Newcastle upon Tyne: The Complete Guide
Newcastle upon Tyne, often shortened to simply Newcastle, is the most populous city and metropolitan borough in North East England. It forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne.
The city developed around the Roman settlement Pons Aelius around a fort was built on a site close to the present Tyne Bridge. The city was named after the castle built in 1080 by William the Conqueror’s eldest son Robert Curthose. In the 14th century, the city grew as an important center for the wool trade and later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne, was among the world’s largest ship-building and ship-repairing centers.
Newcastle is renowned throughout Britain for its vibrant nightlife, and its large 42,000-strong student population. Geordies, the people of Newcastle are proud of their city and many are fanatically loyal supporters of the local football team and the local ale.
Visiting Newcastle upon Tyne for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Newcastle upon Tyne on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!
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This complete guide to Newcastle upon Tyne not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.
This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Newcastle upon Tyne and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!
Great North Museum: Hancock
The Great North Museum: Hancock is a museum established in 1884 of natural history and ancient civilisations in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The collection is a little varied, and ranges from the natural history of the Newcastle area to 2 mummies from Ancient Egypt and other artefacts from around the ancient world. The Hadrian's Wall gallery enables visitors to discover the detailed history of the World Heritage Site as well as finding out about all the forts, milecastles and associated museums that can be visited today.
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Address: Great North Museum: Hancock Barras Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 4pm Sat, 11am-4pm Sun | Price: general admission free, planetarium adult/child £3/2 | Website | Distance: 0.38km
Grey's Monument is a monument to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey built in 1838 in the center of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The 2nd Earl Grey was the UK Prime Minister from 1830-1834, and the statue was erected to acclaim Earl Grey for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832.
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Address: Grey's Monument 150 Grainger St Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5AF United Kingdom | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Tickets are £5 fee per person | Website | Distance: 0.57km
Grainger Market covered 19th-century vegetable market, located in Newcastle, England. The Grade I listed market was constructed as part of the redevelopment of the city to replace markets on the site of Grey Street. Originally had a meat market in one half and a vegetable market in the other.
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Address: Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK | Hours: Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:30 | Price: N/A | Website | Distance: 0.65km
Edwardian Central Arcade
The Central Arcade is a Grade II listed Edwardian shopping arcade built in 1906 located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is an elegant place with its glass barrel-vaulted roof and stunning tile work.
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| Distance: 0.66km
Laing Art Gallery
The Laing Art Gallery is a gallery with 18th-20th century British oil paintings and watercolors on display in vaulted-ceilinged galleries and located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
It was opened in 1904 and is housed in a Grade II listed building, designed in the Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements by architects Cackett & Burns Dick.
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Address: Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK | Hours: 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, 2-5pm Sun | Price: Entry is free to the gallery, shop and café but an admission charge applies to some exhibitions. | Website | Distance: 0.67km
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
The Theatre Royal is a historic theater in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Theatre Royal is one of only 9 Grade I listed theater halls in England. It first opened its doors in February 1837 on Newcastle's Grey Street. It underwent a large renovation after a fire following a showing of Macbeth in 1899. The renovation work saw the entire auditorium re-designed by one of the most iconic theatre architects, Frank Matcham.
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Address: 100 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 6BR | Website | Distance: 0.72km
Blackfriars Restaurant is located in a 13th century former medieval friary located in Newcastle, England. It serves an award-winning seasonal and local menu with some of the best Sunday lunches, Afternoon Teas and fine-dining menus in the city.
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Address: Friars Street Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne and Wear NE1 5XD United Kingdom | Hours: Mon - Thus : 12:00 - 14:30, 17:30 - 21:30 Friday 12:00 - 14:30, 14.45 – 17.00 (afternoon tea), 17:00 - 21.30 (dinner) Saturday 12:00 - 14:30, 14.45 – 17.00 (afternoon tea), 17:00 - 21.30 (dinner) Sunday 12:00 - 16:00 | Website | Distance: 0.75km
Hadrian’s Wall – Milecastle 4 – Westgate Road
Milecastle 4 (Westgate Road) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. Its remains exist beneath the Newcastle Arts Centre at 67-75 Westgate Road. This position is some way away from its predicted position which is at these coordinates: 54.970440°N 1.608669°W The actual location is between the predicted positions of Turrets 4A and 4B, which has led to suggestions that the numbering and positioning of milecastles and turrets on this part of Hadrian's Wall should be reconsidered.
