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Tyne and Wear

Introduction Tyne and Wear is known for its historic buildings, industrial heritage, sandy beaches, excellent sports and shopping facilities and perhaps most important of all for its warm and friendly people. The name of the region is derived from the two rivers The Tyne and The Wear whose strategic importance has played a key role in the development of this area.
History The Romans were the first to realise that control of the river crossings would be a crucial element to success. As a consequence they built a fortified River Crossing on the Tyne, in Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of their frontier Defence, Hadrian's Wall. Subsequent generations have all made use of the two rivers to further enhance their defence or manoeuvrability. During the industrial revolution it was the ability to transport raw materials up and down both rivers which led to the rapid growth of the two cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland.
From Industrial Revolution
to 'Party Town'

Newcastle upon Tyne's fortune came first from wool and then from coal, whilst the steel industry in Sunderland made it the biggest shipbuilding town in the world. Not everyone benefited from such prosperity, industrialization brought new wealth for some but new hardships for most. Catherine Cookson, who was born in one of the most deprived areas within South Shields, has immortalised the harsh life, the area and its people in her best selling novels. Visitors to the region can now visit Catherine Cookson County and discover the region's history for themselves.

Most of the heavy industry and associated jobs have long since disappeared but recent years have seen the reemergence of the region as a focus for investment and development. Many of the old industrial scars have been cleared away to make room for new housing and leisure facilities. These recent opportunities have created a new optimism which is reflected in peoples attitudes. The most obvious evidence of this is in a recent poll by an American travel company that revealed that Newcastle upon Tyne is considered to be the eighth best city in the world in which to have a great night out.


There's so much for people to see and enjoy in Tyne and Wear. The seaside resorts of Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, Roker and Seaburn have always been popular resorts for day trippers and holiday makers. Whilst shoppers are not only attracted to the many smaller shops and markets of the region, but also to Eldon Square, with its million square feet of shopping space, and to the MetroCentre in Gateshead, Europe's largest indoor shopping centre.

In addition, sports enthusiasts can travel to Gateshead International Stadium, Newcastle Racecourse, St. James Park, home to Newcastle United and Stadium of Light in Southwick Sunderland F.C. to see some of the best events in the sporting calender.

Alternatively, visitors can enjoy one of the many splendid museums, galleries and visitor attractions. In the evening they can experience the wonders of the stage or screen at one of Tyne and Wear's many theatres and cinemas. Of particular note are the visits made by The Royal Shakespeare Company and Scottish Opera, who make this their home in the north.

The growth of inward investment has led to the region's rich cultural and historical development. The many attractions of Tyne and Wear are now proving ever more popular with locals and visitors alike.


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