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NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival 2010

11th November 2010

Categories: Latest News

Christmas is fast approaching and with an array of fantastic events to suit all ages, there’s nowhere better to get into the festive spirit than with a city break to NewcastleGateshead and its annual Winter Festival.

NewcastleGateshead is one of the UK’s most popular city-break destinations with its award-winning cultural venues, mouth-watering restaurants and huge range of accommodation providers.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a short break sampling some of the amazing attractions and world-class events including the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Great North Museum, Life Science Centre and Winter Festival.

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival begins on Thursday 18 November with the Newcastle Christmas light switch on and finishes in style with the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (31 December), this year’s event is a spectacle not to be missed.

From Christmas Fairs to Festive performances, the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a short break in the twin cities and enjoy a whole host of events that will bring the family together at this magical time of year. Highlights include:

·  Enchanted Parks (Wed 8 – Sunday 12 Dec)at Gateshead’s Saltwell Park. The award-winning event welcomes you to a winter wonderland at the famous public park, transformed with atmospheric installations, light, sound and performance. This year’s theme is A Gateshead Winter’s Tale, celebrating the time of year when stories are brought to life and the long, dark and cosy nights of winter are warmed with visiting friends, family and excitement.  Enchanted Parks boasts 13 exciting installations from artists including Cabinet of Curiosity with Winter Wardrobe.  Step through the wardrobe and enter a land frozen in eternal winter.

·  New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (Fri 31 Dec from 2:30pm) provides an epic finale to the festival and indeed, 2009. Newcastle’s majestic Ice Queen returns to lead a parade, accompanied by a collection of bright and brilliant characters, sure to warm up a chilly Newcastle evening. After taking in the carnival atmosphere, follow the parade along Northumberland Street (5.15pm onwards), before enjoying the annual firework display from 6pm at Newcastle Civic Centre as it lights up the winter sky.

·  The Frost Fair (Sat 27 – Sun 28 Nov) provides the chance to pick up a wonderfully unique gift from a diverse range of stalls. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city crowds, the Frost Fair returns to Performance Square, Gateshead (outside The Sage Gateshead) alongside BALTIC Shop’svery special winter shopping event. Amongst the fairs many stalls and food vendors you’ll find ceramics, stained glass, jewellery, handmade chocolates, local cheeses, organic meats and mouth-watering cup cakes. The BALTIC Shop welcomes visitors to enjoy special seasonal offers on a selection of products and welcomes families to create their own festive forest decorations, free of charge.  This year’s festival also includes Ouseburn Open Studios, where craftspeople will be giving visitors a sneak peek into creative hubs across the Ouseburn Valley.

 

FESTIVE PERFORMANCES/EVENTS

·  Festive Performances. NewcastleGateshead has plenty of quality performances all year round and during the Winter Festival there are plenty of live performances telling Christmas tales.  Northern Sinfonia present a production of The Snowman at The Sage Gateshead (Thur 23 – Fri 24 Dec), which has been on every Christmas since the venue opened and has become something of a tradition. Other performances include Robin Hood - the Pantomime Adventure at Theatre Royal Newcastle(Tue 30 Nov – Sat 15 Jan), which is the biggest Pantomime in the North East.

·  Festive Events are taking place all over NewcastleGateshead and whatever you’re into there is sure to be something to get you into the festive spirit. Festive Workshops are a brilliant way to entertain the kids, so why not try Blow a Chrsitmas Bauble (20 & 27 Nov, 4, 11, 12 & 18 Dec) at the National Glass Centre, Sunderlandwhere you can blow and shape your own bauble in time for Christmas. Or have some winter fun and try Ice Skating at Life (Sat 13 Nov – Sun 27 Feb) on The Centre for Life’s open-air ice rink.

 

SHOPPING

·  Christmas Markets in Newcastle. Every year the streets around Greys Monument start

buzzing with life during the weeks leading up to Christmas, bringing the festive spirit into the heart of the city. The Continental Market (Mon 22 Nov – sat 4 Dec) around Greys Monument offers gourmet ingredients and a real taste of Europe. Pick up anything from a German Currywurst to crepes from France. Or for something closer to home, try the Christmas Market (Wed 8th – Sun 12 Dec). Here you’ll find beers from local breweries, home-made jams and delicious cakes. And once you’ve stocked up on scrumptious food, you can take time looking for gifts such as scarves, leather bags and jewellery.

·  Christmas at Metrocentre makes Christmas shopping simple with all the high street brands

under one roof. Metrocentre operates late night shopping hours until 10pm during November and December and has a Christmas lights switch on, Santa’s grotto and the annual MetroGnomes Pantomime.

·  If you want to stay in the city, there is a wealth of stores stocking excellent gifts. Christmas

at Fenwick is always a special occasion, with the famous Fenwick’s Christmas window display being unveiled in early November; a traditional part of any family Christmas. The Alive After Five campaign will see shops across Newcastle city centre stay open until 8pm (Mon-Fri) and 7pm on Saturdays so you will always have time to nip to the shops in the run up to Christmas.

WHERE TO STAY

 

Luxury

 

·  Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, 0191 490 9700, www.hilton.co.uk/newcastlegateshead

Located on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne with breath-taking panoramic views of the Quayside and across to Newcastle city centre, this fantastic hotel is the perfect base for a trip to NewcastleGateshead. It offers family friendly accommodation with family rooms, leisure facilities and children’s menu’s available in the windows in the Tyne restaurant.

·  Hotel Du Vin & Bistro, Newcastle, 0191 229 2200, www.hotelduvin.com/hotels/newcastle/hotel-information

The former home of the Tyne Tees steam shipping Company has been converted into a glorious hotel with breathtaking views of the Newcastle Quayside and the River Tyne. The Hotel offers stunning rooms and suites with added luxury, and also boasts a Bistro and bar. Hotel Du Vin offer Christmas and New Year deals, including spend £75 in the Bistro on a Sunday and stay the night for £35. Check website for offers.

Budget

 

·  Jurys Inn, Newcastle, 0191 201 4400,

http://newcastlehotels.jurysinns.com

Located only a two minute walk from Newcastle’s central train station the Jurys Inn hotel is the perfect budget price hotel for anyone coming to visit Newcastle and see the sights. All rooms have satellite T.V, high speed internet access and a spacious en-suite bathroom with a power shower. Jurys Inn has its own bar and informal restaurant serving breakfast and dinner daily.

·  Staybridge Suites, Newcastle, 0871 423 4830,

http://www.ichotelsgroup.com

Staybridge Suites is an all-suite hotel that caters to guests that wish to stay for a day, a week or even longer.  It’s located just moments from the Quayside area, with its excellent selection of bars and restaurants. Also within walking distance is the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and The Sage Gateshead.  All rooms are furnished with fully equipped kitchen, living room, flat screen T.V and free Wi-Fi internet. A continental breakfast is included in the price.

WHERE TO EAT

·  Gusto Restaurant and Bar, 0191 260 2291,

http://www.gustorestaurants.uk.com/restaurants/gusto-newcastle

Located next to the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge and a stone's throw away from the Baltic Art Gallery this delightful restaurant is yet another reason to visit Newcastle’s Quayside. The focus is on freshly prepared classic and modern Italian fare. The menu is varied and children are especially well catered for, with main menu dishes including ice cream and a soft drink.

  • Caffe Vivo, 0191 232 1331,www.caffevivo.co.ukA café by day, simple supper place at night, Caffé Vivo’s food is honest, joyful and full of Italian sunshine. A great place for a simple cappuccino and fresh focaccia, a lunchtime bowl of pasta or mozzarella salad, an after-work glass of wine and plate of formaggi or a relaxed supper of grilled calamari or ossobuco. Plus Italian wines and beers, pre-theatre specials and private dining.

·  Fenwick’s Northside Diner, 0191 232 5100, www.fenwick.co.uk/stores/newcastle/

The ideal destination for diners looking for something a little different, Northside Diner in the popular Fenwick’s department store is a fun, friendly American 1950's style diner offering mouth watering classic American dishes such as 100% prime beef burgers, pancakes served with butter and maple syrup and thick Italian ice cream shakes. The diner focuses on quality and taste using locally sourced ingredients.

HOW TO GET THERE

 

With excellent links by road, air and rail, NewcastleGateshead couldn’t be easier to access. East Coast trains offer competitive fairs and regularly offer special promotions, www.eastcoast.co.uk

Cross Country Trains also offer up to75% discount when booking online,

www.crosscountry.co.uk

 

FAMILY TRAVEL TIP

 

NewcastlGateshead is an incredibly compact place to visit; much of the centre can be explored on foot if you are weary or need to head outside the centre, the local Metro train service is a must. A day saver ticket will cost you £3.90 (£4.80 before 9am on weekdays) and will allow you unlimited travel on Metro, Shields Ferry and local rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland. Whether you want to get to and from the airport with ease, or fancy blowing away the cobwebs on the beautiful beaches of NewcastleGateshead’s coast, it’s all just a metro ride away.

Also available is the Quayside link bus service. Look out for the bright yellow bus to take you to the main attractions and destinations throughout NewcastleGateshead. The service runs frequently from early morning until late night and costs £1.70 for unlimited daily travel or £4.40 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children). www.nexus.org.uk

See www.NewcastleGateshead.comfor more visitor information.

 

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