Discover some of the best days out in Gateshead. Wander your way around one of the finest arts centres in the north. Watch the Millennium Bridge rise and fall on the River Tyne. Escape the town centre with a walk around Saltwell Park. Explore the vast Gibside estate in the Derwent Valley. And when you’re finished, turn back the clock with a trip on the Tanfield Railway.
Activities in Gateshead
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead is proudly home to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. It’s a world-class gallery and arts centre housed in a magnificent former flour mill on the River Tyne. The brutalist exterior is complemented by the minimalist gallery spaces spread across six floors and three mezzanines inside. There’s also a restaurant, which we rank among our favourite places to eat in Gateshead, and a viewing platform with a panorama of the quayside.
The BALTIC is huge. It means the centre has complete freedom to welcome some of the most exciting contemporary artists in the world without restriction in gallery space. The exhibitions change regularly, so we find ourselves returning to the BALTIC time and time again. Take a look at what’s on, and stay with us at our Millennium Bridge hotel, which is just a 10-minute walk away.
Angel of the North
Angel of the North
We can’t rightly talk about art without mentioning one of Britain’s most famous sculptures, the Angel of the North, which is nearby in Gateshead’s Harlow Green. If, somehow, you aren’t familiar with Antony Gormley’s masterwork, it’s a 20-metre-tall steel sculpture of an angel with a wingspan of more than 50 metres, which towers over the landscape from its location near the A1. If you want to make the most of the photo opportunity, it’s easy to reach the Angel of the North just off Durham Road; you can’t miss it.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Another one of Gateshead’s most iconic landmarks is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which spans the River Tyne a 100 metres or so upstream of the Sage Gateshead, one of your top Gateshead entertainment options. As you can tell from the name, the bridge was added at the turn of the millennium. Its wonderful design owes to the fact it’s a tilting bridge, which can rotate in less than five minutes to allow small ships and boats to pass beneath. With the BALTIC Centre for a neighbour and the Tyne Bridge in the background, there are few more special spots to watch the sunset than the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a stroll, Saltwell Park is a lovely stretch of Victorian Parkland just a 10-minute drive from our Team Valley hotel. It’s the largest and most picturesque park in Gateshead, spanning 55 acres of parkland surrounding the listed Saltwell Towers. It’s the former home of William Wailes, an esteemed creator of stained glass, and one of the most eclectic mansions you’ll see. Saltwell Park is now owned by the local council and nicknamed ‘The People’s Park’. There’s so much for you to see and do here, including a four-acre boating lake, three bowling greens, two pavilions, an animal petting area and even a yew-tree maze. On a sunny day, there’s nowhere better in Gateshead.
Take a trip back in time aboard the Tanfield Railway, supposedly the oldest heritage railway in the world. For train enthusiasts, the opportunity to enjoy a journey on this 18th-century railway is not to be missed. However, even for the locomotive layman, it’s a fantastic day out for the whole family in nearby Marley Hill and just a 10-minute drive from our Newcastle South hotel. Be sure to check when the heritage steam trains are running before you visit, so as to avoid disappointment.
Another marvellous day out in the countryside is a visit to Gibside, the huge National Trust-owned riverside estate that’s just a 15-minute drive from our Team Valley hotel in the Derwent Valley. While the main house only survives as a shell of its former majesty, the main attractions are the Column of Liberty and the Gibside Chapel, which are connected by the long walk. The estate spans over 350 acres and also features the beautiful shell of the orangery, the stables and the restored Banqueting House. It’s a magnificent place to explore, especially when the weather’s nice. It gives you an idea of the magnitude of wealth the area enjoyed from the coal industry.