A Newcastle Walking Tour

A Newcastle Walking Tour

Your walking tour through Newcastle begins at the historic Central Station, a magnificent Grade I listed building located approximately 268 miles (432 km) north of London King's Cross. This iconic railway station holds a special place in British history as one of the first to feature an arched roof, a design that has become synonymous with grand railway architecture. It was inaugurated by Queen Victoria in August 1850.

Your next stop leads you to the remarkable Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, better known as the Lit & Phil. This institution boasts a collection of over 160,000 books, making it the largest independent library outside of London. Housed in a stunning space with two large rooms with overhead skylights, this library is a treasure trove of knowledge and history.

As you continue your tour, don't miss the Sorcerer Coffee, a charming café nestled in the railway arches east of the Central Station. Situated just opposite the Newcastle town wall at Orchard Street, this whimsical café is a haven for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a cozy ambiance. With its sorcerer-themed decor and delicious baked goods, it's the perfect spot to take a break. Sorcerer Coffee is open from 8 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 10 am to 4 pm on weekends.


The Metro crosses the River Tyne

For those of you willing to climb several stairs down and up, consider an alternative scenic walking route after your stop at Sorcerer Coffee. Walk past the historic Newcastle town wall before descending to the banks of the River Tyne. The stroll along the riverbank takes you underneath iconic structures like the High Level Bridge and the Swing Bridge, offering unique perspectives of these architectural masterpieces. As you pass by the Hard Rock Cafe, make a left turn after the Tyne Bridge and climb up to the Newcastle Castle to join the original route.

Our journey takes us now to the very heart of history as we arrive at Newcastle Castle, the very structure from which the city takes its name. Although much of the castle is divided by a railway viaduct, there's no denying the historical significance of this site. Built in 1177 by King Henry II, it stands as a Grade I listed building, a testament to its enduring importance.

Cross the historic High Level Bridge, a true engineering marvel, to reach the southern banks of the Tyne. This remarkable bridge, constructed between 1847 and 1849, features two levels, with the upper deck supporting the railway and the lower deck serving as a passage for vehicles (limited to buses and taxis), pedestrians, and cyclists. Its Grade I listed status celebrates its pivotal role in the region's transportation history.

Time for a break! Satisfy your cravings at the southern end of the bridge with two enticing options. You can enjoy a refreshing beverage at Axis or indulge in a delightful treat at Big Fat Donut.

Looking down the River Tyne, the Glasshouse can be seen on the left hand side

The next stop on our journey is The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, formerly the Sage Gateshead, an establishment dedicated to musical education and concerts. Designed by the renowned Foster and Partners, it opened its doors in December 2004, supported by funding from the accountancy software company The Sage Group. A new development is currently being built next to the centre, further solidifying the south bank as a location for culture.

We cross the River Tyne on the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge. This architectural wonder connects Gateshead's arts quarter on the south bank with Newcastle upon Tyne's vibrant Quayside area on the north bank. Opened in 2001, it swiftly earned its place as a significant local landmark.

Once on the north bank turn east onto the Hadrian's Wall Path, a national trail that follows the remains of the Hadrian's Wall. This path closely follows the ancient Roman defensive wall, spanning from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. Our route aligns with it for approximately 500 meters, leading us to the confluence of the Ouseburn with the Tyne.

If you're in the mood for another break, now is the perfect time. The Cycle Hub provides excellent coffee, snacks, and outdoor seating with a view of the Tyne. If ice cream is more to your liking, be sure to visit Di Meo's Riverside Parlour. For a healthy meal, Kiln Cafe is just a few hundred meters up the Ouseburn.

After this refreshment, take a leisurely stroll along the riverside walk through the lower Ouseburn Valley. Once heavily industrialized, it has now transformed into a vibrant hub for the arts and creative industries, complete with a lively pub scene. Along the way, you'll pass underneath the Byker Road Bridge, the Byker Viaduct, and the Ouseburn Viaduct, which carries the East Coast Main Line over the valley. Following that, make your way uphill along Stepney Bank, where you'll have the opportunity to stop at Gingerino's Kitchen, known for serving some of the best pizza in Newcastle.

For the next leg, take a cab towards the City Center and let yourself be dropped off at Newcastle Cathedral.


Newcastle and its bridges

Newcastle Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Newcastle. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building, a testament to its architectural and historical significance. While you're there, don't forget to pay a visit to the enigmatic Vampire Rabbit, a curious gargoyle that has captured the fascination of locals and visitors alike. It's around the back at the end of the churchyard.

Continue your journey to Grainger Market, a Grade I listed covered market. This bustling marketplace is a testament to the 19th-century urban renewal efforts that replaced earlier markets, notably those located on the site of Grey Street.

St James' Park

Make your way through China Town upwards to St James' Park, an iconic venue that has been the home of Newcastle United F.C. since 1892. If you wish to delve deeper into the football heritage of the city, consider pre-booking a stadium tour to uncover the rich history and experiences within. However, even if you choose not to venture inside, you can still admire the stadium's exterior.

To conclude your walking tour, make your way back down to Central Station and enjoy a final refreshment at The Canny Goat, a delightful little coffee shop with locations in Heaton and Newcastle City Centre. Alternatively, savor a snack at the Pink Lane Bakery, a local artisan baker with shops in Gosforth, Jesmond, and Newcastle City Centre.

Click here for an interactive map of the walk.