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Newcastle-under-Lyme1 is a busy market town in North Staffordshire, England, and lies between the A500 (called the 'D-road' locally) and the M6. Often assumed to be a part of Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle residents will soon tell you otherwise! Newcastle has its own borough, extending north of the D-road to Kidsgrove and Mow Cop, and west of the M6 as far as Loggerheads.
Newcastle is not the best shopping town in the country, though there is a market in the high street on most weekdays. For the hard core shoppers among you, Hanley (Stoke City Centre) is only a short bus journey away. Public transport is pretty good in the area, even if the more reliable of the bus companies, Potteries Motor Transport (PMT) is a bit expensive.
The state-of-the-art, eight-screen Warner Village Cinema is located off the high street and is in a far more sensible location than Stoke's Odeon in Festival Park. With many bus services running until midnight, it also means you can combine a film with a few beers. The cinema was built in 1999 - 2000 to replace the 'FineFare' building, once voted the country's most hideous abomination of architecture.
Pubs and Clubs
There is certainly no shortage of these in the town - shops are continually closing and reincarnating as public houses. Even the old town hall is now a pub (the Guildhall). With around 50 alehouses in the town centre, a full pub crawl could be fatal. There's a good variety as well, with three rock pubs - The Rigger and Full Moon both supporting live bands, and the Black Friar for those who enjoy a bit of rock, but don't feel the need to wear the uniform; plenty of trendy pubs for those who like to queue for ages to get in, and then again to get to the bar; loads of pubs catering to the needs of older people; a couple of Irish bars; and a Revolution vodka and cocktail bar. And there's many more besides.
There are several excellent clubs. Zanzibar, Maxims and Metropolis supply dance/disco and the Sutherland Arms caters for Metalloids, Rockers and those who just want a late drink and somewhere to sit. If you are a hard core dance fiend, then you're probably better off taking yourself to Hanley's The Void at the far end of Stoke-on-Trent.
There are many excellent restaurants in Newcastle Town Centre. The Shalimar and Aneesa Balti cottage are two good curry houses. There is a splendid Italian in the High Street. Ephesus is a newish Turkish restaurant near the church. O'Neils and Revolution are just two of the pubs that serve excellent traditional fare. The place for food in the town (particularly take-away) is George Street running up past the Zanzibar towards Stoke. There are at least four kebab houses, three Chinese restaurants, a couple of curry houses, a Thai restaurant, a chippy, a French restaurant, and even a mobile greasy burger stall that sits outside the Zanzibar.
Some Pleasant Parks
Brampton Park is the nicest park in the area, with two large fields and some gardens. The Brampton also has a children's playground, a model railway (often giving rides on sunny summer Sundays), an aviary and a museum/art gallery. The foundations of an old kiln, a cannon brought back from the Crimean War, and the broken remains of the Market Cross can also be found near the museum.
Lime Valley Park is down near the Lime Brook.
The Four Parks are in the Westlands (posh part of Newcastle). In four bits. Hence the name.
The Butts is also in the Westlands. It is steep and often boggy, but has a pleasant woodland walk at the top.
Wolstanton Marsh is also boggy, and is between the borough towns of May Bank and Wolstanton.
Places Of Interest
Mow Cop is a Victorian Folly and local landmark on top of a hill in the far north of the borough.
Keele University is the local University which also owns the old Sneyd family residence, Keele Hall. This is an impressive stately home with pleasant gardens and a string of lakes threaded through the woodlands in the estate.
The Roaches is a popular place for walkers and climbers in the heart of the North Staffs Moorlands, 20 minutes away on the other side of Leek.
Wedgwood Pottery Museum is in Barlaston just down the A34 from Newcastle.
Alton Towers is in the Churnet Valley on the far side of Stoke. This popular amusement park is about 20 minutes by car from Newcastle. Regular buses run from Keele through Newcastle and Hanley to Alton Towers. The bus trip often takes longer than the aforementioned 20 minutes.