Birtley lies in the Gateshead borough of Tyne and Wear. It's located a couple of miles south of Gateshead and is very close to Chester-le-Street, immediately to the south. Birtley is very close to the A1, which passes just to the east and acts as a divide between Birtley and Washington.
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Although it's close to Gateshead, Birtley actually falls within the boundaries of the historic County of Durham and has a Durham (DH) postcode, rather than the usual NE postcode associated with Tyne and Wear.
Birtley offers good road connections and remains home to several large industrial and engineering organisations, including the Royal Ordnance factory, which makes arms and ammunition for the British Army.
Birtley is overlooked by the Angel of the North and is close to both the A1 and the A167. The town has not had its own railway station since 1955 but has benefited from a number of new housing developments since the 1950s - perhaps one reason that the Birtley now has its own van hire company. A range of rental vans are available for hire: