10 Reasons to Visit Newcastle

By Laura Foulger March 21, 2017

WIN Afternoon Tea for Two at The Vermont
**THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED**

OUR COMPETITION CLOSED AT 12PM ON MARCH 2017. THANK YOU TO ALL OUR ENTRANTS. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE TAKING AFTERNOON TEA AT THE VERMONT HOTEL!

Springing up from the north bank of the River Tyne is the city of Newcastle, the most populous in North East England. Once a linchpin of the wool trade and amongst the world’s largest ship-building centres, today Newcastle is a bustling university city offering much in the way of the arts, sciences and architecture. It’s famous for its nightlife, frequently making it into ‘top 10’ lists of the UK and even the world. And not least, we have this city to thank for Greggs Bakery, Newcastle Brown Ale and teen series Byker Grove.

We’ve already presented you with our top 7 Reasons to Visit Manchester7 Reasons to Visit Manchester; now check out our favourite reasons to visit Newcastle.

To kick off, we’ve got a top tip from one of our very own blogger ambassadors, Sarah Anguish. She says:

“My top place to visit in Newcastle would be the MetroCentre. Whether you are looking for something special, just browsing the shops or enjoying a meal before heading to the cinema, there is something for everyone. Plus with the Metrolink right outside, it means you can leave the car at home and make a day of it.”

The Victoria Tunnel

For those who like their exploring with a helping of history, there’s the atmospheric Victoria Tunnel. The preserved waggonway was originally built to transport coal to the river, and was converted into an air raid shelter during WWII. It has been open for guided tours since 2008. Immerse yourself in its true stories by way of dramatic audio, replica furnishings and award-winning volunteer guides. You’ll have the chance to wander Newcastle from a new perspective, including walking beneath landmarks such as Hadrian’s Roman Wall. While you’re there, keep an eye out: the tunnel is said to be home to its own ghost.

The Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

An unmissable feature of Newcastle’s skyline is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It was opened in September of 2001 for pedestrians and cyclists and it spans the width of the Tyne, connecting the north and the south banks. It is the world’s very first rotating bridge, using a tilting method to allow boats to pass underneath.  Its sweeping eye shape and tipping movement have earned it the nickname ‘Blinking Eye Bridge’.

Gatehead Millenium Bridge Newcastle

Bar Crawl

Bigg Market is a popular stretch of bars and pubs right in the city centre. But if its long queues, gaggles of hen dos and heaving venues aren’t your thing, take a short walk to Quayside, a more upmarket drinking spot with pretty river views. Alternatively, stroll to the Jesmond area for bars and restaurants located within 100 yards of one another. You’ll find many outdoor canopied seating areas, making this a choice spot in the summer months.

Thanks to its 2 universities, Newcastle boasts a buzzing alternative and indie scene. Try Split Chimp under the railway arch, which features a full-size skittle alley and live music gigs. Then there’s Cosmic Ballroom, the 300-capacity rave den in Chinatown with an edgy warehouse feel to it.

Newcastle’s thriving gay scene is consolidated in The Pink Triangle (or The Gay Village) which exists between Metro Radio Arena and the Central Station. The area is constantly expanding with exciting new bars and clubs. Expect this part of the city to be very busy at night.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit The Old George Inn. Former regular of Charles I, it dates back to 1582 and is reportedly the most haunted pub in Newcastle.

DJs and clubs in in Newcastle

Wylam Brewery

You’ll find this charming micro brewery in the Palace of Arts. Try some local beers at source and go deeper by booking a guided tour. When hunger strikes, choose a few dishes from their excellent small-plates menu.

It all began when founding fathers John Boyle & Robin Leighton started creating recipes in a potting shed in the village of Wylam. Now their produce is sold in pubs and shops all over the country. Beer lovers, don’t miss this gem.

Wylam Brewery in Newcastle

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books

The centre is unique thanks to being the only museum in Britain dedicated to children’s literature. It was established in order to uphold the UK’s rich heritage in producing stories specially for kids, from the creators right through to the readers. Visit the centre to wonder at the regularly-changing exhibitions. Kids can participate in all manner of fun activities and family events that celebrate the imagination. You won’t find anywhere else quite like it.

Seven Stories The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle

Metro Radio Arena

It’s the largest indoor concert venue and exhibition space in the North East. With an epic capacity of over 11,000, it plays host to some of the biggest music acts in the world. So if you are a music lover and enjoy the buzz of live entertainment, come get your fill of comedy, theatre, music and all manner of expos and conventions. In a previous life, this venue was the home of Newcastle’s ice hockey and basketball teams. If you like your entertainment big and bold, this is the place for you.

Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle

The Vermont

A short skip from the town centre is The Vermont Hotel. It’s characterised by 1930s grandeur and boasts inimitable views of the river, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge. Take a trip up to the Sky Lounge to experience a breathtaking panorama. The hotel’s excellent location makes it the perfect base from which to explore the city. To top off your trip in style, why not treat yourself and a friend to Afternoon Tea for Two at The Vermont Hotel? Trust us, it’s divine.

