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We've all got 4-and-a-half minutes to spare at some point in the day, and if you take a trip to Newcastle just make sure yours are free at the exact time the Millennium Bridge opens. That way you can enjoy watching a precision-planned construction in action. As you’ll see from the bridge’s site, opening times can occur at any point during the day. So build your trip accordingly, with a slide rule if necessary.
For example, in the morning you could get the blood flowing by getting active at the amazingly flexible indoor and outdoor Dynamix skatepark. With free running, BMX, circus training and more, this is a great way to get the kids (or the other half) active, and is a great place to eat, in the locals’ own words, ‘good scran’.
Fed, watered and energised you are now ready to take on the vast Eldon Square. At just shy of a million-and-a-half feet of shopping there are great brand stores like Apple, Adidas and Levis, as well as equally brilliant food stops like Pizza Express, Wagamama and Smash Burger.
Whatever your meticulous planning is putting in place for your day out, factor this in: you have to go to the Baltic Art Gallery. And we mean have to. The independent spirit of Newcastle is brilliantly captured in this amazing gallery that’s rooted in the city’s past (it’s housed in a former flour mill), and shows wit and personality around every corner of its exhibitions. It’s also a beautiful focal point, combining industrial architecture, mind-bending art and fab food. As well as its great restaurant, the top floor also holds the Baltic’s most spectacular achievement, and that’s the view – it gives you a sense of a city that’s got so much to offer the day tripper. And you know what, if you’ve timed it just right as you stare out of the window from the restaurant you could spend 4-and-a-half minutes watching that amazing Millennium Bridge directly below you, tilting like Neptune’s monumental desk toy and opening the city up to another vessel.
After your meal, if you have devised your visit like a day trip demon, it could be time to head to the Prohibition Cabaret Bar to try your hand (“fingers must be held parallel to the ground”) at Tango in this luxurious and decadent hide out. After the dancing’s done you can then settle down in an oxblood Chesterfield for a cocktail or two while you marvel at the day you’ve had.
If you haven’t booked your train tickets to Newcastle already we know that’s simply because you’re looking at bridge opening times and working out your trip, in fine detail.