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Grainger Town Walking Guide #1

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Grainger Town Newcastle upon Tyne Walking Guide #1

Wooden mice, Dominican friars, Marks & Spencer’s Penny Bazaar, and an Earl.

Starting point: Monument Metro station / Grey Street

Length of walk: 1.5 – 2 hours

When it comes to grandiose views, Earl Grey – former Northumberland MP and Prime Minister – has got it spot on. He’s the fellow perched atop 1. Grey’s Monument, casting his gaze down the street which he gave his name to. Grey Street (voted the most beautiful in the country by the listeners of Radio 4 and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment CABE) is indeed a magnificent sight and the work of visionary property developer Richard Grainger (B.1797). Starting in 1834, Grainger set about transforming Newcastle, with his classically designed streets all part of his “City of Palaces” blueprint. Grey’s Monument itself is regarded by many as the centre of modern Newcastle and was erected in 1838 to commemorate Earl Grey’s achievements in passing the Great Reform Bill of 1832.

Behind the Earl is Blackett Street and the Emerson Chambers building, a fine example of the Art Nouveau style. If you cut down between this building and the Newcastle United club shop (a black and white scarf is optional at this stage), you’ll discover 2. Brunswick Methodist Chapel, one of the earliest of its type in North East England. Back onto Blackett Street, turn right, and continue along and you’ll find 3. Old Eldon Square on your right. This houses the city’s war memorial: a bronze statue of St. George – the patron saint of the Northumberland Fusiliers – slaying a dragon. Continue along Blackett street, and under the bridge, and you’ll see 4. St. Andrew’s Church, on Newgate Street. Structurally the building contains more 12th century work than any other in the area making it “the oldest church of this town” and to the rear of it you can see a short stretch of the medieval town wall (more of which, later).

Continue along Newgate Street and you cannot miss the arresting façade of the 5. Co-op building (which originally housed the Co-operative Wholesale movement), a great example of the Art Deco style, popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Pop into the North or South tower and take a look at the stairwells with the little human figures carrying the handrails, another superb Art Deco touch. Adjoining the Co-op is 6. The Gate, home to a plethora of swish bars and restaurants. You’ll notice the glass and steel sculpture “Ellipsis Eclipses” by Danny Lane on the corner outside. Between The Gate and Tiger Tiger (opposite), head down beneath the glass pedestrian bridge (it has The Gate written on it) and turn right onto Dispensary Lane which will bring you to 7. Blackfriars and a real step back in time. The first thing you’ll notice is the noise. There is none. This little haven is one of Newcastle’s hidden gems and, befitting the quiet air, was once home to Dominican friars who arrived here in 1239. The church that was once here was destroyed during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, but its outline is still visible today. The building the friars used as their eating area is now an award winning bistro/restaurant, Blackfriars, which also has tables outside on the greenery, so you can grab a bite to eat in the tranquil air of this delightful square. Alternatively bring your own sandwiches for a picnic

Following through a little archway towards the top end of Blackfriars (straight ahead from where you entered it), takes you onto Stowell Street, home to Newcastle’s Chinatown. You’ll be greeted by a wonderful array of aromas informing you that you’ve reached the best Chinese restaurants in town! Turn left and at the end of Stowell Street you’ll see the West Walls, the longest section of the original town walls – built between 1280-1283 to protect the city – still surviving today. Following the wall down the slope will lead you onto Westgate Road, where you’ll see 8. The Journal Tyne Theatre (opened in 1867), one of the most important theatres in the country, housing its original 19th century stage machinery.

Continue down Westgate Road, over Clayton Street, and you’ll reach the 9. Newcastle Arts Centre on the right hand side. In the open courtyard of the centre are the remains of a corner of a Roman milecastle. The Arts Centre is also a great place to pick up a gift and houses a gallery and a potter’s studio. Continue down the road to see the graceful 10. Assembly Rooms (built in 1774) on the left, and a little further, 11. St. John’s Church on the corner of Grainger Street. Inside the church are a range of interesting features including a commemoration to Richard Grainger himself. Also pay careful attention to the wooden choirstalls in the north aisle and see if you can spot the little wooden mice which were carved by the Yorkshire craftsman Robert “mousey” Thompson, who developed that particular trademark as an indication that he and his fellow craftsmen were “as poor as church mice”.

