Newcastle upon Tyne, often shortened to Newcastle, is a city in the county of Tyne and Wear in North East England. Newcastle is the main city in North East England, and the 20th largest city in England. It is one of England's core cities.
Newcastle, known at the time as "Pons Aelius" was founded by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain, Newcastle became part of the powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria and was known throughout this period as Monkchester. After a series of conflicts with the Danes and the devastation that occurred north of the River Tyne as a result of Odo's rebellion against the Norman invasion of 1080, Monkchester had all but been destroyed. Throughout the middle Ages, Newcastle was England's northern fortress, and was an important stronghold in the Border war against Scotland. During the English Civil War, Newcastle supported King Charles and was stormed by Cromwell's Scots allies 'with roaring drummes' in 1644. Heavy industries in Newcastle declined in the second half of the twentieth century; office and retail employment are now the City's staples.
Place of interest
Newcastle has recently been voted the UK's best short break destination and the vibrant city is considered one of the world's new cultural Meccas, with many world-class, dynamic attractions. Full of history, Newcastle city centre actually has more listed classical buildings than any other city in the United Kingdom. Some of the famous places to visit are:
* Hancock Museum (Natural History)
* Military Vehicle Museum
* Discovery Museum (Science and Local History)
* Laing Art Gallery
* Centre for Life
* Museum of Antiquities
* Seven Stories, The Centre for Children's Books (Ouseburn Valley)
* Hatton Gallery
* Newcastle Castle Keep and Blackgate
* Blackfriars, Newcastle
* Bessie Surtees House (Quayside)
* Royal Grammar School, Newcastle
* Eldon Square shopping centre
Museums & Art Galleries
Newcastle has a number of excellent art galleries and museums in Newcastle city centre, providing interesting information on the history of Newcastle and many other exhibitions. Some of the major art galleries and museums in Newcastle include:
" Discovery Museum - recreating local Newcastle life from Roman, medieval and Georgian times to the 20th century,
" Museum of Antiquities - with an outstanding collection on Roman artefacts,
" Shefton Museum - Greek archaeology and art,
" Newcastle's Military Museum - historic wartime and post-war military vehicles,
" Hancock Museum - one of the most popular museums in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area and the north's leading natural history museum,
" Life Science Centre, Stephenson Railway Museum - housing a large collection of important historic steam and electric locomotives and
" Newcastle's Trinity Maritime Centre - celebrating the history of the River Tyne with many detailed scale models of historic Newcastle ships.
There are several major shopping areas in Newcastle city centre. The largest of these is the Eldon Square shopping centre, which incorporates the largest Fenwick department store in the UK and a John Lewis store.
The main shopping street in the city is Northumberland Street, which runs from the Haymarket metro station to the Monument. The wholly pedestrianised Northumberland Street is home to retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Primark and HMV.
Other shopping centres in Newcastle include the relatively modern Eldon Garden and Monument Mall complexes, the Newgate Centre, Leazes Arcade and the traditional Grainger Market. The largest indoor shopping centre in Europe, The MetroCentre in Gateshead is also nearby.
Food & Drink
Newcastle has a reputation of being a fun-loving city with many bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It consistently features in lists of the top ten party cities in the world. The majority of clubs in Newcastle are located in three main areas. The oldest of these is the Bigg Market a favourite haunt for the more indigenous of the locals, followed by the trendy Quayside area, a spectacular mix of modern and classic architecture, which creates a fantastic backdrop for a sometimes-frantic Saturday night. The newest is "The Gate", which is a new indoor complex consisting of bars, upmarket clubs, restaurants and a 12-screen Odeon multiplex cinema.
Pubs and bars are located throughout the city, though there are more in the areas mentioned above. In addition the area around Central Station features a heavy concentration of pubs. Beyond the Quayside, towards Byker in the Ouseburn Valley there is a cluster of interesting pubs providing real ale and live music.
Over recent years, the suburb of Jesmond has become a drinking area, with a number of bars being set up along the area's main artery, Osborne Road. As well as bars this stretch of designer real estate is puncuated with top class restaurants and other fine cafe-bar/eateries.
Newcastle is home to one of the most successful universities in the United Kingdom. The city has two universities, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the newer Northumbria University that was established in 1992 and was voted 'Best New University' by the Times Good University Guide 2005. The Newcastle Royal Grammar School is often claimed to be one of the foremost schools in the North of England.
The city of Newcastle has excellent sports facilities, including a wide range of popular Newcastle spectator sports, such as rugby and cricket. Newcastle United, Newcastle's premiership football club, plays regular home games at St. James's Park Stadium, which seat almost 40,000 people. Rugby is an increasingly popular spectator sport in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Newcastle's leading rugby team is the Newcastle Falcons - playing regular matches at Newcastle's impressive Kingston Park Stadium. The city's Metro Radio Arena is home to Newcastle Vipers ice hockey team, and Newcastle Eagles basketball team. The City's Speedway team Newcastle Diamonds are based at Brough Park in Byker. Newcastle also hosts the start of the annual BUPA Great North Run, the world's largest half marathon.
Hotels & Accommodation
Newcastle-upon-Tyne has a large and varied selection of hotels, with accommodation in both central Newcastle and the surrounding area of Newcastle. Budget hotel chains and large luxury Newcastle hotels are concentrated in Newcastle city centre, in Newcastle's trendy Quayside area, in the Jesmond district, along Osborne Road and in the Haymarket. The lively and historic city of Newcastle is an accessible holiday destination for every pocket. Hotels in Newcastle include many impressive five-star hotels in central Newcastle, town-house value hotels, award-winning bed and breakfast guest houses, cheap Newcastle lodging, inns and travelodges on the outskirts of Newcastle.
Some of the budget hotels in Newcastle are
Swallow Imperial Hotel
Royal Station Hotel
Some of the luxury and deluxe hotels in Newcastle are
Express by Holiday Inn Newcastle Metro Centre
Quality Hotel Newcastle Upon Tyne
Premier Apartments Newcastle
Holiday Inn Newcastle
Britannia Hotel Newcastle Airport
Best Western New Kent Hotel
Tours and Sightseeing
Newcastle's city centre is walkable and many of Newcastle's most popular tourist attractions are within easy reach of each other. There are a number of excellent Newcastle tourism and tourist information outlets in and around the centre of Newcastle. These Newcastle tourist information outlets provide invaluable tourist information, such as detailed information about Newcastle's countless tourist attractions, monuments, restaurants, nightclubs, Newcastle travel, maps of Newcastle and general Newcastle tourism and tourist information.
Newcastle International Airport located near Ponteland is the fastest growing airport in the UK. A journey from the city center to the Airport takes some 15 minutes by car or 20 minutes on the Tyne and Wear Metro service. Its railway station has a fine classical frontage and is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line, providing a half-hourly frequency of trains to London as well as trains to Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Carlisle plus local services. Newcastle and the surrounding area have an extensive bus network that is coordinated by Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive.
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