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Address: 73 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SG, UK | Distance: 0.90km
St Nicholas Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas is a 14th-century cathedral located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The cathedral was founded in 1091 but the Norman structure was destroyed by fire in 1216; its replacement was completed in 1350. The lantern spire was added in 1448, and aided navigation of ships along the Tyne. It became a cathedral in 1882.
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Address: The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas St. Nicholas Sq Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PF United Kingdom | Hours: 7.30am-6pm Sun-Fri, 8am-4pm Sat | Price: Free - donation requested | Website | Distance: 1.00km
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne
The Literary and Philosophical Society is a historical library in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is popularly known as the Lit & Phil.
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Address: Bolbec Hall, 23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE, UK | Hours: Monday 9.30am* - 7.00pm Tuesday 9.30am - 8.00pm Wednesday 9.30am - 7.00pm Thursday 9.30am - 7.00pm Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 1.00pm | Website | Distance: 1.03km
The Discovery Museum is a local history and science museum located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. You can discover the area's renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion through the eras and military history. Exhibitions spread across three floors of the former Co-operative Wholesale Society building.
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Address: Discovery Museum Blandford Square Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4JA | Hours: 10am-4pm | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.11km
Pons Aelius was a Roman auxiliary castrum or fortified camp and also Roman settlement at the original eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, close to the center of present-day Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was the second link in the fortress chain of Hadrian's Wall and was occupied between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.
Read our full blog post on Visiting Pons Aelius!
| Distance: 1.15km
Bessie Surtees House
Bessie Surtees House is the name of two 16th and 17th century, two five-storey merchants' house, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Tyne's northern bank was the hub of commercial Newcastle in the 16th century and on Sandhill a row of leaning merchant houses has survived from that era. The buildings are a fine and rare example of Jacobean domestic architecture. The house contains an exhibition illustrating the full history of the house, alongside rare and unusual examples of Jacobean domestic architecture and splendid period interiors such as fine carved oak panelling, elaborate plaster ceilings and carved fire surrounds.
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Address: Historic England Bessie Surtees House 41-44 Sandhill Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JF United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-4pm Mon-Fri | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.23km
Life Science Centre
Life Science Centre is an educational visitor attraction in the center of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It houses science exhibitions, live shows and the biggest planetarium in the North of England. Pn of the highlights of a visit is the Motion Ride, a simulator that lets you 'experience' bungee jumping and the like (the 4D film changes every year). There are lots of thought-provoking arcade-style games, and if the information sometimes gets lost on the way, never mind, kids will love it.
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Address: Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP | Hours: 1st June - 2nd December Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 18:00 Sunday 11.00 - 18:00 Ice Skating available from 11th November - 18th February | Price: Adults: £15.00 Kids (5-17): £8.00 Under-4s: Free | Website | Distance: 1.26km
The Quayside is an area along the banks of the River Tyne, in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead in the, North East England, United Kingdom. In the past, the Quayside played a central part of Newcastle's industrial history and heritage, serving as a commercial dockside. Coal was also ferried down to the Quayside via the 2.5-mile-long Victoria Tunnels which run from the Town Moor down to the Tyne.
Read our full blog post on Visiting Historic Quayside!
Address: The Quayside 35-37 Close Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3RN United Kingdom | Distance: 1.30km
The Biscuit Factory is a Contemporary art gallery opened in 2002 in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the largest commercial art, craft & design gallery in the UK, where you can purchase works by more than 200 artists each season in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, glassware and furniture, many with a northeast theme.
