This delightfully varied holiday is based in cosmopolitan Newcastle, a vibrant metropolis united by seven bridges that span the River Tyne. The city’s bustling Quayside area features bars and cafés as well as the iconic, tilting Millennium Bridge. Perhaps visit the intriguing Norman Castle which stands on ground formerly occupied by a Roman fort. We discover the National Glass Centre, an attraction located at the University of Sunderland which showcases the creative potential of glass. Afterwards, a visit to Durham City with its stunning cathedral and castle completes our day. A holiday highlight is when we board our boat for a relaxing three hour cruise on the picturesque River Tyne. Visits to the splendid market town of Hexham and to pretty Haltwistle conclude a sparkling itinerary.
National Glass Centre & Durham
Our day gets underway with a guided tour of the National Glass Centre viewing behind the scenes areas, learning about the origins of glass and watching a glass blowing demonstration – perhaps have a go yourself! Afterwards, enjoy an included cuppa with scone in the centre’s riverside café. We continue to Durham, a city steeped in a thousand years of history and boasting a distinctive collection of museums, ancient castles and historic houses, all bringing the past to life.
Quay to Sea sightseeing cruise
We board our boat for a three hour cruise enhanced by fascinating commentary. We sail under the Millennium Bridge then onwards to the picturesque river mouth, gliding past Tynemouth Castle and Priory, the memorial to Admiral Lord Collingwood and the golden sandy beaches of South Shields. Watch out for seals and dolphins as the boat reaches the piers before returning to the quayside.
Hexham & Haltwistle
Our day begins in Hexham where the main attractions are the rather grand twelfth century abbey, the Old Gaol which houses exhibits of weapons and armour and Chester’s Roman Fort Museum – the ruins of a Roman fort built on Hadrian’s Wall. From here, it’s onwards to the Haltwistle, a quintessentially English country town on the edge of Northumberland National Park.
This very stylish city centre hotel has comfortable public lounges along with spacious, contemporary bedrooms. Newcastle’s attractions such as The Gate shopping mall are just a short stroll away.