We ran a competition for our readers, giving away afternoon tea for two at The Vermont as a prize.

We are pleased to announce that the winner is Sylvia Dixon!

Big thanks to everybody who took part by commenting below.

Read the Terms & Conditions.

 

The Vermont Hotel in Newcastle

The Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Take in some culture at this opulent Grade I listed venue. Here you can catch opera, musicals and comedy gigs on its lavish stage, but what makes it really unique is that it still operates with wooden stage machinery. It’s one of only ten theatres in Great Britain that date back to the Victorian era. A great deal of loving conservation work over the years has ensured that the original architecture has remained proudly in tact. It has a rich and fascinating history: around WWI it was converted into a picture house to cater for the booming popularity of films.

Tyne Theatre and Opera House

 

Grey’s Monument

Climb to the top of this Grade I listed monument and take in panoramic views. Look out at Grainger Town’s Georgian architecture while recovering from your 164-step ascent. It was built to honour the eponymous Grey (former Prime Minister, and the very same man who gave his name to Earl Grey tea) for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832.

In 1941, a fatalistic bolt of lightning struck the head of the statue, sending it crashing into the street. The statue stood sadly decapitated for many years, until a replica head was specially carved and attached.

Grey’s Monument in Newcastle

St. James’ Rooftop Tour

Take a guided tour of Newcastle United’s iconic stadium, St. James’ Park, the football club’s home since 1892. Aided by visual and audio effects, learn all about the club and its rich history, and witness everything from the executive boxes to the changing rooms. If you choose the rooftop tour, you’ll ascend to a walkway 150 feet above the ground to take in Tyneside’s stunning horizon from a brand new angle. St. James’ Park offers one of the country’s only stadium rooftop tours. An unmissable experience for football fans and adventurers alike.

St James Park Newcastle

Have you been to Newcastle yourself? Let us know your tips. And if you’re hankering for a trip away from the UK, check out our blog post on Top Things to See and Do in Amsterdam.

Images courtesy of Unsplash, Geograph, Wikimedia Commons and The Vermont Hotel

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Adele Knight says

You would see the lovely River Tyne, the Millennium Bridge and the Cathedral

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Mike Bartlett says

The Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge.

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Stuart Boyland says

Gateshead/Millenium Bridge

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Lisa Conn says

The beautiful Millennium bridge

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Jodi hill says

The millennium bridge & cathedral!

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Sylvia Dixon says

The Tyne Bridge, The Sage, The Baltic and Millennium Bridge amongst other sights.

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Sue H Jenkins says

the river tyne, cathedral and the fab millenium bridge

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Lindsey C says

the river, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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Lindsey C says

Millennium Bridge

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nikki graham says

the cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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Pamela Cooper says

Cathedral and millennium bridge

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Barbara Champion says

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

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ELAINE DORANS says

River Tyne, The cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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Catherine Thomas says

Millenium Bridge

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Margaret says

you would see the Millennium Bridge

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Diane Smith says

Gateshead/millennium bridge

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Tracy Jones says

You would see the Baltic, the Sage, at least 5 of the bridges across the River Tyne, the Quayside and the Castle Keep and that's just looking out towards the river - behind would be views of Grey Street and the City Centre with all its attractions. Great city to live in.

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Alison Macdonald says

The Sage, The Baltic, Millenium Bridge to name a few!

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Sue Murray says

The sage

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Carole Wright says

the river, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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Isabell Whitenstall says

You can see the Millennium Bridge, among other iconic sites.

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Sheena Batey says

Some of the sights I might see is the Tyne Bridge,The Sage, The Baltic and Millennium Bridge

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Sheila Howes says

The Castle, the Millennium Bridge and the Sage, Gateshead. It's a fabulous view!

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lesley doodnath says

the river, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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David W says

Train spotters dream.

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Nickola Gale says

The Tyne Bridge, Millennium Bridge, The Sage Gateshead, the river Tyne, the Cathedral & lots of beautiful architecture

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Suzanne Drummond says

the sage, millenium brigde , river tyne, the baltic , tyne bridge, courts , hms calaply

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Ollie Randolph says

The river, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge

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Susan Leach says

Amazing sights that can be seen from the Vermont hotel are views of the river Tyne, Newcastle Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge.

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Gill Trott says

The river tyne, the cathedral and the millennium bridge

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Sharron Page says

Greys monuments

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julie winward says

The River Tyne, The Cathedral and The Millenium bridge

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Tony winward says

The River Tyne, the Millenium Bridge and the cathedral

Respond
Claire Johnson says

Millennium Bridge

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Alex Brownlee says

The river tyne, the cathedral and Millennium Bridge.

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Katrina Milligan says

Apart from beautiful Newcastle itself you would also see the amazing St James Park! Howay The Lads #TOONARMY

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