‘World-renowned’ travel agency publishes pocket guide to Newcastle and the North East


Travelers to the region will be able to get a helping hand when visiting thanks to a new guide published by a “world-renowned” travel hub.

Rough Guides’ Pocket Rough Guide to Newcastle and Northumbria is one of three UK guides the travel agency is publishing this year, in which it celebrates its 40th anniversary. It adds to a portfolio of more than 120 destinations worldwide, aimed at helping travelers plan their trips and find adventures off the beaten path.

Our area guide is full of independent reviews and recommendations for kid-friendly activities and time-saving itineraries. Areas covered include Newcastle and its Platform, Ouseburn, Gateshead, jesmondTyneside and the Northumberland coast.

Read more: National Geographic is going crazy for Newcastle – here’s what the travel magazine loved

The guide’s author, Dan Stables, made several research visits to the region prior to the publication of the book, passing not only through Newcastle and Northumberland but parts of County Durham too. He says the North East was a no-brainer after an earlier Rough Guides book on Liverpool was published in 2020, and was excited to explore the area further by having friends here, with whom he had enjoyed previous visits.

Dan said: “It was part of the world I knew, I had always wanted to explore the area a bit more, especially Northumberland.

“Something that really sticks in my mind is Chillingham Castle which was really cool. I was lucky enough to spend the night there and even though they call it the most haunted castle from Great Britain, I must say that I have not experienced anything paranormal.

The ancient wild cattle in the grounds of Chillingham Castle

“And in the park they have the Chillingham Wild CattleI actually wrote a article about them before for BBC Travel before making the guide and finding them really interesting. Kielder forest and Observatory were very cool too, I visited during a meteor shower – even though the visibility wasn’t that great, but obviously that’s not their fault!”

Dan also cited the Northumberland coast and the food as one of the highlights, being particularly fond of the Jolly Fisherman, who was recently named as one of the best coastal walks to a pub in the UKin Craster. And he hopes to return to the Northeast to walk the full length of Hadrian’s Wall.

View from the Jolly Fisherman's beer garden
View from the Jolly Fisherman’s beer garden

He added, “I visited some sites for the book, like Vindolanda and Segedunum, but what I really want to do is walk the full length of it. I know it transcends the borders of the Northeast and the final leg of walking through urban and built-up areas is a very different experience.”

Lesser known parts of Hadrian's Wall - the Temple of Antenociticus on Broomridge Road in Benwell
Lesser known parts of Hadrian’s Wall – the Temple of Antenociticus on Broomridge Road in Benwell

Although Dan hopes the book does well, he said Geordie’s friends’ parents told him not to say too much about the area so it would stay “under the radar”.

He concluded, “It’s always a double-edged sword to write guidebooks in general, especially for the people who live there, because obviously you want to publicize a place and you hope the book sells well and that people are starting to go there, but you don’t want the place where you live to be inundated with tourists. I hope it shines a light on a part of the country that is the kind of place where ‘in-the-know’ people know how amazing Northumberland and Newcastle are, but it goes a bit under the radar I think.”

The Tyne Bridge at sunset in Newcastle
The Tyne Bridge at sunset in Newcastle

At least this version is in slightly better circumstances than Dan’s last guide. The Pocket Rough Guide to Liverpool was launched the day before the city was plunged into Tier Three lockdown restrictions in 2020.

Ian Thomas, Destination Manager at the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, said: ” The guide will be a great tool in our continued support for the recovery of the region’s tourism sector as we continue to work to attract domestic and international visitors. To be recognized by such a prestigious and respected voice as Rough Guides will not only introduce Newcastle and Northumbria and the fantastic businesses here to an international audience, but will instill confidence in tours. »

Andrew Fox, Chairman of Visit Northumberland, said: ” This is a fantastic publication for Newcastle and Northumberland, not only because Rough Guides is the world’s leading travel publication, but because we are now one of the few UK destinations to have received its own pocket guide dedicated.The worldwide popularity of pocket guides provides a great opportunity for Newcastle and Northumberland to gain wide exposure and encourage new visitors to the region.”

The Pocket Rough Guide to Best British Breaks: Newcastle and Northumbria is now available from all major retailers.

Which destinations in the North East would you recommend to tourists? Let us know!

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