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Newcastle Upon Tyne Information

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Attractions in NewcastleNewcastle quayside and Gateshead Quays

Take a walk down by the riverside and view all of the Tyne bridges. The large quayside waterfront gives splendid access to beautiful river views of the Tyne and the seven bridges. The large pedestrian area stretches over a mile and the many waterfront restaurants, bars, places to sit outside and enjoy a coffee as well as its historical buildings make this a place to visit both in the daytime and for its amazing nightlife.

Along the Newcastle quayside you can take the Millennium foot bridge over to the Gateshead Quay and visit the old Baltic flour mill which has been newly restored to house contemporary art exhibitions. It is well worth a visit as the entrance is free and has excellent access for the disabled. Situated on four floors with a fantastic view over the Tyne from the top, its current exhibition is an interesting anthology by Susan Hiller. Guided tours, adult classes, art clubs for children and family workshops are available. The Baltic centre is also a venue for courses for fine arts teachers. The Baltic shop sells a unique range of literature on contemporary art.
There is a delightful licensed café, with a good selection of sandwiches and salads with inside and outside eating area and again well accessible for the disabled. It is worth checking in advance to obtain information on exhibits.
Tel: 0191 478 1810.

Boat trips operate daily along the river Tyne and can be taken from the landing stage next to the Millennium footbridge and they last about 3 hours. The boat is accessible by a series of ramps from the Quayside making it possible for wheelchair users to enjoy a riverside cruise.

The Sage Gateshead also along the Quayside is due to open in the winter of 2004/5. This international music centre is welcoming musicians from all over the world and every genre of music. It will combine concert halls as well as smaller performance spaces. Performances from Sting to The London Symphony orchestra are planned following its opening.
Admission Free Tel: 0191 443 4666

The Castle keep, the Black Gate and Bessie Surtees house as well as the guildhall are all accessible from the Quayside and the Copthorne hotel which is along the bank of the Tyne and has outside seating terrace on the pedestrian walkway along the Tyne boast the full range of modern facilities and health Suite. Make this hotel an ideal place to stay and enjoy the delights of Newcastle

Newcastle city centre attractionsThe Life Science Centre is a superb interactive day out for older children. It is a fascinating journey into our understanding of the science of the human body. It complements the National Curriculum in Science as well as demonstrating how Science and the human body can be fun. Great value for money New for 2004 ‘Grossology’ is a fun look at the human body. Exhibits such as the ‘skin climbing wall’ ‘the Tour du Nose’ and the ‘vomit centre’ are designed to create the loudest ‘Eeeeguuhhh’. Outside the centre there is an ice rink in the wintertime plus a winter wonderland inside where the science of the sub-zero and how animals adapt in winter can be explored.
Admission (as of June 2004) is £6.95 Adults and £4.50 Children.
Telephone: 0191 243 8210

The Discovery Museum has undergone a £12.25 million transformation. Here you can explore Newcastle's past from Romans to the present day and the Tyneside inventions that have changed the world. Another fun approach to science and the opportunity to take a walk through the world of fashion. The latest additions to the museum include four sensational new displays exploring life on the River Tyne. Blandford Square,
Telephone: (0191) 232 6789

Hancock MuseumThe North of England's premier Natural History Museum unravels the secrets of the natural world through sensational galleries and close encounters with reptiles and insects. The Hancock Museum provides an insight into the animal kingdom and the powerful and forces of nature. From the Dinosaurs to live animals, the Hancock is home to creatures past and present and the Egyptian mummy will bring alive childrens topic work on Ancient Egypt. Live Entertainment Venues

The Metro Radio Arena (formerly Telewest Arena) boasts world famous artists from Justin Timberlake, Jools Holland and Pavarotti. The Arena holds 11,000 people and is close to the Quayside. The Metro Arena has good disabled access with large open areas without seats for dancing and excellent Parking facilities.
Telephone 0191 260 5000
Telewest Arena Web Site

