The area has a wealth of shopping opportunities, from Arts and Crafts and farmers markets in the small villages to the big shopping centre's in and around Newcastle and Carlisle.
Shopping in Newcastle.
The main shopping centre in Newcastle is Eldon Square with 140 shops and cafes. It's two big department stores are Fenwick and John Lewis. Thursday is late night shopping with stores open until 8pm. The rest of the week it's open to 6pm and 11-5pm on Sundays.
The main bookshops are located just outside the Eldon Square around the Monument.
There's a number of outdoor shops in Grainger street, while Nevis sport is just off Nothumberland street.
Bike shops are a bit out of the center, but one that is quite convenient for the Hadrian's CycleWay is Denton Cycles at Unit 2 259 Scotswood road. This is just to the West of the city centre. They do repairs as well as selling Bikes and parts.
The other major shopping area is the Metrocentre. This is Europes largest shopping centre with over 300 shops, it's also got a 10 screen cinema (a brand new cinema is due to open in December 2009, which will have an imax theatre). The new Namco Funscape opened in December 2009 and features a bowling alley, soft play, dogems and activity machines.
The MetroCentre is located just of the A1, it's also served by a large number of buses and by train (conveniently it lies on the Newcastle to Carlisle line).
Shopping in Hexham.
Hexham is the main town between Newcastle and Carlisle. It's a small, pretty market town with a large abbey church (which has an excellent Roman cavalrymans tombstone; the crypt is well worth seeing but unfortunately it's rarely open) and a museum dedicated to the story of the Border reivers. As the main town in the area it also has a good range of shops and garages.
There are four supermarkets (Aldi's, Co-op, Tesco and Waitrose), a Marks and Spencers and Robbs department store as well as a wide range of shops in the town. There are also branches of all the main banks in the town.
As well as two bookshops other shops which might be of use are 'The Bike Shop' in St Mary's Chare, a small branch of Millets (for outdoor equipment) in Fore street and a photography shop (Pattinson's) on Battle hill.
As this is the main town in the Tyne valley, Hexham is very well served by car repair and tyre and exhaust fitters. All the main chains have garages here, and outside of Newcastle and Carlisle is the place to head for. Enterprise also has a car hire outlet in the town. However Halfords doesn't have a branch in Hexham. The nearest would be at Kington Park in Newcastle (near the airport turn off from the A1).
The Tourist Information Centre is in the Wentworth carpark (the main carpark for the town).
Shopping in Carlisle
The main shopping area in Carlisle is 'The Lanes' with a wide range of shops located in a compact area next to the historic castle and cathedral. The shops include a Debenhams department store.
Arts and Crafts
Northumbria and Cumbria boast a huge number of artists and carftsmen. A good way of finding out about them is to look out for the Art Tour which is a network of artists in Northumbria, who open their studios for the public. Its a great way of meeting the artists, buying artwork and seeing the countryside at the same time.
The network of farmers markets and farm shops gives you a great opportunity of getting a taste of the local food. Farmers' Markets in Northumberland reflects the character of farming in the North East and the time of year, and includes: Beef, Northumberland Hill lamb & mutton, fresh & smoked fish, pork, ham, dry cured bacon, sausages, free range chicken, turkey, game, hen-, duck- and goose-eggs, vegetables & soft fruits in season, stoneground flour, oatmeal, muesli, mushrooms, oven-ready meals, pate, real dairy icecream, game pies, local cheeses, herbs & chillis, jams, jellies, preserves, chutneys, home-made cakes. Not to mention a wide range of crafts.
Brampton - Last Saturday in the month (9:30am-1:30pm).
Carlisle - First Friday in the month (9:30am-3:30pm).
Carlisle Borderway Mart Exhibition Hall - two minutes from the M6 Junction 43
Second Saturday in the month (9:30am-1:00pm).
Durham - First Thursday in the month.
Greenhead - Second Sunday of each month (10am-2pm).
Hexham - Second and Fourth Sunday of the month.
Hexham - Brockbushes - Third Friday of the month.
Newcastle Greys Monument - First Friday in the month (9:30am-2:30pm).
Tynemouth - First Saturday in each month.
Hexham - Hexham Auction Martk - Every Sunday From 12:00pm - Admission £1:00 (60p from 1:00pm)
Corbridge - Usually at the Rugby group weather permitting - Wednesday morning during Spring and Summer