Built on the site of the original castle that the great city is named after, The Castle was built in 1080 by William I’s son as a defensive structure against the Scots. In the motte and bailey style, the wooden structure was replaced by an imposingly solid stone keep by Henry II in 1172. Its similarity to Kent’s Dover Castle is no coincidence as both employed the same architect. The Castle is now home to a museum housing an impressive collection of artefacts from around Newcastle, and it’s a great place to begin your Newcastle adventure.
One of the most popular attractions in Newcastle is the atmospheric Victoria Tunnel. An underground track, wide enough to take a waggon load of coal, that runs for two and a half miles under Newcastle to the River Tyne, the tunnel was dug around 1840. During World War II, after the closure of the colliery, the tunnel was used as an air-raid shelter. Tours regularly take visitors down into the depths to explore the realistic dioramas depicting life underground. Watch out for the ghosts that have been seen, heard and felt by many visitors, during the tours.
With free admission, the Discovery Museum in the heart of Newcastle is a must visit. Set in a stunning red brick Victorian building, and stretching over three vast floors, this homage to the past, present and future features fabulously fun interactive activities, and over 450,000 artefacts, including a Roman loo! Learn about Newcastle’s past, and see objects originating from around the world, and beyond, including contemporary art, geology and natural history.
Retail lovers are well catered for by Newcastle’s many shops and outlets. All the big high street names can be found here, and many designers showcase exclusive outfits just for Newcastle. Intu Eldon Square has everything under one roof, and just outside the city, the Metro Centre is widely regarded to be one of the best shopping centres in the country.
However, if you’re after something a little different, Newcastle is home to many independent boutiques showcasing local talent, such as hand made jewellery, studio pottery and mouth blown glassware, and why not take some homemade fudge for the journey back to Cardiff.
With so much to see and do in this great city, you’ll have to return to continue your Northern adventure. Download our mobile app to hear about our latest money-saving deals, including Anytime tickets that offer flexibility on travel times, and for a quieter journey, our Off-peak travel options.