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

Exhibitions Until 3 September 2023, FREE

Sahej Rahal: Mythmachine at BALTIC Gateshead

Sahej Rahal and his new exhibition ‘Mythmachine’ continues BALTIC’s season of exhibitions with the leading theme of ‘play’.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Jala Wahid: Conflagration at BALTIC Gateshead

Visit the BALTIC to experience Jala Wahid’s ‘inferno’, an exploration of Kurdish identity, Britishness and diaspora through the lens of oil.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Hinterlands at BALTIC Gateshead

Experience the folklore, mythologies and history of the landscape of the North East in Baltic’s new group exhibition ‘Hinterlands’.

Exhibitions 18 February–11 June 2023, FREE

Hew Locke: The Procession at Baltic

Baltic presents a brand new exhibition ‘Hew Locke: The Procession’, taking inspiration from real-life figures and events, and into an imagined future.

North East District Guides


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.

Raby Castle

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.