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A-Z Guidebook: Newcastle, Angel Of The North

Welcome to the A-Z Guidebook Link Up. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.

* A tour of my photos showed me there are a lot of places and things that start with M and P but no so many with N. Still, I’ve found a photo I’m happy with. This month:

N or Night

If you’ve spent any time in the UK, or have watched any Monty Python or BBC sitcoms, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘The North’. It’s an undefined region in the north of England and is generally associated with miners, strong cups of tea, flat caps, rain and poverty. Am I selling it to you yet? When I say ‘undefined’, there is no clear border that you cross saying ‘The North’. It just is. Some argue that The North starts around Coventry or Birmingham, others suggest Stoke-on-Trent. Some would say it’s anywhere outside the M25 London ring road but they’re just posh toffs aren’t they? If there’s one thing that’s certain, when you’ve reached Newcastle upon Tyne, you’ve reach The North. If for no other reason than you have reached the Angel of the North.

Sir Anthony Gormley's Angel Of The North statue near Gateshead & Newcastle Upon Tyne

This massive sculpture looms over the surrounding landscape and motorways. It’s quite a thrill to see it for the first time as you drive along the A1 towards Newcastle. Created by Sir Anthony Gormley, it was completed in 1998. It is a towering 20 metres high with a wingspan of 54 metres. As you can imagine, it was quite an endeavour to build and faced stiff opposition, spurred on to some extent by the British tabloids. Still, the Angel of the North triumphed and has won over the local community.

I love this sculpture so much that I have a version of this photo as my wallpaper on my computer. In this particular version, you can see the scale of the sculpture with a person at the base. You can also see the moon appearing above the Angel’s head. Though the sky was blue, the temperature was hovering around 5c. It was on this trip to Newcastle that we decided we could take the cold no more and promptly marched into a travel agency to book a two week trip to Florida, to defrost and re-charge before winter really set in (the coldest winter on record in Britain as it turns out).

It is beautiful.

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6 comments… add one
  • sherry from sherrys pickings July 15, 2016, 3:15 pm

    i love anthony gormley’s works. they are just so majestic and interesting. i have seen many photos of this but must get there to see it in person one of these days. it is wonderful!

    • Fiona Ryan July 16, 2016, 10:49 am

      It’s definitely worth seeing and is something I know I will re-visit on several occasions.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 16, 2016, 2:37 pm

    My step son lives in Newcastle so I’m sure one day we will visit him there 😀

  • Joy @MyTravelingJoys July 22, 2016, 6:23 pm

    Hi Fiona, Well now this is kind of in my new backyard so to speak! 😉 Once we get settled in London, we’ll have to get out and explore some more.

    • Fiona Ryan August 15, 2016, 1:55 pm

      It’s a great part of the world to visit and you can ‘do the Angel’ in 30 minutes if you are on a timetable!

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