The north of England has undergone a phenomenal transformation in recent years, and not many places have seen as much redevelopment as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, one of the most striking and unique cities in the country. Sitting on the north side of the river opposite Gateshead, it is the final city before reaching the Scottish border and heading to Edinburgh.
Based around a Norman castle on the river from which the place takes its name, the most iconic sight of the city is its fabulous quayside, which plays host to the Millennium Bridge and the one and only Tyne Bridge. Developed by local contractors Dorman Long, the same team would go on to replicate their success in Sydney, Australia, creating the very similar but much grander Sydney Harbour Bridge. Littered with bars, nightclubs and pubs, it is seen by many people in the north as the ultimate place to have a night out.
On the other side of the river is the Sage – a world-class opera house resembling a glass cloud – and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, which hosts all manner of excellent artists including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Sam Taylor-Wood and Lev Manovich.
The Georgian architecture of Newcastle city centre sweeps down towards the river, providing a strikingly-attractive framework for the hundreds of shops, cafes and bars that climb towards, and eventually surround, the Nelson’s Column-esque Earl Grey Monument. A large student population makes it a vibrant and cutting-edge city, while the locals, known as Geordies, are seen by a large section of the UK as the friendliest people you could ever meet.