Friday, April 29, 2011

X is for X Busses

In Gateshead-Newcastle, we have lots of busses.  The X route busses from Go North are the ones we use a most of the time.  Since I’m still getting use to public transportation here, I’ve still not braved a bus ride by myself.

Go North East is the leading bus operator in the North of England. Its fleet of 660 buses and coaches provide local services in and around Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Northumberland, Durham, Teesside, Sunderland and the surrounding areas.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

W is for Walks

Newcastle Walks are something essential to the region.  There are plenty of parks, countrysides, and nature to be seen.  It’s hard to realize that in all those times we spend in the car, we never see the world around us. 

Daily walking tour provided by Newcastle City Guides. 'A Taste of Newcastle' starts on Wednesday 1 June 2011 until Friday 30 September 2011. The tour starts at 10.30am Monday to Saturday from Newcastle Tourist Information Centre.  Local walks are also available on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings April to October.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

V is for Valley

Team Valley is the area in Gatehead where lots of businesses reside.  It’s where Retail World is located, and the nearby Sainsburys. This is the view we get walking around the neighborhood.  It was most impressive when we went to see the Angel.

Team Valley is a traditionally heavily industrial area of Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, England. More recently it has become home to the 'Retail World' retail park, which makes up just a small percentage of the entirety of the Team Valley Trading Estate. Many large international companies are based in the area's trading estate and it is rapidly developing as a business park rather than the heavily industrialised area it used to be. There are currently approximately 1400 companies on the estate, and each day approximately 25,000 people travel to Team Valley.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

U is for Universities

Northumbria University is just one of the many universities and colleges in Newcastle-Gateshead.  There is also Gateshead College, Newcastle University (we went to the Hancock Museum there to see mummies and a dinosaur), Tyne Metropolitan College, and Open University for online classes. 

Newcastle College is a Further Education and Higher Education college in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the largest mixed economy College in the country and claims to offer more courses in more subjects than any of its geographical competitors. The Hancock Museum is a museum of natural history in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, established in 1884. In 2006 it merged with Newcastle University's Hatton Gallery to form the Great North Museum. The museum and all of its collections are owned by the Natural History Society of Northumbria, although it is managed by Tyne and Wear Museums on behalf of Newcastle University

Northumbria University is an academic institution located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. It is a member of the University Alliance. In terms of student numbers the University is the 5th biggest in the UK and the largest in the North East. It also includes the North East’s largest community of taught postgraduate students, ranking in the top 10 biggest providers of taught Postgraduate degrees in the UK.

Gateshead College is a further education college in the town of Gateshead, England. Established on November 15, 1955 at Durham Road in Low Fell, Gateshead, the original campus was closed as part of a planned move in January 2008. The college moved into a £39 million new main site located at the Baltic Quayside in Gateshead. Also opened during the move was an academy for sport based at Gateshead International Stadium and a skills academy for automotive, manufacturing, engineering and logistics. A skills academy for construction opened in summer 2008. The college has recently been given an outstanding Ofsted report, with grade 1 ratings in all six areas. It is now ranked among the top 20 in the country.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Sunday, April 24, 2011

T is for Tyneside Cinema

The Tyneside Cinema is a cool old movie theatre that was renovated.  The screens still have the old red curtain around them and they’re smaller than the big, fancy theatres we have now but it’s still a neat way to go to the movies.  We saw The Kings’ Speech here in January and it was perfect for a very British film.  Speaking of which, in England you get kettle corn and alcohol at the movies.  There’s a café at the top of the Tyneside Cinema, which has a bunch of levels and really cool architecture inside.

The Tyneside Cinema is an independent cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the city's only full-time independent cultural cinema, specialising in the screening of independent and world cinema from across the globe. The Tyneside's patrons are filmmakers Mike Figgis and Mike Hodges, and musicians Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys and Paul Smith of Maxïmo Park.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Friday, April 22, 2011

R is for Retail World

Retail World is a place I go often enough because there’s a Starbucks in the Next store, a Halfords for bikes and equipment, TK Maxx (same as TJ Maxx we have in the US), and a Boots pharmacy.  Plus, they have a McDonald’s which is handy for grabbing a chicken sandwich on my way home from shopping.

Retail World is a retail park of regional significance and is situated immediately adjacent to the A1 motorway, three miles south of Newcastle. The park was refurbished in 2002/3 to provide re-clad elevations and new entrance features. Recent new retailers to the park include Next, Boots, Arcadia, Borders and Hobbycraft.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

S is for Sage

The Sage is a performing arts theater and an extremely cool building on the Quayside.  Steve’s seen a few concerts here, but I’ve just had a chance to look around and try the soup at the café inside. I was torn on what to put for “S” because while this is a major landmark and an amazing building to look at, I love Saltwell Park more and and visit at least a couple times a week.

The Sage Gateshead is a centre for musical education, performance and conferences, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne, in the north-east of England. It opened in 2004. The venue is part of the Gateshead Quays development, which also includes the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Q is for Quayside

The Quayside is where the River Tyne separates Gateshead and Newcastle. Here is where you’ll find the Millennium Bridge, The Swing Bridge, The Tyne Bridge, The High Level Bridge, The Sage, The Baltic, as well as Pitcher and Piano. It is one of my favorite places to go in town.  It’s so pretty and peaceful to walk around the river and have some many neat things around. It’s also one of my favorite places to take pictures.

The Quayside is an area along the banks (quay) of the River Tyne in Newcastle upon Tyne (the north bank) and Gateshead (south bank) in the North East of England, United Kingdom.

The area was once an industrial area and busy commercial dockside serving the area, while the Newcastle side also hosted a regular street market. In recent years as the docks became run-down, and the area has since been heavily redeveloped to provide a modern environment for the modern arts, music and culture, as well as new housing developments. The Newcastle-Gateshead initiative now lists the Quayside as a top ten attraction.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

P is for Pitcher and Piano

Pitcher & Piano is a restaurant and bar on the Quayside of Newcastle-Gateshead.  Steve took me there one Sunday for roast dinner, which was super tasty.  It’s a treat, definitely.  The view is spectacular.

Pitcher & Piano in Newcastle is a bar for every occasion. Located next to the award winning Millennium Bridge and opposite the Baltic Contemporary Arts Museum, our glass fronted building is within walking distance of the city centre and has its own taxi rank and bus stop.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Ouseburn

I’ve seen only some of Ouseburn because this is the section of Newcastle where the Seven Stories children’s book museum is.  I’ll have to see it eventually because it is also the place of Jesmonde Dene.

The Ouseburn is a river which flows through Newcastle upon Tyne into the River Tyne. The river gives its name to the Ouseburn electoral ward

The Ouseburn Valley was a heavily industrialised valley in the East end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Since then the lower part of the valley has developed into a cultural oasis. The Ouseburn is a small river.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

N is for Newcastle United

Newcastle United is the city’s beloved soccer (“football”) team. Known for wearing the black and white jerseys, they’ve been dubbed the “Magpies”.  On match day we see people on busses and in the streets with their black and white jerseys, scarfs and hats heading to and from St. James’ Park. This will, incidentally, be the home place of a handful of 2012 Olympic Summer games (yes, we ordered our tickets.) We’ve seen museum displays for the team, tons of shops with garb, and books dedicated to them.  They love their soccer here.

Newcastle United Football Club (also known as The Magpies, The Toon and The Toon Army, and often abbreviated to NUFC) is a professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and have played at their current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the 1990s and now has a capacity 52,339. The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but two years of the competition's history, the inaugural 1992–93 season and the 2009–10 season. In 2007, long term chairman and owner Freddy Shepherd sold his share in the club to Mike Ashley.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is Millennium Bridge

<p><a href="" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p>
<p>This is my own picture of the Millennium Bridge in February.&nbsp; We go to visit it often and it never ceases to amaze me.&nbsp; I love seeing it at night, like this, when the lights change colors.&nbsp; It’s especially neat to see it from the bus going over the High Level Bridge.&nbsp; With the Sage and the Baltic in the background. It is definitely one of the most impressive structures in Newcastle-Gateshead.</p>
<p>The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist <a href="">tilt bridge</a> spanning the <a href=",_England">River Tyne</a> in <a href="">England</a> between <a href="">Gateshead</a>'s <a href="">Quays</a> arts quarter on the south bank, and the <a href="">Quayside</a> of <a href="">Newcastle upon Tyne</a> on the north bank. The award-winning structure was conceived and designed by architects <a href="">Wilkinson Eyre</a> and structural engineers <a href="">Gifford</a>. The bridge is sometimes referred to as the 'Blinking Eye Bridge' or the 'Winking Eye Bridge' due to its shape and its tilting method. In terms of height, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is slightly shorter than the neighbouring <a href="">Tyne Bridge</a>, and stands as the <a href="">sixteenth tallest structure in the city</a>. </p></blockquote>
<p>A to Z Blogging Challenge</p>

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Laing Art Gallery

I visited the Laing a month or so ago and was really impressed.  Again, there aren’t many museums and quality artwork to be seen in Florida, so having a chance to look at culture is quite an experience for me.  I was interested in the old paintings of Newcastle-Gateshead and seeing St. Nicholas’s Cathedral in them.  We also saw the John Martin exhibit as well.  That was really impressive.

The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, England is located on New Bridge Street. It was opened in 1904 and is now managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. The gallery holds oil paintings, watercolours and Newcastle silver.

The gallery boasts an extensive collection of paintings by John Martin, including the dramatic "The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah", as well as important works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Burne-Jones ("Laus Veneris"), Holman Hunt ("Isabella and the Pot of Basil"), Ben Nicholson and others. There is also an extensive collection of 18th and 19th century watercolours and drawings, including work by Turner, Cotman etc.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kingston Park

K was a tough one for me and Kingston Park was my only real option for this post.  After researching the place, I found out that it not only has Kingston Park Stadium where the Newcastle Falcons rugby team plays, but it also holds the largest Tesco in the U.K. It’s worth a visit just for a huge, 24 hour store!

Kingston Park is a suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne, about 4 miles (6 km) north west of the city centre. It is home to several large retailers, the largest being one of Tesco's flagship stores—at 11,055 square metres (119,000 sq ft) which is also the largest supermarket in the UK. Kingston Park is served by Kingston Park station on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

J is for Jesmonde Dene

Jesmonde Dene

Jesmonde Dene is a garden area in NewCastle that I've just heard of. Steve says we'll have to go soon. I totally agree: when you look at the pictures, it looks awesome. When I visit, I'll make sure to post pictures.

Jesmond Dene is a public park in the east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It occupies the narrow steep-sided valley of a small stream known as the Ouse Burn: in North-east England, such valleys are commonly known as denes.

The park was first laid out by William George Armstrong and his wife, of Jesmond Dene House, during the 1860s. The design is intended to reflect a rural setting, with woodland, crags, waterfalls and pools. It is now owned by Newcastle City Council.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Interchange

I go to the Gateshead Interchange at least every weekend.  Steve uses it each day.  It’s a huge bus stop with the subway station underneath.  That makes it a big hub for transportation.  For people who live in large cities in the States, this is probably quite commonplace but for Florida, we just don’t have such things.  I just find it interesting that it has a green grocer and a Wilkinson store in the Interchange.  I’m still not sure about how to find the bus I need to get around but that doesn’t mean just at the Interchange or on bus stops on the streets.

Gateshead Interchange is a transport interchange in the centre of the town of Gateshead, England. It is served by the Tyne and Wear Metro, whose station is underground, as well as local bus services. In the period 2008-9 the metro station was used by over 2 million passengers whilst the bus concourse was used by over 3.8 million passengers, making it the busiest bus station in Tyne and Wear.

Gateshead Council

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Sunday, April 10, 2011

H is for Hadrian's Wall

I just learned about Hadrian’s Wall when I went to the Hancock Museum in January.  I saw artifacts from the site there.  Still never ceases to amaze me how much history, and really old history, we have in the North East.

Hadrian's Wall (Italian: Vallo di Adriano, Latin: Vallum Aelium – the Latin name is inferred from text on the Staffordshire Moorlands Patera) was a defensive fortification in northern England. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Grainger Market

Grainger Market is an old indoor marketplace that still brings in a ton of shops.  It was crowded on the Saturday we went and I was amazed how it was like a whole section of the city within a big, domed roof.  I’ve seen the painting by Louis Grimshaw of Grainger Street at the Shipley and prints of it all over town.  Nice to know that something with that much history is still up and running as it was intended.

The Grainger Market was the town's first indoor market, situated between the New Gate of the old Town Walls and the newly laid out Grainger Street. At the time of its opening in 1835 it was considered the most spacious and magnificent market in Europe and the Evening Chronicle described it as 'the most beautiful in the world'. To mark its opening, a grand dinner was held, complete with an orchestra and attended by 2,000 guests.

Other “G” mentions include:  Geordie, The Gate, Greggs, Gateshead College, and Gateshead itself.

Gateshead Council

A to Z Blogging Challenge

F is for Fenwick

Fenwick is a large department store in Newcastle.  When I first went to it in December 2009, I saw the big window display of the Nativity scene.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the Christmas story in a public place, along with a large, popular window display that had a line around the block.  That’s a tradition we lost in the States a long time ago.

At the Discovery Museum we saw a lot of old carrier bags, dress patterns and pictures from when the store first opened.  I love that the city has so much history in it.  That’s something we just don’t find a lot in Florida.

Fenwick (founded 1882, Newcastle upon Tyne) is an independent chain of high-end department stores in the United Kingdom.

The group has its headquarters at the flagship Fenwick department store in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, one of the largest department stores in the UK.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Earl Grey's Monument

This is the neatest thing to see when you come into Newcastle.  The Gray’s Monument is huge and old.  It’s like a centerpiece for downtown Newcastle.  This is where the winter markets are housed and it’s a neat square to just sit and hang out (as many, many people do on a Saturday.) Earl Grey was from Northumbria so it’s fitting to put the monument on Grey Street here near the Charles Grey Pub.

Grey's Monument is a Grade I listed monument to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey built in 1838 in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was erected to acclaim Earl Grey for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832 and stands at the head of Grey Street. It consists of a statue of Lord Grey standing atop a 130 feet (40 m) high column. The column was designed by local architects John and Benjamin Green, and the statue was created by the sculptor Edward Hodges Baily (creator of Nelson's statue in Trafalgar Square).

The monument lends its name to Monument Metro station, a station on the Tyne and Wear Metro located directly underneath, and to the Monument Mall Shopping Centre. The surrounding area is simply known as Monument.

Other possible “E” entry was going to be Eldon Square in Newcastle, but I can’t just blog about shopping malls.  Or can I?

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Dunston

Dunston was originally an independent village on the south bank of the River Tyne. It has now been absorbed into the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead in the English county of Tyne and Wear. Much of Dunston forms part of the inner Gateshead regeneration area.

To the west of Dunston is the site of Dunston Power Station, now demolished. The site is now home to the MetroCentre, the largest shopping and leisure centre in Europe.

I chose Dunston as my “D” entry because it houses my beloved Metro Centre.  Granted, there are some big malls in America but, wow, this place is amazing.  It has its own bus station, it’s own bowling alley, and enough sparkly, poofy, tasty, smelly, shiny things you can imagine.  It’s definitely one of my favorite places to go in Gateshead.

Gateshead Leisure and Culture’s site also gives information on Dunston Pond, Dunston Library, and Dunston Activity Centre.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Castle Keep

The Castle Keep of Newcastle upon Tyne was built by Henry II between 1168-1178, it is one of the finest surviving examples of a Norman Keep in the country.

The Castle Keep is one of the local attractions that sits in the background but I’ve still never gone to.  Not even sure what’s inside.  Ghosts? They have a tour to find them.  I’ll update when I find out myself.

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Sunday, April 3, 2011

B is for Baltic

Gateshead Council first conceived the idea of transforming the former 1940s grain warehouse on the south bank of the River Tyne into an international gallery which would be at the forefront of contemporary visual art in December 1992.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts is a really cool place that holds a lot of modern art, which I’ve not seen a lot of in my life.  I remember going there with Steve the winter before last and seeing an exhibit from a lady who set up a camera behind her, and took a video of herself standing in various, busy streets around the world.  Kind of odd but impressive too.  They also have a deck to stand outside and look out over the river too.

Gateshead Leisure and Culture

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Angel of the North

Since spreading its wings in February 1998 Antony Gormley's The Angel of the North has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

Rising 20 meters from the earth near the A1 in Gateshead, the Angel dominates the skyline, dwarfing all those who come to see it.  Made from 200 tonnes of steel, it has a wingspan of 54 metres.  Getting up close and personal with the Angel is an experience you'll never forget!

The Angel of the North is one of the biggest attractions in the area.  I’ve not seen this close up yet, but I see it not far from the street when we go out to the store.  It’s quite a monument, and there are images of it all over the area on buses, signs, cups, t-shirts, you name it.

While this was the most obvious choice for my “A” post, there are some more listed at the Gateshead Leisure and Culture page.

A to Z Blogging Challenge