An industrial engine room now reshaped as a party capital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is an evocative city of many different guises.
The beating heart of the Northeast exudes energy and charisma, offering good times, rich cultural heritage, iconic urban views and a trademark Geordie welcome.
Embark on a walking tour of the city, starting at Grey's monument before heading south towards the river to see St Nicholas Cathedral and the Guildhall. From here, head to the Quayside for lunch, taking in views of the iconic Tyne and Gateshead Millennium bridges.
In the afternoon, make your way along lush Jesmond Dene to the Old Mill, before breaking west to Town Moor's common land to enjoy elevated views of the city. For dinner, book in at the historic Blackfriars Restaurant by the turreted West Walls, or choose one of the many Chinatown restaurants nearby. Afterwards, join the fun at the Gate or on Collingwood Street, or, if you're not in the mood for dancing, see if there’s a gig on at the O2 Academy, or the Cluny for more alternative acts.
Take a short Metro ride to Tynemouth to visit the Priory and attractive Long Sands Beach, or cross the Tyne to explore neighbouring Gateshead. Call in at the attractive Saltwell Park en route to Gormley's mighty Angel of the North sculpture.
Return to Newcastle for lunch, sampling a local dish, then take a guided tour of the castle, incorporating the Black Gate. After a quick browse around the Northumberland Street shopping district, head to the Quayside for dinner and drinks, and watch the sun go down over the Tyne. Round off the day by relaxing in a Grey Street or Dean Street bar.
Visit some of the city's main cultural landmarks in the Quayside district, including St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle Castle and the Guildhall. Enjoy the spectacle of the Tyne Bridge as your stop for a riverside lunch before strolling north to Town Moor for sweeping views. Enjoy your evening at the world-famous Blackfriars restaurant in Chinatown, viewing the West Walls en route to your hotel.
Take the train north to Berwick-upon-Tweed, viewing its fortifications before catching the bus to magical Lindisfarne. Walk across the causeway at low tide to explore the iconic priory and castle on Holy Island. Alternatively, hire a car to visit Kielder Water and Forest Park, and the rolling Cheviot Hills, home to the wild Linhope Spout waterfall. Later, enjoy a leisurely dinner and drinks in the Gate entertainment complex.
Start the day by heading underground into Victoria Tunnel (booking essential), the make your way to St James' Park via the Grade I-listed Grey's Monument. Take a stadium tour, or head to the Great North Museum to learn about Newcastle's varied history. Stay for dinner in Chinatown, then enjoy drinks on Grey Street and Dean Street.
Explore the independent shops on cobbled Northumberland Street, before catching the train to Durham to visit the towering cathedral, Norman castle and leafy riverside. In the evening, watch a live band at the Cluny or take in a show at the elegant Theatre Royal.
Take the Carlisle train to Haltwhistle, then hike north from town to join Hadrian's Wall. Following the path east, pass through Sycamore Gap – home to one of Britain's most iconic trees – and continue to Housesteads Roman Fort. From here, catch a bus to the picturesque market town of Hexham, before returning to Newcastle for a Quayside meal.
Catch the Metro from Monument for a breezy trip to coastal Tynemouth, visiting the castle, priory, beach or Blue Reef Aquarium. In the afternoon, visit the Life Science Centre, go-karting track or Newcastle FC if there's a match on. Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely stroll along Jesmond Dene, before dressing up for an evening out in the city centre.
Call in at the Quayside Sunday market for souvenirs, before crossing the Tyne Bridge into neighbouring Gateshead, home to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, graceful Saltwell Park and Angel of the North. Return to Newcastle via the impressive tilts of Gateshead Millennium Bridge.