I've lived in Gateshead all my life and it's very dire indeed. Sure, there are works of art like the Angel of the North but a great rusty-coloured structure like that, in my opinion, does not enhance the image of Newcastle's forgotten partner in the 'NewcastleGateshead' city of culture bids. Gateshead High Street is virtually non-existant and is about to be consumed by a greater, bigger Tesco which could hamper businesses around that area even more. I have not been to The Sage or The Baltic so I can't comment on those, but they seem to be more representative of Newcastle's Quayside redevolpment schemes rather than Gatesheads. The Metrocentre does offer shoppers a great shopping experience but, like all shopping centres, it gets too overcrowded and hot. When Metrocentre is busy, it takes ages to park your car and waiting to get out of there is a problem too as the car-parks are poorly designed. Saltwell Park is a nice place to visit, I suppose, but a park is a park in my estimation - and once the aeroplane that used to be there was removed, it lost something that made it truly unique. Overall, Gateshead is just somewhere you pass through on your way to/from Newcastle and that's all it ever will be.
I used to live in the north east and I think the only good thing about gateshead is the Metrocentre. It is one of europes largest shopping centre and has bowling facilities, cinema, soft play areas and many dining oppurtunities.
Saltwell park and the team valley are also other examples of places to visit in gateshead. Saltwell park is a lovely area of gardens and other attractions which are great for kids, a big play area, bird avaries and many other things to see and do howver, saltwell park seems out of place as it is set amongst council estates and alot of houses. The team valley is very industrial but the main part of it is home to alot of big stores such as mothercare, homebase and boots.
there is also The angel of the north, the sage, the baltic and the millenium bridge that are quite good to visit. The quayside is quite nice but nicer on the necastle side.
Gateshead high street used to be an ok place to shop or for a day out but now seems dirty and alot of the shops have closed down. there is an indoor market but isnt very attractive. in my opinion gateshead is a place to get your purse pinched, dont know if thats a little harsh, some parts of gateshead are nice but the high street has put me off going back.
Saltwell park, team valley and the Metrocentre are very handy places for locals or to visit if you are visiting the area but gateshead doesnt really seem the place to go to on holiday.
My dear friends, it may have come to you're attention that I am usually less than happy with things in general. My opinions tend to be rather scathing and derogitory to say the least. But now, allow me to write about the thing which arouses my disgust more than any other, the place of my birth, Gateshead. The Borough of Gateshead, in terms of population and size, is the biggest town in England. The population is roughly 350,000, stretching from Pelaw in the east through to Blaydon and Ryton in the west, all along the banks of the Tyne, across the river from our more illustious brother, Newcastle. Gateshead has a variety of features which will be in any brochure you might find our glorious town residing in, some of which are reviewed on the very sight. Let me run through a few of them: The Metrocentre, Dunston. Sir John Hall, erstwhile chairman of Newcastle United, is the brainchild of what was at the time the largest shopping mall in Europe. Some 50 acres of shopping heaven, with 4 coloured malls and over 350 shops, it is perfect for all your shopping needs, all under one roof. It has 30,000 free parking spaces, an 11 screen cinema and the largest indoor theme park in Europe-The New Metroland. Throw in two themed villages, a 20+ lane bowling alley and Quasar Lasar-"Serious fun with a lasar gun!", and you have the complete shopping experience for all the family. Gateshead International Stadium. With a capacity approachin 20,000 when all the stands are utilized,this showpiece arena is the setting for world class athletics and other sports events all year round. Good transport links and a wide variety of action make this a top venue for world claa events. The Angel of The North. Anthony Gormely's visionary design, towering over the A1(M) from it's vantage point over by Eighton Banks, is a symbol of the cultural change coming over the Town. Standing at almost 100ft high, this sculpture has won many awards for it&
#39;s unique style and striking appearance. The Gateshead Millenium Bridge. Gateshead's celebration to the millenium, this award winning footbridge has been added to it's illustrious counsins currently spanning the River Tyne. It unique "Blinking-Eye" style allows it to open and close like... the blinking of an eye. For more info, see the only review of this bridge currently on DooYoo. The Baltic Regeneration Project- Now open on the Gateshead bank of the Tyne, is the restored Baltic Flour Mill, now a museum of great slendour and full of unique and original exibits, with a fully licsensed resteraunt overlooking the Tyne. Soon to join it is the Baltic Music Hall, opening music to the people of the borough, to be home of the Northern Philamonic and a proud venue for the BBC "Proms" events. All funded by the council and the Lottery, to the tune of about 40 million quid. Gateshead Town Centre. At the heart of the Town this historic centre has plenty of shops to attract shoppers of all kinds. With the brand new bus interchange currently being built, transport links have never been better. Also the home of the historic Car-Park which featured prominetly in the cult film, "Get Carter". Wonderful Christmas lights illuminate the Town from early November. The Metro System. Shared with Newcastle, this underground, high speed transport system services the three major locations in Tyne and Wear- Newcastle, Gateshead and now, thanks to a recently opened extension, Sunderland. Quick, reliable and clean, this system enables comfortable travel between all ends of Gateshead. Saltwell Park. Spread magnificently over 40 acres of beautiful land near bensham and deckham, this public park has been in place since the 19th century. Intended by the then landowner, Saltwell, to be a park for the people. Includes Maze, "Saltwell Towers"- a museum in the park, a boating lake, childrens rides, a bouncy castle, bow
