Blog Destinations General Northern Europe

If you’re going to a new place or having a short break, you’ll naturally want to get to see the most interesting sights, and hear about the real nitty-gritty of your destination. Anyone can grab a guidebook, but what do the locals say about the place? Here are some interesting factoids and tips for travelling around Newcastle, an old city with a distinct identity:

 Tyne river and bridge

Shopping secrets

The Tynemouth flea market is a local secret for anyone who loves to rummage for bric-a-brac, antiques, old books, local crafts and vintage clothes while enjoying local food.


Arts secrets

For the arts lovers, the Newbridge Project is a contemporary arts venue that is housed in a disused office building, allowing local artists to host exhibitions and events. With over 65 artists on their books, they support a great deal of creative endeavour in the city and there’s always something going on for visitors to check out.


Historical secrets

One fascinating fact about Newcastle is that once upon a time, it is said that urine was collected from public toilets and shipped to Yorkshire where it was used during the dying process. Novocastrian wee was considered the best for this process, however, if you were a sailor on a boat which had the dubious honour of transporting the stuff, you’d pretend your cargo was something else – the phrase “taking the piss” comes from this – a typical interaction might go:

A: “What does your ship carry?”

B: “Wine”

A: “No it doesn’t, you’re taking the piss.”


Heritage secrets

The Holy Jesus Hospital is a mishmash of 700 years worth of architecture. This National Trust-run site is open to the public at limited times, and occasionally the secret subterranean dungeon is open for tours. Spooked? Me? Nah…


Knowing a city’s secrets makes visiting it that much more fascinating, allowing you to scratch the surface and understand what makes it tick. Newcastle is no different. Finding out a bit of the history and culture is always worthwhile before heading off on a trip, whether for business, research or pleasure.


Vivienne Egan writes for FHR who provide Cheap Newcastle Airport Parking