Tyne and Wear

Information and Tourism

Tyne and Wear flagApproach Tyne and Wear by rail or motorway from the south and you know you are nearly there when you spot that most surreal of sights, the Angel of the North. Designed by Antony Gormley, this industrial-sized steel sculpture stands proud on the edge of Low Fell in Gateshead.

This metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear is actually made up of five boroughs, namely South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, the City of Sunderland and the City of Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle, which lies north of the River Tyne, and Gateshead, which lies to the south, together make up the biggest city in north-eastern England. Its industrial past is epitomised by the eastern Newcastle suburb of Jarrow, which was the starting point of the 1936 'Jarrow Crusade' against rising unemployment and poverty among those who lived here.

The metamorphosis of Tyne and Wear from fading industrial heartland to vibrant cultural centre has been fairly dramatic. Gateshead's BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art was set up in a converted Rank Hovis flour mill and has not been without controversy. In 2011, it was the venue chosen for the Turner Prize, which until that point had always been held in Liverpool or London.

Gateshead is also considered something of a shopping Mecca in northern England. The MetroCentre occupies the largest retail area of any shopping centre in the UK. Rather unusually, it has religious origins - its construction was financed by the Church Commission of England.

Newcastle was the starting point for Hadrian's Wall, a defensive fortification built by the Romans during the rule of Emperor Hadrian to protect the Empire from that northern threat, Scotland, or perhaps just to make the point that the Roman Empire wasn't to be messed with.

Tyne and Wear Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Newcastle, England
Newcastle has recently been voted the UK's best short break destinations and Newcastle is considered one of the world's new cultural Meccas, with many attractions. Newcastle city has more listed buildings than any other UK city.
World Guide to Sunderland, England
Sunderland was once a city of industry, with bustling docks and productive coal mines. Nowadays, the appearance of Sunderland is quite different. This is now a modern city with attractive coastal scenery and some easily accessible beaches.

Map of Tyne and Wear

Tyne and Wear Map