Newcastle upon Tyne has gone through many stages in its history as a city, from Roman fortress to a shipping centre from the late 18th to the mid 20th century. Today, however, the city is mostly reliant on office and retail businesses for its economy, and has become something of a cultural hub. The Byker Wall, designed by Ralph Erskine during a city development project during the 1960s, is now listed by UNESCO as one of the outstanding buildings of the 20th century. The first Biotechnology Village or “Centre for Life” in the United Kingdom was also established in Newcastle upon Tyne, which has helped transform the city into a scientific centre as well as a cultural one.

Like most other cities in England, Newcastle upon Tyne is overwhelmingly Caucasian and non-practising Christian (91.9% of population). However, there are significant Pakistani, Indian, Muslim, Jewish and Chinese minorities in the city. The presence of these minorities in the city is significant enough that Silver Street (now defunct) was formerly known as Jew Gate.

Modern day Newcastle is also full of cultural attractions and monuments that will delight visitors; Earl Grey’s Monument, St. Nicholas Cathedral and the old Castle Keep are all historic landmarks worth visiting. A beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral, St. Mary’s, is also located in the city. Newcastle has the second highest number of listed buildings in England outside London (Bath being 1st)

Over the last 15 years the Newcastle Quayside has been redeveloped and that combined with the development of the south side of the river in Gateshead has turned this area into one of the most stunning city scapes in the world.

The locals are known as Geordies, and they have a distinct character and dialect. Geordie is recognised as a separate dialect from standard English and it stems from a mixture of Old English, Nordic languages and Scots (having a number of words that are present in modern Swedish). Everyone speaks standard English and will use it when in the presence of a non-local. The accent is difficult to interpret at first, but you will be able to understand it fairly quick and easy.

Geordies are generally friendly and very sociable; nights out on 'tha Toon' are generally good fun, with a wide selection of bars and clubs dotted around the compact city centre, it was voted 7th best night out in the world by Weissman Travel correspondents (now known as Intelliguide Reports). It's nearly a guarantee that you'll find yourself on the dancefloor with several locals by the end of the night, having an absolute whale of a time!

 A peculiarity of nights out in Newcastle would be the tendency of women to wear rather skimpy clothing, regardless of the weather. It could be 30C at sunset or -7C and snowing, the Geordie lasses tend to expose as much flesh as they can before it gets indecent. Men tend to go for a casual approach and most clubs & bars in Newcastle allow t-shirts & jeans to be worn. Trainers (tennis shoes) are a bit of an issue come the weekend though, so it's best to pack a good pair of shoes.