city and metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear, England

Newcastle upon Tyne is a city in Tyne and Wear in the north-east of England. It's an industrial but lively, cultural place on the north bank of the River Tyne, with a population of 302,820 in 2019, and another half a million residing in its outlying areas.

Newcastle formed its own county or borough as early as 1400, between Northumberland to the north and County Durham to the south. In 1974 the nearby urban areas of those counties were combined with Newcastle to form the new metropolis of Tyne and Wear.

The city no longer has a tourist office - if you happen to be reading this page online you'll understand why - but it's an all-year destination with lots to see and do.

UnderstandEdit

 
Tyne Bridge and The Sage

The Iraqi and Syrian occupation of town is nowadays forgotten, let bygones be bygones. But in 200 AD the Roman army recruited from those territories and brought so many to serve here that the depot fort was called Arbeia, the Arab place. Their job was to tote supplies from the ship wharves to the old castle of Pons Aelius, then up the military roads west along Hadrian's Wall (built 80 years earlier) or north into the bandit lands of the Picts. The Romans left around 400 AD and in their wake eventually grew up a kingdom of Northumbria, which knew the town as Munucceaster. But again and again the region was devastated by Viking raids: what it needed was a new castle.

Robert Curthose obliged in 1080, fearing attack by Scots or rebels, though he mostly warred with his own family. (He was the eldest son of William the Conqueror but was disinherited, to spend his last 20 years in dungeons.) His wooden Novum Castellum was soon replaced by a stone castle, then another in 1172 which is the ruin you see today. Its walls were extended to protect the entire town, which stood out against the Scots and for several months against Cromwell - the region was Royalist in the Civil Wars then fell to assault.

Newcastle became industrial early in the Middle Ages, from salt-panning, coal that was shallow and easily mined, limestone quarried for masonry and quicklime, and farm produce from the fertile hinterland. Trade and transport by sea were important, including from London in an era when roads were miserable cart tracks, but it was only one of many ports along the Tyne, and small sailing vessels didn't need much harbour facilities. The burgesses of Newcastle set fire to the rival port at North Shields, but their masterstroke in 1290 was to win a Royal monopoly on local mining and export of coal. This lucrative cartel was only busted in 1750, while the other ports subsisted on other trade such as fish.

The city's industrial heyday was in the 19th century, with deep mining of coal, smoke-stack industry including shipbuilding, and a busy port. Urban squalour co-existed with the elegant central district of Grainger Town and Grey Street, nowadays one of the finest cityscapes in Britain. There were horrible accidents, cholera and a devastating factory explosion, but there was also electric lighting, steam-hauled railways and turboprop ships. The 20th century brought the slump of the miners' strike, the Depression and wartime bombing. There was enough variety and innovation of trade for the city to recover, with a growing public sector, two universities and attractive new architecture. By the 21st century Newcastle could re-launch itself as a year-round leisure travel destination.

The climate is cool in summer (around 20°C) and seldom below freezing in winter. It's not particularly wet but can rain any time: see Tyne and Wear climate chart.

TalkEdit

The distinctive dialect here and throughout the northeast is "Geordie" - George or Geordie was a common name among local miners. Its pronunciation is closer to Anglo-Saxon than other English dialects, but its vocabulary is more modern. The only word you need to know is "Howay!", an all-purpose exclamation. Whether you understand anything else of it depends on whether the speaker wishes you to understand, so anyone reliant on your tourist money will ensure you do.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

1 Newcastle International Airport (NCL IATA). This has flights from London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, other European cities and the Med: Ryanair, Jet2 and Easyjet all fly here. Dubai is the only intercontinental route. Train easily beats plane for London, so you'd only use the British Airways flight to connect. Other UK destinations are Belfast, Aberdeen, Bristol, Exeter and Southampton. The airport is a compact single terminal with the usual facilities. Currency exchange is by Travelex, with poor rates, change money downtown if possible. Car rental desks are Avis, Enterprise, Europcar and Sixt, with others available to pick up or drop off by booking - see "Get in by car" below for contact details.    

An alternative is Manchester Airport (MAN IATA), with a great range of long-haul flights, saving the hassle of a change in Heathrow or Amsterdam. From the airport railway station it's 3 hours to Newcastle: you may need to change at Manchester Piccadilly or York.

To and from the city:

  • By Metro: A journey on the Tyne and Wear Metro takes around 20–25 minutes, with up to 5 trains per hour running during the day and up to 4 trains per hour running in the evening and on Sunday. As of July 2022, a single three-zone ticket costs £3.90 and an all-day three-zone ticket costs £5.70.
  • By bus: Stagecoach operate the half-hourly X78 service, which runs express to Eldon Square via Ponteland Road, with an average journey time of around 20–25 minutes.
  • Taxi: There is a taxi rank at the airport, with an average fare of around £15.00–£20.00.
  • By car: The airport is situated off the A696, which can be reached easily from a number of principal routes, including the A1, A68 & A69. The estimated journey time to the city centre from Newcastle International Airport is 15–20 minutes, with an increased travel time during peak hours.

By trainEdit

 
The station's imposing stone portico.
See also: Rail travel in Great Britain

Newcastle is on the East Coast Main Line, with trains operated by London North Eastern Railway running up to twice-hourly between Edinburgh (1 hour 30 minutes) and London (3 hours) via York (1 hour). Lumo also operate a limited number of trains between Edinburgh and London.

CrossCountry also operate an hourly service from Birmingham (3 hours 30 minutes), Sheffield (2 hour 15 minutes) and Leeds (1 hour 30 minutes) via York.

TransPennine Express operate an hourly service between Newcastle and Liverpool via Manchester (2 hours 30 minutes). Passengers travelling to/from Manchester Airport, passengers should change at Manchester Victoria, as direct services are suspended as of July 2022 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Trains operate local and regional services, with destinations including Carlisle (1 hour 30 minutes), Hexham (30–45 minutes) and Middlesbrough (1 hour 20 minutes).

