Voted as the UK’s best port of call by CruiseCritic in 2011 it’s not difficult to see why Newcastle Upon Tyne is an ever growing destination choice for cruise passengers.
Northumberland, which borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south, Tyne and Wear to the south east and the Scottish Borders to the north is your gateway to some of the most amazing places in Britain and Port of Tyne is ideally situated to allow you the decision to choose any one of them.
Not too far from the port you have the beautiful Alnwick Castle which is now famous the world over thanks to the Harry Potter movies, the castle took the role of Hogwarts in the first two movies.
Moving further north you have stunning seaside towns like Seahouses and Bamburgh where you can take in the fresh North Sea air whilst enjoying some of the most delicious fish and chips you are ever likely to eat. A visit here would not be complete without a look inside Bamburgh Castle it really is an absolute must and you can get there if you are feeling fit by walking across the beach from Seahouses. There is a small entrance fee but this castle is one of the best in England and sits with such powerful stature atop the hill overlooking the beach. It is also a well known haunted location, has been the choice for many paranormal investigations and was featured in an episode of Most Haunted several years ago.
Depending on the length of your call you can also easily spend a few hours in Scotland with a direct route from the port up to Edinburgh or you can go to the west and enjoy the natural beauty of Cumbria and pay a visit to Kielder Water and Forest Park. County Durham is also an option and here you have the chance to visit the world famous and very impressive Durham Cathedral. The possibilities in this region are endless.
If it’s the heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne you wish to explore then the city centre is just 20 minutes away from the port and you will often find a shuttle bus service in operation and plenty of local taxis waiting for you.
Enjoy the city’s Quayside where you have the perfect opportunity to snap some images of the instantly recognisable Tyne Bridge and
now joining her, the Millennium Bridge which of an evening is lit up in a stunning array of colours. The Sage (Music Centre) is on the south side of the river but can easily be reached on foot and is clearly visible from the north side of the quay. The bubble like shape and never ending wall of glass make this building virtually impossible to miss. To the left of the Sage you will also find the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the biggest gallery of its kind in the world. Again easily accessible on foot but the Baltic is probably best reached via the Millennium Bridge.
The city centre is also a great place for shopping and dining. There are hundreds of restaurants and bars to choose from and for all your shopping needs there is Northumberland Street, Newcastle’s version of London’s Oxford Street and then Eldon Square, the city’s shopping mall. If you really want a shopping experience to remember though then I recommend taking a bus from the city centre over to the Metro Centre in Gateshead, this is the largest shopping mall in Europe and is just 10 minutes away. You can get there by taking the number 100 bus (which runs every 5 minutes) from Grey’s Monument in the heart of the city.
When it comes to dining the options are endless but my personal favourites for eating out are Las Iguanas and Zizzi on Grey Street; they are next door to one another so the decision really could be tough. For authentic Indian food the only place to go is Shikara in Whitley Bay. You can get here by taking a bus or metro from Newcastle City Centre but Metro is probably the quicker option, to go here directly from the port it is best to get a taxi but the journey is only 8-10 minutes. I guarantee you will never taste a finer Indian dish! I personally adore this restaurant and the Bhuna Prawn on Puree they serve is divine!
My other recommendations include The Gate complex which is located in the city’s Grainger Town and is home to a cinema, casino and numerous restaurants and bars; this is a great choice for families. Barn Asia located in Waterloo Square on St James Boulevard. Fishermans Lodge in Jesmond Dene which is just outside the city centre but easily accessible via either bus or metro and then Six, which you can find at the top of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
Currency: Pound Sterling
Weather: Typically British, who knows what it’s going to do but I suggest you pack a waterproof coat! 😉
Language: British – local dialect referred to as Geordie.
Whatever you decide to do during your visit to the North East I guarantee you will leave wishing you had been staying just a little bit longer!
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Shall be disembarking a Cruise there in June, looking forward to seeing the sights 🙂