The city lies on the banks of the River Tyne. The city owes its name to the Norman castle built in 1080, by Robert II of Normandy, the eldest son of William the Conqueror.

Newcastle was historically a Roman settlement, the first settlement in what is now Newcastle was Pons Aelius, designating the bridge across the Tyne and given the family name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who founded it in the 2nd century AD. The population of Pons Aelius at this period was estimated at 2,000. Hadrian's Wall is still visible in parts of Newcastle, particularly along the West Road. (The course of the "Roman Wall" can also be traced eastwards to the Segedunum Roman fort in Wallsend - the wall's end). After the Roman withdrawal from Britain, Newcastle became part of the powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.

From 1530 a royal act restricted all shipments of coal from Tyneside to Newcastle quayside, giving a monopoly in the coal trade to a cartel of Newcastle.

The city grew as an important centre for the wool trade and it later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the river was amongst the world's largest shipbuilding and ship-repairing centres.
Newcastle offers a host of cultural experiences, including Museums, Art Galleries and Sporting arenas as well as superb Theatres hosting many great shows.

On the outskirts of the town you will find the Gateshead Metrocentre, Europe's largest shopping and leisure centre, and it has everything you could possibly need for the perfect day out.

Ancient Britain - Guided Tours  01434 688386
Baltic - Comptemporary Arts 0191 4781810
Metrocentre 0191 4930219
Seven Stories

0845 2710777

Newcastle United Football Club 0191 2611571
Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club 0191 2145588
Gateshead International Statium 0191 4335700
Great North Museum 0191 2326789 
Discovery Museum 0191 2331088
Centre for Life 0191 2438210
Biscuit Factory Art Gallery 0191 2611103
Laing Art Gallery 0191 2327734
City Hall 0191 2320007
Theatre Royal 0191 2322061
Newcastle Arena 0844 4934567
Cinema Metrocentre 0871 2444007
Cinema Newcastle 08715 714714