North England Thinking of going to Newcastle. Is it worth the effort?

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#1
Newcastle. Upon Tyne, not Under Lyme or Emlyn. I've never been. Neither has SWMBO. So we are thinking of a long weekend type break. Go either Friday or Saturday morning and return Monday or Tuesday. 2 full and one part day. Three nights. Maybe early November. Travelling by train, so no local transport other than the loacl metro, which doesn't get good reviews on this side of the country.

SWMBO wants nice interesting stuff to do and good places to eat at night. I want good photogenic stuff. Not interested in street/people photos. So what is there? I've heard of Lit and Phil and the riverside and bridges at night. What else is there that will keep us both happy bearing in mind that SWMBO might be nice and patient for my togging, but only up to a point. (Deffo not going to St. Mike Ashley's Park!).

Camera gear will be X100F - anything else would compromise domestic bliss. Tripod likely to be no more than a gorillapod.

Hotel not yet chosen but likely to be fairly close to train station/city centre.
Not interested in nightlife of pubbing/clubbing; we are too old for that scene.

Is it worth the effort? I know Liverpool well, and this length of stay would exhaust what is there for a tripper type trip, so is Newcastle better or worse?

Over to you....
 
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#2
Newcastle upon tyne follow the river to the sea aprox 8 miles and your at tynemouth ,whitley bay just a cpl more miles and just a bit further round the coast you have st marys lighthouse. Beautifull.
 
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mickledore
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#4
8 miles each way with no car is probably not on, sorry!
Durham sounds promising. It must be 30 years since we've been there. I heard the cathedral doesn't allow cameras. Is this right?
Thanks guys.
 
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#5
In certain areas it's allowed.

Screenshot 2018-09-16 at 09.56.17.png
 
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#6
Get on the train and go to Durham its a 12 min train ride the Cathedral is well worth a visit
It certainly is but be warned the central tower has scaffolding on its top quarter and is not due to be removed for some time yet I believe which spoils some compositions. There is also the castle, the river wear, especially the weirs near to the bridges that make for good photo opportunities.

I would use the metro from central Newcastle and get out to the coast. Good opportunities at South Shields, Sunderland, Tynemouth etc. Tynemouth has a great Sunday market at the Metro station itself. Great photos there plus the priory ruins etc.
 
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#7
And then there is the SAGE the Baltic ... the beaches to the north are fabulous if you could hire a car for the day. Well worth a visit. My wife's from up there and I always enjoy photographing the area. Fabulous cafe at Cresswell bay - long sandy beach. Tynemouth is a hive of interest as well.
 
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mickledore
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#9
Thanks. I didn't know the metro went that far out. Think I'm looking at an old map.
Some good suggestions there.
Keep them coming.
 
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#10
Found a day was enough when me and the missus went, highlight was watching the millenium bridge operate.
Went to a museum that had a small ship in it, worlds first steam turbine I believe, that was OK.

Been to a fair few cities over the years and others such as Edinburgh, Liverpool and York have been much more interesting.
Hull was surprisingly interesting too, think their city of culture money helped out a bit
Think Newcastle need to invest a few bob if they want to attract more tourists, but maybe they don't want them
 
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mickledore
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#11
Thanks Rich. I've heard there's plenty of action down the riverfront on Saturday night, but maybe not the sort I'm after!!!
I'f the metro goes to the coast, and the train goes to Durham there are possibilities. Greater powers than I will make a decision.
Edinburgh and York we've been to in the past 12 months and we live near Liverpool!
 
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mickledore
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#12
Not sure the metro will work either. Looks like the only way to pay is with a POP card that costs a minimum of £10. No refunds for unused cards and no info on fares. Think Rich is right about not welcoming visitors:(
 
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#13
How about Beamish if you haven't been, guessing you can get there by public transport from Newcastle.
Enjoyed it there and was a good days worth, probably even more developed since we went a fair few years ago
 
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mickledore
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#14
Went twice 2 years ago. Once with friends and the second time on my own with the annual ticket. 2nd time was much better photographically!
Long drive from here for a day trip.
 
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#15
If possible I would wait a few more weeks to visit Durham, the river is beautiful in the Autumn with the colour of the trees reflected in the water. As said though the central tower is having maintenance work being done so it pretty much ruins it photographically.

edit see you plan for early November.
 
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#16
I could fill two days in Newcastle easily, great place.
The metro is good, easy and goes to many places.
Plenty of museums and outdoor historical sights : personally I love the discovery museum and the Gt.North/Hancock museum.
Some great specialised shops, great covered market, theatre, awesome bridges, ancient pubs.
Sometimes there are interesting tramps, or used to be.
What's the wife interested in??
(I have no idea about eateries)
 
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#17
Found a day was enough when me and the missus went, highlight was watching the millenium bridge operate.
Went to a museum that had a small ship in it, worlds first steam turbine I believe, that was OK.
I may be biased (I'm a local) but if you think that a you have seen all that Newcastle and the surrounding areas have to offer in a day then you've missed an awful lot.
 
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mickledore
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#18
What's the wife interested in??
Be easier to say what she's not interested in....shopping/cinema/theatre/nightlife/pubbing and clubbing. Definitely not on the list at all.

Other than that anything of general knowledge or culture. Art to a degree. Museums. Galleries. Sites and sights of general interest. Not what is generally thought of as "girlie" stuff! Stuff to think about. Keen gardener but November will rule that out. Outdoor locations, weather dependant. Historical stuff. We are in Liverpool with masses of historical & nautical interest. Anything similar? We went to Bristol last year but found that to be somewhat flat.

Eateries only of interest for evening meal. We live off the occasional sarnie during the day.

Don't mind trips away but unsure of metro system. £10 each for a POP card to be used for one return journey seems excessive.
 
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mickledore
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#19
I may be biased (I'm a local) but if you think that a you have seen all that Newcastle and the surrounding areas have to offer in a day then you've missed an awful lot.
Can I request some sort of itinerary based on my above post but giving me good photo opportunities?
 
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#20
I may be biased (I'm a local) but if you think that a you have seen all that Newcastle and the surrounding areas have to offer in a day then you've missed an awful lot.
Sure it does have other attractions, but they don't really get publicised that well which is a shame
Compared to many other cities both in the UK and Europe I found Newcastle rather disappointing as a casual tourist
 
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#21
Not sure the metro will work either. Looks like the only way to pay is with a POP card that costs a minimum of £10. No refunds for unused cards and no info on fares. Think Rich is right about not welcoming visitors:(
The metro is about £3-4 for a day pass that will take you anywhere. Use card or cash. No need for a POP card.
 
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#22
Can I request some sort of itinerary based on my above post but giving me good photo opportunities?
Sure it does have other attractions, but they don't really get publicised that well which is a shame
Compared to many other cities both in the UK and Europe I found Newcastle rather disappointing as a casual tourist
The city centre itself is lovely, plenty of photogenic streets. The quayside both day and night have lots of opportunities too. Further afield by metro you have Tynemouth and the coast. By train, Durham is 15 minutes or so away and is a beautiful city. Take the slower route by bus via Chester-le-street and take in the Angel of The North. As others have said, Beamish Museum, etc.

There really is loads of lovely places in and around. A quick google will give you a lot more to go on.
 
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#23
The city centre itself is lovely, plenty of photogenic streets. The quayside both day and night have lots of opportunities too. Further afield by metro you have Tynemouth and the coast. By train, Durham is 15 minutes or so away and is a beautiful city. Take the slower route by bus via Chester-le-street and take in the Angel of The North. As others have said, Beamish Museum, etc.

There really is loads of lovely places in and around. A quick google will give you a lot more to go on.
Oh well have to agree to disagree, lots of people are not keen on my home city, but sure I see that a lot differently to some visitors
 
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#24
Take a coat!

Seriously the weather can be astonishingly violent. Spent a lot of time there over the years as my Dad’s from South Shields and while we have childhood photographs of me enjoying the sun on Marsden beach, a few years ago we visited in July and it was like the end of the world. Crossing The Tyne on the ferry left us feeling like we’d endured The South Atlantic.

If you’re limiting yourself to the city centre then a day is more than enough. Get on The Metro for The Priory, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay for a day out (it’s the North Sea in November, you will need that coat), take wide angle converter for your x100f if you have it.

And Durham is a nice place to visit, just not a lot to ‘do’ I feel, beyond the obvious.

The Angel is in a surprisingly ordinary location so getting a good shot can take some planning, perhaps early light?


Angel of The North
by jamiewednesday1, on Flickr
 
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#26
Take a coat!

Seriously the weather can be astonishingly violent. Spent a lot of time there over the years as my Dad’s from South Shields and while we have childhood photographs of me enjoying the sun on Marsden beach, a few years ago we visited in July and it was like the end of the world. Crossing The Tyne on the ferry left us feeling like we’d endured The South Atlantic.

If you’re limiting yourself to the city centre then a day is more than enough. Get on The Metro for The Priory, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay for a day out (it’s the North Sea in November, you will need that coat), take wide angle converter for your x100f if you have it.

And Durham is a nice place to visit, just not a lot to ‘do’ I feel, beyond the obvious.

The Angel is in a surprisingly ordinary location so getting a good shot can take some planning, perhaps early light?


Angel of The North
by jamiewednesday1, on Flickr
I live pretty close to the Angel and I’m always surprised how many people are always there. There isn’t much there other than a coffee van. Personally I feel it’s a place to stop as you drive past and grab a snap shot but wouldn’t go out of the way to go there.

Quayside, especially Sunday market, sage and Baltic. Walk up grey street for some lovely architecture. Laing art gallery is good, so is great north museum and discovery museum as are many of the shops (try Fenwick’s). Loads of good restaurants and even more pubs which I’m happy to recommend!

Photographically, lots of interesting architecture and the quayside area at night is fantastic (happy to pop down and act as guide!).

Would agree that Newcastle needs about a day, maybe a bit more if you take in the museums. It’s not a big city at all and you can do the whole thing on foot if you’re fit and well. Agree that Tynemouth and Durham are both good options for local day trips.

Being a local I know bugger all about the hotels though there is a premier inn on the quayside almost under the tyne bridge. That is a great spot to stay and you might get a room with a view. Otherwise loads of places around the station.
 
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#27
Newcastle is a good place to visit, very friendly and plenty to see and do. South shields is really nice coast wise and as has been mentioned before there is durham for the cathedral although not a lot else. I seem to recall that gatehead is meant to be nice but i haven't been there, i am told it was in the running against liverpool for the 2008 capital of culture and got a lot of gentrification done as a result (same as the albert docks/liverpool one etc in the run in)
 
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mickledore
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#28
I live pretty close to the Angel and I’m always surprised how many people are always there. There isn’t much there other than a coffee van. Personally I feel it’s a place to stop as you drive past and grab a snap shot but wouldn’t go out of the way to go there.
Funny thing is I feel exactly the same about Gormley's installation near here. Another Place gets loads of visitors, but It's damned hard to get a decent shot of it.
These are the best I have, and they are creative in the extreme!!!


Firestorm on the beach
by Frank Yates2010, on Flickr

The man in the Iron Mask
by Frank Yates2010, on Flickr

Photographically, lots of interesting architecture and the quayside area at night is fantastic (happy to pop down and act as guide!).
We are still talking it over, Maybe we'll come, or maybe I'll come on my own for one night so watch out for a PM taking you up on that offer
 
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mickledore
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#29
in the running against liverpool for the 2008 capital of culture and got a lot of gentrification done as a result (same as the albert docks/liverpool one etc in the run in)
Don't know if you saw it but there was a programme on TV last night about the 30th anniversary of Tate Liverpool. The library footage from the time it was being set up showed a pretty derelict area, with Albert Dock silted up and unusable. Think the "gentrification" was worth it.
 
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#30
Newcastle. Upon Tyne, not Under Lyme or Emlyn. I've never been. Neither has SWMBO. So we are thinking of a long weekend type break. Go either Friday or Saturday morning and return Monday or Tuesday. 2 full and one part day. Three nights. Maybe early November. Travelling by train, so no local transport other than the loacl metro, which doesn't get good reviews on this side of the country.

SWMBO wants nice interesting stuff to do and good places to eat at night. I want good photogenic stuff. Not interested in street/people photos. So what is there? I've heard of Lit and Phil and the riverside and bridges at night. What else is there that will keep us both happy bearing in mind that SWMBO might be nice and patient for my togging, but only up to a point. (Deffo not going to St. Mike Ashley's Park!).

Camera gear will be X100F - anything else would compromise domestic bliss. Tripod likely to be no more than a gorillapod.

Hotel not yet chosen but likely to be fairly close to train station/city centre.
Not interested in nightlife of pubbing/clubbing; we are too old for that scene.

Is it worth the effort? I know Liverpool well, and this length of stay would exhaust what is there for a tripper type trip, so is Newcastle better or worse?

Over to you....
I'm originally from Sunderland but I've booked 2 nights in Newcastle when me and the missus go up north for Xmas. We're staying at the Quayside in Newcastle as I want to get some shots of the riverside with the bridges, the Baltic and the The Sage building. There's a few decent restaurants down that way, as well as in the city centre itself. In terms of going further afield for photos, there's South Shields (Metro from Newcastle) for shots of the Tyne and the piers, and then right along the coast to Sunderland (buses run right along the coast) for Seaburn and Roker for the pier and lighthouse there (nice for sunrises) or continue into the city centre and see the new Northern Spire bridge that's recently opened and Sunderland Riverside which is quite photogenic these days. I've been to Whitley Bay (Metro from Newcastle, or ferry across the Tyne from South Shields to North Shields and then a bus/metro) a few times but not for photos but I understand there's a few things of interest around that way. You can get a day pass which covers buses, trains and the metro for the day for about a £7 (https://nexus.org.uk/network-one-day-rover-adult) and it's a pretty good service covering quite a large area. Have a good time in the NE.
 
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#31
How about Beamish if you haven't been, guessing you can get there by public transport from Newcastle.
Enjoyed it there and was a good days worth, probably even more developed since we went a fair few years ago
You can get there by bus, and they drop you off at the door, but it's a fair old journey by public transport. It is worth it though, loads to see. I hadn't been for a good number of years until I went last year and was amazed at what they'd added. There's a farm, and 1950s village, pit houses and a mine you can go down, trams and trolley buses running all round the site, all the staff in period costume, steam engines and old cars and vans running around the site, an old fairground, old fashioned shops, etc. Well worth a visit and you can easily spend a day there.
 
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#32
Don't know if you saw it but there was a programme on TV last night about the 30th anniversary of Tate Liverpool. The library footage from the time it was being set up showed a pretty derelict area, with Albert Dock silted up and unusable. Think the "gentrification" was worth it.
the gentrification thing wasn't a negative comment, i think what liverpool has now with the docks area and liverpool one etc is amazing matey, I live on the wirral but saw just how much 2008 gave it the kick start it desperately needed to get a city that really needed help to start a regeneration process that is now starting to creep outwards too so that the effects will be not just in the shopping/tourist areas. Prior to 2008 the only reasons i used to go over the water were to go to uni and to go drinking but now i go over there for so much more whether it be playing with the camera, shopping, the imax cinema, going for meals etc. The only downsides i have seen are that the echo arena should have been a 15,000 capacity arena to compete with the manchester arena (we get a few decent sized bands there but plenty of others pass us by due to the bigger capacity over manchester), and the trams should have been reinstated as they originally planned. The places i have been to that have tram systems it makes a massive difference for ease of getting around but for whatever reason (money i think) liverpool council decided to ditch the plans to reinstate the trams here.
 
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mickledore
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#33
@keeweeman didnt think your comment was negative. Liverpool has come on enormously in recent years. I go there a lot and will even go out with camera gear on my own at night. Don't feel threatened at all. Since Derek Hatton and his loonies went the place is almost civilised!!!

Agree about the trams, but I use Mereseyrail a lot (us oldies get free travel!!!!) and with trains every 15 mins it's exceedingly useful.
 
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#35
I may be biased (I'm a local) but if you think that a you have seen all that Newcastle and the surrounding areas have to offer in a day then you've missed an awful lot.
Or if you go out in the evening and see the local lasses you'll think you've seen it all :D
 
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mickledore
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#36
Or if you go out in the evening and see the local lasses you'll think you've seen it all :D
Oh no.
Try walking around Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. The girls all go out with their hair in curlers - the bigger the better! (the curlers, not the girls...)
 
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#37
Newcastle is a good place to visit, very friendly and plenty to see and do. South shields is really nice coast wise and as has been mentioned before there is durham for the cathedral although not a lot else. I seem to recall that gatehead is meant to be nice but i haven't been there, i am told it was in the running against liverpool for the 2008 capital of culture and got a lot of gentrification done as a result (same as the albert docks/liverpool one etc in the run in)
I live on the Gateshead side and the town centre is a bit grim to be honest. Gateshead does have an award winning Park (Saltwell) and the Gateshead Quayside has a lot going on at the minute as well as Baltic and the The Sage.
 
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#38
There's lots of history on the Northumberland coast,an hour or less on a bus from Haymarket bus station,there's Alnwick castle & Alnwick gardens,Bamburgh castle,ruins of Warkworth castle,then Dunstanburgh castle & you could have Craster kippers for lunch nearby,the Nothumberland coastline is beautiful,not sure about public transport for Lindisfarne castle & priory, don't think you can get a bus to Holy island,then there's Hadrians wall- Housteads & Vindolanda- there's a bus service that runs til 1st October http://hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/travel/bus so there's lots to see
 
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mickledore
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#40
The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on. As the man said!
SWMBO has read all these comments and has decided that a two night/ three day trip in November is not what she wants. We won't be in our car and trips on the metro to the North Sea coast in November do not appeal to her. End of.

Good news is that she says I can go on my own. Leave Liverpool first train after peak and come back 6PM on day 2 gives nearly 2 full days and a night for £22 return. Book a Premiere Inn and next job will be to see if @gad-westy is serious about his promise.
 
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