A trip to the North East is perfect for sports fans. It’s in the blood of everyone based in the region to be passionate about one discipline or another.
When you’re in the North East, you’re never far away from an elite sporting venue. Here are the best locations to get your sporting fix when making the journey up north.
Perhaps more of a hidden gem located just off the A1M in the Gosforth region of Newcastle, the racecourse is owned by the Arena Racing Company that operates 16 venues across the United Kingdom. You’ll witness top-tier racing from both flat and jumps disciplines throughout the year.
The most famous race is the Fighting Fifth Hurdle which takes place on an annual basis in November. The contest was won in 2022 by the outstanding horse Constitution Hill, who is now poised for a switch to the flat in the summer at the Ascot Gold Cup with odds of 25/1 available for betting online on horse racing.
Constitution Hill and horses of his ilk compete at Newcastle all year around, and there will be other big names ready to make their name at the racecourse. The good news is that the track is an all-weather course, ensuring that it can stand up to the elements in the North East. It is a cracking day out and the Gosforth region is one of the most picturesque in Newcastle for a night out away from the city centre.
St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light
You can pick either of the top footballing venues in the North East. Newcastle have found fresh inspiration under new ownership and are competing for a place in the Champions League in the 2022/23 season under Eddie Howe. St James’ Park holds 52,000 spectators when full to the brim and the atmosphere when Newcastle are firing is truly electric. The Magpies have seen great players don the famous black-and-white shirts, and the current iteration of the team are bringing back memories of Newcastle’s rise under Kevin Keegan in the early 1990s.
It is not an occasion to be missed, although the schedule might not be in your favour. If that’s the case, fear not as Sunderland is only 10 miles down the road and the Stadium of Light is equally impressive in terms of scale and atmosphere. The Black Cats’ decline from the Premier League was documented on Netflix, but the club is making their way back towards the top flight and the passion of the 48,000 fans as witnessed on Sunderland Till I Die is something that has to be witnessed in person.
Seat Unique Riverside
The North East is also a production line of top cricketers at Durham County Cricket Club. Seat Unique Riverside is just five minutes off the A1M in Chester-le-Street and is the home county of England captain Ben Stokes. Stokes is just one of the litany of England players who have been developed in the region with Mark Wood, Paul Collingwood, Stephen Harmison, Graham Onions and Matthew Potts among the players to represent the Three Lions.
If you like the traditional red-ball game, the County Championship is the game for you to attend for a peaceful day in the stands. The white-ball formats offer a bit more variety in the summer months. With Durham you know you’re watching top-tier cricket in one of the friendliest and most relaxed sporting environments in the region.