What to do in Newcastle City Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne resides on the northern bank of the River Tyne and is the largest city in Tyne and Wear, a county in North East England, with a population of around 300,000.
It is just over 100 miles south of Edinburgh and 277 miles north of London.
The beginnings of the city focussed around the Roman settlement called Pons Aelius, and the city gained its real name after the castle built in 1080 by Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror’s eldest son.
The former economy comprised coal mining, shipyards and heavy engineering along the River Tyne.
Nowadays, Newcastle’s economy focusses on digital technology, retail, tourism, education and culture, and is home to numerous corporate headquarters.
The city is home to two universities; Newcastle University and Northumbria University. The area now has a thriving student population of around 50,000.
Iconic landmarks worth a visit include the Tyne Bridge, the Millenium Bridge, the Baltic, and the Sage.
If you are a football lover, St. James Park, the home of Newcastle United football club, has to be mentioned.
Love shopping, head over to Eldon Square in the heart of the city centre.
And if you like to party, Newcastle is the place to be up north !
Random facts about Newcastle
Newcastle is otherwise known as the ‘Toon’ by the resident population who are known as Geordies.
The world-famous Newcastle Brown Ale started life here. Sadly the brewery site, opposite St. James Park, was closed down and redeveloped.
Greggs, the fast-food outlet, and Sage, the software company, are from Newcastle upon Tyne.
The starting line for the Great North Run, a half marathon which attracts over 57,000 runners every year, is on the Tyne Bridge.
The most famous Geordies include Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), Ant & Dec, Alan Shearer, Sting (The Police) and Neil Tennant (The Pet Shop Boys).
Newcastle invented windscreen wipers, light bulbs, light switches and Lucozade.
Newcastle is famous for its a lively party atmosphere. Most people who visit the city come to experience the nightlife.
While there are bars scattered throughout the city centre, the popular spots are the Bigg Market, the Quayside, the Gate and the “Diamond Strip” on Collingwood Street near the Central Station.
Top suggestions worthy of a visit include the Botanist, Pleased to Meet You, Floritas, the Picture & Piano, Tokyo, Revolution. For those looking for the VIP experience maybe consider a tipple in Livello’s and House of Smith.
Restaurants and dining out in Newcastle
The city centre has a great variety of restaurants including Italian, Indian, Mexican, American, French, Greek, and Oriental. Most of the best ones are on or nearby to Grey Street, Dean Street, the Quayside, the Gate.
Newcastle city centre has a thriving “Chinatown” comprising numerous restaurants on and around Stowell Street near the Gallowgate. Accessible from the Gallowgate via the grand ornamental Chinese arch.
Recommended restaurants include the House of Tides, Blackfriars, and Dobson & Parnell for upmarket fine dining. For spicy Indian food, sample the culinary delights of Simla or Sachins.
Shopping in Newcastle city centre
The main shopping in the city centre is Eldon Square, the place to go to indulge in some good old fashioned retail therapy. With over 300 shops under one roof, you can shop for fashion, homeware, beauty products, mobile phones, electrical appliances, gifts, stationery, music and books.
The shopping centre has two department stores; John Lewis and Debenhams.
Northumberland Street is the main shopping magnet for shoppers in the city centre, outside of Eldon Square. The pedestrian street is home to two more department stores, Marks & Spencers and Fenwicks.
Concert venues in Newcastle for live music and entertainment
Newcastle has four main venues that host indoor live music events; the Utilita Arena, the City Hall, the Sage and the O2 Academy.
The Utilita Arena, off Scotswood Road, seats 11,000 people and hosts major dance, pop and rock concerts and comedians.
Newcastle City Hall, off Northumberland Street, the Sage on the Quayside and O2 Academy near the Central Station in the city centre are smaller venues with a 2000 person capacity.
Occasional open-air concerts are also hosted in the summer in St. James Park football stadium at Gallowgate.
Wherever you go, expect to enjoy a concert performance by a famous band or solo artist.
Famous musicians with links to Newcastle include the Animals, Sting from the Police, Dire Straits, Maximo Park, Brian Johnson, the lead singer of AC/DC, and Lindisfarne who wrote the classic song “Fog on the Tyne”.
Cinemas in Newcastle city centre
There are two cinemas in the city centre; the Cineworld multi-plex in the Gate entertainment complex on Newgate Sreet and the Tyneside cinema near Grey’s Monument.
Museums and galleries in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle is home to several museums and galleries in Newcastle.
The Discovery Museum in Blandford Square highlights how life was on Tyneside in former times.
The Great Museum hosts a variety of exhibits from around the world. Exhibitions include dinosaurs and displays from ancient civilisations like as Greece and Egypt.
If you are looking for art, visit the Laing Art Gallery, in the city centre, or the Baltic on the Quayside.
The Baltic, the Centre for Contemporary Art, is housed in the former Baltic Flour Mill on the south side of the Quayside in Gateshead. It hosts exhibitions and displays of modern art spread out over four floors, with restaurants on the lower and upper levels.
