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Hotspot: Newcastle – Where to…visit

Monday 20th December, 2021 by hostandstay

If you’ve rented a holiday cottage in North East England, you may be looking to get away from it all – the region is known for its wide open spaces after all.

But if you fancy something different, why not head to the area’s main city, Newcastle, where you can feast on architecture, art and culture to your heart’s content.

The city is packed full of interesting places to visit – here are just a few…

Grey’s Monument and Grey Street

In the heart of the city centre is Grey’s Monument, a Grade I listed monument to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (he of the tea fame), which was built in 1838.

The area surrounding the monument has long been a focal point for visitors and shoppers, also frequently hosting demonstrations, as well as the city’s Christmas markets.

It stands at the top of Grey Street, which this year was named as one of the most Instagramable streets in the UK – and it’s not surprising.

Gently curving down towards the Quayside, the street is lined on both sides with stunning Georgian architecture, much of which now houses bars and restaurants.

The Quayside

At the bottom of Grey Street, you’ll reach the Quayside, where you’ll be able to see/walk beneath/cross many of Newcastle’s iconic bridges.

The city has seven bridges crossing the Quayside area, including the famous Tyne Bridge, on which the Sydney Harbour Bridge was modelled, and the blinking eye Millennium Bridge, the newest addition.

The banks of the Quayside are packed with bars and cafes, as well as views across the river to the mesmerizing architecture of the Sage Gateshead music centre and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

The Baltic

Technically on the Gateshead side of the river, the Baltic can be reached on foot via the Millennium Bridge. 

Housed in a former flour mill, the gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Spread across six floors, the centre offers an ever-changing roster of art exhibits, children’s activities, exhibition space and cafes – all accessed in glass lifts offering panoramic views over the river.

It also has a viewing platform on the top floor for those with a head for heights and, safely on the ground floor, a gift shop where you’re bound to find the perfect souvenir.

Centre for Life

The Centre for Life, handily situated next to Newcastle Central Station, is described as a science village, the highlight of which, for tourists at least, is a museum dedicated to all things scientific.

With permanent exhibits explaining space, the human body and physics, alongside a planetarium and hands-on experiments, it’s the perfect place for everyone to have fun and learn at the same time.

In the Winter months, it also hosts an ice-skating rink outside, as well as a number of cafes all year round.

The Great North Museum

Forever known to a generation of North East schoolchildren as the Hancock, the Great North Museum is a firm favourite with kids.

Within easy walking distance of the city centre, its main attraction is the Living Planet Gallery: two floors filled with life-sized models of all sorts of animals, including an elephant, a giraffe and a great white shark.

Behind the Living Planet Gallery is another popular exhibit: a life-sized replica of a T-Rex skeleton, which is accompanied by a variety of internationally famous fossils that bring the prehistoric past to life. 

The Victoria Tunnel

Not for the claustrophobic, the Victoria Tunnel is a 2.4-mile long 19th-century waggonway under Newcastle, originally built to transport coal from Spital Tongues Colliery to the River Tyne. In 1939, it was converted into an air-raid shelter to protect Newcastle citizens during the Second World War.

Nowadays, brave visitors can take a guided tour along the tunnel, which is in the revamped Ouseburn area of the city – but be warned, previous visitors have reported paranormal sightings.

Seven Stories

Staying in Ouseburn, why not visit the UK’s only museum and visitor centre dedicated to children’s literature, Seven Stories

Named for the idea that there are ultimately only seven categories of stories to be told (as well as the fact it has seven stories), the museum is a haven for book-lovers of all ages.

With a permanent archive collection featuring work from Enid Blyton, Judith Kerr and Philip Pullman alongside changing exhibitions and a specialist children’s bookshop, it’s a must-do for the bookworm in your life.

The above is just a taste of some of the delights Newcastle has to offer, so what are you waiting for? Book your North East holiday cottage today and discover them for yourself.

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