Finding your way around
While exploring the city look out for these helpful signposts, which you’ll see on almost every corner. Provided for pedestrians, they will point you towards every sight of interest and are colour-coded to match the various walking trails promoted by the tourist office. This picture was taken at the bottom of the Side, just as you emerge onto the Quayside - definitely one of my favourite parts of the city (second only to St James' Park!)
Wallington - Red Squirrels
At wallington Hall, there are some fine walks in the parkland. Down by a a lake there is a bird hide, where if you are patient, you are almost certain to see red squirrels. These animals are quite a rare sight in the UK, most of the countr's population now being confined to more remote parts of Scotland.
Gissus a bottlah ah broon
To translate for those not aquainted with the Geordie accent this means :
"Could you please furnish me with a bottle of Newcastle's finest Brown ale please, bartender'.
This (I find) slightly sickly beer is the lifeblood of Newcastle. It is sold in virtually every bar, pub and club you can find. It's usually drunk straight from bottle.
Try it at least once or you will be seen as a soft puffy big girl's blouse of a southerner.
There is an urban myth that Newcastle General hospital has a ' Broon ward' where those suffering ill-effects of too many nights on the bottle are treated. The brewery is said to give generously to it.
Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is probably the most famous outdoor sculpture in England. It was funded by National Lottery money and created by the Turner Prize winning sculptor, Antony Gormley.
The steel sculpture was erected by the side of the A1, just south of Gateshead, in 1998. It is 20 m tall, has a wingspan of 54m and is the largest sculpture of an angel in the world.
The City Walls
The North East’s most famous wall is of course that built by and named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which starts (or finishes!) here in Newcastle, at Wallsend. But Newcastle has its own wall too, which once circled the city – the medieval town wall. This was built during the 13th and 14th centuries, and was approximately 3 kilometres (2 miles) long. It was intersected by six main gates: Close Gate, West Gate, New Gate, Pilgrim Gate, Pandon Gate and Sand Gate. The names of some of these remain in the city’s streets and buildings – Westgate Road, Pilgrim Street, Pandon Quays. The Sandgate was even immortalised in a song, “The Keel Row”:
”As I came thro' Sandgate,
Thro' Sandgate, thro' Sandgate,
As I came thro' Sandgate,
I heard a lassie sing:
"O, weel may the keel row,
The keel row, the keel row,
O weel may the keel row
That my laddie's in."
As well as these place names, parts of the wall itself remain, and you could spend an enjoyable time searching it out during your walks around the city. The tower in my photo is the Corner Tower, at the junction of City Road and Melbourne Street just along from the Sandgate area of the Quayside. There are more substantial remains near Stowell Street in the heart of Newcastle’s small Chinatown, and along nearby Bath Lane, as well as some smaller fragments in St Andrew’s Church. If you’d like to try to trace the full length of the wall you can download a walking trail at http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall/uploads/Around%20the%20Town%20Walls(2).pdf.