Im an Australian ex-pat from Adelaide living in Jesmond. Ive been here for 7 years now and ive just got my British citizenship. I have to say im never going to live in Oz again after being here. Newcastle has a positive aura about which many cities lack. Unlike Australian cities,Newcastle has a mix of both funky,retro and cosmopolitan areas and historical,cultural quiet suburbs which i love. The people are incredible,they seem less in your face and snappy than say London (though i do like London) and a lot better than Australia,people there are just concerned of whats between the beach and the barbecue. The nightlife is the best,both cheap and rewarding,the shopping is fine by my standards and the revamp seems to be doing wonders. The University is popular,the streets and metro are clean and the weather's not bad at all (just to let you know,its not always hot in Australia,just ask people in Sydney!). For those who think that moving from the U.K is a good thing,think again. Australia is not as good as it seems and im never going to live there again. My friends have all visited and told me how they wish they could pack their bags up and join me here!
Newcastle= The best of the best!!!
Newcastle lives up to the rep of being a great place for a night out or weekend away. I have spent a few weekends this year in newcastle and always had a great night out there's lots of pubs and clubs to visit to many to name there's The Gate which has a few pubs and clubs all in one place and then down at the quayside as well always a good night out and friendly people. The shopping in Newcastle is great even if you don't visit the metro centre the city centre has loads of great shops. Eating out in Newcastle visit china town for great Chinese food and there's all the normal places like frankie and bennys and nandos. I can highly recommend newcastle to anyone for a great weekend with the girls , a shopping weekend with your mum or a romantic getaway. I have stayed in luxury serviced apartments in the city centre of newcastle on northumberland street and they are amazing.
Newcastle is a city full of surprises. Despite its popular depiction of a rough area, supported by ship building, Newcastle has advanced a long way and is now home to a wealth of interest and culture. The city has a lot of character and if you visit for a while then the best way to understand Newcastle is perhaps to go to a football game at St James' Park which can provide an amazing experience.
The two main places of cultural interest in Newcastle are actually strictly in Gateshead, not Newcastle. These are the Sage and the Baltic. The Sage is a very new building with different local nicknames ranging from the slug to the knuckles. It is a fantastic music venue with two halls both of which host fantastic classical and jazz music mainly. The Baltic on the other hand is a very old flour mill turned art gallery. With free entry and some stunning hanging exhibit space it is well worth a visit.
Finally though not a great sight, even the bridge (bottom right of the photo) is famous in some circles as it is one of only a few swing bridges which can turn 360 degrees.
Newcastle is a brilliant city and has one of the biggest city centres in the country. It is a very old city, and still features some of the old buildings from years ago, which is great to see. It is suprising to know, that Newcastle is a great tourist destination. There is so much to do in this city, such as shopping for one, sights seeing, like the tyen, millenium bridge, the sage, and of course going to see a concert at the Metro Radio Arena.
You can get to this city very easily. Just outside of the city is Newcastle International Aiport, that mainly has tourists coming in from Europe. Also, there is a major train station by the rive side, with services coming in from the region in the form of the Metro service and trains from Edinburgh, York and London. Nights out in newcastle are the best. It is a brilliant way to spend a night, and you can either go out clubbing, which the hundreds of bars and nightclubs, or go out to one of the many restaurnates. I especially like the venues on the quayside, which is a huge venue for everything, and features some of the places in the city. On a sunny day, walking along the rive is a brilliant way to kill a couple of hours.
Newcastle is the best city ever!! There is so much to see and do. Wether your looking for a night out, shopping or sight seeing this is the place for you as newcastle has everything! If your looking to go clubbing i would reconmmend the gate,here we have players and mood also inside the gate is a cinema and many bars and restaurants including pizza pizza chinese and frankie n bennies! and just down from here tiger tiger,sam jacks and sinners. If your the younger generation the bigg market is for you! And to end the night go to bambu,digital,attic or liquid envy. If your here for shopping northumberland street is great has many designer name shops as does eldon square. If your here for sight seeing then the queyside is for you, home to many of newcastles bridges including the millenium bridge,swing bridge, redhaugh bridge and the tyne bridge. Also along the queyside is many bars and restuarants, and occasionaly a market comes down. The baltic is also located down here. So why not visit newcastle :)
Newcastle has a lot to offer everyone whether you are visiting or you are a local. it has alot of sights to see and places to visit.
Down on the quayside there is a lot of nightlife and is a nice walk along side the river tyne, there is also a market visits quite frequently. The river Tyne is home to alot of famous bridges, for example The Tyne bridge, The Swing bridge, The Millenium bridge, The High Level bridge, The Redheugh bridge and Scotswood bridge. Newcastle is also home to the great north run and you cant get moved in the town when it is on for spectators and competitors and many of the roads are blocked off for the run.
Newcastle has its own football team, Newcastle United and has St.James park football stadium, and quite often you see footballers enter and leaving the stadium and ''Shearer''s'' bar next to it.
Newcastle has two main hospitals, the R.V.I and Newcastle General Hospital both of which are clean and well maintained.
Newcastle is also known for ''Newcastle brown ale'' or ''Broon Ale'' as us geordies would say :)
If you are visiting Newcastle and the surrounding area''s, you wont be dissapointed with the amount its got to offer, i would recommend a trip to ''The Discovery Museum'' which is great for kids and its free admission!!! there is so much to do inside too! ''The Centre For Life'' is quite good too as there is an outdoor ice skating rink near xmas.
Overall, Newcastle has alot to offer, the town centre is heaving with good shops and theres eldon square (indoor shopping centre) which is good place to shop on a rainy day. Newcastle is easily accessible with a bus station and train station both only a few minutes walk from the town centre. There is also Newcastle airport which offers bus links to the town centre too.
(i have also posted this review on helphound)
Newcastle is a very busy city with lots of people mostly of course being students it has a very high population of them. Newcastle is known for a brilliant night out and this is so true, there are lots and lots of bars and clubs meaning you will never be short of a new place to go. Newcastle city centre gets very busy on a Friday and Saturday night there are often lots of police out and about as there can be lots of fights and arguments but you tend to find this anywhere when people have had too much to drink. There is a great shopping centre called the metro centre about 10 minutes from Newcastle it is absolutely brilliant and even though I have been there lots and lots of times I can still get lost looking for where I have parked my car. Newcastle general hospital is well known for dealing really well with heart attacks and heart operations. The other hospital is the Royal Victoria Infirmary and is a really good hospital as well.
Ive also wrote this on helphound
I currently live in Newcastle and can assure anyone wishing to visit that it's a great place with plenty to see and do - all within walking distance!
Having moved up here from Liverpool many years ago to study I found myself forever comparing these two great cities - and there are a lot of comparisons. Yes the Tyne isn't quite the Mersey but both are a source of pride and passion for the locals. On the Quayside you will find plenty of bars and restaurants, some old such as 'Bob Trollops' and the 'Quilted Camel' and some new such as the 'Pitcher and Piano' and 'Mal Maisson'. These newer establishments are located towards the Millennium footbridge (the blinking eye) that crosses the water leading to the Baltic, one of the finest museums of contemporary art outside London - and its Free!
Word of warning for those not wanting to party hard - the Quayside is a popular haunt for Stag and Hen groups on a weekend. Avoid if possible - I do!
If its shops your after then you wont be disappointed here. Walking up Grey street is akin to strolling around the grand crescents of Bath or York and has been voted one of the prettiest streets in England in the past, a fine example of Georgian architecture on which you will find many boutique shops, restaurants and the Theatre Royal. This street leads to The Monument (made famous by a recent Maximo Park song) this is a popular meeting place and useful for tourists should you loose your bearings. Eldon square is a covered shopping centre in the heart of the city (one of the largest in Europe) no doubt a necessity due to the arctic winter temperatures here!
There is great Architecture everywhere in Newcastle form the ancient Castle Keep to the imposing Victorian central train station, providing a stark offset to the very modern refurbishment of St James Park (55,000 seats). If your driving in by car over one of the many bridges this is a real landmark perched atop of a hill it's an imposing site indeed.
Other things to do in the centre of town include a visit to Laing art gallery, Discovery museum, Sage Gateshead, The Gate entertainment complex and a very good China town.
Newcastle is really accessible, the airport is 20mins away by Metro no fuss! Other nearby attractions include Wallsend - home to Segedunum (Hadrian's Wall) Tynmouth and Whitley Bay (great beaches but the water is freezing!) Keilder Water and a host of National Trust sites such as Belsay, Gibside, Cragside and more.
Newcastle is home to the Geordie and Newcastle United. If you want to visit a place that mixes old with new, history with the future, then Newcastle is the place to be. If you get the train into Newcastle you get the well known view of most of the bridges being aligned behind each other with the Baltic (a new art museaum), the sage (a new building dedicated to music), the metro radio arena and the town of Newcastle.
When you are going around Newcastle you can visit the huge Newcastle United stadium called St. James' where people like Alan Shearer and Kevin Keagan have shown us what they can do. If you walk down from St.James' you can go shopping in many of the shops either around Newcastle or in Eldon Square which is in the centre of the town. You can also go to the cinema or go out clubing in one of the many night clubs. Or you could join in with many of the geordies and have a pint of Newcastle Ale in a pub. But if that isnt your thing, you could go visit the Centre of Life where you can learn about many medical and biological things in the newest, funnest ways. Its especially a good place to go with children. But what ever you choose to do there will always be something to fill up your visit with.