For timetables, fares, disruptions and real-time service information see National Rail. You can supplement your rail ticket with a Plusbus ticket for local buses. See "Get around" section for further information. In most cases, few travellers benefit.

2 Newcastle Central Station   is a confident piece of Italianate Victoriana, opened in 1850 to link the English and Scottish rail networks. (The financial house-of-cards of legendary developer George Hudson almost saw it to completion.) A quirk is that trains from the south may enter from either side. The original Tyne bridge track bends through the castle, so you get a free tour of the ruins then enter from the east. But the track to Scotland also enters from the east so the train becomes reversed. In 1906 an upstream bridge was built so trains towards Edinburgh usually enter from the west. The station has staffed ticket offices (5AM-9:20PM), a coffee shop, The Centurion pub (see Drink), toilets, heated waiting rooms and ATMs. There is step-free access but the ramps to the platform bridges are steep. Evenings the place is thronged with merry carousers, seldom dressed for the weather.

Central Station is on both lines of the Tyne and Wear Metro, with frequent trains to the airport, burbs, Gateshead and outlying towns - see below.

By carEdit

 
City quays in 1895

From north or south follow A1(M), which passes west of the city by Metrocentre. For most central destinations, use Exit 69 onto A184, which brings you in via Gateshead and the Tyne Bridge. Don't take A19, which bypasses the city away to the east via the toll tunnel. From Glasgow or Stranraer (from Ireland) head via Carlisle onto A69.

Newcastle Park & Rides are aimed at commuters from rural Northumberland, so they're mostly north and west. Callerton Parkway and Kingston are on the Metro Green Line from the airport, Newcastle Great Park at Wide Open uses the bus (but is closed in 2022), Regent Centre to the north is on Metro Yellow Line, as is Walkergate to the east. Heworth near Gateshead is the only P&R south of the Tyne: it's on both Metro lines but not particularly convenient for the A1.

City centre has multi-storey parks with over 10,000 spaces, charging around £2 per hour M-Sa 8AM-5PM and free at other times. Street parking is a last resort: it's pricey, is typically for a maximum of one hour, and the only space you can find is obstructed by a builder's skip.

Car hire companies include Europcar (who have a desk in Central Station), Avis, National, Sixt, Budget and Enterprise. These also serve the airport and Gateshead.

By busEdit

National Express buses take 7-8 hours from London Victoria via Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Sunderland; one-way fares from London start from £7. There are three morning departures, one afternoon and one overnight. Four buses a day run from Liverpool via Manchester airport and city and Leeds, though you may need to change. Three a day run from Birmingham via Sheffield and Leeds, and three a day from Glasgow via Edinburgh.

Megabus have five buses a day from London Victoria, for similar fares. The fastest take 7 hours, but some take 10 hours via Heathrow airport, Coventry, Birmingham airport and city, Manchester airport and city, Huddersfield, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Megabus don't use Newcastle bus station, they stop on John Dobson Street a couple of blocks east of Eldon Square, close to the universities.

Stagecoach Bus 685 runs from Carlisle via Brampton, Haltwhistle (for Hadrian's Wall), Hexham, Corbridge and Heddon-on-the-Wall. It's supposed to be an hourly service but is sporadic in 2022. See Tyne and Wear#Get around for regional bus routes: you're always better by train or Metro where available, eg from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Durham or Sunderland.

3 Newcastle Coach Station   is little more than a 5-bay coach stop with a waiting room, but is near city amenities. It's on Churchill St a quarter mile west of Central mainline and Metro stations. The National Express ticket office is open M-Sa 8:30AM-5PM, Su 10AM-4PM.

By boatEdit

Port of Tyne, 7 miles east of city centre, has overnight DFDS ferries from IJmuiden near Amsterdam. See Tynemouth#Get in for how to get there.

Get aroundEdit

 
Map of Newcastle upon Tyne

Walking is always first choice for city centre, the university main campuses, Quayside and the opposite river bank of Gateshead.

By bicycleEdit

Newcastle is a reasonably cycle-friendly city, with cycle lanes and lock-up points. A few Metro stations have secure storage for bicycles, but only fold-away bikes are permitted on Metro trains. You don't need a bike in town, but might use one to explore Hadrian's Wall path or venture out to the coast. See Tyne and Wear#Get in for long distance bike routes.

Newcastle doesn't have a bike-share scheme, and the shops sell bikes and kit but don't hire, however there is one rental facility:

Cycle Hub, Ouseburn NE61BU (east bank of Ouseburn outlet), +44 191 276 7250, . M-W 8:30AM-4:30PM, Th F 9:30AM-2PM, Sa Su 10AM-4:30PM. A full-service place with a cafe, a shop, a workshop, and bike hire with a good selection. Pricey, but knowledgeable friendly service.

By busEdit

Go North East Q3 or Quaylink runs every 30 min south from Great Park P&R through Gosforth, Jesmond, Haymarket and Pilgrim St in city centre, then east along Quayside to St Peter's, Walker and Wallsend. Bus 33 also runs between Gosforth, Jesmond and the centre.

Bus 1 runs every 30 min from Gateshead to Market St in city centre, then east to Wallsend and the coast.

These city buses ply the streets and don't use the bus station. See Tyne and Wear#Get around for buses to the outlying towns, and individual towns' "Get in".

The bus companies offer day-tickets and longer passes, but these are only valid for the issuing company, with a variety of fare zones. For instance a Go North East day-ticket for city centre in 2022 is £5.30, more than separate there-and-back singles.

Plusbus is a supplement to your rail ticket, valid for local buses but not the Metro. A day ticket is adult £4, child £2. The travel area corresponds to Fare Zones A+B, so it costs more than an ordinary single, and only makes sense for multiple journeys. 7-day and longer tickets are available.

By MetroEdit

Tyne & Wear Metro is quick and inexpensive, and is the best option for outlying areas. There are two lines, mostly overground, but running together underground through the city centre. The Green Line runs from the airport to South Gosforth, city centre, Gateshead, Heworth, Sunderland and South Hylton. The Yellow Line makes a great loop north from St James in the city centre to Wallsend, North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay then South Gosforth, back through city centre (crossing itself at Monument) then Gateshead, Heworth, Jarrow and North Shields. So for the north bank of Tyne always take the anti-clockwise loop, but for Whitley Bay you could go either way.

