Northumberland - Newcastle, Gateshead & the North Tyneside coast


 Whitley Bay North Tyneside coast Northumberland England UK by stocksolutions Shutterstock
Seaside towns like Whitley Bay developed in the Victorian era © stocksolutions, Shutterstock

Many historic buildings and relics from past centuries remain intact, of course, particularly on the quayside where 300-year-old merchant houses sit alongside modern glass-clad buildings.

Before the 1990s and The Angel of the North, Tyneside was famed for coal, steel, shipbuilding, fanatical football supporters, Newcastle’s Bigg Market drinking area and scantily dressed girls. Since the cessation of heavy industry, however, the region has been reinvented as an arts destination. Factories have been demolished or converted into galleries, studios and loft-style apartments; high-profile arts centres now front Gateshead’s once rundown waterfront, and the Diamond Strip is the new Bigg Market (that alone tells you almost everything you need to know about the regional economy). Newcastle United football fans though are still some of the most loyal of any club, and revellers have not taken to wearing coats in winter. The last two things are unlikely to change.

Many historic buildings and relics from past centuries remain intact, of course, particularly on the quayside where 300-year-old merchant houses sit alongside modern glass-clad buildings. And in the centre of Newcastle, elegant Georgian avenues radiate from Grey’s Monument in long rows of some of the finest neo-classical buildings in England.

In the Victorian era, seaside resorts developed around the mouth of the Tyne at places like Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, providing a recreational space for Tynesiders to escape the city smoke and take in the fresh air. Then, as now, locals enjoy a walk along the promenade, an ice cream on the seafront or a dip in the sea.

If you’re visiting Newcastle with children, click here for a list of family-friendly free activities, or try our family-friendly walk or cycle from Tyneside here.

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