Newcastle upon Tyne, often shortened to Newcastle, is a city in the county of Tyne and Wear in north-east England. Technically, people from Newcastle are Novocastrians, although the term Geordie is now more commonly used. I'm not actually from Newcastle but it's the nearest city to where I live (about 15 miles away) and I go quite often.
Newcastle, known at the time as "Pons Aelius" was founded by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, whose Wall is still visible in parts of Newcastle, particularly along the West Road that leads out from the city centre towards the A69 road. This wall ends at Wallsend (What a surprisingly original name! - Newcastle itself was named when the 'new castle' was built!)
~ Sport ~
The City has a strong sporting tradition, being home to Premiership football team Newcastle United, and Guinness Premiership rugby union side Newcastle Falcons, for whom England's "(Rugby Union) World Cup winning hero" Jonny Wilkinson plays.
Newcastle is of course home to St James' Park football stadium (Newcastle United) I am not a football fan but I have been here once. (Our school has 4 season tickets and teachers nominate students to go to each match. I was lucky enough to be chosen to go to one of the matches!) St James' Park is the oldest football stadium in the north-east and it houses 52, 387 people!
~ The Town Moor ~
There is a large green space in Newcastle called the Town Moor, this lies immediately north of the city centre. The Hoppings, reputedly the largest travelling fair in Europe, takes place on Newcastle Town Moor every June. Even though I live about 15 miles from Newcastle this is still very popular in the town in which I live. When I was a member of St John Ambulance, I went on duty here. It was the first duty I had been on I thoroughly enjoyed it. When people talk of the Town Moor it is usually because of The Hoppings! Many people often say The Town Moors here! When obviously they mean The Hoppings as the Town Moor remains there all year round :-)
~ The Centre for Life ~
The UK's first Biotechnology Village, the "Centre for Life" is located in the City Centre close to the Central Station. The Centre for Life is a "science village" in the heart of the city. Its purpose is to promote international research into genetics and to help people understand the role of our genes in health and disease. The complex also includes the Life Science Centre, an interactive museum that looks into the origins of life, DNA and the human body. If you are in Newcastle I think this is worth a visit. It is a very entertaining day out, especially for children. There are many school trips in the area, which go to the Centre for Life. I recently found out that scientists at The Centre for Life are the first people in Europe - and only the second in the world! - to get a licence for stem cell research on human embryos. This licence will allow them to work on new treatments for conditions including diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
I have only been here once but I really enjoyed it and would like to go back in the future as some of their exhibits change.
Entrance fees - Adult £6.95 Child (Under 4) Free Child (5-16yrs) £4.50 Concession £5.50 Family (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) £19.95
~ Discovery Museum ~
This is a science and local history museum, which has free entry. It is one of the biggest free museums in the northeast. I have been here quite a lot, including on school trips when I was younger. I went last summer with my best friend and her sister and we all really enjoyed it. It is located within walking distance from the bus and metro station.
There is a shop and a café there. I think these are slightly overpriced but the quality of items and food is good.
~ Seven Stories ~
This is the only centre for childrens literature in the UK. It is called Seven Stories because it is believed that there are seven basic plots in literature and the fact that the Victorian Mill in which it is situated has seven floors. My nephews have been here and they really enjoyed it :-)
At the heart of Seven Stories is a treasure trove of original artwork and manuscripts which records the creative process involved in making a children's book and provides an insight into the working lives of authors and illustrators. Offical Seven Stories website.
~ The Quayside ~
The Quayside is the area along the banks of the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead. As a tourist promotion Newcastle and Gateshead have linked together under the banner "NewcastleGateshead", but otherwise remain separate. One of the Quayside's main features is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which spans the river between the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead) and the Newcastle Law Courts. Newcastle Live Theatre is also on Newcastle Quayside. I never used to go to the Quayside but when I was part of the Live Theatre I went every week.
Newcastle has a reputation of being a fun-loving city with many bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It consistently features in lists of the top ten party cities in the world. Recently, Newcastle has become popular as a destination for Stag and Hen parties. The Quayside is one of the main areas of clubs in Newcastle. I havent been clubbing in Newcastle but know people who have and they say it is a really good night out.
~ Transport ~
Newcastle International Airport (located near Ponteland) is the fastest growing airport in the UK. The airport currently handles a little under five million passengers per year, with more than 80 destinations available world-wide. The airport is a 15-minute journey from the city centre by car or about 20 minutes on the Tyne and Wear Metro service. Whenever I go on holiday, I fly from this airport. (Speaking of which, I'll be going next Sunday as Im going to Nice)
Newcastle Central station was the first covered station in the world and was much copied across the UK. It opened on 29th August 1850! I believe I have only been to Central Station twice, on my journey (there and back) to Cambridge for a summer school at the university last year.
A metro is similar to the London Underground although some of the tracks are not underground. An underground station for Tyne and Wear Metro trains was constructed during the late 1970s, and opened in 1981. Unfortunately, we don't have a metro station (and no longer a train station) in the town where I live, so to get to Newcastle I need to go by bus (or car!). As my mam doesn't like driving into the city centre, she usually drives us to the nearest metro station and we get the metro from there. I like travelling by metro as it is convenient. I think I would visit Newcastle more often if we had a Metro station in the town where I live.
Newcastle has a large bus station, which makes access to the city from surrounding towns quite easy. The buses run quite frequently so there's not usually much of a wait. There is a door leading to Marks and Spencer straight from the bus station. I have been to the bus station on a huge number of occasions as this is usually how I travel into the city centre. I quite like the bus station, it is large and information about bus times is easily accessible.
Newcastle has access to an international ferry terminal located in North Shields, which is 8 miles east of Newcastle.
~ Education ~
Newcastle has two universities located in the city centre. The University of Newcastle upon Tyne (which I hope to start at in September) and the newer Northumbria University. The University of Newcastle upon Tyne has a very good medical school with links to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, which it is located right next to.
There are also many schools in Newcastle.
~ Theatres ~
As well as Live Theatre, which I have already mentioned, there are other theatres within the city. The Theatre Royal is a Grade I listed building located on Grey Street, it opened in 1837 and has hosted a season of performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company for over 25 years. The theatre hosts a variety of shows, including ballet, contemporary dance, drama, musicals and opera. There is always a Christmas pantomime here, which I have been to see on several occasions (though unfortunately not for a few years.) Other theatres in the City include the Tyne Opera House and the Newcastle Playhouse.
~ Famous People ~
There are lots of famous people who were born in Newcastle including, Sting, Cheryl Tweedy, Alan Shearer, George Stephenson, Peter Beardsley, Ant and Dec to name but a few!
~ Shopping - my favourite part of Newcastle! ~
I LOVE shopping in Newcastle! There are several major shopping areas in Newcastle City centre. The largest of these is the Eldon Square shopping centre, which incorporates the largest Fenwick department store in the UK and a John Lewis store. This is an indoor shopping centre with lots of shops, most of which are high street stores.
The main shopping street in the city is Northumberland Street, which runs from the Haymarket metro station to the Monument. The bus station is very close to Northumberland Street too, within a 1 minute walking distance. Eldon Square is entered from Northumberland Street.
I really enjoying visiting Newcastle and I feel privileged that I live within easy travelling distance. There are lots of places to eat and drink, shop and sight see (including a sightseeing tour bus of the city). Like any city though, it does have its downsides, such as dirty in places and crime.
Overall, I think this is a city worth visiting!
I hope you have made it this far. I love going to Newcastle it is a lovely city with lots to do. Just for a bit of fun I'll finish with some Geordie words:
Divvent: Do not - ie Divvent dee that
Fettle: Good condition
Haway! : Come on!
Naa - Know
Pet: A term of endearment.
Yee - You
Yem - Home
Many of these words are also used in other parts of the North-east but are mainly associated with Newcastle.
Thanks for reading. bluejules x
*****Newcastle Always a City of Culture*****
I can hardly believe it, but its true. Ive managed to write 99 reviews since I joined Dooyoo! I really wanted my 100th review to be something a little special, so what better to write about than my beloved home town on Newcastle. Thats Upon Tyne, rather than Under Lyme. Just to be clear! I wasnt born here, but in a British Military Hospital on the other side of the world, but Ive lived here since I was 3, give or take a few years at uni near Liverpool, and a stint in Oxford. I have to say, that of all the places Ive lived or stayed, nowhere seems quite so much like home than right here, in the land of pease pudding, Greggs Stotties and The Chronicle (or Keeeeronicaaaaaal, as a true Geordie would say!)
I am probably the only Geordie in the world without a Geordie Accent, which caused me great strife at uni, as no-one would ever quite believe I was from Newcastle, and I had to fight for my right to be northerly patriotic. But it is home to me, and I think its the one place I will always come back to.
Newcastle is really the last big city before you hit border country.
As in Border between England and Scotland.
There are people who think Newcastle is actually in Scotland, but this is not so!!! It did, however, in Roman times, form a boundary between The Savage North (Scotland) and The Delicate South in the presence of Hadrians Wall. Emperor Hadrian was a canny soul, who figured a 5 metre high wall, the length of the furthest reach of England, and with 80 turrets or mile castles along the way for soldiers to keep watch from would do the job.
