1. Going underground at The Victoria Tunnel
During the Industrial Revolution, when the coalfields of the north-east powered the country, wagons full of coal careered along this narrow tunnel that at one point goes so far underground its depth is around the length of a swimming pool (26m).
The 2-mile-long tunnel deep beneath the streets of Newcastle – that carried coal from the pits to the River Tyne – has since been transformed into a tourist attraction.
Walk the tour to relive those days – with the sounds of carts rattling along the tracks. No wonder people rave about it on TripAdvisor. Be warned though, it’s spooky!
Tours run all week.
Where is it? Stepney Bank, Ouseburn Valley, NE1 2NP
How much? £6 for adults and £4 for kids
2. Meet the Tiger Who Came to Tea at Seven Stories
Everyone knows the classic children’s book The Tiger Who Came to Tea. And who can forget Mog (the forgetful cat)?
Whether you’re reading these books to your kids now or you were read them as a child, their appeal stretches across the generations.
Get to know the lady who created these stories at Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books.
Judith Kerr donated her archive of 70 years of work to the centre. The original artwork for The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog series can be found here.
But the real gems are unpublished. Paintings done by Kerr when she was 8 years old to be given as family presents. Aww, cute.
Where is it? Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, NE10 0JP
How much? Family ticket £23
3. Enjoy a coffee beneath the world-famous Tyne Bridge
The massive Tyne Bridge is one of Newcastle’s most iconic images. Exhausted runners cross it on the Great North Run, as did a young Daniel Craig in the closing scene of classic ’90s drama Our Friends in the North.
Built by the team who went on to do Sydney Harbour Bridge (you can see the resemblance), it joins Newcastle and Gateshead.
So it’s more than worth a visit. But all that bridge-spotting can be thirsty work.
Quay Ingredient is one of Newcastle’s best-loved coffee shops – it’s all rustic homeliness and Scandi design touches. And it’s tucked just beneath the Tyne Bridge.
A great rainy-day refuge.
Where is it? Queen Street, Quayside, NE1 3UG
How much? Cappuccino/latte £2.40
4. Enjoy the views and the art at BALTIC
With art to rival that of the Tate Modern, prepare to be stunned, amazed and surprised. Even if you’re not usually an art fan, it’s guaranteed to be a day out to make you think.
Housed in a former flour mill, this eye-popping space is always changing its exhibitions, so check what’s on before you go. There are regular special events for families too.
Go to the Level 5 viewing box to get stunning views across the city.
Where is it? Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, NE8 3BA
How much? FREE!
5. Take a selfie with the Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is one of the most unforgettable sights of the north-east – so it’s worth a look even on a dull, rainy day.
But if you luck out with a bright winter day, Antony Gormley’s rust-coloured angel is a perfect picture against a clear blue sky. She’s 20m wide though, so pick your shot carefully… #angles
It’s easy enough to reach by public transport – there are regular buses from the city centre.
Where is it? By the A1, Gateshead
How much? FREE!
6. See classic Minis at a quirky museum
Old-school VW camper vans and ’60s Mini Coopers that smack of Swinging London are among the vintage vehicles on display at this quirky, family-run museum.
There are older cars that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sunday-night period drama, and classic ’80s saloons from Ford and Vauxhall at the Newburn Motor Museum.
The cars are displayed in a single hall and there’s nowhere to get a drink or food or anything. It’s what you see is what you get – but that’s part of the fun.
Where is it? 35 Townfield Gardens, NE15 8PY
How much? Adults £3, 8+ £2 , Under-8s free
7. Stroll along historic Grey Street and Grainger Town
Grainger Town is stunning. Jam-packed with grand Georgian buildings and elegant streets – it’s like stumbling on a genteel spa town in the centre of Newcastle.
Dating back to the 1830s, it’s the handiwork of famed architect Richard Grainger – hence the name.
The most famous of Grainger’s work is Grey Street. It follows the upward curve of the valley in which it’s built – with a row of tall, elegant buildings winding their way up the hill.
Break up your walk with interesting shops and cosy cafes along the way.
Where is it? City centre – about a 10-minute walk from Central Station
How much? FREE!