If you fancy some city vibes then look no further than then iconic and very beautiful city of Newcastle Upon Tyne that lies just 20 miles from St Oswald’s Farm and is an easy drive or a short train journey along the Tyne Valley line from Hexham. This famous Geordie capital offers museums, theatres, historic sites, culture, shopping and all the buzz you would expect from a thriving city centre.
Newcastle sits on the River Tyne alongside it’s twin city Gateshead and was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub during the Industrial Revolution. Today, following a massive investment and regeneration programme, the Quayside only gives a hint to it’s once commercial dock and is now home to Gateshead Millennium Bridge, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage music venue which provide a modern and cultural destination alongside the stylish restaurants, bars and clubs. Every Sunday the Quayside hosts an outdoor market that boasts a vibrant and varied showcase of quality goods and produce and with street artists and buskers that ensure a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The Quayside boasts seven bridges that link the cities of Newcastle and Gateshead which are a spectacular sight and impressive to see during the day and beautifully illuminated by night, the Quayside is undoubtedly the perfect place for a stroll or to sit back and enjoy a drink and watch the world go by.
Take a trip to Newcastle Castle, this imposing Norman fortress is steeped in history and is a rugged reminder of northern England’s turbulent past. The castle is where the story of Newcastle began and the reason it got its name, however this castle is no stately home and is a grim symbol of royal authority where armies gathered and criminals were imprisoned and executed. Take your camera to the top of the castle to capture spectacular views across the city and the River Tyne.
As you would expect this spectacular city has a great offer when it comes to Museums and Galleries. The Laing Art Gallery offering world class art through it’s exhibitions and events, The Discovery Museum is all about science and local history and with permanent exhibitions such as the ship Turbinia. The Great North Hancock Museum is dedicated to natural history and ancient civilisations and the Centre of Life is a life science centre whose purpose is to inspire everyone to explore and enjoy science and undertakes groundbreaking research.
A trip to any City would not be complete without some shopping and Newcastle is the perfect hub for some retail therapy. Northumberland Street in the city centre is home to all your high street favourites including John Lewis and Fenwicks but you will also find many smaller independents to browse. Head to The Grainger Market which is a busy vibrant indoor market that dates back to 1835 and a place where you can pick up absolutely anything and everything. Well ingrained in Newcastle’s history and heritage, the Grainger Market is actually a Grade I Listed Market, which retains much of the stunning light and airy architecture that was originally designed and is one of the few market halls in the UK that remain in use for its original purpose.
The architecture around the Quayside and the City Centre is second to none and a walk from the Quayside up Grey Street to Grey’s Monument takes in some of magnificent Georgian architecture and takes you past the wonderful Grade I listed Theatre Royal which is one of only 9 Grade I listed Theatre Halls in England and often regarded as the finest in the Country.
For more information on everything that’s to see and do in Newcastle & Gateshead please head over to their official tourist website.