Gateshead lies on the south side of the River Tyne, opposite Newcastle. The town is connected to its larger neighbour by six bridges but it has retained its separate identity.
Gateshead was a rural district until the 16th century, when coal mining began in the area. The town was an important centre of iron founding and locomotive manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and during this time it grew rapidly.
The city has undergone extensive regeneration in recent years. New developments include the MetroCentre, the largest shopping and leisure complex in the UK and an important tourist attraction, the Gateshead International Stadium and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which links the city to Newcastle and which won the James Stirling prize for architecture in 2002.
The new BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, one of the largest contemporary arts spaces in Europe, and the Sage Gateshead, a music and performing arts venue, have contributed to a rapidly developing cultural scene. The city is now home to over 30 works of public art, including Antony Gormley’s famous Angel of the North, the largest sculpture in the UK, which looks over the city.
Gatehead is part of the Tyne & Wear Metro and has quick and easy connections to both Newcastle Station and Newcastle Airport.