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NewcastleGateshead...... By Royal Invitation

25th March 2011

Categories: Latest News

WITH the big day looming the pressure is on for HRH Prince Harry and Kate Middleton’s chief bridesmaid to give the Royal couple a send off to remember.

And what better place to spend their last days of freedom than one of the world’s best cities for fun and night life, NewcastleGateshead*

The exciting “twin-cities” are renowned for their vibrant and cultural scene, with more bars than there are days in a year, an eclectic mix of restaurants serving cuisine from all corners of the world and some of the most impressive art and music venues in England, such as The Sage Gateshead and the BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art.

But it’s not just NewcastleGateshead’s nightlife that makes it a strong contender for a right Royal knees-up. The Royal stag and hen do’s could go surfing on the North East coast; wine-tasting in a top hotel or watch a Newcastle Falcons game from the best seat in the house.

So Prince Harry if you are looking for a few ideas for your big brother’s bachelor party, this is what you could get up to if you came to NewcastleGateshead:


Take the Hot seat

As a keen rugby fan Prince William will find no better place to watch his favourite sport than a hot tub on the side lines at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park ground. With room for him and five of his friends the Prince will be able to sit back, relax and watch the game from the hottest seat in the house, whilst enjoying the bubbles both in his glass and under his feet.


Surf’s Up 

Forget Cornwall, Tynemouth on NewcastleGateshead’s coast, is the place to be seen for surfer dudes.  As one of the key venues on the UK Pro Surfing Championship tour Tynemouth is a great place for the Royal party to hone their technique.

They can also try paddle boarding on the stunning Tynemouth Sands beach. Stand Up Paddle is fast becoming the en vogue way of staying in shape with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Pierce Brosnan endorsing the sport's core muscle workout benefits.

Tynemouth Surf Co –

Boardskillz –


Raise a toast

Why not raise a toast to Prince William’s upcoming nuptials with a pint or two of some of the best local ales in the North East?

There are several breweries in and around NewcastleGateshead, many of which offer brewery tours as well as the all important tasting.

Big Lamp Brewery, Newburn –

Hadrian & Border Brewery –

Jarrow Brewery –

Mordue Brewery –

Climb Newcastle

The Prince and his pals can put their fitness to the test at the first dedicated indoor climbing centre – Climb Newcastle.  With more than 6,000 square feet of climbing at all imaginable angles there is something to challenge everyone from beginner to expert climber.

Royal filly

Horse racing is in the Royal family’s blood, so a flutter on the races at Newcastle’s famous Gosforth Park Racecourse would be just the ticket for Prince William’s special weekend.

The Racecourse hosts more than 30 exciting racedays, spanning both the flat and the National Hunt Season, with highlights including the John Smith Northumberland Plate Festival every June.

Upcoming racedays include the St Patrick’s Raceday on March 19th, with live Irish music and plenty of craic; and the Spring Racenight on April 20th.

And don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about the Royal hens, here are some suggestions for Kate and her friends to pamper themselves before her big day:

Fan fare

Kate could learn the art of Fan Dancing at Dance City in Newcastle. A type of Burlesque, fan dancing uses two Ostrich feather fans and teaches you to “hide and reveal” teasing your audience with the fans, and focusing their attention on illusions of exposure.

This could be perfect treat for her new husband on their honeymoon.  

Chocolate Delight

Every girl loves chocolate and at North Shields-based Davenports Chocolates you can make your very own sweet delights.

The Royal hens would particularly like the Strawberry and Champagne chocolate making workshops. Your 2 hour class takes place at the chocolate studio of artisan chocolatier, Jane Williams. You'll know you've come to the right place, when the irresistible scent of chocolate envelopes you as you walk through its doors. Jane will teach you how to make professional Strawberry & Champagne truffles, pipe and decorate chocolate heart-shaped lollipops and create your own unique "friendship chocolate plaque". In addition, enjoy a glass of champagne and chocolate fondue with strawberries & marshmallows, whilst Jane tells her fascinating story.

At the end of the class, everyone will leave with a goodie bag of their unique creations.

Shop till you Drop

And what do girls love more than chocolate .... shopping! NewcastleGateshead is home to some fantastic boutique shops, arcades and modern shopping centres.

Eldon Square in the heart of Newcastle has recently undergone a multi-million pound renovation with the new St Andrew’s Way Mall home to more than 150 stores including world famous brands such as Guess, Hollister and Apple.

Grainger Town is fast gaining a reputation as the place to find smaller independent shops, plus a selection of the best names on the high street. Vivienne Westwood also has one of its flagship stores here.  You’ll find Reiss, Jigsaw, French Connection alongside Kurt Geiger, Office, Dune and Moda in Pelle. Space NK has specialist skin care and make-up brands, and just behind, in the beautifully tiled Central Arcade, is Neal’s Yard, renowned for its natural remedies. Further down the street there’s also Triple S, an urban clothing store selling names like Bench and Hooch.

Jesmond is one of Newcastle’s most prestigious residential areas and only five minutes from Newcastle city centre by local Metro train.  It has a great collection of small independent shops, including Me, Me,Me; a must for anyone who has a passion for handbadgs, and The Loft, a small designer department store with a hair salon and treatment rooms.

Wine Tasting

Kate and her hens will deserve a much needed drink once they have finished hitting the shops, and Hotel Du Vin’s wine tasting session could be just the tonic.

The tastings are held in the exclusive Laroche Tasting Room with resident Sommelier Ian Cobham. You can chose from a number of different sessions from Introductory to Hedonistic or a bespoke package where you could relive the wines from your most favourite foreign trip.

The luxurious 4 star hotel has been transformed from the head offices of a former shipping building company and has fantastic views of the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.

Riding and the City

Every future Princess should be a fantastic horsewoman, and if Kate still needs to improve her skills, then the Stepney Bank Stables in the heart of Newcastle city is the place to go.

The riding school offers lessons on hand-picked ponies and if Kate falls head over heels for her young steed she can even adopt a pony. 

And if you fancy recreating your very own Royal weekend away go to


PR Contact: Hayley Quarmby, PR Officer at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, 0191 440 5741,

 *NewcastleGateshead came 7th in a Trip Advisor poll in 2010 of the best night life in the world,  and was 3rd in Europe after London and Berlin.

Why 'NewcastleGateshead'?

You may wonder why the destination is described as NewcastleGateshead...

Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank of the River Tyne) have been transformed into a single cultural and cosmopolitan visitor destination: NewcastleGateshead (think Buda Pest). 

The two places are closely linked - by seven bridges across the river – and visitor attractions and events can be found on both sides.  Visitors to the area are drawn to sample attractions, galleries, live performances, sporting events, museums, restaurants, hotels and much more in both Newcastle and Gateshead - with easy pedestrian access from one to the other in a matter of minutes via the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Three of the area's most high-profile contemporary attractions (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, international music centre The Sage Gateshead and world famous public art the Angel of the North) are all in Gateshead, while Newcastle brings a wealth of history and heritage (along with its world-class contemporary developments), plus an incredible choice of cosmopolitan nightlife, to the successful partnership: NewcastleGateshead.

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