- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Newcastle upon Tyne, England
15 minute city
Newcastle is the smallest big city in the world! It is so accessible, you can walk across it in 15 minutes but, as you would expect being the capital of North East England, it has everything you would expect of a major European regional capital city: culture, heritage, great night life and fabulous retail. We even have cows grazing on the town moor, an expanse of greenery in the heart of the city which is bigger than Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath combined and bigger than New York’s Central Park.
Many cities can boast beautiful bridges, but we have seven within the space of half a mile, all visible from our world famous Quayside. The Tyne Bridge is an international icon and was the basis for Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge opened five years later.
Again, not meaning to brag – but for centuries Newcastle has led the way in innovation. From the first locomotive which gave birth to the industrial revolution and the coal that powered it, to the electric light bulb – they were all developed here in Newcastle. The first turbine driven ship, the Turbinia was developed on Tyneside, the first street lit by electric light was Mosely Street in Newcastle and our Metro system was Britain’s first modern light railway system and is still the second largest Metro system in the UK. Other notable innovations include Lucozade and Wispa Bars, all developed thanks to ingenious Geordies.
Five years before EH Bailey completed his other, lesser known work, Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, Newcastle got its iconic statue of Earl Grey that sits atop the monument on Grey Street, voted the best street in the UK.
Our contribution to world firsts is by no means historic. Newcastle continues to lead the way in a range of different fields – in Newcastle, an eminent orthopaedic surgeon has just been the first to create a pelvis using 3D printing technology and Life, the international centre for life sciences is at the cutting edge of medical and life science developments.
As well as having the best street in the UK, Grey Street, Newcastle has the highest ratio of Grade I and II* buildings as a proportion of all our listed buildings. Who can argue with the great John Betjeman who rated Newcastle’s Grey Street over London’s Regent Street for its majesty and perfection.
Surely, we must also have the best quality of life
There’s so much more to the city than its international party reputation, although we’re immensely proud of this as well, but where else can you surf in the morning at Blue Flag beaches and in the afternoon be skiing up at Weardale in the Pennines, not to mention the staggeringly beautiful Northumbrian coastline,World Heritage sites of Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Cathedral and Harry Potter’s castle, aka Alnwick Castle, all within a short distance away.