It took six years, a lot of stone and an enormous amount of man power, but the wall was built and still stands now in many places between Wallsend, on the banks of the Tyne, and Carlisle where it begins. I have a wee roman temple near my house, and it truly blows me away that something so old and so populated at one time is still sitting where it was put so very long ago.
Newcastle is a vibrant city, full of life and colour and movement. Things are always changing in Newcastle, and yet somehow the atmosphere, the mood, the soul of the place is something that always manages to remain the same. It is a city that celebrates multi-culturism, which celebrates art and life and music and humour. It is a city home to over a quarter of a million people, and were all just as proud as punch to call ourselves Geordies.
*****Reasons to visit*****
You may not know this, but Newcastle is way up there in the top 5 of the worlds best party cities, along with New York amongst others.
I think thats a fairly good claim to fame for a city that has risen from the nuts and bolts of shipbuilding and the dust and grime of coal mining, to a shining example of multi-culturism and one of the biggest tourist attractions north of London.
So much is in reach here fine art at the Laing and the world renowned Baltic, state of the art music production and performance at the glorious Sage, architecture to die for, with Grey Street being voted the UKs best loved street, and the sort of people who say thank you to the bus driver when they get off the bus at their destination. Now you dont get that in the bright lights of London!
If you want good food, we have it. Great and green transport links? Look no further. History, innovation, a grand night out? Maybe you fancy a cruise, or a walk on the beach, or just a spot of retail therapy? Newcastle really does have it all. Im biased, I know, but I bet if you came for a visit, you wouldnt be able to prove me wrong. Youd be far too busy!
Even using Newcastle as a base, there is so much to see, so much to do that its impossible to cover it all here, but Im going to give it my very best shot! So with my very best Geordie accent, a la Ant&Dec stylie .Heor we gan .
*****Things to see*****
The Tyne Bridge
Coming home on the train from uni the Tyne Bridge was always the sign that I was truly home. The train would trundle over the rail bridge, and I would sigh and sometimes even get a lump in my throat that I was home. The Tyne Bridge is a must see for anyone coming to our lovely city, but to see it at its very best, I would say take yourself down onto Newcastles quayside, stand on the middle of the Millennium Bridge (also a wonderful piece of architecture) and just absorb. My gran could remember it being opened, and walked across it from the Gateshead side to the Newcastle side back in 1928, after it was opened by King George V.
The Castle Keep
Since well before Roman times, when Newcastle was known as Pons Aelius, there has been a fortification on the site of the current new castle. The very first castle (the new castle on the river Tyne) was founded by Robert Curthose, who was one of the sons of William the Conqueror. Its a very interesting visit, and there are some great views of the city to be had from the top.
The Castle Keep is open daily between 9.30am and 5.30pm during the months of April through to September, and 9.30am till 4.30pm from October to March.
It is closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Last entry is 30 minutes before the castle closes.
Adults £1.50, Senior Citizens, Students and Children under 16 50p
There is disabled access, which is free of charge and includes a virtual tour, though this is by appointment only.
For more information on visiting telephone: 0191 2327938
There is nothing quite like seeing real physical history, and being able to reach out and touch it. There are plenty of roman remains and excavations to be found in and around Newcastle, and anyone who has a back garden will be keen to share their finds with you (I have loads, I keep then in a pot on the bottom shelf of my pantry!) But theres nothing quite like seeing it for yourself.
Segudunum is a roman fort in Wallsend, where the Roman wall literally ended, hence the name. I have never been, but its on my wish list of places to go, as everyone I know who has been, has said its an amazing place.
There are details on the Tyne and Wear Museums website:
or you can call: 0191 2369347
As far as other remains are concerned, the West Road, leading up to the A1 is the route the wall took, and at certain points along this road, you can see parts of the wall still remaining. Just off the West Road, there is a Roman Temple, and the gateway of a fort, which are stunning and will impress all you Time Team enthusiasts out there!
Museums and Art Galleries
Where do you start with this there are so many in Newcastle!
I love the Baltic, and have already sung its praises in a review of its own, but The Laing Art Gallery is also a wonderful place, and often overlooked by the contemporary visitor to the city. Right in the heart of the city, with beautiful architecture and a collection of works to please every artistic disposition, this gallery is free to get into, and a wonderful place to spent a free half hour. I love the cool quiet of the place, and know that whatever mood Im in, there will be a work to look at that suits me!
For more information, call: 0191 2327734
Or log on to : http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing/
The Sage is known now as the glass armadillo in most Geordie circles. It is a beautiful and unique piece of architecture and I for one absolutely love it. Designed to be a home for music in the North East, it really is just that, with daily performances of all sorts of genres of music, as well as being a place where you can learn about and really discover music for yourself, by yourself.
It really is quite magical, and when I look at it, sitting proud on the south side of the river, I feel an overwhelming sense of awe, not just at how it looks, with the glass reflecting the ever changing sky, but with what it represents and what it achieves every single day. Definitely a place to visit and explore and come back to, whether you love music or not.
or call 0191 4434661
The Discovery Museum is full of weird and wonderful stuff for kids and grown ups alike, and whats more, its free to get in. Perfect for if its raining! I used to go here a lot when I was a childminder, and the children never tired of looking and touching and experimenting with all the weird contraptions.
The Centre for Life is another creation that has well and truly put Newcastle on the map. Designed as a place to get you to really think about life and all that it means, this is a very science-based place which has exhibitions, annual debates and loads of educational facilities with things like live science shows and hands on displays.
It is a place where the real scientists work on revolutionary new theories and issues, in an environment which is accessible to the average man on the street, and its something that appears to be quite unique to Newcastle.
The buildings that make up the Centre for Life are as innovative as you can get, and there is a public space called Times Square in the heart of the buildings, which is used for all sorts of things, including, at Christmas, an outdoor ice-skating rink!
Opening hours: Monday Saturday 10am 6pm, Sunday 11am 6pm.
Last admission 4pm.
Admission price is:
Family Ticket £19.95
Telephone: 0191 2438210
For more information go to:
Newcastle has some of the best shopping in the world. (In my opinion!) We have Eldon Square, Monument Mall and Eldon Gardens, as well as the historic Grainger Market to pick from in the centre of town.
Out with town, we have The Metro Centre, which is very, very, very big. My first job was working in the cafeteria of BHS. I was 17, and I only worked for 4 hours on a Saturday morning. I got lost every single Saturday morning. It really is that big. My advice would be to plan to spent a whole day there, make sure you get a map when you go in, and dont get too stressed if you find youve got round in a bit of a circle it happens to the best of us!!!
Newcastle United Football Club
Dominating the citys skyline, this amazing looking stadium is the home of football in the North East. Alan Shearer recently thanked the people of the city for all the years of support by putting a banner up on the side of the stadium. A really big banner. We dont do things by half measures here, thats for sure!!
Whether youre a fan of the beautiful game or not, this is a great place to visit, as much for the actual structure as for the possibility of getting an autograph from one of the players. Theres a restaurant and coffee shop, as well as a shop where you can buy all manner of black and white striped items, from humbugs to framed shirts. Its a five minute walk from the centre of town, and to any honorary Geordie, its a pilgrimage to hallowed ground!
For more information go to: http://www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk
The Angel of the North
Anthony Gormley is a genius. I really think he is. He got thousands of Geordies to get up at stupid oclock one Sunday morning last summer and stand, naked as the day they were born, along the banks of the time for a naked photo shoot. Amazing, liberating, utter freedom. Can you imagine that?! The pictures where fabulous, and I only wish I had been in Newcastle that weekend as I would surely have trotted down, flung my outer garments to the wind and stood proudly shoulder to shoulder with my fellow naked Geordies!
His genius, however, never more apparent than in his symbolic Angel of The North sculpture. It is, in fact, Britains tallest sculpture, at 20 metres tall, and with a wing span of 54 metres and it is for me a very powerful symbol of coming home, being welcomed into the city, and really of the people of Newcastle who are kind hearted to the last, and as welcoming as can be.
The word angle apparently means messenger, and the message is surely welcome.
*****Places to eat*****
Again there so many places to choose that will serve you good food in great surroundings, so Im only going to pick a few here.
My first choice is always Panis, a tiny Italian café on High Bridge, which is frequented only by those who know its secrets! Read my Panis review for more details!
If you want high class, tres expensive, then look no further than The Fishermans Lodge, which is situated in Jesmond Dene, a wooded valley five minutes drive from the centre of the town. It serves seafood, and has been well known as the best seafood restaurant in Newcastle for over 20 years. It is not cheap though, so be prepared to spend big bucks if you go, and make sure you call in advance to make a reservation!
China Town, located in the Stowell Street area to the west of the city centre is the place for Chinese and Thai food as well as Sushi the whole street is so packed with different establishments that you can work up an appetite just pacing up and down the street trying to decide which to go into!
I can highly recommend Mangos, which does very traditional Chinese set meals as well as make-it-up as you go along type courses. Their dim sum is amazing, and they stock a wide selection of chinese beers!
