Your free travel mag from Newcastle Airport...
NYC GET AWAY
including *Where to stay in the Big Apple
* A one day New York itinerary * Manhattan’s best sights * The city’s top places to eat
Follow a backpacker as he travels the FAR EAST, INDIA L AOS
*Take the trip of a lifetime and visit SYDNEY and AYERS ROCK *Follow the American Dream to NEW YORK CITY *Discover the shocking past of ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE
WHERE TO EAT
YOUR GUIDE TO NEWCASTLE AND THE NORTH EAST
WHERE TO GO
1 AIRPORT GUIDE AND INFO
Editor’s letter We’ve all been in that situation where we’ve arrived at the airport a few hours early, or we find out our plane as been delayed for an unbarable amount of time. I despise the waiting around. Now, however, Newcastle Interational Airport has its very own travel magazine, FLITE. This first issue of FLITE is filled with places to go, be it the relentless noise and lights of New York City (page 14) in the United States, or the more layed back, but equally as fascinating, Sydney in Australia (page 23). I can also recommend visiting Uluru (or Ayers Rock), one of the wonders of the world, while you’re there. For those who dread being on a plane for over six hours, why not read up on the luxurious Cote d’Azur (page 46) on France’s southern coast. It’s known for its glamour and the extravagant lifestyle the locals live, but Rebecka Edwards -- who has a holiday home there -- explains how to see the sights without paying a fortune. A historical feature on Oradour-sur-Glane reveals the small French town’s extraordinary and shocking past, while a backpacker reveals why he left the North East and what he discovered. What’s better than reading about these stunning and interesting places? The fact Newcastle offer flights to all of them!
Patrick Carney 5
THE BIG APPLE - NEW YORK
DOWN UNDER - ULURU
Find out what to do, what to see, where to sleep and where to eat in what is perhaps the greatest city in the world.
Better known as Ayers Rock, it is one of the wonders of the world and is symbol of Australia.
DOWN UNDER - SYDNEY Spending New Years Eve in Sydney is something that must be done in life. The city is well known for its celebrations among other things.
A BACKPACKERS ADVENTURE The story of a backpacker as he recalls his journey through the western world, visiting places such as India, Thailand, Laos and China.
Contents 10 49
ORADOUR - STEP BACK IN TIME A small village in France is now a major tourist attraction but it was once the scene for one of the most horrific events in modern history.
HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS Don’t make the mistake of going away on holiday without these esstential items. Ever wondered what’s the best sun screen on the market?
Make sure you remember everything by using this handy checklist. There’s also a simple currency converter.
55º - GUIDE TO THE NE Stranger to the North East or a local looking to indulge in what the North East has to offer? Find it here.
WINTER SUN - ALL INCLUSIVE REVIEW: Is Egypt the place to lap up some rays of sunshine? We review a hotel in Dahab.
Newcastle International Airport has many shops and places you can wine and dine. Also important check-in and boarding.
EDITOR Patrick Carney DESIGNER Patrick Carney
PHOTOGRAPHY Patrick Carney Thanks to: D Nilsson, Hilton Hotels, A Penev, R Meehan PUBLISHING Aztec Colour Print
Travelling the world but only having a bag on your back means you have to pack only the essentials.
NEED TO GET IN TOUCH? Editorial enquiries 0191 555 5555 General enquiries email@example.com Flite Magazine, Building 65, Cairns Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR5 1QS
COTE D’AZUR SHOE STRING Noted as being one of the most luxurious areas in the world, but it can be done. on a budget.
Oradour Step back in time...
Town folk from nearby Limoges would often visit the small countryside village of Oradour-sur-Glane and enjoy picnics or to fish in the Glane -- a little river known to be well stocked. The hotels, cafes and restaurants were known for their friendliness as well as their delectable cuisine. Today however, the birds no longer sing and the fish no longer swim in the blood stained river of Oradour. The village is now just a ruin which bears witness to an act of cruelty that took place on a fateful day on June 10, 1944. Just a few days after D-Day, the allied invasion of Europe in the Second World War, German intelligence got word of a French Resistance hideout in Oradour-sur-Vayres. The 3rd Company of the SS 2nd Panzer Division mistakenly sealed of Oradour-sur-Glane and began a search. After finding nothing of interest, the Waffen SS rounded up and massacred 642 of the village population. Six survived. â€œI heard an explosion, probably a grenade. On this signal, the men behind the machine gun settled into position and fired. In a deafening din and the smell of gunpowder, every man fell, one on top of the other. The cries of pain, the heat, the smell of blood mingled with that of hay, dust and powder, turned the village in to Hell on Earth,â€? said
Historical travel feature
The main street of Oradour-sur-Glane. The village was the scene of one of the worst crimes in the Second World War and is now an open-air museum. The buildings and streets remain they way they have done for 68 years. survivor Robert Hébras. The women were taken to the church. A remarkable piece of architecture, the building was particularly noted for its great ogival vault that rested on four carved pillars. “We entered the House of God with our babies in our arms,” said fellow survivor Madame Rouffanche. The German soldiers then locked the doors of the church and then proceeded to set the church on fire. Behind the altar of the church there were three windows,
“I know my history but I hadn’t heard of Oradour-surGlane. It’s a real eye opener.” “I went to the middle one,” she said. “The biggest window, I heaved myself up and fell about ten feet through broken glass. A woman and her child followed me, but alerted by the childs crying, the Germans fired. My companion and her baby were killed. I managed to crawl away in to a garden and hide.” The S.S. returned the following day and dug two huge communal graves. By an irony of life, the only thing left free of the slaughter were the animals left behind by the butchered villagers.
Major Dickmann, the officer in command of the massacre was later brought in front of a court-martial for the slaughter of women and children. The verdict is unknown, however he was sent to the Normandy front and 19 days after the killings at Oradour, he left his trench without a helmet and was immediately hit in the head by shrapnel and died. Later, when France was freed from German occupancy, General Charles de Gaulle visited the ruined village. He made two decrees. First, that ruins should be preserved so that future generation would never forget the atrocity, and second, that a new Oradour should be built in view of the ruined town. Nine years later in 1953, the new Oradour was inaugurated. The village is constantly in mourning and no colour is allowed for permanent fixtures -- buildings are white and shutters and street signs are grey. “Those who were born in the new village had great difficulty accepting this mourning. Their thirst for life and gaiety was not compatible with the grief enforced on to them,” said Hébras. That same year, the French Government offered an amnesty to those accused of the killings at Oradour-sur-Glane. Those charged with were sentenced to death, hard labour and prison, but they left court free men. On hearing this, the village severed all relations with the Government and the rupture lasted 17 years. After reconciliation, the village was turned in to a museum and has been left as it was on that fateful day in 1944. 11
Historical travel feature
The church of Oradour-sur-Glane was the location for one of the most shocking crimes of the war. The ruin is among the most harrowing in the village. Inset: Survivor, Robert Hébras.
oday, the new Oradour-sur-Glane (pictured below) is a small town that, according to Hébras, has met the challenge of life. 2,000 people now live here, but they are forever reminded of the past as the old town is within view. The ruins are open every day of the week and a visitor centre has been built at the entrance to assist the hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit each year.
