From the Scottish borders to the counties of Yorkshire, North East England is a region often overlooked by tourists and natives from other parts of Great Britain. The region, often characterised by an industrial age long since past, has gone through immense change and regeneration.
To those that know the North East, there is a wealth of beauty unspoilt by large numbers of visitors. The county of Northumberland is dotted with beautiful historic towns such as Berwick on the Scottish border, Alnwick and Hexham.
It is a region of contrast. The wild beauty of the Northumberland National Park and the modern life of Newcastle. The quiet pit villages of County Durham and the historic grandeur of Durham Cathedral [dead link]. The new, the old and the disused all reside in stark relief.
The real beauty of North East England is its secret. So few know what this area really has to offer.
The North East consists of the following counties:
|The county previously known as Cleveland
Now unitary authorities.
|Tyne and Wear
Cities and towns
Listed below are nine towns and cities that are of greatest interest to travellers:
- Hadrian's Wall  on the border with Scotland is an 80-mile long wall built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the Scottish tribes out. A World Heritage site with an information centre situated at Housestead, north-west of Hexham.
- The Angel of the North - a giant copper-coloured metal angel sculpture. Next to the A1 south of Gateshead.
- Lindisfarne - the "Holy Island"
- Captain Cook's Museum, Middlesbrough 
- The Metro Centre , one of Europe's largest shopping centres.
The North East is England's most northern and sparsely populated region. The area has a very long and bloody history, due to its proximity to Scotland and has fallen under Scottish hands at least once as the border shifted over time.
Newcastle International Airport is a small to medium-sized airport offering both scheduled and charter flights to Europe, and domestic flights to cities such as London.
Durham Tees Valley Airport is a small airport offering scheduled and charter flights. The current scheduled flight destinations are between Amsterdam and Aberdeen.
The A1 is a major road that serves this region, running from London to Edinburgh. The A66 is a main road that connects the North-East to the North-West of England.
Transport in the North East is well-developed, despite the relatively rural nature of the area.
The North East is served by the East Coast Main Line, which is useful for connections between some of the main cities. There are also rail connections that run from Newcastle to Middlesbrough via Sunderland that serve many of the coastal towns in County Durham.
There are also more scenic routes, such as the Tyne Valley line, which runs parallel to Hadrian's Wall serving the towns of Hexham and Prudhoe. A little further afield is the Esk Valley Railway. This goes from Middlesbrough eastwards, arriving at the pretty North Yorkshire town of Whitby.
The road network in the North East is decent, however traffic can build up severely, particularly on approaches to cities and on the A1 and A19 roads. For this reason it is often best to use public transport to get around the region, especially in urban areas.
The North East has many buses, which are provided by a range of operators. There are some tickets that are only valid on certain operators, so it is worth checking which bus you are getting on. In particular, some bus numbers are used by multiple operators, which can get very confusing.
Most towns and cities have some kind of internal bus route as well as longer range buses that run from town to town. Some of the more useful intra-regional bus routes are:
7: Durham to Darlington 10: Newcastle to Hexham 21: Newcastle to Durham 45: Newcastle to Consett X7: Sunderland to Middlesbrough X10: Newcastle to Middlesbrough X11: Newcastle to Blyth X15: Newcastle to Berwick (fast) X18: Newcastle to Berwick (scenic) X21: Newcastle to Newbiggin by the Sea X21: Newcastle to Stanhope X21: Newcastle to Bishop Auckland X21: Sunderland to Darlington
Some buses take scenic routes, such as the X18, AD122 (a bus for Hadrian's Wall) and even normal buses will still provide views of the picturesque scenery.
The Tyne and Wear Metro is comprised of two lines which offer an underground service in Newcastle and Sunderland.
The Yellow Line begins in St. James in Newcastle city centre, before heading east to the coast and north to Whitley Bay. It then returns to Newcastle via the northern suburbs of Gosforth and Jesmond. After this, it runs south of the river through the eastern parts of Gateshead, and then ends at South Shields on the coast.
The Green Line begins at the Airport and offers fast connections to Newcastle City Centre, before running south and east to the coastal city of Sunderland and ending at South Hylton to the west of Sunderland.
Several cycle routes pass through the area and this can be a quick way to get around the region. In particular, National Cycling Route 1 runs along the coast and is arguably one of the most scenic routes in the country around places such as Bamburgh.
The Shields Ferry is a nice way to cross the Tyne, and indeed is on Cycle Route 1. There are other scenic river crossings such as the Transporter Bridge which can provide an intriguing way around the region.
Last but not least, the North East benefits from having small cities because they are all easily walkable. It is easy to walk across Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough despite these being the biggest cities in the area.
Eating out in North East England is very much dependent on where you are. Fresh fish can be found at many of the coastal towns such as Redcar. Fast food chains, Italian, Indian and French restaurants are all common to most larger towns.
North Easterners pride themselves on serving what they argue is the best traditional English fish and chips. From the largest cities in the region to the smallest villages, the presence of a fish and chip shop and a pub are practically guaranteed.
Northerners are wonderfully friendly and can usually be counted on to look after those not familiar to the area. As in any large city, certain areas will not be as safe after dark . As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid travelling alone late at night.