The principal city of the industrial northeast, 285 mi/460 km north of London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne has enjoyed something of a cultural revival. A dramatic succession of ancient and modern bridges spans the Tyne River and overlooks the quayside nightlife quarter. Take a cruise down the Tyne or stroll down elegant Grey Street for a hint of Newcastle's prosperous past.

For a more up-to-date perspective, visit the Baltic Gallery on the Quays. Located in a former riverside flour mill, the gallery shows modern art and is billed as "The Tate of the North." The city is also a great place to buy art. Many artists have studios there, and often you can stop in and watch them work.

Those traveling with children will enjoy Seven Stories, a large museum dedicated to the art of children's books, and the Life Science Centre for some interactive fun and learning. The Sage Center is a spectacular performing-arts center.

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