New homes in the North East
Live close to historic cities, ancient castles and beautiful coastlines
Whether you’re shopping in Newcastle, admiring the architecture in Durham, visiting rugged beaches or stepping back in time at centuries-old castles, your new home in the North East of England will be close to some of the most vibrant and exciting sights in the country. Home to excellent schools and universities, along with some of the UK’s biggest names in business, it’s no wonder the North East is such a popular region to settle.
The North East through the ages
From the arrival of the Vikings in the 8th century to the Norman invasion 300 years later, the North East has a colourful history spanning important battles, ground breaking new industries and cultural evolution. Many historic sights are still open for visits to this day, from the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle to Alnwick Castle which, in modern times, was used as a filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.
During the Middle Ages, the North East became more and more wealthy as soldiers passed through on their way to battle in Scotland. Later, when conditions in the cities improved and transportation became much more straightforward by rail and road, the North East became a thriving coal mining region, employing thousands upon thousands of miners.
Fast-forward to the beginning of the 20th century, and many parts of the North East - including the city of Newcastle - suffered at the hands of the German Luftwaffe bombers in the Second World War. But despite the destruction, today the North East is a thriving part of England, with the region’s capital Newcastle even being named the ‘happiest city in the UK’ by the Guardian in 2016.
Must-know info for families
If you’re moving to the North East with a young or growing family, it goes without saying that education is important. That’s why it’s good to know the region is home to a number of well-respected schools, including independent schools such as Durham School for Girls, Durham School for Boys, Westfield School in Gosforth, Dame Allan's Senior School in Fenham, Argyle House School in Sunderland, Newcastle High School for Girls and Royal Grammar School in Newcastle.
There are also a large number of top-rated comprehensive schools in the local area, including Whitley Bay High School, Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham, Whitburn C of E Academy, Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Fenham, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, St Robert of Newminster Roman Catholic School in Sunderland and St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Sixth Form in Lanchester.
Top-performing colleges include Seaton Burn College and Emmanuel College in Gateshead, while higher education is provided at Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Durham University, the University of Sunderland and Teesside University.
Places to see and things to do
As for entertainment, there are lots of family-friendly attractions throughout the North East, suitable for young children right through to teens and young adults. If you have pre-schoolers or primary school age children, they’ll love visiting Seven Stories in Newcastle, exploring the outdoors at WWT Washington Wetland Centre, and burning off some energy at Herrington Country Park. Older children will enjoy stargazing at Kielder Observatory, learning about wildlife at Andy Howeys Birds of Prey Centre, and getting closer to their footballing idols at St James’ Park in Newcastle and the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.
If you like getting out in the great outdoors, The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a great place to take a walk with the whole family. Longsands Beach, Warkworth Beach and Seaburn Beach are ideal for making the most of the summer sunshine, or taking a bracing hike during the winter months.
What about business?
The North East is home to a wide range of businesses, with booming industries including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and petrochemicals. Big companies in the region include Nissan and Arriva Public Transport in Sunderland, The Go-Ahead Group, Virgin Money and Greggs headquarters in Newcastle, and Vertu Motors in Gateshead.
If you’re commuting between towns and cities in the North East, there are good transport links by road and rail. By car, the journey between Newcastle and Sunderland takes around 35 minutes, or just 20 minutes by train. The Tyne and Wear Metro also connects Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.
Travelling further afield, the journey from Newcastle to London by train takes just 2 hours 50 minutes, while Newcastle Airport and Durham Tees Valley Airport have flights to other UK destinations as well as to Europe and the rest of the world.