With so much to see and do across NewcastleGateshead and its surroundings it’s easy to wonder where to start. We’ve compiled a short selection of ‘must sees’ from across the area to give you a flavour of what’s on offer, or for specific routes check out our itinerary ideas.
NewcastleGateshead is famous for its bridges, all of which have been engineering and design world firsts, and no trip would be complete without taking in the riverscape from the bustling Quayside. Take a stroll across the newest bridge, Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge, which connects Newcastle and Gateshead for pedestrians and cyclists visiting The Sage Gateshead and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and is the first – and only – tilting bridge in the world.
It is a short stroll from the Quayside to Grey Street, winner of Academy of Urbanism’s Great Street Award 2010, which encapsulates the new-classical splendour of the beautiful Grainger Town. While in the town centre it’s well worth a trip to the Castle Keep which, steeped in history, tells the story of how the city became what it is today and, of course, how it got its name! If you're looking to squeeze in some shopping, you'll be spoiled for choice at Eldon Square with it's impressive list of retailers from Debenhams and Fenwick to Apple and Hollister.
The intu Metrocentre in Gateshead, the largest indoor shopping and leisure complex in Europe, shouldn’t be missed by shoppers looking for anything from a designer gift to a cheeky bargain, whilst Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North, only a short drive away, stands proudly in 20m tall iron recalling the city’s industrial heritage.
For sun, sea and sand-lovers, a visit to the coast is an absolute must. Tynemouth's Priory and Castle and St Mary’s Lighthouse, whose beaches were all awarded Blue Flag status in 2010, are both beautiful and educational sites set alongside golden sandy beaches perfect for relaxing summer days or refreshing autumnal strolls.
Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium has fish and sea-creatures from across the globe to amaze and delight adults and children alike, not to mention miniature monkeys as part of the Amazing Amazon display. Souter Lighthouse in South Shields, the first to be powered electrically, has a historical pull of its own, and a perfect little picnic patch to enjoy a bite to eat while you drink in the spectacular view.
Whilst in Sunderland the National Glass Centre is nationally recognised for its support of contemporary glass-working and has daily glass-blowing demonstrations as well as courses to teach the general public this amazing skill.