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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Visiting Newcastle and Gateshead

Do you have a burning question about visiting Newcastle and Gateshead or travel enquiries? Is there something you really would like to know while you plan your visit to Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider North East? Here are some answers to your frequently asked Questions. There is an option to get in touch with our team if your question is not answered in our FAQs.

How do I get to major attractions outside of central Newcastle and Gateshead town centre by public transport?

Getting around NewcastleGateshead is simple and fuss-free. Public transport is efficient and plentiful so you can explore NewcastleGateshead and the wider region with ease. There are specific buses which will take you directly to popular attractions and landmarks such as Beamish MuseumAngel of the NorthNorthumberlandiaAlnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden or straight to shopping heaven at intu Metrocentre. Whether you're walking, cycling, getting the metro, catching a train or hopping in a taxi, our travel information will provide all the guidance you'll need to get around easily.

What can I do in Newcastle for free?

There are an abundance of free attractions in Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider North East. Most Tyne and Wear museums and galleries are free, including popular attractions:

  • Great North Museum: Hancock
  • Discovery Museum
  • Laing Art Gallery
  • Shipley Art Gallery

There are also a number of independent galleries including:

  • BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
  • The Biscuit Factory
  • Northern Print
  • and the galleries at Northumbria University and Hatton Gallery at Newcastle University (donations are welcome at all venues).

These venues also provide a busy and varied event programme with activities suitable for all ages and plenty of things to do for free as a family. Find a full list of events in What's on.

There are also plenty of free outdoor spaces in NewcastleGateshead to enjoy. You can stand in the shadow of the impressive and iconic Angel of the North in Gateshead, feed the ducks in picturesque parks such as Leazes Park, Exhibition Park or Saltwell Park, and visit Jesmond Dene to see the animals at Pets Corner or go for a stroll along to explore the Quayside past the iconic Tyne Bridges.

During the summer months, NE1 Screen on the Green and Quayside Seaside provide a brilliant way to while away the hours. For a full list of attractions, visit our page on Things to Do in NewcastleGateshead.

How do I book a ticket for a football match at St James’ Park?

You can book tickets for Newcastle United home matches at St James' Park online or by calling +44 (0)844 372 1892. You can also purchase match tickets from the stadium Box Office within the Official Club Store at St James’ Park and the Newcastle United store at intu Metrocentre. Please note that high-profile games often sell out prior to kick-off, so advanced booking is recommended.

Are there guided tours of Newcastle and Gateshead?

There are a number of fun and informative guided tours around Newcastle and Gateshead. Discover the hidden history, unlock the region's varied heritage and look at familiar landmarks with new eyes. Newcastle City Guides host a variety of tours around the city including the exceptionally popular public tours of Grey’s Monument which take place between March and October. A range of other guided tours are also available including a guided river cruise or finding out more on a walking tour with the Newcastle City Guides or Blue Badge Guides. Hop on and hop off the Newcastle Gateshead Toon Tour city sightseeing bus with tickets from £8 per adult and £4 per child.

Football fans can indulge their passion for the game and take a St James' Park Stadium Tour around the iconic home of Newcastle United Football Club. Delve behind the scenes or survey the hallowed grounds as part of a popular Rooftop Tour.

Nexus offer river trips from South Shields ferry landing during summer, including Fish & Chips cruises, live music events and river commentary. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, Cullercoats Bike and Kayak offer informative river tours along the Tyne. Kayak from St Peter’s Basin under the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge and back again, taking in the Quayside sights. Uncover the history beneath Ouseburn and Newcastle with The Victoria Tunnel or go on a guided walk through Ouseburn (£5) to find out more about the regenerated, cultural heart of Newcastle.

Where can I buy local gifts and souvenirs in NewcastleGateshead?

Everyone loves a souvenir and we wouldn’t want you to go home empty handed! There are a number of shops in NewcastleGateshead with souvenirs and gifts for all tastes and budgets: 

  • 61side UpSide Down Presents near Newcastle Quayside is an independent gift shop selling cards, local art, Geordie-themed gifts and all sorts of souvenirs, from magnets to tea towels.
  • Souvenirs Upon Tyne is opposite sister store 61side Upside Down Presents and is another brilliant stopping off point for all manner of Geordie souvenirs!
  • BALTIC Shop sells original art, artist editions, prints, posters, unique gifts, designer jewellery, toys and homeware.
  • Discovery Museum sells science and industry themed gifts, but also has a good selection of ‘Geordie’ gifts and traditional tourist souvenirs.
  • HandPICKED is an independent gift shop run by Gateshead College in intu Metrocentre, where you’ll find an array of handpicked delights from jewellery, prints and bags to candles, cards and chocolates.
  • Geordie Gifts in Newcastle's Grainger Market has a cheeky range of proper Geordie cards, gifts and souvenirs, many emblazoned with much loved Geordie banter.
  • For local art, crafts, glassware and jewellery, try the Sage GatesheadLaing Art GalleryThe Biscuit FactoryNewcastle Arts Centre and North East Art Collective.
  • The weekly Quayside Market which takes place every Sunday along the Newcastle banks of the River Tyne has a plethora of independent traders. 
  • Fenwick Food Hall is crammed with a treasure trove of delights from high-end delicacies, fresh produce and an impressive wine room to locally brewed craft beers including a selection from Wylam Brewery, coffee (from local aficionados Ouseburn Coffee Company) and healthy hipster snacks and smoothies (from local independent, Naked Deli).

