Five Unmissable Culture Sights in Newcastle
A place of culture and history, Newcastle has many locations you should make sure to visit.
Newcastle is a city with a rich history and culture. Through the city’s attractions, visitors can learn something in-depth about this amazing place. Newcastle holds fascinating stories of both itself and the whole country, with enough culture sights to ensure that you’ll always get an opportunity to experience something new.
With this, you might be looking for historical things to do in Newcastle. Or maybe you’re interested in the city’s culture in general. In either case, take a look at our list of the five absolutely unmissable culture sights in Newcastle. There’s a good chance you’ll find some intriguing places to see on your next trip.
1. Castle Garth
Following St Nicholas Street to Castle Garth will lead you to the ancient Newcastle’s castle keep. The small street goes around the keep and continues onto The Black Gate Street, reaching the eponymous gate. A short walk on this route will give you an immediate insight into the city’s medieval history.
Reconstructed after being damaged over time, both the keep and the gate are authentic monuments to days long gone. Immediately when you go under the overpass by the keep, you’ll feel the history coming back to life. And across the street lies the beautiful and charming Bridge Hotel.
Enter a bit deeper into Castle Garth and you’ll see another gorgeous building straight ahead. This is the Newcastle Moot Hall, the city’s courthouse. Just before it on the right are the Castle Stairs that you can take right down to Sandhill. Passing the stairs is a small adventure in itself since they go below the old castle walls.
Before leaving Castle Garth, check out the Vermont Hotel and its Redwood Bar. It’s a luxurious place in an amazing location. Also, make sure not to miss the exhibitions at the keep and learn more about Newcastle’s Castle history.
2. St Nicholas Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas mostly dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, with both earlier and later segments. The church has stood looking over the city throughout a large part of history. Even the cathedral’s organ, built in 1676, has centuries worth of history behind it.
The building style belongs to the English late Gothic, the so-called Perpendicular style. The specific lantern spire that’s open and arched is an easily recognizable feature that gives the church a unique look. Inside the cathedral, you’ll see plenty of wonderful stained glass art, including a medieval piece.
In its earliest history, the cathedral was a Norman parish church that stood for over a century. Today, the fascinating building is a monument to the history and culture of the region.
3. The Theater Royal
Close by to the Cathedral and the Castle is the Theater Royal on Grey Street. While there were reconstructions done on the building, the exterior looks the same as 200 years ago. That’s when the theater opened, and it’s been active ever since.
While fires have endangered it in several instances, the theater was luckily saved and remains standing to this day. On a particular occasion in 1899, the interior suffered great damage due to a massive fire. Not to give in to superstition, but the incident mentioned is quite peculiar. The fire happened right after a performance of a certain Scottish play. Theater lovers will undoubtedly know which play’s in question, but hopefully, it was no more than an unlucky coincidence.
In modern times, the Theater Royal houses the finest drama plays, musicals, ballet and dance shows, and opera. Even if you can’t catch a play, the gorgeous building is certainly worth a visit for the exterior alone.
4. Quayside and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge
A road on the left bank of the Tyne River bears the name Quayside. However, in a broader sense, Quayside encompasses a whole area of Newcastle. It spans both sides of the river, going from the High Level Bridge all the way past the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
A former industrial hub, Quayside today hosts performances and exhibitions. Every Sunday, you can visit the Quayside Market and the area’s seasonal attractions. It’s a highly popular route for casual walks and the ideal location to view the famous seven bridges.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge lies around the central point of Quayside. As the first tilting pedestrian bridge in the world, it’s a wonder of modern architecture. To allow ships to pass, the bridge tilts on its axis instead of lifting. It’s a real spectacle to watch the slow, smooth movement of the giant structure.
Every Gateshead Millennium Bridge tilt takes under five minutes, and any litter rolls down from it during the movement. The trash then goes into specially-designed traps, rather than into the river. When in its normal position, the bridge is one of the tallest buildings in Newcastle.
5. Literary and Philosophical Society
Popularly known as the Lit&Phil, the society’s located very close to the Newcastle Central Station. The institution is almost two centuries old, and the society even older, predating the city’s main university. In fact, the founding of Newcastle University happened after a lecture at the Lit&Phil proposed it.
The extensive library holds about 200,000 books, including medieval to modern tomes. There’s also the Music Library, with thousands of classical, jazz, and folk music recordings. This collection also includes audio-books and sheet music.
The Literary and Philosophical Society holds music, literature, theater, and poetry events. In addition, there are workshops and classes anyone can participate in. The best part is that the society’s open to all with no entry fee.
It’s a treasure of art and knowledge that you shouldn’t forget to visit.
Fall in Love with Newcastle’s History and Culture
Even after a visit, Newcastle will have more to show. The city’s filled both with world-famous and unexpected gems. And they’re just waiting for you to discover them.