The Dragon House is nice too, though quite expensive the food is great and the service is fantastic, but the full Chinese food experience for two people, if youre having for example, pancakes, soup, main course and herb tea, with drinks can easily set you back £100.
If its cheap and cheerful youre after, Laus Buffet King is the place to go eat as much as you like for as little as £6, with great food, lots of choice and very pleasant staff. It can get very busy, so the downside is that you may have to wait to be seated, though it is possible to phone ahead and book a table.
All in all, if I had to pick, it would be Mangos every time. I love it there! Call 01912326522 or visit them online at:
If you like to have a little drink, Newcastle is one brilliant place to do it in! There really is something for everyone. There are different areas of the city and whilst a native Geordie would probably flit from one area to another in any given night out, you may just want to stay in one area. The choice is yours!
The Gate is full of bars and a nightclub called Mood, great for the younger generation, though not really my cup of tea!
The serious drinker should head to the Quayside or to The Bigg Market, though you may feel overdressed if youre wearing anything other than a bikini and a thong! Newcastle girls have a reputation of going out wearing next to nothing, and how we dont have the highest recorded incidences of hyperthermia I will never know!
The Central Station area is great if you want a gentler night out, with pubs like Centurion and The Forth offering warmth, comfy seats and a more laid back atmosphere.
The Centre for Life area and Times Square is the heart of the Pink Triangle, and you will find that this area is very popular, be you straight, gay, bi or anywhere in-between. There are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from here, and all in walking distance of each other.
If its live music youre looking for, Osbourne Road in Jesmond has some good offerings, and you can have an amazing night out at The Salsa Club opposite Central Station, where there is music playing literally till the last person stops dancing. A great way to loose some of those calories you ate at dinner and to have a good laugh too. Dont worry if youve never salsa danced before, its so infectious youll pick it up in the blink of an eye!
*****How to get here*****
Newcastle is on the East Coast Mainline from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen, so getting a train here is as easy as pie. Well, as long as there are no leaves on the line! Check out the GNER website for cheap deals, and remember that sometimes its cheaper to buy 2 single tickets than one return!
There are buses in and out of Newcastle too, check out the National Express website for details and pricing.
Driving here couldnt be easier, its only an hour and a half from Edinburgh, and four hours from Liverpool check out www.multimap.com for a route and an estimated journey time.
Newcastle has an International Airport, with flights coming in daily from all over the world. Easy jet currently offer some great deals on flights from London, Bristol and Belfast, as well as loads of European cities. Check out easy jets website for more information.
*****Where to stay*****
I have to admit Ive only ever experienced one hotel in Newcastle, which was the Newcastle Thistle Hotel, opposite Central Station my sister had her wedding reception there in 2000, and we found it to be most agreeable.
My best advise here is to look around there is so much to choose from! B&Bs dominate the streets of Jesmond, and the city is peppered with upmarket hotels like Malmaison, and The Station Hotel.
Consider staying outside of the city too Tynemouth is on the coast, 15-20 minutes drive from the city and has some of the best beaches in the country spectacular views, loads of fresh air and a real seaside holiday feel. It also has a very famous weekend flea market, were you can pick up all sorts of weird and wonderful curios at amazingly low (bartered!) prices!
The transport system in Newcastle is something that makes me feel pretty proud. We have buses to everywhere, we have green, environmentally friendly electric buses that link the city centre and the Quayside. We have trains, and ferries, and the fabulous Metro. The Metro is a fast way of getting from A to B, and can work out relatively cheap if you buy a day ticket. Linking the coast, both north and south, as well as the airport to the city, it is a much friendlier, nicer smelling version of The Tube!
For those who are less able, most buses have ramps, and the driver will help you if you need him/her to the Metro, whilst being underground, has very good access if you use a wheelchair, and we also have a Shop mobility system, where you can hire a motorised chair to help you get your shopping done faster.
*****Out and about away from the city*****
If you fancy a few days trips, Edinburgh is only an hour and a half on the train, and we all know how much there is to see there! Thats a whole other review!
York is very close, as is the North East Coastline, which stretches up to Berwick and has highly acclaimed beaches, views and places like Bamburgh and Lindisfarne to discover.
The market town of Hexham is a lovely day trip, and there are some lovely little villages along the banks of the Tyne that are well deserving of a visit. We used to spent Sunday afternoons at Wylam, watching the river run by so relaxing and peaceful.
*****My final thoughts*****
I love my city. It is my home, its certainly where my heart is, and somehow I dont think that will ever change. When people ask me where Im from, I declare with immense pride Newcastle, and it makes me feel so happy and so glad to be from a place that values culture, that strives for positive change, that isnt afraid of new, and that builds, every day, on the strengths of its people. Shes a fine place, is Newcastle, and I hope, when you come visit, that you feel that sense of wonder that we get every day, walking her streets and breathing her air
Thank you so much for reading all about my beloved home town! Kate x
To me, Newcastle/Gateshead is probably the best city in the world, even though I have not been to all of them, I can not imagine a better place to live, especially if you are from there or from the north of England. I am from West Cumbria, 80 miles west of Newcastle, but after visiting, I felt my self as being half Geordie! Newcastle/Gateshead has something for everyone! Appart from it being a beutifull city, with a relitivley low crime rate, and a huge international identity, you can get lost in it's superb leisure/entertainment facilities, and the compact nature of the city means you do not have to travel far! Here is why Newcastle/Gateshead is one of the best places in the UK to visit: - Shopping- In the city centre of Newcastle, there are numerous high street stores, as well as department store like John Lewis, Fenwicks and TJ Hughes. There are also numerous privatley owned boutiques, providing things from guitars to scarfs. There is Eldon Square, one of the largest city centre shopping centres, Central Arcade, Monument Mall and the Newgate shopping centre. Over in Gateshead there is the enormous Metro Centre, which is full of shops, cafe's and leisure facilities. Newcastle/Gateshead has the 5th largest retail area in the UK. Nightlife- If its nightlife you are after, then look no further than the toon, appart from it's compact, wide range of pubs, bars and clubs, it also has that unique Geordie atmosphere, which makes it stand out fro the rest, and this is why Weisman travel voted it the 7th best party city in the world. Area's to drink in include:- The Bigg Market, Quayside, Central Station, Haymarket, The Gate and the ultra trendy Osbourne Road in Jesmond. Eating out- If its food you are after there are cuisines for all tastes scattered througout the city. Stowell Street is where Chinatown is housed, with numerous chinease restraunts. Nearby you'll also find Mexicans, Indians etc. As well as al
l the high street takeaways. Arts & Culture- NewcastleGateshead was the people's faveourite for the European Capital of Culture 2008 and was robbed by a political decision, even scousers who have been to Newcastle/Gateshead would admit it! For arts and culture vulture's there are numerous theatres, including Theatre Royal, numerous museums, including the Discovery Museum, and numerous art galleries including the Baltic Centre for contemporary arts. Music- Newcastle is a hive for music talent, with people like Sting, Mark Knopfler and Neil Tennant coming through the ranks...and therefore we have invested in excellent performance venues, including the Telewest Arena, which holds around 15,000 people, the City Hall which seats 2,500 people, and the Sage International Music centre, which will have a seating capacity of 1,700 as well as dozens of performance rooms. Architecture- Newcastle is a archtectural stunning city, often dubbed the Barcelona of the north, it boasts having the most listed buildings after Bath. It also has numerous bridges spanning across its unique riverfront, and Gatesheads imposing Angel of the North. Sports- Sir John Halls plan was to make Newcastle the sporing capital of Europe, and with professional football, rugby league/union, ice hockey and basketball teams, as well as famous athletes and the largest half marathon held annualy every year, he hasnt failed, even if alot of this was not his doing! Famous sporting icons from Newcastle include:- Johnathon Edwards, Aland Shearer and Paul Gascoigne. Education- Newcastle has two major universities in the university of Newcastle and Northumbria university, as well as Newcastle collage, one of the largest in the country, these three bring well over 50,000 extra people to the city. All of the above, have contributed in Newcastle being voted the 7th best party city in the world (Weissman travel). The best city to work and study (Conde Nast Tr
aveller) and numerous other accolades. I hope this brief guide has helped you, and I hope you visit us!
