‘Quirky’ & ‘friendly’ area is one of the ‘best places to live’ in the North

Things certainly aren’t grim up North, especially not in one Newcastle neighbourhood which has been crowned as one of the “best places to live” in the North of the UK. Just two miles east of Newcastle city centre is Heaton, a district of the city that has been described by locals as “quirky” and friendly”.

According to We Are Newcastle, the locally-run website: “We are Heaton. We are quirky and goodie, vibrant with variant. We are indie shops and a friendly welcome.”

The area was included in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2024, listed in the ‘North’ category alongside the likes of Leeds, which was the regional winner, Saltaire in West Yorkshire and Nether Edge in Sheffield. The name Heaton means high town, which is given to the area thanks to its location above the Ouseburn, a tributary which flows into the Tyne.

The area is a hub of independent retailers, cafés and restaurants, and its two main streets, Heaton Road and Chillingham Road are a rainbow smattering of lovely, quaint shopfronts.

Whether you’re after vegetarian sushi or want to stop off to get a coffee and pick up a plant while you’re at it, there’s a place for that. Rebel, located on Heaton Park Road, is a modern restaurant which has made its way into both the prestigious Michelin and Good Food Guides. This cool, relaxed bar offers an array of cocktails as well as a selection of dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients.

And speaking of locally sourced ingredients, Block and Bottle is a traditional butcher but with a modern twist. Here you can find everything you’d expect from a traditional high street butcher, but with the addition of a beer bottle shop. You can even stop off for a beer in-store, and enjoy a range of charcuterie including salami, sliced cured hams and pancetta.

Or, venture to 68 Heaton Road, where you’ll find independent health food shop Honey Tree Wholefood, offering seasonal boxes of fruit and vegetables, among other healthy goodies.

Nightlife is less chaotic in Heaton than you might find in the centre of Newcastle, but there’s still a buzzing scene of bars and cocktail venues to experience.

At the heart of this thriving community is Heaton Park, a green expanse packed with history where you can watch flowerbeds bloom during the spring and summer months. The park has a network of footpaths to explore, connecting the park to nearby Ouseburn Park, Armstrong Park and Jesmond Dene.

Thrill-seekers are also within easy reach of Newcastle Climbing Centre, housed in the former church of St Marks, which is just a stone’s throw from South Heaton.

As a result, the area has attracted an influx of young professionals to the area and is one of the hippest parts of Newcastle.

Properties in Heaton had an overall average price of £221,430 over the last year, according to the latest data from Right Move, which is slightly lower than the national average.

Right Move added: “The majority of sales in Heaton during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £145,725. Terraced properties sold for an average of £264,434, with semi-detached properties fetching £238,536.”

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