15 Best Things to Do in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Newcastle, England
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Do you know those bridges that are used in movies and TV series to represent England?

All of those spectacular façades hail from Newcastle, one of the bustling cities of North East England.

Its lesser-known name is Newcastle upon Tyne and is, in fact, the smallest but big city in the whole world.

It is also the capital of North East England and has everything a regional capital has – breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, fascinating history, and enthralling nightlife, amazing food, and glorious bridges!

Visit Tyne Bridge

Tyne Bridges
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Any individual may or may not know about Newcastle, but they will definitely know about the Tyne Bridge!

Out of all the seven bridges on the River Tyne, this bridge is the most popular.

Tyne Bridges
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This arch bridge is currently the tenth tallest structure in Newcastle.

The bridge was originally designed to have towers that would work as warehouses and would lift carrying goods and passengers, but they were never completed and are only opened on Heritage Open Days.

You can drive or even walk across the bridge to experience the glorious city!

Explore the Great North Museum: Hancock

Great North Museum: Hancock
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Newcastle boasts a rich history, and tourists will know about its past by visiting the spectacular Great North Museum: Hancock!

It was established in 1884 as the Hancock Museum before merging with Hatton Gallery of Newcastle University in 2006.

Now, the museum stands tall on the Newcastle University grounds, near Barras Bridge.

Great North Museum extension of Hanock museum
Andrew Curtis / Great North Museum: Hancock

The museum displays several mesmerizing exhibitions and collections, with permanent fixtures being a life-sized statue of an African elephant, a T-Rex skeleton, and the Egyptian mummy Bakt-en-Hor.

Additionally, there’s a library and National History Archive, giving access to mindboggling material, a café that serves refreshments, a packed lunch area, and a private breastfeeding area.

Display at Great North Museum: Hancock
Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dine at Peace & Loaf

Any foodie would not only appreciate this restaurant's food but also the pun-ny name!

Peace & Loaf, which has been around since late 2013, has become a local – and even tourist – favorite.

It is co-owned by head chef Dave Coulson, who has been the finalist on the popular show MasterChef: The Professionals and has also worked at Michael Roux Jr’s La Gavroche.

His legendary skills have seeped into the painstaking efforts he took over his menu, which features a delicious blend of fish cakes, mackerel, chicken pie, black pudding, and macaroons, among others.

Wander Around Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum in Newcastle
David P Howard / Discovery Museum

Discovery is one of the greatest catalysts of humanity’s advancement.

And to celebrate it, the Discovery Museum was opened in 1899 as Blandford Museum.

After being revamped as Discovery Museum in 1993, it has become an icon in Newcastle City center.

It features science and local history-related exhibits, which provide a fun and interactive experience for every visitor.

Discovery Museum in Newcastle
Neil Turner from Sowerby Bridge, United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the place's best attractions includes a mesmerizing 35-meter steam turbine ship that welcomes you at the entrance.

You can take part in the museum trails and guided tours for groups and enjoy some good food at the Turbinia Café.

This four-storied museum is one of the best things to do in Newcastle!

Collection in Discovery Museum
Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent., CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Lola Jeans

There are many cafés in Newcastle, but Lola Jeans takes the cake because of three factors – great menu, reasonable prices, and Instagrammable interiors.

It is a quirky place, serving an award-winning menu and signature cocktails.

An important factor is that the food is locally sourced and prepared properly and perfectly in-house, with their unique twist added to the dishes.

Some popular ones include steak platter, spring rolls, mac and cheese, cocktails, and various burgers.

The ambiance – which features vintage chandeliers and lamps, the infamous skull mural, and a pretty seating arrangement – perfectly round up the café’s experience.

What’s more, the café also provides attractive packages for weddings and special events – a perfect way to celebrate your special day!

As you can see, Newcastle is full of surprises.

The magnificent bridges, the sweet cat café, the millennium-old castle, the ancient shopping venue, and a park straight out of English poems – the list is endless.

While other cities have different and exciting things worth exploring, Newcastle takes the cake (and tea)!

Enjoy the Stunning View of Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral
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Nestling in the city's folds is the seat of the Bishop of Newcastle, The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas.

Also known as the Newcastle Cathedral, it was built in 1091 and is also the mother church of the Diocese of Newcastle.

The present façade, however, is a result of many restorations.

Interior of Newcastle Cathedral
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This place teems with unique attractions and activities, including the iconic Lantern Tower, different kinds of exhibitions, workshops, tours, the outdoor trail, a gift shop, and a quiet little café, Café 16.

If you want to spend your day in this city's peaceful place, then Newcastle Cathedral is where you should head to!

Have a Coffee at Mog on the Tyne

Newcastle also has a cat café, known as Mog on the Tyne!

The café is the original cat café of the area, serving delicious brownies and beverages amongst sleepy paws and cheerful meows.

The ambiance is suitable for visiting humans and resident cats, making it even easier to enjoy your food.

Speaking of which, the menu – locally sourced and contains vegan options as well – serves scones, gourmet sandwiches, crisps, hot and cold drinks, and teas.

There is a little entry fee you have to pay, which goes into the welfare of the beloved cats, i.e., Nacho, Finch, Thor, Sparrow, Jaffa, and so many more!

Explore the Biscuit Factory

This is the place art enthusiasts can’t ignore in Newcastle!

