August 14, 2022

Olympia Travel

Olympia Travel Tips

“World-renowned” travel company publishes pocket guide to Newcastle and the North East

Travellers to the region will be able to get a helping hand when they 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 UK guide that the travel company has released in 40 years of publishing. It adds to a portfolio of more than 120 destinations worldwide, aiming to help travellers plan their trips and find off-the-beaten-track adventures.

The guide to our region is packed with independent reviews and recommendations for child-friendly activities and time-saving itineraries. Areas covered include Newcastle and its Quayside, Ouseburn, Gateshead, Jesmond, Tyneside and the Northumberland Coast.

Read more: National Geographic goes mad for Newcastle – here’s what the travel mag loved

The guide’s author, Dan Stables, made several research visits to the region ahead of the book’s publication, taking in not only Newcastle and Northumberland but parts of County Durham too. He says that the North East was a ‘no-brainer’ after a previous Rough Guides book on Liverpool was published in 2020, and was delighted to explore more of the region from having friends up here, with whom he had enjoyed previous visits.

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

“Somewhere that really sticks in my mind was Chillingham Castle, which was really cool. I had a chance to spend the night there and even though they call it Britain’s most haunted castle, I have to say I didn’t experience anything paranormal.



The ancient wild cattle in the grounds of Chillingham Castle

“And in the grounds, they’ve got the Chillingham Wild Cattle, I’d actually written an article about them before for BBC Travel before I did the guidebook and found them really interesting. Kielder Forest and Observatory were very cool as well, I visited during a meteor shower – though the visibility wasn’t that good, but that’s obviously not their fault!”

Dan also listed the Northumberland Coast and the food as one of the highlights, being particularly fond of the Jolly Fisherman, which was recently named as one of the best coastal walks to a pub in the UK, in Craster. And he hopes to return to the North East to walk the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall.



View from the beer garden at The Jolly Fisherman
View from the beer garden at The Jolly Fisherman

He added: “I’ve been to some of the sites for the book, like Vindolanda and Segedunum, but what I really want to do is walk the whole length of it. I know it transcends the boundaries of the North East, and the final bit walking through urban and built up areas is a very different experience.”



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

Though Dan hopes that the book does well, he said that parents of Geordie friends have told him not to tell too much of the area so that it remains ‘under the radar.’

He finished: “It’s always a double edged sword writing guide books in general, particularly for the people who live there, because obviously you want to increase awareness of a place and we hope that the book sells well and that people start going there, but you don’t want the place you live to be swamped with tourists. Hopefully it just shines a light on a part of the country which is the sort of place that people ‘in the know’ know how amazing Northumberland is and Newcastle is, 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 release is in slightly better circumstances than Dan’s last guidebook. 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 Director at the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, said: ” The guide will be an excellent tool in our ongoing support of the recovery of the region’s tourism sector as we continue to work to attract domestic and international visitors. Being recognised by such a prestigious and respected voice such as Rough Guides, will not only showcase Newcastle and Northumbria and the fantastic businesses here to an international audience but will instil confidence in visiting.”

Andrew Fox, chair 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 only a few UK destinations to have received their own dedicated pocket guide.The pocket guides’ worldwide popularity offers a great opportunity for Newcastle and Northumberland to receive widespread exposure and encourage new visitors to the area.”

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

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

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