Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report A few hours in Newcastle

Jump to last reply

I often advise fodorites to stop off for a couple of nights in York on the way from London to Edinburgh and others also recommend a visit to Newcastle. Despite living for 50+years in the UK I had never been to Newcastle though one of my sisters did her second degree there. By chance I had the opportunity to visit for a few hours in March. Here are my ramblings. For tourist info look here http://www.newcastlegateshead.com/

Newcastle sits high up above the Tyne with many railway lines coming to the central station via bridges high over the river. Since I started my trip at the Hilton (close to the Tyne) what stood out for was how high above me were these stone and steel bridges and how they dwarfed the river side area. Anyway I crossed from the south coast over a lift-and-rotate car bridge and found not Victorian buildings but a few Medieval ones and a bunch of signs for long distance cycle paths. I entered Victorian Newcastle and climbed the hill towards the city centre and saw nothing but restaurants and bars for some distance. Newcastle is famous in the North for its party life normally conducted in the streets at 0C in T shirts and during this late morning all I saw were these places beginning to open up.

The buildings became more Victorian, both in terms of large stone blocks but also with heavily decorated pillars, door frames and even some turn of the century coloured glass. To say the least I was impressed. At the top of the hill I came across the “Monument” a pillar not unlike that for Nelson for the local PM, Lord Grey ,who helped drive through the Reform Act (a change to voting that allowed 1in 6 men the vote rather than just a few men like the Duke of Norfolk (who owned 11 MPs)). At this level the streets open out in various directions, to the north is the lead-in to the main shopping centre with the usual brands from around the UK, to the west is the main railway station, to the north west is the football stadium while to the east is the Laing Gallery. http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing-art-gallery.html

I spent an hour in the lovely little Laing Gallery, the odd little Moore and Reynolds are separated by some local oil paintings, glassware etc. but all nicely laid out and well worth a visit. The gift shop has the usual stuff in it with some nice local features including some very attractive brasses which if they had weighed less might have come home with me. The museum coffee shop was a good find; carrot cake and coffee for £3.25. The museum is, of course, free.

I walked back to the river and visited the south side of the river (Gateshead). The Sage music venue http://www.sagegateshead.com/ looked pretty cool and the events for the next week were good. The Baltic Centre (free) https://www.balticmill.com/ is a fun building to visit with some great views of the river and a Kittiwake colony. The restaurant on the top floor looked classy but I opted for the cafe on the ground floor for lunch (again good value). Stepping out of the Baltic I saw the Blinking Bridge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateshead_Millennium_Bridge open and then close and a short walk took us to the Gateshead Heritage centre which basically described (1850) Gateshead as the “slums of Newcastle” still good to know.


All in all a pleasant area to visit and with Hadrian's wall so close I'd come again. Easily walkable, you can get around most of it in 4 hours but the shops would take longer.

2 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcements:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
  • Writers Needed for Georgia Coast
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Rwanda and Uganda
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 First Time Going to Europe
  2. 2 atm cards in Spain
  3. 3 Determing Location of FIRST BIG TRIP - Where do go in Italy?
  4. 4 Trip Report Buy real and fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards,Visas
  5. 5 December in Munich, Salzburg, Graz, and Budapest
  6. 6 Hotel in Rome?
  7. 7 How long in Venice?
  8. 8 Guesthouses in Dublin
  9. 9 Amalfi Coast vs Greece
  10. 10 weather in Veneto area in September
  11. 11 Does this itinerary work and make sense? Help!
  12. 12 Germany Visa for conference
  13. 13 Cotswolds village base
  14. 14 Please critique my Croatia/Slovenia itinerary
  15. 15 Two rail trips in Italy - buy tickets at station the day of, or rail pass?
  16. 16 Trip Report Two Bonnie Lasses: A Road Trip from Edinburgh to London
  17. 17 Should I book train tickets before I arrive in Switzerland ?
  18. 18 10 days in England
  19. 19 Would it be less expensive to buy a SIM card for Italy?
  20. 20 Passport Delays
  21. 21 Madrid—Portugal—Northern Spain—Barcelona by car, need an itinerary...
  22. 22 10 days switzerland trip itenary..
  23. 23 Ukraine: witch-hunt has begun
  24. 24 Confused about tipping in Swiss restaurants
  25. 25 Walking Tours in Rome and Florence
View next 25 » Back to the top