It amazes me how people from the South never seem to tire of hearing a Geordie accent. I couldn't count the number of times over the years that friends and acquaintances have begged me to say 'Why aye man' or 'haway the lads', etc, . I've also heard countless bad impressions of a perceived Geordie accent, ranging from 'why hymen' ??, 'chippy butty though' ??? and of course, the inevitable 'Spuggy!!!' ('Ah divvin' tark funny, ah talk proply me!') (will be lost on you if you've never watched Byker Grove). A couple of years ago I took a friend from uni to Newcastle for the first time, and after my repeated assurances that Geordies do not walk around saying 'why aye man' all the time, they were of course the first words she heard after stepping off the train, loudly exclaimed - much to her delight! Despite the tiresome associations of being a Geordie (but hey, at least I'm not from Liverpool), like most of its inhabitants I am still proud to call the North East my home (you won't find Newcastle in theidler.com's forthcoming worst cities book). Admittedly, I live in London nowadays, but the buzz I get as my train trundles across Newcastles's railway bridge, with the river Tyne, its bridges and the unique skyline stretching out on my right, beats anything I've experienced here in the capital. People who visit Newcastle for the first time are usually pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and vibrant the city is, and over the years I have witnessed its cultural evolution from a great city into a truly fantastic one. First and foremost the people make it what it is.. the locals, obviously, the students from Newcastle's two universities, and increasing numbers of tourists and people flocking from other parts of the UK realising that Newcastle is not only a great place to visit but somewhere to settle down too. New bars, cafes and restaurants are cropping up co
nstantly, and some very desirable properties, particularly down on the quayside, are attracting alot of interest - many have been bought that are not yet built. Despite quashing some stereotypes of 'grim up north' and 'uncultured Geordies', certain aspects of the city do live up to their dubious reputations. The girls do wear very few clothes out on the town in the middle of winter! And there are always lager louts to be found round the Bigg-Market on a weekend! Most Geordies do live for their football! And some parts of the city are so rundown and undesirable houses really were on sale for 1 penny!! Anyhow, before we get down to the nitty gritty, a note to anyone who lives in Newcastle and knows the city well - my memory is not great and I only get to visit Newcastle a few times a year (oh dear I sound like an old pensioner, I'm only 24!), so please forgive if there are one or two minor inaccuracies.... and please feel free to correct me in the comments... First, a history lesson... ... or not. I know shamefully little about the history of the city so instead of trying to blag it I shall instead direct you to the following cites: www.tyneside.com and www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk should provide more than enough to be getting on with Now... getting there! Newcastle is served by excellent road and rail links (its train station is called Central Station) from most major cities. It takes about 4 hours 30 min to drive from London, but the train is faster at only 3 hrs and a return costs as little as £30 if booked in advance. In addition, Go-fly.com has recently introduced flights from London Stanstead to Newcastle from £5 upwards. And getting around... Once in the city the able bodied can see everything by foot, though Newcastle does have its own little underground system, the metro.. aaah! This runs to several towns outside Newcastle such as Jesmond (a mile or
so ou tside) to South Shields and Whitley Bay on the coast several miles away, and was famed for playing classical music in the carriages to try and deter vandalism (well famed in the North East anyway). Where to stay? I would recommend the Quayside, about a 5 minute walk downhill from the train station. In my opinion this is the most attractive part of Newcastle with all the best sights and the nightlife.. the only downside is the walk up Grays street into the town centre if you wish to go shopping! Pleasant, but tiring, though you can stop on the way for liquid refreshments... Travelodge / Travelinn - reasonable accommodations in the heart of the quayside, for reasonable prices (£59.95 and £49.95 per double room per night) And next door, if you're feeling flush, is the swanky Malmaison. The Surtees hotel just up from the Quayside used to be quite cool (when I used to work there!), with its fair share of celeb's and some funky if slightly sleazy decor. Its website doesn't give room rates (http://www.surteeshotel.co.uk/surtees.html), however, and don't believe its claim that the adjoining Quay club is the city's 'premier party venue'... I cant comments on hotels elsewhere, but in the pleasant localities of Jesmond and Gosforth there is plenty of reasonable accommodation to be found. You certainly wont find yourself sleeping on the Millennium Bridge (unlike some of the casualties last Saturday at 4 in the morning!!) Where to eat? I don't eat out often in Newcastle (my dads cooking when I go home is much more appealing!), though new eateries crop up regularly - the new beer and mussels joint on the quayside looks nice. Some noteworthy restaurants are Marco Polo (Dean Street), a cozy Italian, though the service sadly leaves a little to be desired (Dean Street). Rupali in the Bigg Market (near Central Station) offers cheap Indian food and if you can eat their hott
est curry you get it free. Only the very foolish attempt this... At the other end of town is Chinatown on Stowell Street, with numerous Chinese restaurants - the Mandarin is a good bet. For light bites, the Theatre Royal and the Tyneside Cinema cafe (Monument) both offer decent grub in pleasant, chatty surroundings, and Pani's on High Bridge Street (nr Greys monument) is a lovely Italian cafe restaurant with delicious pannini's and a deli next door. Blakes coffee shop on Greys street is a real winner, too, especially for its cakes, and a bit further down is the grand Metropolitan hotel and brasserie (Monument). For snacks on the move, try good old Gregs bakers or Bakers oven (several branches) for pasties and sarnies. An excellent Indian takeaway is The Brighton Halal , Brighton Lane (0191 273 3184), Shopping!!! For me, I don't think Newcastle's shopping is much better than anywhere else in the UK. The main high street, Northumberland Street, is pedestrianised and runs from Haymarket down to Monument. Off the high street you have Eldon Square, a fairly claustrophobic and smoky indoor shopping precinct with the biggies like Fenwicks and John Lewis. Towards Monument you will find slightly classier shopping - e.g. Jigsaw, French Connection and a couple of nice shoe shops, and off Monument you will find Central Arcade, home to an excellent music shop called Windows. Behind Central Arcade you will find tack city, a street littered with Poundsretchers and cheap bed linen shops. Nearby is the traditional Grainger market, which apparently houses the smallest and oldest branch of Marks and Spencer, the Penny Bazaar.. how bizarre! (laugh). At the top end of town you'll find second hand / vintage shops, the queen of them being Attica. Where to drink? The quayside has an abundance of watering holes. Ancient atmospheric pubs such as Bob Trollops and the Cooperage stand alongside some more mo
dern ones - the entirely glass Pitcher and Piano (one of the nicer in the chain) with its fantastic views of the river, and others such as Bar Casa, the popular Bar 38, Offshore 44s and Chase. All are guaranteed to be lively and busy on weekends - I'd advise you to kick your evening off early as the concept of late bars has sadly not quite caught on in Newcastle. Away from the Quayside, favourites of mine include The Head of Steam, a pub full of character opposite the train station (Neville Street) and the impressively interiored (I know its not a word) Wetherspoons nearby, formerly a gentleman's club, aka the Union Rooms. I'm not very au fait with some of the newer pubs, but you wont go far before passing somewhere that takes your fancy. And of course if you want cheap drinks, bars with names like 'Kiss' and 'Vaults', barmaids in bikinis and a guaranteed pull, then hit the Bigg Market. Where to club? On the south side of the river, easily reached by one of the bridges, one can choose from the Baja Beach Club (massive, decorated with palm trees etc) or the equally tacky Tuxedo Princess (nightclub on a boat with revolving dancefloor). A slight step up is Julies 2, under the railway bridge and Sea, opposite or the hip hop / r'n'b oriented Legends on Grays street, but the more discerning clubber can choose from the Foundation (formerly the Riverside) and its Shindig club night, with big name house dj's such as Roger Sanchez, or one of the many top nights put on by Newcastle University student union. Other clubs worth a mention are, Powerhouse (gay), Rockshots (gay/mixed) and Planet Earth, all at the top end of town around the Haymarket, Lizard Lounge near the station and the Jazz Cafe on Pink Lane, opposite Central Station. And now for the cultured among us......... Theatre Royal - often a stop off when the West End Musicals go on tour, plus comedy, opera, dance etc Tyneside Cinema - P ilgrim Street (near Monument Metro) - independent and arthouse films Laing Art Gallery - New Bridge Street (near Monument Metro) - fine / decorative art, showcase for local talent The Baltic - museum in a converted flour mill - nice building but slightly lacking in substance on my first (and only) visit (apart from the fantastic room of gongs!) Millennium Bridge - absolutely blinking stunning! Tyne Bridge - the original and the best - majestic! The Sydney Harbour Bridge was not actually modeled on thyne humble Tyne bridge as some Geordies will have you believe, despite the Tyne being built 4 years before its Australian counterpart - the plans for the Sydney Harbour Bridge were submitted 1st. They are, however, identical in structure (just that one's a little bigger than the other!) Castle - small, but ours..... and named the city! Cathedral - as above.....without the naming of the city part Greys monument - well, not sure what the history of this is, but it certainly is a good meeting point! St James Park - not so much culture, more like religion!! (claim to fame.. my cousin was in the McDonalds ad with Alan Shearer.. you know the one where they go 'he's a bit boring like..', 'aye, you're not wrang there'!) Also a notable racecourse at Gosforth Park, just outside the city. Finally, some of my favourite memories relating to Newcastle and the surrounding areas: getting dressed up with my friends aged 15 and the thrill of getting into 'Yell' and 'Bliss' in the Bigg Market when underage........ the view of the seahorse sculptures round the top of the Civic Centre building peeking above the treetops..... the GNER train going across the Tyne early evening............. the opening of the Metro Centre (at the time Europe's largest indoor shopping centre and cause for great excitement).... fishing off the pier and
finding a squid on the b each at South Shields...... walking along miles of deserted sand at Cresswell..... sneaking past the bouncers at the student union to see, ahem, D-Ream!!...... being taught The Blaydon Races at first school (Oh me lads, you should have seen us gannin', etc etc).... bringing friends to Newcastle and witnessing their surprise.. and enjoyment! In conclusion, I asked my boyfriend to sum up his impression of Newcastle after his first visit, in one sentence. He couldn't quite manage it, so instead I'll leave you with some of his more interesting quotes.... 'up and coming'.....'a great adventure'... and my favourite.... 'the jewel of the north'...... Further info: www.tyne-online.com or read Michaelhudson's evocative and knowledgeable review on this wonderful city. Good city centre maps can be printed off the council website http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/ Finally, a little bit about the surrounding area, if you have a bit more time to kill (lucky you!)..... East Jarrow - not the most picturesque of towns but a hell of a history (Jarrow Crusade 1936) South Shields - a seaside resort with more to offer than first meets the eye, including scenic cliff top walks.. and some fantastic Indian restaurants (see op by K.Sh for further info) and the ubiquitous fish 'n' chips South Gateshead - on the other end of the Tyne, joint bidder with Newcastle for 2002 City of Culture (lost out to Liverpool), home to the Metro Centre (one of UK's largest indoor shopping centres, wow!), and home of the Angel of the North (controversial huge bronze statue, ugly but impressive). Durham - beautiful and historic cathedral city North Some of England's most beautiful coastline and into real castle county, dotted with castles and pretty little towns, e.g. Bamburgh, Warkworth, Seahouses, Cresswell, Alnwick, Holy Island and Lind
esfarne (with the seals!).... then Scotland! West A short drive inland leads to some fantastic, unspoilt countryside, Hadrian's Wall, Durham cathedral, Hexham Abbey, and a bit further West, the Lake District National Park Thanks for reading..... PS I nicked the title of this review from a stand-up comic I saw last week talking about the North / South Divide??- it was his impression of a Southerner!
