NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD
Why we say it's hot right now:
The Great Exhibition of the North, an epic 77-day exhibition showcasing art, culture, design and innovation from the north of England. One of the contributing factors is that Rough Guides have also declared Newcastle and Gateshead a top destination for 2018.
Best known for:
Being a great starting point for exploring the Roman remains of Hadrian's Wall, the ancient defensive barrier that in its entirety once ran 73 miles from coast to coast.
Sir Antony Gormley's iconic Angel of the North stands at 20 metres high and 54 metres wide and is an outstanding piece of public art. Dominating the Gateshead landscape, stand at the feet of this impressive statue for an unmissable photo. Plus, marking its 20th anniversary this year will be a range of special events; look out for pop-up #Angel 20 activities and workshops at Gateshead venues.
Where to stay:
Although it's twenty minutes away from Newcastle, as the leading design hotel and spa in Northern England Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa is certainly a worthy contender for receiving our vote.
A foodie paradise:
With a spate of new restaurant openings, Michelin-star restaurants, comforting street food and everything in between, the city is great for food choices. For a spot of romance, the twoMichelin-star House of Tides fits the bill, while the Quayside has welcomed Dobson & Parnell, with its focus on fine-dining British cuisine and Gateshead has seen the opening of Lola Jeans, which features a menu ‘from barn to board' and an inspired cocktail list. Check out the neighbourhood of Jesmond for new eateries such as Cal’s Own for Brooklyn-style pizza pie too.
Gateshead and Newcastle, often described as twin-cities, joined by seven bridges across the River Tyne, are en route to Scotland. By train, it's just a 1½ hour journey north to Edinburgh.
Pictured left-right: Theatre Royal and Hadrian's Wall, Newcastle