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Newcastle upon Tyne

I was thinking about staying in Newcastle upon Tyne as a base and visiting for about three days, specifically Durham Cathedral and Hadrian's Wall.

Where would be a good place to stay? Close to public transport and about $150 a night. What part of the wall is nearest and easiest to see from here? Two travelers, one 50 and one 80. More into historical and English life than pubs and large events. What are must see's?

thanks!

Posted by
190 posts

If you're planning to travel out of the city on a regular basis then the Central Station area is an option, with the County Hotel, Station Hotel and a Hilton all right next to it. The station is a major National Rail stop and also has links to the Metro network. The Jesmond area also has plenty of hotels, including a Holiday Inn, and is only a short walk to a Metro station you can use to get to the town centre and the station. The more scenic hotels are down the Quayside - e.g. NewcastleGateshead Hilton, Malmaison and Copthorne, but have limited connectino to public transport. The Quaylink bus connects some parts of the Quayside with Central Station and Gateshead Interchange - if you choose this option, check with your hotel about public transport availability.

Unfortunately the best attractions in the region are difficult to get to via public transport, though there are still options. Castle Keep, Durham, Beamish Museum and Tynemouth are all historical attractions accessible via public transport. As for going up to the Roman Wall, my favourite spots to visit are Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum (more of an 'experience') and Housesteads (mostly untouched section of the wall). The AD122 bus runs in the summer from Hexham railway station to Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum. Housesteads, however, will likely require you to take a train to Haydon Bridge and then reserve a taxi to take you there and back if you're not driving.

ramblin' on will likely turn up at some point - they're a goldmine of information and can fill in on anything I've missed. Any other questions, though, just ask!

Posted by
5471 posts

You could spend a week in this area and not run out of things to do!

Newcastle is quite hilly, so stay around the rail station if this is an issue. It's always useful to think in terms of local currency when querying accommodation prices. You are currently getting lots more pounds for your dollars.

You don't say when you are visiting - some things are closed late autumn/winter.

The train to Durham is quick and easy. Durham too is quite hilly, with steep cobbled streets. The cathedral is magnificent, but I have always found the rest of the city to be a little disappointing. It's a half day trip from Newcastle. Have you considered visiting Newcastle Cathedral instead? It maybe better use of your limited time, with so much to see in the area.

There are several National Trust places in the area that are very interesting. You can get short-term overseas membership. Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort that they own is worth a visit. Their website gives directions as to how to get there - sorry, my mouse won't allow me to post the actual link, so try National trust.org.uk. Their Washington Old Hall nearby has connections to George Washington that you may find interesting. One of their most interesting properties in the country IMO is Cragside in Morpeth, the birthplace of hydroelectricity in Victorian times. You probably don't have time for the brilliant Beamish Museum, as this is at least a full day trip.

There are walking tours in Newcastle - a good way to see the city. The people there are the friendliest in the UK, but the accent can be difficult to understand! "Whey aye, pet, she's bonny" (pronounced why eye) means "yes dear, she's pretty". Don't let this put you off! You said you wanted English Life....

Posted by
2102 posts

Here I am…

As akkejakke says public transport to Hadrian's Wall is seasonal so you need to check if it works for you.

http://www.simplygo.com/all-services/ad122

Durham is easy to get to from Newcastle.

Several new hotels in Newcastle city centre as it's a popular weekend destination. Have a look on Tripadvisor, they're all listed there. If you want to be outside the city Tynemouth (30 mins by metro) has a nice 'villagey' feel.

http://www.martineau-house.co.uk/
http://www.no61.co.uk/

Link to an earlier post about things to do in Newcastle

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/newcastle-upon-tyne

And even though this site is Undiscovered Scotland click on some of the town links on the map, it has some great info about Northumberland.

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usmapindexes/englishborders.html

And to answer you question about which part of the Wall is nearest - there are fragments of the Wall dotted around the suburbs of Newcastle. At Wallsend there are the excavated foundations of a fort; and in Benwell and Denton Burn you can see parts of the Wall, notably where the A1 meets the A69.

http://newcastlephotos.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/hadrians-wall-in-newcastle.html