Places to visit in the north east.
Situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead and housed in a landmark industrial building, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art consists of 2,600 square metres of art space, making it the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution.
BALTIC’s mission is to create exceptional access to important and innovative contemporary art in a unique setting, that encourages and enables learning and transformational thinking. Only 30 mins by car or 20 mins walk from Newcastle Central Station.
Sage Gateshead is an international home for music and musical discovery, situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead. It houses two main stages of acoustic excellence, a 26-room music education centre, a music information resource centre, four bars, a brasserie and a café. Only 30 mins by car or 20 mins walk from Newcastle Central Station.
The International Centre for Life is home to some pioneering organisations who do groundbreaking scientific work. Almost 600 people from 35 countries work here: researchers, doctors and nurses work alongside people in the fields of education, public engagement and business. Research undertaken at Life has led to spectacular results and global headlines. For instance, scientists at Life produced the world’s first cloned human embryo and ground-breaking stem cell research has restored patients’ eyesight.
Life Science Centre is the public face of Life attracting up to 300,000 visitors annually. Offering a changing programme of exciting exhibitions, events, workshops and theatre shows. Highlights include the 60 seater state-of-the-art planetarium, the region’s only 4D Motion Ride and interactive exhibits and activities for people of all ages and interests. Life is located in Times Square, just a two minute walk from Newcastle Central train and Metro station. Driving? Times Square Car Park is just around the corner. 30 mins by car.
Near the A1 in Gateshead in the North East of England, is Britain’s largest and most impressive sculpture. Commissioned by Gateshead Council and created by internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley, the sculpture rises 20 metres (65 feet) over the hilltop landscape. It is situated on the site of the pit head baths of the former Team Colliery. It marks the southern entry to Tyneside and is on the edge of the Great North Forest. Approx. 18 miles down the A19 – takes just 34 mins.
The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz, The Garden is a wonderful combination of spaces, themes, quirkiness and play.
From the tranquility of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight.
The Garden is a space designed to be enjoyed by all your senses, with a collection of over 4,000 plant varieties to discover, thousands of seasonal blooms and countless opportunities to get wet and play in The Garden’s water sculptures. Just ff the A1 to the North of Alnwick and well sign posted, the Alnwick Garden is around 55mins by car.
The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved 19th century waggonway under the city from the Town Moor to the Tyne, built to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the river and operated between 1842 and the 1860s. The Tunnel was converted in 1939 into an air raid shelter to protect thousands of Newcastle citizens during World War 2.
Go on your own journey of discovery to learn how tough life was during WW2, listen for the air-raid warning and the sound of planes passing overhead dropping their bombs and memories of people who lived through the dreadful period in Newcastle’s history. See the rough wooden replica beds and benches, just like those slept or sat on by frightened citizens during bombing raids. And visit the WW2 crucifix and see if you can identify the people named in the roll of honour. You may also be interested to hear about the sightings of a ghost seen in the Victoria Tunnel by visitors from a Paranormal group!!
Experience life in a Victorian waggonway, learn how it was constructed and listen out for the wagons full of coal heading for the Tyne. Be brave, listen to the story of William Coulson’s death and be aware as you hear the approaching waggons heading towards you through the tunnel in the pitch black darkness.
Find out which Newcastle landmarks you are walking beneath, including the unique chance to walk underneath Hadrian’s Roman Wall. Advanced booking essential – 30 mins by car.
Dare to discover the dark secrets of Newcastle on this spine-chilling 90-minute walking tour. Hear tales of Newcastle’s ghosts, criminals and gangsters as you walk along Dean Street, Quayside and High Bridge Street, and see sights like Earl Grey’s Monument, Castle Keep and Bigg Market.
Your 90-minute walking tour begins at Earl Grey’s Monument, located in the city center of Newcastle upon Tyne. Follow your guide down Grey Street for a chilling introduction to how medicine was practiced in the past. Arriving at Dean Street you will stop at the site of the old Turf Hotel, then continue on foot to Quayside, home to both notorious and sympathetic characters. Booking necessary. 25 mins by metro to Newcastle, Monument Metro Station of 30 mins by car – with parking available in the town centre.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge – the world’s first and only tilting bridge! Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and engineered by Gifford, the bridge takes its place at the end of a line of distinguished bridges across the River Tyne, including the Tyne Bridge and Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge.
Linking Gateshead with Newcastle via Gateshead Quays (described as one of the best places in Europe by Tony Blair) and Newcastle’s Quayside, the bridge not only serves a functional purpose as the River Tyne’s only foot and cycle bridge, but its grace and engineering attract people from all over the world.
Anyone travelling on a pleasure boat up the River Tyne will pass under the bridge and those watching from the banks of the river will join the thousands who enjoy this view every year. Travel via the A1058 it will take around 30 minutes or a 20 minute walk from Monument Metro Staion, Newcastle.
