Packed with cultural attractions – and one of Europe’s largest shopping centres – Gateshead has well and truly emerged from neighbour Newcastle’s shadow.
Many of Gateshead’s most iconic structures are close to the south bank of the Tyne, in the area known as Gateshead Quays.
Connected to Newcastle via the tilting Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the Quays host the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art – housed in a former flour mill – and the stunning Sage Gateshead concert hall, designed by the architect Sir Norman Foster.
The Sage is home to the Northern Sinfonia, as well as enjoying a varied programme of performances by pop, folk and world music artists. Meanwhile, the BALTIC affords impressive views over the Tyneside cityscape, as well as one of the area’s best restaurants – Six – on the gallery’s rooftop level.
Further away from the centre of Gateshead, visitors can admire the beautifully restored Saltwell Park, enjoying a coffee in the flamboyant Saltwell Towers. Nearby, the Shipley Art Gallery boasts an impressive collection, including the famous William Irving painting of the Blaydon Races, based on the Geordie folk song of the same name. The iconic Angel of the North sculpture, by Anthony Gormley, is also a must-see.
Once you’ve had your cultural fill, Gateshead can whet the shopping tastebuds too. On the outskirts of the town, the vast Metrocentre has more than 300 shops, from department stores to quirky independents, as well as restaurants, a bowling alley, and the only IMAX cinema in the North East of England.
Photo credit: Graham Soult
For more about visiting Gateshead, go to VisitNewcastleGateshead.com.