Sightseeing in Newcastle
The Angel of the North is 66ft tall, has a wingspan of 178ft and is the most well known landmark of the north east of England. Completed in 1998, the Angel of the North overlooks the A1 and was designed to look welcoming as people enter the north east so is a great place to start your sightseeing tour of Newcastle.
The Tyne Bridge opened in 1928 links Newcastle to Gateshead and is a popular landmark. It can be seen from across the city as can the Gateshead Millenium Bridge, both of which are great locations to take pictures from to add to your holiday snaps.
Newcastle is also home to some magnificent examples of architecture and historic buildings. The Castle Keep dates from the 12th century and is open to the public all year round; they often hold events such as re-enactments and jousts to show what traditional medieval life was like at the castle. With an ancient history dating back to before the construction of the castle it's a great history lesson and you can still see the ancient remains of the city walls today.
St. Nicholas Cathedral dates from 1359 and is a striking landmark of Newcastle. It contains beautiful medieval stained glass windows, religious relics and memorials including one of an unknown knight thought to have served under Edward I; it is well worth a visit to admire from inside and out.
If you prefer art to architecture then visit one of the many art galleries in Newcastle. The Laing Art Gallery is home to many contemporary works as well as art from the 18th and 19th centuries. The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a great modern art gallery and features work by both local and international artists.
What visit to Newcastle would be complete without a tour of St. James' Park football stadium and home to the Magpies, aka Newcastle United? It is the fourth largest football stadium in England and was also used as a temporary home for the England national team during the redevelopment of Wembley stadium. You can take a tour around the ground, visit the changing rooms and sit in the dug out, a must do activity for any football fan.
Fun Seekers in Newcastle
If aside from the museums, galleries, shops and clubs you are looking for even more activity then Newcastle is one of the best places to find it. You can take part in horse riding, golf, paintballing, quad biking and for the extreme thrill seekers out there you can even go skydiving.
There are many shows that you can go and see at the Theatre Royal including drama, opera and ballet. There is also the Comedy Club in the city if you want to spend an evening in stitches.
You can also take a drive to the 62,000 hectare Kielder Forest for walking and cycling. It includes the largest man-made lake in Europe which is great for watersports.
Newcastle is renowned for its nightlife and is therefore very popular with students and a choice location for stag and hen weekends. The best areas for nightclubs and bars are the Quayside and the Brigg Market with some of the best places to party being Legends, Ikon, Mood, Chase and The Attic. Offshore 44 is also a great bar if you want reasonably priced yet delicious cocktails.
Spending money is all so easy in Newcastle as it is the home of the Metro Centre, the largest shopping and leisure complex in Europe. It contains high street, designer, department and speciality shops, as well as an 11 screen cinema, megabowl, restaurants, cafes and bars. It even has it's own indoor theme park, so there is more than just shopping on offer here!
Eldon Square is also a hub for shoppers with 156 stores including popular high street brands River Island, Topshop, Topman, Monsoon and many more.
Family Fun in Newcastle
Families are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing things to do in Newcastle. The Discovery Museum is free to enter and has exhibits including maritime, social and military history as well as costumes so there is something for all the family to enjoy. There are also several interactive activities to have fun with including a science maze which is always popular with the kids.
Two other fantastic places for families to visit are the Toy Museum, which has more than 4,000 toys dating from 1890-1970 (will surely bring back memories for Mum and Dad!) and the Centre For Life, a vibrant and exciting place hosting an exhibition on life offering interactive displays, live science shows, workshops and even a motion simulator.
Newcastle City Farm is fantastic for families with younger children. You can wander through the pens making friends with sheep, pigs, goats and other animals as well as taking advantage of the playground and the many activities and cafes around the farm.
If you and the kids fancy a day or two with a water theme then head to the East Coast, where there is an array of fun to be had that doesn't include just spending the day on the beach! The Blue Reef Aquarium is fascinating with feeding demonstrations, underwater tunnels and hundreds of species of marine life on show. For even more watery fun then visit the Wet ‘n' Wild water park where you can spend your whole day swimming and whizzing down waterslides and flumes. Head to the beachfront itself to visit Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, an amusement park with games, rides and entertainment galore.
Romantic Breaks in Newcastle
A romantic city break in Newcastle has to start with a luxury hotel, one of the best being Malmaison where each room is individually decorated and overlooks the Quayside. The hotel includes a fine restaurant and a spa but we do suggest tearing yourselves away from the comfort of your accommodation to experience some of the other romantic highlights that Newcastle has to offer.
You can take a walk around the Quayside stopping at one of its many cafes and stare into each others eyes over a warm cup of coffee. Take a relaxing visit to the Sunderland Winter Gardens or go ice skating at Whitley Bay Ice Rink; what better excuse do you need to hold hands all day?
In the evening visit The Black Swan bar; every Friday night they hold Salsa Amor, where you can either watch or join in with dancing the night away to one of the most romantic and passionate dances.
You're bound to be hungry after all of that dancing so head to the exquisite restaurant Treacle Moon for contemporary British and European food and an intimate dining experience in one of Newcastle's best restaurants.
Top Tips for Newcastle
Food on a budget: Blake's; great for lunch. Mid-Range: Blackfriars for beautiful cuisine or La Tasca for tapas. Luxury: Treacle Moon; intimate, romantic and delicious.
Cost of a pint of beer:£2.00