Any Newcastle Locals / Natives? Location Advice

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  • Any Newcastle Locals / Natives? Location Advice
  • Premier Icon tomd
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    I’m pondering a possible move to the Newcastle area. I don’t know the city and surroundings well at all. I’ve done a fair amount of outdoorsy stuff in Northumbria and the Borders so I’m happy there’d be enough in the general area to keep the family happy, and Newcastle seems an interesting city. The beaches are an attraction too, we have a good beach nearby at the moment and it’s the cheapest bestest kids entertainment there is for us. It’s more a place to actually live I’m struggling with. Rough criteria would be:

    Work would be just to the North of Newcastle, so preferably on the north side of the Tyne
    Somewhere where 200-230k would get a decent family house (I appreciate this may screen out some of the fancy areas!)
    Somewhere with good primary schools
    Somewhere with some good local ammenities (parks, leisure centres, rail/ metro links, cycle paths etc)
    Any local riding (road or offroad a bonus)

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated! It’s difficult looking at a city you don’t know and deciding where to start looking.

    Premier Icon Gaz.dick
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    I’d look towards the coast – Monkseaton, Whitley Bay.
    Nice little areas, plenty of options. Close to Coastal cycle trails. Near the A19 for North/South travel, good links into the City.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Cheers, I did visit Whitley bay once and it was nice. It looks like it could be towards/above the top of the budget housing wise. Are the more inland areas nice?

    Premier Icon winston2005
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    plenty of cycle paths around the Northumberland Park area, also on Metro line but I wouldn’t like to rely on that getting to work;)
    Slightly further north is Holywell which has some riding in it.
    Also Forest Hall and parts of Benton but not as much riding from the door and not sure about the schools.
    Slightly further out is Cramlington but more new town but a lot of things on your door step cinema,sports centre.
    Really depends on where you are going to be working driving into Newcastle for work from the coast could be a pain. Relative has just bought a nice house on Gosforth\Fawdon border but in Gosforth schools area.

    jonba
    Member

    Do you want to be near things (shops, town etc.) or more isolated?

    How do you want to get around. Being near the metro pushes up prices but it can be really convenient. Where are you likely to be working – do you want to be close enough to cycle in?

    I value being close to town and work as I go there most and only really head out into the countryside at weekends.

    We looked at the coast but thought it would be annoying to get away from there. You have to get through some pretty busy areas to escape. Loads of cycling friends complain about it.

    No idea on house prices. I’m in central Gosforth which is most definitely “fancy”. But my thoughts would be Benton, Killingworth, Shiremoor or maybe Melton park for good access. Maybe out and around the airport if you want somewhere a bit more isolated.

    Cycling wise most of the local road stuff centers on Stamfordham. Best longer rides are SW on Allendale in my opinion. Rothbury and Bellingham also good. Mtb wise there is “stuff locally” but nothing great. Chopwell, Thrunton, Hamsterley, Wooler, Hexham have good mtbing. – hence my comment about the coast.

    Premier Icon djflexure
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    Morpeth? Big enough to have schools, amenities for kids

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
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    jonba’s got the gist of it.

    For work out of Newcastle I wouldn’t discount living further south but within reach of the A1. Yes it gets slow on a morning but it generally keeps moving and you’re not stop/start/queueing through residential rat runs so much. It might also open up areas with better outdoors access.

    Chopwell is pretty accessible but can be slow to get to in after-work traffic (20 mins for 8 miles from my place of work) and spends 6 months of the year being a wet and slippery bog. Still good fun though. Hamsterley is better but about an hour.

    Hexham is also fantastically provisioned for a town its size but is pretty prices and the local MTB has taken a hammering from forestry work 🙁 still plenty of more XC stuff, less messing about in the woods.

    Premier Icon andyr
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    What Jonba said really. As a warning the A1 is about to have an overhaul to 3 lanes from the Tyne to the A696 turn off so I’d live north of that if possible. At least until it’s finished.

    Kingston Park has one of the best primary schools around the area, metro links, shops, etc. The secondary school it feeds into is awful though. Still lots of houses being built on the Great Park too if you’re after new.

