Information & Facts
Newcastle's climate is temperate, and although typical of the
United Kingdom, it can be highly changeable. Due to the Gulf
Stream, temperatures are usually warmer than in the rest of the UK
and as Newcastle is in the rain shadow of the North Pennines, it is
also one of the UK's driest cities. Summers are usually sunny and
warm, while winters are cold, with some occasional snow.
Newcastle has an excellent public transport system, with plenty
of buses, trains and taxis available. It may be worth phoning ahead
for a taxi at the weekend, as the city can get quite busy.
Newcastle is also home to the UK's first light rapid rail transit
system, the Tyne and Wear Metro - a fast and efficient means of
transport that operates within the city and connects Newcastle and
Gateshead. There are plenty of car rental agencies in the city,
though exploring Newcastle on foot is perhaps the best way to take
in all the sights and sounds. There are also several cycling paths
and bike rental options.
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).