Back out and onto Grainger Street and again, your chance to take in the magnificence of Grainger Town’s buildings as you head back towards Grey’s Monument. Along the way, be sure to stop off at the 12. Grainger Market, the covered market on your left hand side. Thought to be designed by John Dobson – who worked closely with Grainger – the market contains many shops which have been in the same family for generations, and is still home to one of the original Marks and Spencer’s Penny Bazaars (built in 1895, with its shop front being the smallest, and oldest, still surviving today.) Finally, just before Grey’s Monument and Monument Metro station, you’ll see the beautifully tiled Edwardian 13. Central Arcade (1906) on your right hand side. This is another of Grainger’s creations and the perfect way to end your stroll through Newcastle’s “golden heart”.

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Leaflets & Guidebooks, Places to Visit

Newcastle Gateshead Sightseeing Bus

Home > Tyne & Wear > Newcastle upon Tyne

City Sightseeing runs a Newcastle Gateshead open top double-decker bus tour which will run from Sunday 24th March until Saturday 14th December 2013. The tour is hop on and hop off so one ticket is valid all day and costs £8 for adults and £4 for children.

Newcastle Gateshead Sightseeing Bus Tour

From their literature…

Take a journey around the city and enjoy the view from the top of an open top double-decker bus. Take a full tour round or hop off at conveniently located stops at your leisure with your 24 hour ticket. Hop off at the Centre for Life to experience the largest planetarium in the North! This award-winning science centre full of exciting exhibitions, activities and events for all ages. Learn all about life on Tyneside, from the region’s shipbuilding heritage to inventions which changed the world, at the Discovery Museum. Visit Blackfriars Monastery, a restored 13th-century friary. Only the cloister buildings remain, which now house a range of craft workshops, a restaurant and an exhibition portraying the history of Blackfriars. Hop off at St Mary’s Cathedral, a gothic revival church built in 1844 designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, who worked on the Houses of Parliament. Admire the architecture, the many stained glass windows and the building’s five pipe organs. Discover the spellbinding history of Newcastle’s Castle Keep and Black Gate, built by Henry II in the twelfth century. The Grade 1 listed building is a heritage visitor attraction open to all.

Let City Sightseeing introduce you to Newcastle upon Tyne‘s rich history as you take a bus tour of the city. Newcastle’s Town Walls are protected by their Scheduled Ancient Monument classification. This medieval defensive wall was built during the 13th and 14th centuries to help protect the town from attack. Large amounts of the wall were demolished during the 18th and 19th centuries but some still remains, particularly on the western side of the city. The Great North Museum incorporates collections from the Hancock Museum and Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery. See major displays showing the wonder of the animal kingdom, Ancient Egyptian mummies and a life-size T-Rex skeleton. Explore interactive exhibitions incorporating touch screen technology and an interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall. Admire the artworks in the Laing Art Gallery, home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture. The exhibition programme is renowned for bringing the biggest names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the North East. Baltic Square is home to The Centre for Contemporary Art where you will also find Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the world’s first and only tilting bridge! The bridge not only serves a practical purpose as the River Tyne’s only foot and cycle bridge, but its elegance and fine engineering make it one of the city’s main attractions. The river boasts seven bridges in all.

See the latest blockbuster, spend time in the casino or kick back and relax in one of a wide range of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars and at the city’s entertainment complex, The Gate. For more restaurants and bars, visit China Town, Market Street and Mosley Street. For shopping opportunities, hop off at Grainger Market, Northumberland Street, Eldon Square Shopping Centre or Monument Mall Shopping Centre. Hop off at St. James’ Park for Newcastle United Football Club, Shearer’s Bar, Stadium Tours and Leazes Park. Take the bus tour to Quayside which has it all including the Historic Quayside Area and Bessie Surtees House, a rare example of 18th century domestic architecture. The magnificent Sage Gateshead Music Centre is the venue to head for, for a range of musical performances. The Quayside is also home to Newcastle’s vibrant nightlife including a range of restaurants, more than thirty pubs and a choice of clubs.

You can book your tour tickets online in advance here (opens in a new window) and see route, timetable and price information for the Newcastle Gateshead Sightseeing Bus Tour here…

More ideas of places to visit while staying with us can be found here: Places To Visit.

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Last online reservation received: Wednesday 19th September 2018, 18:02 Country: United Kingdom