For further information about Newcastle visit the VisitNewcastleGateshead site or explore some of the links at the bottom of this page.
Newcastle upon Tyne: The City
If you have not been to Newcastle before, you should note that this capital city of the North East of England is on the river Tyne, hence Newcastle upon Tyne, in the heart of the Geordie-speaking North East of England. It should not be confused with Newcastle in New South Wales; nor for that matter, Newcastle in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Gwent, or County Down, Northern Ireland.
Despite its busy urban atmosphere, Newcastle is also a city of open spaces, with numerous parks; Exhibition park and Leazes park are adjacent to the University, and the Town Moor is a large moorland park where the Hoppings, Europe's largest travelling fair, takes place each June.
Newcastle is an historic city of impressive architectural grandeur. The Norman castle, after which the city was named, the medieval cathedral (St. Nicholas) with its lantern tower and other historic churches stand alongside the nineteenth-century elegance of Grey Street - described by John Betjeman as 'the most imposing facade in Western Europe'. The Quayside area by the River Tyne has been developed in recent years into a modern centre incorporating hotels, restaurants, leisure facilities, executive flats, the new law courts, and on the Gateshead side the splendid BALTIC centre for contemporary art. There are numerous bridges across the River Tyne, the best known being the Tyne Bridge which has not only become a symbol of the city but was also the prototype for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The impressive new millenium bridge is a must see!
Newcastle is the centre of one of the most naturally-beautiful and historically-rich parts of England. Northumbria is steeped in the history of violent clashes with invading Scots and marauding Vikings and, in addition to the relics of the Roman occupation almost 2,000 years ago, including Hadrian's Wall, there are many castles, some of which are still occupied. The most famous of these are Alnwick, Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh overlooking the rugged North Sea coast. The hills, moors and dales of the Northumberland National Park draw those who seek the beauty of peaceful, unspoilt countryside. Holy Island and the Farne Islands, famous for their beauty and wildlife, offer a popular day out.
Places of Interest
The following places are particularly popular with tourists, all accessible on local public transport. Newcastle is only 1hr20mins on the train to Edinburgh and 55 minutes to York, ideally located for day trips.
Within 30 minutes of Newcastle:
Durham Castle & Cathedral:
Tynemouth Priory & Castle:
National Glass Centre, Sunderland
Within 1 hour of Newcastle:
Holy Island and Lindisfarne Priory:
Bowes Museum and Barnard Castle
Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs
With many restaurants in the city, you can sample cuisine from around the world, as well as enjoying vegetarian food, traditional fare and local specialities. Happy Hours mean that you can often eat at half price. Traditional English pubs are still very much in evidence, particularly on the Quayside, and there are also many smart new wine bars and restaurants especially in the Jesmond area (metro stop 'Jesmond' or 'West Jesmond'). The city has numerous night clubs, one of which is located on the liner moored beneath the Tyne Bridge. A list of restaurants in Newcastle city centre will be available in the delegate pack.
Your host - Newcastle upon Tyne: The University
The University has its origin in a School for medical practitioners (later the College of Medicine) which started in 1834 and the College of Physical Science (later Armstrong College) founded in 1871. Both these separate and independent institutions later became part of the University of Durham, whose 1908 Act formally recognised that the University consisted of two Divisions, Durham and Newcastle, on two different sites. By 1908, the Newcastle Division was teaching a full range of subjects in the Faculties of Medicine, Arts, and Science, which also included agriculture and engineering. In 1937, the Armstrong College and the College of Medicine were merged into King's College. Continued growth of both the Durham and Newcastle Divisions eventually led to the separation in 1963 when the University of Newcastle upon Tyne came into being. Today, the University has over 17,000 students and 5,000 staff, located on a 45-acre site in the city centre as well as number of laboratories, farms and centres on outlying sites.
The University is situated right in the city centre with excellent metro (Haymarket stop), bus and train links. Newcastle is on the East Coast Main Line, and is just off the A1M for those who wish to drive. The nearest airport is Newcastle International and there is a direct metro train link between the airport and the campus. Shops and restaurants are also within walking distance.
The University of Newcastle upon Tyne has a long history of teaching and research in linguistics. In the days when the University was part of the University of Durham, eminent scholars such as Charles Randolph Quirk were teaching English language and linguistics here. After the University came into its separate existence in 1963, Barbara Strang, a well known historian of English language, held the first Chair in English Language and Linguistics. She led the Tyneside Linguistic Survey during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, Noel Osselton, the lexicographer, held the Chair in English Language, and Richard Bailey, the Chair in Anglo-Saxon Civilisation.
In the meantime, the University has had a range of linguistics expertise in various departments. Most notably, Ruth Lesser, a leading psycholinguist, held the first Chair of Speech & Language Pathology in the Department of Speech until 1995. Lesley Milroy, also in the Department of Speech, held a personal Chair of Sociolinguistics until 1998. In the School of Modern Languages, Anthony Lodge held the Chair in French Language until 1995, and the sociolinguist Anthony Edwards held the Chair in Education until 1997.
Currently linguistics teaching and research at Newcastle University is conducted in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (ELLL), the School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences (ECLS), the School of Modern Languages (SML), and the Language Centre.
Travel and Transport
Newcastle has one of the best integrated transport systems in the country, centred upon its rapid transit system, the Metro. The Newcastle International Airport is linked to the city centre by Metro (Duration: 25 minutes to Haymarket; Frequency: every 10 minutes). You can fly to Newcastle directly from all major European cities as well as via London and other British cities. The fastest train journey from London to Newcastle is only 2 hours and 40 minutes. There are also coach links with major towns and cities in Britain and a variety of ferries to Scandinavia and Germany.
The weather in England is subject to frequent changes, but an average temperature of 10oC is expected in early April. You should bring water-proofs with you.
If you are a football lover, you will feel the kindred spirit as soon as you arrive in the North East of England. You are most likely to see the 'Black and White' Newcastle United supporters, known as the 'Toon Army' around the University area, as the stadium is immediately adjacent to the university. (You may even come across the odd Manchester United fan, although they should be ignored at all costs..!)
The address of our local Tourist Information Centre is as below: