Newcastle upon Tyne Favorites

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Most Recent Favorites in Newcastle upon Tyne

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    Local hero: wor Jackie

    by toonsarah Written Mar 22, 2013

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    Jackie Milburn

    Favorite thing: Although present-day fans may not know the name as well, Jackie Milburn was as big a hero at St James’ Park in his day as Alan Shearer in his, and today he is commemorated with this statue near the ground and also in the name of one of its stands.

    He was born in 1924 in Ashington, Northumberland – a mining town that was also later home to Jack and Bobby Charlton (the sons of one of Milburn’s nieces). In those days of course, football was not the major industry it has become, as various anecdotes about Milburn make clear. He famously arrived for his trial at Newcastle with a pair of borrowed football boots wrapped in brown paper, and his lunch – a pie and a bottle of pop. And many older Newcastle fans will describe how they used to meet him on the bus from Ashington to Newcastle on match day, on his way to the match. During the period of the Second World War he combined playing for the “Toon” with his work as a fitter (repairing heavy machinery) down the mines. He played 353 matches for Newcastle during the period 1943-1957, wearing the famous number 9 shirt, and he remains the club’s second highest scorer with 200 goals (Alan Shearer is top, with 206).

    This statue of the great striker has had several locations in the city, but currently stands in Strawberry Place, in the shadow of the South-East corner of St. James' Park and opposite the Strawberry pub.

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    Local hero: Sir Bobby Robson

    by toonsarah Updated Mar 22, 2013

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    The memorial
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    Favorite thing: Most football fans, and not only those from England, will know the name of Sir Bobby Robson. First as a player (with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and briefly with England) and later as manager of a series of clubs including Fulham, Ipswich Town (where he is fondly remembered), the English national side, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto (where a young Jose Mourinho learnt his trade under him), Barcelona, and in his final managerial role, here in Newcastle.

    He was manager of Newcastle United for five years (September 1999 to August 2004) and remains one of the best-loved managers the club has had. He was a passionate Geordie who supported Newcastle as a boy and once said he had “black and white blood” in his veins. He died from cancer in 2009, and was mourned by football fans from all over the country.

    He received many awards during his life time, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show in 2007, in recognition of "his contribution as both player and manager in a career spanning more than half a century, and posthumously in December 2009 the FIFA Fair Play Award, for the "gentlemanly qualities he showed throughout his career as a player and coach". I still remember the lengthy standing ovation he was given on the BBC show, when the great and the good of the sporting world stood and applauded for what seemed to be ages.

    Now an appropriate memorial to the great man has been established in the shadow of the stadium where the team he loved most plays – St James’ Park. It consists of five stone slabs carved with appropriate words and images. From the left they show:
    1. Some images of his youth in the mining village of Langley Park in County Durham (pit wheel, miner’s lamp, football and boots)
    2. The names of the various clubs with which he was associated over the years, either as player or manager
    3. A portrait of the man himself
    4. The three lions of England and account of his England career, as player and manager
    5. A design intended, I think, to represent the nearby St James’ Park Stadium

    The first four of these are shown in my photos. On the top of the slabs are the names of players associated with Sir Bobby – some of the best of the many players he managed. These include Newcastle stars such as Alan Shearer, Paul Gascoigne and Gary Speed, but also those from other clubs, such as Ruud van Nistelrooy, and from his time managing England.

    The memorial is very new and the birch trees that grow between the slabs young and spindly, but already you can see how this will become a lovely corner of the city where fitting tribute is paid to one of its greats.

    The memorial can be found near the car park by St James’ Metro station, opposite the Chinese gate at the top of Stowell Street

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    The Side

    by toonsarah Written Oct 2, 2010

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    Tyne Bridge from the Sides

    Favorite thing: This is possibly my favourite part of Newcastle. The rather grand architecture of the city centre, with ornate Victorian commercial premises in that lovely pale limestone, starts to give way to a more down to earth style as the wide roads narrow and slope steeply down to the river. This is the original heart of the city and the reason for its existence, and thus it was natural for the city to grow upwards and outwards from this point. In the 1920s the Tyne Bridge was built, arching over the river and over the Side to take traffic directly into what had become the new heart and commercial centre, Grainger Town. To some extent it left this area stranded, but it also gave it one of its most iconic images.

    Today the Side buzzes with activity once again, providing both a link between city centre and Quayside and acting as a destination in its own right. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, and an excellent independent photography gallery, also called The Side (see my separate tip on this).

    Directions: Follow Grey Street downhill and cross Mosley Street into Dean Street, which soon becomes the Side as it drops steeply to the river.

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    The City Library

    by toonsarah Written Oct 2, 2010

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    In the City Library
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    Favorite thing: Although I am a librarian by profession I don’t very often find myself writing “visit the library” tips for VT! But the new City Library in Newcastle is a stunner, and well worth a little of your time.

    The library opened in summer 2009 and has been a great success. Officially named the Charles Avison Building after the 18th century Newcastle composer, most refer to it as just the central or city library. It is housed in a six storey block full of light and air, which replaced the old concrete 1970’s building. There are entrances on New Bridge Street and Princess Square – the latter is perhaps more convenient if coming from the city centre, but the former will give you the more striking first view of this impressive building. Look up through the atrium to its many levels; watch how people move and feel at home in its spaces; sense the buzz of enthusiasm and activity too rarely associated with library use (though it should be!)

    Then take some time to explore. There are naturally all the usual library offerings: books to borrow (probably of limited interest to short-term visitors); newspapers and magazines (could be a good way to pass some time on a rainy day) and free computers and free wifi (now you’re talking – time to check your VT messages perhaps?). But there are also some real draws for visitors. Check out the small area on the sixth floor, where several beautiful historic illustrated books are on display, as well as tools and a desk used by famed local wood engraver, Thomas Bewick. Enjoy a coffee and home-made cake in the café on the first floor, in a pleasant area overlooking Princess Square (and with tables outside too for a sunny day). And have a look to see if there are any interesting events or activities planned: there are regular author talks, book signings, exhibitions and activities for children. If you want to find out in advance what’s going on at the time of your visit, have a look at the calendar on the Newcastle Libraries website, but bear in mind that it covers all the libraries in Newcastle, so you’ll need to check what’s on where.

    Directions From the Monument walk east along New Bridge Street to the library’s main entrance, or from Northumberland Street’s shops turn into Princess Square just south of WHSmith

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Going to the pub

    by toonsarah Updated May 24, 2009

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    In the Strawberry - football memorabilia
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    Favorite thing: Newcastle is full of great pubs and you're bound to find several you like as there's somethng for every taste. The mood changes depending on the time of day and week.

    On a Saturday the pubs are overflowing with football fans before and after the match (and during it too if the match is being shown on TV) - you'll find it hard to move but the atmosphere will be great! On a Saturday night again the pubs will be full with anyone and everyone (both locals and visitors) looking for a great night out. And on a weekday the mood will be calmer, and you'll meet shoppers, students and tourists.

    Fondest memory: Some of my favourites are:

    The Crow's Nest on Percy Street (near the Haymarket metro station) - our favourite pre-match (and post-match) haunt; always has plenty of bar staff, however busy it gets, plus Barry, the friendliest bouncer ever! [Update Spring 2009 - Barry has now retired, but it's still a great pub!]
    The Strawberry (on Strawberry Place opposite St James' Park) - another popular pre-match pub but also worth a visit on a quieter day, when you can get a chance to look at the old football photos on the wall.
    The Pitcher & Piano on the Quayside near the Law Courts - fantastic views of the river and the Millennium Bridge from a huge picture window, especially good on a sunny day in winter
    The Blackie Boy in the Groat Market - dark and atmospheric, popular with journalists and others from the local newspaper offices next door.

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    Some interesting streets

    by toonsarah Updated Mar 4, 2009

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    Detail of building at Amen Corner
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    Favorite thing: When in Newcastle do take the time to wander away from the main thoroughfares into some of the old winding streets that run between them. One interesting spot is picturesque Amen Corner, behind the cathedral near the Castle Keep. The old cobbles and street lights are evocative of Newcastle’s past, as is the Side which leads steeply down from here to the Quayside. Either side of this street lie narrow passages, usually more staircase than path, with interesting names such as Dog Leap Stairs.

    For more historic street names head back up to the Bigg Market and nearby Cloth and Groat Markets and Pudding Chare. Photo 3 is of High Bridge, which links the Bigg Market with Grey Street and Pilgrim Street. It’s a great place to find some more eclectic shops, selling items such as vintage clothing and old vinyl records, and there are also a few nice pubs (photo 4 is of the Beehive Hotel, a very traditional pub on the corner of High Bridge and the Bigg Market). This street owes its name to the original “High Bridge” which crossed a small river or burn in the medieval heart of Newcastle.

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    for the amercians

    by geordieontour Written Jul 8, 2008

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    Favorite thing: Don,t be put off!! everyone is welcome in Newcastle, you must have a sense of humour as well, dress code may be different to what you expect, ie in the middle of winter males do not wear coats its shirts only, whilst dashing from pub to pub, the females are no better just go with the flow , Also dont mention how big everything is in Amercia, because we have a sauce bottle in Grey street called Greys Monument, For the dog I would recommend Byker Beach close to the city if you can find it, but plenty of green areas to walk the dog,

    check out http://www.geordielife.com/ for further tips

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Study Abroad

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Finding your way around

    by toonsarah Written Apr 15, 2007

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    Signs on the Quayside

    Favorite thing: 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.

    Fondest memory: 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!)

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    American Express Blue Cards

    by dflewellen Updated Mar 28, 2007

    Favorite thing: When travelling from the States, be aware that Great Britian has adopted the use of credit cards with electronic chips in them for identity protection. We acquired AmEx Blue credit cards in the US that had chips in them, thinking it would allow shopping to go more easily. We were greatly misinformed. AmEx issues one type of chip in the US and another one in the rest of the world. The American chip will not work in the readers outside the US. In England there is sometimes a penalty charged to merchants who process a credit card without the chip, and therefore they may be reluctant to take them. Using them for cash advances at ATMs works, but the cash fees are very high. You are better off taking a normal ATM card from your bank or credit union, and credit cards without chips to avoid confusion. Why American Express makes incompatible chips is unexplainable. The problems is causes for international travel are inexcusable. They apparently have no intention of changing this and I have no clue as to when the US may start using chip cards so that this feature is of any value.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Wallington Hall

    by stevezero Updated May 16, 2006

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    Wallington Hall
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    Favorite thing: Wallington Hall is a magnificent mansion with fine interiors and collections, set in extensive gardens and parkland
    The hall house was built in 1688 for Sir William Blackett before passing to the Trevelyan family in 1777. Charles Philips Trevelyan inherited the property from his father George Otto Trevelyan in 1928.
    Set in 100 acres (40.5 hectares) of rolling parkland, the estate includes a wooded dene (valley), ornamental lakes, lawns, and a recently refurbished walled garden.
    Alongside the beautifully furnished interior, attractions inside the house include the desk where Thomas Babington Macaulay, brother-in-law of Charles Edward Trevelyan, wrote his History of England, a large collection of antique dollshouses and an eight-panel fresco in the central hall depicting the history of Northumberland, painted by William Bell Scott.
    The National Trust also own the Estate of which the house is a part; the produce from these farms, as well as others in the region, is sold in a farm shop on site.

    We were there on a fine Sunday, and it was very busy.

    Near the village of Cambo, about 30kms north west of Newcastle, and well worth a visit as a day out from the city.

    Admission prices
    House, garden & grounds: £8, child £4, family £20. Groups £6.80. Garden & grounds only: £5.50, child £2.75, family £14. Groups £4.70

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Wallington - Red Squirrels

    by stevezero Written May 16, 2006

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    Wallington - Red Squirrels
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    Favorite thing: 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.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Birdwatching
    • Historical Travel

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    Belsay Old Hall

    by stevezero Written May 14, 2006

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    Belsay Old Hall
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    Favorite thing: A two storey Tudor mansion was added to the west side of the old castle at Belsay, and later the mansion was given a Jacobean west wing, both are now ruinous, but well worth viewing.
    The old hall was abandoned when the occupants moved the 300m or so to their new hall.

    Admission Charge
    Adults - £5.50 for hall, castle and grounds

    Directions:
    In Belsay, 20kms NW of Newcastle on A696 (OS Map 88; ref NZ 088785)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Belsay Castle

    by stevezero Updated May 14, 2006

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    Belsay Castle
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    Favorite thing: Belsay Castle is a 14th century stone three storey tower house, founded by John de Strivelyn. The impressive unaltered tower, is crowned by four round corner bartizan's, standing above the machicolated parapet. In the vaulted basement is a kitchen with a well and above is a hall and a solar, both with fireplaces and tall traceried windows with seats. There is a north wing of four storeys and in the southwest corner, a spiral stair and six small rooms.

    Admission Charge
    Adults - £5.50 for hall, castle and grounds

    Directions:
    In Belsay, 20kms NW of Newcastle on A696 (OS Map 88; ref NZ 088785)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Belsay Hall Gardens

    by stevezero Written May 14, 2006

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    Belsay Hall Gardens
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    Favorite thing: Belsay Hall houses 30 acres of magnificent formal and informal gardens including the famous quarry gardens with their distinct micro-climate. Here rhododendrons may be found in bloom even in the middle of winter. The Cragwood Walk is especially popular in February when it has a carpet of snowdrops.
    Allow youself plenty of time for the walks and don't rush it!

    In Belsay, 20kms NW of Newcastle on A696 (OS Map 88; ref NZ 088785)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    Belsay Hall

    by stevezero Written May 14, 2006

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    Belsay Hall
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    Favorite thing: The hall was designed by the legendary Newcastle architect, John Dobson, and is exactly 100ft (30m) square. Its present unfurnished state gives even greater emphasis to its bold architecture which is now regularly used to display contemporary artworks.
    Today Belsay Hall is still being restored by English Heritage and more and more rooms are being opened to the public.
    It is intended that the hall will always be shown unfurnished, but it is still very impressive in its current state.

    Admission Charge
    Adults - £5.50 for hall, castle and grounds

    In Belsay, 20kms NW of Newcastle on A696 (OS Map 88; ref NZ 088785)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

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