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South Shore Road in Gateshead crowned Britain’s Hippest Street

6th June 2011

Categories: Latest News

Google have today announced the winners of the Google Street View Awards, a celebration of Britain’s best streets, voted for in a nationwide poll supported by VisitBritain, Lonely Planet, Mr & Mrs Smith Guides and a host of celebrity panelists and experts.

Over 20,000 people voted within a two week period from Friday 6th- 20th May, and competition was fierce. The winning street in the Hippest Street category faced tough opposition from 19 other streets from across the UK, shortlisted by a panel of experts from the world of travel, shopping and lifestyle.

Proving it is streets ahead of the competition, South Shore Road in Gateshead stormed to the top of the vote in its category. Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter takes the crown for Britain’s Most Romantic Street, and Bondgate Withinin Alnwick takes the title of Best Shopping Street.

The North East proved popular with Google’s panel of experts who nominated a total of six streets across the three categories. South Shore Road in Gateshead was nominated by renowned lifestyle journalist, Chrissy lley for its stunning views, cultural importance and the presence of the BALTIC art gallery. 


1.  South Shore Road, Gateshead

2.  Call Lane, Leeds

3.  Whitecross Street, London

4.  Seel Street, Liverpool

5.  Henry Street, Belfast




1.  Copse Hill Road, Lower Slaughter

2.  Front Street, Bamburgh

3.  The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

4.  Mwnt, Y Ferwig

5.  The A591,Grasmere, Lake District




1.  Bondgate Within, Alnwick

2.  Market place, Kingston

3.  Low pavement, Nottingham

4.  Lisburn Road, Belfast

5.  The Promenade, Cheltenham

The 2011 Awards follow the huge success of the inaugural Street View Awards last year, which named The Shambles in York as Britain’s Most Picturesque Street.

Today’s winners announcement is supplemented with new research on Britain’s use of Street View which suggests that Google’s revolutionary tool is more popular than ever before;

The survey results reveal that Brits are using Street View an average of twice a week to discover new shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses across the UK.  More than half of Brits polled (55%) use Street View to plan a visit to a UK tourist attraction and the surrounding area, stating that the look of a street will affect whether or not they choose to visit. Street View currently allows users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery in over 90% of the United Kingdom.

Shortlisted nominations for each of the award categories were compiled by a panel of experts from the worlds of travel, lifestyle and popular culture including tourism authority VisitBritain, author David Else (Lead Author of the The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain), leading journalists Miranda Almond (Fashion Editor, Vogue), Bill Prince (Deputy Editor of GQ), Tim Noakes (Deputy Editor of Dazed & Confused), Kay Barron (Fashion News and Features Editor, Grazia), Jane Hamilton (Consumer Editor, The Sun), Lisa Scott (Travel Editor, Metro), Jade Beer (Editor of Brides Magazine), TV personality Sarah Beeny (Property Ladder), Chrissy Illey (renowned lifestyle journalist),TV presenter Dawn Porter, X Factor Stylist Grace Woodward, Rebecca Holman (Editor of and Juliet Kinsman (Editor in Chief of the Mr & Mrs Smith Guides).

The experts were asked to nominate streets that fulfilled a pre-set criteria for each category.  For Britain’s Most Romantic Street, the panel were looking for aspects that make a street romantic, such as beautiful architecture, stunning views, a romantic ambiance, secluded getaways, restaurants and street lighting. The streets nominated for Britain’s Hippest Street, offered a hip ambiance and vibrant atmosphere. This incorporated a variety of clubs, art galleries, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants or street art. For Britain’s Best Shopping Street, each street nominated should have offered a broad range of shopping options from independent boutiques to high street, clothes, food and home wares; across a diverse price range.

Their nominated streets highlighted a series of British treasures ranging from famous tourist attractions, to hidden avenues and courtyards across the UK.

Laura Scott, External Relations Manager for Google said: “The Google Street View Awards are aimed to celebrate the many fantastic streets that Britain has to offer. The results reveal a diverse cultural landscape, consisting of romantic spots, hip destinations and shopping locations, putting the winning streets firmly on the map as the best in their field.” 


