NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
CULTURAL CAPITAL OF THE NORTH
Newcastle upon Tyne is probably the main reason why Newcastle Tour Company came into existence – not only because it carries the name of the city but because one of our founders, Alex, came to the UK, from Germany, in 2004 for the love of this great place. We have found an article Alex wrote in around 2009 – his love for the city is made clear in this and his passion to create great tours here has not changed. The below is in his own words:
A STORY THAT BEGINS IN NEWCASTLE
“The story starts in Newcastle – a city most people will have heard of, likely for three reasons: 1) Beer of course, the famous Newcastle Brown Alex, brewed with the waters of the river Tyne (maybe). 2) Football! You can’t escape football in the city. Unlike most cities there is only one club in Newcastle which means when you are born here you have black and white blood or you don’t like football – which at the same time means you should maybe move out… The third reason why you may have heard of Newcastle is industry.”
CARRYING COAL TO NEWCASTLE
“Once famous for exporting coal, building the largest ships and the steel industry, Newcastle upon Tyne was at one time the heart of the Industrial Revolution. To find out who really invented the light bulb, for example, you will simply have to visit this great place.
It is industry however that gives people preconceptions about the city – many years ago it is true that the city was down and buried, dirty and lost… Today the city is transformed! And not just in the way you may read in glossy brochures – it really has – completely!”
“When you visit today you find some of the greatest classical architecture of any English city, Earl Grey (yes, he of the tea) sitting proud on the city centre monument, people shopping in the city that gave us the department store and along the river – vast new architecture with the Sage Gateshead, the renewed BALTIC and the fantastic seven bridges spanning the best salmon river in England.
And one of the best things to do in Newcastle upon Tyne lies down by this great river – the small but beautiful Live Theatre. This was the place where Lee Hall’s Billy Elliott was born.”
A STORY OF PITMEN PAINTERS
“Lee Hall’s second masterpiece is the story of a group of miners who decided in 1934 to start an arts appreciation class. They invited a tutor to Ashington (a pit village near Newcastle), who was unable to understand their Geordie dialect and said they would have to paint their feelings for him to understand. So they did, some good, some not so good.
There are some lovely parts in this story which I am happy to tell you when you are here but, in summary, the Ashington Group went on until the 1980s when their ups and downs were made into a book and, later, a play called The Pitmen Painters, first shown in the Live Theatre in Newcastle, later in London’s West End and even as far as Broadway in New York.”
SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO IN NEWCASTLE
“The reason I am telling you this is because there is potential for this to become a major movie in future, and, more importantly, when you come to Newcastle upon Tyne, not only can you see the Live Theatre but travelling a few minutes North, you are also able to experience the original art in the fabulous Woodhorn Museum!
With over 10 theatre venues, 20 museums & galleries plus a whole host of restaurants, cafés, shops and places to enjoy, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne (and Gateshead) is one of the greatest surprises you’ll discover during any vacation.
I hope this has given you some food for thought and I’d be very happy to talk to you about any tour to North East England you may be planning! Also, have a look at our blog for the top 8 things to do in Newcastle.”
A SELECTION OF NEWCASTLE TOURS
BEST OF NEWCASTLE PRIVATE WALKING TOURDiscover our bestselling walking tour of Newcastle & explore one of the greatest cultural cities in the country - fantastic museums, art galleries, public spaces incl. world-class architecture as well as some brilliant history all the way from from Roman times to today & beyond.
2+ HOURS / MAX 10 GUESTS
NEWCASTLE 'INSIDER' PRIVATE WALKING TOURGet the 'inside the city' by visiting some of the fantastic array of museums, galleries and buildings during this private walking tour of Newcastle. Experience this great city - inside and out - with your knowledgeable, approachable & fun local tour guide.
3.5 HOURS / MAX 8 GUESTS
POSH PARKS & THE TOON CYCLING TOURDiscover a Newcastle tour with a difference: explore one of the greatest cultural cities by bike! As well as showing you highlights of Newcastle (the Toon), this private cycling tour takes you off the beaten track, exploring the amazing green spaces around the city.
3+ HOURS / MAX 12 GUESTS
WANT TO DISCOVER MORE?
We have compiled some web links for you below to find out more about Newcastle and the region: