Newcastle’s Ouseburn area is fast becoming a hot destination for locals and tourists alike. Formerly an industry-heavy district, it’s now the go-to location for creative businesses, students and young professionals, resulting in a slew of fantastic attractions and activities springing up in recent years.
Take a look at our guide to find out what to see and do on a visit to Ouseburn while in Newcastle.
First, here’s a little background. Ouseburn quickly became one of England’s leading production centres for things like engines, pottery and sailcloth during the Industrial Revolution, but its reputation faded over time as heavy industry saw a decline during the 20th century.
However, it became the focus of a regeneration project in the 1980s that has transformed the area into a hotbed of creative and business activity, making it the attractive destination that it is today. The fact that this regeneration has been led by local organisations and people rather than national corporations has really helped Ouseburn to flourish in recent times.
The district is locally seen to cover Lime Street and the immediate surroundings around Seven Stories, the Cluny and Ouseburn Farm, but the regeneration has affected a wider area overall.
You could easily spend a whole day (or more) exploring Ouseburn’s many attractions. Some of the most popular ones are:
• Seven Stories - This is a fantastic place to visit if you’re in Newcastle with the kids (or if you’re a child at heart!). Seven Stories is a museum and activity centre dedicated to children’s literature, both the classics and more contemporary fare. It has a superb bookshop and exhibitions that change on a regular basis.
• The Biscuit Factory - This is a massive 32,000 sq ft commercial art gallery spread over two floors, covering pretty much every form of contemporary art that you can think of! It usually has a few exhibitions on the go at any one time, with both established and up-and-coming artists represented.
• Victoria Tunnel - Originally built in the 1830s as a route for transporting coal, the Victoria Tunnel was turned into a public air raid shelter during World War II. Visitors can tour the tunnel and find out what it was like for the locals to spend long periods of time here as sirens blared overhead.
• Nature galore - Ouseburn occupies an enviable location close to some beautiful natural scenery, including stretches of woodland and picturesque riverside walks. If you’re staying in a hotel in Newcastle’s Quayside, you’ll be able to walk to the mouth of the Ouseburn in a quarter of an hour.
Eat and drink
Ouseburn is an excellent spot to head to for an evening out, thanks to its wide variety of pubs, bars and eateries. Highlights include:
• The Cluny - One of the most popular pubs in Newcastle, the Cluny is the place to go if you’re an ale and/or cider aficionado. It also doubles as a live music venue and its bar has previously been recommended for its food by the Observer.
• Hotel du Vin & Bistro - This is a great place to both stay and eat. A boutique hotel, Hotel du Vin boasts luxurious accommodation and a classy menu that makes good use of local ingredients.
• The Cumberland Arms - Another fantastic real ale venue, this pub is often cited as one of the best in the city for its traditional atmosphere and extensive array of ales. You can also enjoy live music, especially folk, here.
What are your recommendations for things to see and do in Ouseburn? Leave a comment and let us know!