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Newcastle and Gateshead cultural attractions

Tyneside today is a vibrant, creative, booming, Bohemian metropolis full of architectural delights, world-class museums and art galleries, outstanding theatres and concert venues. It’s a transformation that has mostly been wrought in the last two decades. And at the heart of this road to renewal has been arts and culture. It is Gateshead on the south side of the River Tyne that has really led the way. It started in 1998 with Antony Gormley’s now iconic Angel of the North sculpture. Newcastle is also home to the jewel in the North East’s stage crown, the Grade 1-listed Theatre Royal and Live Theatre on Newcastle Quayside has an international reputation for its new writing.

The Sage Gateshead was rather scathingly described as a ‘giant slug’ by Private Eye when it first opened. But this lithely curvaceous concert venue designed by Norman Foster, long ago won over any critics. Internationally recognised, it is home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia as well as three world-class concert halls renowned for their superb acoustics, which attract the top musicians, bands and orchestras.

On the music front the Utilita Arena is the largest concert venue in the North East attracting all the top touring acts, while the O2 Academy in the centre of Newcastle showcases indie groups alongside live sport.

02 City Hall Newcastle is the region’s longest running concert venue, and has been welcoming the world’s top acts, whether they be rock, pop, classical or comedy, since 1927. It has become renowned for its stand-up comedy shows, and is a favoured haunt of Newcastle-born funny man Ross Noble.

Our picks

Jam Jar Cinema

18-24 Park Ave, Whitley Bay NE26 1DG

Join Jam Jar Cinema in 2020 for a great year of film! This cinema offers luxury screening rooms showing all of the latest films. Now with lift access, the cinema also has a fully-licensed lounge bar (yes you can take a drink in!). Visit website

Laing Art Gallery
Laing Art Gallery

New Bridge St W, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8AG

The Laing Art Gallery is Newcastle’s premier art gallery featuring work including William Holman Hunt, John Martin, Paul Gauguin and Burne-Jones. Renowned for bringing the biggest names in art to the North East. Donations are welcome and entry is free, there are admission charge for some exhibitions. Visit website

Great North Museum: Hancock
Great North Museum

Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT

Experience the world under one roof at Newcastle’s most popular museum, Great North Museum: Hancock. You can see Egyptian mummies, a full-size replica T. rex skeleton and more. Plus: blast off to space in the planetarium. Donations are welcome and entry is free. Visit website

The Biscuit Factory
The Biscuit Factory

The Biscuit Factory is an independent art, craft and design gallery housed in a former Victorian warehouse in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter. Explore collections of contemporary paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and homewares. Visit website

16 Stoddart St, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AN

Segedunum Roman Fort
Roman soldiers

Segedunum Roman Fort stood on the banks of the River Tyne for 300 years and was the last outpost of Hadrian’s Wall. The excavations and interactive museum provide the gateway to the world-famous heritage site. Under 16s go free, admission charges apply for adults. Visit website

Buddle St, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne NE28 6HR

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Image credits: ©Colin Davison/Great North Museum; Getty Images/iStockphoto; Laing Art Gallery; Sean Elliott/The Biscuit Factory;

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