Newcastle Upon Tyne is located about 300 miles north of London. The city rests on the near to the eastern shores of the British Isles, on the North Sea. The history of the city stretches back to Roman settlements, and was officially named after a castle built by Robert Curthose in 1080. Modern Newcastle is filled with unique restaurants, museums, rich history, and because it is easily walkable it is favored by tourists.
The Newcastle Castle, which was once a very important Norman fortress built in 1172, has since become an education center to teach guests about the rich history of Newcastle and the surrounding area. The castle is open seven days a week, and is a family friendly destination that has entertaining aspects to keep everyone interested. The castle is filled with interactive exhibits, historical information about northern England’s turbulent past, and offers sweeping views of the surrounding city. Guests should be warned, however, that Newcastle castle was not a baron’s stately home, but was instead an imposing fortress to keep the local populace inline.
Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-30-63-00
2.Quay and Quayside
© Milosz Maslanka/stock.adobe.com
The Quayside, which is the section of Newcastle that runs along the river, houses plenty of exciting and exhilarating options for guests of all ages and desires. There are art exhibits that showcase photography, paintings, sculptures, and more which can provide hours of fun for individuals and families alike. The Baltic Gift Shop is an easy place to pick up souvenirs, and nearby to it is one of Newcastle’s highest rated restaurants, Six at Baltic. For guests seeking a cultural experience, the Sage Gateshead is an integral part of the Quayside and welcomes guests to explore its rich history.
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ, UK
© Discovery Museum
Even the physical building that the Discovery Museum resides in is capable of inspiring awe and wonder for guests, and the contents of the museum itself only add to the experience. From the moment guests first enter the museum they will be greeted by Charles Parsons’ 111 foot long steam powered ship, which once held the record for fastest ship in the world. The experience continues from there, taking guests on a learning adventure that spans between science, art, technology, history, and more. There is a cafe located within the museum if guests are hungry, an elevator for ease of access, and enough history to fill more than a day’s visit.
Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-32-67-89
© Leigh Prather/stock.adobe.com
The Victoria Tunnel, which is located deep under Newcastle, runs from the Town Moor down to the river. The tunnel’s original purpose was to transport coal from the Leazes Main Colliery down to ships waiting at the river without disrupting city traffic. In 1939, almost a century after the tunnel was originally built, it was used as an air-raid shelter to protect Newcastle citizens during World War II. After the war it was forgotten and left alone, but in 2007 the city launched a restoration program to bring the tunnel up to modern health and safety regulations with plans to open it to the public.
55 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ, UK
The Tyne Bridge is considered to be the best of the seven iconic bridges that cross the River Tyne in Newcastle. It is often considered to be the most iconic, is the most celebrated of all the seven bridges, and was originally built in 1928. When it was first built it held the record for the world’s longest single span bridge, but has long since been overtaken. The bridge is bookended by two towers, known as the Tyne Bridge Towers, and they are built out of Cornish granite to be used as warehouses. The Tyne Bridge Towers, as well as the bridge itself, is open to the public to enjoy.
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 6BG
© Theatre Royal
Fans of theater will most certainly want to add Theatre Royal to their itineraries, as the establishment is not only historically important, but puts on over 400 performances each year. The Theatre Royal was originally granted its license by King George III and quickly became one of the leading theaters in all of England. The theater has maintained that prestige ever since, and maintains an annual audience of 400,000 visitors. Many consider the Theatre Royal to be a Newcastle essential, and productions ranging from West End musicals to comedy shows, ballets, operas, and more grace the stage.
100 Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6BR, UK, Phone: +44-84-48-11-21-21
7.Centre for Life
© Centre for Life
Welcoming individual guests, families, school group field trips, university students, and more has always been common practice for the Centre for Life, as it isn’t designed to please just one specific group. There are wide ranging exhibits, everything from space exploration to hands on arts and crafts, and everything is specially designed to engage different age groups. Families will enjoy that there are unique events and activities for children of all ages, and adults will enjoy that there is still plenty for them to learn at the Centre for Life. Various rotating exhibits and events take place throughout the year, so guests are encouraged to contact the Centre for Life by telephone or online for the most up to date information.