 
Map of Tyne and Wear Metro

Trains run between 6AM and 11PM, normally every 6-10 min but in 2021/22 this is scaled back to 12-15 min. There are three fare zones: in 2022 a single for one is £2.30, two zones £3.20, all zones (e.g. from the airport) £3.90. A day-ticket for one zone is £3.60, for two is £4.70 and for all is £5.70. Plusbus is not valid on the Metro.

Ticket machines take cards or cash. Main stations have ticket barriers. Outlying stations may have no gates or leave them open at quiet times, but ticket inspectors patrol and are wearily familiar with lame excuses by fare dodgers. Smoking is banned on the entire system, including open-air stations. All stations on the network offer step-free access from street to train, and the metro carriages have ample space for wheelchairs. Mobility scooters are not allowed on the Metro.

By trainEdit

 
Latin signage at Wallsend Metro station

You might use train rather than Metro or bus for a few districts, for similar fares:

A new line is under construction in 2022 through the northern suburbs to Blyth and Ashington. It might open in 2024.

By taxiEdit

Operators include Premier (incorporating Newcastle Taxis) +44 191 638 0 638, LA Taxis +44 191 287 7777, Blueline +44 191 262 6666, and Uber. They all get mixed reviews for reliability and general state of repair of vehicles and drivers. A ride from city centre to the airport in 2022 is around £15, and to the ferry terminal is £18.

SeeEdit

 
Central Arcade
  • River Tyne north bank has a footpath and cycleway. It's called "Hadrian's Wall Path" but is entirely modern, as the Roman original is lost under city centre.
  • 1 Tyne Bridge  , completed in 1928, has a striking steel arch similar to Sydney Harbour Bridge. It carries A167 and has sidewalks on both sides.
  • 2 Gateshead Millennium Bridge  , opened in 2001, is a cyclist and pedestrian tilting bridge. It's often called the Blinking or Winking Bridge for the way the footpath deck tilts up to allow river traffic to pass. That's an infrequent occurrence: Gateshead Council lists upcoming tilts.
  • Gateshead: the south bank of the Tyne is a separate city, but its main sites are along the riverside a short walk from Newcastle. For instance BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is by the Millennium Bridge, and Gateshead also has Sage Music Centre, the Athletics Stadium, and Metro shopping centre. Angel of the North stands at the south tip of the city.
  • 3 Newcastle Castle, Castle Garth NE1 1RQ, +44 191 230 6300. Apr-Sept daily, Oct-Mar Th-M 10AM-5PM. Only in England does a "new" castle mean from 1080 AD. The old one was Pons Aelius, the 2nd century Roman bridge and fort, later the site of a Saxon monastery. The new structure was a motte and bailey, a wooden fort perched on an earth mound, built when Robert (son of William I) had been bashing the Scots and reckoned there might be some comeback. In the 1170s, Henry II replaced this with a stone castle. The Black Gate was added in 1350 then the walls were extended to protect the whole town. It fell derelict in the 16th century, was repaired for the Civil Wars nicely in time to be wrecked again, then again restored in the 19th century. It finally suffered an unforeseen and devastating invasion: in 1850 the railway came through, as this was the most practical route to cross the Tyne and link up with the railway from Edinburgh. Only the Keep and Black Gate survived this assault, with the tracks between them, so you get a good panning view as your train slows on the tight curve into Central Station. Adult £8.75, conc £7.75, child £5.25.    
  • 4 Grainger Town   is the elegant heart of the city, built by Richard Grainger between 1835 and 1842. It includes the indoor Grainger Market (see Buy), Theatre Royal, Grey Street, Grainger Street and Clayton Street. Grey Street is sublime, a curving classical facade along the line of a culverted stream. It's named for Charles Grey (1764-1845), the 2nd Earl Grey and liberating, modernising Prime Minister who passed the Great Reform Act of 1832.
  • 5 Grey's Monument   at the top of Grey Street was erected in 1838, standing 135 ft / 41 m tall. (Mi'lud also gives his name to Earl Grey Tea.) In 1941 the statue's head was shattered by a bolt of lightning, but a replica was affixed in 1947. Originally the column was on a traffic island but the area is now pedestrianised, a natural spot for buskers, protestors and latter-day prophets. Below the street is Monument Metro station, on the Green Line and at the crossing point of the Yellow loop-the-loop.
  • 6 Central Arcade   is a beautiful Edwardian shopping arcade, within Grainger's Central Exchange Building. It hosts the venerable music shop Windows of the Arcade, but hasn't escaped the hollowing out of British High Streets, with many units vacant in 2021.
  • 7 Newcastle Cathedral (St Nicholas), St Nicholas Square NE1 1PF, +44 191 232 1939. M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa Su 8AM-5PM. This is the Anglican cathedral and seat of the Bishop of Newcastle. It was completed in 1350 in Perpendicular style, and its distinctive lantern spire was added in 1448. The Church of St Nicholas was upgraded to a cathedral in 1882 when a Diocese of Newcastle was separated from Durham as the city population grew. Donation £5.    
 
St Nicholas Cathedral Chancel
  • 8 Chinatown   is along Stowell Street, with a Chinese Arch at its north entrance off St Andrews St. Lots of Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants and shops, see Eat.
  • 9 Jesmond Dene is a park in the bosky gorge of the Ouseburn river, laid out by the industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong in the 1860s. Multiple access points, the Metro Yellow and Green Lines run half a mile west to their fork at South Gosforth.

Galleries and museumsEdit

 
Vases by Jon Lewis at The Biscuit Factory
  • 10 Gallery North, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road NE1 8QE, +44 191 349 5382, . W-Sa 10AM-4PM. The gallery was established in 1977 within Northumbria University and has rotating exhibitions. The University's permanent art collection is for teaching and research, and not generally on public display. However the Woon Gallery, opened in 2018, is a long-term loan of Asian (mostly Buddhist) art. Free.
  • 11 Great North Museum: Hancock, Barras Bridge NE2 4PT, +44 191 208 6765. M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Contains fossils, mummies, stuffed animals and local history exhibits. Free.    
  • Hatton Gallery, The Quadrangle, Newcastle University NE1 7RH (Opposite Great North museum), +44 191 277 8877. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. An art gallery founded in 1925 within Newcastle University, and redeveloped in 2017. It has 3500 exhibits from the 14th century to modern work. Free.    
  • 12 Seven Stories (National Centre for Children's Books), 30 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley NE1 2PQ (half a mile east of Manors Metro), +44 300 330 1095, . Daily 10AM-5PM. Housed in a Victorian mill, Seven Stories is the first gallery and archive in the UK wholly dedicated to the art and production of children's books. There are exhibitions and events for children. £13.    
  • 13 The Biscuit Factory, 16 Stoddart Street, NE2 1AN (Metro: Manors, 650 m), +44 191 261-1103, . W-Su 10AM-5PM. Britain's biggest original art store is 35,000 square feet with two floors of exhibition space and artist's studios. The commercial gallery sells paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewellery and glass by contemporary artists hailing from all over the world. Free.    
  • Life Science Centre, Times Square NE1 4EP (opposite bus station, west side of railway station), +44 191 243 8210. Daily 10AM-5PM. Centre for Life is a research facility and within it is an interactive museum covering fields such as genetics, embryology and developmental biology, and climate science. Adult £15, conc £11, child £8.    
  • 14 Discovery Museum, Blandford Square NE1 4JA (a block west of Central Station), +44 191 232 6789. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa Su 11AM-4PM. Science and engineering museum including Turbinia designed by Sir Charles Parsons in 1894, the world's first turbo-powered ship. Free.    
  • 15 Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge St NE1 8AG, +44 191 278 1611. M-Sa 10AM-4:30PM. Traditional art gallery built in 1901 in sort-of Edwardian Baroque. It has artistic local glass, silverware and ceramics and a notable collection of 18th and 19th century British paintings. (Contemplate the fiery Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah before heading out for a night on the town.) "The Blue Carpet" is the tiled street installation outside, expensively fitted in 2001 but only then did they realise they'd made it green. 20 years of skateboarders and other urban wear and tear have turned it blue-grey. Free.    
  • 16 Side Gallery, 5 & 9 Side NE1 3JE, +44 191 232 2208. W-Su 11AM-5PM. Documentary photography gallery and archive, also has a 50-seater cinema showing independent films. Free.

Further afieldEdit

  • 17 Wallsend is actually Wall's Beginning, as construction of Hadrian's Wall started here in 122 AD and worked west. The Roman fort of Segedunum is next to Mile Zero of the wall and Wallsend's main metro station. (Don't get off at Hadrian Road, a nondescript burb. Some Metro signage is in Latin: have your ticket ready for the vomitorium.) Hadrian's Wall path and cycleway follows the north bank of the Tyne but is entirely modern for 14 miles west, as through Newcastle the ancient route and structures are obliterated.
  • Stephenson Railway Museum: see Tynemouth.
  • Tynemouth at the river outflow has a ruined castle and priory and is a beach resort.
  • The Angel of the North is the distinctive 20 m winged sculpture by Antony Gormley. It's at the south edge of Gateshead, at the junction of A1 and A167.
  • Hadrian's Wall can be discerned west from Heddon-on-the Wall, though the best parts begin 20 miles further west around Hexham.

DoEdit

  • What's on? Read The Crack magazine or see the Shows in Newcastle website.
  • River Escapes. Apr-Oct: Su; Jun-Sep: Tu Th Sa. In summer they have 3-hour boat trips upriver to the countryside or downriver to the sea, embarking from St Anne's Quay near Premier Inn. Weekends they have one hour city trips, embarking from City Marina beneath Tyne Bridge.

TheatreEdit

 
Tyne Theatre and Opera House

MusicEdit

 
Sage Music Centre
  • See Gateshead for Sage Music Centre. It's easiest accessed from Newcastle by walking across the low-level swing bridge.
  • 4 Utilia Arena (formerly Metro Radio Arena), Arena Way NE4 7NA, +44 844 493 4567. This is the largest music venue in Newcastle with capacity up to 12,000. It's south of the station near the Centre for Life.    
  • 5 O2 Academy Newcastle, Westgate Rd NE1 1SW, +44 191 260 2020. 2000-capacity venue in a former bingo hall hosting musical acts.    
  • 6 O2 City Hall, Northumberland Road NE1 8SF, +44 191 277-8030. This concert venue is now managed by Academy Music.  
  • Northumbria and Newcastle University have large venues in their unions' for mainstream and indie acts alike and attract some of the biggest names from across the UK and abroad.
  • For smaller, indie gigs check out Head of Steam, The Cluny and Tyne Bar

