What makes Newcastle a promising place to live? Its thumping nightlife, culture and history might give you a clue…
The feisty northern city of Newcastle is renowned for its nightlife. But it is also bursting with shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, concert halls and sports facilities.
The city centre is still dominated by Victorian architecture while regeneration projects have transformed the former industrial areas. Meanwhile, the suburbs of Jesmond, Gosforth and Heaton have all become increasingly sought-after residential areas to live.
Where is Newcastle?
Newcastle is a city in the county of Tyne & Wear in north east England. It's home to Newcastle University and Northumbria University as well as the popular Newcastle United Football Club.
Average house prices in the city are £202,000, up 21.7% over the past five years, making Newcastle one of the pricier locations in Tyne & Wear. Use the Zoopla house price tool to check the latest prices.
Take a look at our guide on Tyne & Wear to find out more about the county.
Living in Newcastle: what to expect
Newcastle is a city of contrasts. Its compact centre has a medieval street layout with narrow chares (alleys) and imposing neoclassical buildings, the most famous of which are on Grey Street.
But you can also see plenty of contemporary influence. The Quayside has been transformed into a new cosmopolitan area with bars, restaurants and brand new luxury apartment blocks.
The city prides itself on its multiculturalism. It has its own Chinatown and hosts large-scale events such as the annual Newcastle Mela and Chinese New Year festivities.
Newcastle has a strong appeal for families thanks to its excellent schools. The best schools include St Cuthbert's Catholic High School and George Stephenson High School, both of which have been rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted.
Top places to start your property search
Newcastle city centre: The heart of the city is dominated by both old and new apartments that are ideal for students and young professionals.
Take Hanover Mill, a new purpose-built block at Quayside. It has three-bedroom open-plan flats with coveted views over the River Tyne.
There are also flats for sale in converted historic buildings. Stand-out homes include lofts with floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed beams in The Turnbull building on Queens Lane.
If you'd prefer a house and have a pretty flexible budget, check out the Grade II-listed Georgian townhouses on St Thomas’ Crescent.
Jesmond: This is one of the most upmarket suburbs, boasting terraced period houses on leafy streets. Check out Akenside Terrace and Tankerville Terrace for five-bedroom houses with airy bay windows, high ceilings and elaborate cornices built in the 1880s.
A number of terraced homes in this suburb have been converted into flats. Alternatively, there are purpose-built blocks on Princess Mary Court.
Sandyford: A little less pricey than Jesmond, Sandyford is still only a short walk from the city centre and the universities.
Try the four-bedroom Victorian terraced homes with attractive bay windows on Springbank Road and Sandyford Road. Again, many larger properties, such as those on Starbeck Avenue, have been converted into flats.
If you'd prefer something more modern, check out the contemporary mews-style townhouses on St Catherines Court.
Heaton: This suburb is found to the north east of the city centre and is more affordable than either Jesmond and Sandyford.
Alternatively, search along Chillingham Road for four-bedroom maisonettes in new purpose-built blocks.
Fenham: In the western end of Newcastle, Fenham is a good location for families thanks to its comfortable post-war semis.
Find bungalows too on Bavington Drive.
Gosforth: This is another popular suburb thanks to its transport links and schools.
Central Gosforth and south Gosforth are the most popular areas and have a wealth of stately Victorian and Edwardian homes. Check out the large semi-detached villas with extensive gardens on Elmfield Road and The Grove.
New-build homes are also boosting the local market. For example, the Newcastle Great Park development will eventually have 4,500 new homes and apartments.
Best ways to get around Newcastle
Newcastle to London takes three hours, whereas Edinburgh can be reached in 90 minutes.
Newcastle also has the Metro, which runs services across Tyne & Wear. The Green Line starts at Newcastle Airport and terminates at South Hylton, while the Yellow Line runs from St James's Park to Whitley Bay, Gateshead and then South Shields.
By car: Newcastle is well connected to several major A roads. The A1 runs north to Edinburgh and south to the A1(M) to London.
To head west, take the A69 or the A696, which later becomes the A68.
By air: Newcastle Airport is the largest airport in the north east. It has a choice of 80 direct destinations, including Dubai. Budget airlines easyJet, Flybe and Ryanair are among its operators.
By sea: Newcastle International Ferry Terminal at North Shields operates a number of ferry crossings to Amsterdam. Cruise liners also regularly use the port.
Best things to do in Newcastle
Cultural: For nightlife, look at the pubs, bars and clubs around the Bigg Market and Quayside areas. Hot night spots can also be found on Collingwood Street, Neville Street and Osborne Road.
Highlights of the cultural calendar include Chinese New Year, when the city holds an extravagant gala with a Chinese market, fairground and traditional arts and crafts. Make sure you catch the lion and dragon dances.
The lynchpin of the Newcastle drama scene is The Theatre Royal. It's a Grade I-listed neoclassical building and hosts more than 400 performances a year, including West End shows.
State-of-the-art centres in Newcastle include the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. It has cutting-edge exhibitions and has presented the work of more than 350 artists since its opening in 2002.
Outdoors: The centre of Newcastle has some huge open spaces. Town Moor covers more than 1,000 acres - bigger than Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath together.
Alternatively, Jesmond Dene is a wooded park that runs from Benton Bank to south Gosforth and has a series of attractive ruined buildings.
Leazes Park is the city's oldest park. It was opened in 1873 and today has tennis courts, basketball courts, a play area and a bowling green.
Sport: A visit to Newcastle United F.C.'s home ground is one of the top things to do in Newcastle. St James's Park dominates the city centre and can hold 52,000 football fans. Book a stadium tour to see behind the scenes.
Shopping: Key shopping destinations include Northumberland Street, which has a selection of popular brands such as Next and H&M. Eldon Square shopping centre has more than 150 shops, including Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis.
Other key spots include the triple-domed Central Arcade, which now houses upmarket shops such as Kurt Geiger and Vivienne Westwood. For boutiques, head to Grainger Town.
Newcastle's retail scene also boasts Grainger Market. First opened in 1835, it now has more than 100 traders selling meat, fruit, vegetables, gifts and clothes.
Food and drink: Looking for an eclectic drinking hole? Check out Madam Koo, which is styled as an intimate boudoir with exposed brickwork and red curtains. Try cocktails such as raspberry ripple before hitting the dance floor.
Bars in Newcastle include the popular Pleased to Meet You, which is hidden down a cobbled street. It has a choice of more than 70 gins but also has unusual drinks such as the Lumberjack, which comes with a slab of chocolate.
Restaurants in Newcastle range from international eateries such as the Turkish restaurant Ottoman to modern dining rooms such as Peace & Loaf. The latter is run by a former Masterchef: the professionals contestant and has a menu of classic dishes with a contemporary twist.
Seven Stories is The National Centre for Children's Books. It collects original artwork and manuscripts of the best-loved children's books and hosts a lively programme of exhibitions, events and activities for children.
6 reasons to live in Newcastle
Vibrant cultural centre
Excellent road, rail and air links
Listed period properties and new apartments
Plenty of green space
Are you tempted to look at Newcastle? Let us know in the comments below...