There’s a reason why almost 20 million people visit Newcastle each year. The climate certainly isn’t one of them but tourists from across the world continue to flock back to the north-east. Whether it’s the local landmarks or famous nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Newcastle. Whether you’re a native Geordie or just visiting for a few days, let’s take a look at just some of the things everyone should do in the city.
Stroll Through the Victoria Tunnel
The Victoria Tunnel is a unique attraction. Newcastle’s subterranean wagonway was opened in 1842. It’s almost two-and-a-half miles long and drops over 200 feet from entrance to exit. It was originally constructed to transport coal from Leazes Main Colliery to the shipyard ready for departure. The tunnel was later used as an air-raid shelter during the Second World War.
The site was repaired in the early 21st-century and the Ouseburn Trust now offers guided tours. The tunnel has even hosted a play. It has won numerous tourism awards and achieved the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for four years running. Not bad for a tour which costs less than a tenner.
See the Angel of the North
Ask what the most recognisable Newcastle landmark is and most will agree on the Angel of the North. It’s one of the most famous pieces of public art in the United Kingdom which is impressive considering how new it is. The Angel was designed by sculptor Antony Gormley and was completed in 1998. It stands at almost 250-feet tall and is seen by 33 million people each year.
Sample the Nightlife
Newcastle nightlife is the stuff of legend. Tiger Tiger may no longer be around but that won’t stop anyone from having a good night out on the Toon. House of Smith and Bar Livello are some of the most popular hotspots in the city. Madame Koo also lies on Newcastle’s famous Diamond Strip. That’s providing you want a true Geordie Shore-inspired night out.
But there is more to the town than reality television. There are some wonderful restaurants like Branches Jesmond and popular eatery Simla. Newcastle is also a hugely popular spot for stag and hen parties with sites like Chilli Sauce offering hundreds of options in the area.
There are many options if you want to take your party to the early hours. Popolo and Livello are open until 3:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays while Aspers Casino is available 24/7. Just be sure to brush up on your skills at an online casino like Betway beforehand. You may even win back the cost of the wedding.
Visit the Local Museums & Galleries
Newcastle is about so much more than clubs and nights out. Some of the country’s most impressive museums and galleries are located in the city. The Biscuit Factory is one of them, the UK’s largest independent commercial art gallery. Housed in a former Victorian warehouse, the gallery showcases sculpture, ceramics, and paintings from over 200 artists. The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is another hugely popular gallery in the city.
The Great North Museum has three venues in the city but Hancock is the most impressive. This enormous site houses natural exhibitions from throughout history. The collection features objects from Ancient Greece and Egypt, as well as an interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall. The museum’s planetarium is also a big local hit. In 2019, the Hancock played host to Dippy the Dinosaur, the legendary composite of a Diplodocus skeleton.
Visit St. James’ Park
Newcastle United are the biggest football club in the area. Their home, St James’ Park is one of the largest football stadiums in England, welcoming over 52,000 fans each matchday. It’s a mightily impressive sight on a matchday but you don’t have to wait to see the ground. Newcastle United offers tours of the stadium and even allows guests on the roof – some 30 feet high.
Watch a Show or Performance
There’s a venue worthy of any show in Newcastle. The famous Theatre Royal houses everything from films to theatre performances and stand-up comedy. The Sage Gateshead is a little different with far more local and classical performers.
But the choice doesn’t stop there. Theatre fans can look to Live Theatre Newcastle or Tyne Theatre and Opera House. Those who prefer their music a little more modern have a choice on their hands. The Utilita Arena Newcastle and O2 City Hall welcome international artists and performers. Meanwhile, Wylam Brewery, STACK Newcastle, and the Boiler Shop will offer a glimpse into the local music scene.
Tour the New Castle Keep
There’s a reason why it’s called Newcastle. The city is rather unimaginatively named after the New Castle Keep, built by the eldest son of William the Conqueror. A stone keep replaced it in 1177 and after numerous refurbishments, it still stands today. The New Castle Keep offers guided tours of the structure and even houses regular film screenings.