Newcastle Upon Tyne is the economic and cultural hub of the North East England and the core of an urban area with close to a million people living there.
Home to the Geordies and their infamous accent, Newcastle is known for it’s warm and friendly welcome. Though one of the UK’s smaller main cities there is more than enough here to interest fans of architecture, arts, shopping, culture and history.
Newcastle has a compact but vibrant gay scene ironically known as the ‘Pink Triangle’ concentrated relatively close to Central Station.
Newcastle’s gay scene is relatively small in comparison to other northern cities like Liverpool and Manchester but it’s always a good option if you want a fun and frivolous night out.
Newcastle also has it’s own Pride festival, known as Northern Pride, held just to the north of the city on the expansive Town Moor. Expect a carnival mood and a family friendly atmosphere.
Newcastle is the rail-hub of the North East with direct travel to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and over UK destinations available throughout the day. Central Station is a 5-minute walk from Newcastle’s gay scene.
A small but well connected airport serves Newcastle, offering connecting flights to European hubs by British Airways, Air France and KLM. The main budget airlines all fly to Newcastle and Emirates provides links to distant shores.
The best way to get into Newcastle from the airport is by the Metro. Tickets cost £3.30 and the 30 minute journey takes you right into the city of Newcastle.
Alternatively if you have a lot of luggage you could take a taxi. Pre-booked taxis would cost around the £15 mark but expect to pay more if you grab one at the rank.
Newcastle is close to the coast and DFDS operate a scheduled ferry service to Amsterdam. A direct bus from Central Station to the ferry port costs £3.80 or alternatively you can take the Metro to Percy Main where it’s a 5-10 minute walk to the terminal (£2.60).
The city centre is relatively compact so you can walk from most parts of the city with relative ease. The popular Quayside area, however, is on the bottom of a steep hill, so you may want to take a taxi if you want to travel to the other side of town.
There is also a Metro system serving the county of Tyne and Wear, with 4 stops in the city centre. It’s a valuable tool if you want to explore the coast at Tynemouth, the affluent suburb of Jesmond, or the nearby city of Sunderland. Tickets start at £1.70.
Newcastle has a great choice of accommodation in and around the city centre. Our Gay Newcastle Hotels page highlights some of the best-rated and most popular hotels in the city.
Newcastle has a cultural scene almost as vibrant as Manchester but being half the size means that it’s easier to come across something new every time you turn a corner.
The city has a rich musical heritage, with musical luminaries Sting, Bryan Ferry, Neil Tennant (of Pet Shop Boys fame) and Jimi Hendrix all claiming connections to Tyneside. Nowadays Newcastles hosts everything from huge arena gigs to intimate pub acoustic sets.
Grey’s Street and the Monument – at the heart of the city is the Monument to Charles Grey (think a downsized version of Nelson’s Column) and the beautiful Georgian architecture of Grey Street (voted Britain’s best street in 2010).
Theatre Royal – magnificent Georgian theatre on Grey’s Street. Every year it hosts performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside a varied programme of events.
The Quayside – scenic riverfront area with a wide range of restaurants and bars offering fantastic views of the Tyne and Newcastle’s many bridges. There is a weekend craft market.
The Baltic – technically across the river in Gateshead, this converted flour mill is now a contemporary art museum showcasing the best in new art. It’s top floor has a great viewing platform.
The Sage – located next to the Baltic in Gateshead. This impressive Norman Foster designed concert hall hosts performances from musicians across all genres.
St James’ Park – home to Newcastle United Football Club, St James’ Park is an imposing building on the Newcastle skyline.
Ouseburn – a small concentration of independent pubs, gig venues and galleries that attract an alternative crowd. The area is in danger of development so see it now before gentrification strikes!
Jesmond Dene – beautiful Victorian landscaped park that cuts it’s way through the suburbs of Ouseburn and Gosforth. A tranquil retreat from the bustling city centre.
Tynemouth and the Coast – just a short Metro ride takes you to the Victorian seaside resorts of Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Cullercoats. Tynemouth has a weekend market and all offer sandy beaches.
Durham – a 15 minute train journey away from Newcastle is the beautiful medieval city of Durham with it’s dramatic cathedral and historic castle. Perfect for a day trip.
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