On the southern bank of the River Tyne is the town of Gateshead. Located right across from the popular town of Newcastle on Tyne, Gateshead's city center is actually connected to Newcastle's city center by a bridge. The area of Gateshead has been settled since the Roman times. It was back in 623 that the town first appeared on record as Utta. While Gateshead was under Bishop of Durham's jurisdiction during the medieval times it was mainly a forest with a few bits of agriculture. Today it, and its connected city, is a place of fun and excitement.
Probably one of the biggest reasons that people visit Gateshead is for the shopping. Gateshead is home to the MetroCentre. The MetroCentre is the largest shopping center in the European Union. Take your time and enjoy all the shops that MetroCentre has to offer. Can't find what you are looking for. That's okay there are several shopping centers and shops around town so you can be sure to find that one unique thing or things that you want to take home with you.
There are many different architectural sites for you to enjoy during your stay here as well. The Saltwell Towers is now home to the visitor center and cafe. Originally used as a private mansion of William Wailes the home is now a popular tourist destination. Enjoy the beautiful European design that was inspired by many of Mr. Wailes travels to Europe. While you are here you can go to the park located beside the Towers. You can enjoy the sporting facilities by playing tennis or bowling. See the lake and allow the children to play in one of the play areas. Make sure you go to the Rose Garden and travel the maze before you leave the park and Saltwell towers behind.
Another popular stop is the Little Theatre. Here you can take in an exciting play by the Progressive Players. The Players have been the acting group of Gateshead for over eighty years. Make an evening out of seeing one of their plays before heading out on the town for a night of fun and frolic.
While you are touring some of the interesting buildings of Gateshead be sure to stop by Caedmon Hall. This Art Gallery is home to temporary exhibits by professional artists, many of whom are local. The hall is named for Caedmon who was a cow herder who lived during the 7th century. After he joined the monastic life he began writing and his talent blossomed. Today he is considered to be Englands first real poet.
If you like to take a quick tour of the town and hit the highlights then the Gateshead walking tour is for you. In this tour you will see many of the popular sites. You will see the Opening line, which is composed of 19 elements made from steel and glass. Your journey will end at the Angel of the North which is a powerful symbol or regeneration. Along the route you can also see the Shipley Art Gallery and Saltwell Park. The whole tour takes roughly an hour and a half to two hours.
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