Life Science Centre Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-43-82-10
© Madrugada Verde/stock.adobe.com
Charles Grey, who was the 2nd Earl Grey, was paid tribute when this monument was built in his honor in 1838. The famous tea, Earl Grey, is named after Charles Grey, but he is known for more than just having a tea named after him. In 1832, Charles Grey passed the Great Reform Act of 1832, which changed the electoral system to be more fair and just. The statue in his honor sits on a 130 foot column that rests at the top of 164 steps. The statue is open to the public year round and there are many tour options that guests can book if they want to hear the elaborate history of Charles Grey and Newcastle.
150 Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5AF, UK
© Seven Stories
Seven Stories exists to promote and preserve the diverse, rich history of Britain’s written and illustrated children's content. Many British children’s books are well known around the world, and Seven Stories celebrates these and more by helping grow interest in modern and contemporary children’s literature. The center collects all types of materials that relate to children’s books, which includes artwork, early draft manuscripts, editors notes, proofs, and anything else that expands upon how children’s books are created. Visitors to the center can learn about the deep history of British children’s publishing during Seven Stories’ operating hours.
30 Lime St, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ, UK, Phone: +44-30-03-30-10-95
10.North East Art Collective
© North East Art Collective
The North East Art Collective showcases Newcastle’s talented artists from all disciplines, including works of art in watercolors, oils, photography, jewelry, and more. The exhibit prides itself on having a diverse collection that can fit any budget and taste budget. There are often special events for undiscovered local artists seeking public exposure, galleries and pieces from big name artists, and various sales throughout the year. The North East Art Collective is located in Eldon Gardens Shopping Center, is open 7 days a week, and is easily accessible by anyone spending time in Newcastle’s city center.
45 Eldon Gardens, City Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RA, Phone: +44-0-19-12-31-24-83
© Kevin Eaves/stock.adobe.com
There are many things for guests to do in Whitley Bay every day of the week, though the weekends tend to be when Whitley Bay is at its most busy. For those who appreciate local history and architecture, the iconic St. Mary’s Lighthouse has been converted into a visitors center that rests on its own island. There are all types of restaurants to ensure the whole family is happy, and there are a variety of clubs for those looking for a night on the town. For the daytime visitor, antique and boutique shops that are filled with old and new fashion await.
12.Jesmond Dene Park
Located in the east end of Newcastle, Jesmond Dene Park is a city park that runs along the Ouseburn, a small river. The park was originally designed in 1860, and eventually gifted to the city of Newcastle by Lord Armstrong and his wife. The park is designed to reflect natural elements, focusing specifically on woodlands, crags, waterfalls, and pools. The park is closed to automobile traffic, but guests can enjoy wandering one of the many footpaths. Once a month the Armstrong Bridge is used to host the Jesmond Food Market, an event filled with local vendors and merchants.
Jesmond Dene Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DA, UK
© Biscuit Factory
Newcastle is no stranger to showcasing local artists, and the Biscuit Factory is the perfect example of local artists flourishing. Originally founded in 2002, this independent art gallery is nestled in Ouseburn, also known as the cultural district of Newcastle. The gallery contains two floors of art, including 25 different creative work spaces. Because the gallery is housed in a larger building, they are capable of hosting over 250 pieces of art at any time. Annually, approximately 50,000 visitors spend time in the gallery looking at paintings, glass works, textile exhibits, photographs, furniture, and more.
16 Stoddart St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AN, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-61-11-03
14.St Nicholas’ Cathedral
Welcoming locals and tourists alike is common practice for St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, an ancient castle whose roots trace back to the year 1091. The cathedral is located in the heart of the city, is seat of the Bishop of Newcastle, and considered the primary church for the local Diocese. Everything from the massive front doors to the elaborate glass work, the towering cathedral, the handcrafted pews, and more make this church a must see for history and religion buffs alike. The church runs religion ceremonies often, so it is best to reference their schedule before visiting to ensure guests are permitted at that time.
