The very best of... NewcastleFriday 07 August 2015 by Leila Wright There's more to Newcastle than football and Geordie Shore - we explore the many museums, eateries and sights of this fabulous city.
The best things to see and do
Newcastle is a city with endless charms, offering an exciting arts and culture scene, outstanding shopping and some of the best nightlife in the north. A stroll along the city’s quayside is a great place to start, taking in the historic Tyne Bridge and the more modern Gateshead Millennium Bridge. The BALTIC contemporary arts centre is well worth a visit, showcasing a rotating programme of modern art and sculpture that easily rivals London’s Tate Modern. BALTIC also has a stunning rooftop restaurant offering some of the best views in the city, so it’s well checking out even if it’s just for a drink while you soak up the view. If you’re interested in learning more about Tyneside’s rich history from Roman times to Cheryl Cole, the city’s Discovery Museum is outstanding, with lots of exhibits showcasing the city’s shipbuilding and industrial past.
The best food and drink
When it comes to eating out, Newcastle has something for every budget, from high-end gourmet fayre served up by the region’s most creative chefs, to budget restaurants in the city’s Chinatown area around Stowell Street. It’s definitely a city for people-watching, and there are plenty of great cafes serving up local seafood, modern British classics and world foods, particularly along the quayside and in the stylish suburb of Jesmond. Geordies love a night out, and Newcastle has some fantastic cocktail bars, champagne bars and clubs where you can drink and dance the night away. The local brew is Newcastle Brown Ale, and you’ll find plenty of old-fashioned pubs serving it to locals and visitors alike.
The best way get around
Newcastle is a great city for exploring on foot; the centre is compact and easy to get around, and a stroll along the quayside is not to be missed, particularly if you’ve got time to pop into some of the museums and galleries along the way. The city also has a superb bus and Metro network, covering the whole city as well as Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle Airport and the coastal towns. If you’d rather see the city from the river, a river cruise is a popular options, or you can join one of the excellent open-top bus tours that cover the city centre. Taxis and buses are good value and plentiful in Newcastle, and a great way to get home after a night out!
The best events and festivals
Newcastle and nearby Sunderland and Gateshead play host to an exciting and eclectic festival calendar, from an Americana festival at SAGE Gateshead in July to the local Oyster Festival in September. There are plenty of music festivals too, covering everything from rock and soul to folk and brass bands. In August, Newcastle and Gateshead host a world-class food festival called ‘Eat!’, which includes wonderful street food markets, cooking demonstrations, a beer and chilli festival, food-related events and plenty of opportunities to try local delicacies like Craster kippers and Stotty Bread.