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There’s more to English cities than you might think. In our ever-evolving urban areas you can experience things you’ve never tried before, as well as revisit things you’ve always loved. Be inspired by the contemporary and the traditional. Feel the buzz of the new and the pull of the old. There’s a world of experiences on offer on short breaks and holidays in England’s vibrant cities.
In NewcastleGateshead, both banks of the Tyne are a year-round party and 'culturefest'. You’ll be welcomed by the iconic open arms of the Angel of the North and by a helping of that famous Geordie friendliness. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture can all be found here.
To get your bearings, why not take a sightseeing tour? Go by bus, taxi or on foot to see grand Georgian architecture, iconic quayside homes, stunning bridges and journey through the engineering history of the area.
Make your first stop the Blinking (or Winking) Eye. Not a Ferris wheel, but the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge. This tilting bridge provides a beautiful promenade between Newcastle and Gateshead, which face each other across the river. The promenade makes a great cycle path too for both commuters and visitors. In fact, Newcastle and Gateshead are united by seven bridges across this spectacular riverscape.
Culture-vulture? Then don’t miss the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art - a world-class art gallery on six floors with three mezzanines of art space, a daily family trail for the kids and a modern British restaurant with stunning views.
The Grade 1 listed Theatre Royal is the regional home of the Royal Shakespeare Company and regarded by many as the UK’s finest theatre building.
Catch an open-air performance or lively seasonal show in the pretty, pedestrianized Baltic Square. For musicals, drama and opera go to the Theatre Royal and for comedy and music events head to the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre - the world’s oldest working Victorian theatre.
Film buffs will love the brand-new IMAX cinema and entertainment complex. There are plenty of multiscreen cinemas and make sure you visit the beautiful art-deco Tyneside Cinema, one of the oldest surviving newsreel cinemas, where you can see the best new and classic films in an evocative place full of style and history.
Time to eat?
Eat street food or dine out at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Take traditional afternoon tea or treat yourself to a fine dining experience. In NewcastleGateshead, you’ll find cuisine from all over the world here but don’t leave the city without trying pan haggerty - the local dish of potatoes, onions and cheese. Truly scrumptious.
If you’re looking for somewhere special to eat and drink, then head for the Quayside for great views and laid-back style. You’ll also find lots of bars and restaurants - as dusk falls, the city, the bridge and night sky are all lit up making it a really atmospheric spot.
After all that food and drink, you might want to hit the clubs and bars. Friendly and informal, you can enjoy everything from a posh cocktail to a traditional pint. Discover the latest hip hangout or a secret speakeasy with quirky late night entertainment. Dress to impress and head for ‘The Diamond Strip’ for chic bars, clubs and ultra-cool venues. 'Wey hey' as they say!
There’s loads for families to enjoy as well. Highlights include the Life Science Centre and don’t miss the life-size dinosaur skeleton at the Great North Museum. Soak up the atmosphere at the city’s famous football stadiums and go for a behind-the-scenes tour. And, remember, you’re just 30 minutes away from the beach in Tynemouth and Whitley Bay. Many of North Tyneside’s beaches hold the prestigious Blue Flag status and kids will love the colony of miniature monkeys and many sea creatures to be found at the Blue Reef Aquarium.
Get outdoors and closer to nature in one of the city’s many green spaces, nature reserves and woodlands. Explore one of Britain’s finest examples of a Victorian Park at Saltwell Park and Saltwell Towers in Gateshead. Or venture a little further afield to visit the grand medieval castle and magnificent Jacobean mansion of Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. To discover more than 1400 spot-on ideas for short breaks, just go to www.visitengland.com/morecities and be inspired. See you soon.