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Tucked away in the cold northeastern corner of England, the North Sea port city of Newcastle might not be the first name on every traveller's itinerary. However, the many historic buildings and bridges together with the recently revamped quayside area make Newcastle an interesting and atmospheric place to visit.
Evolution Music Festival is held on the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. It is a weekend long music festival on the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside, which boasts dozens of high end music stars from Dizzy Rascal to Iggy Pop. You can purchase tickets which cost around £35 for the full weekend, but you can also just go down to the Quayside and enjoy the music for free without getting close to the stage.
Likely to be cold, even by English standards, however not as wet as the west coast. Summers are from June to August, when temperatures are around 20 °C. Frost and snow during winter are not uncommon, but mostly it is well above zero with some showers. Most of the precipitation falls during the autumn and winter months.
Newcastle International Airport (NCL) handles both flights within United Kingdom and to several international destinations in Europe, Africa and North America. The airport can easily be reached from the Newcastle Central Railway station by a direct service and journey takes around 30 minutes.
To/from the airport
On the East Coast main line, direct train services link the city to London, York, Durham, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. A branch line runs across Northumberland as far as Carlisle. Train fares, availability of seats, timings and onward connections can be checked at the official National Rail Enquiries website
There are places to eat in pretty much every street in Newcastle. If you are looking for something on a budget then you have several fast food restaurants around the city centre. However, if you are looking for a little more classy places then you truly are spoilt for choice. A fine Italian on Dean Street called Marco Polo or a little further down the street (towards the quayside) is a place called Roscos, which not only has an amazing selection of food but a pretty cool interior as well.
|Albatross||51 Grainger Street||Hostel||81|
|Britannia Hotel Newcastle Airport||Ponteland Woolsington||Hotel||-|
|Euro Hostel Newcastle Halls||Garth Heads Off Melbourne Street||Hostel||-|
|Grainger Hotel||1-3 Graingerville North Westgate Road||Hotel||75|
|Roselodge House||Benwell Lane Benwell||Guesthouse||73|
|The George Hotel||88 Osborne Road, Jesmond, NE2 2AP||Hotel||-|
|YHA Newcastle upon Tyne||107 Jesmond Road Tyne & Wear, NE2 1NJ||Hostel||-|
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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