Founded in 1901 The Laing Art Gallery holds regularly changing exhibitions of historic, modern and contemporary art, and events including artist and curator talks and family activities.
On the ground floor of the Laing is the Northern Spirit gallery which displays outstanding artwork and objects produced locally by people including Thomas Bewick, Ralph Hedley and John Martin. You can also see Newcastle silver, glass and ceramics on show.
Also on the ground floor is the shop, café, learning space, under fives’ area and the beautiful Marble Hall, which is occupied by artworks by Henry Moore and Turner Prize nominee Paul Noble.
Upstairs is the 18th and 19th century display, including internationally important paintings by John Martin, Paul Gauguin and Burne-Jones. This is also where we display William Holman-Hunt’s pre-Raphaelite masterpiece Isabella and the Pot of Basil. Travel via the A1058 by car its only 25 mins, alternatively a 10 minute walk from Monument Metro Staion in Newcastle.
The Great North Museum is a must to visit and absolutely free of charge! it features pieces from the Hancock Museum and Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery. Key exhibits include a fully interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall, natural history, a significant display of plants and animals , spectacular objects from the Ancient Greeks and mummies from Ancient Egypt, a planetarium and a life-size T-Rex dinosaur skeleton.
The Living Planet exhibition is home to a myriad of creatures and, via interactive technology and exhibits, you can better understand their diverse habitats, and how they are well equipped to not only survive but thrive in the most inhospitable of environments.
Live animal tanks and aquaria are integrated into this major display where visitors can see wolf fish, pythons and lizards to name a few. Star objects include a full size model of an elephant, a great white shark, a virtual aquarium, live animal displays, a polar bear, a giraffe and moa skeleton. A fabulous place, the whole family will love! Only 30 mins by car or a 5 minute walk from Newcastle’s Haymarket Metro Station.
Re-live the glorious days of the steam railway at Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields. George and Robert Stephenson spent 20 years in North Tyneside developing their pioneering ideas which helped spread railways and locomotives around the world. Today the Museum celebrates their achievement. A range of fascinating locomotives are on display including George Stephenson’s ‘Billy’, a forerunner of the world-famous Rocket. Interactive exhibitions explore how trains work and the impact on peoples’ lives of coal and electricity, crucial in the development of railway power.
On scheduled days visitors can take a ride on a passenger train pulled by the ‘Jackie Milburn’ steam engine or heritage diesel locomotives. Only 10 mins by car.
Discover all about life in Newcastle and Tyneside, from the area’s renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion through the eras and military history. The museum is bursting with interactive displays, which makes it the perfect place to learn and have fun and is absolutely free of charge! Visitors to the Discovery Museum can reap the benefits of free entry, as it’s positioned within Newcastle it has great transport links for both public and private transport. The displays are regularly updated and complemented by an array of free, fun learning activities and a changing programme of exhibitions.
One of the favourite exhibits – Turbinia – dominates the entrance to the Museum. Invented on Tyneside, it is the first ship to be powered by a steam turbine. The 35 metre vessel was once the fastest ship in the world and her history is brought to life in the Turbinia Story display. She sets the standard for a day out that is guaranteed to be filled with breath-taking discoveries. Only 30 mins by car via the A1058, alternativelya 5 minute walk form Newcastle’s Central Station.
Each year Bamburgh Castle thrills, enthralls and captivates many thousands of visitors from across the globe with its incredible history, dramatic views and treasure-trove collection of unique pieces which tell the story of Bamburgh’s many reincarnations over the centuries, from Anglo Saxon Royal palace to Victorian inventor and industrialist The First Lord Armstrong’s vision of a perfect castle.
The vast and imposing walls have witnessed dark tales of rebellion and bloodshed, spellbinding myths, millionaire benefactors and ghosts who love Bamburgh Castle so much, they never want to leave. It really is one of the finest castles in Britain. Travelling North along the A1 it should only take around an hour and 10 minutes.
Westwards from the fabulous city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, you can follow Hadrian’s Wall into the beauty of the Northumberland National Park. Stop along the way at Corbridge or Hexham for afternoon tea in true English style.
In AD122 the Emperor Hadrian ordered a mighty frontier system to be built across Britain to defend the Roman Empire from the barbarians to the North. The result was Hadrian’s Wall, a 73 mile barrier stretching from the River Tyne in the east to the Solway Firth in the west. Segedunum, which means ‘Strong Fort’, was built to guard the eastern end of the Wall, and housed 600 Roman soldiers. It stood for almost 300 years as a symbol of Roman rule and a bastion against barbarian attack.
Today, Segedunum is once again a major site on Hadrian’s Wall. It is the most excavated fort along the Wall with surviving foundations of many buildings and part of the Wall itself. There is a large interactive museum plus full-scale reconstructions of a bath house and a section of Wall. The 35 metre high viewing tower provides outstanding views across this World Heritage Site.