100 Reasons Why It's Great Up North - 2010

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Crag Lough, Hadrians Wall, hill, lake, scenic, landscape, tourism

1: Not just one world heritage site… Hadrian’s Wall, lit up across its length by 1,000 torch-bearers in March, watched by 50,000 people and millions worldwide…

2: but two. Durham’s magnificent Norman cathedral was also illuminated in November. Swathed in the Lindisfarne Gospels-inspired Lumiere light show.

3: and possibly three – the twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow is the UK’s nomination for world heritage site status in 2011.

4: Trying to get your head around the number of trees in the Kielder Water & Forest Park – 150m (not to mention bike and art trails).

5: Paul Collingwood, from Shotley Bridge to England cricket’s first world cup-winning captain in the T20. He’s also our record one-day run scorer.

6: Admiral Lord Collingwood, the hero of Trafalgar died 200 years ago in 2010. Ceremonies and festivals were held to celebrate the date.

7: Seaton Delaval Hall, one of the region – and the nation’s – greatest historic houses. Now open to the public after The Journal campaigned for it to be saved.

8: Metrocentre – still the Best in Britain.

9: The walk across Embleton Bay, towards Dunstanburgh Castle. You’ll know why if you’ve passed the dunes.

10: and the host of Blue Flag beaches the region boasts.

11: The ospreys of Kielder, breeding the North East’s first chicks for 200 years.

12: The Eagles of Newcastle, our all-conquering basketball side, led by Fabulous Flournoy.

13: Durham County Cricket Club, champs for the last two years, just 17 years after becoming a first-class county.

Visitors at the Great North Museum

14: The new Great North Museum with a million visitors in its first year – already in the UK’s Top 10

15: Niall Quinn. The first footballer to give his testimonial cash to charity, then turned around his beloved Sunderland.

16: Newcastle United’s fans – the 4th highest average attendance in the country last season, even with their team in the second tier.

17: The Tyne and Wear Metro – 30 years and still going strong.

18: Curing blindness at the North East England Stem Cell Institute.

19: The new Eldon Square, with the spanking new St Andrew’s Way and the only Apple store between Sheffield and Glasgow.

20: Being gobsmacked by the size of the crowds at the Sunderland International Airshow…Europe’s biggest free display.

21: Taking interval drinks at The Sage Gateshead, a truly special venue.

22: The Get Carter car park photographers – a constant stream of snappers capturing the icon/monstrosity’s final days.

23: Anish Kapoor’s towering Temenos sculpture in Middlesbrough.

24: Lee Hall’s Billy Elliot leading the British charge on Broadway.

25: followed to New York by his new play about the Pitmen Painters. Newcastle’s Dodgy Clutch Theatre Company also took Elephant to the Big Apple. A North East hat-trick.

26: The ‘bendy’ printable electronics of Petec, the Sedgefield centre leading the way in creating a new North East industrial revolution.

27: Nissan’s Sunderland plant being chosen to produce the firm’s new Leaf electric vehicles – and we’ll make the electric batteries for use in cars around the world.

28: The Journal’s Culture mag – the only glossy arts mag in UK regional papers.

29: Northumbria University’s new state-of-the-art £30m 3,000-seat Sports Central, host to international basketball and Team Northumbria.

30: The Central – Gateshead’s own ‘flatiron’ building, bought up and being transformed by the Head of Steam pub firm.

31: Watching kids hold their arms out wide at The Angel…

32: and how is it that there always seems to be someone on the Gateshead Millennium bridge…except when it’s tilting (now at regular intervals), of course.

Beamish Open Air Museum

33: Beamish Museum – 40 going on 97 (or the recreated 1913 village is, at least). Named recently as one of the world’s 12 coolest museums by the Sunday Times.

34: Raising a pint of Jarrow’s Rivet Catcher, Mordue’s Workie Ticket, Wylam’s Northern Kite or any beer from our microbrewery industry.

35: Watching the Red Kites soar above the Derwent Valley, a poetic, visionary, moving achievement to re-introduce them to the region. A world first in a semi-urban environment.

36: Rummaging through the bits and pieces at Tynemouth Market on the platforms of the Metro station.

37: Losing a few hours in Barter Books, described by The New Statesman as the “British Library of second hand bookshops”.

38: Taking strides forward in the cure for cancer at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

39: Sir Bobby Robson – his legend and his legacy.

40: The moment a man dressed as a sausage passes you on that painful, final mile of the Great North Run on the South Shields seafront, the greatest race in the world.

41: Looking at this year’s award-winning Chelsea Flower Show display – using viola flower heads to depict 55,000 runners racing across the Tyne Bridge.

42: Gateshead International Stadium being one of just 14 venues in the world to host the elite 2010 Diamond League athletics series.

43: Attending a star camp at the Kielder Observatory under the darkest sky in England, according to the CPRE.

