As I mentioned in my previous post, my friend K was in Newcastle for a couple of days, and as well as all the eating and drinking, we did manage to fit in some history. First off was a trip to the castle. I have been to the keep before – it hosts plays and films and I saw A Christmas Carol there last year – but never to the Black Gate (which, fun fact, is not named that because of how it looks, but because it was at one stage leased by merchant, Patrick Black. The building now houses a small museum and shop, and a ticket for there also gets you into the Keep.
The Keep is fascinating – some of the rooms are still in pretty decent repair, and though you have to be quite nimble to manage the stairs, I was quite proud of myself in that I got past my dislike of heights and narrow spaces (and the fact that spiral stairs make me dizzy on the best of days, never mind after a night on the town catching up with a friend and lots of wine), and climbed all the way to the top, to be rewarded by a stunning view of the city. An adult ticket costs about £8, but it was definitely worth it.
Free to enter, but accepting donations, is the Cathedral (St Nicholas), just round the corner. Although I am not religious, I do have a fondness and respect for sacred spaces of any religion, and this is a beautiful building. Dating from the 14th century (with a 15th century tower), it has some gorgeous stained glass windows and the famous Thornfield Brass (of which I only managed a blurry photo, sorry). It’s definitely worth your time.