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8 of the Best Things to Do in Newcastle

Published 28th Apr 2023
The vibrant northeast city of Newcastle is known for its friendly locals, buzzing nightlife and rich cultural history. Being the most northerly major city in England, it may take you a while to get there, but it is certainly worth the trip.

Whether you’re just visiting a friend for the day or planning a full weekend getaway with family, Newcastle really is a city that has it all.

From exploring mediaeval castles and strolling along picturesque riverfronts to diving deep underground into hidden tunnels, Newcastle truly has something for everyone. Here's our list of 8 of the Best Things to Do in Newcastle.

1) Newcastle Castle

Visiting Newcastle Castle is a must do activity for the history enthusiasts among us or anyone curious about the city's past. Located in the heart of Newcastle, just north of the High Level Bridge on St. Nicolas Street, the castle has a rich history that dates back to the 11th century.

Today, visitors can explore the castle’s many nooks and crannies, climb to the top of the tower for breath-taking views of the city, and learn about the castle's role in shaping the history of the North East of England. Tickets are priced from £6.50 and we’d recommend booking in advance here for guaranteed access.

2) Explore the Quayside

Take a stroll around the Quayside and explore this exciting and picturesque area of the city. Walk along the river Tyne and see if you can spot all seven of its bridges before pit stopping at one of the many cafes, bars, and restaurants, all serving up an array of local and worldwide food and drink.

Or if you’d prefer to see the city from a different perspective, take the riverboat tour which takes you straight down the Tyne and under the iconic Millennium Bridge.

3) Tour of St James' Park

Home to the high flying magpies, St James’s Park has a staggering capacity of over 52,000, making it the seventh largest club football stadium in England. Take a tour around this impressive stadium and get exclusive behind the scene access into areas of the stadium normally closed off to the public.

The tour will guide you round areas such as the manager's office, first team changing room, before finishing up walking down the iconic tunnel and getting a close up look at the pitch. Booking in advance is required and you can get tickets here.

4) Victoria Tunnel

Head underground to the highly rated Newcastle attraction and get a fascinating tour through the 2.4 mile Victoria Tunnel. Gain an insight into Newcastle’s industrial powerhouse days and how the tunnel protected the city’s population during World War II.

The tunnels, which lie up to 85 feet below the streets of Newcastle, were originally built between 1839-42 to transport coal down towards the Tyne River, before closing in the 1860s and reopening as an air raid shelter in 1939. Booking in advance is required and you can get your tickets here.

5) Grainger Market

Transport yourself back in time by visiting the oldest food market in Newcastle, Grainger Market. The Grade I listed building is the city’s largest covered market and was the largest in Europe at the time of opening.

Despite opening in 1835, the market is still bustling with over 100 vendors selling everything from world food to clothes to luxury goods. The market is also home to the original Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar store which also happens to be the smallest M&S in the world. 

Find out more about Grainger Market here.

6) Sage Gateshead

It’s pretty hard to visit Newcastle and not be drawn to the striking Sage Gateshead concert venue. The uniquely shaped structure is constructed entirely out of mirrored glass and stands high and proud on the other side of the Tyne.

First opening in 2004, Sage has gained a reputation as one of the most highly regarded music venues in the country and is home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia and has three performance auditoriums. Make sure to check out what’s on here before heading over so you can enjoy one of the 400 gigs, performances or concerts that take place there every year.

7) Discovery Museum

Housed in an iconic building that was once the city's Co-operative Wholesale Society headquarters, the Discovery Museum features a range of interactive exhibits that showcase the region’s heritage.

As you enter you’ll be greeted by an immense 35-metre long turbine ship before finding the interactive model of the river Tyne and a recreated 19th-century street. You don't need to book and entry is free, however you can still check out the website here to see what special events are going to be on when you visit.

8) Newcastle City Baths

Newcastle is home to one of only 11 operational Turkish Baths in the country, perfect for escaping reality and relaxing and unwinding after a long day of sightseeing. After reopening in 2020 after a major £7.5 million refurbishment, the Grade II listed Newcastle City Baths boasts art deco inspired relaxation rooms, original wooden booths, a glass domed roof and invigorating plunge showers.

You’ll also find a hammam, steam room and swimming pool - everything you could possibly need when taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Find out more about the Newcastle City Baths here.

Book your coach or minibus

Thinking of booking transport for your trip to Newcastle? We’ve got you covered, enquire here to get your free personalised quote.

Find out more about our range of vehicles on offer here.