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I take it for granted
Newcastle upon Tyne (England)
Member Name: NikkiH
Newcastle upon Tyne (England)
Date: 05/03/01, updated on 01/11/03 (238 review reads)
Advantages: So much to do....
Disadvantages: ...not enough time on a weekend break
Having lived just outside Newcastle all of my life, I tend to take it for granted, and complain that there is nothing to do, and other cities are far more interesting. Then some friends came to stay and I had to really look into what we could do to make their weekend enjoyable. It really opened my eyes, and we would have needed at least 2 weeks, to make a dent in what there is to do.
Depending on who you speak to, the people in Newcastle are either very friendly or drunken lunatics who fight all the time. The latter is probably as people have seen a skirmish when they visited, but to be totally truthful, in the 12 years I have been drinking in Newcastle I have seen 1 fight, and I think most people could say that about where they live. The majority of us are very friendly and welcome visitors.
Newcastle is an ideal place to come for a weekend break, and here are some ideas for you if you are unfamiliar with the city.
LAING ART GALLERY
This is the principle gallery in Newcastle, and it houses a large collection of paintings, watercolours and sculptures. As well as established artists such as Gaugan, there are displays from local artists. There is also a children's gallery specially for under 5's, which is the first of it's kind in the region.
You can find the gallery at:
New Bridge Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
e mail: Laing@tyne-wear-museums.org.uk
The gallery is open Monday-Saturday 10am - 5pm, and Sunday 2pm - 5pm. Admission is free which is a bonus.
ANGEL OF THE NORTH
If you are driving up the A1 to Newcastle, you will see "The Angel" at the roadside. It is the largest sculpture in Britain, as it is 20 metres high and has a wing span of 54 metres, which weighs over 200 tonnes. The Angel was created by Anthony Gormley, and was originally thought as of a waste of money by people in the region, but it has become a real magnet for visitors, and h
as become a well known
landmark. You can take the exit on the A1 signed Gateshead, and you are able to see the sculpture up close.
At the time this was built, it was the largest shopping centre in Europe. You can see it from the A1, and there are also plenty of buses from Newcastle to the centre.
There are many shops to choose from including Next, Marks & Spencers and Gap.
You will also find numerous "eateries", and an indoor fun fair complete with roller coaster.
This area of Newcastle was always well known for it's Sunday morning market, but was generally quite run down. The market is still going, albeit a little smaller, but the surrounding area has been developed and it is a lovely place to visit during the day. There are some nice cafes and bars for refreshments, but for the sightseers, there is the new Milennium Bridge, and the Baltic Arts Centre, and both are worth setting a decent amount of time aside for.
In the evening, you may want to go for a meal, and depending on what you like, Newcastle tends to have different areas for different types of food. If you like Oriental, then there is an area called Chinatown (Stowell Street) near Newcastle United football ground. When it is dark and all of the buildings are lit up this is a beautiful area, and there are plenty of restaurants which cater for different budgets. I would recommend Mr Lau's for buffet food, or Shangri La for set menus. If you like Italian, then there are a large selection in the Bigg Market, which is also well known for it's selection of pubs. Here I would recommend Capriccio's. Indian food will also be found in the Bigg Market, and I would recommend Koh-I-Noor. You will also find Greek, Mexican and Mongolian. The choice is yours.
Moving onto nightlife, depending on what you want there are 3 main areas:
HAYMARKET - You tend to find a more mature drinker here, as the bars as
less music/dance based. Also a lot of students drink here as it is close to both universities. Try Sgt. Peppers if you want slightly older music, or choose from the many bars in the surrounding area which favour rock music, and leather seems to be the standard uniform for regulars!
THE BIGG MARKET - Well known for the huge selection of bars. The Bigg Market is where the younger end of the market tend to go, as the music is loud, the bars are packed and you stick to the floors!!! Try Yell or The Vault for jam packed bars full of noise but lots of atmosphere. My personal favourite is 70's themed bar Flares which has a slightly older clientele.
THE QUAYSIDE - This is where I tend to go. The bars are more expensive admittedly, but they are nicer, the music is better, and although they get busy, they are still bearable. You are also nearer the nightclubs, as the better ones in the city tend to be on the Quayside. Try Chase and The Quilted Camel. This area is where you are most likely to spot a footballer too.
As expected there are loads of nightclubs to choose from:
POWERHOUSE & ROCKSHOTS - Waterloo Street, these are both gay clubs.
JULIES - Quayside - You probably will not find any "kids" in here, but it is still very small compared to other clubs.
TUXEDO PRINCESS - Quayside - A club on a boat ( I have written an op on this).
SEA - Quayside- This is the newest club in the city, and is very trendy at the moment and the place to be seen.
There are many other to choose from, and maybe ask some people in the pubs where they would recommend.
Come and give us a try, you will love our city.