Newcastle upon Tyne, often shortened to simply Newcastle, is the largest city in North East England. It forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most-populous urban area in the United Kingdom. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne, approximately 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from the North Sea. The regional nickname and dialect for people from Newcastle and the surrounding area is Geordie. In 2018, the city was declared as the best place to visit in the world by travel experts Rough Guides.
The city developed around the Roman settlement Pons Aelius and was named after the castle built in 1080 by William the Conqueror’s eldest son Robert Curthose. In the 14th century, the city grew as an important centre for the wool trade and later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne, was amongst the world’s largest ship-building and ship-repairing centres.
Among the city’s architectural icons are the Tyne Bridge; the Swing Bridge; the Millennium Bridge; Newcastle Castle; Grey’s Monument and the Theatre Royal. Modern cultural icons include the city’s nightlife, awarded third place in Europe and seventh in the world by Tripadvisor; the UK’s largest bakery chain – Greggs; British TV personalities Ant & Dec; the Great North Run, the biggest half-marathon in the world; and Newcastle United FC.