Car hire in Newcastle
Hiring a car in Newcastle
Known world-wide for its football team, bridges spanning the Tyne and incredibly friendly population of Geordies, Newcastle is a great city to visit. The historic centre has retained much of the charm of the classical architecture and layout designed and developed between 1824 and 1841 by Richard Grainger. Consequently, this area of shops, arcades, markets, bars, restaurants and a theatre is now known as Grainger Town.
Having a hire car makes exploring Newcastle and the city across the river, Gateshead, all the easier. The city’s airport lies just a ten-minute drive away along the A167 and A696. Once in the centre of Newcastle, there is plenty of parking within walking distance of the major attractions.
What you need to know
Cars can be hired from Newcastle Airport (NCL), the Central Train Station or other convenient city centre locations. There are more than ten car hire companies operating out of the airport, meaning there is plenty of choice when it comes to choosing your holiday vehicle. To make sure you get the best deal for you, pop your details into our website and see all the options.
All cars hired through Holiday Autos come with free cancellation should your plans change at the last minute. You can also enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that there is 24/7 assistance at your disposal if you need it.
Where to pick up your car
Collecting your hire car at Newcastle Airport could not be easier, as the majority of the companies have desks inside the terminal building. As the airport is relatively small, these are not difficult to find. Those firms without a desk inside offer a free shuttle bus to the pick-up location, meaning all your needs are taken care of.
If a city centre location would be simplerfor you, then it is worth booking a car for collection from Central Station. Avis and enterprise both offer such options, with the pick-up point being a short walk from the transport hub. As Newcastle is located on the East Coast Mainline, those travelling from London, Leeds or Scotland may want to choose this option.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time. Booking with Holiday Autos was easy and I received the car that I had asked for, just perfect!”
Where to go
Once you have your hire car, there's so much to explore in Newcastle. You may wish to make your way to the historic Castle Keep to find out more about the fortification that gave the city its name. Alternatively, there is lots of shopping to bedone, with high street stores, the Eldon Square shopping centre and some one-off boutiques.
The city is home to some important cultural institutions, including the Laing Art Gallery and Centre for Life. Just across the river in Gateshead, there is also the Baltic Art Centre, as well as the Sage Music Complex. Down by the river, you'll also be able to see the seven bridges that cross the Tyne at Newcastle, including the Millennium Bridge, which is designed to look like an eye that blinks to allows boats to pass by.
One of the fantastic things about Newcastle is that there is so much to explore close by. For example, the Angel of the North is just a 15-minute drive away along the A1 in Gateshead. It is so iconic and emblematic of the north east it would be a shame not to go and take a picture, while marvelling at its huge size.
The coast is also not too far away, with the likes of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay having some lovely beaches. Head down the A1058 for less than 20 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday morning and you’ll find Tynemouth Station full of stalls for the weekly market. You can even get some fish and chips at nearby North Shields, before hopping on the ferry to cross the Tyne to South Shields.
From Newcastle, the stunning countryside of Northumberland is just an hour’s drive away. Enjoy the beautiful sweeping beach, overshadowed by the impressive castle at Bamburgh or head across the causeway to the Island of Lindisfarne. At Alnwick, there is another stunning castle and the stationhouse of the former train station has been turned into an incredible second-hand bookshop.
Continue further up the east coast, taking in the scenery as you go and eventually you’ll find yourself in Scotland. Edinburgh is around two and a quarter hours’ drive via the A1 and is a must for anyone who has never made it that far north before. From Holyrood Park to Arthur’s Seat, the castle and Calton Hill, it’s hard not to be charmed by Scotland’s capital city.
Top attractions to visit in Newcastle
Newcastle’s compact city centre means you can park up and simply wander about until you find its attractions.
The Centre for Life
A science research centre that is also a fascinating interactive day out for families, the Centre for Life should not be missed. Located near Central Station, it has ever-changing exhibitions, a planetarium, science theatre and 4D motion ride. The kids will be having so much fun, they won’t even notice they’re learning.
Lit & Phil Library
Also not far from Central Station is the historic Lit & Phil Library, which is open to visitors. It was in this beautiful building in 1879 that Joseph Swan demonstrated his electric light bulb, making it the first public building to be lit by electricity. It still retains its stunning grand staircase, architecture, busts of various notable people and is full of books.
St James’ Park
Fans of the beautiful game will not be able to resist a trip to St James’ Park. It has been home to the Magpies since 1880 and always has an incredible atmosphere on match day, whether you’re supporting the home team or not. If there are no games being played during your visit, then arrange to take part in the stadium’s guided tour.
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