St. Nicholas Sq, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PF, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-32-19-39
© Grainger Market
The Grainger Market originally opened in 1835 to be not only a community center, but a market hall from which visitors could shop for all their needs. The architecture of the market features extensive natural lighting and airy rooms, and the original design came from John Dobson. The market began by offering fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables, and the four primary alleyways were once constantly filled with butchers. The modern market is more diverse, however, and offers crafts, mini bazaars, florists, and custom jewelers in addition to the many food vendors. The market has rotating hours dependent on season, with special thematic events taking place throughout the year.
Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5QQ, UK, Phone: +44-0-19-12-11-55-42
16.The Literary & Philosophical Society
© The Literary & Philosophical Society
The Literary & Philosophical Society originally opened their doors in 1825 with the intent of welcoming thousands of people to witness and interact with a growing collection of rare books. Since then, the Literary & Philosophical Society has become more than just a library, and in conjunction with the historic building in which it resides, the society has evolved into a meeting place, theater, lecture hall, jazz venue, and more. There is always a volunteer onsite to help guide newcomers who have questions about the space, and guests are welcome anytime during operating hours, which are varying times daily Monday - Saturday.
23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-32-01-92
17.Washington Old Hall
© Washington Old Hall
Situated near to Newcastle, the Washington Old Hall is a former manor house that has since been turned into a place for the public to enjoy during all times of year. There are various events that take place throughout the seasons, and guests can always check the calendar online or contact the Washington Old Hall by telephone to plan their visit accordingly. This manor house is the ancestral home of the family of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. In modern day, the hall has many exhibits for guests to explore, both indoors and out, and families are welcomed as well as individuals and groups.
The Avenue, Washington NE38 7LE, UK, Phone: +44-19-14-16-68-79
© Jam Jar
Jam Jar combines the quintessential Newcastle experience with modern quirk and restaurant expectations. The restaurant itself is located in an old style building that features bar, table, communal table, and outdoor seating when the weather is agreeable. All ingredients used at Jam Jar are locally sourced whenever possible, and they feature a rotating menu that covers both the Newcastle classics as well as interesting takes on old favorites. The aesthetic of the restaurant lends itself well to a couple of friends meeting for a drink after work, but also can be enjoyed by a family looking for a bite to eat after spending the day exploring the area.
88 Osborne Road, Newcastle Upon, Tyne. Tyne & Wear. NE2 2AP, UK, Phone: +44-19-19-08-71-58
© Quay Ingredient
Located underneath the Tyne Bridge, very near to Newcastle’s Quayside, a popular destination, Quay Ingredient is an independently run coffee house that focuses on quality ingredients and quality customer care. This cafe is open seven days a week, excluding major holidays, and typically stays open from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. They serve breakfast and lunch, but their primary purpose is to bring high quality coffee to the people, and visitors, of Newcastle. Quay Ingredient is a great place to stop when exploring Quayside, especially if the weather unexpectedly turns sour and guests need a warm drink to cheer them up.
No 4 Queen Street, Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3UG, UK, Phone: +44-19-14-47-23-27
20.Olive and Bean
© Olive and Bean
Guests seeking a traditional English meal experience will most likely find exactly what they are looking for with a visit to Olive and Bean, an independent Newcastle restaurant that focuses on handmade meals and cakes. Their menu isn’t limited to traditional English food, but it certainly excels in that area, covering everything from an authentic English breakfast to afternoon tea, traditional lunches, and fresh daily made cakes as the perfect dessert to any meal. Olive and Bean is located in the heart of the city center, and all of their ingredients are ethically sourced from sources as locally as possible.