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Address: The Biscuit Factory 16 Stoddart St Shieldfield Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AN United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat, 11am-5pm Sun | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.30km
The Tyne Bridges
When you think Newcastle, an iconic image that comes to mind is the Tyne Bridge. There are seven bridges span the River Tyne in and around Newcastle – 2 rail bridges, 3 road bridges, 1 which does both, and a footbridge. You get among the best views of the other 6 from the newest bridge, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
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Address: Tyne Bridge A167 Newcastle upon Tyne NE8 2BH United Kingdom | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 1.36km
Sage Gateshead is a concert venue and an international home for music and musical discovery, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne, England. The venue which opened in 2004 is built of curved glass and stainless steel. It has two main stages of acoustic excellence, a 26-room music education centre, a music information resource centre, four bars, a brasserie and a cafe.
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Address: Sage Gateshead Sage St Mary's Square Gateshead NE8 2JR United Kingdom | Distance: 1.54km
BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is a center for contemporary art located on the south bank of the River Tyne, England. It opened in 2002 in a converted flour mill, a landmark industrial building, and hosts changing programme of exhibitions and events, with no permanent exhibition.
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Address: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead, UK | Hours: 10am-6pm Wed-Mon, 10.30am-6pm Tue | Website | Distance: 1.60km
The Victoria Tunnel is a underground tunnel under Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It runs for 2.5 miles from the Town Moor down to the River Tyne. It was built between 1839 and 1842 to transport coal from Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to riverside ready for loading onto boats for export. Loaded wagons descended the incline of the tunnel under their own weight, and were rope-hauled back to the colliery by a stationary engine.
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Address: Victoria Tunnel Tour Meeting Point, 55 Lime St, Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ | Hours: Our eight regular two-hour tours areMondays at 1.30pm Wednesdays at 1.30pm Thursdays at 6.30 pm; Fridays at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm; Saturdays at 10 am and 1 pm; Sundays at 1 pmShorter one-hour tours at weekendsSaturday at 4pm Sunday at 11am and 4pm | Distance: 1.67km
Seven Stories – The Centre for Children's Books
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books is a museum and visitor centre dedicated to children's literature, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The museum opened its doors in 2005 and is located across the seven floors of an old Victorian mill. Its name comes from a saying that there are only seven stories in the world but a thousand different ways of telling them. Seven Stories is about the thousand ways.
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Address: 30 Lime Street Ouseburn Valley Newcastle Upon Tyne England NE1 2PQ | Hours: 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, to 4pm Sun | Price: adult/child £7.70/6.60 | Website | Distance: 1.69km
Jesmond Dene Park
Jesmond Dene is a wonderful, historic park in east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It occupies the narrow steep-sided wooded valley of a small river known as the Ouseburn, flowing south to join the River Tyne.
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Address: Jesmond Dene Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DZ United Kingdom | Website | Distance: 2.14km
Hadrian’s Wall – Milecastle 6 – Benwell Grove
Milecastle 6 (Benwell Grove) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. The exact location of this milecastle is unknown but the wall in this area runs beneath the A186. The area is built over with roads and terraced houses and no milecastle remains are known. In 1966 J Collingwood Bruce suggested that the site of Milecastle 6 lay beneath the Benwell Grove road in Newcastle.
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Address: 1a West Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 9PT, UK | Distance: 2.23km
Benwell Roman Temple
Benwell Roman Temple is the remains of a Roman Temple located a few miles from the center of Newcastle. The small temple was dedicated to the a local deity Antenociticus, in the civilian settlement which stood outside Condercum fort. The temple was built about AD 178–80.
