One thing I always love doing is learning all about the history of the North East - it’s always important to learn about where you come from and what’s better is it can sometimes lead to a really great day out! Today I’m recommending 5 incredible historic sites that you should visit in the North East...
The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved 19th-century waggon way under Newcastle, stretching from the Town Moor to the Tyne river. It was originally built to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the river and operated between 1842 and the 1860s. The Tunnel was converted in 1939 into an air-raid shelter to protect thousands of Newcastle citizens during World War 2.
If you’re looking for a fun way to learn some grisly tales of our city, be sure to take a guided tour - now available in virtual form if you’re unable to get to the site itself. As Newcastle's number one on TripAdvisor in 'things to do in Newcastle', Ouseburn's Victoria Tunnel is something everyone should experience.
Steeped in history, this imposing Norman fortress, in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, is a rugged reminder of northern England's turbulent history. This was no baron's stately home. Newcastle Castle is a grim reminder of royal authority where armies gathered and criminals were imprisoned and executed.
It is where the story of Newcastle began, the reason the city got its name and has the most commanding views over the city and the River Tyne. Not to mention, the view from the top of the castle is unmissable - though take caution if you’re not very steady on your feet as the stairs can sometimes be uneven.
English Heritage is a Charitable Trust taking care of over 400 historic sites throughout England. Lindisfarne Priory is one of these very precious sites. A substantial site where almost 1400 years ago St. Aidan, brought here by King Oswald, chose Lindisfarne to build his church and bring Christianity to the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria.
Follow those years through our museum and exhibition and then walk through St. Mary's churchyard to the dramatic ruins where you can walk in the footsteps of the monks who inhabited this 12C Priory and monastic buildings. Historically, the Lindisfarne Priory is extremely interesting but it definitely doesn’t lack in beauty as the castle magnificently looks out onto the sea - the priory itself has been described as beautiful and tranquil.
Ah, Spanish City...today we know it as our home, where our shop currently resides and a fab day out but it has a deep history. Originally completed in 1910, ‘The Dome’ became a hub of activity and interest, not only because it was home to many attractions, but because of its stunning architecture and unique design. Since it’s opening, Spanish City and it’s famous Dome went through a lot from constant rebranding and reconstruction to surviving both World Wars. Let’s not forget that Spanish City was home to one of the best fairgrounds in the UK and had acts like wire-cyclists, acrobatic comedians and animals like hyenas, antelopes and tigers.
After it’s closure in 2002, the famous landmark underwent a £10m restoration and reopened in 2018. Historical features have been brought back to their former glory and the introduction of new leisure facilities including; family-friendly venues, a high-quality steak and seafood restaurant, tearooms, event spaces and a Champagne bar taking residence inside the famous landmark.
Mounted Spanish City print £10-£50
Chesters Roman Fort
Chesters Roman Fort is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain - wander around the unusually well-preserved baths and steam room, and the officers' quarters. The museum holds a huge collection of inscriptions and there is a terrific selection of ‘curator’s picks’ highlighting the best there is to see.
This fascinating fort is well-preserved and walking to the far end gives you a good view of Hadrian’s Wall and the bridge abutment on the opposite bank of the river. There’s even a teashop on sight so you can stop for a bite to eat if you get peckish!