Five good reasons to make the move to Hexham
Posted 15 February 2016
The North East is not short of picturesque towns and villages. With Durham, Alnwick, Warkworth and a whole host of other locations offering a rich cultural heritage and varied mix of attractions and activities for locals, it can be tricky for any prospective homeowner to decide where to put down roots.
Right up there on the list of desirable locations in the region is Hexham. Once voted England’s favourite market town, its warm and welcoming atmosphere has it firmly on the region’s map of homebuying hotspots.
So, what exactly has Hexham got going for it? Well, here are just five of the reasons that this ancient town is such a great place to buy in 2016.
Steeped in history
Hexham may not be a big town, but it certainly punches above its weight in the heritage stakes. As a popular starting point for tourists looking to visit Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham’s history is actually more Anglo Saxon than you might think. Hexham Abbey was founded in 674 A.D. by Bishop Wilfred (a Northumbrian saint), more than three centuries after the Roman’s had departed. And there followed many years of unruliness, with gangs of pillaging Vikings heading back and forth through the Tynedale countryside.
Over 600 years later the familiar stone cube of Hexham's Old Gaol was opened as Britain's first purpose-built prison. Both the abbey and the prison have more than their fair share of stories attached.
Head a bit further off the beaten track and you can unearth Hexham’s hidden history, thanks to a number of self-guided walking tours available from the town’s tourist information centre. These highlight how Hexham has developed through the ages, and point out any number of plaques and marked sites that might otherwise go unnoticed.
A bustling community
Markets have been in Hexham’s DNA for centuries, with the most popular gathering of vendors taking place in the aptly named Market Place in the centre of the town. Stalls are still erected in the square on a regular basis to sell fruit, veg, meats and treats for all occasions. Nearby is the old covered market known as The Shambles – built in 1744 and now a listed building to cater for stalls 6 days a week.
Head away from the market and towards Hexham House and there is no shortage of public parkland to navigate. With playgrounds for the youngsters and plenty of idyllic spots to rest one’s legs, there is something for every member of the family.
Arts and culture
Hexham boasts a number of cultural events throughout the course of the year. Bookworms are treated to Hexham’s very own book festival, an event that is going from strength to strength and attracts bigger names year-on-year. The Queen’s Hall Arts Centre is another major draw for locals – regularly hosting music, dance, drama, comedy and exhibitions in the 350-seater theatre and two galleries.
The commercial centres of Newcastle and Carlisle are both within easy reach of Hexham, thanks to the A69. And, of course, for the shopaholics of the North East, the Intu MetroCentre is even more conveniently positioned just off the A1.
For those who don’t travel by car, there are regular buses and trains to all three destinations, as well as to the other towns and villages of Tynedale itself.
You can see the stars
Skip just a short way out of the town centre, away from the street lights and the skies of Northumberland open up a whole universe of opportunity for those who love to see the stars in all their glory.
The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is just a short drive from Hexham. As Europe's largest area of protected night sky, it boasts 572 square miles of stars unspoiled by light pollution in which to see the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and even shooting stars before heading back to town. Who could ask for more than that?
If you are looking to move to Hexham, why not find out more about Hexham Gate – a development of luxury, low-energy homes for the 21st century. Contact our agents Sanderson Young today on 01661 823951.
Image © Copyright Mike Quinn