Region in Focus: North East

The North East region of England comprises the counties of Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and the Tees Valley.

While the region is in general hilly and sparsely populated, it has pockets of more diverse landscapes that include maritime cliffs, extensive moorlands, saltmarshes, estuaries, bogs, hay meadows, and even alpine areas.

England’s North East is filled with both natural beauty and cultural marvels.

In Durham, one of the region’s three true cities, you can visit the majestic Durham Cathedral.

If you’re looking for a more cosmopolitan experience, Newcastle’s art museums and architectural marvels might be more to your liking.

While North East England is filled with great places, the true charm lies in how quiet the area is. So few tourists – and even many English natives – know how beautiful and welcoming the region is.

While the best-known areas, like Hadrian’s Wall, tend to see more visitors, vast areas of the North East see few crowds.

Cuisine varies depending on where you are in the North East, with fresh fish being more common in coastal areas, while larger towns and the cities will have chain restaurants, as well as Italian, Indian, and French restaurants.

The people of this beautiful region pride themselves on what they argue is the best traditional English fish and chips–no matter where you are in the region, you’re sure to find both fish and chip shops and pubs.

The North East is a region of great contrast with hidden gems. We’ve assembled a list of our favorite places to visit in the region, and that includes some truly hidden gems and some popular tourist spots.

1. Newcastle Upon Tyne


As the most populous city in the North East, Newcastle Upon Tyne (or just Newcastle) is a university city that sits on the River Tyne.

Along with its twin city, Gateshead, it was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub throughout the industrial revolution.

The city continues to be a centre of business, arts, and sciences. The city is well-known for it’s signature Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which has a unique tilting aperture.

Newcastle is also home to remains of the Castle Keep, its namesake. Parts of this keep were built in the 13th century, while the original castle was built by Robert Curthose, the son of William the Conqueror.

Visitors should also check out Central Arcade, a beautifully preserved Victorian shopping arcade, and St. Nicholas Cathedral is always worth a visit.

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