The Theatre Royal in Newcastle
The Theatre Royal on Grey Street is one of the most elegant and historic theatres in the UK. The stunning Grade 1 listed building is home to a diverse mix of productions including west end musicals, award-winning ballet and dance, opera, pantomime, comedians and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Architecture around the city centre
Grey Street, named after Earl Grey, is the most famous street in Newcastle. Originally this street was home to banks and finance, with its array of neoclassical buildings adorned with classic columns and Georgian windows, it is a feast to behold.
It is probably the most elegant neoclassical architecture present on any street in England.
The Grainger Market is the city’s largest indoor market. When the market opened in 1835, it was the largest indoor market in Europe. Today the architecture of the classically styled Grade I listed building is visible for all to see.
The interior of the market comprises four arched passages running E-W linked together by four alleyways running N-S, all housed under glass roofs with steel supports and masonry arches. Originally the roof composed of wood. After fire damage in 1901, the new roof replaced it.
The former Co-op department store, now home to a hotel, on Neville Street is an excellent example of classic Art Deco style from the 1900s, both inside and out.
Newcastle Central Station, opened in 1850, is an imposing building with grandiose sandstone arches adorning the entrance and an expansive barrel-vaulted ceiling comprising of an intricate iron framework. In its heyday, it must have been an impressive sight to behold as you entered the city centre from the train.
St. Nicholas Cathedral, adjacent to St. Nicholas Street, is one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the city centre. The spire has dominated the city’s skyline and served as a prominent landmark for shipping in the River Tyne for over 500 years.
St. Andrews is an Anglo-Saxon church residing in the heart of the city centre on Worswick Street.
Both churches display some impressive examples of Anglo-Saxon architectural styles, detailed in the impressive arches, columns and sandstone buttresses.
The Civic Centre is a classic example of 1960s architecture in Newcastle.
Designed by architect George Kenyon, the exterior of the building distinctly sparse in nature and adorned with eye-catching sculptures such as the ‘River God Tyne’ and ‘Swans in Flight’ statues, distinctive seahorses and various abstract murals.
Some parts of the city still retain their original street layout from medieval times. Typically these lanes and alleys are narrow and accessed on foot, commonly found on the quayside and riverside locations.
Old buildings, dating as far back as the 15th century, are still occupied on the Quayside today; examples include the Cooperage nightclub, the House of Tides restaurant and Lloyds Quayside bar.
From west to east seven bridges are span the river; the Redheugh bridge, King Edward VII bridge, Queen Elizabeth II bridge, the High-Level bridge, the Swing bridge, the Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Millenium Bridge.
Newcastle is famous for the Tyne Bridge, the road bridge that connects Gateshead to the city centre and acts at the starting point for the Great North Run, the annual half marathon event.
The bridge, completed in 1928 is a defining symbol of Newcastle and Tyneside, took its inspirational design from the Sydney Harbour bridge. The bridge tower supports comprise Cornish granite on top of which resides the cast-iron framework.
The iconic Gateshead Millenium Bridge is the most recent addition to the family. This pedestrian bridge spans the River Tyne, linking the Baltic arts centre and the Pitcher & Piano bar on the Newcastle Quayside.
Its engineering design enables it to tilt on its axis to allow ships to pass underneath. It is the world’s first and only tilting bridge, illuminated with pulsating multi-coloured lights in the evening.
The third bridge worthy of comment is the Swing Bridge connecting Newcastle and Gateshead and resides between the Tyne Bridge and the High-Level Bridge. This Grade II listed structure is, as its name suggests, a swing bridge that periodically rotates to enable ships to move up the River Tyne.
The original Anglo-Saxon castle is the medieval fortification that gave Newcastle its name. The most prominent remaining structures are the Castle Keep, comprising a fortified sandstone tower and gatehouse called the Black Gate.
Green Spaces around Newcastle
Leazes Park is a traditional Victorian park in the confines of Newcastle city centre. The park is nearby The Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) and St. James Football Stadium.
This well-kept urban space is perfect for a stroll under the mature trees, through the secret gardens and around the lake. Or to relax, lie on the grass and feed the ducks and swans.
Newcastle Town Moor, which is larger than Hyde Park in London, is an expansive green space comprising grassland used for grazing small herds of cattle. The fields extend northwards towards Fenham and eastwards towards Gosforth. A great place for dog walks and jogging.
The Hoppings, Europe’s largest travelling funfair, descends on the town moor every summer for two weeks.
Exhibition Park, immediately to the northeast of the city centre, is a beautiful park which houses a pavilion that is currently home to the Wylam Brewery, a microbrewery, with an onsite bar and music concert venue.
Sports in Newcastle
Newcastle is famous for its football club Newcastle United. The football stadium, St James’ Park, at Gallowgate has a seating capacity of 52,000. The club was made famous by Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, and Kevin Keegan.
Technology hubs in Newcastle city centre
The Centre for Life, immediately to the west of Newcastle Central train station, is the UK’s first biotechnology village and focuses on genetics and fertility innovations.
Helix Newcastle is Europe’s newest science and technology hub. Covering over 24 acres, it is the largest city-centre development site in the UK.