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Address: Benwell Roman Temple - Hadrian's Wall Broomridge Ave Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 6QP United Kingdom | Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 2.85km
Condercum fort was the third fort on Hadrian's Wall, after Segedunum (Wallsend) and Pons Aelius (Newcastle). It was situated on a hilltop 2 miles (3 km) to the west of the Newcastle and its name Condercum, meant '
Read our full blog post on Visiting Condercum Fort!
| Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 2.95km
Hadrian's Wall - Milecastle 2 - Walker
Milecastle 2 (Walker) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. No remains are currently visible, having been built over, but its probable location is at or near the junction of the A187 Fossway and Tunstall Avenue, in the parish of Wallsend. It was supposedly visible in the mid-19th century but was built over by 1885. Excavations in 1928 failed to find any structural remains.
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| Distance: 3.08km
Hadrian's Wall - Milecastle 1 - Stott's Pow
Milecastle 1 (Stott's Pow) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. It was located near the (now disappeared) valley of Stott's Pow. Its remains are covered over, and are located beneath the recreation ground at Miller's Dene. Early excavations and investigations of Turret 0B were mistakenly interpreted as Milecastle 1. The Milecastle sits within the parish of Wallsend.
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Address: 253 Fossway, Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 4XX, UK | Distance: 4.33km
Hadrian’s Wall – Milecastle 8 – West Denton
Milecastle 8 (West Denton) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. Its remains are located in what is now West Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne. The milecastle has two associated turret structures which are known as turret 8A and turret 8B. The turrets and milecastle were excavated in the 1920s, yielding some pottery and stone carvings, but have since been overlain by modern roads. The exact locations of the structures is disputed, with the road now hiding any surface traces. The Milecastle now forms part of the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.
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Address: 82 South View, East Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 2BQ, UK | Distance: 5.37km
Segedunum was a Roman fort at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall in modern-day Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, England, UK. It is the most thoroughly excavated fort along Hadrian's Wall, and is operated as Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum.
Read our full blog post on Visiting Segedunum!
Address: Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum Buddle St Wallsend Newcastle upon Tyne NE28 6HR | Hours: 10am-5pm Jun–mid-Sep, to 4pm Easter-May & mid-Sep–early Nov, to 2.30pm Mon-Fri early Nov-Easter | Price: adult/child £6/free | Website | Distance: 5.64km
Gibside is an estate in the Derwent Valley with a 18th-century designed landscapes located in North East England. Gibside was created by one of the richest men in Georgian England, George Bowes. It is now a National Trust property and this 243-hectare (600-acre) estate once a pleasure ground for the Georgian elite, can now be enjoyed by everyone. Gibside also offers miles of woodland and riverside walks with views across the Derwent Valley.
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| Price: Adult £12.00, Child £6.00, Family £30.00 | Website | Distance: 9.71km
Washington Old Hall
Washington Old Hall is a manor house located in Washington Village, Tyne and Wear, England, United Kingdom. It was the ancestral home of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
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Address: The Avenue, Washington, England, NE38 7LE, United Kingdom | Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 | Website | Distance: 10.60km
Beamish Museum is an open-air museum located at Beamish, England. The museum's, which is spread over 120 hectares, intends to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the height of industrialization in the early 20th century.
You can travel from the Georgian period of the 1820s to the pre-World War One years of the 1900s and the fabulous 1940s and 1950s.
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Address: Beamish, the Living Museum of the North Regional Resource Centre Beamish DH9 0RG United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Easter-Oct, 10am-4pm Nov-Easter, closed Mon & Fri Jan–mid-Feb, last admission 3pm | Price: Adult/Child £19/11 | Website | Distance: 11.05km
Hadrian’s Wall – Milecastle 16 – Whitchester
Milecastle 16 (Harlow Hill) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. The milecastle is located at Harlow Hill, Northumberland. There are no visible surface remains of the milecastle or either of its associated turrets.
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Address: 1 The Terrace, Harlow Hill, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 0QE, UK | Distance: 17.06km
Hadrian’s Wall – Milecastle 21 – Halton Shields
Milecastle 21 (Down Hill) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. The site was identified by measurement only, as the milecastle's remains have been totally removed. This is probably due to extensive quarrying at the site, which now lies under pasture (and partly beneath the Military Road).
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Address: B6318, Corbridge NE45 5QA, UK | Distance: 24.32km