SportEdit

 
Blaydon Races in 1903
Aal the lads and lasses there, aal wi' their smiling faces, gannin' alang the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.
- Racing at Blaydon closed in 1916, but Newcastle United fans will appreciate you knowing the words and singing along
  • 7 Newcastle Racecourse is nowadays to the north at High Gosforth Park NE3 5HP. It's an artificial Tapeta surface, with flat-racing held year-round and jumps races Oct-March. It's a mile north of South Gosforth on both metro lines.
  • Watch football: Newcastle United play at 8 St James Park, half a mile north of the railway station. They play football in the Premier League, England's top tier. Since Oct 2021 they are by some distance the world's richest club, having being bought by the Saudi Arabian sovereign investment fund.
  • Watch Rugby Union (15-a-side) at Newcastle Falcons. They were promoted in 2020 so they now play in the Premiership, the top tier of English rugby union. Their home ground is 9 Kingston Park in the north of the city.
  • Watch Rugby League (13-a-side) at Newcastle Thunder, who also play at Kingston Park. They're in the Championship, that game's second tier; the RL season is Mar-Sept.
  • Rugby League World Cup Finals are held in England 15 Oct - 19 Nov 2022, postponed from 2021. In Newcastle matches will be played both at St James Park and Kingston Park, as well as in Middlesbrough and another dozen cities.
  • Watch basketball at Newcastle Eagles who play at Northumbria University's "Sport Central".
  • Watch motorcycle speedway at Newcastle Diamonds. Their home track is 10 Brough Park Stadium in Byker in the city's east end.
  • Go to the dog track, also at Brough Park - the dogs chase round the outer track, the bikes race within.
  • Watch athletics at 11 [Gateshead International Stadium, south of the river with its own Metro station. This multi-use stadium hosts other events, and its sports facilities can be used by members.
  • Watch cricket at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, 10 mi (16 km) south. This is home to Durham County Cricket Club, one of the 18 First Class Counties, the top tier of English cricket. County matches normally last 3-4 days. The stadium also hosts international or Test Matches, lasting up to five days. The stadium is half a mile east of the railway station, frequent trains take ten min from Newcastle.

CinemaEdit

 
A scrap of Hadrian's Wall as it re-emerges west of the city at East Denton
  • 12 Cineworld, The Gate, Newgate St NE1 5TG, +44 330 333 4444. Chain multiplex showing mainstream releases.
  • Tyneside Cinema, 10 Pilgrim St NE1 6QG (50 yards east of Monument), +44 191 227 5500. Art-deco cinema with 3 screens showing independent and mainstream films.    
  • Everyman, 75 Grey St NE1 6EF, +44 1233 555642. Delightful salon-style cinema where you recline on sofas and are served food and drink. Obviously that's reflected in the ticket prices. Adult £13, child £9.
  • Side Cinema is within Side Gallery, see above.
  • 13 Star and Shadow, Warwick Street NE2 1BB (by City Stadium), +44 191 261 8315, . Volunteer-run indie cinema and performance venue.
  • Odeon is in the Metrocentre (see Buy) in Gateshead. Vue Cinema is in central Gateshead.

EventsEdit

  • Chinese New Year follows a lunar calendar, so the next is Sunday 22 Jan 2023, starting the Year of the Rabbit. Expect firecrackers, drums and weaving dragons in the vicinity of Stowell St 11AM-4PM.
  • Hoppings is a funfair in late June, held on Town Moor (Metro or bus to Jesmond). The next is 17-25 June 2022.
  • Northern Pride is a gay pride festival on Town Moor in July, with the next on 22-24 July 2022.
  • MELA means "meeting" in Hindi and it's a celebration of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine, music and art. It's held on the August bank holiday on Exhibition Park, the south corner of Town Moor (directions as above) with spillover events around the Monument. The next is Sunday 28 - M 29 Aug 2022.
  • Great North Run is a half marathon, staged between Newcastle and South Shields in September. The next is Saturday 10 Sep 2022.
  • Christmas Market is held through December to Christmas Eve, centred on Monument. In bygone years this had a funfair and extended down Northumberland St, but the scale of the 2022 market is not yet known.

LearnEdit

 
Newcastle College: the Ofsted inspectors afterwards needed counselling
  • 1 Newcastle University, +44 191 222 6000. This was founded in 1834 as a medical school within Durham University, becoming independent in 1963. It's one of the Russell Group of research-oriented universities, with some 28,000 students and 2400 teaching staff. The main campus is just north of Haymarket.    
  • 2 Northumbria University, +44 191 232 6002. Founded as Rutherford College in 1877, The Poly became a university in 1994. With a focus on vocational courses such as fashion, design and IT, it has 28,000 students and 1300 teaching staff. Its City Campus is half a mile east of Newcastle University.    
  • 3 Newcastle College, +44 191 200 4000. A large campus on Rye Hill in the Elswick area west of the city centre, teaching engineering, sport, performing arts, food and leisure, science and A level courses. There are some 45,000 students. It's had its misfortunes, but any place that leaves a shaken Ofsted inspectorate in need of counselling can't be all bad.    

WorkEdit

Employers always hiring are the call centres here and in Gateshead, and the many bars and restaurants.

As elsewhere in the UK, British and Irish citizens always have the right to take up work, but other EU nationals generally do not.

BuyEdit

 
Shops and stalls in Grainger Market
  • 1 Northumberland Street   is the city's pedestrianised main shopping mall. The flagship is Fenwicks; others include JD Sports, Primark and Marks and Spencer.
  • Eldon Square is the block west of Northumberland St. It has John Lewis, Argos, Boots and Next.
  • Grainger Market on Grainger St is a bustling indoor market in a hall from 1835, open M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM.
  • Cloth Market west of Grey St has vintage clothing shops.
  • Farmer's Market is around Grey's Monument. It's normally first Friday every month 9:30AM-2:30PM but is suspended as of 2021.
  • 2 Metro Centre. Built in the 1980s and expanded in the 1990s and again in 2005, this is Europe's largest shopping centre and leisure complex. Flagship stores include Marks and Spencer. Parking is plentiful and free, but traffic can be heavy, so use public transport if possible. Despite its name, it's not served by the Metro, but the Carlisle-Hexham-Newcastle trains stop here plus several bus routes.    

EatEdit

Chinatown is along Stowell St, and Bigg Market has an eclectic mix of eateries. The Quayside and Central Station areas have plenty more.

BudgetEdit

 
Entrance to Chinatown
  • 1 Francesca's, 134-136 Manor House Road, Jesmond NE2 2NA, +44 191 281 6586. M-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5-9:30PM. Friendly budget Italian.
  • Pani's Cafe, 61-65 High Bridge NE1 6BX, +44 191 232 4366. M-F noon-3PM, 5-9PM, Sa noon-10PM. Budget Italian specialising in Sardinian.
  • Uno's, 18 Sandhill NE1 3AF, +44 191 261 5264. Daily noon-10PM. Cheerful trattoria on Quayside.
  • El Coto, 21 Leazes Park Rd NE1 4PF, +44 191 261 0555. Daily 11AM-11PM. Lively tapas restaurant near the football stadium.
  • Zapatista Burrito Bar, 28 Ridley Place NE1 8JW, +44 191 261 7769. M-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 11:30AM-7PM. Good quality Mexican, great value. There's another branch within County Hotel by the station.
  • Pizza Express, 7 St George's Way NE1 7JD (within Eldon Sq Shopping Centre), +44 191 232 3228. Daily 11:30AM-9PM. Reasonably priced Italian chain.