Joan Keegan, visiting from Sunderland said: “I didn’t know what to expect here. We picked up a leaflet at the tourist information office in Limoges and Oradour sounded very interesting.” She added: “I know coming to a place with a story such as this might sound a bit depressing but plenty of people go to visit places like Auschwitz. I know my history but I hadn’t heard of Oradour-sur-Glane. It’s a real eye opener.”
Newcastle International Airport now offer direct flights to Limoges though Flybe. The main part of the museum is free to access, but for a charge of €8/£6.50 you can enter a special section which provides more background information. Annual closure of the Centre de la Mémoire is from 16th December to 31st January inclusive. During this closed period, the ruins are still accessible between 09:00 to 17:00 via the entrance on the road to Confolens (the D9) opposite the Centre de la Mémoire. 13
The N Big Apple NEWYORK
ew York, The Capital of The World. The City So Nice, They Named It Twice. The City That Never Sleeps. The Empire City. Gotham. Hymie Town. The Big Apple or simply, The City. Whatever the name, this place his place has it all. Stepping on to the street is an experience in itself. The noise of cars whizzing past on Broadway - known as The Crossroads of the World - constantly sounding their horn, the smells from hot dog vendors filling the nostrils, the yellow blur caused by an army of taxi cabs streaking past and the towering skyscrapers that pierce the sky truely overwhelm the senses. New York has everything and can be everything, which is probably why so many come here in hope of living the American Dream. It’s a city
that feels like one big movie set. It’s a surreal city. Guide books and websites might say that New York City is one of the worlds greatest metropolis, musicians from Frank Sinatra to Alicia Keys have sang about this city, but until standing in the middle of the ‘concrete jungle’ it is quite hard to comprehend the vast scale of the United State’s most populous city. New York is a hub for commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The city’s landmarks are known worldwide, which is probably why some 50 million people a year decide to visit anually. There’s no longer the inconvenience of having to fly via London as flights are now offered directly from Newcastle International Airport. Read on to find out what to do, where to stay and where to eat
NY // STAY
NEW YORK HILTON **** Avenue of the Americas is home to Hilton’s flagship hotel. The biggest hotel in the city is the number 1 choice for the celebrities, with guests such as The Beatles and every President since John F. Kennedy staying here. Undergoing numerous multi-million dollar renovations since Martin Cooper made the world’s first mobile phone call in the hotel lobby in 1973, The New York Hilton remains one of New Yorks finest hotels. Located in central New York, it’s only a few blocks away from Rockefeller Centre, Radio City Music Hall and 5th Avenue. Nearby points of interest also include Broadway and Times Square. Although the hotel is known for it’s famous guests and has a the luxury connotations that go with the Hilton brand, the rooms are affordable. However, Executive rooms are located on the higher floors and provide stunning views over Central Park if you’re looking north or views of the Empire State Building if you’re looking south. A health club, a sauna, and a fitness facility are all available within the 4-star hotel for those looking for a pampering, as well as a business center that offers small meeting rooms, a meeting/conference room, and secretarial services for those on business duties. As well as being the biggest hotel in the city, The Hilton is one of the best and has rooms and rates available for everyone.
intercontinental hotel Times Square
Salisbury Hotel CENTRAL PARK
Grand Hyatt New York
Situated near Times Square, the location is perfect for a sight-seeing trip. Broadway is on the doorstop, the subway is right by the hotel and Restaurant Row is a short walk away, noise can be bothersome due to the proximity to Times Square but New York is loud across the whole city.
Just one block away from Central Park, the Salisbury Hotel is ideally located in Midtown and the rooms are large for a New York hotel. However, the building is old, the decor and hotel itself is crying out for a facelift, but if aesthetics aren’t important this hotel is good value for money.
Not only one of New York’s best hotels but, Sandwiched between Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building, the Grand Hyatt is one of the most picturesque hotels too. Formerly the Commodore Hotel, it was completely rebuilt and only the neoclassical grand ballroom remain. 15
WHERE TO GO
One of the biggest parks in the world, Central Park is home to a zoo and wildlife centre, a lake, a concert arena and ice rink among others. The park sits in northern Manhattan and is surrounded by a sea of skyscrapers. It’s one of the most famous places in the world, and the most filmed location, although it is recommended not to visit after dark.
This skyscraper is one of the less iconic of New York landmarks however its 850ft high observation deck provided stunning views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. The Empire State Building is popular for tourists and long queues are common. So if you only had time for one skyscraper ascent then Rockefeller is better value for money and has better views,
S SQU ARE
Empire State B
The dazzling lights, noise and bustling crowds of Times Square provide an experience that is overwhelming to the senses. 26 million people visit Times Square a year, some for the theatres of Broadway, some for a meal in restaurants such as The Hard Rock Cafe (pg 20), some for shopping in places like the Toys’R’Us which is the biggest toy store in the world. Many visit to simply soak up the atmosphere and the energy.
Brook ly Bridg n e
STATUE OF LIBER TY 16
An icon of not only New York, but an icon of America and the American dream. The Statue welcomed immigrants to New York many years ago and now welcomes tourists. The World Heritage Site is situated on Liberty Island and is accessible by boat from the south of Manhattan, near Battery Park.
WHERE TO GO NY // ITINERAY
DAY IN NEW YORK CITY
Tourists often underestimate the size of Manhattan. Three days or even a week will be ideal to explore the key sights and landmarks, but if time isn’t on your side, this is how to ‘do New York in one day.’ Start early and make your way straight to Rockefeller Centre in Midtown Manhattan. This complex of buildings includes Radio City Music Halls, NBC Studios, the iconic ice rink and the 10th tallest structure in New York - the art deco GE Building. The view from the top of the GE Building - known as Top of the Rock - is the best view you’ll get of Manhattan from anywhere other than a helicopter. Ascending the 70 floors is aided by a lift - or ‘elevator’ - with a glass roof. Before stepping out on to the observation deck have yourself superimposed onto Charles C. Ebbets’ famous Lunch Atop a Skyscraper photograph. On the observation deck look south to see the Empire State Building in all its glory, and north to see Central Park. After ‘Topping the Rock’, head up 5th Avenue. This world famous street is often branded the most expensive street in the world due to its prestigious shops from Apple to Zara (literally A-Z) with the likes of Tiffany & Co
and Cartier there too. Also on on 5th Ave is FAO Schwarz, home to the giant piano seen in the Tom Hanks film BIG. Just round the corner you’re on Central Park. Keep walking east past the luxury Plaza Hotel until you’re under the Times Warner Building at Columbus Circle. Take the Subway from here all the way to South Ferry. Here, at the foot of Manhattan Island you’ll get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty. If this isn’t enough, there are a number of boats around that provide tours. Pre-9/11, visitors could climb right to her crown, but tourists are now restricted to the top of the plinth. After visiting Lady Liberty, return to Manhattan and take a short walk to Ground Zero - the site where the World Trade Centres once stood. Wall Street and Brooklyn are then just to the east. After walking up an appetite find a small place inthe bustling China Town or Little Italy. A long walk up Broadway will take you all the way up to Manhattan so take time to see the Flatiron Building and Union Square. It’ll be getting dark by now so continue heading north to the Empire State Building to climb the 102nd floor and see New York become the City of Blinding Lights. Spend some time here before taking a small detour to see Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building before ending with a meal in the neon wonderland of Times Square.
NY // EAT
EAT! New York is a city that is known for it’s multicultrualism and it’s reflected on the food the city has to offer. With over 20,000 restaurants, New York has cuisines for every taste, be it in small Chinese eateries tucked away in Chinatown, Italian restaurants that claim they were Frank Sinatra’s favourite or the classic American steakhouses. If you’re in the mood for more of a snack than a meal no trip to The Big Apple would be complete without getting ‘the works’ from a hotdog vendor - that’s a hotdog with everything on it. Pizza is another thing New York is famous for and there’s rarely a block that doesn’t have a ‘pizza place’. Below is a selection of FLITE’s favourite places to grab a bite to eat in New York City.
THE MAGNOLIA BAKERY LEVAIN BAKERY West 11th Street West 74th Street
HARD ROCK CAFE, TIMES SQUARE It’s not often that you sit down for a meal in the company of The Who, James Brown, The Beatles and Bo Diddley. Okay, so they might not actually there in person, but their instruments and outfits adorn the walls of New York’s Hard Rock Cafe. James Brown’s two-piece gold satin stage suit worn by the “Godfather of Soul” at the Apollo Theatre New York in 1964 and a 1974 Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado motorcycle owned by New York’s own “Piano Man,” Billy Joel are just a couple of memorabilia on display. There are some horror stories about certain eateries in New York but not here. Helena Bouth, a Rocker -- a term used to describe staff at the Hard Rock Cafe -- said: “All meals at Hard Rock are freshly made from fresh ingredients - the same goes for the cocktails!” Staff recommendation: “You can’t go wrong with our famous Southern-style half-chicken, rubbed, grilled, and basted with our authentic Hickory Bar-B-Que sauce. 20
Famous for its old-fashioned icebox cakes and its cupcakes in particular, the Magnolia Bakery is one of New York’s popular eateries with queues out the door being standard. The bakery is often credited with starting the ‘cupcake craze’ of the 1990s and is a regular in popular culture having been featured in Sex And The City and The Devil Wears Prada. 22-year-old student, Gemma Cloughton said: “I went because I saw it on Sex And The City and I’ve tried many cupcakes since, but Magnolia still comes up trumps. I also like the size options. Not to mention, its lovely West Village location.”
Another eatery that has found fame through not only it’s baked goods, but through appearances on television. The Food Network has shown Levain Bakery in episodes of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Roker on the Road, Unwrapped, Top 5 and Sweet Dreams, but it should be emphasised that the bakery is best known for its two-hundredgram chocolate chip walnut cookies. Fitness instructor Craig Fazakerely said: “I know someone with a job like mine shouldn’t recommend a cake shop but they taste absolutely delicious! You need a good walk through Central Park after though!”
Down Under SYDNEY This city is as diverse as it is expansive. Here, youâ€™ll discover everything from amazing creatures to a fast-growing nightlife and bar culture.
Cockle Bay Wharf, a spectacular waterfront entertainment area. Below: Harbourside Centre & The Rocks.
Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour The sun sets slowly in Sydney, as it disappears behind the city’s famous Harbour Bridge before slipping below the horizon. The lights flicker on and the southern shore of central Sydney becomes a city of blinding lights but it’s not night time until the colony of over 20,000 bats leave The Domain -- a 35 hectare piece of land that adjoins the Royal Botanical Gardens -- and make their way across the harbour. Traditionally, The Rocks area of Sydney is where the restaurants and bars are to be found. The Rocks is the oldest area of the city and was established shortly after the colony’s formation in 1788. The historic quarter was known as a slum and was frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. Now, after major restoration projects, the old sandstone buildings have become top class restaurants and bars, although it’s easy to imagine the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow wandering the cobbled streets and visiting the rustic, slatternly built public houses. Until recently however, there wasn’t much to do in Sydney at night. Strict laws meant that only traditional pubs could sell alcohol. “Having a night out in Sydney was difficult to say the least,” says Joanne Smith, an interior designer expatriate living in Sydney. “There were places to watch the football, cricket or rugby, but you could’t really have anything other than a pint of beer and a glass of wine. The new laws in 2007 and the development of Cockle Bay Wharf really changed that.” The amendment of licensing laws in Sydney have seen bars, clubs and resturants popping up like mushrooms all over the city. Cockle Bay is Sydney’s night time entertainment zone. The tourism board describe it as “one of the world’s premier dining and entertainment destinations and is a precinct with 24
spectacular water views, stunning architecture,” and they aren’t far wrong. Cockle Bay Wharf is a hive of neon activity found in Darling Harbour. The waterfront is surrounded by a string of restaurants and late-night bars such as Tokio Hotel that provides live music and a variety of cocktails. Further around the wharf is the worlds biggest IMAX theatre -- ten times larger than traditional cinema format. Finally, there is Harbourside Centre, an indoor complex that boasts a wealth of restaurants such as Hurricane’s Grill. Hurricane’s provides stunning views of the Sydney skyline as well as specialising in Australian beef steaks, beef, pork & lamb bibs and BBQ chicken with dishes marinated in special basting sauces originating from South Africa.
