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Historic Spots

Burrow into Newcastle’s history in the Victoria Tunnel

VisitorsExperience the sounds of a wartime air raid and follow your guide underground to discover the tunnel's role as a Victorian colliery waggonway.

Deep beneath the Newcastle city streets, the Victoria Tunnel runs from the Town Moor down to the Tyne. It was built in 1842 to transport coal from Leazes Main Colliery to riverside staithes (jetties) ready for loading onto ships; playing an important role in the industrial strength of Tyneside during the 19th century.

The tunnel closed in 1860 but remained untouched and in 1939 it was converted into an air-raid shelter to protect hundreds of Newcastle citizens during World War II. A recent programme of repairs has been carried out and part of the tunnel is now open for guided tours which include evocative sound and visual effects - listen out for the oncoming coal wagons.

Don’t forget to book your tour in advance, and keep an eye out for the ghost, rumoured to haunt the tunnel.

View the city as the Normans once did at Newcastle Castle

Castle KeepFrom Romans to Victorians and right through to modern times, explore the history of the area where the original 'new castle' once stood.

Newcastle Castle is located within the historic heart of Newcastle. Built between 1168 and 1178, the stone Castle Keep sits upon ground previously occupied by the Roman fort Pons Aelius, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery and the Norman timber and earth castle from which the city takes its name.

One of the finest surviving medieval castle keeps in Britain, it also boasts an outstanding view of the city, the Tyne and the seven bridges which join Newcastle to Gateshead from its rooftop. The castle’s Black Gate was the last addition to the medieval castle’s defences (built between 1247 and 1250) and will open up to the public as a heritage centre, telling the story of ‘old Newcastle’, in 2015.

Celebrate cinema 1930’s style at Tyneside Cinema

Tyneside Cinema Classic (c) Allan Mushen See free newsreel screenings of important 20th century events and take guided tours of this Grade II restored news theatre.

The showing of newsreels in news theatres was a craze that swept the UK in the 1930s and changed the lives of many people, allowing them for the first time to see global events and faraway places.

The last surviving newsreel theatre still operating as a cinema full-time in the UK, Tyneside Cinema is a Grade II listed building which has recently been restored to preserve and celebrate the grandeur of its original 1937 Persian palace inspired design.

Free newsreel screenings in the restored news theatre auditorium and guided tours provide a window into the greatest achievements and darkest hours of the 20th century, and a reminder of the social setting in which news was once consumed.

Continue your journey through the architectural history of NewcastleGateshead with a stay at Hotel du Vin Newcastle. Housed within the former Tyne Tees Steam Shipping Company in Ouseburn, there's a tip and a wink to the magnificently refurbished Edwardian building's maritime past at every turn - from ships' ropes in the courtyard, to porthole windows in the showers.

VisitEnglandTravel through time exploring England’s eclectic heritage from prehistoric fossil sites and imposing castles and country houses to its literary, industrial and maritime past.

To discover more historic spots go to VisitEngland.com

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