Explore Newcastle University and the City

The Organising Committee of IVEC2020 is delighted to welcome you to Newcastle-upon-Tyne albeit, for most of you, virtually. We are very sorry we cannot meet you in person, but have tried to make up for this, in some small measure, by what is offered through IVEC's 'Explore Newcastle' page.

More commonly referred to as Newcastle (but not to be confused with Newcastle-under-Lyme), the city was established in Roman times and is situated in the northeast of England on the Tyne River. Up until the late 20th century, it was a centre for the wool trade, ship-building and coal mining, although most of this has now disappeared. 

Below further information is provided about aspects of the city that we hope may be of interest to you all.

Newcastle University

Our campus in autumn

Autumn is one of our favourite seasons as the changing leaves bring a new colour to campus. This video shows you how our campus looks like during the time of the IVEC2020 conference.

There are approximately 800,000 trees in Newcastle, less than the national average for a city this size. Autumn at Newcastle University is a favourite season as trees age and leaves transform bringing new colours. Common species include: Bird Cherry, Alder, Ash, White willow, Wych elm, Purging buckthorn, Lilac, Crack willow, English elm, Sycamore, Maple, Horse chestnut, Monkey puzzle, Juniper, Beech, and Rowan.

The second video below is a time-lapse of our campus. You can also find a number of virtual tours of our campus here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/tour/campus/

City-based campus: Quayside & Grainger Town

Newcastle University is a city-based campus, located in the heart of Newcastle, high on the northern bank of the Tyne River. The Tyne's Quayside area is home to the city's many iconic bridges, cultural venues and renowned nightlife. In this video Natasha explains what makes the Quayside one of Newcastle's most appealing parts of the city. To explore the Quayside further, go to: https://englandsnortheast.co.uk/newcastle-quayside/ 

Grainger Town is an area of classical architecture, constructed in the 19th century. Running from the city centre's Eldon Square and Grey's Monument (of 'Earl Grey tea') down to the Tyne River, it is dissected by Grey Street. It offers shopping, cafés, restaurants and bars amidst architectural beauty. In this video one of our students shares her favourite places to explore in this exciting part of the city.

Sustainable campus

Newcastle University is committed to reducing its environmental impact. At Newcastle University's Environment and Sustainability Committee meeting on 10 April 2019, a climate emergency statement was released showing our commitment to reducing the university's environmental impact: "We recognise the urgency of international environmental issues including climate change and biodiversity loss. Preparing our students with the skills and knowledge to deal with the unprecedented crises is fundamental to our purpose as a university. Through research and education we aim to develop transformative solutions to the sustainability challenges facing the natural world and the human societies which rely on it."

In April 2020, Newcastle University was ranked 11th in the world for its impact on society and leadership in sustainable development. 

Read more about our commitment to sustainability here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/sustainable-campus

History on campus

Newcastle University was the only British University to award Dr Martin Luther King (Defender of American Civil Rights) an Honorary Degree. Awarded at Newcastle University, on 13th November 1967, the video shows King's acceptance speech.

An anti-slavery campaigner – and at that time, an escaped slave himself – Frederick Douglass was in Newcastle in 1846 as part of a lecture tour of Great Britain and Ireland during which he spoke to packed halls and churches about slavery in his native U.S. One of our new Learning and Teaching Centres is called The Frederick Douglass Centre in honour of the 19th century social reformer and abolitionist. The story of Frederick Douglass's Tyneside visit was featured in Freedom City Comics, a collaboration between comics artist-writers and academic researchers about the history of civil rights on Tyneside. The comic was produced as part of Freedom City 2017, the city-wide programme of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr being awarded an honorary degree by Newcastle University - the only UK university to do so in his lifetime. 

Read more abolition and the North East of England connections here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/roots/2003/10/solidarityontyne.shtml and here: http://collectionsprojects.org.uk/slavery/_files/rs_booklet.pdf

Art on campus

Newcastle University's Hatton Gallery has been at the heart of cultural life in the North East since the early 20th century. The Hatton's diverse collection includes over 3,000 works from the 14th – 20th centuries. Key pieces include work by Francis Bacon, Richard Hamilton, Palma Giovane, Thomas Bewick, Eduardo Paolozzi, Camillo Procaccini, Patrick Heron, William Roberts, Victor Pasmore and Richard Ansdell. Watercolours by Wyndham Lewis, Thomas Hair and Robert Jobling are also held. The gallery also has extensive archive material including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and textiles, and material connected to the history of the Gallery, such as exhibition posters designed and printed in the art school.

Support for Science and History

The Great North Museum: Hancock is Newcastle's museum of natural history, archaeology, geology and world cultures managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University. It is a popular free family destination with a varying programme of exhibitions, expert talks, courses and activities for children.

Newcastle University is a key partner in the Centre for Life, a pioneering science village based in the heart of the city, that promotes the life sciences through the Newcastle International Centre for Life.

