Newcastle upon Tyne is a true regional capital that clings to the north bank of the River Tyne that hosts seven city bridges. The most famous of these bridges is perhaps the great arched suspension bridge that carries the A1. The oldest of the bridges is the Robert Stephensons high combined road and rail bridge that was erected in 1849.
Between those two bridges is an elegant swing bridge that turns on a central pivot, built in 1876. All the other bridges are 20th century bridges, one carries the metro and over and underground railway system that first opened in 1980.
Running along both sides of the River Tyne is the Metro that connects Newcastle with various historic attractions and the sandy beaches at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, note that the beaches here are no comparison to the quality of the beaches up the Northumberland coast if you head a little further north.
You can make a swift round trip of the area by crossing the river between South Shields and North Shields by boarding the Shields Ferry (open Monday to Saturday 7:00am 10:50pm and Sunday 10:30am 5:30pm), just a short walk from the ferry terminals are Metro stations where you can buy a day saver ticket for access to most of the county of Tyne and Wear.