The seaside town of Whitley Bay sits on the north east coast of England, framed by a crescent of yellow sand. It became a popular coastal destination in the late Victorian period and its seafront still boasts plenty of classic Victorian touches, including a promenade.
Key to its popularity is its position in the Tyne and Wear area. In less than half an hour, you can be in the centre of Newcastle, making it an attractive base if you’re a commuter.
The average house price is currently £230,000. This makes it a pricey location compared to Tyne and Wear overall but it’s more affordable than nearby Tynemouth. You can check the latest figures here.
Want to know more about Tyne and Wear? Take a look at our handy guide on the area.
Living in Whitley Bay: what to expect
The centrepiece of the town is its golden sands. The beach, which holds a Blue Flag, spans from St Mary’s Island in the north to Cullercoats in the south.
The Promenade runs along the seafront, acting as the area’s high street. Cafés, shops, bars and restaurants line the route, giving enviable sea views – especially in the summer. In the evening there’s lively nightlife along the South Parade, which is filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Many venues are family-friendly.
There is some major restoration in the pipeline too, including a £36m plan to revitalise the seafront. The eye-catching Spanish City site will also be restored and run as a new leisure centre.
Schools in the area have significant pulling power, with both Whitley Bay High School and Monkseaton High School receiving ‘outstanding’ ratings at their last Ofsted inspections.
Where to start your property search
Town centre: Property in the town centre is mostly Victorian, boasting attractive period features, such as bay windows, high ceilings and open fireplaces.
Look at Marine Avenue and Holywell Avenue for stately Edwardian villas that have five or six bedrooms, generous walled gardens and large driveways as well as eye-catching period semis with corniced ceilings and other character features.
For spacious Victorian and Edwardian terraced homes close to the beach, hunt along streets such as Charles Avenue, Beach Avenue and Kew Gardens.
A mix of 20th-century properties can also be found scattered throughout the town. Three- and four-bedroom semis and terraces built in the early 1900s are available on Clovelly Gardens and Richmond Terrace.
Suburbs: More choice is available in the popular suburbs of Monkseaton, Cullercoats, Seaton Delavel and Shiremoor.
Monkseaton has been absorbed by the spread of Whitley Bay but has retained its own character. Search Front Street for elegant four-bedroom detached and terraced properties, some of which have been built in an attractive ‘farmhouse’ style, or pick a 20th-century bungalow on Grindon Close. For a roomy detached family home with a good-sized garden, look to the houses built in the 1950s on Monkseaton Drive.
If you’re after a home with a sea view, head to Cullercoats. Large period terraces that overlook the beach are available on Windsor Crescent, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, take a look at the flats and maisonettes on Beverley Terrace.
There are plenty of new-build homes on the market in Seaton Delaval. Check out the Wheatfields development for detached homes that come with garages and large driveways. More detached properties from the 1960s and 1980s are available on Melrose Avenue and Vanburgh Court respectively.
If you want to be part of an up-and-coming area, Shiremoor could be just the ticket. A number of new developments are springing up here to cater for growing interest in the area. Take a look at the Heritage Green development for ideas.
Getting around Whitley Bay
By rail: Whitley Bay has no train station. But you can hop onto a Metro train in the centre of the town or at Monkseaton. Further stations are open in West Monkseaton and Cullercoats. A journey to Newcastle takes 25 minutes.
By car: You can reach Newcastle, via the A1058, in just 25 minutes.
And you can easily reach the A19, which takes you north to the A1 or south to York and beyond.
By air: Newcastle International Airport is just a 30-minute drive away. The airport offers flights to 80 direct destinations, including Berlin, Malaga and Cancun. One long-haul flight to Dubai is also available. Flight operators include easyJet, Flybe and Ryanair.
Things to do in Whitley Bay
History: Tynemouth Priory and Castle, one of the largest fortified areas in England, is a 10-minute drive away. Learn about its 2,000-year history, which includes a 13th-century chapel and a 20th-century gun battery built into the cliffs, and on a clear day, enjoy wide views over the River Tyne and the North Sea.
Cross the short causeway to St Mary’s Island to see the late Victorian lighthouse. It was completed in 1898 and remained operational until 1984. Admire views from the top of the lighthouse or discover rockpools filled with fish and crabs in the surrounding nature reserve.
Cultural: The newly-restored Playhouse is the home of drama and music in Whitley Bay. Its calendar includes the popular Christmas pantomime as well as live bands, magic shows, tribute acts, talks and drama.
Local artists are showcased at the Links Art Gallery at the north end of the Promenade. Exhibitions change regularly and display the work of both new and established artists.
Outdoors: Of course, one of the main attractions is Whitley Bay’s wide, sandy beach. Watch out for (or even take part in) the sandcastle competition held on the beach every summer. And walk or run along the Promenade and The Links, which are parallel to the beach.
Spot large wildfowl at Marden Quarry Park, a local nature reserve. Look out for the mute swan, coot and tufted duck, as well as small woodland creatures.
Souter Park is a lively park that straddles Marine Avenue, where facilities include bowling greens, tennis courts, pavilions and huts, as well as an attractive ornamental garden.
And for golf enthusiasts, there is Whitley Bay Golf Club. The 18-hole links course is situated about one mile north of the town centre.
Shopping: Hit the shops along the Promenade and The Links – you’ll find both high street brands and independent boutiques. More popular stores, including a Sainsbury’s and Boots, are located in the Park View Shopping Centre.
Alternatively, try the Royal Quays retail park, a 16-minute drive away in North Shields. It is home to more than 50 high street stores, including Next, Moss and Gap. Silverlink Shopping Park in North Tyneside also boasts mainstream stores such as Argos, New Look and H&M.
Food and drink: During the day, Noir serves satisfying afternoon cream teas, but at night it becomes a bar with live music and open mic nights.
For beer, try The Dog & Rabbit pub. The small family-run microbrewery serves both cask and bottle-conditioned beers, such as the unusually-named ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow’.
Classic fish and chips are the speciality of The Harbour View. Large portions and proximity to the seafront have made it a favourite among locals. If you want a healthier option, try its rice flour coating.
Hinnies serves Geordie-inspired food in a relaxed setting. Tuck into hearty food such as pan haggerty or spiced pumpkin curry and finish with sticky toffee pudding with banana ice cream.
Hidden Whitley Bay
The Station Masters Community Wildlife Garden has been reclaimed by locals after it fell into disuse. Today it’s a sanctuary for wildlife and is home to community events such as barbecues and a new weekly market.
5 reasons to live in Whitley Bay
Coastal living with a Blue Flag beach
Easy commuting to Newcastle
Victorian promenade packed with shops, cafés and restaurants
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