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 26 June 2021–20 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.

North East District Guides

Walks in Sunderland

Walks in Sunderland

A cultivated array of walks and cultural spaces to visit, with nods to local history, sporting events, landmarks and heritage.

Walks in Durham

Walks in Durham

A curated guide on where to walk in Durham, featuring riverside routes, easy ambles, sought-out hikes and marked cultural stopping points.

Walks in Newcastle

Walks in Newcastle

A guide to the most attractive, rewarding and beautiful walks in central Newcastle and the landscape beyond.


Things to do in Sunderland

A guide catering to the rich experiences on offer in Sunderland, from fine-dining and brunch spots to historic properties and museums.


Things to do in Durham

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