Mid-rangeEdit

SplurgeEdit

 
The 13th century Blackfriars Restaurant
  • Blackfriar's Restaurant, Friars St NE1 4XN, +44 191 261 5945. M-F noon-2:30PM, 5:30-10PM, Sa 9:30AM-10PM, Su 9:30AM-4PM. Great reviews for what may be the UK's oldest restaurant. You sit at long tables in a 13th-century monastery refectory, and consume better monkfish than ever the locally-sourced freshly-shrived Black Friars got to eat.
  • Sachins, Forth Banks NE1 3SG (south side of Central station), +44 191 232 4660, . M-Sa noon-1:30PM, 5-9:30PM. Upscale Punjabi restaurant, gets very busy with the post-match crowd.
  • 21, Trinity Gardens, Quayside NE1 2HH, +44 191 222 0755. Tu-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5:30-9PM. Slick restaurant serving quality British and French bistro food. The same group runs Café 21 within Fenwick's on Northumberland St.
  • Landmark Oriental, 20 Stowell St NE1 4YB, +44 191 261 0882. Tu-Th 5PM-9PM, F Sa noon-2:30PM, 5-9:30PM, Su noon-8PM. Great reviews for this high-class Chinese restaurant and bar in Chinatown.
  • And see Sleep for Jesmond Dene House.

DrinkEdit

 
Newcastle Brown is now brewed in Tadcaster

The main drinking strips are Bigg Market, Quayside and around Central Station.

Bigg MarketEdit

  • City Vaults (Idols), 13 Bigg Market NE1 1UN, +44 191 221 0850. Th-Su 8PM-3AM. This spacious club features three bars, different music in different rooms, and big screens for showing football on match days. Topless dancers and scantily clad bar staff abound. As if all that wasn't enough, they serve food, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, and curries.
  • Popworld, 14 Bigg Market NE1 1UW, +44 191 260 2919. Su-Th 8PM-1AM, F 7PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-2AM. Fizing atmosphere for cocktails and music.

Central StationEdit

  • Centurion, Neville St NE1 5DG (within Central Station), +44 191 261 6611. Daily 8AM-11PM. An impressively designed bar and restaurant in the restored Victorian lounge of the Central Station, the Centurion is a favourite stop for commuters. Live sports on a drop-down big screen. Choose from the bustling main bar or the more intimate cafe-deli.
  • ChachaBuchi (formerly Floritas), 28 Collingwood St NE1 1JF, +44 191 261 8271. Su-Th 11AM-1AM, F Sa 11AM-3AM. Split-level cocktail bar with outdoor garden bar.
  • The Dog And Parrot, 52 Clayton St West NE1 4EX, +44 7512 350561. Daily 11AM-1AM. Rock n' roll themed bar with good live music and cheap drinks.
  • Revolution, Collingwood St NE1 1JF, +44 191 261 8901. M-Th noon-midnight, F-Su noon-1AM. Spacious, ultra-modern vodka bar with cool architecture (pillars, high sculpted ceiling, stainless steel bar and huge windows) and great selection of flavoured vodkas and cocktails. Dress is "smart casual", which means no baseball caps or hoodies. Music ranges from pop to indie to R&B to house.
  • The Bodega, 125 Westgate Road NE1 4AG (next to Tyne Theatre), +44 191 221 1552. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. A beautiful Victorian pub with ornate stained glass domes, friendly bar staff and a great selection of real ales and premium lagers.
  • Forth Hotel, 17-23 Pink Lane NE1 5DW (by St Mary's Cathedral), +44 191 232 6478. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-1AM. Cosy pub with a great selection of real ales, imported beers and wine, serves food. It doesn't have accommodation.
  • The Head of Steam, 2 Neville St NE1 5EN (within Hampton by Hilton), +44 191 230 4236. W-Su 5PM-2AM. On the first floor, you'll find a wide selection of real ales, lagers, cider, wine and spirits in a comfortable atmosphere. The basement, which holds 50-some, is a live music venue showcasing up-and-coming bands.
  • The Telegraph, Orchard St NE1 3NY (south flank of Station), +44 191 261 8991. M-Th 3PM-11PM, F Sa noon-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Handy for station, charming interior and roof terrace. They often have DJs or live bands.
  • Tilleys, 105 Westgate Rd NE1 4AG (next to Tyne Theatre), +44 191 232 0692. W Th Su noon-10PM, F Sa noon-11PM. Cosy pub with L-shaped bar, with a large selection of real ales, craft and premium lagers and ciders, serves decent food.
  • Tokyo, 17 Westgate Rd NE1 1SE, +44 191 230 3318. Su-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 3PM-2AM. A stylish, modern venue with an elegant rooftop garden bar and a good selection of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers.
  • The Mile Castle, 19–25 Westgate Road NE1 5XU (corner of Grainger St), +44 191 211 1160. Su-Th 8AM-1AM, F Sa 8AM-2AM. JD Wetherspoon pub with large 3-storey bar serving food, big enough to find a seat at the weekend.
  • Rusty's (formerly Baron and Baroness), Times Square NE1 4EP. Daily 8PM-3AM. Lively gay bar near the station.
  • Powerhouse, 7-19 Westmorland Rd NE1 4EQ, +44 191 261 9326. Nightly 11PM-4AM. Newcastle's longest running and biggest gay dance club, with four floors of music from the 1990s to disco and more.