For music lovers

Newcastle University Virtual Summer Music Festival (NUSMF) was hosted by our students. You can view their full performances here: https://www.facebook.com/nusmf/

Kathryn Tickell is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. As a composer, performer and educator and a successful recording artist, her work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for services to folk music. A lecturer on Newcastle University's Folk and Traditional Music degree, she has been made an Honorary Doctor of Music. "I am honoured and delighted to have been nominated by Sir Liam for this award of Doctor of Music," she said. "I remember leaving school at 18, deciding that university wasn't for me and plunging straight into the world of being a professional musician. Decades later I ended up teaching on the Newcastle University Folk & Traditional music degree course, the first of its kind in England, and it is an incredible feeling to be given this honorary doctorate."My music has always had very strong North East roots. The region is at the heart of everything I do, so it feels amazing to have my work recognised by Newcastle University. I wish my grandparents were alive to see this day." Listen to Kathryn Tickell with Northumbrian Voices

Sting and 'The Last Ship' celebrating the North East's involvement in ship building was also awarded an honorary degree.

Would you like to listen to some Geordie Folk songs? We present you Blaydon Races!

Join the Great North Run on the 13th September 2020

The official Virtual Great North Run is on Sunday 13 September. The virtual half marathon is free of charge to enter, regardless of whether you had a place in this year's Great North Run. In return, we urge you to fundraise for a charity who would otherwise miss out this year. Entries are open now.
We'll see you on the virtual start line! https://www.greatrun.org/great-north-run

The Region

Beaches and Coastlines

Twelve miles east of Newcastle are the coastal towns of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay (that can be reached in 25 mins by Metro from our campus). In this video two of our students share what they love about the region's coastline. Tynemouth Priory and Castle provide a vivid backdrop above King Edward Bay. To the north, the coast continues to Berwick-on-Tweed, comprising a series of both rocky and long sandy bays, interspersed by ancient historical sites, including Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall stretches over 70 miles from the west to the east coast of England, located just south of the border between England and Scotland. It was built to guard the Romans' north-west frontier, starting around 120 BCE, taking around 6 years to complete.

Castle Keep

Castle Keep is part of the building that gave the city of Newcastle its name and is the most notable remaining structure left over from the Roman era when it was a fort.


Cragside is a 19th century country house, near Rothbury, the world's first to be lit by hydroelectricity and with a huge range of fauna gathered by the Armstrong family.


Beamish is an open-air museum near Stanley in County Durham, opened in 1972. The aim was to provide a living example of early everyday 20th century town and country life in northern England, at a time when industrialisation at its zenith.

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle built following the 11th century Norman conquest is still a residential home, as well as being open to the public, with extensive gardens. It was used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films: https://www.alnwickcastle.com/explore/on-screen/harry-potter

Angel of the North

Angel of the North is an iconic steel statue, 24 metres high, 54 metres across. Constructed and then installed in 1998, it is located just off a main (north-south) road, just to the southwest of Newcastle. Prior to completion, it was surrounded by controversy, as numerous objections were raised about its feasibility, as a distraction for motorists and possible dangers from lightning. For many people, the Angel has now become a local symbol of pride. 

The Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge is the newest of the five bridges (2001) that span the Tyne River in Newcastle. Meant for pedestrians and cyclists only, it sits a few metres upriver from the Baltic Museum, and opens in a manner similar to a human eye, rotating on bearings to which it is fixed on each bank of the Tyne to allow ships to pass.

Discover famous people of the NorthEast

Famous Northeasterners: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/famous-people-north-east-geordies-16798078

The North East Hall of Fame: https://englandsnortheast.co.uk/north-east-hall-fame/

Discover Art and Museums at Newcastle upon Tyne

Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

Side Gallery is committed to celebrating the best in the wider tradition of humanist documentary photography.

Laing Art Gallery is home to British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware: visit the gallery on Google Arts and Culture

Explore modern art at the Baltic on the Quayside, which is also home to Kittiwakes on the Tyne: visit the Viewing Terrace on Google Arts and Culture 

Kittiwakes spend Autumn and Winter out at sea and return to nest on building and bridge ledges along the Tyne late February through to August. Enjoy getting a close up view of the birds as they reunite with their partner, build their nests, lay eggs and rear their chicks through the Kittiwake Camera attached to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The camera is switched on between March and August while the kittiwakes are back at their nesting sites.

The Biscuit Factory: The UK's largest independent commercial art, craft & design gallery set in the heart of Newcastle's cultural quarter.

Jim Edwards 'Cityscapes of the Northeast': https://www.jimedwardspaintings.com/

Peter Francis 'Pictures of the Northeast': http://www.peterfrancis-artist.co.uk/paintings/town-and-city.aspx 

John Martin 'Romantic landscape painter' from Northeast: https://artuk.org/discover/artists/martin-john-17891854

Learn about the world's first steam turbine powered ship, Turbinia, at the Discovery Museum.

Stockton and Darlington railway, opened in 1825, is world's first public railway.

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