North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside (including parts of North Yorkshire but not on this site). The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland. Other large settlements in the region include: Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, South Shields, Stockton-on-Tees. The region is home to three UK conurbations: Teesside, Wearside, and the largest Tyneside which is the sixth most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom.
Generally the region is hilly and sparsely populated in the North and West, and urban and arable in the East and South. The highest point in the region is The Cheviot, in the Cheviot Hills, at 815 metres (2,674 ft).
As well as its urban centres of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside the region is also noted for the richness of its natural beauty. Northumberland National Park, the region’s coastline, its section of the Pennines including Teesdale and Weardale provides evidence for this. It also has great historic importance, the evidence of which is seen in Northumberland’s Castles, and the two World Heritage Sites of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle and of Hadrian’s Wall. St. Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland along with St. Pauls in Jarrow also hold significant historical value. They have a joint bid to become a World Heritage Site. The region’s strong religious past can also been seen in works such as the Lindisfarne Gospels.
The shipbuilding industry that once dominated both Sunderland (once the largest shipbuilding town in the world) and Tyneside suffered a marked decline during the second half of the twentieth century. Tyneside is now re-inventing itself as an international centre of art and culture and, through The Centre For Life, scientific research (especially in stem cell technology) and popular nightlife, in areas such as the Quayside or The Gate. After suffering economic decline during the last century, Sunderland is becoming an important area for quaternary industry, science and high technology. The economy of Teesside is largely based on the petrochemical and steel industries. Northumberland and County Durham, both being largely rural, base much of their economies on farming and tourism.
The region comprises: