The Metro Centre is where it’s at if you want to score a bargain, shop til you drop and join the lunch crowd. Its huge footprint (when you add in the leisure attractions, it’s the biggest shopping centre in Europe) is full of big brands, little boutiques and massive department stores. There’s a cinema, loads of kids’ play areas and the Namco Funscape – including bowling alleys, soft play centre and an arcade. The Centre is open 10am until 9pm weekdays, and opens and closes earlier at weekends. Many of the restaurants and the cinema are open longer than the shopping centre itself.
Great places to visit in Newcastle!
The secret of Newcastle’s success is its residents. The Geordie character, forged over decades of industrial abandonment and some seriously cold weather, is as warm and inviting as the interior of one of the city’s many new bars and pubs. Yes, the locals are likely to laugh at you if you go out wearing a coat; and yes, it’s still a bad idea to mention Sunderland in the presence of Toon Army (Newcastle United) fans. But these are just elements of the city’s personality – and it’s a personality as big, brash and groovy as any in the country.
Angel of the North
Antony Gormley’s masterpiece is in Gateshead, only a brief drive from Newcastle. The sculpture, which attracted massive local controversy when it was installed, is now seen as a symbol of pride and hope for the area. Its vast steel wingspan can be seen from the A1 and A167 roads, and its 66ft height is also visible to passengers on the East Coast Main Line train. The Angel is designed to stand in winds of more than 100mph – it has foundations 70ft deep, which clamp the 200 tonne guardian in its place on the Low Fell. An absolute must-see for every visitor.
The Discovery Museum sits in Blandford Square, just five minutes away from Newcastle Central Station. The Museum is free to get into, and showcases the science, history and natural history of life in Newcastle and the Tyneside area. Must-see exhibits include the massive Turbinia – the first ever steam turbine powered ship – and Joseph Swan’s electric light bulbs, again the first in the world. Interactive exhibits and a constantly changing programme of special events ensure the Discovery Museum remains fresh no matter how many times you visit. A great place for the whole family to spend a day, with lunch in the café and a trip to the Gift Shop.