Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne


Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, or Newcastle as it is more commonly known, has worked hard to throw off its image as a dreary, industrial city and to develop a thriving tourism industry. Clearly successful in its attempts at regeneration, Newcastle has now become a highly popular UK weekend destination, particularly with the younger crowd who flock to its bars, restaurants and nightclubs, intent on having a good time.

Situated on the River Tyne's north bank, the city boasts a 2,000-year-old history and a treasure-trove of architecture, with the most classical buildings listed in the UK. Although the city really only reached prominence in the Industrial Revolution, it has long been a capital and defensive point of the north of England for the Romans and Saxons respectively. The city's origins as a Roman town are still evident in Hadrian's Wall, whose ruins can be seen stretching eastward to Wallsend.

Today, these Roman ruins and the grand elegance of areas such as the neoclassical Grainger Town in the city centre contrast with the ultra modern buildings of the city's new Quayside development. Newcastle's waterfront glitters with chic boutiques, excellent restaurants, stylish hotels and modern art. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, a work of art in itself, arches across the River Tyne to link Newcastle to Gateshead Quays.

The city's modern amenities lie comfortably alongside a myriad of historic sites, parks, traditional markets, galleries and museums, and although it may not yet be on everybody's list of top destinations, Newcastle is a thriving, vibrant city with plenty to offer the visitor.

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.

Getting Around

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 additional charges.

Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts is a unique and fascinating collection of ever-changing exhibits, set in an old flourmill on the south bank of the River Tyne. The biggest gallery of its kind, the Centre allows visitors to explore the innovative and unusual world of top contemporary artists, both local and international. The BALTIC Centre also plays host to various performances, activities, talks and visitors have an opportunity to interact with the latest artist-in-residence. Some of the Centre's past, present and future exhibitors include Sam Taylor-Wood, Wang Du, Susan Hiller and Keith Haring.

Originally known as Monkchester, Newcastle only got its present name when Robert Curthose, son of the infamous William the Conqueror, built his 'New Castle' on the site of the Roman Fort, Pons Aelius in 1080. Used as a point of defence, the Castle was originally built of wood and timber, but was later rebuilt in stone. Today visitors can explore the remains of the Castle, as well as the Castle Keep built later on the same site by Henry II.

In order to separate the Roman Empire in Britain from the 'Barbarians,' in the year 122 Emperor Hadrian ordered the building of an impressive wall. Taking approximately six years to complete, the wall stretches for roughly 80 miles (120km) from South Shields to Ravenglass, passing through present-day Newcastle. Dotted along it are several forts, temples, turrets and milecastles and visitors can explore these fascinating 2,000-year-old remains, as well as the surrounding countryside. Hadrian's Wall was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

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