Blog post by Rachel Kershaw writer of Life in Geordieland, the blog guide to NewcastleGateshead.
They say time flies when you’re having fun and that has certainly been true for residents and visitors in Newcastle and Gateshead this summer! Great Exhibition of the North has meant that since 22 June not a day has gone by without something free, fun and inspiring to enjoy.
However, all good things must come to an end and as the closing weekend of this spectacular summer of events approaches, I have found myself trying to cram in as many last minute days out as possible!
Some events and opportunities will actually close before the last day of Great Exhibition is upon us. Therefore, I thought I’d share some of the experiences that are still available and the dates you need to add to your diary in order to make the most of what’s left of the varied programme of events that has become my bible over the last few months…
Design | Innovate | Craft at The Biscuit Factory – Ends Friday 31 August
Although it can claim to be the UK’s largest independent commercial art gallery, The Biscuit Factory is still somewhat of a hidden gem in Newcastle’s Ouseburn district.
Design | Innovate | Craft is an inspiring space bursting with innovative examples of creativity from Northern designers. As well as being one of my favourite places to shop for unique art, homewares, accessories and gifts, The Biscuit Factory has been hosting worksops to help you unleash your inner designer.
Big Bang – Future Engineers Wallace and Gromit Exhibition at Boiler Shop – Ends Sunday 2 September
Who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit? Aardman’s infamous inventing duo have featured at several Great Exhibition of the North events and the Future Engineers exhibition at Boiler Shop in the recently renovated Stephenson Quarter has been very popular. No need to book, just call in before it closes at 3pm on Sunday 2 September to catch a glimpse of fascinating objects from Aardman studios and see how the loveable characters are helping to celebrate Northern heroes.
Bridges at Sage Gateshead – Final Screenings on Monday 3 September
I mentioned Bridges – the brand new animated, musical adventure by Ed Carter and Katie Simmons – in a blog post a few weeks ago. At the time it felt we had ages to pop over to Sage Gateshead to catch one of the free screenings but there’s only a handful of opportunities left! A spine-tingling soundtrack by Royal Northern Sinfonia accompanies the beautiful animation. Tickets are free but you need to book them online with Sage Gateshead.
Great North Children’s Hospital Pop-Up Hospital – Ends Wednesday 5 September
One of the things I have loved most about Great Exhibition of the North is that it has given us the chance to see behind the scenes in amazing venues and explore buildings we wouldn’t normally venture in to. The Herschel Building, which is part of Newcastle University, is one such venue.
Until 5 September, the Great North Children’s Hospital plays host to the Pop-Up Hospital and a series of interactive experiences exploring the human body and cutting-edge medicines. It’s a chance to learn more about one of the biggest children’s hospitals in the UK.
The Needle Points North at St Mary’s Heritage Centre – Ends Thursday 6 September
Anybody who still holds the outdated belief that it’s grim up North only needs to take one look at the colourful and intricate work of the Embroiderer’s Guild to see a more accurate portrayal of the diversity and vibrancy of our communities. Fourteen huge textile panels capture the culture and landscapes of Northern England and you can see the impressive works up close in St Mary’s Heritage Centre until 6 September.
Aeons: A Sound Journey for Newcastle – Ends Friday 7 September
Hands down, this has been my favourite experience during Great Exhibition of the North. The thought-provoking soundscape made me see Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside in a completely new light and I’d highly recommend you try and book a slot before your opportunity runs out on 7 September. The slots are predominately fully booked but space is still available midweek – Tuesday 4 – Thursday 6 September.
Horse to Hyperloop at Cooper’s Studio – Ends Saturday 8 September
Another super popular part of Great Exhibition of the North’s Innovation Trail, Horse to Hyperloop at Cooper’s Studio has given us all a taste of what’s to come! We’ve imagined travelling around the country in the blink of an eye in a futuristic-feeling pod whilst looking back to historic innovations that took place in this brilliant building. Thanks to Ryder Architecture for their excellent exhibition this summer!
Other Great Exhibition of the North events still to enjoy
Alongside these unique experiences and events, there are still lots of things to enjoy that have been on the programme for the entirety of Great Exhibition of the North. Check out the blog post on what is happening every day during Great Exhibition.
Plus, make sure you have made a note in your diary for Great North City Games on Saturday 8 September. This action packed sporting event is free to spectators along the banks of the Tyne. Keep your eyes peeled for world-class athletes from around the globe compete alongside the very best of home-grown talent.
Then on Sunday 9 September one of the region’s most famous events, Great North Run will provide the perfect finale to a momentous summer in NewcastleGateshead. Join the thousands of spectators who line the streets to cheer on the runners and watch the breath-taking fly-by from the Red Arrows. The world’s greatest half marathon falls on the last day of Great Exhibition of the North and it’s sure to be a day to remember. I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be!