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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.

In­sta­grammable land­marks:

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.

Get­ting there:

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

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