Visitors staying in our apartments often ask us for the best things to do and see in Newcastle. Well, here are our top ten essential places to visit in Newcastle and Northumberland during your stay, in no particular order.
Chances are you will have seen it already as all our holiday and business apartments are on the quayside. If not, take a stroll down the quayside and the various bridges are a great iconic Newcastle sight. Plus there are some great bars and restaurants if you want a drink or meal.
Voted one of the most beautiful streets in Europe, Grey St travels up from the Newcastle quayside to the heart of Newcastle city centre at Gray's monument. Along the way it passes the Theatre Royal, a lovely building and host to some great plays if you fancy taking one in during your stay. If you are lucky you may catch the RSC who visit regularly.
If I can break the rules for our list, one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world is just down the road at Durham. Built in the 13th century it is one of the two world heritage sites in the region. Either head straight down the A1 or get the train from Newcastle Central Station (by the way, as you pull into Durham station there is one of the best views of the cathedral). If cathedrals are your interest, don't miss Durham.
OK, it's not very cultural but Newcastle is the shopping capital of the north and well deserves its reputation. You're spoilt for choice too with the Eldon Square and surrounding streets in Newcastle city centre, or the Metro Centre, which is only a short public transport ride away
You may well have seen it on the Gateshead Quayside when you arrived at your apartment... the amazing, Norman Foster-designed, domed building right beneath the Tyne Bridge. The Sage is a concert venue with three â€˜state-of-the-art' halls. It's home to Northern Sinfonia and features concerts every night of the week in a broad range of genres and styles, and is a lovely way to spend the evening. And best of all it is only 5 mins walk from your apartment.
A controversial choice for although it attracts a lot of visitors, locally I think opinion is divided on its merits, especially as it doesn't feature a permanent collection. We love it and can guarantee you will see something interesting if you visit. The restaurant at the top is also good and with stunning views of the quayside it is a great place to wile away a few hours, and again it is very close to your apartment.
We are heading into Northumberland now and an absolute must-see is what remains of the wall built by emperor Hadrian across the width of the country to keep out the Scots. You can still see some sections in Newcastle but to see it at its magnificent, bleak best and to get a real feel for the lives of the Roman soldiers that peopled it, go to Vindlander or Housesteads - two of the forts along the wall. If you haven't got a car then there are buses that go from Newcastle. It's the second world heritage site in the region and you shouldn't miss it.
There are numerous castles throughout Northumberland and one of the best, simply for its setting alone, is Bamburgh castle. At the same time you can see the dunes and walk on beautiful Bamburgh beach. If you are really hardy, a boat ride to the Farne Islands from nearby Seahouses is also fun â€“ if you time it right you might even see the island's colony of Puffins.
The first Christian settlement in England back in about 600AD on a tiny, remote island off the Northumberland coast. It's a spectacular setting just up the coast from Bamburgh Castle. You can visit the castle and wander the island. Watch out for the tides though, the only route to the island is across a tidal causeway. Many people get caught and have to be rescued!
After all this culture I thought a good leg stretch is called for. There are many good walks in Northumberland but the one along the coast from Craster to Dunstanburgh castle and back is a good one. At the end there is a great little pub in Craster that does marvellous crab sandwiches, and the famous smokehouse where you could event get a Kipper for your tea!
Those are our top ten things to do in and around Newcastle but there are many more depending on your interests in this great city. A visit to St. James' Park home to Newcastle United football team is on many people's lists and a great experience, or for art lovers there is Anthony Gormley's Angel of the North (which you may even have seen as you arrived in Newcastle). And last of all, there is the infamous Bigg Market where you can party like only the North East knows how, if that is your choice.
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 exclusive 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.