N i g h t l i f e
There is a wide range of pubs, bars, clubs and nightspots to chose from. The renovation of the Quayside has spawned a new generation of bars and clubs catering for most pockets and tastes. Newcastle also has a vast number of restaurants and cafes. The streets around the Quayside house some of the most fashionable eateries, but it is worth having a look further afield for more individual and atmospheric restaurants.
Fancy a spot of highbrow culture? Newcastle has a thriving theatre and performing arts scene. The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and many West End musicals regularly tour the Theatre Royal on Grey Street. Among others, the Newcastle Playhouse also has a good reputation for quality productions.
The cinemas in Newcastle range from the mainstream Warner Village Cinema and Odeon to the Tyneside Cinema which shows art-house films along with cutting-edge films. If it is musical entertainment you want, the Telewest Arena houses big name rock and pop acts. If this isnít quite your idea of good music, various other live venues across the city host just about any genre of music you might like.
S p o r t
Newcastle and its surrounding areas offer a host of sporting opportunities. Football is a way of life for many Geordies and youíd be lucky to get seats for a Newcastle United game at St Jamesí. However, if youíre keen you might try neighbouring teams Sunderland, Middlesbrough or Darlington.
Newcastle also plays host to Premiership rugby union team the Newcastle Falcons and representing the North East in First Class cricket are Durham County Cricket Club at Chester-le-Street and Durham University Cricket Club.
If you fancy a flutter on the horses, racing takes place year-round at Newcastle Racecourse, providing the opportunity to gamble away your hard earned salary.
There are several good golf courses in the area, along the spectacular coast to the north and around Gosforth and a good range of members-only gyms to complement about 30 sports centres, swimming pools and squash clubs throughout Tyneside.
And though the weather is famously erratic, it isn't too far to go over the border to Scotland in winter to ski. The resorts of Glenshee and Aviemore lie about four hour north of Newcastle, so a weekend's skiing can be fun.
S h o p p i n g
Newcastle and Gateshead are fairly formidable for shopping. In the centre of the city, you can find Eldon Garden, Eldon Square and Monument Mall shopping centres, close to Northumberland Street, which have a variety of specialist shops alongside the famous high street names. For more exclusive shops, head to the Central Arcade, Princess Square and Grainger Street. Across the river in Gateshead lies the Metro Centre which is one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe. You can expect to see all the familiar high street brands and also a number of independent shops.
A t t r a c t i o n s
Newcastle is steeped in history, so there is a wide range of places to visit - too many to list here. Its bid for the European City of Culture 2008 reflects the diversity of museums, galleries and visitor attractions. If you are interested in the history of the city, it is worth having a look at the Castle Keep and the Black Gate on Nicholas Street. For art, the new BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art has received good reviews whilst for a more traditional experience try the Discovery Museum.
Outside of the city, there are National Trust properties and Hadrianís Wall. Only 30 miles to the west, the Northumbria beaches are amongst the most unspoilt in the country and are often the backdrop to spectacular castles and ruins. A trip to Durham City with its 12th Century cathedral and castle is also an enjoyable day out.