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


Travelers in the region will be able to lend a hand during their visit thanks to a new guide published by a world -renowned travel hub.

Rough guides’ Pocket Rough Guide to Newcastle and Northumbria is only the third British guide published by the Travel Agency in 40 years of publication. It is added to a portfolio of more than 120 destinations in the world, aimed at helping travelers to plan their trips and find adventures off the beaten track.

The guide to our region is full of independent opinions and recommendations for activities adapted to children and routes to save time. Areas covered include Newcastle and its Quayside, Ouseburn, Gateshead, Jesmond, Tyneside 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 before the book was published, visiting not only Newcastle and Northumberland but also parts of County Durham. 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 Cattle, I had actually written a article about them before for BBC Travel before making the guide and finding them really interesting. Kielder Forest and Observatory was also really cool, I visited during a meteor shower – although the visibility wasn’t so good, but obviously that’s not their fault!”

Dan also cited the Northumberland coast and the food as a highlight, being particularly fond of the Jolly Fisherman, which was recently named one of the best coastal walks to a pub in the UK, at 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 have 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 North East and the The last leg of the walk through urban and built-up areas is a very different experience.”

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

Although Dan hopes that the book works well, he said that the parents of Geordie’s friends had told him not to say too much about the region so that she remains “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 little 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 level three locking 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 just 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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