Newcastle upon Tyne, more commonly known as just Newcastle, is the most bustling city in North East England. It’s a popular destination in Western Europe and one of my favorite cities in the world.
What is Newcastle famous for? Newcastle is famous for its spectacular bridges, adoration of football, breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, delicious food and wild nightlife. It’s also known for its museums, theaters, breweries and markets.
Let’s get to know the 11 things that Newcastle is famous for.
1. Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Seven bridges span across River Tyne within the city. Newcastle is known for the beautiful architecture of each one. One of the more well-known bridges is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and it has become famous for good reason. This £22m structure was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ on 7 May 2002.
Also known as the ‘Winking Eye’, this beautiful bridge is as photo-worthy as the views from its peak. If this interests you, then I encourage you to check out the six other bridges along River Tyne. The Tyne Bridge is a close second to Gateshead Millenium bridge with its classic but breathtaking design.
2. St. James’ Park
A big part of Newcastle culture is football. The locals of Newcastle are known for their love of the sport. This massive stadium brings thousands of fans together every year to cheer on Newcastle’s local team, Newcastle United. Grab one of the city’s many local beers, sit down, and watch Newcastle United do their thing.
If watching sports isn’t your style, dive into the rich history of Newcastle United and St. James Park on one of the many city tours Newcastle has to offer. St. James Park hosted its first game in the late 19th century. Since then, the popularity of football in Newcastle blossomed, pushing the city to build the grand stadium that stands by Barrack Rd today.
3. Grey’s Monument
Sit with a cup of tea from one of the many tea shops surrounding Grey’s Monument as you soak in the history of England. Newcastle is famous for Its rich history, and this monument is no exception. Grey’s Monument, built in 1838, was created to honor former Prime Minister Earl Grey and the Reform Act of 1832.
This act was set in place to reform the parliament and to abolish slavery within the British Empire. This 135-foot tall monument is not only a stamp in history, but also an artistic beauty. Pay respect to one of the many great leaders on the right side of history by visiting Grey’s monument.
4. Grey Street
After visiting Grey’s monument, take a stroll through Grey street, one of the most beautiful streets in England and possibly the world. Enjoy the historic architecture that Newcastle is famous for. While you window shop, admire the beautiful buildings that hug the sidewalk. Then, If you’re in the mood for a midday drink, take a stop at Fitzgerald’s, a century-old, award-winning local pub with an impressive selection of beers, ales and wines.
For a more upscale British experience, book a reservation for high tea at Leila Lily’s. Going for afternoon high tea is a must if you are traveling to Britain and Leila Lily’s is the place to go. The moody floral designs that dominate the restaurant’s interior will please your eyes as you indulge over a variety of beautifully prepared and delicious treats. Leila Lily’s will leave you happily full and feeling totally British.
5. Theatre Royal
Grey Street has so much to offer. This beautiful building of the arts is just one of the many great places to visit along the street. Newcastle is famous for its lively arts scene and there is no better place to get a taste of this than Theatre Royal. This theater is an architectural masterpiece that is sure to impress. Stepping under the grand pillars and into the building will feel like stepping back in time. I highly recommend that you purchase a ticket ahead of time to watch one of the many brilliant musicals and plays that this theater hosts.
Head over in the morning for one of the theater’s Inside View Coffee Morning program to discover all of the work and tricks that go on behind the scenes to bring magic to live theatre. For only £3.50, you can enjoy your choice of coffee or tea while you learn more about what it takes to put on a production at Theatre Royal. During this session, you will even be able to ask the professionals any question you like. But be sure to purchase your tickets beforehand because spots go quickly for these fun and informative matinees.
6. Newcastle Castle
One of the main things Newcastle is famous for is Newcastle Castle. It was this 12th-century fortress that gave Newcastle its name. Today, Newcastle Castle is a must-see tourist attraction in the heart of the growing city.
