Difference between revisions of "Newcastle upon Tyne"
Revision as of 21:58, 1 March 2006
Newcastle upon Tyne is one of England's best kept secrets. A party city that rates alongside New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. A centre of culture and architecture. The starting point for tours of the Northumberland coast and Hadrian's Wall. Home town of the Geordie culture, with a rich heritage of folk music and dance and its own obscure dialect. Tear yourself away from the traditional tourist spots of London, Cambridge, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon and pay a visit to Newcastle.
Newcastle started life as a Roman town at the end of Hadrian's wall, the border between Roman controlled Britain and the unconquered wilds of Scotland. The ruins of one of the forts marking the end of the wall can be seen at Segedunum (A short walk from the Wallsend Metro station). It developed into an important port and during the 19 century was an industrial centre built on the strength of the local coal industry. As heavy industry went into decline, Newcastle's fortunes took a dip. The city has now re-invented itself as a Cultural centre and is possibly one of the trendiest places to live or visit in the UK.
Newcastle International Airport is located about 5.5 miles north-west of the city. Travel in to the city centre include:
Services to and from London run approximately every 20-40mins during the day. The journey time is usually between 3-3.5 hrs. Newcastle also has trains to Oxford, Birmigham, Edinburgh, York and countless other destinations throughout the country.
In the UK, tickets can be bought on the day at the station using cash or debit/credit card, but it is often cheaper to book in advance for journeys to/from other cities.
If you buy something to eat at the station, you'll have to carry the wrappers with you until you get somewhere else. There are no rubbish bins at the station for security reasons.
At Newcastle Central Station, you will need coins to buy a ticket for the Metro system, the local underground and light rail network. Buses and taxis are easily accessed just outside the station, though the main coach and bus interchanges are 10-20 minutes walk.
Newcastle upon Tyne is at the joining of the A1 (the main East Coast route from London to Edinburgh) and the A69 (the route westwards to Carlisle and the M6). The A1 bypasses the city to the west.
There are a number of 'park-and-ride' points around the city to avoid the hassle of parking in the city centre. From these points, the Metro or bus will take you into the city for between £1 and £3.
The National Express has links from most major cities. The coach station is in Gallowgate, a short walk from the centre of town. Most National Express tickets include free travel on the Metro , but check this out before you board the Metro.
North Shields, 7 miles east of the city centre, has daily ferry connections to Ijmuiden (Amsterdam - DFDS Seaways) and Norway (Fjord Line). Buses connect the ferry terminal to the city centre.
There are two universities in Newcastle:
It is seldom difficult to find bar work in Newcastle's many pubs, clubs and bars.
Pizza Express Cafe Royal
Jesmond Dene House:
Newcastle is (in)famous for its culture of social drinking, and is a popular destination for hen and stag parties. The Bigg Market and the Quayside and now the central station area with its "Diamond strip" of new upmarket bars, are the centres of nocturnal activity in Newcastle, though the city has a wealth of bars and pubs. Some of the more interesting include
Newcastle is home to Newcastle Brown Ale, called by the locals Broon. There are a significant number of local breweries producing real ale that is widely available and of good quality. Brewers to look out for include Mordue, Wylam and Big Lamp.
Newcastle is a generally safe city to stay in. Beware of the usual nuisance of petty theft. The Bigg Market and the Quayside can get pretty rowdy on Fridays and Saturdays, are nevertheless still safe. Take care after a big derby match (Newcastle United vs Sunderland) - though there has been no significant violence for some years, emotions tend to run high amongst supporters.
Newcastle folk are very safe, even if they wear next to nothing in the middle of winter, just go with the flow tourists are spotted by how much cloths they wear.
Places to visit around Newcastle:
Tynemouth: Tynemouth is east of Newcastle, easily accesible by metro, and boasts an impressive Priory, some nice shops and beautiful beaches. Tynemouth long sands even has "Cafe C", a cafe which is actually on the beach! Perfect for a warming hot chocoate in the winter or summer ice creams!