Newcastle is a fantastic city to visit in England if you’re travelling around the North East of the country. It is inextricably linked to another city located on the other side of the River Tyne, Gateshead. The two are so close to one another that you would be forgiven for confusing them as the same city. For this article, we will be listing what to do in Newcastle Upon Tyne, but also things you can do in Gateshead, after all, what’s a little trip across the river?!
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Located on the Gateshead side of the river, this is an example of one of the activities to do in Newcastle where we’re going to cheat a little with the location!
The building from the outside is spectacular in itself, converted as it has been from an old flour mill and overlooking the River Tyne and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge (so you can tick that off of your list too!)
The exhibitions at the Baltic change regularly so pay attention to what’s on. Whatever it is you’re guaranteed works from some of the most prominent artists from architecture, design and art. The Baltic is so well renowned in the world of contemporary art it actually hosted the Turner Prize in 2011.
Even if it isn’t your scene, the top floor, award winning restaurant gives you not only a spectacular view, but one of the best dining experiences in the North East.
Newcastle Castle Keep
The castle that actually put the ‘castle’ in Newcastle. It’s hardly new though, the building dates back to 1178. The site itself dates back far earlier, it was previously a Roma settlement known as Pons Aelius and a fort was erected where the castle now stands.
The castle itself was erected by William II and is a great example of the Norman stone buildings favoured throughout the period. The keep is a must see and some tours will even allow you to climb the turrets, giving you a fantastic and ancient view of the city.
Check the castle calendar for special events. Anything from murder mystery weekends to film screenings take place here.
One of the UK’s very first shopping malls which were influenced by the way of shopping first made popular in the US. The Metrocentre was completed and opened in 1986 and still remains the largest of its type in Europe.
If you like shopping then this is definitely one of the best free things to do in Newcastle, providing you don’t actually buy anything of course! But where’s the fun in that?
Whether you like High Street names or small boutique shops, large department stores or specialist luxury goods shops, the Metrocentre has it all. There’s also a retail park within walking distance in case you like your shops to be warehouse size.
St James’ Park
Want to see the people of Newcastle’s greatest passion? This ground is the church of Newcastle United fans and it’s situated right in the city centre so is impossible to miss.
It’s a monument dedicated to ‘the beautiful game’ and a visit to a match is a must for anybody who likes football. If you’d like to see behind the scenes before the game then there are also tours which will not only get you on to the hallowed turf, but will also take you through the changing rooms and the trophy cabinets.
If you don’t know what this building is before you go then you certainly will when you leave. It’s very difficult to miss as it dominates the Gateshead skyline, and it’s also really quite weird. Looking like some kind of giant, glass mollusc.
Sage Gateshead is a music venue, it was built in this strange way to improve the acoustics of any music that plays within it. It must work because the venue has recently been voted in the top five concert venues in the world.
Some of the huge names to have played there include Nick Cave, Blondie and Grace Jones but it has also welcomed big names from the world of Jazz, Folk and Classical.
As with other places in Newcastle and Gateshead, it’s also a great place to eat and drink.
Accommodation in Newcastle Upon Tyne
If you’re looking for places to stay in Newcastle Upon Tyne then your best bet is thesqua.re. They have serviced, self catering apartments in and around the city centre, making it easier for you to be close by all the things you need to see during your stay.