Monday, 5 August 2013

Long weekend in the North East

My trips are always very last minute, I'm not comfortable booking my life away weeks in advance if I can avoid it. And sometimes you can get quite a cheap hotel by hanging on until the last minute. Last Thursday afternoon I found a cheapish B&B rate for a couple of nights at the hotel next to the Tees Valley Airport, only a small, quiet airport with a couple of flights a day so not a problem. 

I wanted to visit the Baltic Mills contemporary art centre in Gateshead, this would be a great opportunity for a cultural break and to see a few sights. I hadn't been into Gateshead or Newcastle for about 20 years so there were definitely some changes.

No trip up north would be complete without seeing the Angel of the North, here he is in all his glory.

After a little bit of getting lost on the road system we arrived at the Baltic Mills by the side of the Tyne, what a wonderful conversion of the old mill.

Of course I took my little friend Bob.

The mill has 6 floors with a restaurant on the top, there are some magnificent views to be had from the specially created viewing decks. Looking up and down the Tyne you can see the silvery, curvy Sage centre and the Millennium Bridge.

From one viewing deck you can see a Kittiwake colony ledging perilously on the edge, this is the largest inland Kittiwake colony in the UK.

My only criticism of the gallery itself would be the lack of art on display and on this visit no local artists work. There is a huge amount of space but there was only one full exhibition on by a German artist which wasn't quite to my taste. It seemed at least 2 floors were shut and out of bounds, there was some weird film and animation stuff in a small area downstairs but again, not my bag.
I wanted to see a mix of contemporary art, local artwork etc but sadly nothing really inspired me. I think the views from the building inspired me more than the current art on display.

It's a lovely surrounding area by the river side and very cosmopolitan, the weather was great too.

Didn't have chance to seek out any special coffee shops or veggie eateries but had a lovely weekend and visited other places such as Hexam (good wool shop & deli), Barnard Castle & Yarm.


greenrabbitdesigns said...

What!!! No coffee and cake for Bob!!!!
Shame it wasn't what you had hoped Sally but as you say the views were good. Don't you just love the attitude of nature deciding that they would 'move in' ! :)
V xxx

Anne said...

Hi Sally, its really nice up north. Tonys son lives in Newcastle as he is just finishing at uni there but he wants to stay so if he does we will be making many more trips up there. I love the Angel of the North, wasnt sure at first but now it's as if it has always been there.

patty said...

V, I don't think we had much cake and no coffee to speak of but Bob did enjoy watching me some fab goats cheese on a platter.

Anne it would be great if Tonys son stays so that you have a valid excuse to visit Newcastle! I love the Angel and feel a sense of calm when I see him with out stretched arms or wings should i say!