Newcastle's revival that has seen it shed its somewhat dowdy, gritty image is nothing short of extraordinary and the city is now one of the most vibrant, cultural and artistic destinations in Europe. Situated on the north bank of the River Tyne, the city owes its name to the Norman castle built in 1080, by Robert II of Normandy , the eldest son of William the Conqueror. The area around Newcastle was historically a Roman settlement and d uring the middle ages the town became a northern fortress in the Border wars against the Scots.
With its strategic and trading prominence secured, Newcastle along with its smaller neighbour Gateshead on the opposite side of the river has undergone a period of fluctuating economic fortunes over the years only to emerge as one of the fastest growing- and arguably one of the friendliest- cities in the UK . Indeed, the local ‘Geordies' have a pride in their city and an unrivaled if delusional sense of self-optimism, most clearly observed in their fanatical support of the perpetually underachieving Newcastle United football club.
Getting around Newcastle
Newcastle is a rather compact city centre which also spells bad news for people commuting by car in the morning rush-hour. So avoid driving into Newcastle unless you absolutely have to – especially if you have never done so before because the city's one-way system can prove to be frustrating if you don't know your way around. So unless you fancy walking or cycling, opt to use the highly efficient public transport network.
Tyne and Wear Metro connects the city centre at with Gateshead, Sunderland, the coast, Newcastle Airport and the railway station. And there is also a good bus network o perating from the hubs of Eldon Square Bus Station and Haymarket Bus Station and run primarily by Arriva Northumbria , Go North East and Stagecoach North East. QuayLink is a hybrid electric bus service operated to the Quayside.
Eating, drinking and shopping in Newcastle
After a long week stuck in the office, there is nothing quite like enjoying a drink or two. And Newcastle has an abundance of places to choose from. Such is the reputation and energy of Newcastle's nightlife that some regard a night out in the city as so irrepressable that it borders on irresponsible…high praise indeed (I think).
Pubs, bars and clubs are spread across a number of distinct areas in the city centre, from Grainger Street near to the Theatre Royal and Cathedral, the recently redeveloped Quayside with its modern and slightly more sophisticated style of bars, to the Gay Quarter over towards Central Station. But the one thing that will surely baffle you is how can they wear so little when it's so cold?
And one of the great things about Newcastle 's social scene is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to many other cities in the UK . The Bigg Market area is home to a number of inexpensive Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants. Whereas Stowell Street in Chinatown offers an mix of traditional Oriental cuisine and buffet-style eateries along with a more sophisticated offering.
But Newcastle is not solely about its nightlife, it is also a major retail centre, rivaling any area of the UK for the sheer variety and quality of its shops. The city boasts several shopping centers of which Eldon Square is the largest with the main high street being on Northumberland Street .
However, if you want to take it easy and leave all the stress of the office behind for a few hours, Newcastle has much to offer. To the northwest of the city centre lies Leazes Park , established in 1873 to give working men "ready access to some open ground for the purpose of health and recreation".
The city's cultural scene can be experienced in its many theatres including the Theatre Royal, which presents a season of productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company each year, the Journal Tyne Theatre, the Newcastle Playhouse (called The Northern Stage now) and the Live Theatre. And for live music, the Metro Radio Arena holds a number of large scale music acts
Lest we forget St James' Park, home of Newcastle United football club. Rugby, basketball and ice hockey are all played, and the Great North Run is hosted by Newcastle every year
Main residential areas
City Centre, Lemington, and Throckley & Newburn is predominantly made up of apartments and purpose-built conversions and are particularly popular with young professionals and those who like to be closer to the action in the city centre.
Newcastle West and Fenham are areas of traditional suburban semi-detached housing, popular with families looking for three-bed semis. Although prices err on the expensive side, these two areas are also popular with students and young professionals due to the good choice of rented accommodation on offer.
If you're thinking of moving to the area, take a look at some of the current property available to buy or let in and around Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.We have included some local links that may be of interest to you
The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS)
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
Online change of address service
Up My Street
Visit Newcastle Gateshead
Newcastle City council