Explore the highlights of Newcastle Gateshead and find a cheap flight on cheapflights.co.uk
Newcastle Upon Tyne is one of the jewels of the North and has a rich history that stretches back as far Roman times, when the town was called Pons Aelius. Modern Newcastle has much to offer visitors, from the friendly locals, fantastic football and rich local culture, to a comprehensive night-life and restaurant scene. The city also hosts the annual Great North Run half marathon and has the UK’s first biotechnology village. Of all the interesting things to discover and do in Newcastle, there are seven sights that are a must see:
As one of the most infamous views in Newcastle, the collection of Tyne Bridges should be at the top of the list for anyone visiting the city. The Tyne Bridge is probably the most well known of the bridges and is highly recognisable, as it bears a distinct resemblance to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. The bridge was officially opened in 1928 and links Newcastle with Gateshead. The Swing Bridge was opened in 1876 and is one of the only Tyne bridges that moves (the other one being the Millennium Bridge). One of the best ways to see the entire collection of bridges is from the water, by taking a boat trip down the Tyne.
Newcastle Football Club is such an integral part of the city that it provides a fascinating insight into the history and spirit of ‘the Toon,’ whether you’re a football fan or not. Although you might struggle to get a ticket for a match, you can still hang out in Shearer’s bar or take a tour of the St James’ Park stadium and drink in the atmosphere of more than a century of footballing history.
3. Tynemouth beaches
As well as being a hugely popular surfing spot, the beaches of Tynemouth are a surprisingly good seaside location, as they are covered in soft golden sand and have lots of sheltered spots that are perfect for taking a snooze in the sun. If you’re not into surfing then the beaches are a great place for walking, or simply sitting with a picnic and enjoying the fresh northern air.
4. The Castle
Newcastle’s Castle Keep sits right in the centre of the city and is an intriguing example of Norman planning and architecture. As well as being the source of the name ‘Newcastle,’ the Castle Keep has played a key role in the development of the town over the years and you can learn all about this during a visit. It has also been involved in important moments in English history, such as the English Civil War, when the Keep was besieged by 40,000 Scottish troops who overran the border.
5. Grey’s Monument
Whilst it might seem like just another statue on top of a column, Grey’s Monument is actually a great place to hang out if you want to do some people watching and get a sense of the life of the city. Historically the statute was erected as a tribute to the 2nd Earl Grey for passing the Great Reform Act and it stands above a Metro stop that bears its name (‘Monument’). Grey’s Monument is a popular meeting place and the phrase ‘meet you by the monument’ is common currency in the city. It has become something of a hub for street life, with buskers, tourists and even flash mobs gathering at its base.
Bessie Surtees was the woman who once eloped with John Scott who later become the Lord Chancellor of England, and the two houses that bear her name are beautiful examples of Jacobean architecture with some fantastically well preserved rooms. These are some of the oldest houses in Newcastle and definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to get a sense of what life was like here back in the 1600s.
7. Art galleries
Newcastle is a city of rich culture and there are a wide range of art galleries where you can see some of the most interesting collections in the UK. Worth looking out for are the Laing Art Gallery,which has paintings by Henry Moore, Gauguin and Gainsborough; the Biscuit Factory, with its northeast themed pieces; and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which has an excellent collection of contemporary work.
In addition to these fantastic seven Newcastle sights, there is plenty more to see in the city. Before you leave this part of the world, make sure you try a pint of the local Newcastle Brown Ale washed down with some Pease pudding and Courting Cakes!
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