Newcastle takes its name from a wooden Norman fort built on the banks of the Tyne in 1080 by a son of William the Conqueror. Originally a major port for England's wool trade, Newcastle and Northumberland were transformed by the Industrial Revolution, which was powered in large part by the vast deposits of coal surrounding the city. Today Newcastle on Tyne is renowned as a cultural center and the gateway to Northumberland, a region particularly rich in history. Hadrian's Wall, once the furthest outpost of Western civilization, wanders across the area's lonely moors. Nearby Lindisfarne was the cradle of English Christianity. And during the Middle Ages, the great border lords of the region erected impressive fortifications including Bamburgh and Alnwick Castles.
The architect Richard Grainger redesigned Newcastle's old medieval center in the early Victorian Era. Grainger replaced the maze of medieval alleys with a well-designed city grid. Today Grainger town is renowned for its collection of elegant, sandstone buildings.
A designated World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall, constructed on the orders of Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD, travels 73 miles across northern Britain, the most famous of the frontiers of the Roman Empire.
Angel of the North
Dominating the skyline, British sculptor Antony Gormley's statue is constructed from 200 tons of weathering steel, with an impressive wingspan of 177 feet (54 meters).
Instantly recognizable as Hogwarts Castle from the "Harry Potter" films and from the television show "Downton Abbey," Alnwick Castle has been the hereditary seat of the dukes of Northumberland since 1309.
Perched above the North Sea, Bamburgh Castle, resplendent with stately rooms and extensive grounds, is one of the most significant castles in the United Kingdom, the fortified home of the kings of Northumberland during the Anglo-Saxon period.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, North Pennines possesses the remote and iconic beauty of open heather moors dotted with verdant woods, flower-strewn meadows and sparkling rivers.
Best enjoyed on foot, lively Durham showcases graceful architecture and heritage buildings highlighting the last 1,000 years of the city's history and its Anglo-Saxon roots through the Victorian age.
Heralded as the finest Norman building in Europe, Durham Cathedral, an architectural wonder built between 1093 and 1133, has been in continuous use as a place of worship and holds over 1,700 services a year.
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The City of Newcastle and The Angel of the North
4 hours | Newcastle | NCL-200N C L - 2 0 0
Angel of the North
Enjoy Newcastle's scenic charms on a panoramic tour. View the elegant 19th-century buildings designed by Richard Grainger in the city center, a celebrated abolitionist. Also take in views of one of the northeast's iconic landmarks--the monumental Angel of the North sculpture.
Travel the 'Military Road' alongside the largest Roman relic in Great Britain--the massive fortified wall erected by Emperor Hadrian between 122 and 136 AD. Your scenic drive stops at various viewpoints along this World Heritage Site. Explore Chesters Roman Fort, built circa 126 AD and garrisoned by a 500-man-strong Roman cavalry unit.
Gaze upon the wonderful scenery of the Pennine Hills and County Durham, passing through pretty market towns and quaint villages on a panoramic drive. You'll be treated to views of the fascinating Hadrian's Wall, once the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire and today a World Heritage Site.
Discover Alnwick Castle, home to the Percy family, hereditary dukes of Northumberland since 1309. A monument to the border wars between Scotland and England, the castle boasts impressive fortifications and a treasure trove of Old Master paintings. Stroll the grounds and delight in the parklands created by the legendary landscape architect Capability Brown.
Journey to Durham, where you'll discover historic Durham Cathedral, completed in 1122. Untouched by renovation or rebuilding, the church is considered the most important example of early Norman architecture in England. Walk to the cathedral through Durham's narrow medieval streets and enjoy this remarkable building.
From its perch overlooking the Farne Islands, Bamburgh Castle boasts a splendid Norman keep erected by Henry II. Explore the castle's interior, restored in the 19th century, and admire its priceless paintings and furnishings. Then cross a causeway to the great Priory at Lindisfarne, one of the most important centers of early Christianity.
Local Connections: Brinkburn Street Brewery with Head Brewer Richard Bazen
2.75 hours | Newcastle | NCL-225N C L - 2 2 5
Angel of the North
Raise a glass and discover Newcastle's burgeoning craft beer scene when you visit Brinkburn Street Brewery, where the head brewmaster shares his passion for the product. Learn the process from fermentation to bottle and enjoy a half-pint of their award-winning beers. A panoramic city driving tour completes the day.
Local Connections: Chef Tableside Experience at Historic Blackfriars with Chef Adam
4.5 hours | Newcastle | NCL-230N C L - 2 3 0
Historic Blackfriars restaurant dates back to 1239, and the spectacular venue is celebrated for both its twist on traditional British cuisine and for showcasing the oldest dining room in Great Britain. Meet your private chef and engage in a unique tableside culinary experience and dinner that blends heritage cooking with modern flare.