Relocation specialist and coast property expert Nigel Bishop casts his expert eye over the coast property scene in the North East.

The north east corner of England has a rich history dating back to invasion by the Nordic people, whose traces of language are still evident, along with strong religious connections – Lindisfarne played a role in The Scottish Wars, The Civil War and The Jacobite rebellion, religiously and politically involved.

Alnwick – the second largest inhabited castle in the UK after Windsor – is a strategic place in history. Beyond the ancient history the north east saw the biggest evolvement during the Industrial Revolution where shipbuilding became the core employment, bringing new found wealth to a rural, coastal area. Whilst this sadly is all but gone, the remnants remain and life emerges in a new way. Like all coastal regions in the late 20th and 21st century, tourism plays a big part in the economy with such a stunning coastline featuring a series of castles and beaches.

Villages and smaller towns feed off the three cities in the region, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland and Durham – all very different but with a strong regional atmosphere. The geographical centre of  Britain is Haltwhistle in Northumberland – so for those lucky residents maybe “the centre of the universe” has a greater meaning. The villages stretch the entire length of the coastline and draw residents looking to live away from the cities and with their influx comes the expectation of services and amenities – all fuelling the local economy.

Whilst the weather may not be as balmy as the south coast it rarely deters the walkers and tourists keen to explore from the Yorkshire Moors in the south to the Scottish Lowlands to the north and all points in between The North East.

As life evolved through the centuries housing has mirrored the trend – from the time of castle and baronial halls, then the Victorian period through to modern building evident everywhere, mindful of eco-friendly sustainable living. Many enjoy sea views, near or distant, across the intervening countryside.

Here’s my pick this month of three fabulous homes for sale in the north east:

The Sheepfold, Old Burdon Hamlet, Seaham, is a beautiful and versatile stone barn conversion with walled courtyard, gardens in delightful, rural setting with sea views: Rettie are the selling agents (, 0191 300 6253).

Rosedean, Holywell, Whitley Bay, is a stunning detached home built ten years ago in impeccable order offering up to seven bedrooms, magnificent gardens and grounds and professional state of the art detached studio. (,  0191 213 2533).

Dale Farm House, Hunmaby, North Yorkshire, is an 18th century stone farmhouse near the favoured Filey Bay. It offers serious lifestyle business opportunity from weddings, glamping, holiday cottage, studio etc, in a rural but accessible location. (, 01264 850700).

So, castle or beach? The buzz of the city or the tranquil rural lifestyle and community in the villages. The north east is a magical corner of the English coastline with a myriad of places to explore revealing a sense of history – a truly special and friendly place to settle because, after all, It’s all about coming home.”