Tyneside, North East of England

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Found in the county of Tyne & Wear in the UK, Tyneside is the group of settlements on either bank of the River Tyne, and can be seen here1 as the large grey mass in the lower half of the map 2, it stretches as far east as the sea at Tynemouth, but it's largest, most urban areas are:
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Gateshead

It's fair to say that newcastle is the furthest north city in england, and can be argued to be the largest in the north, Newcastle sits on the northern bank of the river Tyne. Gateshead is its smaller settlement directly across the river on the southern bank

How to get around

  • On foot - Probably the best way for central newcastle, where there are many shortcuts and pedestrianised zones, but otherwise it depends on how willing you are to walk.

  • The Metro - The Metro system connects most of Tyneside together, and most places you will want to visit will be near a station. A bit like the London Underground would be if it was cheap, easy to understand, clean, reliable, and with mostly new trains. Definitely recommended for most places. When the sunderland line is eventually put in, it will be the best way to get pretty much anywhere, except for the south western area of gateshead, where you'll still have to get a bus.

  • By Bus - Buses here, like everywhere else, are often late, run confusing routes and schedules and are generally unreliable. Sometimes the best way to get around- usually when it's the only way to get around. Recommended only if you have a fair idea of the services and the area. Otherwise, mostly useful to get to and from the metro

  • By Car - Not advisable in the middle of Newcastle city centre, as parking and traffic can be difficult. In Gateshead and other areas of Tyneside it's the perfect way to get around, you'll usually be able to park close to where you want to be, and unless you hit rush hour traffic won't be too bad.

  • By Taxi - Don't try to hail one, you won't have much luck. Either ring a taxi firm and get one to pick you up or find a nearby Taxi rank. Usually too expensive for normal situations, but ABC is a more affordable co.

Often a major thing to consider is how to cross the river. If you're on foot or in a car this can be done by finding one of the many bridges(mostly in central/western Gateshead/Newcastle) or the tyne tunnel/pedestrian tunnel3 in more eastern parts of tyneside. Near the coast pedestrians can cross via the shields ferry, between North & South Shields.

Where to go to...

Drink - Anywhere, absolutley anywhere you care to go in Newcastle will probably have a pub nearby, but for starters there is the Quayside(long street on the bank of the river), the Bigg market, Percy street (runs from Haymarket to Bigg market), and many hidden backstreet pubs.

Eat chinese food - Chinatown has a large number of restaurants, can be found just past the town wall, down from St James'. Also worth a look is the Side(leads up from Quayside) where the Kublai Khan can be found, which serves both mongolian and chinese food. Also, if in Tynemouth there's an excellent chinese restaurant next to a refurbished church.

Eat mexican food - Chiquito's next to warner cinema, or near UCI cinema in the Metrocentre, One Eyed Jack's opposite the firestation down from Northumberland Rd.

Eat Italian food - Fleet street is filled with proper italian restaurants. Or there's one on high bridge st, and frankie & Bennie's at Boldon. Or if you prefer it's easy enough to fin a Pizza Hut or the deep pan pizza co. next to warner cinema.

Shop - Northumberland Rd., Eldon Square, Percy St., The road between Central and Monument, Windows(right next to monument).

Food shopping can be done in the many markets - Green market, grainger market, gateshead market4, in central gateshead , in the metrocentre, or in the two 24 hour supermarkets, Tesco in central gateshead, or Asda in Boldon

Drink coffee - the small cafe on top of the Tyneside cinema (the small, independant cinema directly across the road from the Odeon), try their stottie5 sandwiches. There are also lot's of coffee shops knocking about such as Coffee Republic beneath MVC.

Watch a film - Warners at Manors, Odeon just down from Northumberland Rd. UCI at the metrocentre, Virgin in Boldon.

Buy a guitar/guitar supplies- Windows, High bridge St,

Clubs - Most of the clubs are quite hard to find, so your best bet is to be shown by someone local. They cover a wide range of taste and include Ikon, Planet Earth(on backstreet leading off percy st, to Chinatown), Cuba Cuba among many others. Lots of clubs I used to know have closed down and been replaced, Others, like the Tuxedo Royale/Princess were too pricey to go to regularly.

Local Terms

  • Geordie- "Anyone born on the banks of the tyne" so basically anyone born on tyneside. Also refers to local accent & dialect
  • Geordieland - another name for Tyneside
  • Macam/Mackem- Anyone who comes from sunderland, supports Sunderland football club or speaks with a sunderland accent.
  • Charver/Charva- Usually found in groups outside off licences or corner shops for entire days. Wears Kappa, adidas, anything in clashing, dayglo colours, sovereign rings. Usually has different accent to geordie (a really annoying, whining voice they have) and attempt to scrounge money off you. Also often have really bad taste in music.

Local Landmarks

  • The Angel of the North is a recent, controvertial sculpture found on the edge of the western bypass. It's a massive abstract style angel made entirely out of weathering steel, which looks rusty now, but will eventually turn green. It's true scale is only recognised when there is someone at the base.
  • Penshaw Monument is more ancient, set on the top of Penshaw Hill, which the Lambton Worm wrapped itself around in local legend. Supposedly there is a stairway up one of it's columns. Can be seen from much of South Eastern Gateshead and Boldon, especially at night, when it's floodlit.
  • Grey's monument, often called the monument is in the middle of newcastle city centre outside the monument metro station. A large column topped by a statue, it was built because of the great reform in 1832. Commonly used as a meeting place


Remaining reasonably safe can be accomplished by :
  • Avoiding certain areas such as the west end of Newcastle, and Deckham
  • Not wearing a sunderland shirt in Newcastle.6

If you still manage to get in a fight, well, its your own damn fault.

A similar article in a different guide claimed that you would get beaten up for stoning magpies, becuase they are NUFC's mascots. This is wrong. You will be just as likely to be beaten up for stoning any other types of birdlife. Where this bizarre and sick idea came from, I have no idea.

Related sites

These are the other sites about the area in the guide. I'm not reccommending them all, as I'm putting this together as they're a bit useless. But they're handy for newcastle forums.

Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneNewcastle Brown AleNewcastle Brown AleWashingtonHeworthThe Ship InnGatesheadWhitley Bay

Other places in the region:

Durham CathedralPrudhoeLindisfarneA beer sodden guide to Durham
1This site can be used to find any of the places I mention, which you don't know where they are2Note: The nearby town of Sunderland is not part of it as it is completely seperate, and on the banks of the river Wear - claiming to be from Sunderland is not a recipe for acceptance, or indeed, safety3These are seperate and nowhere near each other4In central gateshead on the ground floor of the multistorey carpark that appears in Get Carter5 A large round flat loaf6Especially when theres a match on.

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