Karen Bryan, editor of the Europe a la Carte Blog, give some tips on what to do and see in the UK cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead.
Newcastle upon Tyne lies in the north east of England on the northern bank of the River Tyne. However, remember that once you cross the Tyne to its southern bank you’re in Gateshead. Newcastle and Gateshead are great for UK short breaks with plenty of attractions to keep everyone happy.
You’ll find lots to see and do along the river. The Millennium Bridge is the only tilting bridge in the world. On the Newcastle side prom there are several interesting sculptures including the Blacksmith’s Needle, the Siren and the Swirle Pavilion. If you’re on the river bank after dark, you can see the Nocturne: Light on the Tyne light display on the Queen Elizabeth 2 Metro Bridge. You can even send in your own images to be considered for projection.
On the southern bank is the Baltic Centre for Comtemporary Art, a former flour mill, offering free entry to its ever changing exhibitions. Just down the road, the Sage Gateshead, designed by architect Norman Foster, is a live music venue and centre for music leaning and education. It’s free to visit the building.
If you’re in the area with kids, I highly recommend that you visit Seven Stories where you enter a magical world. It’s a centre for children’s literature with lots of interactive activities. There are mock ups of scenes from kids’ books, quiet reading corners and a great bookshop.
The Life Science Centre next to the railway station, is where science comes to life with a planetarium, a live theatre show and the Motion Ride. A Doctor Who exhibition will run at the Centre from 22 May to 31 October 2010.
The Biscuit Factory Art Gallery is the UK’s largest commercial gallery showcasing original art. The renovation has created a very attractive, light space for art display. The prices are pretty reasonable for original pieces. It’s large enough so that if you just want to go in for a look around, you won’t feel intimidated in the same way you might on entering a small gallery.
The Evolution Weekender music event runs from 30 – 31 May 2010. This year it’s bigger than ever with three stages and topping the bill are Paolo Nutini and Enter Shakan.
Newcastle United Football Club is a big part of city life and you can go on St James’ Stadium Tours where the team has been playing since 1892. Sporty types may also enjoy the Newcastle Climbing Centre.
If you want to explore further afield, perhaps with a trip out to the seaside at Whitley Bay, a Metro all day ticket for travel on the Metro, Shields Ferry and local rail services costs £3.90 per adult per day, for travel after 9am. On Sundays, for the same price of £3.90, up to 2 adults and 2 kids have unlimited travel.
Have you visited Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, what did you most enjoy doing or seeing there?