Newcastle upon Tyne is a tourist-seducing city located in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, in England’s chilly north-east. Its inhabitants, who are distinguished for their passion for football and nightlife, and strong accents, number around 275,000 and are nicknamed Geordies. Newcastle is also renowned for hosting the Great North Run, the world’s most-popular half-marathon, and boasting its own brand of beer, Newcastle Brown Ale.
The name Newcastle was adopted in 1080 when Robert Curthose, the son of William the Conqueror, erected a castle there. The city played a consequential role in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, and became of one of Britain’s top coal mining and the world’s most prolific ship building areas, though those industries have since entered decline. Newcastle has rich involvement with the arts, especially theatre, and is considered the best night spot in the UK by The Rough Guide. Many of its most popular bars and nightclubs are located in the Bigg Market and on the Quayside, a regally handsome area along the banks of the River Tyne.
St. James’ Park
Geordies “live and breathe football” according to former England captain Alan Shearer. That, and the fact that the city has only one professional club, makes Newcastle United’s fan-base vast and immensely passionate. Indeed, St James’ Park, the third biggest stadium in the Premier League, is an incessant sell-out, and even during the Magpies’ Championship-winning campaign of 2009/10, it attracted an average attendance of 43,000-plus, which easily broke the record for the English second flight.
Newcastle, founded in 1892, were among the most dominant sides in England before World War II, winning four league titles. And although they have failed to add to that tally thereafter, they did lift the FA Cup three times during the 1950s, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – a precursor to the UEFA Cup – in 1969, and finish runners-up to Manchester United twice in the Premier League during the 1990s, when the likes of Peter Beardsley, David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla, Les Ferdinand and Shearer, for whom Newcastle broke the world transfer record, established them as a revered thrill machine.
Newcastle share an intense rivalry with nearby Sunderland, while Tyneside, of which Newcastle upon Tyne is a conurbation, is distinguished for unearthing great footballers, including Jackie Milburn, Sir Bobby Charlton, Norman Hunter, Chris Waddle, Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne and Shearer.