Top Travel Tips for the Great Exhibition of the North 2018

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With so much to discover during the Great Exhibition of the North 2018, it’s a good idea to plan your journey in to the city and familiarise yourself with the best ways to get around NewcastleGateshead.

There’s no need to worry about getting lost as it’s actually really easy to navigate and the friendly locals are always more than happy to point you in the right direction. However a little planning will help ensure you don’t miss a moment of the jam-packed schedule.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled When You Arrive

Whether you will be travelling to Newcastle and Gateshead by road, rail, air or sea, it’s easy to plan your visit thanks to our excellent transport connections and you’ll certainly know when you’ve reached your destination, thanks to our iconic local landmarks that are waiting to greet you.

Antony Gormley’s unmistakeable ‘Angel of the North’ stands proudly beside the A1 in Gateshead and the world famous Tyne Bridge allows cars to travel easily between Newcastle and Gateshead across the River Tyne. Train passengers should keep an eye out for a spectacular river view and a glimpse of the medieval Newcastle Castle as they pull in to Newcastle Central Station.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Newcastle is a really compact city and if you’re happy to explore on foot, you can easily walk from the Great North Museum at the top end of the city to the vibrant Quayside in around twenty minutes. Although, you might want to allow a little more time to soak up the atmosphere and gawp at the stunning architecture along the way. One of my favourite routes through the bustling centre is via Grey Street which is lined with impressive Georgian buildings, it was once voted ‘Best Street in Britain’ by Radio 4 listeners and there are lots of lovely places to stop for coffee along the way.

NewcastleGateshead's Iconic Quayside - view of Gateshead Millennium Bridge

Even getting across the River Tyne on foot is a breeze, the Tyne Bridge is open to pedestrians as well as cars but I prefer walking over the Gateshead Millennium Bridge from Newcastle as it leads straight to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead, two more of the region’s most impressive cultural venues.

The Great Exhibition of the North Trails will help you explore world-class venues and hidden gems. If you do wander off the beaten track, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get your bearings. I recommend you keep a NewcastleGateshead walking map in your pocket, look out for them at local hotels and attractions or download one to your phone.

Hop on a Local Bus or Metro

All of the venues on the trails can be easily reached by local bus too, the Quaylink is particularly handy for getting to and from the major landmarks including BALTIC and exploring the Quayside. You can hop on board with a contactless payment card, it costs £1.50 for a single fare or £2.20 for a return. The Quaylink is operated by Go North East who also offer a great value family day ticket for just £10. This gives up to two adults and three children under 16 unlimited travel on all Go North East buses for a single day.

Getting around NewcastleGateshead - bus

Another super convenient way to get around is by using the fast and frequent Tyne and Wear Metro which operates from 5.30am till midnight, transporting passengers into the heart of Newcastle from 60 destinations around the region. You can use the Metro to travel to and from the breath-taking North East coast and even Newcastle International Airport, both of which will only take around half an hour from the city centre.

Cycling in the City

If you’re feeling energetic you could always take advantage of the bicycle sharing scheme that recently launched in Newcastle. Mobikes cost 50 pence for 30 minutes and are available throughout the city, look out for the silver cycles with orange wheels and download the Mobike app to get on your bike!

Rachel’s Top Five Tips for Getting Here and Getting Around:

    1. Book early and save money. The best deals on rail journeys are to be found on advance tickets so if you’re travelling in to Newcastle from another of the part of the country, it pays to plan.
    2. Comfy shoes are a must. With so much exploring to do, the last thing you want is blisters ruining your day.
    3. Make friends with transport providers. It’s a good idea to follow the social media accounts of organisations like Go North East & Tyne and Wear Metro so you can keep up to date with any disruptions that might affect your journey.
    4. The best maps are in the minds of the locals. If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask a friendly face for advice, most Geordies will happily point you in the right direction.
    5. Park for free after 5pm. If you’re bringing a car in to the city you’ll be pleased to hear that seven multi –storey car parks offer free parking after 5pm Monday to Saturday, the list includes Dean Street, Eldon Square and the Quayside Multi-Storey.

Rachel Kershaw writes Life in Geordieland, the blog guide to NewcastleGateshead.

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