Taronga Zoo, Sydney Harbour There isn’t a shortage of of places to go and things to do in Sydney. Most people will take in the sights of the Oprea House and the Harbour Bridge, but not many are familiar with Taronga Zoo. The Zoo is on the Northern shore of Sydney Harbour and can be visited by car or, the more exciting way, by boat. A trip to Taronga starts not at the Zoo entrance, but at Circular Quay. There are a few different boats to choose from and most companies off discounted tickets such as Matilda Cruises and Sydney Ferries who save you 10% on the cost of Zoo entry and ferry transport. Mica Li, a waitress in Sydney recommends Captain Cook cruises. She said: “A Zoo Express ticket can be bought ($50/£33) from Circular Quay, look out for the man dressed as Captain Cook, and that covers zoo entry and return travel. The journey starts onboard the deck of a small catamaran that sweeps out of the Quay, giving spectacular views of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Oprea House. A tour guide provides an interesting
and humourus commentary over the tannoy system as the boat makes its way across the habour. The boat takes no more than 10 minutes to arrive at the zoo.” The entrance to Taronga Zoo starts at the top of a hill, so it’s a welcome sight in the hot Sydney sun that vistors can take the Taronga Skyway to the top. The Skyway is a cablecar that carries guests over the heads of animals and crowds below. All of this before even entering the zoo! After disembarking the cablecar, visitors follow route back down the hill towards the boats. On the route back down are animals ranging from the biggest to the smallest and the cutest to the... hippopotamus. Marcos Lazaro, a Brazilian working in Sydney said: “The most mesmerizing of Taronga’s animals are the newly born tiger cubs. They crave attention. There’s playful chimpanzees, and the beautiful snow leopard. There are picnic areas throughout the zoo, but there is a food court with restaurants and barbeques - it’s Australia, of course there’s going to be a barbie!” After tempting the lions with a BBQ beef burger and all 2,600 animals have been checked off your list, it’s probably time to get back to the boats. There are two options, continue to walk down the hill or, the most popular way of returing to the Skyway and going back down in a cablecar, having one last look at the animals. Taronga Zoo is a must do. adventure.
Taronga’s snow leopard is one of the star attractions.
The Three Sisters is a rock formation caused by erosion. At one point in time this whole are was a lake. 26
Must do... Blue Mountains
While holidaying in Sydney in 1900, Lady Audrey Tennyson, the wife of the South Australian Governor, travelled over the Blue Mountains. In a long letter to her mother, she recounted a phenomenon that stunned her and continues to puzzle travellers today. “What struck us more than anything was the wonderfully brilliant blue of the distant hills. I have never seen anything to compare to it at all, the most gorgeous real sapphire blue, really transparent blue -- it is impossible to give any idea of it,” she said. The blue haze that gives the Blue Mountains its name is due to an optical phenomenon called ‘Rayleigh scattering’ and still amazes visitors to this day. The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region located about 30 miles west of Sydney. Consisting mainly of a sandstone plateau, the area is dissected by gorges up to 2,500ft deep. The mountains have been populated for several millennia, starting with the Gundungurra people and their aboriginal history can be seen on many of the bushwalks. Europeans however, had not discovered the region until 1799. It was the location of a prison town for convicts from Scotland and Ireland and it was believed by the prisoners that China lay beyond the, then impassible, Blue Mountains. Soon afterwards it was discovered that the area was rich in coal and shale, and mining for these resources began in Hartley Vale in 1865. J.B.
Today, tourists, not miners, flock to the Blue Mountains and they were listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in November 2000 with 400 different forms of animals laying claim to the land -including the iconic koala bear and grey kangaroos. The most popular destination for tourists is the town Katoomba and the nearby Scenic World. Opening in 1945, Scenic World is built on the site of an old colliery and takes visitors on the steepest incline railway in the world, which travels an almost vertical 1,300ft descent as it cuts through the cliff-side to the valley floor. The railway was used to transport coal, as a Scenic World guide says: “56 men extracted approximately 20,000 tonnes of coal a year. Coal was hauled up the railway before being transferred to the tramway. “ He adds that the current railway follows the same route, but with a modern technology update: “Modern engineering practice is now vastly improved! The old carriage was hauled by a 60 kilowatt winch and was capable of transporting 18 people; today we carry 84 people using 150 kilowatts. Scenic World is also home to other attractions such as a coal mine exhibition and the more intimidating Scenic Cableway, an aerial cable car that takes guests down to the Jamison Valley, and the Scenic Skyway (insert), a journey above ancient ravines and spectacular
waterfalls. While eating from a barbeque overlooking the Three Sisters, Kiran Khaki a 23-year-old tourist from Nepal said: “I came to the Blue Mountains expecting great views and a chance to see some
wildlife in the bush, but Scenic World provides a whole difference experience. I was so scared going on the Skyway and the Cableway because they’re so high but it was definitely worth it.” Scenic World is open from 9.00am5.00pm every day of the year (last rides are at 4.50pm). 27
There are many waterfalls around the Blue Mountains but this is the most spectacular .
Sun, Sand, Surf Bronte Beach
In 2012 when celebrating New Years Day on Bronte Beach, the heavens opened and sunbathers quickly fled. It looked as though the celebrations were over until a group of Brazilians brought some samba style to the Sydney beach. French tourist Sarah Oula La, who was on the beach at the time said: “It was incredible! One minute everyone was hiding from the thunder in the beach huts and the next we were all dancing in the rain!”
Sydney has some 70 sparkling beaches, from secluded bays to world-renowned strips of golden sand. It’s hard to think of Sydney without thinking of its beaches. After nearly a full day of flying, the Sydney beaches are often the first thing to be seen as the aircraft approaches the airport. Many holiday makers first thought is to get the bus to the famous Bondi Beach (below). This should be done so that it can ticked off the bucket list. However, despite the reputation, Bondi is not Sydney’s best beach. Simon Kingston, a retail assistant in Sydney said: “Bondi Beach is great to go to just to say ‘I’ve been’ but it gets absolutely crowded. Bronte Beach is, in my opinion, Sydney’s best beach.” Bronte Beach (above and left) is just over a mile to the south of Bondi but sees much less crowds. Simon added: “Bronte is a lovely little beach in Nelson Bay. It’s surrounded by cliffs and a park with beach huts and barbecues that the public can use.” Bronte Beach is linked to Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach by a coastal footpath along the rocky clifftops. The cliff-top walk, which starts at Icebergs on Bondi’s southern crest, provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean along the winding, craggy cliffs. In the early winter months, several hundred beautiful and intriguing sculptures are scattered along the route as part of the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. Bronte Beach itself is popular with surfers and swimmers. Surfers enjoy rough surf at the south end and the beach breaks in the north, while swimmers have the use of a rock pool.The tree-lined park is just off the sand and is popular for family picnics and tumultuous football and cricket games. Just off the park is a small strip of great coffee shops and trendy cafes. To get to Bronte beach buses operate from central Sydney to Bondi Junction. From Bondi Junction catch another bus to Bronte Beach or walk to Bronte from Bondi Beach.
“Bondi Beach is great to go to just to say ‘I’ve been’ but it gets absolutely crowded. Bronte Beach is, in my opinion, Sydney’s best beach.” - Simon Kingston, Sydney local.