Whippets, Football shirts, boozing and wife beating. The perfect summing up of the stereotypical Geordie, as viewed through the eyes of 90 % of the worlds population. Yet a little digger deeping will find that there is a lot more to "Geordieland" than meets the eye. Situated in the far North East reaches of England, Newcastle is a moderately large City with a population of around 450,000 people. As is commonly done, it is combined with it's neighbour Gateshead to form Tyneside, with a population of nearly 800,000 bodies stretching all the way along the banks of the River Tyne. Despite claims from other less inhabitable cities in the area, it is the industrial and commercial heartland of the North East. Unlike it's main North East neighbour cities, it is hard to classify as either an industrial city, like the Smog-land that is Middlesborough, or a tiny insignificant pile of cack, like Sunderland. While it certainly has it's industrial areas, much of the areas industrial regions are situated on the outskirts of the City, or over in the Team Valley Trading Estate, over in Gateshead. It also has a fair share of Cultural and Historical ports of call, indeed, these are the basis for the Newcastle/Gateshead bid for European Capital of Culture for 2008. Despite the hinderance that is Gateshead, the bid has been shortlisted and will be judged in the summer of this year. Newcastle is a compact and robust city, unusual in that while it spreads over a large area-almost 14 miles along the Tyne, much of it's places of interest are all bundled together in a very small area. Compared to some of the British Cities I've been to, such as London, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow and Leeds, it can feel quite small. Just try telling the Geordies that! Another strange quirk is that the City Centre is not actually no-where near the centre of the city. Travelling north and crossing the river from Gateshead will lead d
irectly into the City Centre. No hassle, unless you want to travel into one of the districts of Newcastle, which can be a little more difficult. I'll come back to that... PARTY CAPITAL OF BRITAIN. Drinking. Lets not pretend here. Geordies have gained something of a reputation for liking the odd drink. One trip to the City will probably explain why. Year upon year, the World Tourism Board will make it's list, including the one for "Party Places". In that top ten, you will almost always find Newcastle(ranked 7th last year, incidently). This should not really come as much of a surprise, despite the fiasco that was the Love Parade, back in 2001.(For those who don't know, a massive street party was cancelled because the Council forgot to ask the Coppers' permission to have the party at the same time as Newcastle were playing. Doh!) You will be hard pushed to find anywhere in the world which has so many "watering holes" in such a small space. Entire streets and districts are designated drinking areas, scattered liberally throughout the City. Probably the most famous of them all is the Bigg Market. Situated bang in the middle of the City Centre, it has attracted more publicity than anywhere else in Newcastle as far as drinking goes. It is where Newcastle fans tend to go when we inevitably lose again in the Cup Final, before rather foolishly start rampaging through the streets. The idea of "Fat birds spewing in the gutter" will take a considerable amount of time to dissappear. Almost the entire street is geared towards teenagers, ranging from 16 upwards. Almost all Geordies will have started their nights out in town on the Bigg Market. Dance and pop music are the usual fare, along with bright lights and plenty of jailbait. Anyone who wonders how people can mistake 15 year old girls for women need look no further than this. Bars are a plenty. At the top of the street
is Chambers, theotherically a 21 bar but open to all with either money or well supported breasts. Theme nights are now the norm here, with even Nu-Metal making an appearance. Expect to pay an arm and a leg and a torso for a pint. Moving down slightly is the Vault, another supposedly 21's pub. Highlights here include the "Wheel of fortune", where buying a drink will enable you to spin the wheel and get anything from a free drink to a hiding from the heavies outside. Just kidding. This is only on during the week. Weekends tend to be dominated by Dolly Birds with minute amounts of clothing dancing around poles about a foot from your face. Thankfully, it's quite dark inside... Underneath the Vault is a rare gem in the Bigg Market-Ramm Jams. Pleasant music of the not too loud and thumpy variety is accompanied by cheap spirits and bottles most nights of the week. Equally amusing are the door staff, who will decide whether it is a 18 or 21 bar, depending on how much they like the look of you. Plently of seating and a good atmosphere makes this well worth a look. Which is more than can be said for the Pig and Whistle, the largest bar in the street. Chairs and tables seem to be a luxury too far for this place, and despite cheap drinks during the week, the weekend prices are a disgrace-£3.50 a pint anyone? Also worth noting is the lovely clean floor, which will almost certainly rip the soles off your shoes if you stand in one spot too long. Underneath here is Yell, another God-forsaken hellhole. Loud music, rooms full of ar*eholes and 3 quid a pint for the most blatently watered down beer you will ever taste. Avoid. Accross the road of this you will find Liquid, a spirits based bar which has a main USP of selling house spirits at £2 a treble and mixer. Imagine a load of teenagers drinking tons of cheap Vodka and dancing to Fatboy Slim, and decide for yourself. Directly below this is Kiss, which actually has the makings
of a decent bar-good decor, large dance floor and decent selections of music(hands up who loves The Foundations?). However, a lack of chairs and tables again make things awkward, and prices do rise steeply after 8pm at the weekends. As you might expect, the whole place is littered with the usual expance of takeaway delights, such as Pizzas, KFC, McDonalds(of course) and tasty Kebabs. As you may have guessed, I'm not a fan of the Bigg Market, although I loved it when I was about 16. Despite the fact that is full of pubs and places to get food poisoning, there are some slight problems. The main one is that all the pubs close at 11pm and so by about 10.30pm tens of thousands of teenage drinkers are slinging as much down their necks as they can. Cue, within 15 minutes or so, an almighty scramble for taxis, the inevitable plethora of punch ups and a pile of fat birds spewing in the gutter. The chances of you being either attacked or robbed by a gang of pissed up 17 year old idiots are unfortunately high, and thus makes the Bigg Market the ideal place to avoid on a night out. For those of more adult and intelligent persuasion, there are thankfully other places to visit. In the last ten years, Newcastle Quayside has gone from the place where the sunday market is held to the most vibrant and lively area of the city. On a night time, the place is full of party goers, looking for a place to pass out. Personal favourites include Chase, situated at the very bottom of the Swing Bridge. Cheap and cheerful for the most part, it is big enough to enable most people a seat if they wish, and a plentiful space for dancing if that's your thing. Along from Chase is Casa, a queit middle class type wine bar. No 16 year olds in tracksuits here. Quite expensive, but recommended mainly for the stunning views accross the river. Slightly further along, near the Metro bridge is the familiar sight of JD Wetherspoons. However, this is we
ll worth a look, as it's exterior and interior are majestic, set as they are in an old barn-house. The courtyard area remains open until close at 11pm, if it gets too hot inside. The main problem with the Quayside is undoubtedly the prices. However, if you want to spend time in the company of those who in the main are not waiting to attack you, it's worth the cash. The Haymarket is also an area of interest for those of you who wish to indulge in some cheap drinking. Particularly good is the Goose and the Garden, next to Eldon Gardens. Pints for a quid, all day every day are the main thing here. Favourite for after match celebrations include Bar Oz, opposite Haymarket Metro, which offers bottled beer at a resonable price, along with the biggest projector screen you will see. Great for those after match interviews. Central Station and it's surrounding have become something of a gay scene over the last few years. I'm given good assurances that the places to visit for those inclined are Heavens Above, near Times Square at the Centre for Life, and Gotham Town, opposite Central Station. Of the places I've been to, the most famous is probably Rockshots, which is situated on Waterloo Street next to the Performing Arts Centre. This is probably the best place to go if you have enquiries about these type of pubs. Strangely,Newcastle is often critisised for it's lack of Nightclubs. For a place of so many pubs, there are very few clubs open until late. These include: IKON-If you want to go to a place where the surviving Bigg Market drinkers go to continue avoiding punches and drug dealers, then this is the place. Loud trance and a variety of expensive drinks are the order of the day. Smells of horse shite inside. FHM Magazine recnetly nominated in the five most burnable nightclubs in the UK. LEGENDS-Like IKON but only with 80's music and much more expensive. Expect to pay around £8
