"People are always asking, why an angel? The only response I can give is that no-one has ever seen one and we need to keep imagining them. The angel has three functions - firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years, secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age, and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears - a sculpture is an evolving thing." - sculptor, Antony Gormley
Who says you cannot have bucketlist items from the country you live in. Well, visiting Newcastle meant I was able to do just that. Tick an item off my bucket list that is. I have been wanting to see the Angel of the North for such a long time now, but always thought the journey over there was just too long. You This coming from the person that drove 5 hours straight to go climb the Walsh cliffs in Three Peaks(check Facebook page for pictures) or drive through the night to bunk at Portland Bill for the sole purpose of feeling the adrenaline rush of climbing the cliffs of Portland and feel that fresh breeze whilst hanging meters above sea level. So you can just imagine my excitement, pointing like a little school girl looking at her chosen toy at Hamleys. I spotted it meters before approaching our stop, I knew this thing was huge but it was bigger than my imagination. It was blistering with wind but this angel didn't even flinch. All 20 metres of her stands tall over looking Tyneside A-roads and come rain or shine she watches over Gateshead. Made with enough steel to make 16 double-decker buses and apparently the largest angel sculpture in the world, so no wonder it is seen by 33 million people a year, seen by one person every second. That's 90,000 people every day! If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a very excited Bee came face to face with an Angel. Can you blame me? This thing is Big, Bold and Beautiful. There, my seal of approval. So whether you believe in angels or not, this is certainly something you have to see if you are in Newcastle. Getting to the Angel of the North couldn't be easier as transportation in Gateshead is frequent and easy to find. We got on what I now refer to as the 'Geordie bus' from Gateshead Interchange which runs buses fairly frequent to the Angel and only takes about 20 minutes if not less. In my excitement I was not timing the journey. The angel is in Gateshead(although I keep referencing Newcastle) which is accessed via Newcastle Station. From London you can easily get to the north via East Coast trainlines at Kings Cross.
No doubt Newcastle has seen a lot of regeneration in the last few years as it hit hard times in the 1980s when many of the factories and coal mines shut down which meant the loss of jobs and the standards of living that were were once enjoyed when the going was good were hit upon. Visiting the city now you can still tell that a lot of the infrastructure is new from the newly built Sage Gateshead venue where we had the bloggers conference to the Baltic Museum of contempory Art that I wrote about recently and the beautiful Millennium Bridge and many other buildings, bridges on the River Tyne that are just simply beautiful to look at.
Below is a visual diary of the of the sights in Newcastle when I wasnt too busy drooling over all the intricacies of the engineering. I am taking a digital detox this weekend and will only have my Nikon if I am allow to take it to Norfolk this weekend. So no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Blogger. Have an awesome weekend! x