44: There’s Sting, Knopfler, Cheryl, Ferry, but few stars shine brighter than Kathryn Tickell, the piper awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music last year.

45: Brilliant Baltic.

Newcastle City Library

46: Borrowing a book at Newcastle’s new £40m stunning city library with its striking ‘glass box’ eastern side.

47: Taking a dip at Sunderland’s Aquatic centre, featuring the only 50m swimming pool between Leeds and Edinburgh.

48: Newcastle Airport – 75 years old and boasting a new prestigious Emirates route.

49: Locomotion – a fitting museum to celebrate the birthplace of the railways. Now with the steam world record holder: Mallard.

50: The Venerable Bede – 1,300 and his work is still in print.

51: Getting dressed up for Ladies Day at Newcastle Racecourse, this year’s was the best attended ever.

52: Narec in Blyth – at the forefront of renewable energy research.

53: More than 12,000 listed buildings and 1,300 scheduled ancient monuments.

54: Metro Radio Arena – named one of world’s busiest entertainment venues.

55: Feeling dwarfed at Belsay, with Ron Mueck’s oversized sculptures.

56: The Tyne – the best river for salmon in England and Wales after record numbers recorded this summer.

57: Seven Stories centre for the Children’s Book – JK Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson can’t be wrong

58: The Ouseburn Valley – a new creative hotbed, surrounding artists’ studios and the best small gig venue for miles, The Cluny

59: Looking through glass, darkly, brightly and beautifully at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

60: Getting dolled up for Ladies Day at Newcastle Racecourse, this year’s was the busiest ever.

61: Cragside – refurbished, rewired and now reopened – the world’s first hydroelectric house.

62: Hartlepool hosting the Tall Ships in 2010, a few years after the storming success of the Newcastle and Gateshead event.

63: The couple peering out to sea at Newbiggin. You love it really.

64: The Northumberland County Show.

65: Rington’s tea – a lifesaver. Not least when one of its salesman saved a collapsed diabetic woman with some marshmallows from his basket recently.

66: Woodhorn’s mining museum, a paean to a lost age of the North.

67: The Durham Miners’ Gala, still watched by thousands.

Theatre Royal

68: The Theatre Royal in Newcastle’s return to the classic Matcham look of 1901 finished in time for the 175th birthday in February 2012...

69: and not started before the RSC take up residency this autumn.

70: The Tyneside Cinema’s refurb, looking better than ever.

71: Singing along at Evolution, a fully-fledged festival on the banks of the Tyne.

72: Grace Darling’s rescue boat at her museum in Bamburgh.

73: Wallsend Boys’ Club, still churning out the stars of tomorrow.

74: Loving and loving LS Lowry at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

75: Swing, Tyne, Millennium, Baltic, Sage, Byker Wall…walking across the High Level Bridge at sunset.

76: Every last Rolo in the world being made at the Nestlé Rowntree factory in Fawdon.

77: Vindolanda, the fruit of one family’s dedication and dream. With a little help from the Romans.

78: Turning a corner at the Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery and spying the Blaydon Races from the corner of an eye.

79: The Tyne pedestrian tunnel, a wonder that you’d hardly know was there.

beach, bamburgh beach, coast, sea, seaside, dunes

80: The beautiful village of Bamburgh.

81: Feeding the wild Canadian geese in Saltwell Park then watching them gather on the Northern Fields at sundown.

82: Saturday, 2.45pm: a striped city centre. Lines of black and white everywhere.

83: The pilgrims carrying their cross to Holy Island at Easter.

84: Searching for the Lambton worm at Herrington Country Park.

85: The North Eastern hands that created the Lindisfarne Gospels.

86: Beal Farm in Northumberland – named the most beautiful in Britain in 2009/10.

87: Newcastle Central Station, because they don’t make them like that anymore.

88: The shoe tree in Armstrong Park, Heaton.

89: Bill Bryson.

90: England’s largest waterfall, High Force.

91: The coast to coast route.

92: The Cheviots.

93: The heads that move behind the bar at Rosie’s in Newcastle city centre.

94: Taking a sup of Lindisfarne mead.

95: Craster kippers – a thing of joy. Pease pudding, stotties, Brown Ale...and all of our other regional delights.

96: Newcastle’s Grey Street – the 2010 Great Street of the Year in the Urbanism Awards. Previous plaudits came from architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner.

97: Proctor and Gamble, in Longbenton, North Tyneside – we have the brains behind some of the world’s biggest brands.

98: We invented the light bulb, Edison didn’t. Hats off to Joseph Swan.

99: Warkworth Castle. Dunstanburgh Castle. Bamburgh Castle. And lots of more very good castles.

100: West Auckland – the first football team to ever win a world cup. Newcastle and Sunderland – two cities ready to play host in 2018.

Grey Street


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer