Newcastle upon Tyne – most usually shortened to Newcastle – was named after a real castle that William the Conqueror’s son, Robert Curthose, built in 1080.
But the area was a thriving post and trading hub for a long time before that when the Romans decided that its strategic position on the banks of the River Tyne was exactly what they needed.
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The wood trade, coal mining and ship building have all been part of Newcastle’s industrial past, and evidence of these industries can still be seen today. The immense and fascinating Great North Museum gives visitors an insight into how Newcastle – and the surrounding areas – came into being. As well as museums (there is the Discovery Museum for hands on scientific fun too), Newcastle’s ancient past can also be explored; Newcastle Castle, where it all began, is a must-see, as are the creepy yet somehow beautiful Victoria Tunnel that run beneath the city.
Despite this being the most populated city in the north east, there are still many green spaces to get away from it all for a while, such as Jesmond Dene Park, a perfect oasis of nature in the midst of the city.
As for those who are a little more art based, why not pay a visit to the iconic Biscuit Factory, the UK’s largest commercial design space.
Ferries and cruise ships from Newcastle
|Newcastle Amsterdam (via Ijmuiden)||1 daily||15½ hours||See prices °|
This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.
Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries
|Cruise line||Typical itinerary||Prices|
|Newcastle Ports such as Rouen; Honfleur; Cobh; Dublin; Belfast||See prices °|
|Newcastle Ports such as Norway; Amsterdam; Zeebrugge||See prices °|
|Newcastle Ports such as Amsterdam; Ghent; Dublin; Antwerp; Rouen; Hornfleur; Cobh; Kirkwall; Torshavn; Portree; Hamburg||See prices|
This information is for reference purposes only. Information correct at the time of writing.
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To find other ports near you, take a look at the UK port map here.
Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE29 6EE, United Kingdom
The International Passenger Terminal at the Port Of Tyne is located in the North East of England, approximately 8 miles (about 13 kilometres) to the East of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It's used by cruise ships and ferries alike. Based in North Shields, it is a short distance from Newcastle Upon Tyne and has convenient transport links.
The Port is well signposted once you start getting within a few miles of Newcastle. From the A19 at the northern end of the Tyne Tunnel the A187 (Howdon Road) offers the most direct route to the port.
At the Coble Dean roundabout you want to head for the Royal Quays retail park which can be found just before the entrance to the port (very handy if you arrive early and fancy a walk around or a bite to eat!).
The Premier Inn North Shields is the closest hotel to the port so if you are travelling a longer distance to get to the port it may well be worth booking in for a stay here. At the next roundabout you want to head through the underwhelming entrance to the Port of Tyne.
If you're expecting something that screams Welcome you'll be disappointed. Be careful not to take the first exit off this roundabout else you'll head down a dead-end road round the back of the port.
Routes From Scotland
If you are travelling from Scotland there are three main arteries you are most likely going to follow. From the west the M74 runs from Glasgow and turns into the A74(M). At Carlisle you can jump onto the A69 which goes cross country across the North of England to Newcastle.
Alternatively the A68 runs from Edinburgh through Jeburgh before splitting into the A696 just to the north of Newcastle. Lastly, the A1 runs along the east coast of Scotland through Berwick-upon-Tweed and Morpeth before dropping into Newcastle.
Routes From North of England
From the North West of England you can take either the A69 from Carlisle to Newcastle upon Tyne or the A66 from Penrith to Darlington. Here you'll join the A1(M) past Durham, Chester-le-Street and Washington onwards to Newcastle.
For those in the North East of England Newcastle is incredibly easy to access and is very well connected to Northumberland and County Durham.
Routes From the South of England and from Wales
From South Wales you are most likely going to find yourself on the M4 until you cross the border before heading up the M5 to Birmingham. From there it makes sense to cross underneath the city on the M42 before joining the M1 past Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds at which you'll switch to the A1(M). This will take you up through Darlington and Durham through to Newcastle.
From North Wales your first port of call is likely to be Chester where the M56 takes you over to Manchester. Use the M60 to circumvent the city before taking the M62 past Rochdale and Huddersfield. At Leeds you'll switch to the A1(M). This will take you up through Darlington and Durham through to Newcastle.
From the South West of England you'll most likely use the M5 motorway to Birmingham. From there it makes sense to cross underneath the city on the M42 before joining the M1 past Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds at which you'll switch to the A1(M). This will take you up through Darlington and Durham through to Newcastle.
From the South East and London it would make sense to use the A1(M) which is accessed from Junction 23 on the M25. This takes you past Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage to Letchworth Garden City. Here the A1 starts and runs North past Biggleswade and St Neots before changing back to the A1(M) at Huntingdon albeit briefly as at Peterborough it changes back to the A1. This heads past Grantham and Newark-on-Trent before switching back to the A1(M) at Blyth. This runs past Doncaster before briefly changing back once again to the A1 between Carcroft and Pontefract. From here the A1(M) runs up past Leeds, Darlington and Durham through to Newcastle.
As with most ports the car park is charged-for and is on a par with airport parking fees. In May 2016 it was charged at at £12 per 24 hours or part thereof.
This means if you cross into the next 24 hour block, even by just an hour, you will be charged a full day rate. So for example if you park at 3pm on a Friday and embark on a two night mini cruise to Amsterdam returning at around 9am on Sunday, you will be charged for two days of parking.
Getting there by coach
National Express run coach services from across the country to Newcastle upon Tyne Coach Station, a short distance from Newcastle Central Train Station. One route includes a stop at Northumberland Square in North Shields although you'll still need a taxi to get from here to the port.
Route 380 links Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to Wrexham via Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Darlington, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Chester.
Route 425 connects Ashington with London, via Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Darlington, and Leeds. This is the only route that includes a stop at Northumberland Square in North Shields.
Service 591 runs between Edinburgh and London, with a stop at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne alongside short refreshment stops.
Service 580 links Liverpool with Newcastle-Upon-Tyne via Manchester.
Route 385 bridges Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with Pwllheli in North Wales. The route includes pick-ups at Manchester, Liverpool, Cheshire Oaks, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, and Bangor.
Getting there by train
If you're travelling to the port by rail, the nearest Metro station is Percy Main Station which is around one mile away. The Metro system is integrated with local railway stations surrounding Newcastle.
As for the main train station it can be found in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne around 9 miles (about 14 kilometres) away from the port.
The journey between Edinburgh and Newcastle takes around 1½ hours on a direct service. Hull is under 3 hours away from Newcastle as is London, while the journey from Birmingham to Newcastle takes an extra ½ hour. The journey from Cardiff to Newcastle involves changes at Manchester and York and takes around takes around 7 hours.
See below for transfer options from the Railway Station to the port.
DFDS Transfer Bus (for passengers sailing with DFDS Seaways)
DFDS Seaways run branded buses from Newcastle Central Railway Station to the port in North Shields. You can find the current costs here ° but in May 2016 it cost £3.80 per adult each way, and £2.80 per child aged 4+ each way (infants under 4 were free). These buses run to coincide with the ship arrival and departure times, and the transfer usually takes up to 30 minutes depending on the traffic.
You can pre-book a bus transfer at the same time you book your ferry sailing and it is worthwhile doing to save hassle at the time.
- Buses usually run from Newcastle city centre to the port at 1445hrs and 1545hrs though I suggest you double check with DFDS Seaways using the link above as these times are subject to change.
- The return journey departs a short while after the arrival of the ship into the port so make sure you get off the ship promptly if you want to catch this bus.
Tyne and Wear Metro
The nearest Metro station to the port is Percy Main, which is still a considerable walk from the port at 1 mile (about 2 kilometres). You can get to Percy Main from Newcastle Central which takes around 20 to 40 minutes depending on which service you get. During peak times this service runs ever 10 minutes. You can find the latest fares here but in May 2016 the adult fare was £2.50 for a two-zone ticket one-way and a child fare (for children aged 5+, under 5's travelled free) was £1.10 one-way.
From Percy Main a taxi might cost around £6 as it is one mile away from the port. If you haven't got too much luggage you might find this is an easy-enough walk. Head past the Percy Main Football Club grounds on St John's Green before joining Coble Dean. Walk past the Royal Quays retail park and the Wet n Wild attraction entering the Port of Tyne estate at the next roundabout. It's a short walk from the entrance to the International Passenger Terminal building.
There are always likely to be taxis parked outside the train station ready to ferry you to the port. Fares vary but budget to spend around £25 one way depending on the route taken, traffic on the road and the time of day you are travelling at. The transfer time should be around 20 minutes depending on traffic volume.