Choosing an area

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    Hi – we are considering a move back to the North East after 18 years in London. We are visiting in a couple of weeks in order to view a few properties in Stocksfield, Dalton, Heddon on the Wall and Ponteland and I’m just wondering what people feel about these areas in terms of community, village amenities and journey into Newcastle (ie, how long and what is traffic like?!). We are from different parts of the region initially but would really like to settle somewhere a little more rural but with good access into town. I am also interested in how easy or difficult it might be to get into the local primary schools (we have children of 5, 8 and 9). Are they all oversubscribed or is there usually space? I do need to make some calls to some of them direct but any info in the meantime would be great!
    Many thanks!



    Hi Lindsay,

    I live in Alnwick – a little more north then the areas you mentioned. I would say the areas you’ve mentioned are possibly some of the nicest areas to bring up a family within the North East. Speaking from an outsider who has friends living closer to those areas, I think these are areas i’d personally look at when choosing an area. They are all quite close to Newcastle and still have a good sense of community. Heddon on the Wall and Ponteland are especially good locations. Ponteland has the added bonus of being close to Darras Hall – a very exclusive part of the area. Schools in the area are particular good too! Have you looked at Oftstead reports? Private schools in Newcastle are all very good however you may wish to arrange appointments with schools to ensure the school in that area is right for your children as they do differ from place to place. Traffic into Newcastle is often quite busy during rush hour. On a bad day you could be stuck in traffic in central newcastle for up to half an hour but that’s only on a really bad day. The locations you’ve suggested are on the outskirts so I can’t imagine you’ll have issues with traffic. I think it would take you 30 mins to get into Newcastle from all of the locations mentioned. Is there any other places you’ve looked at? Hexham might be worth looking into? And Corbridge? They’re both lovely country towns and only a 20 min drive from Newcastle. If there’s anything else I can help you with, let me know!



    Hi Lindsay

    I live near Haltwhistle which is about 30 minutes west of Stocksfield and the places you have listed are all really lovely, very close to Newcastle (about 20 mins) and have very good local schools. My husband commutes to London from Newcastle on a Tuesday morning and returns on a Thursday night and he very rarely seems to have problems with traffic. It can be a bit sticky for the last bit into town but it doesn’t last that long and with time you get better at gauging it too.

    I’m afraid I can’t give you more detail re those actual villages but my experience with getting into local schools (which my children are at aged 5 and 7) is that they seem to be pretty relaxed and welcome you open armed. There is an amazing private school called Mowden Hall which is very near Stocksfield and gets incredible reviews. I’m afraid I can’t be more specific as my expertise lie farther west.

    Village communities up here seem warm and welcoming and having moved out of London nearly 3 years ago, I can honestly say the experience has been a great one I already feel very settled and there are so many people to meet of similar age with same age children. Hexham and Corbridge are brilliant towns for all the larger amenities you might require.

    Best of luck with your house search!


    Andrew D

    Hi, I live just north west of Ponteland, near Ogle and Kirkley. I’m from Ponteland and went to school there. My 8 year old is currently at school in Ponteland too. The village has a mix of some newer cafes and eateries, plus old pubs. 20 minutes to Newcastle, the Metro is pretty good too.
    The main benefit in my view is access to the coast, countryside and also town and shops. They’re all very accessible. Like all cities you can have traffic problems, there’s currently quite a few Road improvement projects on going.
    The people are also very friendly. Ponteland is a safe and very clean, tidy and pleasant place to live. Good schools, new doctors surgery….alot of good, friendly folk. Waitrose, Sainsbury’s in the village. Leisure centre and other amenities are in need of improvement, but you really don’t need to go far to find a good pool, etc.

    Hope this helps and let me know if I can add anymore. Brgds Andrew


    Andrew D

    I forgot to say… Take a look at my pics on instagram at 1066obelisk_northumberland to see what it’s like in my locality. Andrew



    I also would like to move there.
    If someone wants to share pics or videos – please feel free to contact me here at my financial blog Website

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