Blue Hotel, Wooloomooloo The Blue Hotel sits on the largest timbered-piled structure in the world, Woolloomooloo Wharf -- affectionately known as Finger Wharf. Built in 1915, the wharf has spent most of its life exporting goods such as wool but it was also the staging point for troop embarkment during the Second World War as well as being the disembarking point for migrants arriving in Australia. In 1991 bulldozers and demolition crews moved in on the site but they were blocked by locals. Public outcry was so strong that it was decided to keep the historic building. Today, it has been completely refurbished and is now a fashionable complex, housing top class restaurants, apartments -- the largest of which belongs to Australian actor Russell Crowe -- and of course, the Blue Hotel. The boutique hotel contains 104 guest rooms, many of which of luxurious loft-style suites. The hotel also features three restaurants, Water Bay is the most popular and it’s not uncommon to see Nicole Kidman’s yacht moored outside while she enjoys a meal. Craig, 45, on holiday said: “My wife and I stayed in the 5th floor split-level loft room and really enjoyed it. While having no special views, it was spacious and a fun change from regular hotel rooms. I especially like BLUE as an alternative to all the standard “business oriented” hotels in Sydney.” 32
COMFORT LOCATION BEST SUITED FOR OVERALL
Novotel, Darling Harbour
COMFORT LOCATION BEST SUITED FOR OVERALL
The Novotel is ideally situated on Darling Harbour, behind Harbourside Centre. Within sight of the hotel is the world’s biggest IMAX theatre, Star City Casino, should you fancy a flutter on the tables, and numerous restaurants and bars. The hotel has over 500 rooms and features a restaurant and bar, swimming pool, tennis court, gym and meeting rooms. It also boasts panoramic views of the city from certain rooms. The location on Darling Harbour is great for families as there are usually street entertainers juggling and breathing fire, there’s also a park with slides and wings, and also fountains where children are encouraged to play. 40-year-old Andy, and father of 3 said: “We were booked in to the Novotel in Darling Harbour for two nights and stayed in an executive room with amazing harbour and city views. The hotel is in a great location situated on Darling Harbour. It is a perfect hotel to explore Sydney from. It has very close access to both the monorail and the tram system but it is only a 10 minute walk in to central Sydney and a 5 minute walk to the Star casino. Breakfast was good. The hotel is starting to look a bit lived in but this is a minor point. On the whole, the hotel is clean and the staff are helpful and cheerful. I would recommend this hotel to friends who are visiting Sydney.” 33
Ayers Rock from the sunset view point is a magestic sight. 34
Down Under ULURU A short flight from Sydney, Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is one of the wonders of the world.
Outback sleeping Yulara
If you want to stay overnight at Ayers Rock you have two choices. You can stay in a campsite or you can stay in a hotel. Whatever your choice, you’ll be staying in the resort of Yulara. This small village is built specifically for tourists. It comprises of five hotels and a campsite, all managed by a company called Voyages. Accommodation ranges from the premium - Sails in the Desert Hotel - to a budget hostel - Outback Pioneer. For a mid-range
hotel there’s The Lost Camel (pictured above). This modern hotel is clean and the rooms are spacious. Most guests usually spend only one or two nights at the hotel so for those who just want a nice bed and a shower this place is ideal. The hotel does provide a few extra touches though such as a swimming pool and courtyard with sun loungers and fridges in rooms. A fridge in your room may not sound so special but in heat of 40ºC or more the addition of a hotel room fridge is a luxury. The Lost Camel is also the closest hotel to the village square which is where the supermarket, bank and tourist information offices can be found. 55-year-old draughtsman Peter
Smith decided to avoid the hotels on his trip to Uluru. “I wanted to be at one with nature. Going to the outback I wanted to do it properly. That meant tents and campfires. I booked with 4x4 Adventure Tours. We were greeted by National Park Ranger Jim, who cooked us a classic Australian barbeque complete with kangaroo steaks and crocodile sausages.” However Peter speaks of his one regret: “The tents were fine. It was no double bed in a hotel room but we wanted to sleep out in the desert -- we weren’t expecting 5 star comfort. However, I do wish that I slept directly under the stars. Nevertheless, I would recommend it to anyone wanting an adventure.”
Getting around Uluru Express
Ayers Rock is situated about 12 miles from the hotel resort of Yulara so it’s advisable to get some sort of transport out there. The Uluru Express acts as a sort of shuttle bus that simply picks you up from your hotel and takes you to The Rock . Compared to a tour company price of £200 the Uluru Express costs about £70 return! Go to www.uluruexpress.com.au for more details. 37
The Climb: This the start of the walk up to the top of Uluru, however it is requested by the Aboriginals that you do not climb it
Backpacker: Neil Carney.
A BACK PACK ER’S ADVEN TURES -NEIL CARN EY Every year thousands leave the UK on a backpacking adventure. According to UCAS, 7 per cent of students take time off from their studies to go backpacking, however some decide to travel the world for other reasons. This is the story of Sunderlandborn backpacker Neil Carney. The first stop on my round-the-world tour was India, and to say that my arrival there was a shock to the system, is a massive understatement. I landed in
the early hours but the heat and humidity was already stifling. I stepped out of the air-conditioned airport to be greeted by a vast crowd of tuk-tuk drivers and taxi touts, all shouting and screaming for business. I miraculously found my pre-booked driver and we started to make our way out in to the chaos of New Delhi. Out on to the motorway, I saw my life flash before my eyes as we narrowly missed the wandering
cows, beggars and push-bikes vying for space on the gridlocked 6-lane motorway. I spotted some traffic police, but them riding calmly in the wrong direction on the backs of camels didn’t exactly put my mind at ease. This was the India that I had read so much about, and I couldn’t wait for my adventure to get under way! I had some savings burning a hole in my pocket, and since I was young and in a job that I hated, I thought I’d be adventurous and put the money towards
something that I’d always wanted to do. My first stop was India, but I had grand plans to travel onwards through South East Asia, China, and Japan; before finally ending up in Australia where I hoped I could settle and eventually emigrate to. My travels would take me to some of the world’s most beautiful places, make lifelong friends, and take part in activities that I would never have done if I had stayed at home. 41
LAOS s on my entire three My favourite couple of day s. I nt in tiny Vang Vieng, Lao months of travelling was spe I did ivit once-in-a-lifetime act ies don’t think I’ll ever forget the op kdr bac g River and against the there. Set along the Nam Son uti bea a is red mountains, it really of towering rainforest-cove a Asi t eas th backpacker trail in sou ful place. Most places on the nt, wa s at young western traveller offer their own take on wh haps hedonism to the extreme. Per however Vang Vieng takes t of cep s here, is Tubing – the con the main draw for traveller bar m fro big rubber ring, drifting floating down a river on a h wit me er-strength cocktails (so to bar, each one offering sup zip the on ient!) and risking death opium as the secret ingred ut 5 miles of exlines and rope swings for abo people choose treme drunkenness. Some doing this, to spend all day (or several) e in a however we’d chosen to tak first. ing see bit of culture and sightus h wit d The day starte
