One of the nine official regions of England is the North East, officially formed in 1994. It includes the major sub-regions of:
Bamburgh Castle and canola field
• Northumberland • County Durham • Tyne and Wear • Tees Valley
Also included are the following main towns:
• Newcastle upon Tyne • Darlington • Durham • Gateshead • Hartlepool • Middlesbrough • South Shields
As with much of England, the North East boasts a rich historical heritage. It was the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, a very powerful force in the history of the world. It was also the major force against Scotland during the time of the border struggle. Northumberland’s landscape is speckled with ancient castles, which bear testimony to the political and religious struggles of centuries past. Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is Hadrian’s Wall. These are important tourist attractions, but are also key to establishing the identity of this English region.
In terms of its economy, the North East was once an important shipbuilding area. However, Tyneside is now emerging as an international art and culture epicentre. In addition, its science community is well respected and it has a booming night life, which lures locals and visitors alike. Other areas in the North East are supported by tourism, farming and the petrochemical industry. Northumberland and County Durham are particularly rural and are, therefore, used extensively for agriculture.
Politically speaking, the North East is dominated by those voting for the Labour Party, while the remaining portion of the voting population opts for the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats.
The North East is rather sparsely populated, with most of the people living in the South and East regions. It is particularly beautiful, with much of the North and East being dominated by undulating hills of jasper green. In addition, there are maritime cliffs that prove breath-taking in their sheer magnitude and beauty. The North East region benefits from a coastline, which adds extra splendour to its landscape as the blue waters lap onto its pebbled shores or splash against cliff faces. The villages that are nestled within rural farms are exquisite escapes from city life. The Tyne River, Wear River an Tees River are three of the best known waterways in all of England, and they all wind their way through the North East.
The Northumberland National Park is home to a great diversity of faunal and floral species, showcasing the natural wealth of this area. In particular, the endangered red squirrel can be found here. Other natural attractions of the North East include the gorgeous Tees Estuary, the heaths and bogs of the North Pennines, the ambling hay fields and Lindisfarne’s salt marshes. The Farne Islands are home to extremely rare oceanic birds, which are a delight to avid avian spotters. A unique natural feature is the magnesian limestone grasslands that characterise East Durham, as this is a specific habitat that occurs nowhere else on the planet. Durham is known as the Cathedral City, and is a site to behold for those who appreciate history, culture and ancient architecture.