Newcastle tourist attractions

Top Newcastle sights

The lands of the northeast are wild, wide-open spaces, dotted with evidence of an interesting past. Newcastle is its cultural capital.

  1. See the Angel of the North
  2. Explore Newcastle’s old town
  3. Head to St James’ Park
  4. Discover the Laing Art Gallery
  5. Enjoy a family day out at the Discovery Museum
  6. Visit the Great North Museum
  7. Marvel at art in The Biscuit Factory
  8. See Newcastle’s bridges
  9. Visit the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Newcastle is a lively university town, which has a bright nightlife plus some of the best shopping in the north of England. The Quayside development has put the city into another league, so make sure to take a stroll around the area.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. See the Angel of the North

Approaching gateshead by the A1 or A167, a 66ft (20-metre) tall steel giant marks the entry into Tyneside. The Angel of the North stands on the site of a former coal mine and was created by Antony Gormley, partly in tribute to the coal miners who worked in darkness beneath its feet. Looking forNewcastle holidays ? We recommend booking your accommodation in advance.

Best for: Unique structure

While you’re there: If you’re a keen golfer, note that the Ravensworth Golf Club is nearby.

2. Explore Newcastle’s old town

The old town is a small area of narrow streets and steep lanes on the north side of the river. It’s Newcastle sightseeing at its best. Around here are the Custom House (1766), Guildhall (1658) and Castle Keep. Constructed by the son of William the Conqueror on the site of a Roman fort, this was the “new castle” that gave the city its name. Much of the castle was demolished in the 19th century to make way for the railway, but the keep and Black Gate remain, where you can learn about life in the castle throughout the ages, including its time as a gruesome dungeon.

Best for: Discovering the old town

While you’re there: Climb the keep’s 99 steps for fantastic views of the city and Gateshead Quayside.

3. Head to St James’ Park

If you’re a keen footy fan, then book onto a tour of St James’ Park. The tour gives you an in-depth insight into the behind the scenes of your favourite club, Newcastle United FC. Your tour guide will give you a full historical lowdown of the club. On the tour you will enjoy many highlights, such as a view of the stadium from its highest point, and you'll also get to see the dugouts.

Best for: Footy fans

While you’re there: You will also get a sneak peak inside the changing rooms too.

4. Discover the Laing Art Gallery

Several museums are worth seeking out in the city. On New Bridge Street, theLaing Art Gallery is one of the top Newcastle tourist attractions. It has permanent 18th- and 19th-century collections and major contemporary exhibitions.

Best for: Art museums

While you’re there: Head out for a drink or two in Newcastle? It’s got a buzzing nightlife partly due to its big student population.

5. Enjoy a family day out at the Discovery Museum

On Blandford Square, the Discovery Museum celebrates history and scientific innovation on Tyneside. One of the biggest free museums in the north-east, it is bursting with interactive displays for adults and children alike.

Best for: Museum for the whole family

While you’re there: Joseph Swan’s early light bulbs feature, the first to be produced in the country and made in Tyneside.

6. Visit the Great North Museum

Another popular attraction is theGreat North Museum : Hancock at Barras Bridge, a few minutes’ walk from Haymarket Metro Station. Its collections include antiquities from ancient Greece and Egypt, as well as family-friendly displays of fossils, a living planet gallery concerning wildlife and habitats and a large-scale interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall.

Best for: Museum featuring fascinating antiquities

While you’re there: If you enjoy shopping, Newcastle is home to intu Eldon Square with a great range of shops.

7. Marvel at art in The Biscuit Factory

For contemporary art, craft and design check out The Biscuit Factory in Stoddart Street. Housed in a former Victorian warehouse in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, four exhibitions a year are held in two spacious galleries.

Best for: Contemporary art and craft

While you’re there: The exhibitions represent some 250 quality craftspeople, whose work is also on sale.

8. See Newcastle’s bridges

An impressive collection of bridges spans the River Tyne quayside: the High level Bridge built by George Stephenson, who launhed the railway industry here; the Swing Bridge, where the Roman bridge stood; and the Tyne Bridge, which when built in 1928 was the largest single span in the world. The latest addition is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the world’s first tilting bridge. It has received a host of awards for architecture, design, innovation, and for the dramatic night lighting that creates a stunning reflection in the river.

Best for: Bridges

While you’re there: For a trip further out, head to Belsay Hall. It has striking gardens and superb views from the castle tower.

9. Visit the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Cross on foot to Gateshead and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, one of the biggest art spaces in Europe, with constantly changing exhibitions. Dominating Gateshead Quays is the Sage Gateshead, a music venue contained within a shell-like building designed by Sir Norman Foster.

Best for: Contemporary art

While you’re there: At Sage Gateshead, the concert schedule attracts international names in a variety of musical genres.

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