the river to a quieter travelling by tuk-tuk along med like hours, up spot. We walked for what see ough the forests. Almost to thr and over the mountains and , we the heat (as I’m very unfit) the point of exhaustion in the m fro cascade was hidden came upon a waterfall. The hills. the in d being so high up world and completely isolate es selv our ple of hours daring There, we spent the next cou , ow bel ol po ks in to the deep to jump from ever higher roc re. asu own in for good me with a bit of sunbathing thr river by climbing over the the Instead of getting back to k a much more adventurous mountains, we instead too led tain, through a huge bat-fil route back under the moun rything! cave, flaming torches and eve by travelling up the mighty s We ended our stay in Lao t before finally reaching the Mekong on an overnight boa ilisation. Thai border, and with it – civ
INDIA I decided to travel aroun d India as part of a tou r group. It was a great way to see the country and get inv olv ed but without having to worry about organising notor iously complicated train tickets. Ou r route was to take us to some of the world’s most famous tou rist sites, but would als o tak e us off the beaten track. Being India, our hotels weren’t exactly five-star , but they were clean and comfort able and that’s all you ne ed for an overnight stay. Two pla ces however, really sto od out as unexpected luxury on our jou rney through such an im poverished country. The first was a hotel in Jaipur. It was rig ht in the heart of the sprawling city and in amongst all the hustle and bustle, however its beau tiful gardens were like an oasis. It was refreshingly cool inside , our bedrooms were hu ge, and the bar on the roof terrace gave fantastic views tow ards the Palace of the Wind s. The second was an iso lated hotel in Ranakpur. Total ly in contrast to Jaipur, our
hotel was in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by a huge natur e reserve. We finally ended up aft er two weeks of hectic travel and adventure, in Goa. Our resort seeme d to closer resemble Whit ley Bay than India. However, wanting to fin ish in style we decided to travel a few miles fur ther down the coast to Palolem. What a differe nce! Set against a back drop of overhanging pa lm trees, the coconut huts along the beach tha t had to be rebuilt after every monsoon. As I lay on the beach with a cocktail at sun set, It see med like I was a millio n miles away from the fre netic start of my trip in New Delhi and a world away from Sunderland.
MASCOT ave a lucky “It’s good to h u on your mascot with yo toy is a travels. A soft ry and get good choice. T r photos! it in all of you
BACK PA “If you CK ’r then it e going bac kp w good, ould be sm acking a reliabl e back rt to have a pack.” BERG H £59 ld AUS Arete 3 moun taince 5 ntre.co m TRAVEL SICKNESS TABLETS “The countless journeys on planes, trains and buses will take their toll eventually!”
UNIVERSAL POWER ADAPTER “For charging your phone, camera, iPod and everything else.”
Kwells 300 Tablets £3 Boots
BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS CAMERA “For the memories” Canon 1000d £350 Jessops.com Disposable Camera £6 Boots.com
MUSIC “Music will make your 14 hour train journey tolerable”
TRAVEL GUIDE BOOKS “Local knowledge goes a long way” Lonely Planet £10 Amazon.co.uk
iPod £140 Apple.com
Reader’s Choice All Inclusive
When deciding to go on a winter break, it had to be somewhere hot, sunny, relaxing and affordable. After carefully applying the criteria, Dahab in Egypt was the place to be. The weather was guaranteed, flights are offered from Newcastle airport and the resort was not as commercialised as Sharm El Sheikh. Our hotel was the Iberotel Dahabeya, about an hours drive from the airport. The transfer to the hotel was scenic with mountains on either side of the highway, but at the same time, was an intimidating journey because the route was very isolated and both our driver and guide were
Every issue we choose a holiday review sent in by one of our readers. This issue’s Reader’s Choice is by written by PAULINE INNES.
carrying guns for all our safety. I had researched thoroughly before booking our holiday and this experience caused us to have second thoughts. However, when we arrived at the hotel all doubts were put aside, as everything was perfect. Our room had an uninterrupted sea view and overlooked the pool which led directly on the to the beach, which is where we spent most of our holiday. The service and cleanliness were first class. However, the menu was quite repetitive, and there was not much variety between lunch and dinner, nevertheless, the food was of good quality and once-a-week the ho-
tel held an Egyptian buffet which was an interesting experience. The hotel had an excellent daily entertainment program that catered for all ages. There was plenty of excursions at reasonable prices. The most popular was a Red Sea snorkelling and diving trip to the Blue Hole, a world renowned diving location on East Sinai. For those who want to do more than sunbathe on the beach for a week, there are activities such as jet skiing, quad biking, banana boats and other various water spots. Overall, it was a brilliant, relaxing holiday which we would recommend to all sun-lovers.
HOTEL NAME Iberotel Dahabeya Dahab, Egypt STAR RATINGS COMFORT CLEANLINESS FOR ADULTS FOR KIDS OVERALL
The pool - Iberotel Dahabeya. 45
Côte d'Azur on a shoestring... A Holiday in the South of France can be one of the most expensive in the world. Local resident Rebecka Edwards explains how it can be done on a budget.
Below: Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo
The French Riviera, officially known as the Côte d’Azur, has been synonymous with dashing elegance and high rollers for decades. James Bond has gambled here, the worlds most expensive and prestigious race takes place here, Grace Kelly even became a princess here. Speaking from her holiday home in Berre-les-Apes, a small town north of Nice, Rebecka Edwards says: “There was a time when the south of France was only for the rich and famous Elton John and Bono have homes here - but while it’s still a beautiful place with stylish resorts like Cannes, St-Tropez and of course, the Mecca for money, Monte Carlo, less well-heeled will find plenty to do. There’s the beautiful beach town of Antibes, the ancient hilltop retreat of Eze, and Cannes - Frances’ very own Hollywood.” However, there’s so much more to the Cote d’Azur than the celebrity side of things. Even St-Tropez has hidden gems away from the huge luxury yachts in the marina. “Follow the back streets to La Ponche on old fishermen’s beach where you can dine for a very sensible price.Picasso once used to sit and look out over the bay from the original fishermen’s bar.” She adds: “If you want a spot of lunch at the beach it’s best to steer clear of the overpriced Plage de Pampelonne and go to Les Graniers near the centre of St Tropez that offers tables with great views of the luxury yachts and liners.”
It’s normal to expect accommodation in the South of France to be unbelievably expensive and usually that is the case. However, if you’re not rich and famous there are plenty of options. One such option is swapping a hotel room for a caravan. Now although many people wince at the very idea of staying in a caravan, it can be just as good as , if not better than, staying in a hotel. The Camp Du Pylone (right) near Antibes could be compared to a hotel resort. Located just two minutes from the Biot Beach, the site offers a great deal of activities such as swimming pools, volleyball and tennis courts. “I know a lot of people turn their nose up at staying at a carvan site, but this place is excellent. The permanent caravans are very nice and there’s a great restaurant and takeaway on the site that also provides night time entertainment. The location is ideal. A minute walk gets you to a water park, miniature golf, a funfair and Marineland -France’s ‘Seaworld’ with killer whales and dolphins,” says Rebecka.
