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The Metro

Getting around

Newcastle International Airport is just eight miles from Newcastle city centre. The airport is connected to the city centre by the Metro light railway system. Trains run every 5 – 15 minutes and the journey takes just 20 minutes. Bus services, car hire and taxis are also available at the airport. 

Car hire

Car hire at Newcastle International Airport couldn’t be easier. There are five national car hire companies based in the terminal who can be contacted 24 hours every day. Their desks are located on the ground floor opposite domestic arrivals. Contact details are as follows:

  • Sixt                 0844 499 3399  
  • Europcar         0871 384 3411  
  • Hertz               0191 286 6748  
  • Avis                 0844 544 6022  
  • Budget             0844 544 4663  
  • Interrent           0844 544 4663  

Car is the best way to explore the rural parts of Northumberland and Durham. The roads are fairly quiet and you can explore our stunning countryside at your own pace.

You will need to have a full, valid licence issued in your country of residence and held for at least 1 year (some companies do ask for 2 years). The average minimum car hire age is 23 (some companies allow car hire from the age of 21) and the average maximum age is 70 (some companies up to the age of 80). There may be restrictions on the type and size of car younger drives can hire. Most car hire companies provide emergency roadside assistance in case of breakdown, but do check this when booking. To get the best deals we recommend you book in advance.

Driving regulations

Read the VisitBritain guide on driving regulations in Britain and find out what licence you'll need, information on speed limits, tips on parking and more.

Public transport

You can enjoy days out around the North East by bus, but you will have to plan your day in advance! There are bus routes operating to the main tourist attractions, many offering you money-saving tickets and discounts on entry fees. The two main bus companies are Arriva and Go North East. Make use of the Traveline North East Journey Planner to help you plan your trip.


Newcastle is located on the East Coast mainline that connects London and Edinburgh. With over 30 high speed trains running every day, it’s easy and quick to get around the country. Durham is just 10 minutes by train from Newcastle Central Station and York just 1 hour away. First TransPennine Express connects the north of England, with journey times to the main cities all within a couple of hours.

  • Carlisle            1hr 30
  • Hull                  2hr 30
  • Leeds              1hr 30
  • Liverpool         3hr
  • Manchester     2hr 30
  • Sheffield          1hr 50
  • York                1hr

Practical information

Check out VisitEngland’s guide to practical information and advice when visiting England.

Maps and guides

The following maps and guides will be useful in helping you plan your trip to North East England. 

Visitor Guides

NewcastleGateshead Pocket GuideNewcastleGateshead Pocket Guide

Northumberland Guide Northumberland guides and leaflets

Durham Guide Durham Pocket Guide, food and drink guide, and walking and cycling guide  

Hadrian's Wall Guide Hadrian’s Wall Country Holiday Guide and Map

South Tyneside Guide South Tyneside Guide


NewcastleGateshead map (pdf)

Durham city map (pdf)

Durham county map (pdf)

Sunderland city center map (pdf)