As a settlement, Newcastle dates back some 2,000 years and has fallen under the control of the Romans, the Saxons and the Danes. During the Industrial Revolution, Newcastle was a major hub for shipbuilding and manufacturing. Nowadays, the northern city is more associated with arts, sciences and football, but its colourful heritage can be viewed at a variety of museums and galleries.
Here are our top picks for museums and galleries in the area.
This magnificent gallery (resplendent with vaulted ceilings and cavernous halls) is home to a collection of British oil paintings and watercolours from the 18th through to the 20th century. The gallery regularly hosts events, talks and tours and there are also classes and workshops for the budding artiste.
You won’t find cookies or digestives here but what you will find is a gallery of contemporary art, craft and design. In fact, this is the UK’s largest independent contemporary gallery. From ceramics and glass to jewellery, sculpture and painting, the Biscuit Factory really runs the whole gauntlet of creativity. Be sure to check out collections featuring the works of Angela Edwards, Catherine Rayner and Cate Inglis.
Featuring a fascinating mix of science and local history, this museum will arm you with plenty of interesting facts and figures. Chart the story of Newcastle’s local funfair, uncover the North East’s connection to the WW2 Enigma code or explore the victories and failures of England’s Northern Cavalry. Exhibitions change seasonally and there are plenty of talks and interactive events to look out for, too
Dating back to 1884, this museum focuses on the natural history and ancient civilisations of Newcastle and the surrounding areas. Exhibitions change periodically but the permanent collections include a life-size model of an elephant, a T-Rex skeleton and thousands of social history artefacts.
Heralded as the ‘gateway to old Newcastle’, this fortress allows you to step back in time and explore Newcastle’s history. Fortify your knowledge of sieges, conquests and ancient battles in this once formidable stronghold.
Entry fee- £5.50