The Great North Run

Things to do in Newcastle | The Great North Run

From world class competitors and amateur athletes to money raising runners and a spectacular number of spectators, the Great North Run is much more than a marathon. It’s a great day out! Just make sure you get there early, so you can find a great spot - whether that’s with the runners on the starting line, or amid the crowds of people cheering them on. Since it was first staged in 1981, the Great North Run has grown and grown. These days September sees over 50,000 runners pounding the pavements of Newcastle in the hope of winning the half marathon, beating their personal best or raising some money for charity. Only the Great Manchester Run and London Marathon come close to attracting similar numbers. The men’s record was set by Martin Mathathi in 2011 with a run of 58:56 minutes, while Mary Jepkosgei Keitany's women's record of 65:39 minutes was set in 2014. Mo Farah is the first person to win the event three times in a row.

The Great North Run

The Great North Run

Top tip

Don’t forget to get a Great North Run route map. With mile markers, toilets, water stations and showers all pointed out, it makes getting around a lot easier.

Eating and drinking

The race is run over quite a few hours. But don’t worry, if you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit down meal, you’ll find lots choice. Take your pick of street food vendors along the marathon’s route or wait till the finish line for something more substantial. Find everything from fish and chips at Coleman’s to curry at Spice Garde in South Shields.

Getting to The Great North Run

The easiest way to get to the start line is by Metro. Take it to Haymarket and it's a 15 minute walk to the start of the race. If you’d prefer to see the winners, head to South Shields and it’s a 15 minute walk to the finish line. The run starts in the centre of Newcastle at around 10.30am and winds its way eastwards through Gateshead and South Tyneside before finishing in South Shields. There’s a huge choice of great viewing spots along the way, but make sure you get there early to have your pick. Booking into a Newcastle hotel means you can hit the ground running on the day but, be quick! They do get booked up quite early. A great choice is the Premier Inn Newcastle (Holystone) hotel. It’s very handy for the start line!

By car
There are lots of car parks to choose from. Once you’re parked up, you can walk to the Great North Run start line.

By bus
Newcastle’s three central bus stations: Eldon Square, Haymarket and Northumberland, give you plenty of options along the route.

By train
If you’re heading into Newcastle from around the UK, you’ll find the start of the race a short walk from Central station.

Looking for a hotel in Newcastle?

We have a huge range of fantastic hotels in the North East for the business and leisure traveller. If you're on business, check into our airport hotels. We also have a range of hotels ideally located for a weekend break away. Plus, there are hotels near Newcastle University and a collection of budget hotels for the price conscious  Whichever part of Newcastle you’re planning to visit, you’ll find a selection of comfortable Premier Inn hotels nearby.