The best thing about living and working in the North East is the variety of live music venues. Newcastle is well known for its small quirky places like The Cluny and The Riverside, which showcase some of the best emerging artists in the country. Then there are cool, vibrant venues like Wylam Brewery at Exhibition Park, which has a cracking programme of live music events, through to larger venues such as Metro Arena. Of course the region also has a number of great open air events including the Corbridge Festival. We really are spoilt for choice.
Even though I live in a small, rural village, I still love the coast. Before I moved to Corbridge, I lived in Tynemouth and I loved the easy great pubs, cafés, restaurants and stunning beaches.
I enjoy working out at the gym and I’m a member of Matfen Hall hotel and spa. It’s such a pretty and tranquil place to spend an hour or so a day.
My favourite place to eat in the North East is the Robin Hood pub on the Military Rd (B6318). It has a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and is welcoming to kids and dogs (of which I have both).
When I want somewhere for fine dining I head to a little French restaurant in Hexham called Bouchon.
Alnwick Garden is a wonderful visitor attraction and I think the North East is very lucky to have it. It continues to develop and grow and I admire the fact that the team works hard to continually improve the visitor experience.
I often find myself in The Angel of Corbridge when meeting people from outside the area. It’s centrally located in Corbridge and on a sunny day it’s a great place to sit outside and watch the world go by.
There’s no better view than that of the bridges lined up over the River Tyne. Especially when you’re returning home on the train from a long trip away. It never fails to give me the shivers and a real sense of Geordie pride.
North East people are one of a kind; they’re funny, open and, overall, don’t take themselves too seriously. I love to have a laugh and I can be quite self-deprecating, a trait I think is quite typical of a Geordie. I travelled fairly extensively in my youth and the one thing I missed was the Geordie sense of humour.
I often describe the Corbridge Festival as a hidden gem of the North East. It feels like there’s a bunch of people having a massive party in the centre of this quaint historic village and only they know about it. The festival has pretty much gone under the radar for a number of years and has only recently become better known.
If I could change anything in the North East, I would develop Tynedale Park (RFC) and build a new larger clubhouse. The rugby club was devastated by the floods in December 2015 and the clubhouse took the brunt of the devastation. Like most volunteer-led sporting venues, money is tight and budgets are small. I’d love to be able to mend and improve the clubhouse and, of course, this would benefit the Corbridge Festival, too!