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Living in Houghton-le-Spring: The Local Area Guide

Known for its festive traditions and charming high street, Houghton-le-Spring is a small town in County Durham. It’s part of the Tyne and Wear administrative area, and City of Sunderland district with both Sunderland and Durham being a short distance away. There’s a close sense of community in Houghton-le-Spring, with local facilities including a golf club, parks, and active shops.

Houghton’s history can be traced back to Norman times, and indeed its hyphenated name showcases this Norman origin. Locally, it’s known simply as Houghton, pronounced Ho-Ton. Visitors from far and wide visit Houghton-le-Spring for its famous annual festival, the Houghton Feast. This occupies ten days with feasting and general merriment. The festival’s origins lie in the 12th Century, when the festival was known as “Michaelmas” in dedication to St. Michael. During the ten days, a number of special events take place including a carnival parade, fireworks, and a show-stopping traditional ox roast.

Demographics

According to the latest census, 93% of Houghton residents aged 16-74 are working, the majority of which are full-time employees. Professional, technical, service, and sales are all popular occupation types according to census figures. Many professionals choose to commute to the larger cities of Sunderland and Newcastle, while others work within Houghton’s businesses.

The total population of Houghton-le-Spring was 11,241 in 2011.

According to recent findings, 42.60% of residents rate their health as “very good”. The data, while not higher than the national average, is still very profound given the industrial turmoil that the area has experienced over the years.

Education

Excellent schools at both primary and secondary levels are within easy reach of Houghton-le-Spring. This includes Bernard Gilpin Primary, St Michael’s RC Primary, and Burnside Primary.

The Kepier School is highly regarded for its strong reputation, academics, and facilities. This coeducational secondary school boasts a lengthy history, originally founded by Bernard Gilpin, or the “Apostle of the North,” in 1574. Today’s Kepier is a modern school, well-known for its football academy which nurtures promising athletes from across the region. In addition to its well-tended football and rugby pitches, its facilities also include a dance studio and sports hall. According to Ofsted, Kepier is “good” in all areas as of the 2016 inspection.

Transport

Houghton-le-Spring is nothing if not well-connected. Durham, Sunderland, and Newcastle upon Tyne are all within easy reach. The town is positioned at the junction of the A182 and A690, with swift access to the A1 Motorway. Both Durham and Sunderland’s city centres are accessible in under 30 minutes, with Newcastle just a 40-minute drive.

For those who prefer to travel by public transport, Houghton’s connected to the region by multiple bus routes. This includes an express bus to Sunderland, where residents can access the widespread Tyne and Wear Metro with links to the airport, coast, and Newcastle city centre. Airports serving Houghton include Durham Tees Valley and Newcastle International, making it easy to travel both domestically and abroad.

Amenities & Shopping

Although it’s located near many major cities, Houghton-le-Spring offers plenty of amenities on its own. The vibrant high street shopping area is a harmonious blend of ‘mom-and-pop’ independent shops and big brand names. You’ll find a library, post office, barber shops, and several bank branches positioned here. Services also include bike repair, chemists, and charity shops. Brand names include a Superdrug and M & Co. Newbottle is the main shopping street, along with Grey and Sunderland Streets.

Those in search of a wider range of shopping facilities can easily head to Sunderland’s city centre. Here you can access famous shopping areas including Jacky Whites Market and Park Lane Shopping Village. The Bridges Shopping Centre is a modern shopping mall with dozens of high street retailers, including H&M, Topshop, and others. It offers a sleek shopping experience only a few miles away from Houghton-le-Spring.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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