41 fun things to do in Newcastle

Newcastle has long been one of Britain’s most iconic cities – home to 2000 years of history, a proud industrial heritage, a thriving nightlife scene and, of course, the famous Geordie accent. Head northeast and prepare to be charmed!

The Quayside is a popular area that offers stunning views of the River Tyne and the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge. You can take a leisurely walk along the river, visit the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, which is a converted flour mill that now hosts contemporary art exhibitions, or enjoy a drink or meal in one of the many bars and restaurants that line the Quayside.

Another important landmark in Newcastle is Newcastle Castle, which dates back to the 12th century. The castle is located in the city centre and offers breathtaking views of the city. Visitors can explore the castle’s history and climb to the top for a panoramic view of Newcastle.

If you’re interested in history, Newcastle’s Great North Museum is a must-visit. The museum has a range of exhibits, including displays on local history, natural history, and ancient civilizations. The museum also has a planetarium, which is a great experience for all ages.

Finally, if you’re looking for shopping, Newcastle’s Eldon Square Shopping Centre is a great option. The shopping centre has over 150 stores, including high-street brands and designer labels, making it a great destination for fashion enthusiasts.

Make the most of your trip: some fun things to do in Newcastle

  • Visit the Angel of the North: this is a famous statue that stands over 20 meters tall, located just outside of Newcastle. It’s a great spot for a photo opportunity.
  • Explore the Quayside: the Quayside is a historic area of Newcastle that features beautiful bridges, picturesque views, and a lively nightlife scene.
  • Visit the Discovery Museum: this museum is free to enter and offers a range of exhibits and interactive displays about science, technology, and local history.
  • Take a tour of St James’ Park: if you’re a football fan, take a tour of the stadium of Newcastle United FC.
  • Visit the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art: this is an art gallery that hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year.
  • Walk along the Newcastle City Walls: these ancient walls encircle the city centre and offer great views of the city.
  • Visit Newcastle Castle: this is a historic castle that dates back to the 12th century. It offers guided tours and interactive displays.
  • Enjoy a night out in the Diamond Strip: this is the most popular nightlife district in Newcastle, with a range of bars, clubs, and restaurants.
  • Visit the Tyne Bridge: This iconic bridge spans the River Tyne and is a great spot for a photo opportunity.
  • Take a day trip to Tynemouth: this charming seaside town is just a short train ride away from Newcastle and offers beautiful beaches, a historic castle, and a bustling market.

Look out for these famous landmarks and historical sites in Newcastle

  • Newcastle Castle – a historic castle dating back to the 12th century. It offers breathtaking views of the city.
  • St. James’ Park – the home of Newcastle United football club. It is one of the largest football stadiums in England and has a capacity of over 52,000 spectators.
  • Angel of the North – a massive sculpture located just outside Newcastle. The sculpture stands 66 feet tall and has a wingspan of 177 feet.
  • The Tyne Bridge – an iconic bridge that spans the River Tyne and connects Newcastle to Gateshead. The bridge is a symbol of the city and is frequently used as a backdrop in films and television shows.
  • Grainger Town – a historic area of the city that dates back to the 1830s. It is known for its elegant Georgian architecture and is a popular destination for shopping and dining.
  • The Discovery Museum – a museum that explores the history of Newcastle and the surrounding area. It has a range of exhibits, including a recreation of a Victorian street, and is a great destination for families.
  • The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – a converted flour mill that now hosts contemporary art exhibitions. It offers stunning views of the River Tyne and is a great destination for art enthusiasts.
  • Grey’s Monument – a tall monument in the centre of the city that commemorates Charles Grey, a former Prime Minister of the UK who hailed from Newcastle.
  • The Sage Gateshead – a modern concert venue located on the Quayside. The building’s unique design has won numerous architectural awards, and it hosts a range of music events throughout the year.
  • Jesmond Dene – a beautiful public park located in the heart of Newcastle. It features a river, waterfalls, and a range of wildlife, and is a popular spot for picnics and walks. Within the park, visitors can also explore the historic Jesmond Dene House, which is now a hotel and restaurant.

Plan a night out with friends: a guide to nightlife in Newcastle

A night out in Newcastle can be a fun and exciting experience, here’s a suggested itinerary:

  • Start the night with a meal at a local restaurant. Newcastle has a diverse range of cuisines to choose from, including traditional British pub food, Indian, Chinese, and Italian.
  • After dinner, head to the Quayside for a drink with a view. The Quayside is a popular spot for a night out, with a variety of bars and pubs to choose from, many of which offer views of the Tyne Bridge and the River Tyne.
  • If you’re interested in live music, check out one of Newcastle’s many music venues, such as the Boiler Shop or the O2 Academy, which regularly hosts local and international acts.
  • For a unique experience, visit one of Newcastle’s hidden gems, such as The Forth or The Town Wall, which offer a cosy and intimate atmosphere.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, head to The Tyne Bar or The Tyne Bank Brewery, both of which offer a range of locally brewed beers and ciders.
  • End the night with a visit to the famous Bigg Market, which is known for its vibrant nightlife and is home to a variety of bars and clubs.

Remember to always drink responsibly and plan your transportation home in advance.

More fun facts about Newcastle

  • The name “Newcastle” comes from the castle built by William the Conqueror’s son in 1080.
  • Newcastle Central Station was opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria and was the first railway station in the world with a roof.  It is one of only six Grade 1 listed railways stations in the UK.
  • Newcastle’s many inventions include the windscreen wiper. Invented by a Newcastle United fan, Gladstone Adams, as he drove home in a storm from a cup final match in 1908. Gladstone Adams. The original prototype for his wiper is on display in Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.
  • In 1879, Mosley Street became the world’s first public road to be lit by the incandescent light bulb invented by Sir Joseph Swan. Thomas Edison and Sir Joseph Swan both independently invented versions of the lightbulb between 1860 and 1880. After a court battle to name the original inventor of the lightbulb, it was Swan’s patent that was upheld in court.
  • Rowan Atkinson was born in Newcastle. Some other famous faces you might recognise from Newcastle are Cheryl Cole, and Ant & Dec.
  • The Great North Run is a half marathon that takes place annually in Newcastle. It was first held in 1981 and has since become one of the world’s most popular running events. The race begins in Newcastle and takes runners across the Tyne Bridge, through Gateshead, and finishes in South Shields. The Great North Run attracts over 50,000 runners each year, making it the largest half marathon in the world.

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