Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

September 2015: Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne is the better known half of the twin settlements formed by the city itself (situated north of the Tyne) and the town of Gateshead (south of the river). Newcastle is the most populous city in northeast England and it seems almost axiomatic that it has a castle; rather less obvious is the fact that, despite its proximity to Durham, this is also a cathedral city. Once famous for its heavy industry, Newcastle is perhaps best known today for its vibrant nightlife scene and for the distinctive accent of the generally very friendly local people.

Although I had been in the city several times over the years, I was happy to join my friend Bruce for a weekend visit that formed the latest part of his quest to become better acquainted with the UK's provincial cities. Our first day in the region was blessed with glorious autumn weather.

Tynemouth

While forming part of the Tyneside conurbation, Tynemouth is a historic and prosperous coastal borough that maintains its independence from nearby Newcastle. The English Heritage site comprising Tynemouth Castle and Priory is a major feature which, as well as being of historical interest, offers impressive views up and down the North Sea coast.

ABOVE: The coastal town of TynemouthBELOW: Tynemouth Castle and Priory

Newcastle city centre

Our explorations took in the various bridges across the river (Tyne Bridge, Swing Bridge, Gateshead Millennium Bridge and High Level Bridge), the Quayside, Grainger Town and Grey's Monument, Newcastle town wall, Chinatown, St Nicholas Cathedral and the Castle.

Sage, Gateshead

We had time to take a quick look at this spectacular concert venue and neighbour of the Hilton hotel, which has transformed the south bank of the Tyne.

Based at:

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

Marriott Gosforth Park

Linked reports from same trip:

Carlisle

Beamish