the community evolve.
Daniel said: “It will be nice to see what amenities they bring here. I heard there are plans for a coffee shop, somewhere you can wander down and read your paper. I’m looking forward to seeing the place growing and being part of this community as it does so.”