Of Interest in Newcastle
|| When it comes to
places of interest in Newcastle you may think that the
city’s exports like TV show Byker Grove, the magazine
Viz, and Newcastle Brown Ale, shed some light on what
the city has to offer, but Newcastle is much more interesting
Firstly there’s the city’s historic offerings,
remnants of its rich past which still stand today. Within
Newcastle itself you can go and explore Castle (Garth)
the remains of the ‘new castle’ that gave
the city its name. Founded by the eldest son of William
the Conqueror, it is one of the finest examples of a Norman
Keep in the country.
The Keep has three floors for you to explore linked by
a succession of staircases that take you to rooms such
as the Gallery, King’s Chambers, Queen’s Chambers,
Great Hall and the dungeon. And once you've seen the inside,
you can get some excellent views across the Tyne from
Newcastle’s cathedral, the Cathedral Church of
St Nicholas [map],
was built on the site of a Norman church that stood next
to ‘new castle’, and dates back mainly to
the 13th and 14th century. The cathedral is one of Britain’s
smallest but has plenty to see including stained glass,
memorials and a 15th century font. And its Lantern
Tower, added later in 1448, is one of only four built
in the country, and is one of Newcastle’s most well
known landmarks. The cathedral is still used for worship
every morning, but is usually open every weekday until
6:00pm, on Saturday until 4:00pm and on Sunday until 7pm
but it is closed between 12:00pm and 4:00pm.
Other historic attractions include the medieval City
Walls the best example of which can be seen on Stowell
Street in Chinatown, the 13th century monastery at Blackfriars
[map], Grey’s Monument [map],
a memorial to the 2nd Earl Grey Prime Minister from 1830
to 1834, and the Old George [map] pub, where King Charles I is believed to have drank back
For a complete overview of Newcastle’s illustrious
history, why not try the Discovery Museum [map].
As well as exploring the city’s history, it also
celebrates Newcastle’s achievements, through a series
of exhibits, something the whole family can enjoy.
Moving towards Newcastle’s historic Quayside,
you’ll find Bessie Surtees’ House [map].
In the 16th and 17th century the quayside was where wealthy
merchants made their homes in half timber houses, but
Bessie Surtees’ House stands out because of the
scandal she caused by climbing out of the window to elope
with the penniless John Scott. The romantic tale has a
happy ending though, as the groom went on to become the
Lord Chancellor of England.
Staying Quayside, one thing you won’t fail to notice
are the bridges across the River Tyne. There are now seven
bridges in total, thanks to the recent addition of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge [map],
which was officially opened in 2002. Designed to look
like a blinking eye, the £22 million bridge acts
as a link for pedestrians and cyclists between Gateshead
and Newcastle and is the first bridge to be built across
the Tyne in over 100 years.
The Millennium Bridge is the world’s first tilting
bridge and it follows in the footsteps of some of its
predecessors in its distinction. The Tyne Bridge [map],
probably the most well known of the other bridges, was
opened in 1928 by King George V and at the time was the
largest single span bridge in the world. And the High
Level Bridge [map],
designed by Robert Stephenson, was the world’s first
road and railway bridge.
Other places of interest within central Newcastle include
the Blue Carpet [map],
a contemporary urban art piece located outside the Laing
Art Gallery [map] that consists of blue tiles, manipulated to form a functional
public space. There’s also the Life Science Centre
an interactive exploration into the vast subject of existence.
Other places of interest close to Newcastle include Gateshead and the Angel of the North [map], Hexam Abbey, Hadrian’s Wall [map], Alnwick Castle [map] and the towns of Bamburgh [map] and Jarrow [map] to name just a few.
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