Katie-Bulmer Cooke: Why Sunderland is a great place to live

Metro passengers are far more friendly than those on London's Tube, says our columnist.
Metro passengers are far more friendly than those on London's Tube, says our columnist.

This week it’s been back to the old routine for many of us, as the kids went back to school after the Easter holidays and us grown ups get back into the swing of work.

I’ve made several trips out of the northeast since going back to work, which has meant a series of train and taxi journeys.

I quite enjoy the travel, as I always manage to spark up a conversation with someone on my journey, whether it’s the person sitting next to me on the train or the taxi driver, and I always like meeting new people ... I love a good old chat too!

On my trip home from Essex last week, the London taxi driver asked me why, if I travel to London so much, don’t I move from Sunderland to the big smoke? To be honest, I was flabbergasted that he even asked, as to me there really is no place like home.

As I started to answer his question, it reminded me that there are so many reasons why Sunderland is a great place to live (and better than anywhere else).

It’s easy for us Mackems to forget why Sunderland is so great in comparison to other places, but it’s good to have a little reminder from time to time.

First up, it’s the people. We are so friendly! When I spend time in the capital everyone is on their own little mission with their head down.

Even smiling at someone on the Tube is often met with the cold shoulder, yet on the Metro people seem way more friendly and up for a natter.

Next it has got to be the quality of life. We really do have the best of everything here.

We have the beach, countryside, parks, nightlife, shopping and much more all within just a few miles of each other, and although we are all busy, it never feels like a crazy rat race.

In Sunderland you can also have so much for so little when compared to our southern friends.

Whenever I chat to someone about house prices in the south I’m always blown away by how expensive it is to live south of the Watford gap.

A three-bedroom house for example, in London, with a garden is not only difficult to find, but also ridiculously expensive and well in excess of one million pounds.

The rental market is much the same too with prices for one bedroom studio flats easily tipping the £1000 pcm mark.

All in all, as much as it’s great to visit other places, it’s even better to come back and Sunderland has so much to offer.

I’m certainly very pleased and proud to call Sunderland home.