With Sunderland going for City of Culture in 2021 – here’s my article from early in the year about Newcastle / Gateshead
Newcastle / Gateshead is the vibrant heart of the North East but also not alone with the cities such as Durham, Sunderland and Middlesbrough not too far away add their own flavour to the region and all come together to form a region famous for industry and innovation throughout the decades but is also much more than that – it’s more than likely that the perception of the region doesn’t come close to the reality for many people but once they come to the North East they see something much grander and greater than they expected.
Gateshead has been my home for the past few years home to famous landmarks such as the Angel of the North which helped the cultural renaissance of the area, also The Sage – a premiere music venue for many music artists and also a great venue for events like Thinking Digital, nearby there’s the Baltic Art Gallery – a world renowned space for other kinds of artist to show of their work and even hosted the Turner Prize and there’s the Gateshead Millennium Bridge one of the first fully tilting bridges in the world.
Gateshead is home to other places too such as intu MetroCentre which is the largest shopping centre in the UK and was also home to the Gateshead Garden Festival which was the biggest event that helped regenerate many parts of the area which eventually helped bring many of the things mentioned previously to Gateshead and surrounding area.
Newcastle is just across the River Tyne which is famous for its bridges that are dotted along the Quayside such as the Tyne Bridge which is probably the most famous Newcastle landmark
and seen as part of the Great North Run – the world’s largest half marathon. Newcastle is also home to other bridges such as The High Level Bridge which is the one of the world’s first combined road and railway bridge and The Swing Bridge which was built to allow access to William Armstrong’s works and sits on the site of the first Tyne bridge.
Newcastle has many other bridges but it’s home to much more than such as the Centre for Life – a world leading life-sciences research facility and hosts exhibitions open to the public, Grey’s Monument the monument for Earl Grey (yes as in the tea) and Grey Street a grand Georgian style street. Also, what would Newcastle be without its Castle, the Castle Keep of which remains to this day and the site of which dates to Roman times as part of the route of Hadrian’s Wall.
Newcastle / Gateshead together are home to an excellent public transport system alongside the mainline railway services to Newcastle Station and usual regular buses to local destinations and places further afield in the North East, there’s the Tyne & Wear Metro which serves areas close to both side of the River Tyne and allows access to Newcastle Airport, which is the world’s most punctual small Airport.
Newcastle / Gateshead and the North East is an area steeped in history, famous for its inventions from lifeboats to light bulbs, hydroelectric power to steam turbines and many more but also looking forward with new innovations in science and technology and bringing innovators to study here like Apple’s Jony Ive and home to vibrant start-ups covering many sectors and established companies such Sage – the only UK software company consistently listed in the FTSE 100. There’s so much more to say than can ever be said here about the Newcastle / Gateshead and the North East as whole just that it’s well worth a visit by road, rail or air!
Originally Published 13th January 2017