Instead of forking out about £70+ a day on car rental, use the highly efficient SNCF rail network. The trains run every 30 minutes and go all the way along the French Riviera from Cannes to Ventimiglia. The French rail network puts British railways to shame when it comes to efficiency, cleanliness and cost. Amazingly, the “Carte Isabelle” ticket costs £10 for an adult and is valid for an entire day. “There are certain times when you need a car when you go away on holiday,” says Rebecka . “However, the public transport in the south of France is great. Congestion is pretty bad, particularly around Antibes and Nice. The trains are clean, very fast and they get you right in to the centre of town. There are certain places, such as Eze, where the train can’t go, but the buses are just as good....they’re just a bit slower.” Tickets can be bought at the train station or sometimes cheaper deals can be found online at www.raileurope.co.uk/SNCF.
Famous for it’s shops, restaurants and hotels, the city annually hosts the Cannes Film Festival. This red carpet event is usually held in May and is a great opportunity to spot your favourite A-list celebrities. The event is held right next to the beach at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The promenade features the city’s very own Walk of Fame based on the Hollywood attraction. If you’re not one for crowds though it’s advisable not to visit Cannes during Film Festival time.
The ultimate seaside resort with an astonishing 48 beaches. Antibes is a cultural centre with numerous museums and art galleries with a wealth of works for ex-resident Pablo Picasso on display. The Côte d’Azur is renowned for its marinas full of multimillion pound yachts and with the biggest yachting harbour in Europe, Antibes is the place to see them. Aesthetically, Antibes has changed very little since Roman times and still has aqueducts and fortified walls to add to its charm.
With over 4000 years of history the small town of Èze is one of the most picturesque places in France. Often referred to as an eagle’s nest, Èze sits on top of a 1,400ft high mountain. The view of the town itself is spectacular from the winding mountain approach roads, but the view from Èze is equally as impressive with a panoramic vista across the Mediterranean Sea. The town is often likened to a fairytale village which is probably why Walt Disney spent a lot of time here. 47
SUN HAT £15 www .topshop .com BIKINI SET island.com £30 www.river
ESSENTIALS GLADIATOR SANDALS £45 www.riverisland.com
PLAYSUIT £18.99 www.newlook.com
RINGS STATEMENT sorize.com £15 www.acces
WOMEN DENIM J ACKET £40 www .topshop .com
SUNGLASSES op.com £18 www.topsh
SWIMSU IT £30 www .topshop .com BAG op.com £20 www.topsh
KAFTAN DRESS £35 www.riverisland.com
m HAT island.co W A r STR ww.rive w £18
BEACH TOWEL £10 www.topshop.com
STRAW HAT £18 www.riverisland.com SUITCASE £40 www.topshop.com
S SWIM SHORT an.com £15 www.topm
ESPARDRILLES £30 www.topman.com BEACH T OWEL £10 www .topman.c om
LOPS s.com FLIP F .debenham ww £12 w
HOLDAL L £28 www .topman.c om
in iday Sk l o H ’s n Johnso w.boots.com w w £8.05
LOTIONS CREAMS Simple face wipes £6.15 www.boots.com
Sure Deodorant £1 www.boots.com
Colgate Travel Kit £2 www.tesco.com ands
sB knes c i S l ve m ts.co s Tra Boot www.boo £8.19
Banana Boat After Sun £8 www.boots.com
Tangle Teezer £9.99 www.boots.com
Piz Buin Sun Lotion £8 www.superdrug.com
Purell Hand Sanitiser £4.50 www.superdrug.com 51
Holiday Checklist PASSPORT
SUN TAN LOTION
HOTEL CONFIRMATION FOREIGN CURRENCY SUITCASES / BAGS
55째 Your guide to Newcastle and the North East
Architecture: The Gateshead Millennium Bridge 56
FOOD SNACKS LUNCH CAFE DINE RESTAURANTS
EAT! MENU DRINK NEWCASTLE This edition of FLITE’s 55º focuses on eating and drinking on the quayside. With almost 40 places to eat including italian, Turkish, Thai and Indian cuisines there is something for everyone. Newcastle is famed for its nightlife and this area is one of the best for it. Don’t think that means drunken revelers though. This is nightlife at its classiest. With The Baltic and The Sage in the immediate vicinity, why not take in some culture then take a walk across the Millennium Bridge and enjoy a meal? Here are our top choices...
PITCHER & PIANO An iconic restaurant and bar on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside, the Pitcher & Piano sits on the Newcastle side of the River Tyne and has stunning views of The Baltic, The Sage and the Millennium and Tyne Bridges. “Pitcher is a great place to go,” says local fashion and beauty editor Jessica Laing. “The food and drink is a bit pricey so it’s really somewhere you can go for a special occasion. Having said that though, they do a lovely lunch menu that’s well priced”. It can get busy at dusk so it is advisable to make a booking to get the best seats in the house.
LA TASCA For something low key and low priced, La Tasca fits the bill. There’s a busy terrace that provides pleasent views during the warm summer months but couldn’t be recommended during the cold North East winters. One of two La Tasca tapas restaurants in Newcastle, this modern building offers a better dining experience than it’s more central and more cramped sister restaurant. “The chorizo was a hit as it was packed full of flavour but La Tasca’s signature Spanish omelette lacked flavour,” says student Jess Loftus. 1. PITCHER & PIANO 2. LA TASCA 3. THE BALTIC
2 1 NEWCASTLE MILLENNIUM BRIDGE
3 TYNE BRIDGE
Flour mill on the outside, art gallery and restaurant on the inside. The Baltic is home to SIX, a rooftop restaurant with spectacular panoramic views of the Gateshead Quayside and Newcastle’s cityscape. 23-year old Rachael Dinning said: “Six at The Baltic is a great place to enjoy a romantic dinner for two. The menu is great. There’s so much to choose from, I’ve been a few times and had a different dish every time and they’ve always been delicious.” Six also has a viewing lounge with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the River Tyne making it the perfect place to enjoy a drink before a meal. 55° GUIDE TO THE NORTH EAST...
ONr OCTOBER Paul Noble’s Marble Hall - Laing Art Gallery 23/10/10 - 31/12/12 Internationally-known artist Paul Noble, who was born in Whitley Bay, will create a new installation inspired by the Laing Art Gallery’s collection and original building. NOVEMBER Oliver - Theatre Royal - 12/09/12 - 4/11/12 Following a sell-out run in London’s West End, Cameron Mackintosh’s fabulous new production, one of the most beloved British musicals ever, Oliver! is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal!
