Whickham has been a national finalist in the RHS ""Britain in Bloom"" competition over 15 times and as of 2012, has twice been awarded outright national winner in its category. Whickham is situated on high ground overlooking the Metrocentre and the Tyne Valley. The village underwent expansion in the 1950's when The Lakes Estate as built just off Whickham Highway, then a short while later Oakfield Estate.
There have been several notable events in history, including Norman Conquest, English settlement, several Anglo-Scottish wars etc which will have have influenced life in Whickham. Due to its strategic position, this land has been a target by different rulers. People living in this area would have borne the wrath of unfriendly neighbours – the English and the Scots. The English army also used to pass through Whickham during military operations – something that must have happened numerous times over several centuries
The market in residential sales is still pretty buoyant, with more buyers than property to meet the demand. The biggest demand in the area are 3 bedroom family homes between £150000 to £200000.
On Front Street you can find a good cross section of the community from proffessionals and local business men, to staff who work in the local amenities, such as the supermarkets and and pubs. The numerous coffee shops in the village provide an ideal opportunity to meet up with friends and locals. There are also several events carried out during the year, some taking place in Whickham Park, and others on The Green and also a very popular Christmas Fair, all supported by people in the community.
In recent past and currently, Whickham has attracted families with school age children due to the excellent educational facilities, with the local schools getting exeptional OFFSTED results.The construction of Gateshead Metrocentre built in the 1980's - the largest shopping centre in Europe covering 1.8 million square feet and boasting over 330 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues - also had an impact on Whickham's desirability.
The recent conversion of the old Gateshead Council offices to a pub - named in honour of Harry Clasper, a local lad from Dunston, one of Tynesides greatest heros who in between working down the pit, was an accomplished oarsman and constructed his own boats, one of which was named the Lord Ravensworth, and competed against the best oarsman in the coxed fours of the Thames regatta. Whickham also has an extensive and old history, and some influential people have been connected to the area. The 19th century inventor and industrialist Lord W.G. Armstrong was privately schooled in the village, and Oliver Cromwell stayed in Whickham for a few days in 1648, during his march to Edinburgh. Local rumour has it that whilst in Whickham, Cromwell stayed in Dockendale Hall, one of the oldest buildings in the village, for two days.
As a very popular residential area, there is a range of property types in to suit all Whickham. There is an abundance of characterful properties in Whickham such as the stone built Salisbury House, which originally stood on its own on Whickham Hill , set at the heart of the village built circa 1650 and Whickham Lodge, a magnificent period residence, a handsome Grade II Listed building thought to date back to circa. 1740. with a stunning vaulted wine sellar. There are also more affordable family homes an the Lakes Estate , Grange Estate, Clavering Park and Fellside Park, with more asperational homes located within Cornmoor Road, Broom Lane, Millfield Road, Whickham Park and Whaggs Lane. The more modern developements can be found on The Riverside over looking the River Tyne, which inlcude modern apartments , semi detached and shared ownership properties.
Prices can vary substantially in the area and range from £65000 for a 2 bedroom Tyneside flat in Swalwell , £110000 for an ex local authority 2 bedroom house in Dunston, £200000 for a 3 bedroom semi on the housing estates to £1000000 for a substsntial family home on one of the more prestigious locations in Whickham.
Some of the most sought-after homes are located on Cornmoor Road, Millfield Road Broom Lane and Whaggs Lane, where modern and period properties stand side by side, many with large or extensive rear gardens, some of which have had rear garden developements, although the latter rarely happens now due to planning restrictions.
The price of property to rent in Whickham begins around £375 pcm, for a 2 bedroom Tyneside flat, rising to £625 pcm for a 2 bedroom modern apartment over looking ther River Tyne, 2 bedrooms house start at at £525 pcm with 3 bedroom semi detached homes starting around £600 pcm up to £725 pcm for a more spacious property with garage and gardens, depending on size and condition. Tenants wanting detached properties in the desireable locations of Millfield Road, Cornmoor Road, Broom Lane and Whaggs lane can expect to pay from £1200 upwards. It goes without saying that there is never enough property to satisfy the demand.
The Whickham area has a varied selection of high street shops and smaller independents . These include The Co-op, Tesco's, fruiterers and local butchers Martin & Sons, who source their prodce from local named farms in the vicinity. There is also a very established flower shop who supply both pre made flower arrangements and floral boquets or made to order arrangements varying from the standard bloom to the exotic. If its bakery that you're after, there are 2 to choose from , one independant with an internal and external seating area in which to enjoy a pastry or 2 or sip a fresh coffee. The other is a well known chain Greggs - in which you can sample the well know local delicacy - Stottie Cake. There are also architects and an independant jewelers, well know in the village for their hand crafted bespoke jewelry but also for altterations and repairs.
Whickham and surrounding areas are popular with everyone. and starting with the young with children’s play groups to football teams. Residents enjoy taking full advantage of the areas green open spaces, including The Derwent Country Park , covering some 11 miles and includes a mixture of Woodlands, wetlands & riverside. There is also Gibside Hall & Chape,l dating from the 1620's. At the centre of Whickham is Whickham Park and on fine sunny days the locals take their children to enjoy the park and also enjoy a varied schedual of festivals and musical events.
Whilst Whickham is only around 3 miles away from Newcastle city centre it still feels and is, semi rural. Green fields, farm land and woodland can be seen from many corners of the village and housing estates. It's only a mile and a half to Sunniside from Whickham but from there you have wide open spaces taking you to Burnopfield, Consett & the Derwent Valley beyond. public transport to Newcastle is very good, and there is also a train station in Dunston with a main line train station in Newcastle centre. The A1 Westen Bypass is only a mile or so away and gives access to all parts of the region and beyond.
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