17-19 Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5PN, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-33-09-90
© Longhorns BBQ
For an experience not often found outside of Texas, USA, a visit to Longhorns BBQ is sure to satisfy any meat lovers appetite. All meats served at Longhorns BBQ are sourced from a local butcher, The Fat Butcher, to ensure the highest quality of British livestock is served to guests. Everything, from the meat to the sauces, the various coleslaw varieties, and more are all prepared in house by Longhorns’ staff. Typically, every meat served at Longhorns BBQ is rubbed with a secret blend of spices before being smoked at a low heat over hickory chips, typically for up to 24 hours.
10 Mosley St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1DE, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-61-44-66
© Garden Kitchen
After spending a day wandering the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre, guests will find it easy to stop at the Garden Kitchen for classic cafe dining or takeaway deli at their disposal. The Garden Kitchen focuses on modern menus and decor, creating an atmosphere of inviting ambiance that blends together historic aspects of Newcastle with modern styles. Featuring both a regular and rotating menu, visitors to Garden Kitchen can always expect to find fresh dishes to satisfy their appetite. There are smaller portions available which are perfect for a snack, or children, and families are always welcome.
Level 1, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre
Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RA, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-32-78-85
Originally founded and staffed by independent, local artists, Ernest has made a name for itself not only as a place to seek out delicious food, but also a place to seek out exciting nightlife. Ernest is located at the top of Ouseburn Valley, a place near and dear to the founders and founding staff as they had already worked in the area for over 20 years. In an effort to enhance the community they so dearly love, they founded Ernest to draw crowds from the city center into this slightly out of the way destination. Ernest typically opens at 10am, daily, and features a cafe bar that serves breakfast, an extensive lunch and dinner menu, and is stays open late for dancing and drinking.
1 Boyd St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AP, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-60-52-16
24.Blake’s Coffee House
© Blake’s Coffee House
Everyone is welcomed with open arms at Blake’s Coffee House, from the exhausted university student to the famous celebrity, the tourist family to the hungry local. Often described by Newcastle residents as a great destination for coffee and food alike, Blake’s has worked hard to make everyone feel welcome in their cosy hipster aesthetic. The food served is largely homemade when possible, and everything is prepared daily using ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. Blake’s features a variety of coffees to appreciate, a large food menu, and even a large selection of loose leaf teas to choose from.
53 Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6EE, UK, Phone: +44-19-12-61-54-63
24 Best Things to Do in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
- Newcastle Castle, Photo: drhfoto/stock.adobe.com
- Quay and Quayside, Photo: Milosz Maslanka/stock.adobe.com
- Discovery Museum, Photo: Discovery Museum
- Victoria Tunnel, Photo: Leigh Prather/stock.adobe.com
- Tyne Bridge, Photo: drhfoto/stock.adobe.com
- Theatre Royal, Photo: Theatre Royal
- Centre for Life, Photo: Centre for Life
- Grey’s Monument, Photo: Madrugada Verde/stock.adobe.com
- Seven Stories, Photo: Seven Stories
- North East Art Collective, Photo: North East Art Collective
- Whitley Bay, Photo: Kevin Eaves/stock.adobe.com
- Jesmond Dene Park, Photo: drhfoto/stock.adobe.com
- Biscuit Factory, Photo: Biscuit Factory
- St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Photo: moomusician/stock.adobe.com
- Grainger Market, Photo: Grainger Market
- The Literary & Philosophical Society, Photo: The Literary & Philosophical Society
- Washington Old Hall, Photo: Washington Old Hall
- Jam Jar, Photo: Jam Jar
- Quay Ingredient, Photo: Quay Ingredient
- Olive and Bean, Photo: Olive and Bean
- Longhorns BBQ, Photo: Longhorns BBQ
- Garden Kitchen, Photo: Garden Kitchen
- Ernest, Photo: Ernest
- Blake’s Coffee House, Photo: Blake’s Coffee House
- Cover Photo: nyiragongo/stock.adobe.com