Newcastle Castle

Things to do in Newcastle

Alexander Iles

Rising up from the River Tyne, Newcastle’s fine medieval buildings – including the castle that gives the city its name – attest to its military and mercantile importance in the middle ages. The galleries and museums in the city centre, including the Great North Museum, the Laing Art Gallery and the Discovery Museum, explore this history, and all form part of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM). Newcastle today is a creative metropolis, booming with architectural delights, world-class art galleries and renowned theatres. Based on the Quayside, Live Theatre has an international reputation for producing new writing and championing local talent. Northern Stage presents refreshing and dynamic contemporary performance rooted in identity and place. And housed in a stunning Art Deco building, Tyneside Cinema celebrates storytelling from both established and emerging filmmakers alike.

While Newcastle is known for its nightlife, and has regularly been voted one of the best places in Europe for a night out, there is more to the city than the unforgettable social scene. Steeped in engineering history, The Boiler Shop, constructed as the world’s first locomotive works in the 1820s for Robert Stephenson & Company, now hosts live performances, club nights and exhibitions. Additionally, you’ll find Michelin-starred British restaurants, shipping container food markets, and world-class international food throughout the city.

For those who love the outdoors, Newcastle-upon-Tyne also makes a fantastic base camp, being close to both the North East coast and Northumberland National Park, which are named as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Then there’s the imposing Bamburgh Castle, with its beautiful beach below (famous for being the filming location for popular Netflix series The Last Kingdom) as well as the lesser-known beauty of the North Pennines and Weardale in County Durham.

Discover our top picks

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 20 March 2022, FREE

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead

Sutapa Biswas’ major solo show explores the artist’s role in illuminating the imperialist structures that still exist within British society.

ignite at gibside
Families 26 November 2021–2 January 2022, FREE

Ignite at Gibside

Get away from it all at Ignite at Gibside, a fantastical fire and lantern trail. We all love a stroll in the countryside, but this is a brand new way to experience the stunning eighteenth-century house and gardens.

North East District Guides


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A selection of attractions, restaurants, cafes and hot-spots on offer in the historic and aesthetic scenery of County Durham.

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