The city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the town of Gateshead are on each side of the River Tyne and are united by seven bridges. This North-Eastern area was once a major industrial, shipbuilding and mining area, which has recently been regenerated with stunning architectural and arts projects. Friendly locals and excellent educational facilities make it a great place to study, socialise or visit.
A good place to start is on the famous quayside where Newcastle and Gateshead meet, and which is connected by a series of dramatic bridges. Try to visit the Swing Bridge, that turns to let boats up the river on each side of it and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, constructed for pedestrians and cyclists at the start of this century, that looks like a winking eye and tilts to let boats travel beneath.
Sage Gateshead offers a wide range of opportunities to explore and create all kinds of music, for people of all ages at every level of ability and experience
On the Gateshead side of the river are two spectacular buildings: the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Sage Gateshead. Baltic is housed in a 1950s flour mill and it has a fantastic view of the quayside and the bridges. It is also free to visit the exhibitions. Sage Gateshead it is a centre for musical education, performance and concerns. You can walk through the foyer and around the building as well as attending events there.
Newcastle City Centresightseeing
The heart of Newcastle is Grainger Town, a collection of classical streets built between 1824 and 1841. The buildings include Grainger Market, the Theatre Royal and Grey Street, famous for its Georgian architecture. Also in the city centre is the Castle, the medieval building which gave Newcastle its name.
Nights out on the town
Newcastle's night life is famous throughout the UK. The Rough Guide to Britain described it as Great Britain's No 1 tourist attraction, whilst the TripAdvisor awards places it after London and Berlin in Europe, and seventh overall in the world.
So where do you go to find the fun? The Bigg Market and Quayside have lots of pubs, bars and nightclubs and are a great place to start. There are more exclusive bars in Collingwood Street, around the central station and in the Jesmond area. There is also a new indoor complex in the city centre called The Gate, which includes bars, clubs, restaurants and a multiplex cinema.
Almost all of the shows that come to the Theatre Royal are part of a national British tour. In a typical year the theatre have around 30 to 35 visiting shows
The Theatre Royal Newcastle's programme includes annual Royal Shakespeare Company performances and ballet, dance, drama, musicals and opera. The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre is one of the oldest working Victorian theatres in the world.
Local words to know
Newcastle has its own very musical dialect, called Geordie. It includes a few unique words not used in regular English. These include "canny" (which can mean good, nice, or very), "hoy" (throw) and "netty" (toilet). People from Newcastle are often called Geordies.
Local food to try
The most famous local speciality is probably Newcastle Brown Ale, which is a bottled beer. You may also come across stotties (a large, soft bread roll) and pease pudding, which is thick green pea puree and often used as a sandwich filling in the area.
Newcastle International Airport is around 6 miles outside the city, 20 minutes on the Metro. There are also extensive city bus services.
Newcastle Central Station is a main stop in the East Coast Main Line from London to Scotland and also on the Cross Country route, with trains going to Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South West. There are also good services to the North Western cities of Manchester and Liverpool and local towns.
The city also has excellent road links, being close to the A1 linking London and Edinburgh and many other major routes.
Newcastle is also close to an international ferry terminal at South Shields.
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