Newcastle Castle | What to expect from a visit

This post was published in March 2023 and based on a visit in February 2023. Always check with the castle direct for the most up to date info. A version of this post first appeared on Visit Newcastle. 

Newcastle Castle | What to expect from a visit

Newcastle Castle, The Castle that gave Newcastle it's name is a medieval Castle in the heart of the city and is a great destination for both visitors to the area and locals alike. We had visited Newcastle Castle a few years ago and it was great to go back. 

Newcastle Castle | What to expect 

  • No need to book - just turn up during opening hours 

  • Mostly indoors so ideal for a rainy day

  • Perfect for families with older kids / teens interested in local history

  • Your ticket gives you unlimited daytime visits across a full year 

  • There are additional activities including actors and crafts during school holidays 

  • Guided tours available 

  • There are 99 winding steps to navigate and it's an old building. Some areas are accessible and they do have a video tour but it's not the best North East Day Out for Wheelchair Users 

  • There are toilets and a gift shop but no cafe. Plenty of options in the surrounding area for a bite to eat though (I recommend KafeNeon or TwentyTwenty)

  • Hands on activities and dressing up 

  • Put your kids in the stocks in the dungeons 

  • Enjoy the best views of the Tyne and Newcastle from the rooftop 

  • Set aside 90 minutes - 2 hours for a visit 

  • Easy to get to by train, car, bus or metro 

  • Pet dogs are not permitted 

Although not technically a Northumberland Castle (and therefore not eligible to be part of our Northumberland Castle Challenge), we were still keen to re-visit and decided to bring the kids' grandparents along for the day too. 

There has been a castle at this site on the banks of the river Tyne since the Romans built Pons Aelius in around 193CE. 

The New Castle was built in 1172 and the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne developed around it. 

Admission is fairly resaonable and tickets allow you re-entry for up to one year, we went for the family ticket so the whole family got entry for less than £30. There is no need to book - simply turn up and pay your entry fee or show your pass. 

There are also often (ad) deals for day entry on Living Social.

Newcastle Castle | Prices

Newcastle Castle is located in the heart of the city and an ideal place to visit in Newcastle with kids. It is also mostly indoors so perfect for visiting on a rainy day in the North East. 

There are a lot of stairs and due to the nature and age of the building, only some areas have lift access so be weary of this if you struggle with stairs. I was intrigued to read in one of the rooms that there was no initial plan for Newcastle Castle and not even a scale model. They just started building! Imagine doing that now. 

There are a few different buildings to explore so make sure you don't miss anything. 

We started with at The Black Gate and there are several floors here to explore including a history of the area and an activities room. There were castle volunteers in most rooms to give you info about life at the time the castle was in use.

Steve and Harry loved hearing about medieval weapons and armour and Harry was keen to try on the chainmail and knight helmet which the volunteers helped him with. 

Newcastle Castle | Dressing Up

Newcastle Castle | Review

There are also costumes from various other time periods for you to try on and recreate period scenes.

Newcastle Castle | Review

Newcastle Castle | Review

The activities room runs activities during school holidays. On the day of our visit it was brass rubbings and spoon puppet making. This is all included with admission. They usually post their school holiday activities across social media in the run up to school holidays. 

The models on this occasion were made from wooden spoons and the idea was to make medieval characters. 

Newcastle Castle | Review

Sam and Dee decided to create their own. There were plenty of materials and the volunteers will help if you need any guidance or inspiration. 

Newcastle Castle | Review

After the activities we headed across the courtyard to the main Keep which has 99 steps in total. The first room we entered was the Great Hall. 

This has a map table showing all the castles in the North of England and some from the South of Scotland that wouldn't look out of place in Game of Thrones. 

We loved trying to find all the Castles we have already visited and realised we still have quite a few to tick off. 

Newcastle Castle | Castle Map

After the Great Hall we chcked out the other rooms, each room has a little bit of info about what the room was used for. 

Newcastle Castle | Review

Newcastle Castle | Review

Newcastle Castle | Review

After this we headed for the dungeons to find out about medieval crime and punishment and to lock the naughtiest kids in the stocks.

Newcastle Castle | Review

Newcastle Castle | Dungeon and Stocks

The final stop was my favourite but it was a long climb to the roof. The 99 steps are worth the climb for some of the best views in Newcastle. 

Newcastle Castle | View of Newcastle Central Station

Newcastle Castle | Review

Newcastle Castle | View of the Tyne Bridge from the rooftop

We spent around 2 hours at the castle and would say you need a minimum of 90 minutes but we could have stayed longer. 

All ages are welcome but due to the steep and winding stairs, I would recommend visiting with children who are confident and walking up and down stairs. 

Newcastle castle also hosts lots of events and I really want to go back for one of their movie nights, how cool would it be to watch The Lost Boys or Nosferatu in the Hall of a near 1000 year old Castle?

If you want more castles to visit check out these other posts for:

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