Named for its “new castle” built by the Normons in 1068 ( replacing a Roman castle).

The Roman castle was at one point a terminus for Hadrian’s Wall – dividing Roman territory from the Scots.

The NewCastle still stands, as does the Black Gate.

We were right across the Tyne river from the castle. We walked across an old train bridge (pedestrian path on the lower deck)

Great water views.. although, I expect this walk would be cold in winter ūüôā


Over the bridge, and past the castle is St. Nicholas’ Church. ¬†IN a war in the 1600s, Mary Queen of Scots was planing to destroy the church – so the Mayor put all the Scottish prisoners into the steeple. ¬†And the church remains.

After the WWI, all of the local regiments placed their flags inside St. Nicholas’ ¬†They are all in pretty poor shape today, but again – everywhere you go in Europe, you are reminded about the horrors of war:


We had 2 full days in Newcastle. On our first day, we hopped a train to Alnwick (Aln- name of the river wick – market town) there was an Alnmouth where the Aln emptied into the North Sea.

Alnwick Castle has been in the same family for hundreds of years. One of the Percy family appears in Shakespeare- fighting against one if the King Henrys.  Today it is open most days in the summer, but is also used for movies & TV. Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and more.

Harry, Neville and Draco learned Quidditch outside this castle.

In the middle ages, they placed stone soldiers atop the battlements. in the first HP movie, Chris Columbus added 2 wizard statues as well.
Hagrid lived out in this forest ūüôā
The castle was really cool even without the Harry Potter movies being filmed there. There was a lot of great history, and the inside rooms were sumptuous – and the family still lives in these rooms in the winter!

On our 2nd day, we wandered a bit, but found our way to the Life science museum. Really nice, with experiments for everyone – white lab coats and pipettes – extracting DNA, acid/base, oil/fat experiments.

A few years ago in Seattle, there was an exhibition called Bodies Рwhere human cadavers were plasitizised Рand then everything but the blood vessels (or organs, or muscles) were removed Рgiving a totally different visual look into how different parts of your body fit together.  The Newcastle Life museum had the same exhibit Рbut with animals.

Cow:  The also had a cow cut horizontally so you could see the 4 chambers of her stomach



Brown bear:wp-1471735729964.jpg


Elephant – also elephant brain and nervous system on the floor between the legs.wp-1471735726326.jpgwp-1471735726333.jpg


The circulatory system of an ostrichwp-1471735728504.jpg




Pregnant goat.  We have 2 pregnant goats at home right now -so I found this one fascinating.  Can you see the 3 fetuses?wp-1471735732607.jpgwp-1471735736245.jpg


AFter a full day of the museum, we went home and took an early nap.  Why? you may ask.  Well Рwe had to get up later that evening to go walk back into town. You see,  the new Harry Potter book was being released at midnight.

So, we made our way across the bridge to waterstones.


Where we had tea, and played HP trivia, and lots of fun events while we awaited the midnight release.  WE got our book, walked home again, and the next morning, we began reading.  Everyone who has read the series has now read the Cursed Child Рwe enjoyed it.

The net morning, we slept in a bit (it had been a late night!) and hopped the train to leave England.  Still UK Рas we headed towards Edinburgh!


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