Leave Monument Metro Station by the Theatre Royal exit which takes you to the top of Grey Street. This street, designed by the builder and entrepreneur Richard Grainger (1797-1861), is generally acknowledged to be one of the most elegant streets in Newcastle. On the right is an entrance to the attractively designed Central Arcade (1906), while behind the Metro Station stands Grey’s Monument, a tribute to Earl Grey who was largely responsible for the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832. Proceed ahead to cross Market Street, after which you will see the classically colonnaded Theatre Royal (1836-37) on your left. Continue descending, taking time to admire the many fine buildings. Cross over Mosley Street at the traffic lights and proceed ahead down Dean Street, with its splendid variety of buildings including, on the left, some brick houses (now shops) of the late 18th century and, on the right, the colourful Cathedral Buildings. Follow the road as it bears left and then right into Sandhill. Ahead to the right is the Guildhall, a frequently remodelled building, owing its origins to the merchants’ hall and town court of at least the 16th century. Make your way towards the River Tyne to arrive beneath the towering structure of the Tyne Bridge (1925-28) (A).
Turn left and proceed, with the River Tyne on your right, along the Quayside, the location of a popular Sunday market. On the opposite side of the river is the Tuxedo Princess, a floating night club. On your left you will see a fine collection of buildings, several, as indicated by wall plaques, formerly part of the Tyne’s once thriving shipping trade. On your left, after about 200 yards, are the Law Courts, a newer edition to the Quayside (1984-90). On your right you reach the Millennium Bridge, officially opened by H.M The Queen during her Jubilee Tour in May 2002. This modern “eye” tilts to allow vessels to pass underneath and a timetable shows when this generally occurs (B).
Cross the bridge into Baltic Square with the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, formerly a 1950’s grain warehouse, on the left hand-side. Here you can pay a visit to see the exhibitions, to obtain some splendid views of the River Tyne and /or to enjoy some refreshments. To continue on the walk, leave Baltic Square by the steps or the ramp to meet a road. Turn right and proceed ahead with the river now on your right. A sign indicates that you are heading in the direction of Wylam and Rowlands Gill on the Keelman’s Way (a 14 mile route from Wylam to Bill Quay). On your left you soon pass the futuristic–looking Sage Music Centre, while on your right you get a closer look at the Tuxedo Princess before walking beneath the Tyne Bridge again. You arrive at some traffic lights, just over 100 yards to the left of which is Gateshead Quays Visitor Centre, formerly St Mary’s Church. Here you can learn about the development of the area. To continue on the walk, turn right at the traffic lights and almost immediately left at another set of lights and descend to the Port of Tyne’s Swing Bridge, a major engineering achievement of 1868-76 by William Armstrong’s company (C).
Cross over the bridge and at the far end on the left-hand side you will see the Fish Market building (1880), now a night-spot like so many of these fine old buildings. Follow the pavement to the pedestrian lights and cross over the road. Turn right and after a few yards, turn left after Mansion House Chambers to climb the Castle Stairs. (Alternatively, to avoid the steep steps, continue ahead and retrace your steps to the bottom of Dean Street. Bear left at Milburn House to go up the Side and reach the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas. Now follow the route from (D) below).
The steps lead into an area known as the Castle Garth. Ahead is the Castle Keep (1168-1178). To the right is the Moot Hall (1810-12), formerly a county court and prison and now the Crown Court, and the Vermont Hotel (formerly the offices of Northumberland County Council). Over to the left is the Bridge Hotel. Continue ahead passing the Keep on your left to go under the railway bridge. Bear right to cross the wooden ramp that goes through the Black Gate, a gatehouse named after Patrick Black a 17th century tenant. Turn right and walk about 100 yards to arrive at the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, a parish church of the 14th century which became the Anglican cathedral in 1882, the year Newcastle became a city and the Diocese of Newcastle was formed out of the Durham Diocese (D).
At the traffic lights turn left and proceed along Collingwood Street. Cross over the road at the lights and turn right. To your right you will see the monument of 1862 by John Lough to George Stephenson, the noted railway engineer, appropriately located near to the Central Station to where you now proceed to the Metro Station and the end of the walk.