Newcastle Upon Tyne hotels
Newcastle-upon-Tyne: capital of Geordieland, spiritual home of the Toon Army. Rough, grey and harsh, right? Wrong. Newcastle is now the glittering gem of the north-east (watched over by its very own Angel) and is pulling more international tourists by the year.
Never short of a party, Newcastle, buoyed by the regeneration on the banks of the River Tyne around Quayside and the Tyne Bridge, is the destination for a night on the town. While Londoners may pretend to be bored by the ever-changing bar-scene in the capital, Geordies are unashamedly enthusiastic, and an almost childlike energy infuses the streets on a Friday or Saturday night.
Quayside and Bigg Marketare the places to see and be seen, and the city’s eligible singles are out in full force in a fog of cologne, pheromones and Newkie Brown. Tough as the Geordie male’s reputation may be, it’s the Geordie female that really impresses. Seemingly impervious to the cold, the typical Newcastle lass will endeavour out on the town in 5°C weather wearing scant more than a strategically-placed seatbelt and an insulating coat of fake tan.
With a blend of history and innovation that can see you taking in a tour through Newcastle Castlein the morning, perusing a modern, edgy art gallery in the afternoon and then kissing a stranger in a super club by night, Newcastle is a charming exhibitionist of a city. So be prepared to have it flash its assets in your face with a flourish and a cheeky Geordie grin.
Newcastle’s TOP 10
10. Gateshead Millennium Bridge This is the world’s first tilting bridge and just a damn cool thing to look at.
5. Tyne Bridge If anything represents the city of Newcastle, it’s this. Take a look and be impressed.
9. Opus Art An art gallery that hosts art by some big names (including Andy Warhol). Plus, if you’ve got the moolah, you can buy.
4. Central Arcade A beautiful and historic shopping arcade that’ll see you spending those pounds oh-so-easily.
8. Grainger Town This historic area is just plain stunning. Talk a walk around to take in the city’s incredible past.
3. Theatre Royal A fancy venue for international performers. Come and catch a show by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
7. Seven Stories This museum dedicated to children’s books is not only fun for the littlies but also for the grown-ups.
2. St Nicholas Cathedral With a history set back in the 11th Century, this beautiful church is a must-see.
6. Great North Museum You’ll discover everything from mummies to local city history in this gem.
1. River Tyne When visiting, make sure to take a relaxing walk along the path of this city’s icon.
Newcastle Upon Tyne History
- Newcastle’s Castle Keep – This Grade 1-listed building is one of the UK’s few Norman stone castles still standing almost as built.
- Gibside – A National Trust property that was the home of 18th-century Coal Baron George Bowes.
- Trinity House – A home from the 15th century full of artefacts.
- St Nicholas Cathedral – Dates back to the 14th century with St Nicholas as the patron saint.
- Grey Street – A street full of historic buildings recently voted Britain’s finest by the BBC.
Newcastle Upon Tyne Art & Culture
- BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art – Collections from leading modern artists, such as Damien Hirst.
- Laing Art Gallery – See the famous painting, ‘The Destruction of Soddom & Gomorrah’, by John Martin here.
- Seven Stories – Newcastle’s centre for children’s literature and a perfect day out for the little ones.
- Biscuit Factory – The biggest commercial art gallery in the UK. Don’t spend too much on the fabulous artwork.
- Ouseburn Open Studios – View and learn from some of the region’s emerging artists as they work.
Newcastle Upon Tyne Shopping
- Eldon Square – All your favourite high-street stores and eateries under one roof in the city centre. Shop until 8 pm every night.
- Fenwick Department Store – Luxury-label shopping and a delightful food hall.
- Vivienne Westwood – The designer’s large Newcastle store on Hood Street stocks her whole line.
- Best Vintage – The place to go for vintage clothing in Newcastle.
- Metrocentre – This famous shopping & entertainment complex in Gateshead is Europe’s largest. Do not miss out!
Gay & Lesbian Newcastle Upon Tyne
- The Powerhouse – Located on Westmorland Road is Newcastle’s oldest gay nightclub.
- The Boulevard – Go watch the campest of entertainment on Churchill Street.
- Number 52 Sauna – Fancy some erotic cinema? Find it in the Gay Village.
- Newcastle Gay Village – All the fun is on Scotswood Road!
- Eclipse – One of Newcastle’s few lesbian bars, this one on Clayton Street West is lively and popular.
Newcastle Upon Tyne Outdoor
- Jesmond Dene – A tranquil haven in Jesmond full of waterfalls and wildlife. Spot the red squirrels there.
- Moorbank Botanic Garden – See the latest plant research from the University of Newcastle and tour the landscaped gardens.
- Benwell Nature Park – Learn about wildlife from the resident Countryside Rangers in this 5-acre local nature reserve.
