The central location of Tune Newcastle means that we’re entwined with the culture and daily life of one of England’s most vibrant and accessible cities. And there is a lot more to Newcastle than its famous nightlife.
Within walking distance of the hotel, you’ll find modern galleries, Victorian architecture, exceptional restaurants, medieval castles and world-class museums – along with plenty of pubs to catch your breath between the sights.
Read on for our 4 must see cultural attractions within walking distance of Tune Hotel Newcastle…
Bessie Surtees House
From there keep heading towards Queen Street and take a right onto Sandhill walking along Quayside until you reach the gorgeous timber framed facade of Bessie Surtees House – an excellent example of Jacobean architecture (English renaissance). The house is actually an amalgamation of 2 merchants’ houses that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries – however it’s what’s inside that’s of interest. The interiors are bejewelled with Tudor furnishings, oak panelling and elaborate original finishings, and within these artefacts of a time gone by, there lies an intriguing tale of love, retold through a series of absorbing exhibitions. The tale concerns an It Girl of the 17th century who, much to the dismay of her father, was involved with a coal merchant’s son – ending of course in a classic tale of forbidden love.
Continue afterwards down the Quayside until you come to a set of stairs on the right that leads to Castle Garth and follow it to the castle just a few minutes away – known as the gateway to old Newcastle. If you’re already ready for a stop then look to the side of the steps before you go up them, and you’ll see the modern Tiger Hornsby Cocktail bar – more than adequate for either an afternoon pit-stop or an evening cocktail.
Thanks to a recent renovation project the Castle Keep and the Black Gate are now a combined experience – and through a series of, often quite gruesome though equally informative and intriguing exhibitions – the castle’s almost 1000 years of history is brought wonderfully to life. Perhaps most interesting are the stories pertaining to the castles colourful inhabitants and performers that frequented the castle grounds – everything from an 18th century showman who threw a donkey from the castle’s rooftop, after boasting he could make it fly, to famed criminals who were imprisoned in the cellar, when it was in use as a prison for the County of Northumberland. Be sure to ascend to the castle roof to take in the view of the city.
Photo (C) dun_deagh – CC-BY-SA2
From the castle it’s possible to see the stunning 15th century lantern spire of the nearby Cathedral of St Nicholas which was once a navigation point for ships sailing into Newcastle port. Now you can use it to navigate the streets of Newcastle direct to the cathedral itself – simply stroll down St. Nicholas’ Street to the perpendicular gothic façade of the cathedral – keeping the spire in your sights along the way. The interior of the cathedral is elaborate – made of pale white stone that rises to a flourish of deep brown timber that forms the cathedral ceiling. Beneath it stands a regal organ built by T C Lewis in 1880, and throughout the cathedral are a number of effigies, medieval stained glass windows and even a bronze statue of Queen Victoria which was built to commemorate 500 years of the Shrievalty of Newcastle.
Photo (C) Reading Tom – CC-BY2
The Theatre Royal & Grainger Town
From the cathedral carry on up St. Nicholas’ Street and take a right on High Bridge and into the heart of Grainger Town – the historic centre of Newcastle – where there are more than 200 examples of both Georgian and Victorian architecture. Of particular interest is Grey’s monument, the beautiful Central Arcade and Grainger Market. After strolling these – navigate the stone streets to the top of Grey Street where you’ll find the grade 1 listed Theatre Royal – the jewel of Grainger Town – and one of Richard Grainger’s finest pieces of work – which hosts everything from Shakespeare to thrillers by Yorkshire’s J.B. Priestley.
Grainger town is an excellent option for an evening meal or drink as there are plenty of restaurants in the area. Afterwards walk the historic streets to see Grainger’s finest works dressed in a warming and deeply atmospheric yellow light.
All five of our recommended Newcastle cultural attractions are within easy reach of Tune Hotel Newcastle – with fantastic rates (not to mention great rail fares to Newcastle) easily secured by booking in advance.