North East England Travel Information

North East England Key Facts

North East England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of ITL for statistical purposes. The region has three current administrative levels below the region level in the region: combined authority, unitary authority or metropolitan borough, and civil parishes.
Population: 2.657 million (2019) Eurostat
Area: 8,592 km²
Combined authorities: North of Tyne; North East; Tees Valley
Constituent country: England
Districts: 7 unitary; 5 metropolitan
GSS code: E12000001
ITL code: TLC

International Airports in the region

Teesside International Airport – – for information and help for those travelling with a disability or a special need via the airport click here a Changing Places facility is located in the landside check- in area of the terminal

Newcastle – – for information and help for those travelling with a disability or a special need via the airport click here a Changing Places facility is located in the Check-In area which is prior to going through security

Air Travel

  • Newcastle Airport Newcastle International Airport on Wikipedia (NCL IATA) has flights from London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris CDG and other UK and European cities. It’s on A696 six miles northwest of city centre: frequent Metro trains take 30 min to city centre and the main railway station.
  • Manchester (MAN) is worth considering for its great range of long-haul flights at competitive prices, avoiding a change in London or Amsterdam. Frequent trains run from the airport to North East England.
  • Teeside (MME) near Darlington is small, with scheduled flights only from Amsterdam, Aberdeen, Belfast City and London City. Onward public transport is poor.

Rail Travel

The East Coast mainline runs north from London Kings Cross via York, with direct trains hourly to Darlington (2 hrs 20), Durham (2 hrs 50), and Newcastle (3 hrs). Other routes from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and the southwest join at York. The line continues north to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh. Other lines serve Middlesbrough and Sunderland, and cross the waist of the country from Carlisle.

The East Coast Main Line runs north from London via York with stations at Darlington, Durham, Chester-le-Street, Newcastle, Morpeth, Alnmouth and Berwick-upon-Tweed, continuing to Edinburgh. All trains stop at Newcastle, the others are served every hour or so.

Hourly trains run along the coast from Newcastle via Heworth, Sunderland and Seaham to Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough. In County Durham, a branch line train runs hourly from Darlington to Newton Aycliffe, Shildon and Bishop Auckland.

The scenic Tyne Valley line runs parallel to Hadrian’s Wall, from Newcastle via Gateshead, Prudhoe, Hexham, Haydon Bridge and Haltwhistle and onwards across Cumbria to Carlisle.

The Tyne and Wear Metro serves Newcastle and Sunderland. The Yellow Line is a big inverted “@” that runs from Newcastle city centre, east to the coast at North Shields then north to Whitley Bay, before looping back to Newcastle via Gosforth and Jesmond. Its southern tail runs south of the Tyne via Gateshead to South Shields on the coast. The Green Line runs from Newcastle Airport to city centre then southeast to Sunderland and ends at South Hylton.

Bus Travel 

National Express and Megabus run from London Victoria to Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle, with some continuing to Edinburgh and Glasgow. There are also buses from the Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

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. An Explorer Ticket, valid on all bus services across the North East (as well as some in neighboring parts of North Yorkshire and the service to Carlisle), costs £10.50 for an adult for one day.

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.

By Road

The major routes across the region are mostly dual-carriageway. Near the cities they can be congested in rush hour, and on fine Sunday afternoons as city-dwellers head home from the countryside. The main roads are:

  • A1 from the south, passing Darlington, Durham and Newcastle, then continuing to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh
  • A19 branches off A1 in Yorkshire and runs north nearer the coast, via Middlesbrough and Sunderland and bypassing Newcastle
  • A69 connects Newcastle and Carlisle
  • A66 (several long sections undivided) runs from Darlington over the Pennines to meet M6 at Penrith in the Lake District
  • A68 (an undivided highway) switch-backs across the hills from Darlington to Jedburgh and Edinburgh

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.

By Boat

Ferries sail overnight from IJmuiden near Amsterdam to North Shields, 7 miles east of Newcastle.

The Shields Ferry crosses the mouth of the Tyne between South Shields and North Shields every 30 mins, a seven-minute ride. Foot passengers and bikes only; both ferry piers are served by the Metro.

The Tees Transporter Bridge is a weird contraption: it’s a gondola slung beneath a slender metal bridge that carries vehicles and others across the river between Middlesbrough (south bank) and Port Clarence, Stockton (north bank).

By Bike

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.

On Foot

The cities of the North East sprawl out, but their areas of interest are usually compact and best explored on foot.

Hadrian’s Wall path stretches coast-to-coast from Wallsend to Carlisle. The eastern section is modern, but west of Newcastle the route follows the Roman wall.

The Pennine Way is at the west edge of the region, bordering Cumbria, then turns east for several miles to coincide with Hadrian’s wall path. It then resumes its march north to the Cheviots and into Scotland.

Both these long-distance paths have multiple ac