South Shore Road, Gateshead

South Shore Road is rapidly becoming the place to see and be seen in the North of England, with its vibrant mix of the arts, exciting atmosphere, and breathtaking views across the Tyne.  Credited as being behind the regeneration of Gateshead, music venue The Sage Gateshead and the art gallery BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art are located here, both of which are recognised for transforming both Newcastle and Gateshead into areas of vibrant culture. BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art and will host the Turner Prize 2011 in October. The Sage Gateshead is a unique music venue, an international home for music and musical discovery, which has brought about a widespread and long-term enrichment of the musical life of the North East of England. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, one of the stages for the Evolution Weekender Festival was located on South Shore Road, with Katy B, Caribou and Annie Mac all performing there. The street was also used for the launch of Gateshead’s city bid, on 26th May 2011.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “South Shore Road really represents the cultural regeneration of NewcastleGateshead as it’s home to renowned attractions BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and international music centre The Sage Gateshead, both recognised as iconic symbols of the destination. South Shore Road forms part of the NewcastleGateshead quayside and provides unrivalled views of historic landmarks including the Tyne Bridge, Swing Bridge and the world famous St James’ Park – home to Newcastle United Football Club. It also acts as the pathway to the world’s first and only tilting bridge – The Gateshead Millennium Bridge - which celebrates its 10th birthday in 2011.  This relatively new street, which hugs the River Tyne, is deserving of the title ‘Britain’s Hippest Street’ given its location in the ‘hipster capital of the North’, as described in the new Lonely Planet Great Britain guidebook.”

Chrissy Illey, renowned lifestyle journalist said: “[South Shore Road] has spectacular views of the Tyne, with the Baltic art gallery is at the foot of it. It was a former flour mill and now houses a superb collection of modern art. Its presence alone singularly transformed the area into one of vibrant culture.”

Councillor Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council, said: “Tens of thousands of visitors come to South Shore Road every year to visit BALTIC, take a stroll across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and listen to great music at The Sage Gateshead. All three are major international icons and it’s an absolute must-see for anyone coming to Tyneside. But we haven’t finished yet! We recently launched our bid for Gateshead to become Britain’s newest city – and needless to say we chose to do so from the centre of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge on South Shore Road.  It says everything that needs to be said about Gateshead – modern, hip, stylish and ambitious. This is a fantastic award. Gateshead is definitely a place where great things are happening, so I suppose it should be no surprise that other people think so too, but it is still a pleasant surprise when people put Gateshead on top. The Google Streetview Award is something that Gateshead will treasure.”

Claire Byers, BALTIC Deputy Director said: “The skyline of South Shore Road is known the world over, with the award winning Gateshead Millennium ‘winking’ Bridge, The Sage Gateshead and BALTIC. It not only offers fantastic views of the River Tyne but boasts some of the best contemporary art in the world, superb live music, festivals, events and delicious places to eat, drink and meet friends. No wonder it has come to symbolize NewcastleGateshead as one of the best locations in the country” 

Notes to Editors:


The Google Street View Awards were initiated in 2010 ahead of further imagery being added to Google’s revolutionary Street View tool, which now allows users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery in British towns. All of this year’s nominated towns are available to view on Google Street View. The Street View Awards in 2010 attracted a huge level of international attention with over 11,000 votes cast within a three week period.

2010 Winners:

Most Picturesque – The Shambles, York

Best Foodie – Stockbridge High Street, Stockbridge

Best Fashion - Milsom Street, Bath

About the Poll: The voting openedon 6th May, and closed on 20th  May 2011. 

About the nominations: The panelists were asked to nominate streets in their relevant categories across 10 different regions in the UK. From these nominations, Google worked with VisitBritain to compile a shortlist of streets consisting of 20 nominations in each category. These nominations reflect a broad and diverse offering from across the UK.

About Google Street View: Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps which is already available in more than 100 metropolitan areas around the world, involving 27 counties including Antarcticam as well as all 7 continents.. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile. Google launched Street View imagery in UK in April 2009 allowing people to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of over 90% of the United Kingdom, with approximately 240, 000 miles of imagery captured in the UK. You can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange "Pegman" icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, get a helping hand with geography homework, or just explore and get to know your town better. For all StreetView trivia and updates, visit

About the Research: 2000 people were polled on Google Street View.

The stats reveal:

Brits are using Street View an average of twice a week to discover new shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses across the UK. 

Half of Brits (47%) use Street View before visiting a new high street

A quarter (28%) of Brits have visited a shop/restaurant/business after coming across it on Google Street View

55% of those surveyed use Google Street View to plan a visit to UK tourist attractions

55% admit the look of a street has an impact on whether they choose to go there

45% of people surveyed use Google Street View when planning a romantic weekend away/holiday

45% have used Google Street View to check put a UK hotel before booking it

42% use Street view to plan where to go for a meal

35% use Google Street View to plan a shopping trip




VisitBritain has contributed to all three categories. VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain overseas. They work in partnership with thousands of organisations in the UK and overseas and seek to ensure that Britain is marketed in an appropriate way in 35 markets around the world. They also work to promote the tourism industry within the UK itself.

David Else, Lead Author of The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain

David Else has contributed to all three categories. David wrote his first travel guide book in 1983 and since then he has written or co-written over 25 Lonely Planet guides covering the UK and many other parts of the world. David also writes and broadcasts about travel and outdoor activities for newspapers, magazines and websites.


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