Getting here and Getting Around: Top travel tips

Getting Here and Getting Around: Top travel tips for visitors to NewcastleGateshead during the World Transplant Games

By Rachel Kershaw – Blogger at www.lifeingeordieland.com

With so much happening during the World Transplant Games, it’s a good idea to plan your journey into the city and familiarise yourself with the best ways to get around so you can really make the most of your visit.

Getting lost here can of course be fun, a friendly local (or Team19 volunteer) will always be more than happy to point you in the right direction if you wander off the beaten track, but a little planning will help ensure make the most of your visit.

Whether you’re planning to travel to the World Transplant Games by road, rail, air or sea, you’ll find NewcastleGateshead to be easily accessible, just remember to book travel tickets well in advance for the best deals. Wherever you arrive during the Games period, you’ll be greeted by our friendly Team19 volunteers who will be able to assist you with reaching your designated accommodation.

Arriving by Car

If you chose to bring your car to NewcastleGateshead you’ll certainly know when your destination is near, thanks to the iconic local landmarks that will greet you as you arrive . Antony Gormley’s jaw-dropping ‘Angel of the North’ stands proudly beside the A1 in Gateshead, which is one of the main driving routes in to the region. The A1 runs up the eastern side of the country between London and Edinburgh so once you’re on this road your journey should be a doddle. The A69 connects us to the historic city of Carlisle and the stunning Lake District, join this road via the M6 from Scotland, Wales and the West of England. Your Games accommodation may have onsite parking but if not you’ll see our many public car parks are well signposted and seven of Newcastle City Council’s multi-storey car parks are free to use between 5pm and 8am Monday to Friday.

Arriving by Train

Train passengers are treated to a spectacular river view and a glimpse of the medieval Newcastle Castle as they pull in to Newcastle Central Station. Our train station is right in the heart of the city and can be reached in less than three hours from London. There also regular arrivals from Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds, visitors from pretty much every major town and city in England will find it’s quick and easy to reach Newcastle by train. LNER, Transpennine and Cross Country all operate via Newcastle. For those on accreditation only packages, once inside the train station you’ll find a Metro stop which is ideal for onward journeys to the suburbs, but chances are, if your accommodation is in the city centre it will be easily found on foot. If you prefer to save your energy just jump in a taxi outside the station.

Arriving by Air or Sea

Newcastle International Airport is located less than 8 miles from the city centre and welcomes flights from over 80 destinations worldwide including daily flights from Dubai with Emirates. There’s a stop for the Metro here too, connecting you straight to Newcastle city centre for a stress-free journey.

Our nearest ferry terminal is located in North Shields, also just 8 miles away. DFDS Seaways operates daily crossings to and from Amsterdam and shuttle buses are scheduled to coincide with the ships’ arrival and departure times.

Getting Around on Foot

Newcastle is a very compact city, you can easily walk from St James’ Park to Sports Central in a matter of minutes. Although, you might want to allow a little more time to soak up the atmosphere and gawp at the stunning architecture along the way. One of the most spectacular routes through the bustling city centre is via Grey Street, which is lined with impressive Georgian buildings, it was once voted ‘Best Street in Britain’!

Even walking between Newcastle and Gateshead across the River Tyne is a breeze, the Tyne Bridge is open to both cars and pedestrians and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge offers stunning views for walkers and cyclists.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative have lots of handy maps and guides you can download for free to make navigating your way around even easier. https://www.newcastlegateshead.com/plan-your-visit/maps-and-guides

Public Transport in NewcastleGateshead

A super convenient way to get around is by using the fast and frequent Tyne and Wear Metro, our light rail system which operates from 5.30am till midnight, transporting passengers in to the centre of Newcastle from 60 destinations around the region. You can even use the Metro to travel to and from the breath-taking North East coast, hop off at Tynemouth and take a short stroll to the beautiful sandy beach. All those on accreditation or accommodation packages will receive a pass to use on the Metro throughout the Games period.

We are well served by local buses; Stagecoach, Go North East and Arriva are the operators in our area and their services are regular and reliable. There’s a bus station at intu Eldon Square shopping centre in the heart of the city and many services stop on Blackett Street which is just by Grey’s Monument, one of our most popular meeting spots

The Quaylink is particularly handy for getting around the famous Quayside area, just look out for the bright yellow buses. They can take you to many famous landmarks including the Sage Gateshead and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, both of which are not far from Gateshead International Stadium.

Rachel’s Top Travel Tips for the World Transplant Games:

  1. Book travel tickets early to save money. The best deals are often on advance tickets, especially for trains. So, if you’re travelling in to Newcastle from another of the part of the country, it pays to plan.
  2. Comfy shoes are a must. With so much exploring to do, the last thing you want is blisters ruining your day.
  3. Follow the Games on social media for latest travel updates WTGF_Games  and officialworldtransplantgames/
  4. The best maps are in the minds of the locals. If you get lost, look out for one of our Team19 volunteers or simply ask a friendly face for directions, most Geordies will happily help you out.
  5. Park for free after 5pm. If you’re bringing a car in to the city, you’ll be pleased to hear that seven multi–storey car parks offer free parking after 5pm Monday to Saturday, the list includes Dean Street, Eldon Square and the Quayside Multi-Storey.

If you want to extend your stay and explore the rest of the UK or venture in to Europe, our friends at Travel Bureau can help with arrangements.

See also our Tours and Excursions programme.