Whickham is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, North East England, 5 miles (8.0 km) south west of Newcastle upon Tyne, and is situated on high ground overlooking the River Tyne. In 2011, it had a population of 16,652. Whickham is a semi-rural, middle class suburban town and former civil parish. Built on a large hill, it overlooks a large part of the northern and western horizon, including the MetroCentre, and contains a mixture of large suburban housing estates and private streets for the local residents. The main street that goes through the town contains some shops and retailers, a few pubs and restaurants, and St. Mary's Church, the oldest building in Whickham.
Whickham underwent some expansion in the 1950s when the Lakes Estate was built just off Whickham Highway. Then later in the decade the Oakfield Estate just off Whaggs Lane was built. However, house building in the early 1960s transformed the then village into a small town. Grange Lane Estate began the seemingly unending development by J. T. Bell, (Bellway), the builder, who went on into Clavering Park, Clavering Grange, the Cedars and then Fellside Park. Even after this expansion, there is some debate that the old spirit of the village was finally lost when the main street of Whickham was redeveloped.
To the south-west of Whickham, above the River Derwent, are the ruins of Old Hollinside, a fortified manor house once owned by the Bowes-Lyon family.
Whickham has been a national finalist in the RHS 'Britain In Bloom' competition over fifteen times, and, as of 2012, has twice been awarded 'Outright National Winner' in its category.
Whickham has six primary schools, one secondary school and one school for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND):
- Clover Hill Primary School
- Fellside Primary School
- Front Street Primary School
- St Mary's R C Primary School
- Washingwell Primary School
- Whickham Parochial C of E Primary School