From its industrial past Newcastle-upon-Tyne has matured into a spectacular and elegant city with a world class cultural reputation and and a fondness for partying. Factor in some of the most beautiful and unspoilt scenery in the country, including a world heritage site, top class shopping, theatre and restaurants plus the world famous Tyne Bridge and you have a thriving modern city in touch with its past but looking to the future confidently.
Newcastle has embraced the arts exemplified by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary art and the magnificent concert venue, The Sage, but also numerous smaller galleries, venues and art installations around the city. Don't miss Anthony Gormley's Angel of the North, which you may see if you drive into the city from the south.
Grey Street, winding down from Gray's Monument in the centre of Newcastle to the quayside past the Theatre Royal, was recently voted the best street in Britain by BBC Radio 4 listeners. It's certainly elegant with some of the best architecture in the country and the walk down to the quayside is worth taking as you emerge onto the Newcastle Gateshead river-front with its iconic bridges, bars and restaurants. Ideal for just strolling and watching people or an evening drink and a meal.
Newcastle has a growing reputation for top class cooking. Try Pan Haggarty or renowned group Cafe 21 on the Newcastle quayside, or Jesmond Dene Hotel, just outside the centre, for upmarket eating. You can eat well in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (worth it for the view alone) and Blackfriars near the old city walls but there are numerous different cuisines available with interesting restaurants throughout the city. One we like is a new restaurant on the Newcastle quayside offering a traditional pub experience and food to match, The Broad Chare, plus, on the same street Cafe Vivo.
Newcastle is renowned for its shopping, people travel from far afield for their 'retail therapy' in the Gateshead Metro Centre and the multitude of shops in and around the centre of Newcastle.
Getting around couldn't be easier too with a lot of Newcastle centre pedestrianised but also a Metro system and regular buses, both of which link to the Gateshead Metro Centre.
If you are after wild nights, top class night clubs and more bars than you can shake a stick at, Newcastle with its worldwide reputation for partying is the place. One thing that Newcastle cannot claim is warm weather but the cold nights are when the city comes alive and, at least for the locals, the less you wear the better!
Party-central is the infamous Bigg Market, which attracts a younger crowd. For a slightly calmer and more 'cultured' experience try the Newcastle Quayside. And then there is the Diamond Strip with a numerous bars and clubs, including Bijou where Geordie Shores stars can sometimes be seen. Wherever you end-up you'll have fun, Newcastle knows how to party.
The countryside surrounding Newcastle is an unspoilt and little-known gem. It is wild and beautiful with a spectacular coastline and more castles than you can ever manage to visit. An absolute must-see is Hadrian's Wall, built centuries ago by the Romans to keep out the Scots, it once stretched right across the country from Wallsend to the Cumbrian coast. It is now a world heritage site and much of it remains.
The whole Northumbrian coast is beautiful but Bamnbrough Castle and the nearby dunes are spectacular. And a short way up the coast is Lindisfarne and its Priory, the first Christian settlement in England.
A bit further afield is Durham and its astonishing cathedral. Durham is a pretty town and worth a visit.
What better place to stay whilst visiting Newcastle than one of Tyne Bridge Apartments serviced holiday apartments, all situated on the spectacular Newcastle/Gateshead quayside? Modern, stylish apartments in exclsuive developments that are a great alternative to a hotel.
If you have any questions about Newcastle or would like a recommendation for a visit or some advice, please contact us. We have lived in Newcastle for more than thirty years now!