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Summer 2012 weekend breaks in NewcastleGateshead

16th May 2012

Categories: Latest News

Over the course of three weekends in July and August, sample some award-winning North East food and drink at one of the UK’s largest city centre food festivals, enjoy a free weekend of fun for all the family along the NewcastleGateshead quayside, and see World Cup winner Spain play Olympic Football at St James’ Park.  There’s no better time to visit the ‘hipster capital of the northeast’ (Lonely Planet, 2011) – NewcastleGateshead.


Sunday 15 July
Cakebook Britain /
£4 for adults.  Free for children 14 and under

Come along to Saltwell Park, Gateshead and watch as a 100sq metre map of Great Britain is created – entirely out of cake.  This giant fully edible map will feature landmark structures and places from across Great Britain including Stonehenge, Nelson’s Column and Buckingham Palace in recognition of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Cakebook Britain – The People’s Picnic will also feature a Food Adventure Playground as well as children’s cookery workshops, and live music and performance.

Teams of more than 100 amateur cake bakers will descend on Gateshead’s Saltwell Park to create the 100sq metre  map of Great Britain - made entirely of cake - as part of the opening weekend of EAT! NewcastleGateshead (13-29 July 2012).

Cakebook Britain is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.


Friday 27 – Sunday 29 July
The Big EAT! Weekend
Admission prices apply to some events

NewcastleGateshead will come alive on the weekend of Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July as St James’ Park hosts London 2012 Olympic football matches.  To celebrate, EAT! NewcastleGateshead will transform the streets of the twin cities into one of the largest city centre food festivals in the UK.  The Big EAT! Weekend (Fri 27 - Sun 29 July) sees everything from a pop-up cookery school, Chilli & Beer Festival to a street food celebration and a Loaves and Fishes themed City Fête.

This packed weekend also includes Meet and Drink beer tasting tours with award-winning beer writer Alastair Gilmour, EAT! Food Walking Tours and cookery demonstrations led by local chefs.


Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 August
NewcastleGateshead Bridges Festival
Free to attend (some paid for events)

The world famous cityscape of NewcastleGateshead, recognised all over the globe by its iconic seven bridges, hosts a new festival on Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 August celebrating the twin cities’ riverside icons and the arrival of the biggest sporting event in the world, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The family friendly events include; The Print Run, which invites people to create a print design while they run, skip, dance, hop or leap into the air.  The 7 Bridges Rowing Championships sees the creation of a unique River Map on the Quayside where both Newcastle and Gateshead teams compete to get their miniature boats over the finish line first.  The Gateshead Millennium Bridge will be transformed into a living canvas as artists from BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art help people create their own unique aspirations using arty stickers. 

The River Tyne and NewcastleGateshead’s bridges take centre stage on Saturday 4 August in a stunning free evening event for all the family.  A 12 metre high lighthouse, erected on the River Tyne, will shine its light across NewcastleGateshead as the Tyne Bridge and Gateshead Millennium Bridge help transform the riverscape into a magical theatre of fireworks, cascades of silver rain and neon-bright lighting effects. As part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Arts Council England commissioned project, ~Flow, will also be in situ on the River Tyne during Bridges Festival. 

NewcastleGateshead Bridges Festival celebrates the history, heritage and contemporary culture of the NewcastleGateshead quayside, the River Tyne and the seven bridges which connect the two.


Thursday 26 July – Saturday 4 August
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Football at St James’ Park
Tickets available from

Have an Olympic experience in the ‘hipster capital of the northeast’ as St James’ Park, home to Newcastle United Football Club, hosts nine Olympic football matches.  With both men’s and women’s football, and two quarter finals, this is a rare chance to see some world-class teams and players compete in the biggest sporting event in the world in one of the UK’s most iconic stadia.  Spain and Brazil will both play matches at St James’ Park making it one of the most popular venues for Olympic Football.

Combined with EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Bridges Festival and NewcastleGateshead’s wider festivals and events programme, football fans visiting this summer are guaranteed a great time.

For information on travel and accommodation in NewcastleGateshead, please visit

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