André & his Johann Strauss Orchestra will return to the UK in December 2012! André will kick off his tour in Belfast, followed by 5 concerts in Glasgow, Manchester, London. Birmingham and Newcastle. “My main goal, every concert, is for people to have an unforgettable night. I like to talk to my audience, interact with them and look them in the eyes. People can expect a colourful concert, with beautiful melodies, waltzes, surprises, balloons, the tenors and our lovely sopranos. I am really looking forward to visiting my fans in the UK again.” said André. Tickets will go on sale on Friday October 14th at 9am.
Michael McIntyre UK Tour - Metro Radio Arena - 9/11/12 - 12/11/12 Star of Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Britain’s Got Talent and winner of the 2010 British Comedy Award for Best Male TV Comic, Michael McIntyre returns to the road for his third and biggest UK arena tour to date. Lionel Ritchie Tuskegee Tour - Metro Radio Arena - 16/11/12 Lionel Richie returns to Europe this autumn with his first European tour dates since 2009, and nearly 25 years since his first solo shows took place. DECEMBER Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds Musical Metro Radio Arena - 10/12/12 One of the most successful stage shows of recent times, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, returns to Metro Radio Arena with a new star and another technological leap forward.
` André Rieu - Metro Radio Arena - 15/12/12 André Rieu, the world’s most popular classical artist who is renowned for his energetic and festive live concerts, announces his UK tour “An unforgettable evening with André Rieu”.
Michael McIntyre’s spot on observational comedy and trademark ability to turn everyday situations into master-classes of human exasperation have struck chords with millions of fans, resolutely cementing him as one of the UK’s most loved and treasured comedy performers today. 2012 will see Michael return to the road with his biggest arena tour to date taking in 58 dates all over the UK and Ireland. Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena Box Office Number: 0844 493 6666 58
Cinderella - Whitley Bay Playhouse - 18/12/12 - 6/1/13 The PLAYHOUSE are pleased to welcome back Blue Genie Entertainment for the third year running along with the North East’s Number One Comic Steve Walls who will play principal comic Buttons in this spectacular pantomime.
If you’ve arrived at Newcastle International Airport and you’re thinking of exploring the North East there’s a wealth of places that you can see, and endless amounts of activities you can do. Most areas of interest can be visited by using public transport, with Newcastle and Sunderland served by a metro system. If you’re after a day of culture, the North East has a number of art galleries such as The Baltic for contemporary art or the Laing Gallery for its watercolours. Maybe you’re a shopaholic and are happiest when your hands are adorned with carrier bags. Well, Gateshead’s Metrocentre a shopping centre that rivals any in Europe and is so big that getting lost is common practice. Perhaps you’re one for the arts? Well, the North East has that covered too. Venues like Sunderland’s EmThe Quayside is one of the UK’s most stunning locations and pire Theatre, Gateshead’s Sage, Newcastle’s Theatre Royal and the location of art galleries and concert venues. Metro Radio Arena mean that there’s something for everyone.
TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT... of the castle itself, as well as broomsick training and a knights quest for kids. Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans during Hadrian’s is still here today go to see the ruins of Roman forts and barracks. The Centre for Life in Newcastle city centre is a great way to spend a day. It is home to a motion simulator and domed planetarium. Sunderland’s Museum and Winter Gardens showcase a superb selection of exhibits from rare plants and trees to works of local art. The Stadium of Light in Sunderland is one of the country’s biggest football stadia and offers an eyeopening tour behind the scenes.
NewcastleGateshead Quayside has gone through a massive regeneration over the decades as is now one of the most picturesque urban areas in the UK due to its modern architecture. Go here for a concert at The Sage, view the art on offer at The Baltic or just walk across the Millennium Bridge. A short drive from Newcastle is Alnwick Castle. The castle was built in the 11th century but is famous in recent times for being the location of Hogwarts - Harry Potter’s school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There are lush gardens and tours
Beamish is one of the most unique museums in the world. A village that has remained in the 1900s. Visit a victorian village, manor house and farm. Travel around the 300 acre estate on trams. Souter Lighthouse sits on top of the cliffs at South Shields. This stunning piece of architecture and beautiful landscape make it a worthwhile visit. Durham Cathedral is a fine example of Norman building. Bill Bryson called it the best cathedral in the world. Grey Street in Newcastle is often given the title of best street in the UK. It’s also home to the Theatre Royal.
55° GUIDE TO THE NORTH EAST...
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WH Smith Here you will find snacks, travel essentials, music and of course a wide range of books and magazines
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Travelex As the world’s biggest foreign currency exchange provider, serving over 30 million customers each year. Travelex can provide all your usual currency exchange services, along with a VAT refund service for non EU residents. Biza - Tax & Duty Free A whole new tax and duty free store at Manchester airport offers great prices on cosmetics and skincare, fashion accessories and of course your favourite alcoholic beverage. Boots Take a visit to one of the Boots stores for all your last minute travel essentials and other important travel goods not to be forgotten. Claire’s Accessories A store full of girly fashion accessories and plenty of little bits and pieces to make a perfect outfit, great for teenagers gifts! Dixons A wide range of products showcasing the latest technology from this well recognised store. With prices and products tailored to meet the needs of passengers, be sure you don’t miss out. JD Sports If your a sports fan make sure you stop off at JD for a look at their large collection of sports apparel and equipment from the big name brands.
EAT & DRINK Bar Des Voyageurs An authentic French style bar offering a large selection of tasty hot and cold snacks, plus a wide range of hot and cold beverages from around the world to tempt you. Together with the relaxing atmosphere and friendly service, Bar Des Voyageurs is definitely worth a visit. Burger King Enjoy a meal at the well known Burger King chain, a well loved family favourite. Caffé Ritazza One of the most well recognised coffee houses in the UK offering all your favourite coffees and authentic Italian snacks. Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar Take some time out to enjoy the best Prunier Caviar and Balik smoked salmon around in the relaxing atmosphere.
Tie Rack Offers a wide range of silk ties and scarves. Plus a selection of accessories which make perfect gifts and treats
The Real Food Company Fresh food prepared to a high standard, with something to suit everyone’s taste buds from smoothies to roast dinners!
Traveller A wide collection of modern branded fashion items, shoes and accessories. Offering a wide range of top name brands such as Birkenstock, Bench, Playboy, Mambo, Oakely and North Face. You will be sure to find something for your holiday in here!
Eagle Bar Diner This new table service restaurant was inspired by the New York City diners and combines a comfortable, friendly atmosphere with a tempting a la carte menu. The bar offers a wide range of beverages from popular draught and bottled beers, wines and spirits to soft drinks and hot beverages.
BOARDING IS USUALLY 30-45 MINUTES PRIOR TO DEPARTURE