Newcastle Gateshead: Experience the Toon this Spring

With spring fast approaching it’s about time you treated yourself to a well earned break from your job, life or any other responsibilities you may have and get away for a while. Now if the first place that comes into your mind is some distant, faraway land then I’m going to make a suggestion to rival this and that is Newcastle, specifically the Gateshead area.

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I know what you’re thinking, why would I go there when I can go somewhere hotter with blue skies and exotic foods? Well be prepared to change your mind as staying in the UK is fast becoming much more popular as people are discovering more and more amazing places to visit, delicious foods to sample and it doesn’t break the bank.

Why waste all that time and money in an airport not to mention the worry of the airline losing your bags or anything else that can go wrong when you can have a break that will be much better in the UK? If you’re coming round to my way of thinking and decide to holiday in the UK, then as I mentioned above I highly recommend the Newcastle Gateshead area, and here’s why.

If sightseeing is your chosen activity when on holiday then Newcastle Gateshead will not let you down here as it is home to the world’s first and only tilting bridge. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is one of the biggest attractions in the city which draws people from all over the world to marvel at its spectacular grace. If you want to see the bridge in action then make sure you visit it at one of the specified tilt times to really make the most of this attraction. Some other amazing bridges to see in the city would be the famous Tyne Bridge and the Swing Bridge that actually revolves to allow ships to pass on either side.

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Keeping with the sightseeing theme, a trip to the Castle Keep is a must; dating back to 1178 this is a prime example of Norman architecture in Britain. It has recently undergone a huge renovation to the tune of £1.67m and this has improved every aspect for visitors, such as new exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life would have been like in medieval times. This is in addition to the absolutely amazing views available at the top of the castle and it’s in depth displays that offer an insight into times long past. For families, I cannot recommend this attraction enough as it has something that will interest everyone for a very good price as tickets cost as little as £6.50 for adults, £3.90 for kids or £15.90 for a family. I can guarantee you won’t find this sort of history if you went to your usual beach retreat.

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Food is a huge part of any holiday and you might be surprised to find out that the Gateshead area has a huge array of exciting new restaurants and places to eat that will challenge any exotic food you might usually have on a holiday. If there is one place I’d recommended for dinner then it would have to be the intu Metrocentre Qube, as this is not just a place to shop till you drop, it’s also a place to satisfy any food craving you might have.

Fancy a liquid lunch? Then the Circle 360 Champagne and Cocktails bar has got you covered here with a list of crisp champagnes and sparkling wines to choose from as you relax in the modern, open plan, luxurious surroundings. If this isn’t your thing then how about an all you can eat buffet? Big Luke’s is another restaurant located in the Metrocentre and it features an amazing selection of foods such as: BBQ ribs, pulled pork, roast chicken, crispy chicken wings, tender grilled steak, cheesecakes of all flavours and much more. This is a huge favourite for families as there will be something that everyone likes so it’s a guaranteed favourite.

The Metrocentre also offers international cuisine from countries such as Italy, India, Japan and China with restaurants that specifically cater for this type of cuisine so you’re guaranteed to get an authentic taste of that country. Why waste all that time and money travelling for hours on a cramped plane to try this cuisine when you can technically be all over the world without stepping foot into an airport.

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If you enjoy a more cultural break then again you’ve chosen the right place, Gateshead has some amazing music and art venues that will truly make for a memorable holiday. The first place I would suggest you visit is the Sage Gateshead as this truly lets visitors have a taste of music from all over the world. With two main stages and a 26 room music education and information resource centre there’s plenty of room for visitors to enjoy a whole range of music including: rock, pop, classical, folk, jazz and as well as hearing some great music, guests are encouraged to create their own. The International Jazz Festival returns to the Sage on the 15-17 April 2016 so be sure not to miss it.

After you’ve enjoyed this cultural experience why not head for another one and visit one of Gateshead’s many art galleries. The Baltic centre should be top of your list here as this hosts a truly huge range of contemporary visual art from all over the world and from the local community, with the building itself being a work of art as it is housed in a renovated flour mill on the bank of the River Tyne.

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Some other must see art galleries include the Shipley which is dedicated to crafts and design and the Laing gallery which hosts sculptures and art from throughout history. The Laing gallery was also recently selected by the Royal Collection Trust to premiere Ten Drawings by the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci. You can catch this exhibition between the 13th February 2016 and 24th April 2016.

The last suggestion I have for your holiday to Newcastle would be to see one of the most iconic and globally famous pieces of art anywhere in the world, you cannot say you’ve visited Newcastle without seeing the Angel of the North. This is the absolute perfect start or end to your break as you marvel at the 20m tall, 54m wide statue as you relax on the green beneath it.

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So with all the experiences on offer above and many more, I hope I have convinced you to put away that passport and travel instead to Gateshead. As this is a holiday destination that allows you to feel that you’ve been all over the world without ever leaving the UK. For more information on what to see and do in Newcastle Gateshead this spring please click here.

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