If you’re one of those sensible people who doesn’t believe that a visit to London means you’ve seen the UK, then the chances are you’ll be looking for other places to experience.
There is of course the other mainland capital cities of Cardiff and Edinburgh. England’s second city of Birmingham too. Having experienced London in the South East, you might want to sample cities in the South West, the North West and the North East.
If you’re visiting the latter then you’re bound to find yourself in Newcastle, easily the largest and most famous of the North East England cities. Next, you’ll be looking for activities to do in Newcastle. Thankfully that’s an easy task as the city has so many top places to see.
Here’s a list of some of the best things to do in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Quite literally the site of the building that lends the city its name! Known locally as simply ‘The Castle’, this is a stone Castle Keep that was built by Henry II in 1172 on the site of a medieval structure which was constructed by the son of William the Conqueror, Robert Curthose.
It was this wooden medieval structure that gave the city its name.
The Biscuit Factory
If you’re a lover of biscuits and are looking forward to a day seeing how these treats are manufactured, you’ll be very disappointed Im afraid.
However, if you’re a lover of contemporary art then this place is well worth a visit. It’s the largest art, craft and design gallery in the UK, as well as being a stylish conference space.
Of course, many years ago, the building was actually a biscuit factory but in the meantime has been a carpet shop and a storage warehouse before becoming the art gallery it is today.
St Nicholas Cathedral
You’ll find that all great English cities have great cathedrals and St Nicholas is Newcastle’s. It dates back to the same period as the eponymous castle and is actually the northernmost Anglican Church in England.
The church takes its name from the patron saint of sailors, fitting given the city’s association with the docks.
The Tyne Bridge
If you’re looking for free things to do in Newcastle then a picture next to the Tyne Bridge has to be high up on the list. If you take the picture from a certain angle and you have gullible friends, you just might be able to convince them that you’re in fact standing in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge!
This is because it was designed by the same people and uses the same materials from the nearby city of Middlesborough. The design itself is actually a copy of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City.
One of the city’s most spectacular buildings which dates back to 1837, featuring the Shakespeare play Macbeth on its opening night.
Nowadays it plays host to a wide range of shows from ballet and contemporary dance to dramas and musicals. At Christmas it is the venue for one of the UK’s most popular pantomimes. Well worth a visit, especially if you’re not sure what the curious British tradition of pantomime is all about?!
Not actually in the city itself but at just 10 miles away it’s worth seeing.
This is where the Tyne, the river from the Newcastle city name, flows into the sea. It’s a traditional British seaside town with a beautiful pebble beach and brightly coloured souvenir shops. The town also boasts an aquarium and the Stephenson Railway Museum, a tribute to the man who invented the steam engine who was from the North East.
Whitley Bay is also not too far away from Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman defensive barrier built to keep out the worrisome Scots.
Washington Old Hall
Visitors from across the pond will want to ensure this is near to the top go their ‘to see’ list. Washington Old Hall is a manor house which can be found in the nearby town of Washington in Tyne and Wear.
The original Old Hall built by a chap called William de Wessyngton (an early spelling of Washington) when he moved to the area in 1183. Although parts of the original house can still be seen the bulk of it dates from the seventeenth century.
It’s claim to fame is that it is the ancestral home of the most famous Washington, George Washington, the first President of the United States.
Stay in the City
The only way to see exactly what a city has to offer is to actually stay there and to live and breathe its way of life. Thesqua.re has serviced apartments in Newcastle upon Tyne which are located in some of the best locations from which to explore the city.