Skip to main content

Newcastle: Bridges, Buses and Beaches

After Fountains Abbey we continued north to Newcastle - or more precisely Gateshead, Newcastle's sister city across the Tyne River.  Our hotel was on Gateshead Quays, an area which includes the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Sage Gateshead concert venue.  It's obviously undergoing serious regeneration; the remaining derelict industrial buildings and weed-strewn vacant lots were overshadowed by modern metal and glass springing up all around.

On the Millennium Bridge with the BALTIC Centre behind.

Millennium Bridge with the Sage behind (that wavy building).
We had a view of the river from our fifth-floor room, and Toby was most excited about sleeping on a sofa bed: "They're going to make my bed by magic!"  Theo seemed content enough with his familiar Moses basket, which we placed in the bathroom - a travel tip I'd seen somewhere.  It gave us a little more space in the main room, but whether it improved the quality of anyone's sleep is difficult to say.

I think we hit the sweet spot with our boys' ages on this trip.  Toby coped amazingly well with a fair amount of walking, while Theo was happy to be carted around anywhere, as long as he got milk on a reasonably regular basis.  We got a DaySaver ticket which meant we could hop on and off the Metro and buses - at least we thought we could; the fourth and final bus driver of the day insisted it wasn't valid and made us pay.  Up until that point we had been most impressed by both the value and frequency of public transport, and it was great to be able to rest our legs now and again.

Toby likes buses!

A whistlestop tour in photos:  We visited Grainger Market and ate pasties by the Grey Monument, which appeared to have a permanent seagull in residence.






On our way to Leazes Park for the obligatory playground stop, we passed a diminutive Chinatown, part of the old city walls, and Newcastle United's football ground.


For you public nursing advocates (I'm looking at you, Eva!): Theo having his lunch by the old city walls.


Daisy chains in the park

We were able to take a bus part way to the Discovery Museum, where Toby got ecstatically drenched in the Play Tyne room, with a replica of the Tyne River and its bridges.


Out to the real thing, we rode a bus along the quayside, and walked across the sweeping curve of the Millennium Bridge.

That's the Tyne Bridge in the foreground, but you already saw the Millennium Bridge.

Dinner was at Zizzi's, located on the solid Georgian splendour of Grey Street, from where we caught our final bus practically to the hotel door.


Next day was the beach at Cullercoates, a short drive away.  It was cooler and a little drizzly - but what does that matter when you're a three-year-old boy with a bucket and spade?



Comments

Zoe Richardson said…
Sounds like a lovely family holiday with great pictures. I have three children and have always wanted to try and holiday in the North of England, but find it hard to see beyond family holidays in Devon.

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Language

For some reason baby equipment is an area in which American English differs markedly from British English. As well as learning how to care for a baby, we had to learn a whole new vocabulary! Fortunately we are now fluently bilingual, and I have compiled a handy US-UK baby dictionary for you. Diaper n. Nappy Mom says if you can read this change my diaper. The first time you change one of these you will be all thumbs and stick the little adhesive tabs to yourself, the baby and probably the changing mat before you get them where they ought to go. A few years later you will be able to lasso a running toddler and change them before they even know what's happened (yes, I have seen it done). You will also get through more diapers than you ever thought possible, creating scary amounts of expense and waste. Hence we are now mostly using: Cloth diaper n. Reusable nappy Cool baby. No longer those terry squares, the main drawback is that there are now so many types it can be qu

our new apartment

Moving was a slightly surreal experience given that our new place looks almost exactly the same as the old one, except for being a different layout. That's what you get for living in a throw-'em-up-and-pack-'em-in apartment complex I guess - albeit a very nice one. So, entering apartment 433: To your right is the master bedroom: with en-suite bathroom: and looking back, from your left, that's a walk-in closet, door to the hallway and door to the bathroom: Following the layout so far? OK, go back to the hallway and put your back to the front door again, and this time walk straight forwards into the sitting room: As you can see, ahead of you is the door to the balcony: for which I have grand plans for a herb garden and other plants. Leading off the living room is the dining area: and if you walk through that and round to your right you reach the kitchen: Go back through the living room again: and if you turn right (

Speedy Steamed Pudding

One of the highlights of being in catered halls for a couple of years at university was the sponge puddings. Great big sheets of chocolate or vanilla sponge, carved into hefty blocks and doused with thick custard. The main courses were edible at best, but those puddings would fill you up for a week. Good solid puddings, whether baked, steamed or boiled, have been a mainstay of English cooking for centuries. Something about the cold, damp, dark winters inspired British cooks to endless variations on suet, jam, currants, custard and other comforting ingredients. Once I left the nurturing environs of my parents' house and university halls, pudding stopped being an everyday affair and became a more haphazard, if-I-feel-like-making-any event. And steamed puddings especially, with their two hours over simmering water, don't really lend themselves to spur of the moment dessert-making. However, technology has moved on since those first days of puddings. I'd been vaguely