What times are the shops open until in Newcastle and Gateshead?

Enjoy late night shopping in Newcastle all year round as part of Alive after Five. Many of the department stores, shopping centres and high-street shops are open late enough so that you have plenty of time to shop 'til you drop.

intu Eldon Square opening hours

Monday - Friday: 9am - 8pm

Saturday: 9am - 7pm

Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Bank Holidays: 10am - 6pm

intu Metrocentre opening hours

Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm

Saturday: 9am - 7pm

Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Bank Holidays: 10am - 6pm

Are there any markets in Newcastle and Gateshead?

Visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead will not be disappointed by the choice of markets on offer. There are a number of year-round indoor markets as well seasonal food markets and many pop-up street food market events particularly around Christmas.

The Grade I listed Grainger Market, built in 1835, is Newcastle’s main indoor market. Home to over 100 businesses, from local, independent traders to big name brands, Grainger Market includes an original Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar – the world’s smallest M&S store. The market is open all year round on Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5.30pm.

Newcastle’s famous Sunday Quayside Market takes place every Sunday from 10am – 4pm between the Swing Bridge and Gateshead Millennium Bridge on Newcastle Quayside.

Every Saturday and Sunday, visitors to the coast can browse hundreds of stalls at the bustling Tynemouth Market which takes place on the metro station platform. Artisan food and drink traders, street food stalls, furniture, vintage fashion and fun bric-a-brac means you are guaranteed to pick up a bargain at Tynemouth’s year-round, indoor market.

National Trust Gibside has a farmers’ market every first and third Saturday of the month. Low Fell Food Market is a seasonal event which takes place in Saltwell Park, Gateshead every first Saturday of the month during the summer months with a Christmas special in November. While Newcastle’s famous Bigg Market has recently undergone a makeover and hosts a Friday food market on the last Friday of every month throughout the summer and early autumn months.

Where can I find information about the Great North Run?

The Great North Run takes place in early September every year and is the world's biggest half-marathon attracting over 50,000 participants from all around the world to NewcastleGateshead. Visit our Great North Run hub for up-to-date information on how to enter the Great North Run ballot, events taking place over the Great North Run Weekend including the City Games, and accommodation suggestions.

Where are the nearest public toilets in Newcastle and Gateshead?

Free public toilets are available in Newcastle wherever you see this logo:

Use Our Loos in Newcastle and Gateshead - look out for this logoParticipating venues in Newcastle include (but are not limited to) Centre for Life, intu Eldon Square, Newcastle City Library and Laing Art Gallery. In Gateshead, free public toilets are available at venues including Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tesco Extra Trinity Square and Gateshead Central Library. You can find information on public toilets for the wider North East and the rest of Great British Public Toilet Map website.

When does the Gateshead Millennium Bridge tilt?

Gateshead Millennium Bridge tilts at 12 noon every day during the summer months from May until early September and each tilt takes 4 ½ minutes. There are additional tilts for shipping throughout the year and a full list of scheduled tilts are can be found on the Gateshead Council website.

Where can I park my coach or drop-off passengers in NewcastleGateshead?

There is one coach park in Newcastle, close to the Metro Radio Arena (located NE4 7AD), which has 13 pay and display bays; this is open 24 hours. Contact Newcastle City Council’s Parking Department on +44 (0)191 261 4503 for more information. Coach drop-off points only can be found on Claremont Road, beside the Great North Museum: Hancock (NE2 4PT) and on John Dobson Street by Newcastle City Library (NE1 8AX).

There is also one coach park in Gateshead, close to Sage Gateshead and the Quayside (located NE8 2AU) which has 11 pay and display bays. For further information please contact Gateshead Parking Services on +44 (0)191 433 3155.

Where is the nearest camping or caravan site to Newcastle and Gateshead?

Derwent Park Caravan and Camping Site is beside Derwent Walk Country Park about 8 miles to the southwest of central NewcastleGateshead. The site has hook-ups for caravans and motor homes, tent pitches and facilities including toilets, shower block, laundry and a children’s play area.

Bobby Shafto Caravan Park is about 8 ½ miles to the south of Newcastle city centre in County Durham, with traditional camping facilities, static caravans, hook-ups for caravans and mobile homes, and a number of eco-friendly camping pods.

Where can I find left luggage facilities in NewcastleGateshead?

User-friendly left luggage facilities can be located in intu Eldon Square bus station to store anything from a large carrier bag to a suitcase. Newcastle International Airport also provides a left luggage service. You will find more information in our Getting to NewcastleGateshead section. Please note there are no left luggage facilities at Newcastle Central Station or the International Passenger Ferry Terminal.

How do I get to Northumbria University's Coach Lane Campus?

Northumbria University’s Coach Lane Campus is an extensive site with its own Sports Centre, Students’ Union, Library and IT suites. Stagecoach bus number 1 is the most direct bus route from Newcastle City Centre and takes around 25 minutes to get to Coach Lane. The bus can be picked up outside the Civic Centre. Four Lane Ends is the nearest Metro Station, approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the campus and Coach Lane is well served by local cycle routes.

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