Cheap flights to Newcastle
As famous for football as it is for its world-renowned brown ale, Newcastle is located in the north east of England. Known as the UK’s party city, it boasts a staggering number of bars and clubs packed tightly into its city centre. But scratch a little beneath the surface and you’ll find a modern city that doesn’t just cater to hen nights, but also to the discerning art critic and culture buff alike.
And it seems you guys like it; after all it was voted the nation’s favourite city break in The Guardian/Observer Travel Awards from 2002 to 2005! This could have something to do with the locals, or Geordies as they are known, and whilst you may not understand everything that they are saying – to say their accent is a little on the strong side would be an understatement – they are perhaps the UK’s friendliest people, known for their warmth and hospitality.
For more information please visit www.NewcastleGateshead.com
Established in 1882, Fenwick is Newcastle's most famous department store. The shop's annual animatronic Christmas window display attracts crowds from throughout the country (39 Northumberland Street, fenwick.co.uk).
Tynemouth is the home of great waves in the North East, and the Tynemouth Surf Co can teach you how to "hang ten" with style. Surf lessons with trained instructors can be booked through the shop, and if you don't have a board, you can hire all the kit from them (Unit 1 Palace Buildings, Grand Parade, NE30 4JH, Tynemouth, tynemouthsurf.co.uk).
The Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling is a series of fun and competitive cycling events taking place throughout Newcastle in June. For info go to virginmoneycyclone.co.uk
Disney's award-winning musical The Lion King is running at Sunderland Empire Theatre until 1 November (4-5 High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3EX, atgtickets.com).
"Body Worlds Vital: The Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" is the world-famous display of real human bodies preserved through plastination by Dr Gunther von Hagens. In Newcastle until 2 November, it's a fascinating spectacle, but not one for the faint-hearted (Life Science Centre, Times Square, NE1 4EP, life.org.uk).
The stage version of Joseph Heller's explosive, subversive, and funny novel Catch 22, is on at Northern Stage, Newcastle, from April 19 to May 10. Tickets www.northernstage.co.uk
Take a spin (or a wobble) around Newcastle's only open-air ice rink. The city's Life Centre is hosting the rink and offering skaters a deal to upgrade to a combo ticket and enjoy a Night at the Toy Store, the centre's new Christmas 4D Motion Ride (Times Square, NE1 4EP, life.org.uk).
Now in its 29th year, the Tyneside Irish Festival brings together a feast of music, art and literature in Newcastle over 11 days, on 16-26 October. tynesideirish.com
Lane7 is a boutique bowling alley sporting eight 10-pin bowling lanes and an upmarket restaurant. It looks the part, with trendy exposed brickwork and walnut-finished bowling lanes, and also boasts pool tables, table tennis and karaoke (80-90 St James' Boulevard, NE1 4BN, lane7.co.uk).
Dunstanburgh Castle is a 14th-century fortification on the spectacular coast of Northumberland, located between the picture-postcard villages of Embleton and Craster, home of the famous Craster kippers. nationaltrust.org.uk
Alnwick is a beautiful village and home to Alnwick Castle and Gardens, one of the world's most extraordinary contemporary gardens. From poisonous plants and treetop walkways to glorious roses and towering delphiniums, the Duchess of Northumberland's vision for a forgotten plot is a beauty to behold. alnwickcastle.com
Game of Thrones fans know all about The Wall, a vast fortification that protects the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, but did you know that it was based on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland? Author George RR Martin said that a visit to Hadrian's Wall sparked his idea for the colossal fortification. Today it's still a fantastic and inspirational ancient Roman relic you can visit. visitnorthumberland.com/hadrians-wall