What to do on a rainy day in Newcastle
Exploring a new city is a great way to spend a weekend or short break in the UK, but there’s one thing you always need to be prepared for – rain. Fortunately, since this country is no stranger to wet weather, finding fun things to do in a downpour is never too difficult – especially if Newcastle is your destination.
Below, I’ve listed some ideas of how to spend a rainy day (or several) in the city, while you can find information on hotels in Newcastle here.
The Discovery Museum
One of the best places to go when the heavens open is the Discovery Museum, which is in Blandford Square. This brilliant museum is the ultimate place to learn about all things Newcastle and Tyneside, because its collections focus on a wide array of local technological and scientific discoveries, not to mention the area’s maritime history.
The displays change regularly and are interactive, making it a great place to take the kids, but it’s equally fascinating for adults. Coming here, you can find out all about historical fashions, military history and key technological discoveries, including Joseph Swan’s historic lightbulbs (which you can see a replica of in the museum).
Plus, there are dynamic large-scale displays such as the Turbinia, which was invented in Tyneside and was the very first ship to be powered by a steam turbine. The ship sits in the entrance to the museum, making a huge impact as soon as you walk in.
The Garden Shed
Located in historic stables in Gibside in Gateshead is the Garden Shed – an attraction that’s a little hard to describe. It combines arts and crafts with shopping, giving visitors the opportunity to do everything from meet artists and buy crafts to make things and even get a massage!
It’s open from 11:00 to 15:00 every day, with a number of artists always onsite. Because there’s such a lot to do, it’s great for families, while it’s also suitable for multiple visits across your holiday, simply because you can do something different each time you’re here.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
And if you like the sound of immersing yourself in art on a rainy day, you should definitely head to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which is in a dramatic building on the bank of the River Tyne.
This is no ordinary art gallery. Indeed, it has no permanent collection, instead offering a diverse mix of temporary exhibitions and events. What’s more, it’s the largest gallery of its kind in the world.
Another great thing about it is that it often features exhibitions by artists from the local community, which means that by coming here you can learn more about local art as well as international works.
Blue Reef Aquarium
One of the best things to do if you’re travelling with children, a trip to Blue Reef Aquarium cannot fail to delight parents and kids alike. You’ll find it on Tynemouth’s Grand Parade, where it’s open from 10:00 to 17:00 seven days a week.
Talks and feeding displays take place throughout the day, which gives everyone the chance to learn a bit more about the creatures they see. In the tanks here you’ll come face to face with a great variety of marine life, including playful California sea lions, harbour seals, toothsome black tip reef sharks and adorable otters.
Plus, over in the Amazonian exhibit, you can see monkeys – not your usual aquarium resident! These include the cotton top tamarin, which is a critically endangered species and one children are bound to be enchanted by.