This post will be sharing 13 places to visit in Newcastle on a Day Trip.
For my fourth Autumn trip, I decided to go up east to Newcastle. Since I live in the North-West, I figured I could take a trip back and forth in one day. Plus, this was my chance to really experience the other part of the North. It goes without saying that Newcastle upon Tyne is a city in the North-East of England. It also happens to be the eighth-most populous city/ largest city in England. Of course, I had to visit as it wasn’t too far from Manchester.
First Impressions of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Before I go further into all the places I was able to visit, I just want to mention how highly impressed I was with the city. The last time I was this impressed with a city was when I visited York. As a result of the distance between The Midlands and Newcastle, they have managed to create a world of their own in the North-East.
I was amazed at how modern and yet medieval the city was. I was also impressed with the diversity as well as the variety of cuisines from around the world. The city has evolved in such a way that the residents don’t need to come down to Manchester or London for anything. With a bubbling City Centre that houses large Shopping complexes that carry both high street brands and designer labels, a diverse food scene and a buzzing nightlife, they have just about everything an urban city needs to thrive.
Need I mention the architecture? My favourite thing about Newcastle is how much they retained most of the medieval architecture. From narrow alleys to curved streets and ancient buildings, it was all so aesthetically pleasing.
Can you tell how much I loved my visit to Newcastle? I’m already thinking of when to go back.
Getting to Newcastle from Manchester
With both cities being in the North of England, they are not too far apart. As always I booked my trip on Trainline and the journey took an average of 2hrs 30 mins back and forth. With my 26-30 railcard, I got a nice discount on my tickets.
The journey was smooth and very comfortable with no issues whatsoever. I made sure I set out as early as 8am to ensure that I cover a lot of landmarks before it got dark. Before noon, I arrived at the Newcastle Central Station ready to explore.
Here Are 13 Places To Visit In Newcastle As A Solo Traveller
Before I go on, I’ll like to mention here that there’s just so much to do in Newcastle, one day is nearly not enough. So, instead of trying to squeeze too many places into my itinerary, I just followed the yellow brick road. I didn’t really use my Google Maps. Instead, I used the signages to direct me. This is a tip I’ve learnt to avoid sticking out and blending in as a tourist. So far, so good it’s been helpful and I haven’t been lost yet.
Here’s a helpful map if you’ll be taking a walking tour like me:
My first stop was the iconic Newcastle Castle which happens to be the oldest structure in the city which dates back to the 11th Century. There was so much stuff to do that I didn’t spend that much time by the castle. I just stopped briefly and took the narrow valley beside it to the next street. but if you’ll be visiting the castle, book your tickets here.
Newcastle – Gateshead Quayside
One of the attractions I was really looking forward to was the bridges. Across the River Tyne, Newcastle is connected to Gateshead; a large town via seven dramatic bridges including;
- Tyne Bridge
- Gateshead Millenium Bridge
- Swing Bridge
If you’ll be spending more than a day in Newcastle, you might as well cross the Millenium Bridge over to Gateshead to see a few of their attractions including;
- Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
- Sage Gateshead
- Angel of the North
- Saltwell Towers
I didn’t cross the bridge but I was able to soak in the scenery by the Newcastle north bank. I made sure I walked back and forth to enjoy the views. Just as you leave the Quayside, you’ll pass by two important landmarks;
- The Guildhall
- Bessie Surtess House. As an architectural enthusiast, even though this landmark was temporarily closed, I had to stop and marvel at the Jacobean domestic architecture. It was absolutely stunning.
City Centre Retail & Shopping
As a rule of thumb, I always like to visit shopping centres on my trips to judge the opulence of the city. The more High Street and designer labels there are, the more opulent the city is usually is. Turns out, Newcastle happens to be the ninth in the retail expenditure league in the UK. That explains why the shopping centres were so busy. Depending on your itinerary, make sure you stop by;
- The Gate: Newcastle’s premier leisure and retail destination with a wide range of restaurants, bars and night clubs.
- Eldon Square Shopping Centre: This is one of the must-visit places to visit in Newcastle which also happens to be one of the largest city centre shopping complexes in the UK. I thought this shopping complex would never end. It just kept going on and on and on. It is so massive. Plus, it has the largest John Lewis & Partners, Fenwick and Marks & Spencer stores outside London. That’s so impressive if you ask me.
This is the heart of historic Newcastle where some of the finest buildings and streets lie. I didn’t even pay so much attention to the buildings that make up the Grainger Town until I started to put this post together. Turns out, I had stopped by a few of them including;
- The Grey Monument: This is quite possibly the tallest momument I’ve ever seen. It stands tall in what I believe is the center of Newcastle dedicated to Charles Grey; a former Prime Minister of the UK in the 18th century.
- Grainger Market: Very briefly, I stopped by the Grainger Market; Newcastle’s first indoor market. Similar to The Covered Market in Oxford, it also dates back to the 18th century with 100+ vendors selling produce, meat and vintage goods. Unfortunately, I got there around 5pm when most of the stalls were closed.
- Theatre Royal: This is the largest Theatre in Newcastle which was first open in 1837.
Newcastle has two major universities which also explains why the city centre was literally buzzing. I didn’t plan to stop by the University at all. But just as I wandered out of the city centre to find other attractions, I passed by the university complex only to find that the closest museum and art gallery was affiliated with the University.
- Great North Museum: If you have some time, you can stop by the Great North Museum: Hancock which is a natural museum of natural history and ancient civilisations. It was established in 1884 but in 2006 was merged with Newcastle University Museum of Antiquities and Shefton Museum to form the Great North Museum.
- Hatton Gallery: This is Newcastle University’s art gallery based in their Fine Art Building. You can check their website to see what exhibitions are on.
- Centre for Life/Life Science Centre: One of the must-see places to visit in Newcastle is the Centre for Life science village. Just a stone-throw from the Newcastle Central Station, it is a family friendly science museum where science enthusiats meet to promote the advancement of life sciences. I particularly love how colorful and vibrant the building is. Although, it was closed by the time I got there, I still enjoyed looking around. If you’ll be visiting, make sure you book your tickets ahead.
I had a swell day in Newcastle and I honestly cannot wait to go back. I hope you have found this post on the must-see places to visit in Newcastle useful.
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