The Biscuit Factory, located on Stoddart Street, is the largest independent commercial art, craft & design gallery, founded in 2002.

Biscuit Factory
Andrew Curtis, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The building is a renovated Victorian biscuit manufacturing warehouse – hence, the name of the gallery.

The gallery features four seasonal exhibitions annually, along with events, displays, and other activities, all spread over two floors of abundant space.

These exhibitions are from emerging and successful local and national artists, thus providing a platform to showcase everyone’s art pieces equally.

Along with that, the gallery also runs a charity that helps develop emerging artists’ careers, provides several hireable rooms, and an in-house café, The Factory Kitchen!

Have a Walk at Millennium Bridge

Close up of Millennium Bridge
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Out of all the swaying bridges, the Millennium Bridge is the most impressive one.

Officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, this steel suspension bridge arches over the Thames, paving the way between the Bankside and the London City.

Because it was unexpectedly swaying when it was opened in 2000, the bridge came to be nicknamed the "Wobbly Bridge."

Millennium Bridge
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It is peppered with 400 tiny artworks and stands across the river stunningly.

Because of its beauty, the bridge has been frequently featured in pop culture, including in the sixth film of the Harry Potter series and the film Guardians of the Galaxy!

Millennium Bridge at dusk
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Visit Mr. Mulligan’s Newcastle

This place is perfect for all the golf lovers out there – and yet, it is not an ordinary golf venue!

Mr. Mulligan’s Space Golf is a space-themed adventure golf venue located on Newgate Street that provides an amazing golf experience, no matter what your age is.

It features three nine-hole courses that can be easily completed and even much easier if you know a bit about golf.

The staff is accommodating and is always ready to make your experience smooth and enjoyable.

Not only is the place perfect for a group of friends, but it also is extremely family-friendly – which just adds to its appeal.

Relax at the restaurant and bar - after the ‘otherworldly’ game is done – with delicious pizzas, alcoholic slushies, and cocktails!

Get Lost in the Quayside District

Entry to Victoria Tunnel
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The Quayside District is a unique and historic place, literally resting on the quays, i.e., banks of the River Tyne and Gateshead.

The district is a tourist magnet, where you can visit an amazing Sunday market, the Millennium bridge, see the buildings with phenomenal architecture, and dine at restaurants and bars.

An important attraction of the area is the 2.5-mile-long Victoria Tunnel, which runs underground from the Town Moor to the Tyne.

It is more than 150 years old and can be seen with the help of a guided tour.

Plans for launching a giant observation wheel – dubbed as "Whey Aye" – are in motion as well, which is a much-anticipated addition to this already amazing place!

Pay a Visit to Newcastle's Castle

Newcastle's Castle
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This mesmerizing castle, referred to as "The Castle," is packed with centuries-old history.

It is a medieval fortification of the 12th century, standing on the place of the fortress that was the inspiration behind the city’s name.

The still-standing structures in The Castle are the Castle Keep, the main fortified stone tower and gatehouse, and the Black Gate.

However, don’t be fooled by its historic façade – it’s still a bustling place, where events and activities are frequently conducted.

In addition to that, the place's grassy areas are open for picnics – or you can just head over to the amazing eateries nearby!

If there is anything that is a perfect blend of historic and modern, then it’s definitely The Castle.

Admire Eldon Square

Eldon Square
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It’s time to add a 40-year-old shopping Centre to your Newcastle itinerary!

Eldon Square, which opened in 1976, is a premium city-center shopping center, the largest in the UK when it was established.

This shopping area has more than 100 stores and over 25 restaurants!

It has beauty stores, stationery shops, electronics and homeware stores, fashion stores.

Eldon Square
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There are flagship stores, stores of global brands, and major department stores, which include Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, and Fenwick.

As for the food options, you can enjoy some delicious food from Tapas Revolution, Greys Quarter, Chaophraya, Grey’s Monument, and so many more.

Eldon Square is a shopping and food paradise, that’s for sure!

Have Fun in Jesmond Dene

Waterfall in Jesmond Dene
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Literature enthusiasts have always wondered how the nature described by English poets looks like.

The answer lies in Jesmond Dene, a public park in the eastern end of Newcastle.

It is located on the narrow valley of the River Ouseburn, functioning as natural heaven laced with peace, calm and fascinating history.

Jesmond Dene
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The park, which Lord Armstrong and his wife first designed, has an astonishing array of wildlife and exotic and native trees.

The Millfield House, situated right by the entrance, provides a number of facilities to the visitors, including a Conference Centre, toilets, Ranger Service Information Room, a café, a picnic area, and Pets Corner!s

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Sage Gateshead

Referred to as the "symbol of Newcastle’s regeneration" by The Times, Sage Gateshead is a regional music center for musical education and a concert venue overlooking the southern bank of the River Tyne.

It was established in 2004 and is a prestigious part of the Gateshead Quays development, along with the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Sage Gateshead
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The place has three performance and auditoria spaces which are different but equally amazing; one of which is a rehearsal hall while the others are state-of-the-art concert hall and performance-centric space, respectively.

Along with being a proud home to Royal Northern Sinfonia, these spaces host concerts frequently, mostly for worldwide popular artists.

Sage Gateshead at dusk
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