Immerse yourself in the earliest history of Newcastle upon Tyne as you walk through the stone archway. Learn about what life was like over 900 years ago. I would also highly recommend that you make time to journey your way up to the top of the Newcastle Castle. Keep an eye out for a spectacular view of the city.
Entry costs £8.50 but is well worth it to walk through the halls of the two well-preserved, ancient buildings on site.
7. Hadrians Wall Path & Newcastle Roman Fort
If you love to hike then the Hadrian’s Wall Path is the attraction for you. This 84-mile-long trail stretches across northern England, all along the Roman Hadrian’s Wall. So, if you’re feeling bold, hike the seven-day journey from coast to coast and become closer to England and its ancient history with each step. The beautiful countryside scenery of Northern England is sure to make this monstrous hike worth the effort.
Also, be sure to stop at the many museums and historical sites scattered across the trail. Newcastle is known for the rich Roman history that surrounds the city. So take some time out of your day to enjoy nature and learn about England’s ancient past.
If you’re looking for a less strenuous experience, go on a three-hour guided tour along a small portion of the Hadrian’s Wall Path and get a chance to check out Newcastle Roman Fort, also known as Pons Aelius. This historic site is made up of two Roman forts: Arbeia and Segedunum. These two excellent reconstructions will give you a glimpse of what Roman times were like.
8. Victoria Tunnel
This 2.4-mile-long brick pathway is an impressive sight. Stare up at the impressive brickwork above your head while you stroll through a significant piece of British history. Learn about the history of this mid-19th-century underground waggonway from when it was built to transport coal to when it was converted into an air-raid shelter in WWII on a guided tour.
For the photo savvy, book a photography tour to test your skill in the eerily aesthetic Victoria Tunnel.
9. Grainger Market
Newcastle is famous for its surplus of cute shops that are sure to please any shopper. Since it was built in 1835, this indoor market has had something for everyone, from vintage clothing to watch repairs. You can easily spend hours supporting local Newcastle businesses while getting to know the local culture.
Be sure to go on an empty stomach so you can experience the myriad of local street foods that Grainger Market has to offer. If you’d rather cook for yourself instead, then explore the many local butchers, fish stands, and fruit and vegetable stands to make a fresh and delicious meal at home -or wherever you’re staying- using all locally sourced ingredients.
For an extra sprinkle of magic, visit this historic market during the Christmas season when every shop is decorated and the market is bustling with locals and tourists alike, all getting ready for the biggest holiday of the year.
10. Jesmond Dene Park
Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the natural beauties of Jesmond Dene Park. Take time to adventure through the flourishing forests, watch the water flow under a beautiful brick bridge, and sit on a bench while birds swim through the ponds in front of you. This park is a slice of heaven and a welcome escape from the bustling urban atmosphere of Newcastle upon Tyne. The park is also full of wonderful photo opportunities for the photographers and amateur models of the world.
Travel down to the south end of Jesmond Dene Park to find the Pets Corner, a small petting zoo with goats, rabbits, ducks, and more. This little zoo is sure to put a smile on any kid’s -or kid at heart’s- face. There is also a quaint play area just a little further south of the Pets Corner for kids who love to see how high they can fly on the swings.
11. Bigg Market
One of the main things Newcastle is famous for is Its wild and crazy nightlife. Travel over to Bigg Market to see what all of the hype is about. From karaoke bars to dance clubs to simple pubs, the Bigg Market is sure to please everyone who is up for a fun night out.
For a truly unique experience, head over to Pop World, a bright and energetic night club that will have you on your feet dancing with it’s blaring chart-toppers and crowd-pleasers. Pop World has a number of whimsical cocktails to try while you rest your feet. This club has a one of a kind atmosphere that everyone should experience at least once.
Newcastle is a beautiful and fascinating city to visit during your trip to England. I hope this article has given you a good overview of what Newcastle is famous for. Enjoy your visit to this magnificent northern gem!