ling green, tennis courts and a shop. Hosts a free bonfire and display each year on Nov 5th. The Tuxedo Princess. Look under any photograph of the Tyne Bridge, and underneath you will see a large,w hite boat. This is the Tuxedo Pricess, sister to the Tuxedo Royale which has now gone to Middlesborough. It is a large floating nightclub, with dozens of rooms, all themed, a revovling dance floor, and a variety of speciality nights to cater for all tastes. Now, this all sounds very nice, and it is on this basis that Necastle has teamed up with Gateshead to challenge for the title of 2008 European City of Culture. However, as my introduction stated gently hinted, this is not entirely the case. Here is what the brochure won't tell you... The Metrocentre. Enormously overpriced, vastly uncomfortable place has become a haven for young thugs and car crime. Hundreds of cars go "missing" from the attended car parks every week, while bag snatches and shoplifting are a common problem. At busy times, public transport is stretched way past it's limits. The bus station is a minefield, avoiding drunks and young thugs take immense skill. The worst place of the lot is Metroland, which is teeming with gangs of low-life who hunt in packs for unsuspecting victims to rob and hospitalise. Do not play the fruit machines in either Metroland or the Superbowl- you will be surrounded by a dozen teenage "experts" who will take over the machine and play on your money, unless you feel strong enough to risk telling them to go swivel.Metroland's rides are deathly dull for anyone over the age of ten. The cinema is the most expensive in the area. The security guards could not secure a padlock. Gateshead International Stadium. Hosts one B-List atheletics meeting per year, two at a stretch. Gateshead Football Team currently languishes in the Unibond Premier division, nowhere near even league status. The rugby league team, Gateshead Thu
nder, played one season in the superleague, before they were all sold to Hull. They reformed, and are now about five leagues lower than they were. Only one side of the stadium is covered, the other three are all open to the elements when it rains. This is the north. It always rains. It is also stuck in the worst estate in Gateshead, the Old Fold, a place so bad that half of it has recently been knocked down and sold by the council for 1p. Crime is rife, and the Local Metro station is a thugs paradise. The Angel of the North. Loved by everyone except the majority of the residents of Gateshead. This "Angel" is a dirty rust colour, and many feel it looks rather foolish with it's huge wings. At night, it is a wonderful shield for young people to drink their cider and keep dry, and is far enough out of the way for the Police to ignore them. The Gatshead Millenium Bridge. Although not used as often as the experts may lead you to believe, I actually like this bridge. It is a fine example of what can be done, not like that hilarious wobbly thing in London. Shines like a rare beacon of light. The Baltic Regeneration. Not yet finshed, so cannot be rated properly, although it is now over budget and 3 years behind schedule. A recent survey of Gateshead residents by the Council found that 80% of people liked the idea, but only 20% would visit. Opera in Gateshead? Gateshead Town Centre. This is the worst shopping centre in the country. Shops of prestige are fleeing the scene as fast as they can, suffering a loss of business to the Metrocentre and Newcastle. A series of emergency meetings have been held to save the traders stuck there. The high street is dominated by pubs, which are run by gangsters and drug-dealers. I know, I used to work in one! Last year, an OAP was murdered in a pub on the high street, not by a drinker, but by a landlady and a posse of her friends. The bus station is unattended, and is to be avoided like the
plague after dark. The bus station currently resembles a bomb site. The car park is a hideous, 40 yr old eye saw, unused to the point of dereliction. The Metro system. Once the jewel in the Northern transport Crown, it is now out of its depth. The trains are vandalised, overpriced and over crowded. They do not run quickly enough. Crime is rising rapidly, despite the introduction of CCTV. Saltwell Park. Currently being regenerated, the park used to be a things of beauty. Now, it is a terrible state. The toilets are a regular haunt of Gay men meeting for sex, while the Lake is devoid of life and stinks. The rides are expensive and woeful. It is a regular haunt for muggers and gangs of youths looking for people to rob. Tuxed Princess. Like it's predecessor, a nice venue is ruined by the morons who inhabit it. An absolute wonderland if you like drugs, about 50% of the people in their sell them. People being thrown over into the river are not as uncommon as they should be, and the revolving dance floor is so dirty you do not revolve, you stick to it. Bouncers are regularly known to randomely batter unsuspecting drinkers. Sound good? Believe me it is. But the truth is that the problem is much more deeply rooted. A place is only as good as it's people, and many of the people in Gateshead are not very good. I take this chance to aplogise to those people who are not scum bags, please do not be offended. Quite frankly if you are literate enough to read this, you probably aren't included. In the entire borough, only two places stand out as good areas- Low Fell and Whickham. The rest help to form the largest council estate in Britain. Crime is rife, at all levels. Drugs are no longer a problem here, they are the accepted norm. Vandalism and muggings go up every year. Car theft is becoming endemic. Serious crimes and violent crimes are rising at an alarming rate. Particular places to avoid, especially at night, are Ben
sham, Teams, Beacon Lough est, Sheriff Hill and Dunston. Unless you are Rocky Balboa. Gateshead, it sorries me to say, is an utter sh!*hole. There is no other word. The council have tried to enforce an image of culture, but a few new buildings and statues cannot create a culture that is not there. Culture is historical, it is not created. Newcastle has it's culture-shipbuilding, football, geordies, but Gatshead only has a yob and crime culture that cannot be hidden. In a recent survey, based on crime, income, occupation etc, Gateshead was rated the second worst place in Britain to live. My only shock was that there is worse(I won't name the place, to save a backlash) Let me leave you with a quote from a 15th century historian, who decribed Gateshead as: "The shitty doormat to Newcastle". Hear hear to that.