Newcastle-upon-Tyne is the heart of Tyne and Wear -- a region named for two rivers that inspired ancient Romans to begin building this metropolis on England's northeast coast. Newcastle features a compact city centre, with dominant landmarks that include a Norman castle, medieval cathedral, Earl Grey Street and the stunning Tyne Bridge.
An historic industrial centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne first prospered trom trades in wool and coal and then became a world shipbuilding leader. The industrial age left scars on Newcastle's people and land, detailed in the novels of Catherine Cookson. Times have changed, however, and services now comprise the local economy's backbone.
Newcastle is the cultural center for Tyne and Wear, whose 2,000,000 residents are nicknamed "Geordies." Famous native Geordies include Gordy Sumner (a.k.a. singer-songwriter Sting). The region also puts out the UK's most popular potable, Newcastle Brown Ale.
Area attractions include a re-gentrified river Quayside, seaside resorts like Tynemouth, and Metro Centre (world's largest indoor shopping mall) in nearby Gateshead. With such diversity and history, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is developing into one of Europe's most popular cities.