Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bimbling around Newcastle

The weather forecast said it was going to be cold and wet today, but they got it wrong, it was dry and warm. I've had a lovely day in Newcastle. Caught a bus outside the guest house into town, straight to the station and a train to Newcastle was waiting on the platform. The public transport system in the north east is excellent, all the neighbouring towns are served well with buses which run frequently. It took seventeen minutes from Durham to Newcastle, the fare was £7. I could have traveled free on the bus, but I wanted a quick journey to give me more time to look round. 
Liz at the guest house gave me a street map which was very useful. There is such a lot to see, I knew I wouldn't have time to do it all, so I picked out a few places of interest. I turned right down Neville Street and crossed a busy junction to take a look at the Black Gate, and Castle Keep, the gateway to Old Newcastle. 

This is looking at it from the back view, with St Nicholas Cathedral in the background.

The Castle Keep has a Great Hall and galleries overlooking the main space and can be hired for special events.

I took a walk over the High Level Bridge. The next two photo's show the Swing Bridge and the Tyne Bridge. 

Once on the south bank I went a walk along Riverside Park. This is the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and the King Edward Bridge.

This is the High Level Bridge that I used to cross over.

Spotted on the edge of the water in the mud, mummy duck with seven chicks. I stood watching for a while, I hope they will be alright. 
My plan was to head the other way along the South Bank to Baltic, a large mill converted into an art gallery. Here are the two bridges from the other side.

And a bit further along, the Tyne Bridge again.

The next bridge is The Millennium Bridge. This is quite an unusual structure, it can be tilted to let tall boats through. The curve of the footpath lifts up, and the top curve drops down. The timetable is on a board, but today was not a tilting day.

Just across from there is Sage, an amazing shiny building shaped like a big fat lumpy slug. I went inside to have a look. There are three different auditoriums inside, where all kinds of musical concerts take place. There are shops, cafeterias, and teaching and conference facilities. 
This is Baltic. It's six stories high, and I'm pleased to say, I didn't take the lift I used the stairs. There were three exhibitions on, but two of the floors were not open due to them preparing for the next exhibition. 
On the sixth floor is a viewing platform. 
There was only one window available to use for taking photographs. All the others had been covered over by coloured cellophane in preparation for the next exhibition.

I was surprised to find a very busy restaurant up there.

Next I crossed back over the river and took a walk up Dean Street and Grey Street, there are a lot of interesting old buildings. 
The Theatre Royal.

And the Monument.

This building stands just behind The Monument, and houses Waterstones book shop.

I sat for a while in the gardens at the Civic Centre, where I saw this war memorial. I wanted to go to the Laing Art Gallery but it was closed due to the staff being on strike. Bit disappointed about that. 

I went into Marks and Spencers to use the ladies, I needed to change into my shorts, I was far too hot. The store is massive, the food department is huge. There must be plenty of affluent people in Newcastle.
Next to Chinatown through the Arch.

The tall blue building on the right under construction is to be the new student accommodation flats. 
Just across the road is the football Stadium. It is a massive complex with lots of parking spaces. I bet the roar of the crowd when a goal is scored travels for miles.

Time was getting on so I made my way back to the station. I was lucky to walk straight onto a train, and in no time I was back in Durham. I popped into Tesco Express, near to the bus station to pick up something nice for tea. I was lucky and found some yellow stickers. As I am travelling back tomorrow I bought a loaf of Hovis Granary for 15p, carrots and beans for 16p, broccoli for 17p, and grapes for 56p. I have started on the strawberries for 56p, and eaten the melon chunks for 25p. So that was a nice little bonus. And, there was a number 43 bus in so I was back at the guest house in double quick time, it stops right outside the door.

I've had a lovely day, nattered to some nice people. I met a woman with a dog, she stopped to watch the duck and chicks, we were chatting for twenty minutes. She rescued the dog from Malta, where she was living at the time, and brought it back to England. I love a good doggy story with a happy ending.

I will make a stop somewhere on the way back and go for a walk, I'll check the Yorkshire map. Bye for now, thanks for reading.


  1. Thanks for taking us on your walk around Newcastle. That Millennium Bridge looks gorgeous.


  2. I'm a first-time poster from the U.S. Love your blog!

    Beautiful photos of Newcastle. What a lovely city. I love architecture. You saw a lot in one day. Safe trip home.

  3. From Margie in Toronto -- what wonderful buildings and all those amazing bridges - you really covered a lot of ground in one day! I had no idea that Newcastle had such a mix of the old and the new. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.

  4. Newcastle looks a lovely place to visit.I don;t know how it's spelled but 'haway bonny lass' my Geordie Grandaddy used to say.
    Jane x

  5. Another lovely full day Ilona, I feel as though I was there with you.
    I have been to Newcastle but not seen a lot of what you showed us today, very interesting, thank you.
    Have a safe journey home tomorrow and I will look forward to seeing where you walk.
    Love Pam in TX.

  6. I am happy to find your blog. I am retired too, and my husband and I enjoyed visiting your country years ago. You have excellent photos here of castles and bridges and the new buildings, and it sounds like you had a grand adventure exploring.

  7. That was a lovely trip round Newcastle.

  8. Goodness, you managed to see such a lot in just one day! I visited Newcastle for work one snowy February a few years ago and was really impressed. My hotel overlooked the Millennium Bridge and the night time view was lovely. Sadly I didn't have time to do much sight seeing but would like to return, and your photos have given me lots of ideas about what to see when I do. Thanks!

  9. So enjoyed you trip around Newcastle photo's. Our Granddaughter was at University there and we made the journey from Cornwall to see her a few times, once when she was performing a dance at Laing art gallery, a magical place. Have a good trip back home today. Look in at your blog everyday.

  10. Love the pictures!
    I have never seen a tilting bridge interesting. And your description of the building as a fat lumpy slug, cracked me up!
    Safe travels home! Thanks for taking us along on your travels!

  11. Some lovely pictures, I think the castle is my favourite. I'm no footie fan but I bet the air is electric when they're winning x

  12. My youngest daughter went to University in Newcastle and now lives in Hartlepool with her own little family so I often have trips to Newcastle and the North East. It is a very friendly place to visit. I will follow with interest.

  13. wow, what a full day, looks like your having a fab time. x

  14. Very interesting and enjoyable :)

  15. I used to do a delivery run around the North East nearly every week and have been every now and then since i started driving for a living. Its changed a lot in 30 years and like everywhere the industry has gone.
    I used to park on the quayside for the night under the canopies of the goods sheds and walk up the bank to Bellinghams cafe and digs on City rd.
    Its all changed now, the sheds are gone and its all bars now.
    Jesmond is an affluent area but the real money people live in Darras Hall near the airport.
    Nice to see it from a visitors point of view and glad to see you enjoyed your visit.

  16. Very nostalgic! My mum is a Geordie, and I spent a year in Newcastle at 19 (after emigrating to Australia at 7).. Staying with relatives, making side trips in Europe and working at marks & spencer! I remember the wonderful mark downs on the food for staff, and I would lug bags of goodies home on the metro for my aunt & uncle. Susan from Perth :)