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One of the great northern English cities, Newcastle upon Tyne was once the engine room of Britain’s industrial might. Today, the city continues to build on its heritage with a growing revival as the North of England’s new cultural powerhouse.

You’ll find the old and new faces of Newcastle in the grand Victorian buildings lining its boulevards, its rugged coal-mining and shipbuilding past, and in its spectacular art galleries showcasing local and global talent.

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Best attractions in Newcastle

Until the 1860s, the Victoria Tunnel, burrowing for 2.5 miles underground from the Town Moor to the Tyne, was used as a way to transport coal from the colliery to the river. In 1939, it was converted into an air raid shelter to protect thousands of local people during WWII. Today, a visit here makes for one of the most memorable things to do in Newcastle, with atmospheric tours that recreate the echoing soundscape of life here over the centuries.

One of the most historically important things to see in Newcastle is the castle it takes its name from. The Romans first built a garrison fort here in the 2nd Century AD. You can take a visit to the fort of Segedunum, marking the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall. It still contains two rare relics testifying to the Romans’ passion for health and hygiene: a reconstructed bath complex and the only Roman toilet left in Britain.

Various forts have stood here over the centuries, and the ‘new castle’ was built a thousand years later by King Henry II in the 12th century. The following century, Henry III built the Black Gate that stands alongside it. Their dour and resolute quality has survived the ages.
A climb to the top offers a peerless view of the city, and makes for one of the most rewarding things to see in Newcastle.

If all this isn’t enough to excite any child travellers in tow, the Life Science Centre is one of the prime attractions in Newcastle for curious travellers of any age. There are plenty of interactive activities here, including memory games, a computer coding club and experiments supervised by real scientists.

Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, is another top spot among kid-friendly things to do in Newcastle, with skillful storytellers and lots of fun activities to encourage young book lovers.

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