Sunday, 23 March 2014

In My Beautiful Neighbourhood

I've mentioned before that I live with my family in the North East of England. I've lived in a few houses but always within a ten mile radius of each other. I've never lived in a totally different area before so I have nothing to compare it to but if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I love where I live. I think many people have preconceived ideas about the area - especially since the likes of Geordie Shore. We have gone from being a supposed backwater area all cloth caps, coal mines and whippets to a party town full of air heads and fake tan.

The truth is, it has so much to offer everyone. The nightlife is good in the centre of Newcastle and in other nightspots, and yes, there are some Geordie Shore types with bare legs and no coats in sub zero temperatures. I'm not really into that scene but I still like to get out and about to enjoy the place where I live.

Fun at the beach
Fun at the Beach

The Beach

I love to take the kids to the coast. We have miles of beautiful coastline with lovely golden sands. If we had the weather, nobody would need to go abroad for a beach holiday. There's so much to do with a bucket and spade, a bit of imagination and an endless supply of sand, water, pebbles and shells.

Cullercoats Pier
Cullercoats Pier

We go to the beach in all seasons. Obviously more often in the warmer weather, but still, there's great fun to be had watching the sea crashing on the pier in windy weather

Tynemouth Priory
Tynemouth Priory

I love that this is my view after I've dropped the girls off at school - Tynemouth Priory and the fantastic coastline. It's so calming and looks good whatever the weather. The council invest a lot in landscaping the public areas. At the moment, North Tyneside is awash with fantastic spring bulbs - daffs, crocus etc. It looks very striking. 

Ridley Park, Blyth
Ridley Park in Blyth

Play Areas

The council has also invested quite a lot in play areas over the last five years or so. We have several quite close to where we live and even sometimes jump in the car to go a bit further afield for some which are a bit more extensive and a far cry from the slide/swing/see saw combinations from yesteryear. The kids get plenty of exercise and fresh air and all for free!

Bridges over the Tyne
City Life

I work in Newcastle which is a wonderful city full of shops (the big names you would come to expect and also some great independent shops and eateries). It has great architecture and mixes old with contemporary with ease. I work on the quayside and the views are fabulous. The bridges (shown here during the Olympics) are iconic. We also have the Baltic arts centre and Sage music venue which is shaped like a sound wave.

We have a good public transport system here with the Metro train going to a wide range of places in the region. It's not perfect but it's good for getting around.

Crook Hall and Gardens
Crook Hall & Gardens


If you want a bit of peace and quiet, we have some lovely tranquil countryside within easy reach. Northumberland in particular is noteable. It has lots to choose from with wild forests etc and more formal spaces like Alnwick Gardens.

We went to Crook Hall in Durham last year. It was a lovely day out with beautiful gardens. The girls loved all of the nooks and crannies with various statues and surprises to be found (if you go, look out for the fairies!)

I do think that it's easy to take where you live for granted. It can be the source of much fun and can be very cheap if you use your imagination. Use local newspapers, community centre notice boards etc to see what's on in your region. There are several web sites set up with what's on guides in different areas often with free to attend events going on. It's great fun to discover a hidden gem that you can visit time and time again because it's close by!

What is in your local area that you love?

By Bee

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