    Lots of lovely quiet rural road riding on your doorstep from anywhere really (well, a few miles). MTB as above, have to travel a bit further for it.

    dlr
    Member

    @Jon Taylor C*ck wood? Been meaning to take a look in there again as looks to have some fun bits, only been once a few years ago

    I live in Bedlington, cheap place, lot of ex council, work in Killingworth so only a quick driver as traffic is fine. Loads of wagonways as others have mentioned. Can’t comment on prices nearer the city

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    My big sis lived and brought up kids in Cramlington. Seemed like a good family type place. Decent access to Newcastle, coast and countryside.

    Morpeth is good too, a couple of great pubs! Pricey by comparison though.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the tips so far.

    Do you want to be near things (shops, town etc.) or more isolated?

    We currently live in a more isolated place with great countryside, but a ball-aching 45min commute to work each way.

    The time wasted commuting is starting to grate a bit. Whilst it’s amazing to have great riding / walking etc on the doorstep I’m not sure I coulnd’t better use 7 hours a week I waste, not to mention the not inconsiderable cost in petrol / wear and tear.

    I’m very open to switching to a short commute, drive for leisure lifestyle. Places mentioned like Cramlington, Benton, Forest Hall fit that bill.

    We looked at the coast but thought it would be annoying to get away from there. You have to get through some pretty busy areas to escape. Loads of cycling friends complain about it.

    This would be a concern for me. Good point, although being near the sea is attractive!

    Premier Icon ChrisHeath
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    It used to be the case that you get a lot more for your money just south of the river than just north.

    Not sure if this is still the case (I suspect so), but it’s worth looking around and I wouldn’t be too set on north of Newcastle. We are near Ryton, which is just south of the Tyne into the Tyne Valley. £200k+ would get something pretty nice, and it’s easier to get north than south from where we are as we are the right side of the western bypass. It’s a 30 minute cycle into central Newcastle for me, mostly traffic free. I have great road riding from my door, and Chopwell Woods is about 20 minutes ride away.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Ryton looks nice, and outside of rush our the commute to work looks OK. Google says it’s 30-40mines for a 13mile commute at rush hour. That would be comparable to my current commuting ballache – it seems to be crossing the A1 that adds most of the time on.

    Premier Icon ChrisHeath
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    Depends where you work, and at what time. My OH works in Morpeth, which is about 20 miles north on the A1. She leaves the house at 7ish, and can be at her desk by 7:30. If she leaves at 7.30, it can take much longer.

    notlocal
    Member

    I’m from Morpeth, but moved away in 89. The town seems to grow everytime I visit. Loads of new build on the outskirts, some directly off the A1, North and South of the town centre.

    Premier Icon xraymtb
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    Blyth might fit the bill if you stick to the new estates by the beach. The town centre isnt up to much but the schools are good, beach is nice, prices are very reasonable.

    butcher
    Member

    House prices are generally not expensive in the North, so it depends on what your expectations are on that front.

    Gosforth/Jesmond are the nice bits. Some of the surrounding areas OK. West and East of Newcastle can get a bit shady. But again, depends on expectations and tolerances – I would say in some respects it is not as bad as many major cities.

    If you go south of the river, it’s manageable, and there are areas with decent riding right on the doorstep, but expect a boring commute. Cramlington is a New Town, so a bit odd and uninspiring but with some actual bona fide cycle infrastructure.

    Local road riding is mostly North West of the A1 in Northumberland, but you can continue on. North Pennines. Scottish Borders. Loads of stuff. MTBing, up in the Cheviots, Chopwell, Hamsterley, North Pennines, etc.

    Morpeth is nice but a slightly longer commute.

    Coast is a good option too. Tynemouth. Whitley Bay.

    Cycle paths up the coast and along the tyne (not very scenic newcastle to coast – other way is much nicer). Other cycle networks around the city can be a bit sparse and disjointed.

    Some of the rural areas North West can be lovely, easy commuting, but expensive.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Alnwick was voted one of the best places to live in the UK a while ago. Rural but big enough to have a good selection of shops and a rail station. Darras Hall if money is no object. Jesmond and parts of Gosforth are OK if maybe a bit pricey due to their closeness to the City centre. I would go West and look in the Tyne Valley area.

    nickewen
    Member

    If your work is just to the North of the city I agree with wanting to live on that side. I live on the South of the river in a small town/large village called Whickham. I also used to work just North of the city meaning you would have to get across the busiest routes (e.g. central motorway). I now work on the Southern most tip of the City (basically at the end of the Redheugh Bridge) and even then the traffic can be a pain. The difference between leaving at 0720 and 0740 is massive. I think if you’re wanting to reduce a 45 minute commute I wouldn’t go South of the River.. It all depends on how you’ll be commuting mind – I cycled in to the office this morning in about 20mins mainly off roads. As others have said, Chopwell is good if you’re just wanting a quick blast on the MTB. I really like Thrunton and Hamsterley too and not that far.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Helpful summary, thanks butcher.

    We’re moving from the North, to the North so house prices are ballpark similar. So we can’t cash in a £400k 2 up 2 down in a shitehole like Reading for a mansion or anything like that. |Our second child turned out to be twins so we really need a 4 bed which stretches things. If we could do with 3 beds Jesmond of Gosford would be in range.

    I had a look at Morpeth and Blyth – both look interesting but would probably rule out a cycle commute. Althought it appears train would be a viable option from Morpeth.

    andy5390
    Member

    I know you said north of the Tyne, but what about South Shields. Metro links to Newcastle, and the Tyne Tunnel will have you just north of Newcastle for work pretty quickly.  A short ride from the ferry or pedestrian tunnel will get you into Northumberland for coast or countryside jaunts

    Premier Icon winston2005
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    slightly further out west Prudhoe has the benefit of being on the tyne valley line which is around 20 mins into newcastle central (if you didn’t want to drive). I drive daily into city centre and it’s around 35 mins.
    Used to cycle it all off road in around 45mins.
    I lived North Shields,Fenham moved from Kingston Park to Prudhoe and been here the longest.
    There are plans to build more houses around westerhop area which will impact on the commute into the town.

    but what about South Shields

    DO NOT DO THIS!!!

    Stick to your plan. North of the river is good. South of the river is Hebburn, Jarrow, Felling etc. Very grim stuff.

    Jesmond is pretty and very close to town but it’s very expensive but mostly full of rich students. You might not be socialising much with kids but it can be full of rowdy, edgelord bellends.

    Gosforth is nice. I always wanted to live around Ilford Road when I worked in South Gosforth but the job didn’t last long enough.

    I’m much better off now in Sheffield but I do miss Newcastle city centre. Sheff is pap in comparison but we’re well served in other areas.

    Premier Icon xraymtb
    Subscriber

    Cycle commute really depends on what you mean by ‘just North of Newcastle’ for work! I agree with others though – avoid having to cross the river if you can. I go North to South on days I go to the office and its not too bad but coming back each night is awful.

    A cycle from Blyth or Cramlington is perfectly reasonable if you are working outside of the city – say Killingworth or Benton. If you mean going all the way in to Jesmond or the like then its a bit far.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    By just north I mean just on the Newcastle side of Cramlington.

    Can I just once again thank the combined knowledge of this forum. It’s really oustanding and I’ve basically gone from having no clue to having a decent shortlist of places to check out with the family this weekend in a day with your help.

    Premier Icon winston2005
    Subscriber

    north gosforth,wideopen and hazelrig all cheaper than central gosforth and great north park, there loads of new houses eithergoing or planned up from the a69 round to to the great north park.we looked at moving back some years ago and the housebuilders where offering some big discounts
    Just be aware some of these areas are on the flight path to newcastle airport. Mainly hazelrig and wideopen.
    Woolsington is also nice pricey but there is quite nice estate there.
    There was also talk about building a relief road from the a69 to the great north park/a1 roundabout so keep that in mind also. Dinnington is also nice not sure if it’s your price range but you can get to cramlington on some of back roads.

    Dinnington is a great shout.

    Quiet roads to Cramlington means you could pick some quiet ways to get to work and avoid the A1 altogether, car or bike. A few nice new estates (if you don’t mind them) gives you a lot of choice within budget, it has a great first school which feeds into the Gosforth system and, crucially, school buses pick up from Dinnington to get to them.

    Nearly every road ride I go on passes through Dinnington at the start of the ride, and there’s a few bridleways pass through it so you can link up off-road rides from the doorstep (think mostly CX type, rather than enduro…)

    A short taxi ride to Gosforth for a night out, a slightly longer one to Newcastle.

    I’m on the Great Park like a million other people (and counting) but if I was moving tomorrow I think I’d head to Dinnington.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Butcher has pretty much covered it but Morpeth comes at premium your money won’t go far there. Alnwick likewise now prices are increasing but you’ll get more than Morpeth but it’s a 35 mile commute to Newcastle.

    Killingworth, Holywell and parts of Monkseaton might be a better call.

    Oh and South Beach area of Blyth but the town itself is a shit hole and the schools have some interesting pupils.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Wylam, Ryton, Crawcrook even Proudhoe isn’t too far out. Plenty of local riding.

    Dinnington is pretty close to the airport mind. My mate lives there and it can get pretty noisy depending on the wind. (basically part of the village runs alongside the runway albeit a few fields away).

    Melton Park or Brunton Park might get you a do-er-up-er but suspect the 4 bedroom stuff might be at top end.

    Be slightly wary of cheapish houses in ‘Gosforth’. Its a massive catchment area for a lot of other estates that aren’t quite as nice/quite grotty but like to think of themselves as Gosforth.

    Even though Jesmond isn’t far from the A1, it’s a ballache to get to from there if you’re doing rushhour.

    As a bit of an outlier, theres a decent little estate I used to live in called Cochrane Park (near Benton) that should be in price range. Straight onto Coast Road and hang a left onto A19 and that’ll cut up to the A1 further north so might be feasible. Metro is fairly near (Four Lane Ends) and there are plenty of buses into town. Even walkable (did that a few times back to student accomodation).

    Between Melton Park and Gosforth central is an estate called Red House Farm – that feeds into a couple of very good primary schools, and the Good Gosforth Academy is half a mile away. Closer to the Gret North Road is better though, (i.e. the street or two parallel). Metro station just past the secondary school too.

    Premier Icon ahsat
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    I’m sorry, but I’d say avoid Blyth. The in-laws live there so know it reasonably well and agreed some of the houses by south beach are nice, but it’s a dead end – you have to take one or two routes to get in and out and the town is grounding to a halt – full of charity shops and a town centre with many empty units. Seaton or Whitley Bay are much nicer.

    At least from Gosforth you can get out in all directions easily. Kingston Park seems ok from going through it regularly to the rugby.

    Ryton was mentioned – we looked around there when still living in the NE. Maybe not so good for commuting to Cramlington by bike, but couple of mountain bike friends live there who ride into Chopwell regularly and one cycle commutes into the town centre all year round. Nice place – got a bit more going for it. That said, a 4-bed there will definitely be more than in Blyth – for good reason!!

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
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    even Proudhoe

    Get out. It’s Prudhoe, or Prudda. Good(ish) bus routes and there’s also the train.

    Riding-wise, Chopwell is 10-15 mins away by car, 40 mins on the MTB.

    When I worked at MDS in Cramlington I was living in Ovingham (parents) and it’s an easy 20-25 min drive. A69, then come off at Throckley, backroads to A1 at Kingston Park. Similar routes available on a bike, but easiest would be straight along Tyne to Newcastle and turn left through Town.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the additional tips. I do appreciate those suggesting placs south of the river too – I’m sure they’d have big pluses. If I already lived there I’m sure the commute would be doable but given I’ve got a blank sheet I don’t want to move somewhere that entails that sort of commute.

    Premier Icon xraymtb
    Subscriber

    Oh and South Beach area of Blyth but the town itself is a shit hole and the schools have some interesting pupils.

    Very much depends on the school but yeah that pretty much sums it up! If you are in South Beach or South Shore and the kids get into the local primary then it’s great. The other schools not so much, and if they fed into the ‘other’ high school then I wouldn’t still be living here!

    Lots of other nice places suggested, schools may or may not be better, decent riding is probably closer from the other areas (but not by much if you are driving to it). The two big pro’s are the beach on the doorstep and the value for money – you’ll get a lot for your budget around here and not a lot in many of the other places people are recommending.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Proudhoe sounds so wrong! Easy to get to the back of Newcastle from there though.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Blyth is such a sad sight I’ve been back through today visiting our site there and you can see how wealthy the town once was because of the harbour, there’s some amazing buildings and houses.

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