- Exhibition Park – This Newcastle city centre park has a skate park for daredevils!
- Town Moor – A vast city centre green space that host’s Hoppings, Europe’s largest fairground, every June.
Newcastle Upon Tyne Sport
- See the rugby club that gave England Jonny Wilkinson at the Newcastle Falcons.
- Try surfing at the Gateshead International Stadium’s surf school.
- Catch a Newcastle United football game at St James’ Park.
- Put a bet on at Gosforth Park racecourse.
- Climb Newcastle is Newcastle’s first indoor climbing centre and is run by former British champions. Learn from the best!
This area along the banks of the River Tyne is one of Newcastle’s most popular and cosmopolitan tourist spots. From here you can discover both the Tyne Bridge and the awesomeness that is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge (which you should take a quick walk on).
If you’re more in the mood for a culture-hit, try the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, where events and exhibitions run all year round. History more your thing? The Gateshead Heritage at St Mary’s will take you on an amazing ride through the history of the city. Finish your day by relaxing at one of the many eateries and nightspots in the area (clubbers, you’ll have a ball).Grainger Town
Newcastle’s historic hub is home to many things to see and do. Your first stop should be the icon of the area, Grey’s Monument. (Yes, it’s the very same Grey who was prime minister back in the 19th Century and whose name was used for the now famous – and delicious – Earl Grey tea).
Once you’ve had your history/tea fix, get your shopping fix at Grainger Market and Central Arcade, two historic sites that cater to a shopaholic’s every whim. End your day with a nice meal (some top eateries in this area!) and then head over to the Royal Theatre for a show.Ouseburn
This stunning area is only two miles from the heart of Newcastle and is an absolute treat. Start your day by taking in some fresh country air on an Ouseburn Trust Heritage Walk. Not only will it take you to the area’s top historical sites (Victoria Tunnel, St Ann’s and St Dom’s), but also show you just how beautiful and idyllic the whole area is.
After you’ve walked off the Newkie Brown from last night, explore the stacks of art galleries on offer, including the Mushroom Works, The Art Works Galleries, The Biscuit Factory and the Cluny Gallery, all of which also have art available for purchase. Lastly, kick back at a pub with a pint and a hearty meal.
Newcastle Eat & Drink
Popolo This cool pub is known for it’s chirpy service and after-work crowds. Grab a pint and relax. Quayside
Café Royal This elegant café has a modern European menu and friendly staff. City Centre
Marco Polo Great Italian and a constant buzz of people at this two-storey eatery. City Centre
La Tasca Good-sized meals at this Spanish joint. Nibble on some tapas and then gorge on some paella. Quayside
Revolution Down some shots and party till dawn. Hangover included. City Centre
Pitcher and Piano A chilled bar that’s popular with Newcastle’s young professionals. Quayside
Sachins Punjabi-style meals paired with a warm and friendly atmosphere. The smell of spices in the air is intoxicating. Around the corner from Metro Radio Arena in Quayside.
Tokyo This chic and intimate bar has an incredible drink list that’s as long as time. City Centre
Blackfriars The building has a history dating back to 1239. That alone is cool but the classic nosh makes it even cooler. Quayside
The Living Room An elegant and intimate venue perfect for loved-up couples. City Centre
Like your electronic arts? Pay the biennial AV Festival a visit every other March. There’s a massive array of exhibitions, seminars, workshops and performances showcasing the best of the best in terms of music, visual art and moving images.
The nosh-a-thon that is the EAT! Festival in June is a way to promote and celebrate the increasing popularity and success of Newcastle produce and eateries. A bunch of local restaurants host special deals, international chefs present shows and workshops and a stack of food markets brim with a range of cuisines. Take your stretchy pants.
Early July welcomes the Mouth of the Tyne Festival, a fiesta of world-class street entertainment including music, entertainment, comedy, dance and other, slightly quirky performances. The festival often hosts some big names so it’s definitely worth a look-see.
When To Go
It’s the north-east, it’s on the coast… you know you’re going to need to carry a jumper even in summer (unless you’re one of those girls we talked about earlier, in which case a silk scarf should probably do the trick).
What To Miss
The Metro is a great way to get around, but can get iffy at night. If you’re planning on using it later on, make sure you’re in a group.
The area around St James’ Park on match days (unless you’re seeing the game, obviously). Like at any football ground in the country, tensions tend to run high.
Getting There And Around
Driving straight up the A1 (past theAngel of the North) is the most direct route, but Newcastle is also well served by train and air (the Metro links Newcastle Airport to the city)
Stagecoach buses and the Metro are the best ways to get from A to B. Fares are cheap and both services are reliable.
Walking is a great way to see the city, especially when bar-hopping. Just make sure you’re warm enough (not everyone has the steely temperature-withstanding constitution of the local female population) and that you are with a group after dark.
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