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Bridges across the Tyne...
The bridges that cross the gorge at the centre of the connurbation that divides Newcastle from Gateshead has long been seen as a 'must see'.
The most historic bridge is of course the Tyne bridge, which many people (incorrectly) think was the prototype to the Sydney Harbour bridge. It was built by the same company and has a similar shape. It is still the main road link over the Tyne. It's 'glory day' is on the day of the Great North Run, which happens every year in September. Up to about 50,000 runners pour over the bridge then (see seperate tip).
Stephensons High level bridge is also worth a look, and is another one that you can actually walk over and get some terrific views. It rather unusually take both rail and road traffic.
The Swing bridge is low down on the quayside, and literally turns itself around 90 degrees as a ship approaches.
The new kid on the block is the Millenium bridge opposite the Baltic Gallery. It is well worth seeing it in operation, as the footbridge kind of 'blinks' to provide as much clearance as the Tyne bridge iteself.
Explore them via a walk down both sides of the river, and take an opportunity to walk across a couple.
Much scope for photography.
Bridges and Quayside
You can't go to Newcastle without going down to the river (Quayside) and admire the bridges! The skyline is fantastic!
There's 7 bridges along the river Tyne connecting Newcastle with its neighbour Gateshead. All are at different levels which makes the view down the river very interesting. It's always a few of the bridges you see!
I'll introduce 4 of the bridges to you in the next tips.
Take a walk along the Quayside, and admire the bridges!! The newest one is a footbridge, opened for the millennium, and known as the "Blinking Eye", due to the way it tilts on opening. The Tyne Bridge is probably our most famous, being the twin brother of the Sydney Harbour bridge.
For the best impact, go at night, when the bridges are all beautifully lit. That way, you can stop for a drink in one of the many pubs too!
I haven't come across anywhere else with such a concentration and variety of bridges. I think there are 7 within the space of 1km.
You have 2 rail bridges. You have one rail and road. You have one which is pedestrian only.
One of them swings (wow) and another tilts - all intentional, to allow river traffic to pass.
One is modern and very, very ugly - the Redheugh - a high level concrete road bridge. The Gateshead Millennium is modern and beautiful (the tilting one).
The others are all interesting and make you want to know their history.
The Gateshead Millennium has scheduled "tilts" because its spectacular (apparently) - check the website below for details.
Bridge(s) over the River Tyne
The number of bridges (all six of them unique from the other) crossing across the Tyne, connecting Newcastle with its southern portion that proceeds down to Gateshead, is a truly remarkable site.
The bridge that truly steals the show is the large green Tyne Bridge, which opened in 1928 by King George V. If for any reason you think the bridge looks familiar, it is: the bridge was built in the same style as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which incidently was built around the same time. Its sheer size and grandness makes it a very cool thing to see.
Nearby is the High Level Bridge. Although it doesn't look like much to us today, it has a very important past. Opened in 1849, this bridge was the first in the world that was both a road and railroad bridge.
The newest addition to the lot is the Millennium Bridge, built in the early 2000s, and looks like something straight from a Dr. Seuss book, making it a very unique sight as well as a interesting walk across. How many times do you get to cross a bridge where everything seems to bend?
Bridges over the River Tyne
A prominent feature of Newcastle is the bridges across the river – a total of 7
A new bridge appeared over the Tyne during 2001. This is the Millennium Bridge which is a foot bridge and it has been enthusiastically adopted by the people of Tyneside.
Moving inland, high above the Tyne, is the enormous arch of the Tyne Bridge, similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Built early in the 20th Century it became a landmark for the city.
Next is the Swing Bridge. Almost at river level, it is an engineering marvel built during the 19th century. It is notable because, by the use of hydraulic engines invented in Newcastle, the roadway can be swung round so that ships can pass up and down the river.
Another high bridge is the High Level Bridge. Built by George Stephenson in the 19th century it has a lower floor carrying vehicular traffic and an upper level carrying railtracks.
There is then a series of 3 more utilitarian bridges carrying railway, road and underground railway traffic.
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