From Georgie Shore-esque under-dressed women standing outside bars in the dead of winter to overweight, loutish football fans, Newcastle has had many unfair stereotypes associated with it over the years. What has often been forgotten is that this modern metropolis has a rich Victorian heritage and vibrant cultural life. Once the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution, today Newcastle is a centre of business, arts and culture, with a wealth of museums, galleries and stellar restaurants.
Why cruise Newcastle
The gateway to the North East, Newcastle is becoming a popular cruise embarkation point for UK cruises. Newcastle’s vibrant and cultural city centre has a wealth of attractions, all of which can be explored in a day, or else you can further venture afield and explore nearby historic attractions, from Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral to Unesco World Heritage Site Hadrian’s Wall.
What to see and do in Newcastle
If you’re not long in the city, then head straight to the Quayside, which overlooks Gateshead Millennium Bridge. As well as being the go-to place for restaurants, pubs and bars, the Quayside is also the cultural hub of Newcastle, home to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Live Theatre, which never disappoints with its exciting line-up of performances, from live comedy acts to new plays. There’s also the free Discovery Museum, which focuses on the history of the region and its role in science, industry and technology.
Newcastle has several notable bridges, including this one. It took more than 7,000 tonnes of steel to construct this mighty bridge, which is one of the city’s most iconic structures. Just up the river from Tyne Bridge is High Level Bridge, which is one of the oldest of Newcastle’s bridges and regarded as the most remarkable historical engineering work in the city.
Angel of the North
Said to be the largest angel structure in the world, the towering sculpture has become an iconic symbol of the northern city. Located just outside Newcastle in Gateshead, the Angel of the North was built by artist Antony Gormley in 1998, who based the angel on a cast of his own body.
One for families, Seven Stories the National Centre for Children’s Books, situated in the arty Ouseburn quarter in a converted seven-storey Victorian warehouse, is dedicated to children’s literature. The impressive collection includes works by more than 250 authors and illustrators, including the much-loved Enid Blyton, Philip Pullman, Robert Westall, Judith Kerr, Edward Ardizzone and Kaye Webb. Hosting unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities, young bookworms will be spoilt for choice.
The medieval fortress is what gave Newcastle city its name. Built by William the Conqueror, its remaining notable features include the Castle Keep, the castle's main fortified stone tower, and the Black Gate, its fortified gatehouse.
If you have time, then a visit to Alnwick Castle, located in the historic market town of Alnwick, is a must. An hour away from the city, the castle has become most famous in recent years for its starring role in the Harry Potter films. Adjacent to the castle is Alnwick Garden; the brainchild of brainchild of The Duchess of Northumberland, the sprawling 12-acre gardens feature an abundance of flora, as well as the world’s largest treehouse restaurant.
Need to know when travelling to Newcastle
Getting around in Newcastle
Cruise ships dock at International Passenger Terminal at North Shields, which is located roughly eight miles from the city centre, but offers good transport links. The city centre can be explored on foot, but if you wish to explore more remote attractions, then you can use the Tyne and Wear Metro system, where you can pick up a day ticket. You can take the train to sites such as Alnwick Castle and Hadrian’s Wall.
When to go to Newcastle
Spring and summer are good times to visit Newcastle when the weather is warm and you’re guaranteed some sunny days.
Newcastle uses the pound sterling.
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