to get in on a Friday. TUXEDO PRINCESS-The boat as it is referred to by the locals, this club is actually on Hillgates Quays on the Gateshead side of the river, but is still a popular destination for clubbers from Newcastle. Highlights include drinking on the deck and watching the river flow by, the revolving dancefloor and a good laugh on Wednesday Night student parties. BAHA BEACH-HOUSE-Accross the road from the bopat os the Baha, where bar staff where hula outfits and the bar is actually split into loads of little mini "stalls" where individual staff serve drinks from fridges. Queueing for an hour on a Saturday can be a real pain in the backside. SEA-Where all the Newcastle United footballers go, and thus is priced accordingly. Queues last about an hour at weekends, and prices for the VIP area usually come to around £30 to get in. JULIES2-Opposite Sea on the Quayside, this seemed quite good, if a touch expensive, however, last time I was there the manager told me to leave as "I wasn't the type of clientelle expected in the place". Very bloody nice. CUBA-CUBA-Recommended for those of you who prefer Metallica to Sash. Gets quite full most nghts, but is cheap and cheerful inside, with a generally good atmosphere most of the time. These are the main ones. There is lots more I could write on this, but those of you still awake would probably be beating the PC by this point. Needless to say, Newcastles reputation as a place to drink is far from unfounded. SHOPPING. At the centre of Newcastle City Centre, you can find Grays Monument, a 150+ feet statue deicated to Earl Gray, a leading polition of the late 19th Century. This spot is widely taken to be the centre of the City centre, if you will. All around this spot in all directions are the shopping areas in Newcastle. Every leading department store, sports store, jewellers and the like will be found here. The mos
t predominant street is Northumberland Street, Newcastle's answer to Regent St in London. Though tiny by comparison, the resemblence can be seen, and it is a haven for all you shop-a-holics out there. There are two shopping malls in Newcastle. The largest and oldest of the two is Eldon Square, which runs throughout the city centre. Unusual in that it has no fixed shape-it literally winds through the streets as opposed to being an oval in a set area, and that it is very narrow and has a moderately low ceiling, it is filled to the brim with all the shops you could need, as well as the usual array of McDonalds and the like. The second Mall is opposite Gray's Monument, and is originally titled Monument Mall. It's grand exterior hides the fact that it only contains around 30 shops, although the top floor houses a vast array of places to tuck into some tasty food. Once a failing expensive flop, the mall is beginning to show signs of recovery. Also, check out the lifts. They practically break the sound barrier. Terrifying stuff! FOOTBALL. Newcastle is home to those great heartbreaking underacheivers, Newcastle United. St James Park, situated at Strawberry Place in Newcastle, around 5 minutes walk from the Monument, is the second largest football stadia in England, housing just over 52 000 screaming geordies every game. Trying to get tickets in impossible, as almost all the seats are sold on a season ticket only basis. Even to those who are not football fans, the stadium is breathtaking, even from the outside. The new stand, with its capacity of almost 20,000, dominates the skyline almost wherever you are in the city. It becomes eve more breathtaking on matchdays, as 52 000 people creat a cauldof noise. When Newcastle score, the roar can be heard anywhere in the city centre. Of course, the people of Newcastle are notorious for there loyalty to the club and the fanaticism of there support. The first b
unch of idiots to truly embrace the idea of replica shirts were the Geordies. Masses of black and white shirts will be seen worn around the city on any given day. Managed by former England manager and legend Sir Bobby Robosn and captained by former England skipper Alan Shearer, it's only a matter of time before trophies start flooding back to Tyneside... Honest. TRANSPORT. The A1(M) Runs directly from London to Newcastle from the south, and carries on through to Edinborough in the North. Traffic tends to flood over the Tyne bridges, especially at rush hour times, so it's best to leave early or later. Newcastle's bus services are run by Arriva, Stagecoach and Go-North east, and are the same as everywhere else:unreliable, uncomfortable and too expensive. Travel centres can give more information, and are scattered throughout the city. Central Station is Newcastles mainline railway station, and is surprisingly large and archietectually pleasing. Trains run regularly to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Sheffield and most other major cities. Unlike most train stations, there is no need to avoid the toilets, these are amazingly clean and smell/graffitti free. The Metro is Tyne and Wear's equivalent of the London Underground-a high speend light transport system which has just been extended to travel to Sunderland. In recent years, unfortunately, it has become crowded, overpriced and rather dangerous, particularly late at night. The Metro houses most of the travel centres in the area. Newcastle International Airport is situated on the outskirts of Newcastle, near Callerton Parkway. It can be best reached by regular Metro trains, which run to it every 15 minutes. THE RIVER TYNE. Newcastle's most famous sight is surely of the Tyne and it's bridges, seamlessly linking Gateshead and Newcastle. The most famous of course is the Tyne Bridge, a stunning bridge which dominate
s the River in the built up section. Lifts run from the top to the quayside below for pedestrians, while the A1(M) crosses over it. A stunning site, particularly at night. However, it is not alone. The Swing Bridge is almost underneath the Tyne Bridge, and it named due to it's ability to open and close to allow passage to ships. This little red beauty was used during the "legendary" children's programme, Geordie Racer. Further from this is the High Level Bridge. This old wooden monster allows passage to cars along the bottom, but also to trains along it's top. Unique for it's time, it, not surprisingly, is the highest of the bridges. Not reccommended for those with Vertigo! Next along is the King Edward Bridge, which looks similar to the High Level Bridge but is used only for trains going into and coming out of Central Station. Next is the modern(ish) Queen Elizabeth II bridge, or the Metro Bridge. Guess what this one is for... Finally comes the Redhuegh Bridge:a truly terrifying experience for anyone who has even the slightest fear of heights. Made to feel higher by the fact that the guard rails on the side are about a foot high, this bridge is closed when the windy weather comes in. Once you see it, you'll know why. Oh yes, I should mention the award winning Millenium Eye bridge which was put in place as Gateshead's contribution to the Millenium celebrations, but technically, it is in Gateshead, and not Newcastle(so there!). HISTORICAL INTEREST Much of Newcastle is of historical interest, but a few things stand out of the pack. The aforementioned Grays Monument is a wonderful piece of work, dating back several decades now. Best of all is the fact that you can pay a quid during the summer months and climb the steps which wind up the inside until you reach the top, where you can spit on young children until your heart's content. On the Newcastle side of
the High Level bridge is the Castle Keep. This is essentially what reamins of the Castle which gave Newcastle it's name. Now a national Heritage site and a listed building, it's worth the small enterance fee to wander around the dungeons and the halls left standing. Newcastle's Cathederal, St Nicholas's Cathederal, is just up the road from the keep. While small comared to some of the other more famous examples, it still inspires a great deal of respect from both inside and out. Blackfriars, situated in Chinatown next to St James Park, is a wonderful scenic place to relax when the weather is nice. Previously home to a group of Blackfriar monks, the place is now a public garden and a series of small, themed shops which are the perfect setting to wind down and relax. "TOURISTY "STUFF Like most places now, Newcastle has begun embracing tourism in a big way. Aside from the aforementioned, the Centre for Life working museum is a brand new, state of the art centre exploring science in the 21st century. This centre, Newcastle's contribution to the millenium celebrations, has a varety of exibits including virtual reality rides and guided tours for both groups and members of the public. Other mucseums and galleries include the Laing Gallery, near IKON nightclub, a home for all types of art, including both modern and more historical pieces. The Hancock museum is situated next to the main Campus of Newcastle University next to the Haymarket, and has a wide range of rotating displays, including "Monsters at the Hancock", a stunning exibit featuring Dinosaurs and other animal hunters. Further up the road from the Hancock museum is Exibition Park, several acres of stunning grassland laid out near the town moor. Featuring the usual stuff such as a boating lake, crazy golf and the like, this park is a fabulous place to relax in the summer month. The memorial statue at Old Eldon Square
in the summer becomes a heaving mass of people jostling for space to lie on the grass surrounding it and having a quick relax. In the winter, it is surrounded by hordes of punks, rockers, hippies and other people of this persuasion, hence the nickname "Hippy Square". In an attempt to spare the lives of those of you still reading this, I'll leave things at that. Apologies to those people who think I have missed something out-you are probably right. As people who know me know, my contempt for Gateshead, the place where I dwell, has no bounds. However, this does not spread to Newcastle, which, although has its faults like anywhere else, has a variety of splendid and interestingl things which make it a fitting contender for "Capital of Culture". If that fails, at least there's plenty of places where we can have a drink! Now where's that bloody dog gone... Thank you for reading and rating this very, very long op, and a belated happy new year to you all!
