Newcastle upon Tyne, also simply referred to as “Newcastle”, is one of the largest cities in England situated in Tyne and Wear. The city is a mix of tradition and metropolitan elegance; well-known for its interesting museums, inspiring history, refined Victorian architecture, vibrant nightlife due to its high student population, and great food. Not to mention its SEVEN connecting city bridges across a beautiful riverscape!
Here are a few interesting things to do in Newcastle:
10 THINGS TO DO IN Newcastle upon TyNE
1. Visit Newcastle Castle
During the Roman era, Newcastle was actually a fort on Hadrian’s Wall – which you can also visit if you’re in Newcastle for a few days.
Interesting Historic Fact: The city was named Newcastle after William the Conqueror gave an order to build a “new castle” on the same site of the old fort; the castle is one of the Newcastle’s top tourist attractions (along with St Nicholas Cathedral).
The iconic Newcastle Castle was reopened to the public in early 2015 after extensive renovation. Stories behind Newcastle Black Gate and Castle Keep tell of prisoners’ fate, strange tales of murder, ghost sightings of “The Poppy Girl”, and more. Touring the medieval castle’s exhibits offers you a chance to experience what life would have been like for occupants in the fortress and dungeons. Go to the very top of the castle for picturesque views of the city.
Tickets are priced at £6.50 for adults, £3.90 for children, and free for children under 5 years old. Check out the Newcastle Castle official website for more details on special offers and opening times.
2. Go for a Bike Ride
The Cycle Hub in Newcastle is an independent café located on the banks of River Tyne that also offers bicycle hire along with an operational workshop for bicycle services and repairs. Rent a bike and ride out to the coast or along the river. Once you’re done, have a coffee at the café and take in the beautiful views up the River Tyne to the scenic quayside.
Bike rental prices start at £10 for 2 hours (helmet included). Check out The Cycle Hub website for more details.
3. Go to the Movies!
Tyneside Cinema shows the best movies from around the world in a chic and stylish 1937 art deco atmosphere. It’s known as the last surviving newreel theatre in UK that still operates as a full-time cinema, which makes it part of the country’s national heritage. The old building features 4 showing screens, a café, old-fashioned coffee rooms, and a digital art gallery. The cinema even displays heritage pieces and contemporary artworks.
4. Have some meat at Longhorns Newcastle
Longhorns Newcastle is the ultimate meat lovers paradise. If you love meat, this is the place to go! Order the massive Smokestack Burger with a side of sweet potato fries sprinkled with snake dust (I’m very serious). Also, try their meat boards with your choice of BBQs and sides! All meats are locally sourced and smoked by Longhorns BBQ Smokehouse.
Check out the exclusive Longhorns Newcastle review!
5. Tour Ouseburn Farm
Visit Ouseburn Valley’s own community charity farm and training centre for a change of scenery only a mile away from Newcastle city centre. Pet some animals, develop your skillset, learn about best practices in environmental sustainability, and participate in a number of fun activities at the Ouseburn Farm. There’s also a cute little café on the site to have a meal. It’s a great option for families with kids!
6. Go Shopping in Grainger Market
Between Grainger Street and Clayton Street, the bustling 19th century Grainger Market features over 100 businesses offering a variety of different sights and smells from local shops and big name retailers. This covered indoor market offers many stalls from fresh produce, take-away and street food, and gourmet food stalls to crafts, books, jewelry, and cute gift shops. You should definitely add Grainger Market to your list of things to do in Newcastle!
7. Spend a Lazy Afternoon at Leazes Park
Head over to Newcastle’s oldest park for a lazy afternoon. At Leazes Park, you can go fishing, have a picnic on the grass or on the picnic benches provided, feed the swans and ducks, or have a walk by the lake. There are also tennis courts and a basketball court based at the park for the more active bunch. Note: Bring your own food and drinks as there isn’t a café or stall to buy anything to eat.
8. Plan Your Escape from the City to Jesmond Dene
Just a short distance away from Newcastle city centre, the scenic Jesmond Dene park offers you a peaceful escape from the city within the city. The waterfall is the perfect spot for a picnic amongst natural wildlife; bring along some snacks for the squirrels!
9. Go to a Free Museum
Discover the story of Hadrian’s Wall with its large-scale interactive model at the Great North Museum as well as artifacts from the Ancient Greeks, putrefying Egyptian mummies, a life-size scale of a terrifying pre-historic T-Rex skeleton and more!
The Discovery Museum takes on another path including interactive displays and exhibits from Newcastle and Tyneside’s maritime history, science and technology, and even fashion through the eras. Here, you can find the Turbinia, which was the first ship powered by a steam turbine (and it was invented on Tyneside!).
10. Visit The Biscuit Factory
Only 5 minutes away from Newcastle city centre, The Biscuit Factory is UK’s biggest independent modern art, craft, and design gallery. The 2 floors feature a wide range of stunning contemporary art, sculptures, handmade jewelry, and more. If you’re a first-time art buyer, there are always team members around to assist you. There’s also a café and an award-winning restaurant in this Victorian warehouse offering delicious food, drinks, and naughty treats. Entrance to The Biscuit Factory is free and they’re open 7 days a week!
11. Visit the Angel of the North
Wait, 11? The title says 10 things to do in Newcastle, I know. I wanted to give this last one a mention, but it’s a bit farther from Newcastle city centre. Sculptor Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North is UK’s most renowned piece of public artwork. The Angel is 20m high and 54m wide and it’s believed to be the largest angel sculpture in the world! If you’re traveling from South England, the beloved iconic Angel of the North will greet you with open arms!
So there’s your list of things to do in Newcastle!
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