QuaysideEdit

 
Theatre Royal
  • Quilted Camel, 36 Sandhill NE1 3JF, +44 191 221 1885. F Sa 6PM-1AM. Quirky cocktail bar with a range of 30 cocktails, with retro-chic interior.
  • Bridge Tavern, 7 Akenside Hill NE1 3UF (beneath Tyne Bridge), +44 191 261 9966. M-Th noon-midnight, F Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-11PM. A great craft brewpub: reasonably priced and always busy, serves food. 10+ taps on the bar which change regularly.
  • Charts (formerly Flynn's), 63 Quayside NE1 3DE, +44 191 338 7989. W Th 4PM-10PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-7PM. Pleasant quayside place for a quiet drink and meal, with no tears shed for its rough predecessor.
  • Pitcher & Piano, 108 Quayside NE1 3DX (by Malmaison), +44 191 232 4110. Daily 11AM-10PM. An extensive list of beers, wines, shooters and cocktails. The glass fronted building has two floors and a rooftop terrace, nice views of the river and Millennium Bridge. DJs and occasional live music.
  • Akenside Traders, Dean St NE1 1PQ, +44 191 260 3175. M-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 10AM-midnight. Relaxing sports bar, decent food. There's a good view of the river and Guild Hall from the front, and a DJ provides the music.
  • Crown Posada, 31 The Side NE1 3JE, +44 191 232 1269. Daily 11AM-midnight. Beautifully preserved 1880s long-room pub, with stained glass windows and wood-panel ceiling. A gramophone in back cranks out vintage tunes, and it's a great place to try real ales from local breweries.

OuseburnEdit

  • The Cluny, 36 Lime St NE1 2PQ, +44 191 230 4474. M-Sa noon-8PM, Su noon-7PM. Primarily a music venue, with live bands most nights.
  • The Free Trade Inn, 12 St Lawrence Rd NE6 1AP, +44 191 265 5764. Daily noon-10PM. A cosy trad pub by the Tyne, with an excellent selection of beers. A free jukebox supplies the music. Limited food, but there's deli sandwiches, and a pizza van visits.
  • Tyne Bar, Mailing St NE6 1LP, +44 191 265 2550. Daily noon-9PM. Beneath Walker St bridge where Ouseburn flows into the Tyne, this has a good selection of real ales and a beer garden. Live music at weekends, and bands in the garden during summer.
  • Cumberland Arms, James Place St NE6 1LD, +44 191 265 1725. M 5PM-10PM, Tu-F 2PM-10PM, Sa Su noon-10PM. Atmospheric 1860s pub with real ales, a roaring fire and live music, large outside seating area with heaters.

JesmondEdit

 
Millennium Bridge

Jesmond and Gosforth are upmarket areas, and several bars are part of hotels.

  • Bar Blanc, 38-42 Osborne Rd NE2 2AL (within Whites Hotel), +44 191 281 5126. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM. Relaxing place with a mixture of locals and hotel guests, shiny decor and a large outside seating area. B&B double £50.
  • Osbornes, 61-69 Osborne Rd NE2 2AN, +44 191 240 7778. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-11PM. This spacious bar shows live sports on wide-screen TVs and has an outdoor beer garden.
  • The Lonsdale, Lonsdale Terrace, West Jesmond NE2 3HQ, +44 191 281 0039. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Su 10AM-11PM. Trad pub with a relaxed atmosphere. Quiz nights, digital juke box, and monthly live music.
  • Brandling Villa, Haddrick's Mill Rd, South Gosforth NE3 1QL, +44 191 284 0490. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Cask beer and great selection of whisky, dog-friendly.
  • Collingwood Arms, Brandling Village NE2 4RS, +44 191 281 0570. M-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su 1PM-11PM. Old-style pub with great ales, dog-friendly.
  • Brandling Arms, High St, Gosforth NE3 1HD, +44 191 285 4023. Su-W noon-11PM, Th F noon-midnight, Sa 10AM-midnight. Pub with decent food and patio garden, dog-friendly.

OthersEdit

 
The railway carves through the "new castle"
  • Bacchus, 42-48 High Bridge NE1 6BX, +44 191 261 1008. M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-10:30PM. Ocean liner decor redolent of Tyneside's shipbuilding days. A long drink list includes wines, cask ales and microbrews.
  • Bar 52, 55 Degrees North, Pilgrim St NE1 8BJ, +44 191 261 1066. Daily noon-midnight. Chain sports pub, okay-ish food.
  • The Five Swans, 14 St Mary's Place NE1 7PG, +44 191 211 1140. Daily 8AM-midnight, F Sa 8AM-1AM. JD Weatherspoons chain pub, good value for drinks and food.
  • The Hancock, 2a Hancock St NE2 4PU, +44 191 281 5653. Daily noon-midnight. Next to both universities, so it has a student vibe with juke boxes, pool tables, big screen TVs and game machines, plus an array of DJs four nights a week.
  • The Strawberry, 7-8 Strawberry Place NE1 4SF (east side of football stadium), +44 191 232 6865. Daily 11AM-11PM. A shrine to next-door Newcastle United, displaying a huge amount of club memorabilia from down the years, and packed around home games. It has real ales and bar meals, big screen TVs, a jukebox, pool table and a roof terrace.
  • The Trent House, 1-2 Leazes Lane NE1 4QT (just south of Newcastle University), +44 191 261 2154. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-11PM. Friendly pub with a great selection of real ales, beers and spirits, but most famous for their free jukebox playing soul, rock and 1970s music. It's heaving when Newcastle Utd are playing at home.
  • World HQ, Curtis Mayfield House, Carliol Square East NE1 6UF. Sa-Th 24 hrs. Great place to go clubbing for the night with cheap drinks and a crazy audience.

