Often overlooked as a place to move to, the North East of England is a brilliant and diverse place to live.
For many people the North East is still very much associated with its rich industrial past but sitting just below Scotland the North East of England is a vast expanse surrounded by rolling hills and a stunning and rugged coastline.
Home to the three thriving cities of Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland and Durham plus numerous market towns you might be surprised to know that you are never more than three hours from London by train when in the North East.
Although no one could deny that the weather in the region is a little chillier that in the south the beautiful landscape and the wilds of the now official ‘dark sky’ Northumberland national park more than make up for it.
As for the North East coast that won’t disappoint either with its rugged coastline and numerous quiet dramatic beaches, many of which are popular with surfers. Added to that many quaint seaside towns that are some of the UK’s finest.
Culturally the North East has much to offer with plenty of museums and galleries and of course the area is any history buffs dream.
There are hundreds of historical sites and museums to visit, from the Roman fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall (constructed in AD 122) to the Norman Alnwick Castle (constructed in 1096) and Gardens and of course a visit to Lindisfarne Monastery, famously pillaged by the Vikings in 793 AD and Durham Cathedral are a must.
Whilst the North East’s history may lie in mining, shipbuilding, steel and the chemical industry its future firmly lies in the new work of Digital as many companies continue to flock to the area.
The area also is home to several big names in the chemical industries including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AkzoNobel and ThermoFisher Scientific and numerous smaller innovative chemical start-ups, most of which are supported by the North of England Process Industry Cluster (Nepic) who is associated with 50% of the UK’s petrochemicals production.
The North East is an ideal size as you can travel anywhere in the region in less than two hours and even if you live in one of the big cities you can be out in the countryside or by the sea in less than half an hour. Plus, you have Yorkshire, the Lake District and Scotland on your doorstep.
The area is served by two major international airports as well as excellent road, rail and sea links.
Sport is also well represented in the area with three major football clubs plus world-class golf, cricket and rugby and of course the North East is host to the Great North Run.
If shopping is high on your priorities then Gateshead’s Metro Centre, one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, will not disappoint and there are a large range of shops in Newcastle’s Eldon Square and The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland and many thriving independent shops in the many market town including Alnwick and Hexham.
Eating and drinking
The North East gave us the Greggs sausage roll and of course Newcastle Brown Ale and is home to something for every taste from fine dining and family gastropubs to traditional inns and bohemian cafes.
In certain areas of the North East you will find some of the lowest house prices in the country offering really good value for money.
The quality of schools, both state and independent, in the region are excellent and perform above the national average.
The North East is home to five universities – Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside with Durham University consistently ranking among the top universities in the world.