Newcastle has a reputation as a hard-partying city with an aversion to coats. This is a really unfair reputation, the culture-led regeneration that’s happened in the city since the late 1990s has made it a great place to visit. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the attractions this great city and why there’s a lot more to it than Geordie Shore and stag parties.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts
Newcastle is on the north bank of the Tyne and Gateshead, which is a separate town is on the south bank. The Quayside, as it’s known, spans the river on both the Newcastle and Gateshead side. On the Newcastle side there are restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as Newcastle’s Law Courts. The Millennium bridge spans the river from the law courts to Gateshead Quays. Here is the home of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary art. The BALTIC is house in a converted former mill in 2002. It does not own any works itself, instead showing a series of constantly changing exhibitions and events, meaning that every time you visit there will be new and different work exhibiting. It hosted the Turner Prize in 2011 and had a record number of visitors for the collection.
St James’ Park
Newcastle is known as a football town, with the club always selling out the stadium and attendances that are in the top 7 in the league. The days of Champions League football may not be gone but the stadium is still a majestic structure and tours of the stadium run up to four times daily, allowing you access to the dressing rooms, executive boxes and all the other areas of the stadium usually inaccessible on match days. A great day out for the football fan.
Sage is a music venue and community hub consisting of three concert venues, a 1700-seater, a 450-seater and a smaller performance and rehearsal hall enclosed by a glass and steel shell. The venue is the home of the Royal Northern Sinfonia – of which the Guardian said the is “no better chamber orchestra in Britain.” The main event space is designed to be acoustically perfect as a concert hall and is adaptable with curtains and baffles to accommodate all kinds of music. Artists who have performed here include Blondie, James Brown, De La Soul and Herbie Hancock. Below the performance venues there are 20 smaller rooms that host music workshops and community events. A lot of these are free and accessible during the day for children so your little ones can be entertained for nothing.
The Great North Museum
One of the North East’s oldest museum, it opened in 1884 and is Newcastle’s museum of natural history. The museum has exhibitions on natural history, geology and has a selection of artefacts from Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Other exhibits include a life-size cast of an African elephant and a full-size cast of Tyrannosaurus Rex. The museum also has a learning zone including a planetarium and a selection of live reptiles and amphibians.