The hours I have spent researching and writing this op is beyond belief, it has been by far the hardest opinion I have had to write but also the most rewarding and interesting. I have lived in Newcastle all my life, so who better to tell you of it?s attractions than me. There was a time in my life when I was going to move to Peterbrough to start a new life, but no, I couldn?t leave my beloved home city, Newcastle has everything that I could ever need, and I love it here so I couldn?t bring myself to go. I?m going to get straight into now, this opinion is long enough as it is without me waffling on about things that you have no interest in. Newcastle is the largest city in the North East of England. Newcastle has a colourful past that dates back to the Romans. Once upon a time it was known around the world for it?s ship building industry that was centered along the banks of the river Tyne. A few decades later however ,Newcastle was in a state of decline and had gained a reputation for poverty and unemployment. Fortunately recent years have seen a surge in development and restoration, bringing Newcastle to what it is today. A stylish, historical, bustling city. If you?re a shopaholic, Newcastle has all you need to satisfy you. We have several huge shopping centres which include Eldon Square and the Metro Centre. Eldon Square is situated right in the heart of the city on Northumberland street. Shops there include ? Levi?s?, ?Boots? , ?The Disney Shop? and many electrical, clothing, and sport retailers. It also includes many café?s and restaurants on the upper level. The Metro Centre is a massive shoppers paradise, it?s like Eldon Square only four, maybe five times the size. I?m sure a lot of you have heard of the Metro Centre, it was once and maybe still is the largest shopping mall in England or Europe. The Metro Centre has ample parking spaces and situated on the south side of the river in Gateshead. It?s easy to get
there from Newcastle, once over the Tyne Bridge it is signposted and takes about 20mins. Just south of the City Center you will find Grainger Street, it?s on this street that you will find the Grainger market. It dates back to the 1830 at the time of the Victorians. Here you will find many bargains. Fruit and Vegetable stalls cram into this undercover market, although you will also find meat stalls and other such items. The Grainger market is open everyday except Sunday and is always busy, you can?t stop bargain hunters. Around the rest of the city though, you can find an array of shops, including my favourite FCUK, if you ever come to Newcastle and go in there, I will be the girl kicking and screaming shouting ?I WANT , I WANT, I WANT ?. Enough about shopping, I think you get my drift that there is all you need, I like to tell you about another of the many attractions. The River Tyne. What?s attractive about a river?, you ask. Well The River Tyne has 7 bridges joining Newcastle with Gateshead. The most significant bridge being that of the Tyne Bridge. It opened in 1928 the year that my grandmother was born. It was opened by royalty, King George V I think, and looks like the Sidney Harbour Bridge. At the time of opening it was the largest bridge in the world. Only broken by the Sidney Harbour Bridge in 1932. It?s a remarkable sight on an evening, the whole bridge lights up. Memories come to me now on Bonfire Nights of old ,when my Mother and Father used to stand alongside my brother and I on this bridge and watch the remarkable fireworks display that takes place every year. This also happens on New Years Eve now. I say to myself every year that I?m going to make an effort to watch it, but always end up way to intoxicated to make my way down from the Nightclub. Maybe next year! The rest of the bridges are going to just get a brief mention, or else I will bore you. In 1849 the High Level bridge was opened. Situated
just west of the Tyne Bridge it was designed by a local engineer called Robert Stevenson. At the time it was a remarkable achievement because it allowed Rail and Road travel on the same bridge. The rail being on the upper level and the road being beneath. We also have the Swing Bridge, it opens up to let ships pass through. One more then, because I?m boring myself. The Millenuim bridge is the rivers newest bridge. It only opened last year and it?s a public footpath bridge. This opens to, to let ships pass and is often referred to as ?The Blinking Eye? because that is what it looks like. Again it is lit up, and looks a remarkable sight on an evening. Phew! A short drive out of Newcastle?s City Centre and over to Gateshead, you will find ?The Angel Of The North?. A towering structure built from Rusty Metal. Built by Anthony Gormley the sculpture measures 20 metres high and has a wing span of 52 metres. The sculpture is intended to represent the great engineering skills of our region. It?s visible for 30 miles and is situated on a on a former colliery site at Eighton Lodge in Gateshead. You can see it from the A1 approach to Gateshead, and also the main London to Edingburgh railway line. Onto the stuff that I?m not really interested in, but will tell you anyway because I?m nice like that. The Laing Art Gallery. Considered to be the North East best Art Gallery, it houses a brilliant collection of pieces ranging from ?Arts and Crafts? to ?Glass Enraving and Glassmaking?. It has won many national awards. Open from Monday to Saturday, which is good. What is even better though is that admission is FREE, GRATIS, NIL. Its located on Hingham Place, just east of the City Center. The Newcastle Discovery Centre. This place tells of Newcastle?s past right up to the present day. Again admission is free and it?s open Monday?s to Saturdays 10 to 5. It?s just west of the City Centre in Blanchford House. I?ve neve
r been so I don?t know if it?s any good, but from other people I?ve heard it is. The Hancock Museum. Admission is 2.25 for adults and is open Monday?s to Saturday?s 10 to 5. It?s also open on a Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. Honestly, I can?t tell you much else about it, because I have never been. All I know is that is displays things raging from Dinosaur artifacts, to specimens of extinct animals. Check out the website: www.ncl.ac.uk/hancock The Centre for Life A brilliant place which I have frequented many times, here you can exlpore life, the brain and the human body and find all about how it works. Just left of the Central Station admission is 5.95 for adults. Times of opening are 10 to 5 Monday to Saturday. To the south east of the Centre you will also find the Newcastle Catherdral, it?s maritime center and the Castle. Newcastle also has some great architecture, Grey Street is worth looking up if anyone visits. It is named after Earl Grey who was Prime Minister in the 1830?s. Greys monument was aptly named after him too. It stands 135ft high and at the top is a statue of the man himself. Just down the road from Grey Street walking south you will come across Newcastle?s Theatre Royal. The Royal Sakespeare company visits there every autumn, and it has also seen concerts held there from the likes of David Gray, and The Manic Street Preachers. I am yet to see the lovely singer Pink there, but I do have a little kitty for a ticket if ever the occasion arises. YUM! Now to things that do interest me. Pubs, Clubs, and Football! Newcastle is the United Kingdoms trendiest City?s for Nightlife. It?s absolutely buzzing up here. The range of bars and nightclubs is amazing. We have the big market which houses loads of pubs. On either side of the road every door leads into a pub, and the place is busy every night of the week. Prices aren?t to bad, ranging from about 2.50 to 3.00 quid for a
pint, and 2.50 to 3.50 for a bottle of the stuff some like to drink and call alchopops. Yak! A short walk south and you will come to the Quayside. Many residents of Newcastle think the Quayside is more Posh than the Big Market, but I think it?s just the same cliental, just the prices are a bit more expensive. Once here you can walk over the Tyne Bridge and come to our floating Nightclub affectionately known as ?The Boat? but officially the ?Tuxedo Princess?. Here is a nightclub that has many different genres of music played in separate rooms. You have the club music downstairs with the hilarious spinning dancefloor. Many a bruise has been attained from that. And in a few of the side rooms we have 70?s and 80?s music played. Brilliant for all legal drinking ages. In the summer thy also hold a BBQ on the top deck which is fantastic considering how hungry you get after a good session on a Saturday Night. The ?Haymarket? is good too, this is a 5minute walk north of the ?Big Market?, and again houses door to door pubs with a good few Pizza Places and restaurants in between. Dotted around frequently we have those vendors of Hot Dogs and Burgers. They are all over the city and you are 100% sure to find one outside of any nightclub. Near the Central Station, is ?The Pink Triangle? This triangular area of the city houses all the Gay bars and Bed and Breakfasts in the city. A good range of pubs are situated here, and also 3 nightclubs. I frequent there myself twice a month, and the atmosphere is top notch. ?The Pink Triangle? can be found in the area around Newcastle?s Central Rail Station, which I will come to after I waffle about the sports for a bit. All Geordies share a passion for Football, the famous Black and White strip and magnificent structure that is St James Park, is part of a Geordies heart. Well mine definitely. St James park can be seen from miles around, it?s situated in the North West of the city, jus
t follow your eyes, and every other Saturday just follow the noise, you?ll get there easy enough. Newcastle Arena The home of Newcastle Eagles Basketball team, and regular holder of concerts. Everything from Ronan Keating to Robbie Williams and Westlife gets held here. It?s situated south west of the city centre and a five minute walk from the Central Rail Station. I?ll get onto the station now then shall I? Traveling around Newcastle is easy enough, we have the Metro which will get you anywhere you want, and even goes to the foreign land of Sunderland. I look at it as Newcastle?s version of the London Underground, although not as crowded or expensive. We have buses that take you where you want to go, prices are reasonably cheap and the buses come every five minutes in the city centre. The Central Station then. This houses many shops and a Burger King, a train can be taken from here to get you to the Metro Centre and nearby York and Durham. Of course you can get a Inter City train from here to just about anywhere in the country. Right then, the conclusion. Newcastle is a compact City, almost everything I have mentioned above is within walking distance of the City Centre. I recommend avoiding driving in the City Centre itself because of the one way system and the hard to come by parking spaces. Blame the government. Getting to Newcastle from other City and Towns is relatively easy. Travelling by air you land at Newcastle Airport and then you are only about a 20 minute Metro ride away from the City Centre. By car you reach here by driving up the A1 from North or South. The A69 brings you in from the West, and the only way to get to us from the east is by swimming or a boat. Newcastle has an array of places to visit, things to do and look at, but I can?t list them all, honestly I would be here for ages. I recommend you take the time and opportunity to visit this fantastic city at least once. I promise
you, you will not fail to enjoy yourself. The people are renowned for the friendliness, as much as I am renowned for enjoying the occasional whiskey and Pot Noodle. Go On, make the effort you won?t be disappointed.