Taking a DFDS Amsterdam-Newcastle MiniCruise allows you to do four to five hours stop over to Newcastle England. In my previous blog Traveling with a DFDS MiniCruise is Kids Play, I talked about our experience inside the ship during our MiniCruise. If you only have a limited time in Newcastle England, you need to be strategic on the goal of your trip, the places you want to see, and the things to do in a very short period. Reading and preparing beforehand is crucial. In this blog, I will mention the places to see and to experience to maximize your time and have a rich Newcastle experience even just for half a day. Here I highlight the visit to Newcastle city center.
City center tour of Newcastle England
Touring the city center of Newcastle England for a short period of time allows you to get oriented with the history and culture of Newcastle. From the drop off point or DFDS bus stop, which is around 50 meters to the central station, you can reach various places by foot. Here is an example google map tour of the places we visited, including lunch and resting. From Newcastle Central Station, the tour begins to Newcastle Cathedral going to Charles Grey monument and back to the Newcastle Central Station.
1. Newcastle Cathedral or Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas
Our first stop is the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, which is named after St. Nicholas who is the patron saint of sailors and boats. Using the patron St. Nicholas could be attributed to the location of this cathedral, which is just above the River Tyne. This church had been used as navigation point of the ships sailing at River Tyne. The church is not a Catholic one but is part of Church of England. You can find inside the church some interesting artifacts. First is the Unknown Knight – no one knows for certain who he was. Next is the time capsule, which is full of objects that told stories of the Northeast and is buried in Newcastle Cathedral in 2021. Then there is a collection of ledger stones to remember people from history who had a connection with the Cathedral. You can also find statues such as Adam and Eve eating the apple and David holding a harp. Visiting the cathedral is very family friendly. There are nice children’s activities in the church, such as rubbing the sketch of various church’ artifacts, coloring, and other activities to entertain kids. While your kids are busy doing their own thing, you as a parent can tour around the cathedral and discover the rich history of this cathedral.
2. Newcastle Castle
The Newcastle Castle is just a few meters away from the Newcastle cathedral. This castle is a medieval fortification that gives the city its name Newcastle. The most obvious remaining structure of Newcastle castle is the castle Keep and the Blackgate, which is a fortified gate.
3. Newcastle’s Blinking Eye Bridge (or Gateshead Millenium Bridge)
This bridge is the first tilting bridge ever constructed, thus gaining a name “Blinking Eye Bridge” or “Winking Eye Bridge”. The purpose of this bridge is to connect Gateshead to Newcastle. This bridge serves as a pedestrian and cyclist bridge for those who wants to cross over the River Tyne.
4. Market and Eldon Square Newcastle England
Eldon square is a shopping mall located in the city center of Newcastle. It offers various restaurants and food trips for your visit to the city and has various shops for shopping. There is also a free wifi offer in the area. Just click “Eldon Square Free Wi-Fi” to stay connected to the net, especially that the internet bundle offered in the DFDS ship is very expensive.
5. Charles Grey (Earl Grey) monument, Newcastle England
Ever tasted the famous Earl Grey tea? Do you know that the name of this tea can be linked to the famous Charles Grey (Earl Grey) of Northumberland, where the region of Newcastle is situated. Earl Grey was a British prime minister during 1830-1834. He was popular for his Great reform Bill of 1832, which ended the children’s employment and slavery in the British empire. The Earl Grey’s monument in Newcastle is to commemorate his passing of the Great. Reform Act. But how about the name of the tea itself? Well, much of the opinion said that this could be linked to the fact that Charles Grey was involved in a tea business, which has been passed to generations in his family!
6. Hadriaan’s wall by Newcastle Central Station
If you ever visit the Newcastle central station, you are standing right beside what was once the northern frontier of a mighty empire in the world, namely the Hadriaan’s wall. Looking at the east of the platform, you can find the impressive Newcastle castle, which is built by King Henry II during 1175.Beneath the castle lie the remains of a Roman fort, built to guard the Pons Aelius in the late second or early-third centuries. Interested in exploring further the line of Hadriaan’s wall? Then you can do this via The Walking Hadriaan’s Wall on Tyneside App.
Interesting places to visit outside Newcastle city center
There are also architectures that are interesting to visit outside the city center of Newcastle. This is mainly possible if you stay for a whole day or overnight in Newcastle and/or if you go by car. Please note that the right-hand driving in England can be very confusing, therefore go for driving if you are confident enough to drive. One nice place to visit is the Alnwick castle. This castle is the setting of the Harry potter castle. Next is the Bebbanburg castle from the famous Netflix show The Last Kingdom (Uhtred of Bebbanburg). Of course, there is the holy island of the Lindesfarne, a mysterious island that becomes accessible in the Northumbria region when the tide is high. This island has a castle, coasts, historical sites, wildlife and nature areas and scenic spots for visitors.