Friday, 23 September 2011

A Geordie Gem - North East England

If you've never visited the North East of England then you have missed out. It's where I hail from, but I'm not biased - some of the most beautiful scenery and historic buildings in the country are found in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and County Durham.

Here the historic melds with the contemporary: Hadrian's Wall, built in the days of the Roman Empire and once the country's northern border is still visible (and walkable), while the massive metal statue, the Angel of the North, graces the entrance to Gateshead from the south; Bamburgh Castle on the Northumbrian coast guards against invasion from the sea, while the latest bridge over the River Tyne, the Millennium Bridge gives pedestrian access to Gateshead and the city of Newcastle.

Extensive redevelopment of both the north and south quaysides have attracted prestigious hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars to the area, providing a great base from which to explore town and country.

For me, I always know I'm home when I see the Angel of the North as I drive into Gateshead on the A1 and nothing makes me more proud than seeing the historic Tyne Bridge over the river.

I'm coming home Newcastle - The Tyne Bridge

The River Tyne's iconic bridges: the Tyne Bridge, Swing Bridge and High Level Bridge

Looking along the Newcastle quayside towards the bridges. The Sage art and music venue is on the left (Gateshead quayside)

Millennium Bridge (pedestrian) links Gateshead and Newcastle (The entire bridge seems to lift up to allow boats to pass, there is a name for it but I'm not sure what it is. It is an amazing sight though)

Grey Street, Newcastle, the architecture is beautiful and the shopping is out of this world

The Angel of the North guards the entrance to God's Own Country from the south

Bamburgh Castle was a strategic fort built to defend against attack from the sea. This is a lonely but beautiful part of the coast with some of the best beaches in England. The fishing port of Seahouses lies to the south while Lindisfarne (Holy Island) lies to the north. The Farne Islands, renowned as a bird and seal colony, is off the coast and accessed by boat from Seahouses.

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