See the North East
If you have time to stay around the conference, Newcastle and North East England are wonderful places to explore. Here we note some of what they have to offer.
Newcastle City has lots of beautiful buildings and is home to Newcastle's famous bridges. It is worth taking a little time to wander around the areas close to the university, through the main streets of the city, and down to the river. You can reach all of the following within a 30 minute walk of the university:
- Newcastle centre, particularly Grey Street's architecture, Grey's Monument, Grainger Market, St. James Park, The Castle & Black Gate, The Mining Institute, the Literature & Philosophical Society, and St. Nicholas Cathedral (where you should ensure you visit the 'Vampire Rabbit' sitting above the Catherdral Buildings at the rear of the Cathedral).
- The quayside, where you will find the bridges and plenty of places for coffee, drinks, and dinner.
- Art & Culture: The Laing, The Biscuit Factory, Side Gallery, The Threatre Royal, The Sage, and The Baltic (where you should pause for the majestic view across the city from the viewing gallery).
- Nightlife: Newcastle is well known for pubs, cafes, and restaurants and you will not struggle to find good food and drink. For some guidance there is The Guardian's top 10 craft beer pubs and the BBC's best places to eat in Newcastle. But any search engine will offer you no shortage of places to try!
If you feel like getting away from the city, Newcastle's surroundings offer some stunning sights and peaceful spots for you to enjoy and unwind:
- The Angel of the North: Built in 1998, the Angel of the North is perhaps the most iconic piece of public art in the UK. There are regular buses from Newcastle Eldon Square Bus Station and Gateshead Interchange every 8 minutes. The journey takes about 20 minutes from Newcastle and 10 minutes from Gateshead Interchange.
- The Coast: The stretch of coast between Tynemouth and Whitley Bay is amongst the best in the UK and can be accessed with a 20mins metro journey from Newcastle centre (see http://jplanner.travelinenortheast.info/nexus). On Sundays Tynemouth's old Victorian station plays host to a wonderful local market, with over 150 stalls to browse (all of which are covered, making it a safe option if the weather is looking typically...British).
- Hexham and Hadrian's Wall: The historic town of Hexham is a great place to stop, especially if you want to visit Hadrian's Wall and other Roman sites. Hexham is easily accessed by train from Newcastle.
If you have the time, there are other famous sites and historic cities nearby that are very worth a visit for a day trip or longer:
- Northumberland Coastline stretching up into Scotland has a number of idyllic beaches and picturesque towns, including (but not limited to) Alnmouth, Bamburgh (with is iconic castle), Craster (with its famous kippers), Seahouses, and Berwick. Amongst other great options for a walk, there is stunning 62 mile route called the Northumberland Coast Path.
- Lindisfarne Holy Island: With hostorical records dating back the 6th century, the island of Lindisfarne, just of the coast, offers history, a wealth of sea and bird life, and gorgeous views.
- Durham is a 10mins train journey from Newcastle and offers visits to the castle and catherdral alongside wonderful summer views.
- York and Edinburgh are a little further (1 hour and 1 hour 30mins by train, respectively), but also each have their own unique attractions and events - more than enough to spend a couple of days.