Newcastle City Hall
Long famous venue for classical ensembles and chart topping bands. Music to suit all tastes. Northumberland Road. Telephone: 0191 261 2606

Jazz Café
Popular venue for weekend entertainment. 25 Pink Lane. Telephone: 0191 232 6505
The Theatre Royal
The Theatre royal hosts hits from the West End Shows and The RSC. The Royal Shakespeare Company has a season in Newcastle which is 1 – 27 November 2004.
This beautiful theatre is a joy to behold even on the rare occasion the performance fails to impress. 100 Grey St. Telephone: 0870 905 5060

Night lifeVisit the cosmopolitan Quayside the premier place in Newcastle for a fabulous night out in one of the many bars and nightclubs. There is so much choice that just taking a wander out, you can’t really go wrong. Try the Cooperage, the pitcher and piano, the Egypt cottage the Sterio for drinks or the Tuxedo Princess nightclub, literally a converted steamboat on the river, the Sea or the Stagedoor.
There are also many bars and restaurants in Newcastle’s Bigg Market which is dominated by the younger clientele. Central Station with something for everyone from the swish to the traditional, the Haymarket which is student land and those who prefer to be able to hear the friends they are talking too. The suburb of Jesmond has its own classy nightlife with a variety of restaurants and many new bars catering for the professionals and ‘hip’ university crowd.

For a full list and descriptions of the pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and music venues pop into the tourist information office and pick up the NewcastleGateshead Pocket Guide for free

Newcastle and its seven bridgesAlthough the Tyne Bridge is the most famous of the six bridges that cross between Newcastle and Gateshead, it was only finished in 1928 (when it was the largest single span in the world).

The Swing Bridge was built by Armstrong and opened in 1876. It crosses the Tyne at about the same point as the Roman and Medieval Bridges. The hydraulically-operated swivel mechanism allowed taller fixed-mast vessels to reach further up the river. The High Level Bridge was built in 1849 in conjunction with the opening of the Central Station in Newcastle, and for the first time linked Newcastle with London by rail. In addition to the railway, the lower deck of this bridge carries a roadway.

The King Edward VII Bridge provided more capacity for the expanding railway system. The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (the Metro Bridge) was to enable passenger traffic on the rail system. The new Redheugh road bridge opened in 1983 replaced an earlier bridge and distributes traffic away from the city centre. A seventh bridge was added across the Tyne to celebrate the year 2000

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge providing access from Newcastle to the site of the Baltic flour mill.

Outside Newcastle

The Metro Centre
, Gateshead is one of the largest indoor shopping centres in Europe. In the Metro Centre, you will find a host of small unique shops in themed areas alongside popular high street names. The Forum, Garden Court, The Studio and The Village offer everything from Indian art to collectables and Victorian Jewelers. The centre is open seven days a week and many visitors come for the evening to enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants. The children can enjoy the cinema, bowling and the amazing Metro land, an amusement park with rides and amusements. Metroland is constructed indoors and is a great venue for a rainy afternoon. The rides cater for all age groups and there is very little queuing, even at peak periods. Vouchers are obtained on entrance for different levels and a fun time can be had comparatively reasonably priced. Our children preferred it to the world famous parks in Florida and Paris.

Beamish Open air Museum Winner of both British and European ‘Museum of the Year’. This is a must visit attraction. Beamish is a fascinating recreation of life in the 19th and early 20th century. It recaptures life for all social spheres in the North of England during this period. It is suitable for children of all ages and visitors can spend all day. It is both educational and entertaining. Take the children into a Victorian classroom for a real lesson or visit the pit and get a feeling of the world of darkness for the coalminers. There are houses and shops recreated as they would have been with real life action. You can watch the bread being made and smell it being baked in the range. There is a reasonably priced old fashioned tearoom and loads of space outside in the 300 acre grounds to enjoy a picnic. There are places to kick a ball and there is a small funfair. You can be transported around the Park by tram getting on and off the stops of your choice which is guided by a very useful map.

The North of England Open Air Museum,
Beamish,
County Durham.
Telephone: 0191 370 4000

Hadrians WallNearly 2000 years ago in 122 AD, the Emperor Hadrian embarked on a huge undertaking: to mark the northernmost boundary of Roman Britain with an unusually long fortified wall. Today, parts of Hadrian's Wall are still visible; the line of it stretching from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.
img src="img/poppy.jpg" hspace=6 align="left">There is a host of fascinating forts and museums all along the wall. Segedunum stands on the Banks of the river Tyne at Wallsend. Here you can see the only reconstructed Roman Bath House in the country and a fantastic viewing tower. 2 Buddle St, Wallsend. Telephone 0191 295 5757
In the east, the stretch from South Shields to Chollerford follows the line of the wall through the thriving city of Newcastle, past rolling Northumberland farmland and takes in the bustling market towns of Prudhoe, Corbridge and Hexham. Further west, the section between Chollerford and Gilsland lies within the Northumberland National Park and is classic Hadrian's Wall Country. Here you will find the most visible remains of the Wall.

Visiting Newcastle’s heritage and historical sitesThe oldest part of Newcastle is the Quayside. Most historical of the buildings in this area of the town are the keep of the Norman castle and the adjacent fourteenth century church of St Nicholas with its famous lantern tower. The area is known as Sandhill is where some of the oldest remaining houses of the Newcastle Quayside can still be seen. They date from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and were once occupied by wealthy Newcastle merchants. Bessie Surtees occupied one of the houses and in 1772 secretly climbed from an upstairs window to elope with a humble young man called John Scott. Scott became the Lord Chancellor of England in 1801 and was given the title of Lord Eldon, who gives his name to Eldon Square in the city. Bessie Surtees house is now a visitor’s attraction and is marked by a plaque to commemorate the famous elopement.

In 1882 the northern portion of the diocese of Durham was separated into the diocese of Newcastle. The church of St Nicholas became a cathedral and so Newcastle became known as a city.

In Anglo-Saxon times the vicinity of the old Roman fort at Newcastle came to be known as Monkchester after a small community of monks who settled in the area. The later name Newcastle did not come into existence until Norman times. William the Conqueror’s eldest son Robert Curthose returning from a Scottish raid had a castle built. Robert's castle was built right on the site of the Roman fort of Pons Aelius and the name of ‘new castle’ simply stuck. The castle was originally built of earth and timber. A medieval walled town developed around this new castle. Its military importance in strategic defense against the invading Scots stimulated trade and commerce and the expanding town of Newcastle developed into a major sea port.

In 1172 during the reign of King Henry II the castle at Newcastle was rebuilt in stone by Mauricius Caementarius and most of the stonework of the present keep still dates from this period.

Rope making, shipbuilding and glass making were among the early trades to develop in Newcastle but without a doubt the most important of all the industries of the town was the mining and export of coal. The Tyneside pits were among the first England and for centuries Newcastle was the most important exporter of coals to London.

CONDERCUM later named Benwell is of Anglo Saxon origin deriving from Beonnam-Wall meaning a place within the wall. Today all that remains of the fort at Benwell is defensive Roman ditch called the `Vallum' can still be clearly be seen along with the nearby ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to a local god called Antenociticus.

Initially the Roman bridge and fort at Newcastle formed the eastern terminus of Hadrian's Wall but later the wall was extended three miles further to the east where a fort called Segedunum was built. This is now known as Wallsend.

The fort of Segedunum was strategically located at the point where a short northward flowing section of the River Tyne suddenly turns east towards the sea. The river Tyne here provided a natural continuation of Roman defenses.

Newcastle has an equally fascinating industrial heritage. The Newcastle region played a leading role in the Industrial Revolution and was home to George Stephenson the designer of the railway and Sir Charles Parsons who invented the steam turbine.



See also: Ross Cottages - Country cottages on the North East Coast

Last Updated December 2004
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