Driving directions between points of interest and business locations
Whether you are a football fan or not, it can be a great experience to watch a Premiership football at St. James Park, regardless of whether Newcastle United win, lose or draw.
To get there from our office on Bath Lane is easy.
From Bath Lane, head south east onto to St. James Boulevard (A189), turn left and follow the road to Gallowgate.
From there you will see the stadium in front of you.
The main entrance is on Strawberry Place.
If you still need to continue with some leisure time, head from St. James Park, back to the Gallowgate and follow St James Boulevard away from the city centre in a westerly direction.
After a walk of approximtely 10 minutes you will find Lane 7 on the right hand side of the road.
A great place to play ten pin bowling and enjoy some food and drinks.
After a game of bowls, why not pop over to the Life Science Centre in Times Square and check out one of the exhibits on display.
Walk south on St James’ Boulevard towards Churchill Street, turn left on Churchill Street.
Turn right onto Marlborough Crescent and then turn left onto Forth Banks (B1600). The centre will be to your left.
After enjoying the display, maybe pop back to our office for meeting to discuss digital marketing, SEO or web design.
And if you are driving into Newcastle for a meeting with us, why not stop at Richardson Road first and have a stroll around Leazes Park to clear your mind before we sit down and chat.
To get from Leazes Park to our office, follow Richardson Road north, turn left and then left again onto Barrack Road (A189). Then turn onto Diana Street and then Corporation Street to get to the Core office block in Newcastle Helix.
Mobile devices and computers are essential for undertaking digital marketing and SEO services.
One of the best shops to visit has to be the Apple store in Eldon Square.
The easiest way to get there to buy something is probably on foot, especially when the roads are busy.
From St. James Boulevard, turn right onto Gallowgate and then right again onto ST. Andrew’s Street. Cross Newgate Street and go inside the entrance to Eldon Square. The shop is located less than 100m from Debenhams.
Around Newcastle city centre there are lots of businesses that rely on online marketing services to promote their products and services to the general public.
Around Newcastle city centre there are lots of businesses that rely on online marketing services to promote their products and services to the general public.
Turn right onto St James’ Boulevard and head west towards the traffic lights. Turn left onto Westgate Road, then left onto Clayton Street West. Follow the road up to Low Friar Street.
Park up and pop into the restaurants and bars in the Gate that use online promotions to promote their businesses online.
An alternative location to park, would be the Gate car park, accessed from Stowell Street.
The Civic Centre is home to the local council offices for the city.
Sometimes it can be a useful place to visit for business.
To get there from Low Friar Street, turn onto Clayton Street.
Take B1307 and A186 to get to College Street.
Find a place to park and then walk across the road to the Civic centre.
On walking back to the car, why not pop in to Newcastle City Hall to check out what events and promotions are coming up.
To check out other events, musicals and shows head over to the Theatre Royal on Grey Street.
Continue on Market Street and turn off onto Grey Street.
In the area there numerous businesses in need of internet marketing services.
Some businesses may need to attend the Law Courts.
To drive there from the Theatre Royal, take High Bridge to Pilgrim Street.
Then take the A186 to the Milk Market and drive to Sandgate car park on the Quayside.
From Sandgate car park, walk along the Quayside to the Law Courts.
The nearby Biscuit Factory is a great place nearby to admire some contemporary art displays.
The fastest route there by car is on the B1600, following Clarence Street and Stoddart Street.
Two minutes away from the Biscuit Factory is The Valley Climbing Centre.
By car from Stoddart Street, turn off onto New Bridge Street (A193) and at the next roundabout take the third right onto Byker Bank.
Then turn left onto Quality Row to get to the centre.
Leaving Ouseburn and heading over to Gateshead Quayside there are two great locations that have numerous musical and arts events that need promoting, the Baltic and the Sage.
To get to the Sage from Ouseburn, take the B1312 to City Road (A186).
Then take the B1600 to Bridge Street. Foolw this street to St Mary’s Square in Gateshead.
A great place for a businees meeting is the Hilton Hotel, nearby on Bottlebank.
Return back to the A184 and then onto the A167 northbound.
Then turn left onto Bottlebank before the road passes over the Tyne Bridge.
Another place for a businees meeting is the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle city centre.
Follow Bridge Street to Sandhill on Newcastle Quayside.
Go from Forth Street to Collingwood Street. Follow this to St Nicholas’ St. Drive to get to Castle Garth.
Sachins is a great place for Indian cuisine.
Head towards Forth Street from the Vermont Hotel and follow it to the top of Forth Bank.
Utilita Arena is the biggest vebue in Newcastle for events.
To get there from Sachins, follow the road up Forth Bank and head west to Arena Way.
Newcastle Coolege Lifestyle Academy is one of the many colleges of further education in Newcastle.
A useful place recruit trainees for your business.
Driving from the Arena, you need to head north and get onto Scotswood Road. Then turn left at the roundabout before the A189.
Once the driving is complete, it is time to head back to the office to meet some clients for digital marketing and SEO agency services in Newcastle.
Drive back along St James Boulevard, turn left on Westgate Road, and finally right onto Corporation Street.