Around the region: North Shields

With its modern waterside properties breathing new life into a community beside the river, Aranda Garrard finds out more about North Shields.

With its modern waterside properties breathing new life into a community beside the river, Aranda Garrard finds out more about North Shields.

WITH its heady mix of old and new, North Shields has properties to suit all tastes and budgets.

Like many nearby coastal resorts, the town is a magnet for property buyers, offering a good range of house types, from Georgian-style townhouses, to stone-built Grade II listed buildings and a variety of modern apartments on its waterfront.

The area is a far cry from its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, and now includes the nearby villages of Chirton, Preston and Billy Mill, among others.

On North Shields’s Quayside, the Grade II listed Irvin Building has been transformed into one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Irvin and Sons opened their doors at the building, designed for their fishing business, in 1913. They produced nets, sails, ropes and equipment for the maritime industry.

The quayside offers fantastic fish and chip restaurants, a traditional grocery store and regular sailings by passenger ferry across the Tyne to South Shields.

Antonia Clifford, of Quay2Media which has its offices on the North Shields Fish Quay, said: “North Shields appealed to us to set up our business as it is a real area of regeneration.

“While trying to retain the history of the fishing culture, the new development is attracting all sorts of new life to the town, which is based right on the river.

“Our office is in the heart of the Fish Quay area. As well as offering fabulous views, we have everything we need on our doorstep, including a post office, newsagents and places to go as a team to chill out or entertain our clients.

“WM Wrights greengrocers is full of charm and the owners have recently stepped up their game, offering a whole host of lunchtime sandwiches.

“There are fish and chips shops aplenty, and five Italian restaurants within a two- minute walk of each other, including the new Sambucas which is fast becoming our favourite.

“A wine bar recently opened here, called Milazzo, and of course, we still have all the historical pubs.”

While the fishing boats have diminished, there are still a lot of fish traders, and regeneration has also seen a number of residential opportunities springing up, including the Irvin Building.

Antonia said: “As a business owner what did appeal to us is that the town is close to the Tyne Tunnel, the Coast Road and the A19, so it never takes us long to reach our clients wherever they are in the region.”

Nicola Edwards of Pattinson estate agents said: “North Shields is the home of choice for people seeking the perfect balance between calm coastal living and bustling Newcastle life.

“Boasting excellent sea views, North Shields also has excellent shops like those in the Beacon Shopping Centre, as well as attractions such as the Stephenson Railway Museum. “For those seeking adventure, Newcastle is only a short Metro stop away, while the ferries connect to South Shields, the Netherlands and Norway.”

The low, riverside part of the town is linked to the newer, higher part of the town by flights of stairs.

The town has undergone an extensive regeneration programme which has seen the revitalisation of the Albert Edward docks, bringing the Wet ‘n’ Wild indoor water park, Royal Quays outlet shopping centre, a bowling alley, JJB Soccer Dome and a marina.

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival – formerly the Fish Quay Festival – was held last weekend and the annual jamboree was a huge success with events north and south of the river.

Famous faces from the area include The Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and the inventor of the lifeboat William Wouldhave.

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