The United Kingdom is made up of four individual countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland; each have their own unique heritage and culture. The United Kingdom has a total population of around 63 million people, around 53 million of whom live in England. The official language in the United Kingdom is English, although Welsh and Celtic languages are still in use in certain areas.
A multicultural society; it is common for a wide variety of world languages to be used in the home and on the street. English has a number of regional accents, with the ‘Geordie’ accent being widely used in the Newcastle area. Don’t worry about this; your ears will soon adapt to the different sounds.
Newcastle is a relatively small but culturally and economically thriving city surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in England. More than 40,000 students already live here (that’s about one in seven of the population), which makes students pretty important in the scheme of things.
It’s the students who make Newcastle such a vibrant, modern, youthful city, renowned for its nightlife, sports, entertainment, and shops. Notwithstanding its friendly nature, City Center, Newcastle is one of the finest classical cities in Europe, with large areas of the city center made up of buildings listed for their architectural and historical significance.
Just over the River Tyne, Newcastle’s neighbor Gateshead is home of the Angel of the North, the Millennium Bridge, Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, and the world famous Sage Gateshead.
With several theaters, including the Theatre Royal, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company for a season every year, cinema complexes, classical music, and dance venues, there’s plenty to do and see.
For film fans, the Tyneside Cinema has earned its national reputation as a leading venue for alternative films.
Music venues include the City Hall, Metro Radio Arena, and Sage Gateshead music center, an outstanding facility for all kinds of live music and a pioneering center for music education.
Newcastle has several bars, restaurants, pubs, and clubs, from the glamorous Quayside and the City Center where you can find the glass-fronted Gate development – home to a multiplex cinema, and a multitude of restaurants and bars – to trendy Osborne Road in Jesmond, a perfect place to sit outside in the summer and enjoy a glass of wine.
There are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops to suit all tastes, cultures, and bank balances. The famous Grey Street has a fantastic variety of pizzas, pastas, and other great restaurants.
Newcastle is a city of festivals and entertainment, with local events all year round. There are festivals for comedy, dance, film, literature, and jazz, which includes the Free Festival of street entertainment and the Irish Festival.
Sports fans can look forward to football, rugby union, international athletics, professional tennis tournaments, basketball, ice hockey, and first-class cricket.
The city hosts the Great North Run, Europe’s biggest mass-participation road race with 30,000 runners turning out every September. Of course, there is also St. James’ Park, home of Premier League football club Newcastle United.
If it’s retail therapy you’re looking for, Newcastle has one of the most varied and successful shopping centers in the United Kingdom, which includes great British brands such as Topshop, River Island, All Saints, among hundreds of others, and Gateshead’s enormous Metro Centre is just across the River Tyne. All types of food are available in Newcastle. You will find a wide range of grocery stores, from gourmet specialty shops to large discount supermarkets. The most popular stores are Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, and Marks and Spencer.