Newcastle-upon-Tyne was our next step after Durham. Newcastle-upon-Tyne should not be confused with Newcastle, as I discovered to my dismay.
About 2 days before we were set to go to Newcastle, I was trying to locate our hostel on Google Maps when I made an important discovery: Newcastle-upon-Tyne is in England where we were heading. Newcastle was in Northern Ireland, that fair country where we were unable to set foot this time around.
Remember: Always be Polite
You get a lot further with politeness and kindness, especially when dealing with people in hospitality! Long story short, a very kind lady jumped through a million hoops and managed to get my deposit back so I wasn’t out any money for making a mistake.
Newcastle itself is like much of the UK: the ancient side by side with the modern.
We were fortunate, in that we didn’t have to struggle to find our hostel. We were able to hitch a ride with a lovely lady I’d met on a train ride earlier in the year.
Mairi lives in the area, and was willing to give us a ride from Beamish Museum (more on that later) to Newcastle, which was amazing! I’d met her on a train ride that took hours more than it should have, and along the way we exchanged facebook info, and she told me if I was ever in the area, to send her a message. I’m so glad I did, because we certainly didn’t expect the kindness we received!
Once in Newcastle, we walked, usually in an aimless fashion, just wanting to get a feel for the city, seeing what was there, and what we wanted more of.
First, we wanted to go into the Black Gate, the fortified gatehouse for the castle. It’s also a museum, and between it and the castle, features some of the best preserved examples of Norman stonework.
There are some other things in there, too…
The urge to run was strong, and made worse by the ‘Do Not Run’ signs everywhere. It would have been the best place ever for a game of tag!
Otherwise, I spent a lot of time in a cafe, sitting, because it was absolutely necessary. I’m gonna say it – periods suck, especially when you travel! It turned out okay, though, because the last place we wanted to get to was closed that day.
Laing Art Gallery
Our last day in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, we walked to…(I had to research it to remember the name, and I’m pretty sure it’s) the Laing Art Gallery. Amongst the local artists, they had a display for Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland. How could two bibliophiles and one artist resist?
As photos were not encouraged through the displays, I took none, but there was a costume area!
Later, we had time before our train to chill in the square. A busker played and sang nearby as we lounged, and I napped a bit.
There are so many things to see and do in Newcastle, and we barely scratched the surface!
I’ll have to come back someday when I actually have money…
Anybody from the area, or been to it? What was your favourite thing?