Newcastle is located in North East of England in the county of Tyne and Wear, close to the Scottish border. Positioned on the north-western bank of the River Tyne, Newcastle is home to seven iconic bridges.
Founded in the 2nd century AD by the Normans, Newcastle became a settlement as it provided a safe point to build a wooden fort to create a safe way to cross the river. The fort was later rebuilt using stone, providing a ‘new castle’.
Newcastle grew to become a busy port over the centuries, exporting wool and coal and moving into other industries such as the shipbuilding industry in 1294, rope making and leather.
In the 13th century, walls were built around Newcastle which shows the cities importance at the time, with 7 main gates and 19 towers protecting the city. These were later taken down when the city outgrew the walls and they became a hinderance for traffic moving in and out of the centre.
During the 20th century, manufacturing and service industries grew and the University was founded. In the city, there is a park which is bigger than Hyde park and Hampstead heath put together and bigger than New York’s Central Park.
The historic heart of the city is Grainger Town, which was established by Richard Grainger in the 1800’s. He created some of the finest buildings, typically built with four stories, featuring domes turrets and spikes.
Grainger town is made up of 450 buildings, 244 of which are now listed buildings, with 29 of them being considered Grade I and 49 Grade II.
Newcastle is surprisingly one of the driest cities in the UK and has extremely long days in the summer as it shares its latitude with Scandinavia. Despite the long days and lack of rain, Newcastle does suffer from cold winters, expectedly given its northern location.
The dialect of Newcastle is known as Geordie. A lot of the modern Geordie dialect stems from Anglo-Saxon, and you will find that a lot of Geordie pronunciations are the same, or extremely similar to how Anglo Saxons would have spoken centuries ago.
There is an independent cinema in the centre of Newcastle called the Tyneside Cinema, which was originally designed and built by Dixon Scott, who was the great uncle of film directors Ridley and Tony Scott. It is worth a visit if you are passing through, along with the many museums, art galleries and shopping centre Newcastle has to offer.