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NewcastleGateshead is the place to be in 2011

19th January 2011

Categories: Latest News

WITH a thriving cultural scene, award winning nightlife, Europe’s biggest shopping centre and a year round programme of festival and events, NewcastleGateshead is poised to be the destination of choice for people considering a city break in 2011.

The compact destination offers a broad range of hotels, from budget providers to high-end boutiques.  2011 sees three new hotels open in NewcastleGateshead, a four-star Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle (opening April 2011), Sleeperz Newcastle (opening October 2011) and a brand new Jurys Inn NewcastleGateshead Quays located on the banks of the River Tyne.  

With a fantastic array of award winning restaurants and some of the country’s best attractions including the art-deco Tyneside Cinema, acclaimed new writing venue Live Theatre and international music centre, The Sage Gateshead, the twin cities of NewcastleGateshead are leading the way as one of the UK’s great cultural destinations.

2011 will be a year of world-class sport in NewcastleGateshead.  Experience the thrill of watching premiership football at St James’ Park, place your bets at one of the biggest dates in the horse racing calendar or take your place at the starting line of the world’s most iconic half-marathon – the Great North Run.

If you prefer to shop till you drop then NewcastleGateshead boasts some of the best shopping in the UK.  Eldon Square Shopping Centre, Newcastle has recently undergone a £170million expansion and now houses flagship stores for Debenhams, Apple and TOPSHOP.  Alive After Five, a brand new initiative in Newcastle City Centre, sees shops open until 8pm on weekdays and 7pm on Saturdays.  Coupled with a programme of events and activities to keep shoppers entertained, Alive After Five has transformed Newcastle’s shopping experience. 

Just across the River Tyne in Gateshead, leisure and entertainment complex The Metrocentre was voted the No.1 shopping and leisure centre in the UK and with the arrival of a new food court and Odeon IMAX cinema, it is now Europe’s largest shopping centre.

A TripAdvisor poll named Newcastle the third best place in Europe for nightlife (behind London and Berlin).  With Newcastle club Digital named Best Large Club in the Britain by DJ Magazine, it’s not hard to see why NewcastleGateshead is still famous as a great night out.  

Experience the warmth of the Geordie welcome and enjoy a weekend break in one of the UK’s most exciting cities.  Highlights in 2011 include:

GATESHEAD INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

Now in its seventh year, some of the world’s greatest Jazz performers descend on international music centre, The Sage Gateshead from 25-27 March for a weekend of concerts including performances from Cleo Laine, Subway Moon, Cleveland Watkiss and Debbie Harry performing with the Jazz Passengers.  www.thesagegateshead.org

EVOLUTION WEEKENDER

Join 60,000 other revellers on the banks of the River Tyne for the annual Evolution Weekender (28 & 29 May) music festival.  Headline acts this year are Plan B, Iggy and the Stooges and with performances from Tinie Tempah, Caribou and Two Door Cinema Club just announced, this two day festival has already warranted its £35 ticket price.  www.evolutionfestival.co.uk

HORSE RACING

The world famous Northumberland Plate Festival is a highlight in the flat racing year in the North of England. From 23 – 25 June 2011, thousands of spectators will descend on Newcastle Racecourse for three days of world class racing.  One month later, on 23 July 2011, the iconic Ladies Day event takes place at Newcastle Racecourse – the only place to be seen this summer.  www.newcastle-racecourse.co.uk

FOOD & DRINK

Be sure to pack an empty stomach if you visit between 18 June – 3 July as the annual EAT! NewcastleGateshead festival delivers two weeks of foodie events including The Big EAT! weekend, EAT! at Sea and Secret Paladares – restaurants in people’s homes.

This young, fresh and innovative food and drink festival showcases the best restaurants, food producers and breweries NewcastleGateshead and the North East has to offer.  www.eatnewcastlegateshead.com

BUPA GREAT NORTH RUN

If your New Year’s resolution was to get fit in 2011, then why not set yourself a challenge to take part in the most iconic half marathon on the planet – the Great North Run.  Now a full weekend of events, the Great North Run weekend, 17 & 18 September 2011, includes the Great North City Games, a specially commissioned cultural programme and junior races.  www.greatrun.org

SOMETHING FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Make the most of the October half-term holidays and bring the whole family to enjoy Juice – NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people.  This 11 day festival runs from 19-30 October 2011 and features work created by young people as well as performances from national and international artists.  Expect everything from parkour, poetry, dance, visual arts and performance.  With events aimed at children aged 0-18, there’s something for everyone – even the adults!  www.juicefestival.co.uk

TURNER PRIZE

Widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe, the Turner Prize 2011 will be staged at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, from 21 October 2011 – 8 January 2012.  BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art and it will be the first non-Tate venue outside of London to host the Turner Prize.  www.balticmill.com

AN ENCHANTING WINTER

NewcastleGateshead’s Winter Festival takes place in November and December 2011.  Starting with the annual Christmas Light switch on, the Winter Festival includes Christmas markets, festive performances and two special events, Enchanted Parks and the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival.

Enchanted Parks transformed the beautiful Victorian Saltwell Park in Gateshead into a winter wonderland full of atmospheric installations, light, sound and performance. 

The New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival regularly attracts more than 20,000 spectators each year and creates a festival atmosphere in the city.  Warm up to the samba beats and watch in awe at the early evening firework display before seeing in the New Year with NewcastleGateshead’s world famous nightlife.  www.newcastlegateshead.com/winterfestival

WHERE TO STAY

NewcastleGateshead has a fantastic range of accommodation, including budget hotels Premier Inn and Jurys Inn NewcastleCopthorne Hotel and County Hotel by Thistle offer mid range prices and Malmaison, Hotel Du Vin and Hilton Newcastle Gateshead provide luxury accommodation with stunning views of NewcastleGateshead’s famous bridges.  All of NewcastleGatehead’s hotels offer fantastic last minute deals and special offers which can be found on their individual websites.

2011 sees the arrival of some brand new hotel accommodation in the city, including; a four-star Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle (opening April 2011), Sleeperz Newcastle (opening October 2011) and a brand new Jurys Inn NewcastleGateshead Quays located right on the banks of the River Tyne.  This flagship Jurys Inn hotel will have 200 rooms, a range of meeting spaces and a bar and restaurant.  It is due to open in September 2011.

HOW TO GET HERE

Direct rail services run from many UK cities to Newcastle Central Station. East Coast operate the East Coast mainline from London King's Cross to Scotland via Newcastle and the CrossCountry route links the region with Scotland, the Midlands and the South West.

Northern Rail operate from Carlisle, Teesside and beyond, while TransPennine Express services run from Manchester, Liverpool and stations across Yorkshire. A London King's Cross service to Sunderland is operated by Grand Central Trains.

Newcastle Central Station is within easy walking distance of many central destinations and is well connected by Metro, QuayLink, bus and taxi. Station facilities include travel information, left luggage, toilets, cafés, a bar and cash machines.

CONTACT

For more information about NewcastleGateshead and to arrange a media visit, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on +44 191 440 5740 or email david.brookbanks@ngi.org.uk

-ENDS-

NOTES TO EDITOR

Festivals and events in NewcastleGateshead during 2011

NewcastleGateshead and all the cultural venues in the twin cities offer a year-round programme of events for everyone to enjoy.  2011 sees some of the city’s most iconic events return, as well as a programme of one off events, community and neighbourhood festivals and sporting milestones, ensuring NewcastleGateshead remains one of the UK’s most vibrant and exciting destinations in 2011.

Chinese New Year 


3-6 February 2011
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a series of events in Stowell Street and across Newcastle city centre.

Newcastle Science Fest’

 
12-17 March 2011
Newcastle ScienceFest is a celebration of science at venues across NewcastleGateshead, including the MakerFaire, the world’s premier interactive event for DIY.

Gateshead International Jazz Festival


25-27 March 2011
There’s something for everyone with award-winning musicians and special guests including Debbie Harry, Soweto Kinch and Cleo Laine.

Saltwell Park Show 


16 & 17 April 2011
This free event includes children’s activities, music and storytelling all inside the beautiful Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

The Late Shows


13 & 14 May 2011
Museums, galleries and visitor attractions stay up late to encourage people to do something cultural with their evening - in celebration of the international event ‘Museums at Night’.

Evolution Weekender


28 & 29 May 2011
Don’t miss headliners Plan B and the icon that is Iggy & The Stooges.

Blaydon Races 

9 June 2011
The iconic six mile race from Newcastle to Blaydon.

EAT! NewcastleGateshead 

18 June - 3 July 2011
The iconic food and drink festival that champions the region’s food and drink industry. See food in a new way at this innovative and fun family festival.

Northumberland Plate Festival

 
23-25 June 2011
The Northumberland Plate is one of the highlights of the flat horseracing year in the North of England.

Northern Rock Cyclone 


24-26 June 2011
Play your part in one of the biggest and most prestigious cycling events in the UK. The highlight of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Men’s & Women’s Elite National Road Race Championships.

English Schools’ Athletics 

1 & 2 July 2011
English Schools’ Athletics Association’s athletics meeting is the largest schools’ track and field championships in Europe.

Ladies’ Day at Newcastle Racecourse 


23 July 2011
Don your best hat for this special date in the racing calendar.

Gateshead Summer Flower Show 


29-31 July 2011
A great day out for all the family with everything for your garden and more including live entertainment and demonstrations.

NewcastleGateshead Bridges Festival


July/August 2011
The first Bridges Festival celebrating NewcastleGateshead and its river.

Newcastle MELA 


August 2011
The MELA is a free event based around the music and art of Punjabi, Pakistani, Bengali, Hindi and other South Asian cultures.

Bupa Great North Run Weekend 


17 & 18 September 2011
Experience the entire weekend of Bupa Great North Run events including the Great North City Games, cultural programme and junior races.

Northern Print Biennale

19 September - 19 November 2011
The second Northern Print Biennale celebrates international printmaking in the UK with a range of exhibitions, workshops and activities across NewcastleGateshead, and Print City fringe events. The Print Awards launches the Biennale with an open call for submissions of works which are shortlisted for the exhibitions by a panel of experts in the field of printmaking.

Royal Shakespeare Company Season at Theatre Royal 


September - November 2011
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s annual Newcastle season includes performances at Theatre Royal Newcastle, Northern Stage and in the local community.

NewcastleGateshead Art Fair 


October 2011
NewcastleGateshead’s Art Fair has fast established itself as the premier platform for regional galleries to sell work alongside national and international galleries, and to develop art collecting in the North East.

Design Event North East 

October 2011
The Design Event North East Festival includes exhibitions, events, tours and talks throughout NewcastleGateshead, Sunderland, Durham and Middlesbrough.

JUICE - NewcastleGateshead’s Festival for Children and Young People 

19-30 October 2011
This award-winning festival showcases the outstanding work created by children and young people as well as a family-friendly programme delivered by regional, national and international artists.

The Turner Prize at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art 

21 October 2011 - 8 January 2012
BALTIC is the first non-Tate venue outside London to host The Turner Prize, widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.

Wunderbar Festival 


28 October - 6 November 2011
Wunderbar is a dynamic festival of contemporary performances, visual art, and extraordinary happenings for the North East that places the audience at the heart of the experience.

BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

4-6 November 2011
A weekend of public debate, interviews and performance. Free Thinking is about getting involved - exploring, sharing and debating ideas.

NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival


November - December 2011
Enjoy everything the festive season has to offer, including Christmas markets, festive performances, world-class cultural events and opportunities to purchase imaginative gifts for Christmas.

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