BreweriesEdit

  • Lots! There are nowadays no big commercial breweries hereabouts, but small independents include Newcastle Brewing, Brinkburn Street, Full Circle, Northern Alchemy, Errant, Wylam, Almasty, Anarchy, and Tyne Bank.
  • Gateshead just across the bridge has several more.
  • Newcastle Brown is the city's flagship ale but local production ended in 2005. Now owned by Heineken, the domestic product is brewed in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, and the export product is made in Zoeterwoude near Leiden in the Netherlands. It's 4.7% ABV; in 2015 the red-brown colouring agent was switched from caramel to roasted malt. It's traditionally sold in pint (568 ml) clear bottles, served cold but not chilled. It pours quietly without a head, so you can fill your glass to the brim without froth escaping down your pants. In Britain it's marketed as a trad, no-nonsense, working-man's budget pint, while other markets get jazzier treatments. Some find it insipid and gassy (what doesn't bubble out as a head is sure to make its presence known elsewhere) but it's a question of the right drink for the right occasion. On a dreary day with the drizzle blowing in from the North Sea, you'll be grateful to sit down to a meat casserole or pie with a bottle or three of Nookie Broon within reach.

SleepEdit

 
Earl Grey on the town with King William IV
See Gateshead for accommodation south bank of the river, and Tynemouth for the strip along A19 the eastern bypass.
If your schedule allows, consider staying mid-week rather than at the weekend. Some hotels charge more for a two night Friday and Saturday stay than for five nights from Sunday to Thursday.

BudgetEdit

  • 1 Albatross Hostel, 51 Grainger St NE1 5JE, +44 191 233 1330, . Large youth hostel in a former bank near Central Station. Basic but clean, 24 hr reception. Dorm from £17 ppn.
  • Jurys Inn, Scotswood Rd NE1 4AD (west side of station), +44 191 201 4400. Boxy modern hotel, cleanliness erratic. They have another in Gateshead. B&B double £60.
  • Premier Inn Quayside, Quayside NE1 3AE, +44 333 321 1347. Budget chain offering, very central, a bit grubby. They also have two other city hotels, one in Gateshead, one at Metro Centre and two next to the airport. Double (room only) £70.
  • 2 Rooms Inn, 40 West Parade NE4 7LB, +44 191 273 3034. Basic hotel in a residential area, value for what you're paying. Double (room only) £45.
  • Hansen Hotel, 131 Sandyford Road NE2 1QR, +44 191 281 0289, . Small budget hotel near Jesmond metro station. Poor reviews in 2021.
  • 3 YHA Hostel, 17 Carliol Square. Hostel with dormitories, private rooms and cafe. There is no self-catering kitchen.

Mid-rangeEdit

 
Grey Street and Monument
  • Britannia Hotel, Ponteland NE13 8DJ (by the airport), +44 871 222 0028. A business hotel equipped with wireless internet and a 400-person conference hall. Double (room only) £40.
  • Holiday Inn Express, Waterloo Square, St James Blvd NE1 4DN (west side of station), +44 191 224 685, fax: +44 870 428 1477, . Comfy central place, pet-friendly. Parking is in the public multi-storey. B&B double £50.
  • 4 Hotel Novotel Newcastle Airport, Ponteland Road, Kenton NE3 3HZ (junction of A1 and A696, three miles from airport), +44 191 214 0303, . In 2021 this is acting as asylum-seeker accommodation.
  • Royal Station Hotel, Neville St NE1 5DH (at Central Station), +44 191 232 0781, . Opened by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 1858, this is a grand old Victorian railway hotel. Modern interior, gets good scores for comfort and service. B&B double £90.
  • County Hotel (formerly Thistle), Neville Street NE1 5DF (by Central Station), +44 191 731 6670. Comfy place in Victorian pile, very central, the downside is street noise and lack of parking. B&B double £80.
  • Travelodge (Newcastle Central), Forster Street, Quayside NE1 2NH, +44 871 984 6164. Reliable chain hotel, inevitably they get a lot of stag and hen parties. Travelodge have two other central sites plus one in Gateshead and three further out by racecourse, airport and Seaton Burn. Double (room only) £80.
  • Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Quayside NE1 1RQ (by castle), +44 191 233 1010. Decent central mid-price hotel. They don't accept stag / hen parties. B&B double £120.

SplurgeEdit

ConnectEdit

 
Stained glass in Laing Art Gallery

As of July 2021, Newcastle has 5G from EE and 4G from the other UK carriers.

Stay safeEdit

Newcastle is a safe city, and friendly in its hard-faced northern way. Watch for traffic, avoid drunks and boisterous revellers, safeguard valuables, you'll do fine. There are rough outlying areas where you have no reason to go.

Historically there was a sharp rivalry between Newcastle Utd and Sunderland, but the disparity in league standings and club wealth means that anyone taken to be a Sunderland supporter nowadays won't get more than derisory banter. How were you to know that your hi-viz cycling outfit would resemble Sunderland's away strip?

CopeEdit

Medical: only go to St James Hospital for outright emergencies. Otherwise try the walk-in centres at Westgate or Molineaux St, or phone 111.

Pharmacies: Boots in Eldon Square is open M-Sa to 8PM, Su to 5PM. The others keep standard shop hours.

Laundrettes: Swiss Wash on Fenham Rd is open M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM. Coin-op on Heaton Rd is open M-Sa 9AM-6PM.

Go nextEdit

  • Tynemouth, a short Metro ride east, stands on the coast with a ruined priory and castle.
  • Hadrian's Wall starts just east of the city at Wallsend, but the best of it is 25-40 miles west between Hexham and Brampton, with sites such Vindolanda and Housesteads.
  • Alnwick is a charming small town with a fine castle and gardens, and Alnmouth is a picturesque village on the coast. The railway station is between them, with a connecting bus.
  • Durham is only 20 min by train. Its castle and cathedral are set in a well-preserved old town centre.
  • Beamish has an extensive Open Air Museum depicting northern town life circa 1913.
  • Northumberland's coastal highlights are Dunstanburgh Castle north of Alnwick, Bamburgh castle near Seahouses, and the tidal Holy Isle of Lindisfarne.
  • Northumberland National Park has forests centred on Kielder reservoir, with activities such as abseiling, canoeing, hiking and mountain biking.
Routes through Newcastle upon Tyne
EdinburghMorpeth  N   S  WashingtonLeeds
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